September 12, 2012
Success doesn’t make Champions; Challenges do.
July 31, 2012
July 31, 2012 and it is another Blue Moon! A Blue Moon is the second full moon to occur in a calendar month and is a rare occurrence. Although the year 2012 is a rare year because there will be 3 Blue Moons occurring during the course of this calendar year… the most that can ever occur in one year.
So when someone says that something happens ‘Once in a blue moon” they are really saying that it is a rare occurrence.
A beautiful Full Blue Moon Night tonight in Portland, especially with the moonlight reflecting off of the gently flowing river.
July 23, 2012
Forget about the things that are behind you,
Reach out for the things that are ahead of you.
July 17, 2012
Andrew De Leon will sometimes take time out of his busy schedule to Skype with his adoring fans. If he didn’t have time to Skype with you last week, this is what he looked like while he was Skyping. Andrew is busy practicing and getting ready for ……… maybe something big??
Picture used with permission of the artist, Lauren Buitte. Love the hat, Lauren! You are a great artist!
July 2, 2012
Well here is another photo of Andrew! He has just finished singing in Austin and is looking toward his family as they applaud and cheer for him.
In his Austin Audition song of O Mio Babbino Caro by Puccini he received a standing ovation from everyone in the auditorium and he was sent to perform for the three judges in Las Vegas.
He actually sang pretty well in Vegas, but the judges were very harsh in their evaluation of him and sent him home. More about that in a later post.
I would like to tell you a few things about flying to Las Vegas. First of all, flying is one of the most stressful activities that one can do. Especially in today’s world of personally invasive TSA (airport security) searches. I have flown extensively for many, many years. I am very comfortable in airports and on airplanes. But TSA and the security searches have taken the fun out of flying. Even Professional, Emotionally Strong Firefly was actually reduced to tears at LAX Security Screening after a humiliating pat down a few years ago.
Anyway, Andrew had never even been in an airport much less on an airplane before he was sent to perform in Las Vegas. Realizing the magnitude of how important this Vegas performance was to his advancing in the AGT competition, you know he was nervous. Now, he gets to navigate the vicissitudes of the Austin airport (thank goodness, it wasn’t Dallas!!!). Check in, check bags, get boarding pass, proceed to security, take computer, iPod and make up out of bag, take off hat, shoes, belt, jewelry, jacket and then pass through the metal detector/body scanner. Now you have to remember to reclaim all your items and repack and get dressed all over again! This time in public view!
Now you get to head toward your gate. Thirsty? A bottle of water will cost you more than a soda at the airport. What would you purchase? Right! What seasoned travellers do is to take an empty water bottle through security, then fill it up for free at the water fountain next to the restrooms. You are already dehydrated from getting up early, all the excitement of the upcoming events, the drive to the airport, and standing in numerous lines. So hydrate!!!
Now you get to sit in the gate area waiting for your seat section to be called to board the aircraft. Finally you see the Flight Attendant at the gate and give her your boarding pass, schlep down the jetway, and finally cross the threshold of the craft. Where is my seat? Oh! Ok, It’s row 12, seat B. Hummmm. I hope it’s not a center seat. Ugh, it is a center seat. You stow your bag in the overhead and sit down and figure out the unfamiliar seat belt latch as it is different than car seat belt latches. Now its time for the F/A Safety demo, the plane leaves the gate, and finally is in line for take off. Take off is awesome, thrilling, powerful and exciting.
I suspect that his flight had to make a stop in Dallas, possibly with a plane change to Vegas but I hope not.
Did you know that the air on the plane is recirculated and very, very dry. No moisture at all. If someone near you is coughing, in three days you will probably get whatever it is they had. I always take Airborne and echinacea WHENEVER I fly. I can’t afford to catch anything at this time of my life. And neither can Andrew.
Did you know that you dehydrate one cup of water for each hour of flight? That is why you should only drink water when flying. And you should consume one glass of water for each hour of flight. Coffee, Tea, Alcohol, and Sodas all cause further dehydration. If you must have some flavor in your water, then mix half water with half juice — too much sugar in juice to drink alone! Especially airplane juices!
Just what does happen when your body becomes dehydrated? Your brain and your muscles dehydrate and your brain cannot think as well. Did you realize that vocal cords are muscles? I think that is why so many of the singers had ‘difficulty’ in Las Vegas. I think they were all dehydrated! They had dry stiff vocal cords. Add to that the hot, dry, dusty Vegas air; throw in some musty air-conditioning and it is amazing that anyone can sing in Vegas at all!
Finally you arrive in Las Vegas…. The Desert Oasis that is powered by gambling and neon lights. It will be hotter and drier than you can imagine. Vegas is also very dusty and many people have an allergy to dust and don’t even realize it. More problems for some.
Well, I think that the reason so many of the singers had difficulty in their Las Vegas performances is because their bodies, which are their instruments after all, were not hydrated. Vocal cords are muscles and need to be well hydrated to vibrate properly. If you add hot, dry, dusty desert air and nervousness to the mix, then there you are with the makings of a less than stellar performance.
