Friday, December 30, 2016
My blog inspiration book, Little Golden Books, reminds us that, “Christmas is a time to go all out.” That is just what Cirque Dreams Holidaze is all about-going all out and celebrating everything “Holidaze.” I thought that after Christmas day, this show would keep the energy going. It did that with jazzed up variety and circus acts plus a lot of glitz.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
|Rocky Telling his journey|
Pittsburgh is a sports town so most Pittsburghers would jump at the chance to hear a story from a former Steeler running back, who was part of the “Golden Days” in the 1970’s, the days of the “Steel Curtain,” and 4 Super Bowl victories. This show is not really about Steelers team history or I would have been lost and bored because I must timidly admit that I am a temperate fan, unlike most supersonic ones in this town. What I do love however is a good story (see Day 146). I got a good story from Rocky Bleier. I heard his story of chance or of “what if’s” in his life. I think many of us have those kinds of memories. During the holidays when we are together with family and friends, it is our stories that bring the joy of telling and remembering to life so that we don’t forget. This is what Rocky Bleier accomplished in this one man intimate play.
Monday, December 26, 2016
Pittsburgh’s rich immigrant history has given birth to many hidden treasures. One of these treasures is the water color tempera murals painted on the walls of St.Nicholas Church in Millvale. During the Holidays we give gifts and the Croatian artist, Maxo Vanka, said that the murals were his "Gift to America.” These paintings mix both secular and religious images to tell the story of the Croatian immigrant experience in the United States. The Holiday Light Tour sponsored by “The Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka.” This tour is a good way to see these paintings with new LED lighting and learn about their social justice, anti war, and reverence for women themes.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
The weeks before the holiday often involve that panic rush feeling "to get it all done.” We forget, as my blog inspiration book, Everything I Learned About Christmas, I Learned From A Little Golden Book, reminds us that Christmas should be a “time of wonder, a time like no other time of the year.” At Phipps Conservatory, the beauty brings back the wonder of the season as you navigate through the 8 rooms of nature infused with lights, Christmas trees, and poinsettias, as well as 5 permanent botanical gardens.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
|Mom and I before the show|
Listening to the sounds of Christmas is a good way to get “into the spirit.” It’s even better when you go a concert which celebrates Christmas and does not try to focus on a generic “Holiday Season.” That is what you get with the Michael W. Smith Christmas tour. My Blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know about (Christmas), I Learned From A Little Golden Book, reminds us that Christmas is, “ a time for giving the very best of yourself.” Giving your best, felt like the spirit of this concert.
Saturday, November 26, 2016
When I heard that the 1983 film, “A Christmas Story” was adapted into a musical, I thought that it would be a great way to kick off the holiday season with my son. It’s a tradition for us every year to watch the movie that takes place on Cleveland Street in Indiana in the l940’s. We laugh over and over again at Ralphie’s quest to get a Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot BB gun for Christmas! The holiday movie, "A Christmas Story” is so appealing to the masses and we never get tired of watching it over and over again because it fuels our memories of our own holiday stories. We all can remember a time when we worried that all the “bad stuff" done that year would keep Santa from giving us that one special, must have, childhood toy. My coveted toy was a Barbie convertible.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
I have seen many of my friends use an unexpected adverse experience to catapult them into some type of positive action (see Day 60- Skully's Wish, Day 28-Support A Friend, Alzheimer's, Day 57-Ovarian Cancer). We participate in various causes because we are affected personally, because of friendship, or because the story behind the action makes us want to help. It’s the story behind my childhood best friend’s loss of her husband to heart failure and her family’s amazing dream to make things better for others in similar situations, that fuels my desire to help and share the cause of the Joe Beretta Foundation. (see TheJoeBerettaFoundation.com)
Thursday, November 17, 2016
The days are getting shorter and it’s a race to get some activity in before the sun sets. Jogging gives you a work out in a short period of time. I have to admit that I hate to run and I would do anything to avoid any type of running. I would joke that I would be the first one in a group to be eaten by a bear because I am so slow.
