Spring Has Sprung…FINALLY!

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Happy Spring! I’m sitting here enjoying my coffee and listening to a story on NPR about Pretty Yende, a South African Soprano.  What a voice! What a dream! She was 16 and heard the Flower Duet from Lakme (listen, it’s gorgeous) on a commercial.  Going to her music teacher the next day, she asked what that was and he explained opera to her. She joined the choir and the teacher told her (at some point) that she was not a singer.  She should stick to her plan to be an accountant.  BAM! She made her debut at The Met two years ago (famously falling at the bottom of a set of steps upon her entrance). Here she is in “Carmen”.  GORGEOUS!

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I tell you this story to say that I’ve been in her position many times.  Not literally, of course.  I’ve been “encouraged” to just stay where I’m at; I’ve fallen “at the bottom of the steps” and I’ve “made my debut at The Met”.  I think the best place to have been was at the bottom of the steps.  WHY? Yes, I’ve just embarrassed myself, possibly hurt something and I’ve got to get up gracefully in a costume.  HOWEVER, I still get the opportunity to continue performing and finish with thunderous applause.  Make sense?  Right now, I feel as if I’m at the bottom of the steps.  I’ve just closed my business and, while I’m still very successful with my music studio, I feel as if I’ve bruised myself pretty good and possibly broken my ankle.  Some of my relationships are in a weird transition place that make me doubt myself.  Roller derby gives me great joy but last night’s practice was awful (for me).  I spent more time on the floor than on my damn skates! Monetary issues make me feel as if I’m scrabbling to just stay afloat.  Spiritually I feel a bit…dead.  YIKES! And addiction issues that will take me down if I don’t address them soon.

So, what to do? Gather up my skirts, acknowledge the fall, stand up and continue singing? I’d kind of like to slink off into the wings and just stop.  Let the understudy go on!!!!!!!  Wait, there’s no understudy in life.  Crap! It’s time to stand up and continue.  CRAP!

I’m so blessed.  My personality really doesn’t allow me to just stop.  I struggle with depression almost every day.  It’s a genetic thing…I think.  But, I’m also designed to fight.  Fight and push through.  I know too many people who do just stop.  They stop and hide and they do slink off to the wings.  It makes me very sad.  I cannot allow this to happen.  I must continue.

I write this not to get sympathy but hopefully to encourage someone else.  And to encourage myself.  Fight.  Push through.  Gather your skirts around you, stand up, acknowledge the fall and CONTINUE!

Let’s Do This! Kelly

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Princezz Slaya Has Been Released!

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I haven’t written in so many months that I’m not even going to try to update everyone.  What I want to do is write about my first derby bout.

FINALLY I passed all of my tests and deemed ready to LITERALLY roll.  We played North West Arkansas (NWA)  and those bitches are tough. (I say that in love as all derby girls know.)  I was surprised at how calm I was.  Nervous, but calm and ready to get it “over” with.  What surprised me was how focused I was.  At least I thought I was, my teammates might tell a different story, but you’ll have to ask them.  I was ready to be hit, listened to my other blockers, tried to protect our jammer, and went to the penalty box three times- and I knew exactly why.  When I fell, it wasn’t because I wasn’t tripping over my own feet and I was able to get back up and in the pack.  The last jam I was in, everyone was in the box except for my teammate Annabelle Lector and I.  She’s a seasoned, amazing, encouraging sister.  The two of us didn’t completely stop their jammer but I know that we slowed her down and I think that maybe my teammates and coach were pleasantly surprised.  I wasn’t hesitant in meeting their blockers hit for hit and, trust me, they weren’t holding back.  Annabelle was ,”going to shove you (me) into her (the jammer) but what was the point?!” (The score was that bad! )  Annabelle knows that she can shove me around any way that she needs.  I’m “putty” in her hands.  But in the final analysis, we just weren’t fast enough.  Their team was better on the rink.  They’re also very gracious ladies in my opinion.

Injuries. Everyone always says to me, “Don’t break anything!” Well, as the saying goes, “Shit happens!” Tonight, two derby ladies went home literally broken.  Our beloved Pinch Hit-Her (Cate) acquired a belt break on her left wrist.  The All Starz game was marred with our former teammate Hollywood Chaos (Danielle) receiving a clean hit but just landing wrong.  Last word I received is that she has a closed, compound fracture to left ankle.  It was painful watching them both be in pain.  It was painful watching my sisters in pain.  The entire bout made me realize how much that I appreciate, love, admire and strive to be like these ladies.  They may not have a clue what they’ve done for me in my life’s journey, but I will say it now with a quote from another skayter: savesouls

It’s more than true.  This is why I found derby and I’m just proud that I am tough enough to endure.  But I wouldn’t be anywhere else right now.