But we are still enamoured of Andrew’s unique talent and know that he will do well when he is called back for the Wild Card round in New Jersey. I figure he has about 4 weeks to perfect 5 arias and get some well-grounded live performance experience before he is invited to report to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center for the Wild Card show. No time to waste, Andrew! Study and Practice and Perform like never before! We all want you to succeed!
PS: Check back at www.PDXFirefly.com for more about Andrew. Scroll down a little ways for two other posts about this remarkablely likeable phenomenon that is Andrew De Leon!
June 26, 2012
I love this photo of Andrew; don’t you?
And the song he sang was totally, hauntingly beautiful. Firefly now knows that it is a Russian Art Song called Zdes’ khorosho or “How Far This Spot” by Rachmaninov.
Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9O5Dhl_RmY
And the lyrics:
Zdes’ khorosho… Vzgljani, vdali Ognjom gorit reka; Cvetnym kovrom luga legli, Belejut oblaka.
Zdes’ net ljudej… Zdes’ tishina… Zdes’ tol’ko Bog da ja. Cvety, da staraja sosna, Da ty, mechta moja!
Andrew starts singing the second line in Russian which would be the second verse in English.
“How fair this spot”
It’s beautiful here…
Look, in the distance
the river gleams like fire;
the meadows are like a colourful carpet,
white clouds sail above.
There is no one here…
here silence reigns…
here I am alone with God ,
the flowers and the ancient pine
and you, my dream.
Firefly also thinks that his make up was superb! But why is she not surprised by that!!
April 28, 2012
Spring has finally arrived here in the Portland area! There are many flowering crab apple trees on my street and all of them are now in bloom.The heavily laden branches are bending with the weight of the fat, fresh blossoms, especially after a little more weight added by a spring shower!
Then the wind blows and some of the petite pink petals flutter to the ground. My freshly mowed lawn looks like it has pink snow on it! When I open the front door to walk to the mailbox, I am overcome with the soft,sensual scent of these beautiful blossoms. It just smells so good outside!!! I take a deep breath and then another one and then decide I need to share this experience with my readers.
And just in time for May Day!
February 23, 2012
Bras are the most needed, yet least donated item of clothing for women. SOMA is collecting and distributing women’s bras in partnership with NNEDV – the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Simply bring new or gently worn bras to any Soma Intimates Boutique by this Sunday, February 26, 2012.
If you are in the Portland area, there is a store at Washington Square Mall. www.SOMA.com
July 22, 2011
The meaning of your life is to help others find the meaning in theirs.
- Victor Frankl
March 30, 2011
I didn’t even know that there was a color of the year, but look out, there is!!!!
Pantone captured the energizing hue of the honeysuckle flower to inspire and brighten the world during these otherwise gray times. Pantone has declared the color of the year for over a decade and has been the world’s authority on color for over 50 years. Leaders in product development and professional design depend on the Pantone color standards.
“In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going — perfect to ward off the blues,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®, Eiseman continues, “Honeysuckle derives its positive qualities from a powerful bond to its mother-color red, the most physical, viscerally alive hue in the spectrum. The intensity of this festive reddish pink allures and engages. In fact, this color, not the sweet fragrance of the flower blossoms for which it was named, is what attracts hummingbirds to nectar. Honeysuckle may also bring a wave of nostalgia for its associated delicious scent reminiscent of the carefree days of spring and summer.”
January 31, 2011
When undergoing Chemotherapy, I do not get pedicures because of the possibility of infection due to my lowered immune system. Over the last two years I have probably had only two or three pedicures. The other day, I decided that my immune system was strong enough for this foot pampering!!! Besides I had gone long enough without pretty toes and I like pretty toes! Now I have Deep Rose Red toes with sparkles. Totally befitting Sparkling Firefly!!!!
January 13, 2011
The Portland Bridal Show will be held at the Oregon Convention Center on January 15 & 16, 2011. This is Portland’s premier Bridal Show and they have some specific rules. Also they suggest that you purchase your tickets ahead of time.
For more information, please go to : http://portlandbridalshow.com/info.html
For a coupon for the show go to: http://portlandbridalshow.com/coupon.html
January 11, 2011
I enjoy watching the evening news. For the last several days, the lead story has been the shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson.
Well, last night (1/10/11) Katie Couric was on location in Tucson doing her interviews. The first interview was held inside and she was wearing a pale pink scoop neck sweater. She looked fine. The longer interview however was done outside.
Katie looked pale, as though she had on minimal makeup and no lipstick. She also was wearing a completely buttoned up coat with 3/4 length sleeves and leather gloves. Everything was in black or very dark grey. She would have looked right in place in Manhattan, but … this is Arizona. Southern Arizona at that, almost to Mexico. She could not have looked more out of place.