I never thought that I would even attempt to run at my age, especially because I need to save my knees for skiing. However, I was inspired by my college friend who finished the Boston half marathon. She also hated to run and her efforts fueled a competitive nerve that I did not think I even had. I thought that if my friend can master a marathon than I can at least try to run a 5k. Conquering a weakness is a quality of a being self- actualized or reaching your personal best, so I started to jog.
Monday, November 14, 2016
This empty nest period has been filled with an explosion of new music experiences ranging from Jazz (Day 15), banjos (Day 54), alternative Rock (Day 137), to Rap (Day 170 ). However, I did not expect my new music exposure to include a bagpipe concert! I must admit that I never imagined listening to bagpipes without attending a St. Patty’s Day celebration, some type of memorial, or watching clog dancing, until I heard The Red Hot Chili Pipers, (not peppers but pipers).
Sunday, November 6, 2016
When I ask most of my friends to go to the opera I often get a polite, “no thank you. ” I would like to point out that opera is all about the overall experience and this blog is about the overall experience of trying new things especially in the midst of a life change (see Day 143). I say go for the hyped up experience of the opera with the symphony, singing, dancing, extravagant sets, costumes, and drama.
You really don’t have to follow every detail of the story to understand what the show is trying to convey. Pittsburgh Opera's Salome, is all about uncontrolled lust and desire fueling one to behave in an unusual or in a bizarre manner. We all have performed regretful acts birthed from something that we think that we need or must have!
Monday, October 31, 2016
I am a girl who sleeps with the lights on after watching a scary movie and who turns her head during horror movie TV clips. I must be getting brave in this empty nest period because this was my third annual Scarehouse visit. I wondered if this place would still give me that scare thrill. In case it did, I had friends join me for support this time.
|He moved! Foggy|
I wonder why we enjoy that heart flutter adrenaline spark when something unexpectedly jumps at us or when the presumed mannequin is real and moves toward you. I guess there is a dopamine rush that keeps us coming back for more.
Sunday, October 23, 2016
I first saw Colbie Caillat on the Today Show over 10 years ago. She was playing her first solo hit single, “Bubbly.” I loved her pop/jazz/soft sound and I ran out and got her first CD, CoCo . I still love every song on that CD. I was surprised to see that she was coming to a small venue, the Carnegie Music Hall in Homestead. Even on a week night, I was off to rediscover her and check out this music venue. What I discovered was great music delivered with a personal touch.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
My Blog inspiration book, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book,” reminds us to, “use our imagination.” That is just what playwright, JW Barrie, did when he embarked on his journey to create the story, Peter Pan. The PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh musical, Finding Neverland, is about this journey. This is not just a play for children, but is really a play about tapping into something inside each of us that inspires us to imagine, dream, and be childlike.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
|Kuf Knots at the Pittsburgh Winey with Multu|
Friday, October 14, 2016
|Pittsburgh Winery stage|
My blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From A Little Golden Book, reminds us to, “be adventurous”. I felt adventurous when I tried, the Pittsburgh Winery, which is an urban winery located Pittsburgh's strip district. Urban wineries do not grow grapes but import them. Thus they have a variety of grapes to make the wine. The Pittsburgh Winery offers an opportunity to sample good wine, and hear national artists in an intimate setting.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
The Pittsburgh Broadway series is bringing some great musicals to town. Kinky Boots, which is based on a true story, had a unique plot-Charlie revitalizes his late father’s bankrupt shoe factory by finding a niche making sexy boots for men who dress as women. Kinky boots was about confidently reinventing something which is in line with my blog inspiration, Maslow, the father of self actualization , or being your personal best. This show was also about acceptance and looking beyond appearances into one's heart. As stressed in this play, by doing this you can "change your world. "
Maybe it’s my current perspective (see Day 167) but every song in this show seemed to be screaming at me: Take What You Got, Sex is in the Heel , History of Wrong Guys, and of course, What a Woman Wants . I have to admit that my eyes welled with tears during, Not My Father's Son, and Raise You Up/Just Be. I remembered my best friend, Paul, who left this world much too soon. He dared to be himself when it was so difficult in the 80's. He sure sparkled just like those Kinky Boots!
