Theater Provides Many Opportunties for Using Creative Energy

The final "Best" assignment from IEG is this:

Best Way For Using Creative Energy

Wow, I may even get this one in before tomorrow's deadline.

Working with the Sixth Street Melodrama and Theater has given me many opportunities to use my creative energy.

At first, I was able to sing onstage.

Then I was acting and singing.

A few summers ago, I decided to write a Melodrama, and act in it, and my husband directed the show.

Two summers ago, I put on my director's hat, and directed my first melodrama.  Plus I had to add to and rewrite a lot of the material from that show to somehow have it make sense.

Last summer, I directed another melodrama, and also produced a Kelly's Alley Revue.

Producing the revue was a lot of fun.  Taking a theme, which last summer was "The 1920's" and researching songs and historical facts about that decade, and blending them all together to create an hour musical revue was really fun.  Then to see the six actors sing and dance and perform it was even more wonderful.

This summer, PKR and I have been asked to write a couple of shows with the 1910 fire as the theme.  We will be writing a melodrama and a Kelly's Alley Revue.  The revue's theme will be full of songs having to do with fire, heat and hot.

We are also producing more of an historical narrative with some multimedia aspects to it, that will help tell some real stories from the summer of the 1910 fire.

All this will be this summer in Wallace during the month of August.  So mark your calendars, and come and learn more about this historical time in the Silver Valley's history.

Mel Gibson brought his heart, mind and soul to "Braveheart"

The next "Best" sibling assignment IEG gave us is this:

Best Movie because of a memorable role of an actor/actress played

I would have to say one of my favorite movie roles was watching Mel Gibson portray William Wallace in the film "Braveheart".

Not only was this a wonderful, historic epic picture, but Gibson's passion for the story, subject matter and role shone through in his performance.

He portrayed William Wallace as a romantic, intellegent, passionate fighter who believed in Scotland and all she stood for, and who believed in freedom for his people.

Besides the role he was playing, Gibson's love of the total project itself was evident in every aspect of the film.  It is one of those films I can watch over and over again, and never tire of watching it.

And it doesn't hurt that Mel Gibson is so darn handsome!!

Many Best Songs for Stirring Up Memories

The next "Best" assignment IEG gave us this month is this:

Best Song for Stirring Up Memories of Another Time

The trouble with this assignment wasn't finding a song, but narrowing down my many choices.

Because there are so many songs I can hear, and it transports me back to a certain time, a certain place, and helps me relive the memory.

Here are some that come to mind:

Chicago's "Saturday in the Park" takes me back to Cedar Island on the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River, to the Turnbow's river property.

"You've Lost That Loving Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers made a comeback in the early 80's.  I remember sitting in my boyfriend DG's car in the parking lot of a football field, maybe in Post Falls, and hearing this song come on the radio, and realizing our relationship was coming to an end.

If I hear any song from K.T. Tunstall's album "Eye of the Telescope", it reminds me of our family vacation to Los Angelas in the summer of 2006.

Hearing "I Try" by Macy Gray reminds me of the summer of 2000, when we were getting ready to leave Meridian and move to Kellogg.

Oh, and the list could go on and on!!!

Oswald Chambers is Changing My Thinking

Well, I am now into the January sibling assignments, so I am slowly getting caught up.

IEG gave us four sibling assignments this month, all to do with the subject Best.

Her first assignment was this:

Best Book Read Recently That Helped Change Your Thinking About Something

For my daily devotions I have decided to read "My Utmost For His Highest" by Oswald Chambers.

This devotional is changing my view of God, and how I respond to Him on a daily basis.

I love it when Chambers challenges me with how I am living my life, and responding daily to God and what He wants me to do.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from this past month.

January 3rd--If we have never had the experience of taking off our commonplace religious shoes off our commonplace religious feet, and getting rid of all the undue familiarity with which we approach God, it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence.

January 4th--When God brings the blank space, see that you do not fill it in, but wait.

January 6th--Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift.  Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to him in a deliberate act of worship.

January 11th--Stagnation in spiritual life comes when we say we will bear the whole thing ourselves.

January 12th--We have to get rid of that idea that we understand ourselves; it is the last conceit to go.  The Only One Who understands us is God.

January 13th--There are whole tracts of stubbornness and ignorance to be revealed by the Holy Spirit in each one of us, and it can only be done when Jesus gets us alone.

