A little poetry

Hi friends,

As you all know I have been undergoing change.  It’s kind of overwhelming when I think about it.  I have been so busy experiencing that it has kind of happened without my realization.  It’s like it has almost occurred in someone else’s life- not mine.  I’m just taking things day by day and trying to enjoy my life. Still, something with all of this change makes me feel poetic. I wish I had the talent to write my own poetry (working on that at the moment…) but for the moment I will share some of my favorites with all of you. Here goes…

Beginning by James Wright

The moon drops one or two feathers into the fields

The dark wheat listens.

Be still.

Now.

There they are, the moon’s young, trying

Their wings.

Between trees, a slender woman lifts up the lovely shadow

Of her face, and now she steps into the air, now she is gone

Wholly, into the air.

I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe

Or move.

I listen.

The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,

And I lean toward mine.

(What do you think this poem means? I think it is saying that to begin anything in life (just like beginning to fly for the bird) we must all step a little bit into the darkness- it is a poem about faith and the power of stopping, observing and listening).

Rain Towards Morning by Elizabeth Bishop

The great light cage has broken up in the air,

freeing, I think, about a million birds

whose wild ascending shadows will not be back,

and all the wires come falling down.

No cage, no frightening birds; the rain

is brightening now.  The face is pale

that tried the puzzle of their prison

and solved it with an unexpected kiss,

whose freckled unsuspected hands alit.

(Elizabeth Bishop has many poems about nature that move me- and I’m not even an outdoors girl- but I like this poem because it clarifies the unexpected gifts of life, if we look for them).

There is another sky by Emily Dickinson

There is another sky,

Ever serene and fair.

And there is another sunshine

Though it be darkness there:

Never mind faded forests, Austin,

Never mind silent fields-

Here is a little forest,

Whose leaf is ever green;

Here is a brighter garden,

Where not a frost has been;

In its unfading flowers

I hear the bright bee hum;

Prithee, my brother,

Into my garden come!

( I love this poem for many reasons.  Don’t we all have moments where we need to know that there is another sky, a brighter garden, a more beautiful future ahead?  Isn’t it usually your family that opens those new arenas for you, that gives you the courage to to be happy? I feel that it is often the belief of others and the inner-confidence gained from finding beauty and meaning in life that saves each of us from the darkness).

I hope you enjoy three of my favorite poems.  I have always loved the power of words to capture moments.  These poems do that for me.  🙂

So much happening

Dear friends it has been a week since I have written but it feels like an eternity- it has been that busy of a week.  It’s kind of hard to know what to mention first.  To give you some idea, I have been working on 3 jobs- not including my volunteer work, family, friends, church, voice lessons, and other responsibilities.

Job 1 Managing properties

Last week I checked 3 groups in and 3 out of all 3 properties and made sure all the cleaning, paperwork and payments were done.  Plus, I had to take care of the continual marketing of the properties, including beginning advertising for the holiday’s and making future appointments. In addition, I scheduled 4 new tenants for the homes over the next 6 months which required discussions, emails, deposits and more. There are also 3 people in limbo without a firm commitment at the moment.

I also worked with my dad on designing fliers for the homes, business cards and still had to make purchases of dvds, XBOX 360 (so out of my element on that one!), cleaning supplies, towels and a few other items. I even purchased and monogrammed towels that are specially designed for female guests to use with their make-up (classy hah!).

Job 2 Grabber warmer van

Last week I picked up the new Grabber warmer van which I will use this Winter to set up events to market the warmers.  You know how you sometimes see vehicles outside of stores pushing products like cell phones?  That’s the kind of thing I will be doing.  So, not only did I pick up the van, but I went to the outdoor retailers show on Friday to get training on how to set up and run events.  It sounds like it is going to be a lot of work- more than I bargained for.  Stephanie from GPG said that it could be a full time job if I wanted it to be.

After the show I spent the whole next day getting things ready for a GPG party I catered and planned for warmer employees and reps.

Job 3 Event planning

Last week things came full circle for my company Catalyst Events and Marketing.  I went through the process of registering my company name and filling out the application for a business license (I actually turned in the papers today).  I also worked feverishly on my website . I am finding I have to relearn a lot of what I knew at Linguatronics before my mission (frustrating!).  At the same time I had to plan the menu and do all of the shopping and prep for the party on Saturday.  It was almost 2 full days of preparation to be ready for the party- and ready I was.

There are few moments that are perfect in life but the party was one of them for me.  Everything looked great, tasted great and I felt like such a professional.  I have always wanted to be a classy woman who could pull everything together and make people happy.  At the party I was that woman.  It was amazing.  When I get pictures from my dad I will post them.  He took pictures of the party for my website which should be up soon.  I’m working hard on it. I am not joking when I say it was one of the best days of my life.  It is one thing to say I can plan great events and it is another to go out and do it. I even used mostly my own recipes. The rest were from the barefoot contessa! Yum!