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
This blog has always been about moving forward after life changes by trying new things. I believe that moving forward is a way to find a path to being our personal best or as the theorist Maslow would say, becoming self- actualized. My childhood best friend recently advised so well, “Cindy, you can’t really move forward when you’re off balance.” Many things in life can get you off balance. As one of my blog inspiration books, Everything I Need to Know About Love, I Learned From A Little Golden Book, states, "a broken (relationship) ..can leave you flat on your back.” A few months ago, an unexpected event put a hatchet to my relationship, my son went back to college and a close family member had to fight a serious illness. So yes, I was a bit off balance but once I found some balance again, moving forward is refreshing because of my new perspective, goals, and chance to start "better".
Saturday, August 6, 2016
Two years ago, right after starting this blog, I took my mother to the beach with my cousin. Before that, it had been over 10 years since I had a trip with my mother. I always traveled with my son, a significant other, or friends. When my mother would ask about going on vacation together, I was busy with life and just like in the song Cat's In The Cradled, responded :
"I don't know whenIn this empty nest period even though you're still a parent to your child, it's like retirement because your child is now an adult and busy with his/her life. My mother turned 80 this year! It’s time to try a new kind of vacation, one with my mother.
But we'll get together then
You know we'll have a good time then."
But we'll get together then
You know we'll have a good time then."
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
|Daddy Long Legs Evening Hope|
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
I watched the World Cup a few years ago when the US was a contender but I have never been to a professional or semi- professional soccer game. I have been trying sports events in this empty nest period (see Day-91 Penguins, Day-95 Steelers, Day 11- Spring Training Baseball). Therefore, on the 4th of July, I thought that going to a Riverhounds game would be a good way to enjoy the holiday and watch the fireworks since the stadium is located along the river with a perfect view of the city.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
|US OPEN at Oakmont Country Club in 2016|
The US Open is at Oakmont County Club all week. It comes to Oakmont about every 10 years so if I missed it, I would have a long wait to see it again. I had hoped to start golfing more in this empty nest period (see Day 50 -Swinging a Golf Club) but I have not played much. Real golfers (which does not include me), say that the game requires skill but that it’s mostly a game about confidence and mental control. Thus, you play well one day and play like crap the next but you keep on playing. There is so much to remember: how to hold the club, how wide to keep your feet, how to pick the right club, don’t swing down on the club, shift your weight, and the list goes on and on. That is why the game is fascinating to me because to master it, requires you to put it all together - it’s like finding your Zen.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
|Pittsburgh June 14, 2016 Hillary Clinton Rally|
I am undecided about my vote for President so when I heard that Hillary Clinton would be in Pittsburgh, I decided to attend my first Presidential Rally in an effort to gather more information. This would be consistent with striving for self-actualization, or your personal best. It was ironic that during my first rally I was interviewed by KDKA news, another first! ( click to view news clip)
Monday, June 13, 2016
|Sheary my favorite player with the Cup 6/12/16|
When I started this blog two years ago, I was not that much of a sports fan but I have morphed into one during this empty nest period (see Day 91-Pittsburgh Penguins) . This happened by osmosis from having new friends that are sports fanatics and because going to a sports event is one of the rare things that my son will do with me. Even if you were not a hockey fan, you got the fever this year as the Pittsburgh Penguins pursued, and yesterday won, the STANLY CUP. So this year, I was fortunate to experience for the first time going to a few play- off games.