Thank you MOKAN Roller Girlz.  I owe you a lot!

I’M BACK!

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WOW! I’m finally back after a 3 month hiatus.  My list had been folded and put away for awhile.

On March 28th, I had surgery to repair a completely torn rotator cuff and to remove a bone spur.  Painful?  But with a great doc, some good meds and the beginning of PT, I’m back on the road to healing.  Physical Therapy is a bitch.  The exercises aren’t bad but when the stretching starts…OUCH!!!!!!!  I just keeping telling myself, “I’ve had two babies.  I CAN DO THIS!”

My plan is to be back at derby by the end of this month.  Everyone send me your healing thoughts, energy and prayers.  I will need them.

Being out of commission for the last few months did give me some powerful insights.

  • You find out who your real friends are when you need help.  I won’t expound upon this but let’s just say that I wasn’t sure how many people really cared about me and I did lose my dear friend of 10 years after confronting her about my feelings.
  • Taking pain meds on a long term basis totally fucks with your head.  I was so manic it wasn’t even funny.  I’m a roller coaster anyways but I was jacked up! I was excited to be able to legally take them for 2 months but now I know that I feel so much better without them.
  • I need help sometimes and it’s very difficult for me to ask for it.  Laundry piled up, I haven’t been able to cook (thank goodness my husband and kids are better in the kitchen than I am), my bathroom and bedroom still look like war zones and just general getting around was a pain sometimes.
  • I’m SO GRATEFUL for my overall health.  Could I drop some pounds, eat healthier, drink less alcohol, get more sleep? YES! But, I’m doing pretty good for 46 (I celebrated a birthday for days after my surgery).

So, I’m back in the saddle and ready for a fun summer.  Here’s a big shout out to all of you living life and having fun.

Until Next Time,

Kelly

An Homage to Life

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Wow! I haven’t written all week.  It’s been a weird one.  Not bad, just weird.

I will warn you, I’m quite maudlin today.  I want to honor a woman who meant the world to me.  My dear friend, mentor, employer and fellow musician, Lois, passed away this week.  Her services were today and I must reflect on a life well-lived.

I met Lois in the music store that her family had owned for 75 years! I was a customer and then we became better acquainted while I was waiting tables at the restaurant next door to her business.  She then did me the honor of asking me to work for her and I was eventually the assistant manager.

Lois was the first real example of a business woman that I had.  Her mother had passed down a legacy of determination, grit, generosity, love, and hard work that Lois carried on with great care.  When she loved you, she loved you fiercely; if she didn’t like you, she would be kind but look out!

Her knowledge of all things musical was astounding.  When a customer walked in and asked for an obscure piece by an obscure Russian composer, she knew either which company to order it from or that she had it at home somewhere.  I remember watching her many times work with little ones who came in for their first violin.

While I really loved my job, I made some truly life long friends. Lois would facilitate these friendships by treating all of us “girls” to endless glasses of chardonney “next door”.  There’s Rebecca who knows things about me that would literally curl your hair, Kendra whose wedding both of my children were in, Steph who lives in London with her adorable husband, Bill who worked for Lois’ family for MANY years and whose daughter is a great friend of mine, Dennis who always waited on us and still does and mourned w/ all of us today…it’s a really long list.

When I started working for Lois, she must’ve been around 70. Her husband had been gone for many years and her only daughter lived in SC.  She began a friendship that developed into a relationship with a gentleman whom she’d known for some time. Henri (a little, spitfire Frenchman) treated Lois like a queen.  They traveled Europe and frequented NYC together.  When she sold the business and retired, they lived together and eventually went to SC  to be with her family.  She is survived by her Henri and her family is his.

Life has a funny way of turning.  When I opened my own business two years ago, it was located just a few doors north of my beloved music store (which had been sold and the building was empty).  Eight months ago I needed to move and was invited by the current tenants of OUR space to move in with them.  So, I’m back at our beloved 611!  Lois would have been very pleased to know.  It’s like being home.

She said a lot to me in our time together.  We laughed, cried, fought, got angry, made up, drank wine and had a great time.  One of the sweetest things she ever said was the day that I brought my second daughter in to meet everyone.  She was not even a week old and we had used Lois’ mother’s name for her middle name.  Lois looked at her in her car seat and said, “We’ve waited a long time for you!”  I just love that memory.

What was the best lesson I learned from Lois???? TO LIVE LIFE TO IT’S FULLEST! To be generous, to be tough, to think, to love.  So, tonight I will raise several glasses of wine in your memory.  We miss you, we love you, we will see you again.

In Memory of Our Lois….    kellydawn68

The Road So Far….