So, that’s the 3 jobs! It’s crazy how I can go from 0 jobs at the end of May to 3 in August! The hard part is I am actually excited about all of them.  The key to keeping me sane is that everyone involved knows of my limits especially me.  Plus, it is all stuff I enjoy.  I continue to feel that if I am going to have problems these are the kinds I want.  I enjoyed my time of waiting and now I am loving my time of being hyper-used.

In the end, I keep coming back to the feeling I have had from the day I quit my job.  I knew then and I know now that everything will be Ok.  I know that the Lord is watching out for me and that He loves me.  I have said it a million times but never have I felt more prompted to make a decision than I did when I left my old job.  It is this sense of inner-peace and direction that makes me,  even with all the craziness of 3 jobs (plus family, friends, church, healthy living, and a social life) , feel a calm.  It’s hard to explain but nonetheless true.

I will keep you’all updated on everthing that happens with my life (including moving somewhere in the next month or so- that’s a whole different ball of wax I have to figure out.  For another blog entry!).

Oh- and I have also tried to squeeze in a little of my favorite TV time- the Olympic games.  Go USA!!!!!!

Going to the Movies Alone

Today dear friends I had a breakthrough.  Do you ever put up barriers around yourself for no good reason?  You say to yourself- “I can’t do that…, I would be embarrassed if I did…, If I do that everyone will think…”.  One of my continuous goals in life is to knock down those barriers and live my life to its utmost.  One silly example is I have never been to a movie by myself.  It’s not that I was scared of going by myself or that I thought I wouldn’t have a good time.  I do all kinds of things by myself including dining, driving, flying, and even vacationing alone.  I am a fiercly independent person and I don’t know why going to a movie alone seemed out of the question.  Part of the reason was no doubt that a movie is something often associated with a date; therefore, going to one by yourself feels fairly lame.  It is like going dancing alone or to a wedding without a date (lame!).  In truth, it is lame of me to feel I need someone at such events.  I want to be comfortable in my own skin.  I don’t want to miss out on life because I don’t have a date, so today I decided to do something I have never done before- I went to a movie alone.

It was actually a wonderful day.  Nothing out of the ordinary- checked a few people into the houses, did errands, ect.  What made it great was I got to go swimming (one of my favorite activities) and then I went to see Mamma Mia (finally I know I mentioned it long ago).  I went alone because pretty much all of my friends are in seclusion today reading a certain vampire novel….

I have been wanting to see Mamma Mia for weeks now and it was hilarious.  Webster’s dictionary defines entertainment as “something that amuses, pleases, or diverts, especially a performance or show’.  On that level Mamma Mia is enormously entertaining and oh the music is so great!  I loved every performance; although, Pierce Brosnan could have used a little more work in the vocal department.  Meryl Streep can do no wrong and Amanda Seyfried is wonderful (they actually look like mother and daughter).  Is it thought provoking- no.  Is it awe inspiring- no.  Will it change your life?- Probably not.  Will it make you smile and want to sing along?- It did for me!

You know what was so funny there I was doing something I had never done before- going to a movie alone- and once it was over I realized that it felt just like any other movie.  While it would have been nice to have had one of my girlfriends or sibblings there, I had a good time all by my lonesome.  In fact, being alone forced me to start chatting with several of the girls next to me who were hilarious.

All in all I learned something about myself- I learned that the only person keeping me from experiencing adventures in life is me.  It would have been easy to blame my not seeing Mamma Mia in the theaters on friends but in reality it would have been my fault if I had missed it.  There is almost nothing I cannot enjoy or experience in my life.  Most of the time I just have to stop with the excuses of why I cannot do it- and just go and do it!

While I am not saying that I wish to experience life alone.  Believe me, I prefer anything with a friend; however, I now also see that I can have a good time with just me.  This realization makes me feel strong and truly independent.  It feels good! Yeah for movies alone!

Here is an interesting article from a lady who gives 5 reasons for going to the movies alone:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/857633/five_benefits_of_going_to_the_movies.html

AHHH a vacation

So my many friends I am vacationing in good old California. The story is a great one. On Tuesday I was feeling a little depressed because I wanted to see my new niece. I just wanted to be there. I was telling this to my dad and he surprised me by saying- “Well, why don’t you drive home with me and the boy scouts?.” The reason I was surprised by this suggestion was he had been opposed to such a plan weeks before because it meant my being absent from the vacation rentals for over a week. In the end I was able to turn the properties over to my uncle Jim (thank you Jim!) and after a long drive I am now in Palo Alto visiting with my niece. She’s so cute! All 3 of these girls are so adorable- each with their own distinctive and charming personalities. Isabel is in the era where she wants to hear stories over and over again. Yesterday I read her 3 stories from Brambley Hedge and I did all of the voices for the little mice and we enjoyed our time together.

