Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I can do this and so can YOU

I'm exhausted. Mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. Why? Because I've been practicing and performing and workout out so intensely.


There is only a big day of Insanity left and the last fit test.

There is only one more rehearsal (this month).

There is only one more concert (this month).

There is only one more dance lesson.


I wrote this entry and then collapsed, unable to finish posting it.

Gladly I've made it through and am now off to my next short venture...a long weekend of contra dancing!!!


Friday, January 25, 2013

It's time for change.

There is always room for change. And there's no better time than now :)

There are many things changing in my life. Change is hard for many people. But I've learned to embrace it and to love it (most of the time).

One way I'm changing is through working out. This week is the last week of Insanity for me. My body has been changing and I can see it and feel it. It's wonderful! I can't wait to see how it continues to change as a begin a new program. It's only been 2 months. That's not a lot of time, but I've been working hard and the changes are visible, not just in my body contour but also in my energy level and general glow :)

Another change I've gradually made for some time over many months was in my diet. I'm now officially vegetarian, not for 30 days, but as long as I get the nutrients I need and I feel good. And so far, I'm feeling fabulous!

A huge recent change has been my career path. Instead of continuing in an ensemble on cruise ships, I'll instead be working toward my own show that I can perform as a guest entertainer on ships instead. I just love the ships! Making this change will allow me to work for more cruise lines, and make a more sustainable living. Here's to getting my show off the ground...and into the water :)

There have been other little changes like, eliminating more sugar from my diet, taking dance lessons, jumping into the smartphone market, reading more on my recently acquired Nook lovely donated to my cause (thanks Rachel).

What have you changed for the better recently?

Share it with me or someone you trust to encourage you and support you through your change.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dance Dance Dance


This is good training for the contra dance weekend in two weeks, but today, whew, was tough. An Insanity workout in the morning, an hour dance lesson early afternoon, shopping for three hours, and then nearly three more hours of dancing. Oh, I had fun! And I'm doing have of that again tomorrow, but in the evening instead of three hours dancing it will be three hours rehearsal. No, I'm not trying to slowly kill myself. Life does that all on it's own. I'm just enjoying as much of it I can everyday!

Oh, I should tell you something super duper cool!

I walked into the dance studio today and started talking with one of the owners and found out that she and her husband/co owner will be dancing with the Arkansas Symphony at their next concert. And I'm playing in that concert! WOW, what a small small world it is. Now we're both excited to see the other perform onstage. This studio, the Arthur Murray studio http://www.lrdance.com/ is a fabulous place. Everyone is really excited about dance and about their job. I've already made fast friends and hope to keep them because these are some fantastic and talented people!

Now that I'm back home for the night and barely able to walk, it's time for a long epsom salt bath and bedtime!!!! zzzzzzzzz

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pillow Partners

The last few days have been so lovely, for many reasons, but one of my favorite is who gets to share the bed with me :)

He did eventually fall off my lap as he fell deeper asleep lol 

Fast asleep on my lap. This is Heisman, a mini collie puppy.

Getting enthusiastic kisses from Denny Crane!

Worn out after a long day of fetching the ball outside.

These dogs are so fun and as you can see, Denny Crane shares my bed. He's such a snuggle bug. You wouldn't believe it, but this dog will nearly push me out of a king size bed. I can wake up on the very edge of the bed and that little dog is snuggled up close to me, the rest of the huge bed empty :-)

When I left for the last time Denny Crane followed me out to my car and his owner called to him to come back inside the yard, but Denny Crane just stood there looking between me and his owner, conflicted. I finally reached down to pick him up, gave him one last loving pet and carried him to his owner so I could leave.

Parting is such sweet sorrow..........

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Sugar: The Bitter Truth"

Wow, this is a great, fabulous, extremely informative video.

As those who see me on a semi frequent basis know, I've given up sugar. I no longer cook with it or buy sugar enhanced foods. This video will give you an idea why.

Now if you're like me and you pull up the video, take a look at the time length and go, whoa hoooo, no way. I'm not watching a 90 minute video on this. Well, there is a shorter version done by a guy just for you. However, I encourage you to watch the long version. There are lots of graphs and charts to help explain everything being explained.

Here's the short version if it is what you'd rather watch. This guy has watched the longer video multiple times and made his own charts and graphs to help explain all the details in the video.

This video helps to debunk a lot of common myths. It's not just another theory. We have enough of those.

You'll learn new things, maybe many new things.

