Sunday, June 28, 2009

Good bye Bob and Chelsea

There should be a rule that children outlive their parents. A loss of a child has to be the most devastating loss imaginable. As parents we raise, nurture and instill all of our love into our offspring. Parental reward is watching our offspring grow, mature and often raise offspring of their own. It's a continuation of our line that's just supposed to be. Joshua's youngest sister Chelsea, the youngest child of Peggy and Steve, tragically died in the early morning hours of June 26. Joshua was devastated not only for her loss personally, but what that loss meant to his father and step-mother. I can't imagine the level of grief that is surrounding their home and can only pray that God will bring a measure of peace to them and provide strength to go forward each day.

My brother-in-law Bob died June 27th in the early morning hours. He had been fighting bone cancer and all thought he was doing well. He had been at the Cleveland Clinic where according to my sister he received the best of care by all the staff. He died of a cardiac arrest. It was sudden, unexpected and equally devastating to those who knew and loved him. He left behind my sister Barb, his three children, their spouses, his 6 grandchildren and his sisters Danielle and Connie.
My sister married Bob when she was nineteen(she always says I was 20 the next day!) They had a marriage that few could match. He adored her and his children. He was a compassionate man who loved the Lord and lived his life as a witness to the glory of God.
When I received the news that he was gone many things went thru my mind one of which was that he was so good to our mother. He went out of his way to help her when she needed him. He died on what would have been her 93rd birthday. I have often witnessed death and been blessed to see 'signs' that the dying often have visitors that we don't see. I have heard the dying whisper a name with a smile on their lips when they take their last breath. I believe that when it was his time to go that InaLee was there to help him as he did her.
Good bye Bob and Chelsea. You leave behind a host of people that will miss you for the length of their own lives.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Weight Loss Incentive and the Hip-Hop Mama

While I was entertaining the men(and women) of dancedom(refer to Blog "It's Raining Men) I lamented that I was having trouble finding incentive to keep me on my weight loss path. I jokingly said that if I lost all my weight I wanted to do a dance with Keith, Travis and Chris. Keith said to me "mama if you lose the weight we will teach you to dance". Joshua pretty much vetoed the idea of me ever appearing in one of his productions but Keith will get his way. Since they left I have lost 14 pounds. That is 56 sticks of butter to put it in perspective and actually feel much better. I am going to hold the guys to it and do a hip-hop dance with them. Those that know me, close your eyes and picture me in black spandex pants and a red sequined top..... and red tennis shoes. Oh, don't forget the big hair... I just have to have big hair. There are a lot of people who would spend big bucks to see me get up on stage and dance. Joshua would have a sell out crowd. Stan just smiled and wisely did not comment when I shared my wish with him. He is still remembering trying to hoist my large ass into my Spanx for Becky's wedding.
I do have a concern that when I lose the weight my upper arm dingle-dangle will just get more saggy and I don't have the money to get it cut off. I can see me up on stage; I would slap the crap out of myself every time I moved my arms. I will just have to make sure that my red sequined top has tight fitted elastic sleeves.
I know there are a few of you that don't believe that I will do it. I promise you if the weight is gone come next June AND I can convince Joshua to let me, I will be out there popping and hopping with Keith, Travis and Chris. Won't that be a hoot!!!!!!


I had a blended family even before the Brady Bunch made it a good thing to be. I, of course, am the precious baby of which I am sure you had no doubt! Next up is my sister Patti(we share the same father and mother), then comes Barbara. Barbara is the oldest child of my mother and lived with us. My father's oldest child is Jo Anne. Jo Anne did not live with us but did visit. Up until last summer we had not seen Jo Anne for 40 years. The reasons are only important to us but as things happened my older sister Barb met Jo Anne at a paternal family funeral. We had a sisters weekend a few months later and now our circle is complete. I have three sisters. I am blessed. We are are so very different in the way we handle our personal lives, our personalities and the way we react to each other. We have three Republicans and one Democrat and all very passionate about our beliefs. We are Christian and have our faith to draw on in times of stress and trouble. I am in awe of my older sisters.

Patti works with the Red Cross and her position involves her finding money for their area and she is very, very successful. She is smart, loves her family, is logical and good to talk to when I feel most illogical. She and I fought the most growing up, but age and changing situations have a way of smoothing the edges to both of our personalities. Patti visits when she can and it is a joy to have her here. We just get to be ourselves and we have been able to provide strenth to each other when needed. When I was small she kept me safe. There is no price that I can put on that gift. I love you.