Lucy is charming and has the funniest voice. It’s gravely and low in a way I have never heard in a little girl. She has a great smile, which combined with the voice can’t help but make you smile. Than there is the new little one Nelle that is sweetness personified. I read the other day that they studied the effects of babies on young mothers and that the endorphins released from holding a newborn are some of the same that come from exercising or other happy activities. (of course, they might also come from all of the work that goes into them but still- who could be uncheered by a newborn!). Here is the article if anyone wants to read it: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/5874711.html.

Tonight I am going back to spend the weekend with my younger siblings (Wagner generation 2 as I like to call them). It should be fun and I am particularly looking forward to lots of swimming- ahhh! Then tomorrow we might go and see Mamma Mia (which by the way I say poo poo to the bad reviews. I am seeing it anyway. One of the reviews said if you like chick flicks and show tunes you will like it- boy that doesn’t sound like me does it!). I am very excited about it. There are like 400 movies I want to see right now but Mamma Mia is the one I am most eagerly anticipating. I will let you know what I think.

Next week we are going on a Wagner family cruise to Catalina Island and Ensnada. I have never been there before and I am looking forward to 3 days of swimming, laying out in the sun, reading and spending time with family. (I know my life sounds so hard right now hah!). After the cruise I am spending one day in Disneyland with the fam and then am meeting up with my favorite college chum Raelene for a day at the beach (where I will finally get to see her baby! Yeah!).

So, in conclusion life is good. Life is great on vacation….

Happy 4th

Happy 4th to all of my friends! I love you all and I love the freedoms I have in this country. Today I am trying to remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King- let us move on in these powerful days and make America what it ought to be!

“Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.”

Music Galore

As I plugged in my IPOD today and put it on shuffle I thought about the variety of music that I like and how each type had touched my life. My mom and dad used to sit in bafflement over the power music had over me. I would spend way too much time figuring out the perfect song/CD to do silly things such as clean my room. They also didn’t understand why I felt so offended at the idea of anyone (particularly them) not liking my music. Neither of them understood how much of my heart went into the selection of my music. I have always felt that music had a special power to connect me to moments- to express my inside when my words failed miserably. As I’ve grown up I have learned to accept that music is an organic experience and can not be transferred to another person no matter how we might wish it could be. My parents will never understand my music and nothing can make them. It’s just doesn’t move them the way it does me- and that’s the way it is. In this spirit it may seem futile for me to share with you my favorite bands/musicians. I am well aware that each of these groups may not suit your tastes; however, perhaps in my sharing them you will understand a little more of my heart- what moves me, makes me laugh, and motivates me to keep going.

You will notice that many of these are groups from the 90’s. Sorry I can’t help it. That’s when I experienced my most formative musical period. These are in no particular order.

1. REM- Their Automatic for the People album is still one of my favorites. It is one of those great CDs that I can play start to finish. It was actually the first tape (yes cassette tape) that I remember purchasing on my own. I love Everybody Hurts, Man on the Moon, Sidewinder Sleeps, Try Not to Breath, and more. Other albums feature It’s the End of the World As We Know It, What’s the Frequency Kenneth, Losing my Religion, Stand, the Great Beyond and At My Most Beautiful. They are wonderful songs I could listen to again and again.

2. The Cranberries- 2 albums are essentials in my music collection No Need to Argue and Everybody Else is Doing it so Why Can’t We? Songs like Dreams, 21, No Need to Argue, Zombie, Pretty, Dreaming My Dreams and Linger are hauntingly beautiful and bold. Dolores O’Riordan is the only woman who could make yodeling cool.

3. Jewel- I know that she has a cheesy side, but I can’t deny the effect her albums have had on me. Pieces of You came out when I was a freshman in high school and while my friends were all into Oasis I couldn’t get enough of Jewel. Foolish Games, Who will Save Your Soul, You Were Meant for Me are amazing. I also listened her album Spirit over and over again and it is still one of my favorites with songs like Hands, Little Bird, Down So Long and Life Uncommon. It is no small chance that one of the first songs I learned while taking voice lessons was Foolish Games. It’s perfect.

4. Kenny Chesney- I am not going to try and argue that Kenny is an original performer; nevertheless he was my introduction to country music and his songs make me smile every time. He hasn’t put out a bad album yet. He is also important because Anna and I went to one of his outdoor concerts in 2005 and the memory is one of my favorites of the last few years. I love You Save Me, There Goes my Life, Don’t Blink, No Shoes No Shirt No Problems, Summertime, Big Star, Live Those Songs, You Had Me at Hello, Tin Man, and Good Stuff. He’s also the cutest man in a cowboy hat for my money.