January 18--The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him.  Is is easier to serve than to be drunk to the dregs.

January 19th--The one thing for which we are all being disciplined is to know that God is real.

These devotions are directing my thoughts daily toward God and is helping develop and stronger and closer relationship with Jesus Christ.

And through this process, my thinking is changed.

Returning Back To My Domestic Side

Another Sibling Assignment is this:

Find a photograph you snapped last year that epitomizes 2099 for you and explain.

I have rediscovered the joy of being domestic.

I have always loved cooking, baking, canning, creating things, and sharing them with other people.

With the busyness of life and children getting older, I haven't experienced many of the things I used to do when the girls were younger.

But this last year I seem to have rediscovered some of those joys, and put them back into practice.

Canning and preserving food was one of the big things I did this last year.  We moved into our current house in the spring of 2006, and I know the stovetop at our new house has never had a canner with boiling hot water and glass jars perched on top of it.

But last summer that changed.  Last summer, as I started harvesting the garden, and picking apples off a friend's tree, I was given suggestions of what to do with the bounty, and canning was part of those suggestions.  First there was the spicy apple chutney, and the apple pie filling, and the salsa.

Then I headed to my sister's in October, to make more chutney, and grape jelly, and dry apples.

This Christmas, it was such a joy to share canned goods with friends and family.

I am also spending more time knitting.

And I am creating more home cooked meals from scratch, which has also been a delight.

I love being domestic, using my hands and heart to be creative, and share that creativity with others.

As Martha says, "It is a very good thing."

Going To Grandma's House Each Summer

Going to Grandma West's house was an annual pilgrimage in our family when I was growing up.  Our summer vacation was spending a week in Orofino, Idaho, usually in August.

Here is another sibling assignment I missed:

Write about specific things you remember about being at Grandma West's house during the summer.

So many memories flood back to me when I think of being in Orofino during the summers.

Sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste.

 I have a very early memory (probably two or three years old) of driving up to the Dworshak Dam site, and looking at a display that told about what the dam would look like, and that the place where the display was would be under water once the dam was built.  Here is a little information on the dam.  Once it was completed, it was always nice getting that view of the dam as you drove into town, because you knew you were almost to Grandma's house.

Another very early memory was going next door to Grandma's house with my sister IEG and visiting the girl who lived next door, who was close to Christy's age.  I remember going upstairs to MS's bedroom, and she was listening to music, and the song was "Sealed With A Kiss".  Another cool thing about their house was the huge curved wooden banister that was on the stairs as you went upstairs in their house.

I remember catching a blonde colored fuzzy caterpillar in Grandma's backyard one summer, and putting it in a jar, so we could watch it make a cocoon, and become a butterfly.  The cocoon was very unique, almost furry, not like the normal ones that would hang on our house in the summer.  It never did emerge from the cocoon. But I still remember catching that unique looking caterpiller.

Another touch I experiences was when an insect flew in my ear on summer when I was standing on the front porch of Grandma's house.  If my memory serves me correctly, it was a mayfly.  It flew in my ear, and started flying down my ear canal.  I was taken to the emergency room, and the doctor used a syringe filled with water to flush the insect out of my ear.  It was not a very pleasant experience.

I remember the smells of Grandma's garden.  The soil in her garden was very dark, and I believe it was full of volcanic material, which made it a very rich soil.  Everytime I smell tomato plants I think of Grandma's garden.  It was always nice to watch Grandma in her garden, and take in the smells of, not only the vegetables but all her beautiful flowers as well.

Orofino in the summer had the taste of corn on the cob, Swiss Steak, cucumbers in cream, and fresh picked tomatoes.  It was wonderful.

One of my favorite things to do in the summer was go to Zan's Beach and swim in the Clearwater River.  I do remember the summer after I saw "Jaws", I was terrified to go into the river, because I didn't want a shark to come and get me!!  Zan's Beach had beautiful white sand, and lots of volcano rocks scattered on the beach.

This summer we are planning a reunion in Orofino with all my the cousins on my Mom's side of the family.  It will be a wonderful time of reconnecting, sharing stories, and hopefully eating some of those wonderful meals we experienced as children.  All of us are anticipating a very good weekend.

When Dad Made Me Proud

Today I am going back into the Sibling Assignment archives, and catching up a bit.  Actually, I only went back through the last 15 or so.  I actually wrote more than I thought I had.