Barbara pretty much raised me till I was 4 years old because my mother was unable to do so. Our mom, who I still say was the best mom ever, went through a dark period and was unable to provide much care to an infant and later an active toddler. Even though I don't remember Barbara nurturing me, I know through stories that she fed me, changed me, and entertained me. She was a child doing a grown up job and she loved me. She loves me still. She lives a faith based life and she prays for all of us. Barbara listens to each of us and has the infinite capacity to love. She is wise in so many ways. I love you.

I have a picture of Jo Anne when she was a teenager and I felt she was a dead ringer for Liz Taylor during the time ol' Liz did the National Velvet movie. Jo Anne has lost two of her three children to untimely deaths. This would have dropped me to my knees if it had happened to me but Jo Anne remembers good times with her children and knows without a doubt that she will see Holly and Jimmy in heaven. She is really at peace. When we reconnected it was a tearful, happy time. There was some anger at least at the lies and secrets that kept us apart. Jo Anne is now so much a part of our lives that it makes me sad to think that we let years go without contact on our part. Jo Anne's heart is huge and her capacity to forgive can only be God given. I love you.

I am so grateful that God gave me my family. There is nothing quite like my sisters. When I am down, they are there to provide encouragement. We are united like only sisters can be and I pity those who don't have that kind of relationship with a sibling. Our family could have been torn apart by many things that happened in the past but somehow God blessed us and changed the darkness into light, the lies into truth and gifted each of us with the capacity to love and accept love. Our circle is complete. I so love each of you.

I have one final comment to make that only my sisters will understand. Mike and George you lost, big time.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Health Care, Korea, Iran, and the Prom King

WAKE UP PEOPLE. We are being sold a bill of goods by our charismatic president. I can only hope that we wake up quickly enough to save our country from it's rapid slide into socialism. Iran is in turmoil and our leader says that we won't meddle. I think that as our leader President O should at least offer verbal support to the masses protesting the election results. He will probably wait to see which side wins then he can jump on the bandwagon and offer countless platitudes that the press, those liberal Obamamaniacs will cover glowingly. While waiting for Iran to settle down he has his fingers crossed that North Korea won't start a nuclear war because someone farted upwind from Kim Jong-il. He did make a radical statement that a nuclear armed Korea posed a 'grave threat'. Boy oh boy he had me shaking in my boots. Just the way he said "grave threat" sounded so masterful. It's just my opinion but this wouldn't be happening if Kennedy, Reagan, Bush or (to a small degree) Clinton were in office. Obama is a pussy in a 600 dollar suit. The terrorists in the world have drawn a line in the sand and our Leader has turned around and walked the other way.

The government has the banks, the auto industry and now is moving into the health insurance field. We need health care reform not a national insurance plan that will put us squarely into the socialized medicine arena. I have posted many pet peeves that I have working in the medical field relating to abusers of the system. We need a new Czar(I HATE that term by the way) We need someone to revamp the current medicaid system that hands out cards willy-nilly to just about anyone that has a medical issue. Case in point a few weeks ago a healthy 35 year old man shows up in the ER with his medicaid card that he has because he is diabetic. He takes oral medication not injections and HE CAN'T WORK. He was healthy, well nourished and had a minor medical problem that he wanted to have taken care of before he left on VACATION. It is a testimony to how badly I need to work(I need my medical insurance) that I didn't slap the snot out of the lazy SOB. I am supporting enough people now. To pay for the uninsured with my taxes is a bit too much. I read on posts from other nurses across the country and know that what I experience is the norm. We have a country full of people that expect the working class to take care of them. Listen up, just because you have a uterus doesn't mean you have to fill it every other year. I am not your mama and should not have to pay for your illegitimate children. Children cost money and if you want to have one or some, you need to be able to pay for them. I have had people actually tell me that they can't work because they have children. I wanted more than two children but I couldn't afford more. Maybe if I didn't have to take care of your kids I could have had more. I have no problem helping out the WORKING poor and don't bat an eye when they present a medicaid card. They. Are. Working. They are not totally living off government programs, driving new cars, getting free health care and food. We have a huge number of people that do not marry but live together and have kids so that they can get medicaid. These people live better than I do. I am for free medical care for the working poor. Have the government subsidize free clinics all over. To get free care you would have to be employed or show at least a job history. You can come to the free clinic if you just lost your job if you are actively looking for another one. You would have to show your tax statements for the last several years and if you can afford health insurance but refuse to get it then you get booted to the street, sick or no. It's not my fault you want the boat, camp, hunting lease, jewelry and clothes more than you want to invest in insurance that you might never use because "I don't get sick". My doctor told me of a case of a wealthy Lafayette couple that she was friendly with, that got a divorce because the husband is sick. They still live together but because the wife got everything in the "divorce" the ex gets medicaid benefits. We need to go after the wife and force her to pay for medical insurance for her ailing ex-spouse. I have a good idea. I am paying a lot of taxes to support healthy people to stay home and I need work done at my house. How about this, you continue to get your "checks" that my taxes pay for and you come clean, do my lawn, and cook for me. I have to work hard to supply what my family needs and look out for your family as well, so my house work never gets done. I, of course, will not pay you because you are already getting paid BUT if necessary you can bring your kids as long as they are quiet.