5. Fleetwood Mac- Can you top Stevie Nicks? Not for me. Silver Springs, Landslide, Rhianon, Everywhere, Dreams and Go Your Own Way are all great songs. Her voice is raspy but deep and the lyrics are beautiful and fun. I have liked Fleetwood Mac since I was in Middle School. I bought their Greatest Hits right when I purchased the REM tape, so it was one my firsts. I still like it at 27 and that says something!

6. Jack Johnson- Can we all be grateful that Jack took a break from surfing to take a crack at music. What a talent! He just keeps putting out one great album after another. Even his soundtrack for Curious George had great songs. Perhaps it is my love of Hawaii that enhances my appreciation for Jack Johnson, but I could listen to his music all day. Flake, Good People, Sitting Waiting Wishing, Dreams by Dreams, Upside Down, Supposed to Be and If I had Eyes are some of my favorites. I can’t wait to see him live in August!!

7. Michael Buble- My mom has always groaned at Megan and my pleasure at what she calls lounge music. Michael Buble has taken that to a new level for me. He is the only person I have seen live twice and each time he amazed me. Entertaining is the word. He is funny, engaging and of course talented. He sings with a massive band and yet is still the star of the show- now that takes charisma. Not only is he great at singing classics like World on a String, Feeling Good, and Try a little Tenderness but he is a great songwriter penning one of my favorite recent songs Home along with Everything, Lost, and That’s Life. It also doesn’t hurt that he isn’t too hard on the eyes and that voice…

8. Josh Groban- Another performer that I have always liked but gained a whole new infatuation for after seeing him live. It’s a long story but through some luck Camille and I got bumped to the 5th row. He even touched my fingers! I know I sound like a gaping teen, but I can’t help it. It was that cool! I wondered before seeing him if his voice would carry in a large stadium. It certainly did. What a talent! On key, singing in Italian half the time, and completely mesmerizing. Where do I start on his songs- all amazing. My favorites are Awake, So She Dances, February Song, The Prayer, Weeping, To Where You Are, and You Raise Me Up. I just hope that David Foster decides to do a Buble/Groban tour- that would be awesome!

9. Joni Mitchell- There have been so many copy cats of Joni that she doesn’t seem as original as she deserves to be. I joke with my teacher that I love bitter woman songs. Joni definitely fits this category. I don’t know why I love these songs, but they hit an emotion in me and in so doing I feel more understood by the world- more able to move on. Both Sides Now, River, California and of course Blue are pure and peacefully melancholy. If I could sing like anyone it would probably be her. I just love her voice and the simple beauty of one woman singing at a piano or a guitar with no airs or pretense for the crowd!

10. Norah Jones- Rarely do I hear a song on the radio and think- “I love that song, I have to pick it up”. Norah Jones’ Don’t Know Why was one of those songs. Her Come Away album is perfect. Every song could be listened to many times and is great for relaxed settings-even work. She has such a beautiful voice and her arrangements are smart and simple. You can picture her sitting at a piano singing her favorite songs- and then oops they got recorded. I have appreciated all of her albums but Come Away is the best.

11. The Beatles- It would be hard to not put the Beatles on such a list. They have so many great songs- songs that you can dance to, songs that are slow and melodic and songs that are poetic-telling you a story. How different are She Loves Me, 8 Days a Week, Something, Eleanor Rigby and Let it Be? It doesn’t seem like it could be the same band. I am jealous of anyone who ever got to go to a concert live.

12. Judy Garland- I feel sorry for Judy Garland. She had so little choice in her life. She listened dutifully to her mother and doctors and ended up drug addicted and unhappy. I admire that despite everything she kept singing- trying to find something over the rainbow. When I was younger I appreciated Judy as a kind of Disney singer but her songs have a bittersweet meaning to me that I find very moving. Only those that have studied voice understand the difficulty of her arrangements and the purity of her voice. If I could sing like anybody she would be at the top of my list. Incredible.

Wow! That was hard There are so many more I want to include Rascal Flatts, Counting Crows, Maroon 5, Barbra Streisand, Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek, Dixie Chicks, Billy Joel, Barenaked Ladies, Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette, Harry Connick Jr., Adam Pascal, Natalie Merchant, Annie Lenox, Elliot Yamin, James Taylor, John Mayer, Alicia Keyes, KT Tunstall, Billie Holiday, Bonnie Raitt, Johnie Cash, Reba, U2, They Might Be Giants, ColdPlay, Beach Boys and more. I am so blessed to have music in my life and hope that I never stop appreciating it and developing my own talents. I can’t imagine heaven without music and I don’t think it will be all hymns up there either! Take care friends and share with me your favorites.