Sunday, June 12, 2016
|Charles Bradley at the Pittsburgh Arts Festival|
This blog has been about self improvement , or self- actualization, which is being the best you can be, by trying new things after life changes. My changes occurred over two years ago when my only son started collage leaving me with an “empty nest” and simultaneously I had a cracked personal relationship. I had the double whammy and potential for despair. Dale Carnegie once said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” I challenged myself to trying something new everyday in the summer of 2014 and to blog about it. It’s been 2.5 years of fun, discovery and reflections. This blog has been a push for me to get busy and hopefully to others who read it.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
It seems like there is a “day”
dedicated to everything. Thus you could literally celebrate something every day but International Women’s Day is a day worth embracing. It is a celebration with a political history but it is also a day to appreciate women. In Maslow's principle, the human need for love and belonging is third on his list to reaching our best self or self-actualization. This need can be expressed in deep friendships so I was excited when my friend invited me to my first celebration of La Festa Della Donna.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
My Blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From A Little Golden Book ,reminds us to “Let your children know you love them.” That is just what I did on my recent visit to Purdue University to see my son.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
|Goofing off at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra - Heinz Hall|
Enjoying the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra show, “The Ultimate Oscars,” was a great way to gear up for the Oscars. I love the glam of the Oscars with its “star power,” movie previews, and red carpet dresses. The Oscar's larger than life movies have familiar larger than life music themes written to be paired with a full orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony POPS featured some of best of these movie themes.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
|Jefferson Inn, Ellicotville, NY|
Even though February is the month of love due in part to Hallmark’s marketing, it’s still nice to reflect on the things, people, and places, that we love and show our appreciation to the significant others in our life. Appropriately, my blog inspiration book, Everthing I Need to Know about LOVE I Learned From a Little Golden Book reminds us that, “without love, we wouldn’t know joy’s true heights.” A bed and breakfast is a good place to relax alone or celebrate your relationship with that special someone.
Friday, January 29, 2016
|Jazz vs 76ers|
I have never been much of a sports fan but my friend continues to introduce me to sports. Like anything, familiarly brings comfort and I guess now I can say that I am merging into a fan! I think basketball might be on the top of the list. Recently I experienced my first professional NBA basketball game in Salt Lake City Utah-Jazz vs 76ers.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
|River walk in Chicago|
Last year I ventured to Chicago for the first time and experienced all things Chicago (see Days 84, 85, 86 and 87). This year’s visit was all things architectural. We took a walking tour with the Chicago Architectural Foundation , a river tour with Sight Seeing Tours, and a back stage tour of the iconic Chicago Theater. You rarely think about a building’s history when you walk to get from one place to another. An architectural tour brings the stories of a city to life and you see beautiful works of art that you might never have noticed in the absence of a tour. Architecture is the standing history of the past life of a city and just like the house tours of Day 154, these tours give you a sense of life’s brevity.
Friday, January 22, 2016
The Allegheny West Neighborhood consists of only eight blocks on the North Side of Pittsburgh but it’s rich in history with several restored Victorian homes from the 1800’s. I learned some new things about Pittsburgh’s past and discovered a vast private toy train collection when I helped as a guide for my friend whose home was part of the Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour. A house tour is an intimate way to explore architecture and lifestyles of the past and present.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
|Top of the Mountain -Alta, Utah 10,500 feet|
My blog inspiration book, Everything I Need To Know I Learned From A Little Golden Book reminds us to, “be daring” and that is just what you have to do when you are about to ski down a mountain on two long boards. When the cold weather approaches, bear like hibernation tends to occur unless you can find some kind of outside interest and skiing is a great way to enjoy the winter. I have recently added skiing back into my life( see Day 104-Ski Again). However, I have not been out west to ski in over 10 years so I was ready to tackle the mountains of Utah for the first time.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
The New Year has arrived! A new year is a time to reflect and a time to start fresh. My entire blog is about change and fresh starts so I don’t need it to be a new year for my “do over.” Every day is a do over for me. I am also not one for New Year’s resolutions because I usually set my goals much too high which inevitably result in failure. Thus, in 2016 I am going to continue to see the silver lining in life, keeping it positive. As the psychologist, Maslow would agree, having a positive attitude in life is a characteristic of a self -actualized individual. I am keeping alive the glass half full philosophy. Therefore, I thought that I would start the new year blog with my recent visit to Salt Lake City’s Temple Square, where the Christmas lights filled the night. There were so many lights that I had that breathtaking “Ahh” feeling.