I still pray every night for the safety of our President because the thought of Joe Biden stepping up to the plate just scares the crap right out of me. Obama had to know what a doofus Biden was before he selected him as a running mate. He does make Obama look smart.

Obama is a charismatic man. He would have to man up before he could come close to what I expect the leader of the free world to act like. I didn't vote for him for president but with his smile and personality I would have voted him for prom king

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Elite Season One Finale with Cornerstone Dance Theater

Every year I swear it's the best year ever. This year surpassed even my expectations. We had a record number of guests. Six guests accidentally came thinking they were at a piano review(held in the same building but down the hall) They left our review to go to the piano recital and came directly back. Afterwards these lovely people told me that they would make an effort to be at every show that we produced. They said "This was a dance review?" "This isn't like any review we have ever seen." We had a couple from Baton Rouge that also said they would never miss anything we staged.
Joshua you did good, really really good!!! There was no delay between numbers, the dances were beautifully done, the dancers were simply the best.... even the babies!! I couldn't choose pictures to represent all the acts there were just too many good ones, I selected a few but really nothing can show you the actual level of professional performance that all of our kids displayed. The adult class gave me chills. It was done in shadow and only at the end did the spots highlight the dancers. You adults should be so proud of yourself. I believe that we have the absolute best adult dancers in the city. No dance review can go off without help. Back stage, Christy and Lisa and Annette handled all the hair, makeup, clothes changing and nervous dancers. No parents are allowed back stage even with the babies. Our dancers are taught to get themselves together, get in line for make-up and hair(those that can't do it themselves) and keep their belongings together. I can't forget BEFORE the production we had many parent helpers. A huge SHOUT OUT to Mike and Mary Flowers who printed our book(that Chrisy compiled late at night) with the help of David and Yvette Burleigh. Mike also built the huge stage prop used in the first number. Anyone who needs outstanding handyman service email me and I will get you his number. He is the BOMB. David did a video that was shown during the performance showing what the last 4 years have been in the eyes of the dancers. David and his wonderful wife Yvette have been faithful supporters of Joshua and his vision. David does video montages of your family pics and does an fabulous job. Again anyone wanting that service please email me and I will get you his number.
Elite typically does not use any props for their performances. Our dancers don't need props or sparkles. They come out on the stage and you're riveted to your seat. This year we used a record number of props... two. We had a large box like prop for the first number and we had a bench used in another number. Elite guys and gals. You are simply the best. Meagan, Leigha, Jazmyn, Amanda and Christy : you have the gift of teaching. You have given our dancers so very much of yourselves.
Joshua, this is your calling and your blessing. Thank you for allowing me along for the ride. I am so very proud of you.

It's Raining Men(and Women)

After the review we had a group of wonderful dancers and choreographers stay and work with Elite's kids for a week of intensive dancing. I was hostess to three of the eight dancers and had the time of my life. I love this time of year. Below is a pic of Chris Fedun and one of Joshua's wonderful assistants, Lisa and her baby Bella.

Keith Fitzpatrick is a repeat visitor to my home and I love having this energetic, funny man as my house guest. Travis Cooper was a new addition to the group this year and I hope will return again and again. My home will always be open to him. Travis will be touring with Donna Summers this season as a back up great is that!!!!!

Above is Chris hamming it up with Christy, another of Joshua's indispensable assistants.

The group shot is of all the visiting dance instructors except for our Ballerina Erin Monteleone. On the floor is Travis Cooper(modern) and to the right is Clayton Shelvin( Broadway dance)Behind me is Angelica Alcala-Herrera(Tap) Chris Fedun (Jazz) Behind Chris is Angelica's brother Xavier Alcala-Herrera(tap). Next to him is Keith Fitzpatrick(Hip-Hop), Joey Tarwater(Jazz and contemporary) then Nick Zborowski(Hip-hop) Behind the whole crew is Joshua who put the intensive together and taught a master class for our VIP's in Ballet. Other instructors not shown are Leigha Portor(modern)Brandi(lyrical) Dee Aubrey(Latin) and Nathan(ballroom) and Azazzi(African). Our dancers put in 8 hour days from Monday till Saturday and of course they say it was the best ever.

This last picture is of Chris Fedun. I can't say enough good things about all the men and women that instructed our kids. Their energy, dedication, and teaching ability is unsurpassed. I cannot wait till they come again. I love all you guys!!!!!!