So, back in June, around Father's Day, the sibling assignment was this:

Remember a time that our Father made us proud.

I remember at Dad's funeral visiting with my friend KCM who lived in our neighborhood.  In fact, our backyards were kittycorner from each other.

After I went off to college, Dad started taking a real interest in gardening.  He loved planting vegetables and harvesting them in the late summer and fall.

He was particularly proud of his tomatoes, and liked to share that information with others.

One of those people was KCM.  When KCM would be in Kellogg visiting her parents, Dad would talk to her over the back fence, and would often give her tomatoes, or share tips on how to grow the biggest, juiciest, most flavorful tomatoes.

I loved that she shared that story with me, and it made me very proud!!


The Curtain is Closed

Another show has come and gone, and it is off to other things.

I think I've been in a little bit of a funk this week with the closing of "I Do! I Do!"  What an incredible experience to share with my husband, and we had such a fun time performing that show for the community.

One comment we kept hearing over and over was people couldn't believe the stamina we had to perform on stage, just the two of us, for two hours straight, and people wondered if we were exhausted at the end of the show.

It was just the opposite.  I think when you do something you love so much, it is like playing a favorite game, and we were actually energized at the end of the evening, not tired.  The only night I felt a little tired was last Saturday, when we performed two shows.  That tended to be a long day.

PKR kept commenting that it felt like we were "playing" like when we were little kids.  We were like two grownups who got to "play house" onstage.  And it was so much fun.

I learned to dance with a feather boa, and became very relaxed as I sang "Flaming Agnes" each night.  It just became more fun the more I performed that number.  (Even though my daughters were quite mortified by the whole performance, especially Z2)!

We had such wonderful audiences who responded to well to the story.  Because of many circumstances, I was able to see friends from high school I hadn't seen in a while, because they came to see the show.  That was such a blessing.

Our small crew that worked on the show each night was such a blessing.  From our director CSP, who brought things out of us we didn't know we could do, and her encouraging words each night as we performed, to JP playing the music each night, and keeping us on track, to KM who did the lights, and RW and CW who were our backstage crew the majority of the time, as well as some help from BC, Kiki Aru and CSP.

We were able to raise close to $1,000 to give to three different charities in the Silver Valley.  Meals on Wheels, The Shoshone Women's Resource Center, and Shoshone Community Health Clinic will each receive over $300 a piece to help people in the Silver Valley.

Most performances we didn't greet the audience, but we decided to on our last performance.  It was heartwarming to hear people share how good the story made them feel,  and how true to life it was for them, watching this couple through the ups and downs of their 50 years of marriage.

The last thing we sing at the end of the show are these words....

"Marriage is a very good thing, though it's far from easy...
Still it's filled this house with life and love."

I love leaving that message with people, because it is so true.  Marriage had its ups and downs, it goes through different stages, whether that be having babies, raising teenagers, children getting married, mid life crisis, menopause, or leaving the house you've lived in your whole married life to move into a smaller apartment, it is a tough journey, but it is a very good thing.  And it is totally worth it all.

Goodbye, Agnes.  Goodbye, Michael.

You both will always be a part of our marriage, and a part of our lives, and we are better because of it.  You will never truly leave either of us, and to that I am grateful.


Happy New Year!!

Well, it is January 10th, and I haven't even posted anything for the new year.

It always seems to happen.  When I am rehearsing for a play, blogging, reading and other creative outlets seem to get put aside until life returns to some normalcy.

So we made it through our first weekend of shows.  They all went really well.  I was a bit concerned about PKR's voice today, but he made it through.  I hope his throat is feeling better by next weekend.  Poor guy!!

We are back to school, and into the swing of things there.  I talked to freshmen last week about career information, and gave the 8th grader the EXPLORE assessment.  This is the 8th grade ACT test.  Next week is the end of the semester, and semester tests.  That is good, because then I can do some organizing and catching up.

I hope to get the Christmas decorations down tomorrow.  I don't think I have ever taken this long to take them down.  YIKES!!

I really hope to look back on 2010, and see that I have accomplished something.  It seems like I make the same "resolutions" every year, and never get them accomplished.  Well, I am bound and determined to make this year different.  All it will take is a little discipline and self-control in some areas.  Here is to 2010....(I prefer calling is two thousand ten, not twenty ten).

And we're off............