One of the things I learned is that calories are not all the same. It's not calorie in, calorie out. I kind of knew this, but lived based on the theory that if you work out more than you intake then you'll be good. Nope.

I also learned that HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) can actually be an aid to absorbing glucose faster into the body right after a heavy workout.

I learned how closely related HFCS is to ethanol. It has 8 out of 12 of the same effects on our body. That's a high percentage!!! In the chart below it uses the word chronic, meaning ingested frequently over time and not a one time occurrence.

Did you know that McDonald's only has 7 items on their menu without HFCS? Wow! Now, I don't eat there. Won't be starting. But I would suggest if you do eat there, you might consider stopping.

Another thing I learned is that eating a raw diet (which is kind of a fad right now) can nearly cure type 2 diabetes. This was something I took high note of since type 2 diabetes runs in my family, as in many others.


There is one other thing I will write to hopefully encourage you to watch the long video and not disregard my post as some other random research video that just negates what the last one proposed. And that is a short bio of the author and speaker in the video, Dr. Robert Lustig.

He has the credentials, the clinical and research experience to be an expert on how sugar damages our bodies. He's a professor of clinical pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, where he directs the Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health Program. His specialty is neuroendocrinology, with a specific emphasis on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system. He's working with overweight and obese kids who either have type 2 diabetes or are on their way to getting it. As a neuroendocrinologist, he's an expert in the appetite and satiety hormones of ghrelin and leptin.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Adding to my wish list. I'd better start saving today!

Note, there are two things on this list so don't forget to keep reading after the first item.

Music writing programs have been around forever. As a musician, studying in school I even took classes to learn how to use these overly complicated and extremely time consuming programs.

Now in the 21st centery, those programs are still available and still being updated, but apps for Apple and Android are competeing for attention. I've played around with a number of the apps and spent way too much time with a couple of the older programs. However, there's never been something that really caught my attention, nor made we want to write music on it.

I'm one of those arranger/composers that still writes in the antiquated free hand style. Yes, I have manuscript paper, a pencil, and big eraser. If something has to be put into a program I will, but mostly I just read off of handwritten copies and have had nothing inspire to change. Until now!

Check out this kickstarter company; http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thinkmusictech/thinkmusic-ipad-app-the-ultimate-music-notation-ap?ref=live

When I saw this video, I wanted to buy an ipad. Just for this app. WOW!!!!  Now, I haven't actually used it so maybe it wouldn't work the way I hope, but if it does what it shows on the video I'd give up my manuscript paper and move into a new era. This app has solved a lot of the issues I have from older programs and is directed more toward someone with my music arranging needs.

They haven't reached their goal yet. I really hope they do because I really want this app to make it to market so I can go buy an ipad so I can buy this app so I can arrange music much more efficiently!!!

And the second thing that is now on my wish list!

I've seen this watch before and thought it was awesome, but after seeing the finished project I'm in love. Really, it what we all hoped the ipod 6th generation would be; a nifty little device you could use as a watch and keep on your wrist that would connect to your phone so you didn't have to walk around with the phone in your hand all day or an uncomfortable bluetooth device stuck in one ear. But the ipod touch did not deliver and Apple went back to it's older design for the latest generation.

Don't give up hope though. A fabulous start-up has created the watch even better than could be imagined. It works with Android and Apple OS and has the ability to work on it's own as a miniature device or connected to your bluetooth engaged phone. It will work as a watch or a phone or a calendar. It's awesome! And it's not bulky or unstylish.

Check it out here. Watch the video, read the article, look at the pictures, and DROOL!!!



Adios Austin. Greetings Gravity.

Yes, I'm back on the road again.

Headed north (not that I couldn't head south into Mexico I suppose) for a few days and then east back to my gig in Little Rock. It's been fun in Austin, as always. Way too cold though! brrr....  But I truly enjoyed all the time I got to spend with family and friends. It was super!

In Austin I find it hard to get much work done on anything of my own because there are so many activities and friends vying for my time. This trip wasn't so much different, but...

Progress is being made on my new show. After much visionary research, music has been ordered! Now I must spend many an hour alone, escaped into a wonderful world of my own, where music abounds and the worlds woes can't reach me.

P.S. No, I'm not planning on practicing in the creek, for all those who were wondering :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

New gadget: Email Me!

I've had some readers convey to me that they would like to be able to email me through my blog.

This seems to be a great idea so after a quick html reference guide I've included a new gadget.