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At the beginning of every episode of one of my favorite shows, SUPERNATURAL, there’s a review of sorts entitled THE ROAD SO FAR.  So, here’s my road so far….

I have accomplished several items on my bucket list before I actually organized it.  I have swam with dolphins (DO IT!), I spent a night at the Crescent Hotel (one of America’s most haunted) in Eureka Springs, AR., I saw Lady Gaga in concert, I have been self-employed in some manner for the past 20 years and I have amazing children.  Just a few of many that I can name here.

What have YOU put aside to accomplish any of your list?  Now, this doesn’t mean you abandon responsibilities, etc.  For me, the monetary fear (“it’s so expensive!”) of swimming with dolphins was an issue.  My husband and I went to the Bahamas for our honeymoon in 1989.  We had the opportunity then and were too cheap! I vowed the next time that I could…I WOULD!  Four years ago on a cruise the opportunity presented itself and we did it.  What an experience! Beautiful, loving, fun, amazing animals and it was just a breath taking experience.  So, I put aside my fear of losing money and just did it.

How have you accomplished some of your dreams, wishes, “to do”, whatever you call them?  I’d love to hear back from you and any of your friends that want to share.

Have a happy evening! kellydawn68

Armed and…Dangerous?

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Greetings all! Hope this Monday evening finds you well and ready to have a great week.  It’s time for me to reveal my next “bucket list” item.  This one is a HOT TOPIC but let me say this: this is MY blog and you have your right to your opinion but this is NOT a political forum.  So, having said that, here’s my next adventure (drum roll please)… earning my license to carry a concealed weapon.

Having grown up around guns, hunting, fishing, etc. the right to bear arms has always been important in my family.  My dad would take us hunting with him.  God bless him, taking at least two daughters with him to be his hunting “dogs” basically.  He would shoot a rabbit or squirrel and we would recover for him.  Honestly, it was no big deal so you can stop cringing now.  It was time we got to spend with our dad. I couldn’t bear hunting deer so he never took me on one of those trips.
We had a pond on our land and dad set up a skeet shooter.  The clay “pigeons” are catapulted out of the arm and you shoot them.  Sounds easy! Nope.  I’ve always been a bit of a clutz and while I imagine myself to be Selene (see above picture) I look more like Elmer Fudd.  Holding a rifle is not easy for a weakling like I was (still am).  And I remember my arm hurting like hell afterwards.  But, again, it was time as a family and we always had a great time.  Unfortunately, dad never had the patience to really teach us girls to really shoot.  I’ve never been terribly afraid of guns but I DO have a very healthy respect (which is where the breakdown in society happens in my opinion) for them.  My dad used to have an elephant gun (yes, it was huge) and he always showed it to the few boys I ever brought home.  Plus, when they found out he was ex-army special forces, that cinched it, not only were they terrified of him but he was pretty bad ass.

I haven’t shot a gun since I was a kid.  We were watching The Walking Dead mid-season premiere at a friend’s house last night and the Nerf guns were all aimed at the television set ready to kick zombie ass.  Most of mine ended up OVER the entertainment center.  I feel sorry for the person who has to teach me to shoot.  So, why now after all this time?  Well, it’s always something I’ve wanted to learn more about plus it really does feel empowering.  As a woman, we are physically weaker than men.  It’s just a fact! BUT, when we can take control of that power and protect ourselves, WOW!  I am a small business owner and at my store at closing time and sometimes much later.  It’s not in a bad part of town but there are a lot of transient people who walk up and down the street.  Last week I was really “spooked” when a man came in and was asking me questions about clothing for a photo shoot.  My Spidey Senses were on full alert.  I felt so helpless when he left.  I kept thinking,”What if this guy was checking out the place to come back and rob me?” I don’t get scared too often but I was really creeped out.  We have a taser in our jewelry case so I got that out and actually carried out to my car.  The really frightening part is that I probably would have tased myself! Same with a gun!!!  This world is quickly becoming a more dangerous place.  So, I’m going to learn to shoot a gun.  I won’t go looking for trouble but I think I’ll feel better about a situation if it happens.

My brother has already taken my niece, who will be three next month, on two or three hunting trips.  She wanted a “pink gun to shoot the deer with and a pink knife to cut it’s guts out” for Christmas! She got a pink Nerf bow.  I know that sounds super militant, but it’s really just a daddy teaching his daughter a skill that he enjoys.  She is developing a sense of the circle of life.

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My husband bought us certificates to take the classes so I’ll call the place tomorrow and schedule ours.  I’m really excited.  The next problem is this: WHAT COLOR? Probably pink in honor of my niece (who shares my middle name).  Or maybe that Tiffany blue one I’ve seen.  Hmmmm….  Whatever will kills zombie the best I suppose.

Until next time, kellydawn68