It's on the right hand column part of the way down under the Support My Blog gadget :-)

It says Email Me and if you click on the link underneath it will pull up your email application. Or if you're like me and don't use an email application, just type the email address that is the link, into your chosen email service.

So now there is no excuse! Email me! Flood my inbox people :-)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Friends; Thank You

This entry is for each and every one of you who have helped me,whether monetarily, giving of your time, giving of your advice, giving of your home and food, giving of your friendship. Thank you.

Without you my life wouldn't be possible. Life would be yes, but my exciting, adventurous, interesting, crazy, wandering life, would be impossible. The life that gives me life; and that life that gives all of you more life too!

There are few things as wonderful in my life as the friends I make. That's why I try to make sure I spend the time and take the effort to be the best friend I can be to each and every one of you :) You make my life happy, wonderful, great, creamy (I can't justify it, so just go with it), crazy, goofy, amazing, lively, terrific, purposeful, up to heaven ( as opposed to down to earth), and down to earth too or should I say grounded, memorable, worthwhile, and dare I say it? FUN!!!  Many of you that have spent time around me realize that the word "fun" creeps up when things get dangerous, challenging, and heart-pounding. And for those of you who hadn't experienced this phenomenon yet, now you are forewarned!

There have been many changes over the years and changes aren't coming any slower in their advances. And that's ok. In fact, that's welcome. Without change, I would go no where; you would go nowhere. Change is indeed scary sometimes, but that's what makes me and everyone else improve as a person. So bring it on! I can take it! And so can you!

Together, you and I can improve our lives, we can improve others lives.

Okay, I'll stop being so positive and preachy. :-p

This really is just an entry to say thanks. Recently I've really felt the true value of my friends and how much I love each and every one of you and how much I need each and every one of you. And I just want to let each and every one of you know all the afore things mentioned. Should I mention them again?? I don't want to make you gag on the mushiness so I'll let you start at the beginning if you want more mushy sentiments ;-)

My heart is truly touched by all of you.

Thanks to each and every one!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My New French Press

Yup, I finally broke down and purchased a french press. I don't like spending money on things I don't absolutely need, but I couldn't bear to not drink Choffy and loose leaf tea anymore so I went craigslist surfing and found a fabulous deal.

It's an Alessi french press. If you're familiar with French designs you'll immediately assume I paid a good sum for this. On the contrary however; I merely paid the small sum of $30!!!  And it was brand new, in the box, so I most certainly got an amazing deal :)

Now I've been stocking up on Choffy (if you'd like to purchase some, let me know because you must buy through a personal link on their website), and loose leaf tea. Enjoy every taste and am far healthier now that I can drink more tea and it's easier since I'm not frustrated drinking only water because now I have other tasty options :-)

This is a happy Ronda!

Here's proof!

And a cute picture of my alien looking down his nose at you.

And a side view of my little alien glancing your way!

Ok, I'm done showing off my little alien...but he is so cute isn't he???

Just nod and say uh huh and I'll be blissfully happy; drunk on my Choffy and tea....

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Back to the Grind

When most people read that title, the image in mind is probably related to an 8-5 job of some sort.

Not for me!

Surprising I know...

This week I'm not working retail and I'm heading back into the music field.  A concert is coming up end of this month and I need to begin practicing and preparing for it. But I'm now going to be able to start working on my show again!

By the end of this week I hope to reach my goal and have a good update for you about my plans. Having you all hold me accountable will surely increase my productivity level :)

Until then, I'm nose down into the music, working out hardcore on my second month of Insanity (the name is so apropos), and spending time with my big sis.


P.S. In my work toward this show I did a photo shoot to go through some ideas. Here's a couple of the shots. Which is your favorite? What would catch your eye the best and which would make you buy the cd??

btw, none of these photos have been photo shopped. They're just as they were taken.

Please let me know your selection!

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What Word Is That?

About a week ago I was rummaging through a friend's house to find a vacuum cleaner and stumbled upon the game closet. Unable to stop myself, I rummaged further to see what treasures I could find and down on a bottom shelf, buried back behind some dust was a jigsaw puzzle name "What Word Is That?"

Now, I'm not a jigsaw person in any sort of way. Haven't done one or even been tempted as such since I was a child. But this one caught my eye. It's a jigsaw puzzle of words and their definitions. Now, lest this sound like an easy venture to you linguists out there, beware, said definitions aren't always the ones you'll find in a Merriam Webster Dictionary. Some of them are, but many are etymology based hints or country of origin clues or even just random examples as to how the word could potentially be used.

Needless to say, with very teeny tiny pictures to make the puzzle possible it took a lot of arranging ,rearranging, head banging, re-rearranging, cries of frustration, futile and successful attempts and googlery, yet more re-re-rearranging until finally, it all fit together. It went so far as the last six pieces not matching into place. Oh that was not a happy moment; thinking of the coming time to be spent poring over the slightest hints of colors on the piece edeges since all the definitions matched; to see where the last 3 sets were supposed to fit since the last 3 locations available were not correctly pairing.

Here are some pictures of the process!

This is just starting out. The outline isn't even complete, which was going to take a long time anyway. Turns out that connecting the edges is not the first thing you can do with this puzzle. Yes, I did line up all the words on one side and the definitions on the other, eventually into little grids. No, I did not go so far as to alphabetize the words.

The borders are completed here, but in errancy. I was unaware of this  even though I'd already fixed the borders a couple of times up to this point. I was starting to gain hope by now that the puzzle would be possible, howbeit I would lose this hope later.

Later, being such as now. I was getting giddy with happiness considering the hours of toil I'd spent over this puzzle. Alas, it was not to be. Those six missing pieces all fit together but they did not fit there in the puzzle. Luckily it only took me about 5 minutes to spot the alternate six pieces with which to exchange them.

My good friend was kind enough to scour each line of the answer key to make sure each and every line of the puzzle was accurate. I was on pins and needles because if something was wrong (which the past had said was likely), then I was going to want to quit. Not an option I would take of course, but I would be quite sore over the fact that something was wrong but I didn't know what. I was elated when this was not the case!!!

So now that I've completed this gigantic intrusion upon my daily waking hours, I'll hope to learn a few new words or things about those words. And I'd like to share just a few (or more) with you.

Now of course, I'm not just going to tell you the word and definition. That wouldn't be any fun!

Instead, I'll give you some definitions and please, without googling them (which I know I did so this just means you're more awesome than me), can you tell me what any of the words are or at least take a stab?

1. Is the most frequently used letter in English:

2. Has more synonyms than any other condition or object described in the English language:

3. Has more meanings than any other word in English, with 126 verbal uses and 58 noun uses.

4. Someone skilled at across the table chit chat (yes, there is a term for this although I didn't know it).

5. The longest common word made up of letters from the top line of the typewriter. (This should be fun for all you typists out there).

6. The joy one feels at someone else's misfortune (from the German).

7. Is the most frequently used word in spoken English.

8. A device for allowing an object such as a compass to remain level no matter how a ship moves. (only an appropriate definition to include right?)

9. Meaning 'very elegant', may be an acronym of 'port out, starboard home' as these were the cabins sheltered from the harsh sun on British ships to India.

10. To osculate.

And a bonus that you'll have to look up just to spell it:

11. It means 'the action of estimating as worthless' and is the longest real word in English. (hint, there are 29 letters)


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy another day, another chance, another opportunity

As many of you know, I'm not one for social norms nor traditions. Most people feel required to follow the rituals and customs society has placed on us, but somehow I've managed to avoid what I would deem as a materialistic hold on our world. It's simple really, I just tell everyone I know not to expect anything holiday related. BUT to expect everything non holiday related.

Simply put, just because society thinks it can pigeonhole me into its materialistic way of life, I REFUSE!

When I see something someone needs, I buy it if I can, and give it no matter the season. If I can do something nice for someone, I do so no matter the holiday. You will have a bigger impact on people and do more good in the world if you don't wait for a holiday to do it. As Nike would say, JUST DO IT!!

This is how I attempt to live my life and how I encourage others to as well. The friends who will remain will be true friends; not those who are friends for a superficial purpose. It may be hard to find out that some of your friends are truly not your friends. Losing "friends" isn't easy. And in a world where the more popular you are the more status you receive, having fewer friends might be a difficult adjustment. But, it will be worth it. Your time will be well spent in the future really enriching the lives of those that truly care about you and your well being.

So there is no happy new year for you, no happy birthday, nor happy any other made up day by any culture past an present. It's just a Happy Today and a Happy Tomorrow. A wish for you to live every day as it were a holiday. And no, holidays don't have to be full of craziness and frivolity. Holidays can be times for laziness and relaxation and rejuvenation. Holidays can be whatever you need them to be. And when you synonymize holiday and everyday, than you'll learn to make the most in whatever way, out of everyday.