And her coat…. her coat was some sort of fuzzy thing; it actually looked more like my toasty warm bathrobe that has served me so well this winter than a high fashion coat. The coat looked like one that Jackie Kennedy would have worn. And even though I applaud the sense of fashion portrayed by the coat & gloves, appropriateness is a major component of fashion. In this area the outfit was a complete failure as was the coat fabric.
Every other person in the scene (and there were at least 20 of them) was appropriately dressed for the Arizona temperatures. Even the woman being interviewed was appropriately dressed with a casual suit jacket over a stylish blouse and skirt.
I usually enjoy watching what Katie will be wearing on the news every evening and she usually gets the highest marks from me. But for last night in Arizona, she gets a worse than failing grade….whatever that would be.
For those of you who have been reading my blog, you know that it is uncharacteristic of me to say something unkind, but that coat was a disaster! In retrospect, even my beloved bathrobe would have looked better! At least it is a pretty color! Hummm, I just might have to try it on with a pair of long gloves ala Jackie Kennedy!
December 22, 2010
It has taken 10 months for my hair to grow out to about 3 inches in length; so adorably curly since it grew in after my 13 months of chemo. But I have never had curly hair before. Before chemo my hair was straight and if I wanted curls, then I had to buy them in a bottle, which I did!
I have been enjoying my cute curls immensely, but they do present a slight problem for me. One must style curly hair differently than you style straight hair. With my old hair I would have to spend at least 10 minutes a day getting it to look somewhat presentable. But with my new curls, I just sort of wash it and scrunch it and let it air dry.
During the 10 months that it has taken my hair to grow out, I have been trimming it a little bit myself, just to try to keep it looking OK while it grew out. But last week I could no longer do it myself. I decided it was time to see the inside of a Beauty Salon. But who do I get to trim my hair? One day at church I saw a pretty lady with an adorable style to her curly hair. Her hair always looks nice and I figured that whoever cut her hair knew what she was doing and was good with curly locks. So I asked for a referral and made the appointment.
It had been well over three years since I had been inside a beauty salon and I had forgotten how many odors are present inside one of those hallowed areas. As soon as I opened the door and entered the salon, the strong smells started to bother me and since I was early, I told them that I’d take a short walk outside for some fresh air. And none too soon, for I was already getting dizzy and fuzzy feeling from the onslaught of odors.
When I returned from my short walk, the beautician offered to open the door, which was really a good idea. Anyway, Darran really understands curly hair and she gave me the best haircut that I ever had in my life!
Now, I not only am thrilled to have hair, but I feel confident that I look good because I have a cute hair style and a great stylist. I just hope I get to keep my new curls because I am really loving them!!!!!
November 12, 2010
The State of California has started a recall of all Brazilian Blowout Products. They are listed as being formaldehyde free but evidently contain very high levels of formaldehyde. You will want to avoid using these products….
August 7, 2010
My hair has been slowly growing over the last 5 months and today was the first day that I actually ventured out in public without a scarf or a wig to cover my head. So this is a milestone day for me.
Because my hair grows so slowly, it has taken five months for my hair to grow long enough for me to feel OK to go in public with it uncovered. I did babysit my grandson a few times over the last month without my turban on and I actually went out into my yard to water my plants several times (hoping that no one would see me).
But today was different. I had a lot of errands to do for an upcoming trip and I thought,”Well, why not?”! So I did. In my excitement to ‘bare what little hair I have’, I shared this milestone day with several people whom I met while out and about today. Their remarks encouraged me to feel much more comfortable. We will see how tomorrow goes.
By the way, it took me forever to ‘fix’ my hair. Now remember that there is almost no hair there, and I can’t believe that I spent so much time ‘fixing’ what little hair I have. I think I was gaining courage. For the last 16 months, I have not even looked at my hair in the mirror, but I sure checked every single angle of it today before going out. I needed to build up my confidence. I didn’t have to use hair spray because there isn’t enough hair to hold down!
This is just one more step on my recovery and it feels so good. This has given me so much hope….
And it has driven my spirits higher than they have been in 18 months…..
Who would have thought that a little bit of standing-straight-up dark grey curly hair would have been such an uplifting thing?
PS: My Pre-Chemo hair was very fine, very straight, and dark blond with a few (very few) grey hairs and was also highlighted. This Post-Chemo dark grey poodle-like hair that I have is a completely different ‘look’ for me and that is the reason for my not feeling completely confident with my new look. But don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful to God for my physical healing and for my new hair ~~ whatever He has chosen to give me, I will gladly take!!! But it is strange that my hair is shorter than my Son’s short hair style!
August 6, 2010
I know this is a strange title for a weblog post, but that is what this is about –travel size deodorants.
While getting ready for a recent trip, I looked in many different types of stores for a travel size of my favorite deodorant. Since it is a ‘all natural’ product, I even searched the pharmacy sections of my local health food stores . No Luck. Oh they carried the regular size, but the TSA allowable 1 quart bag per passenger is so tiny and I have so many things to put into it, that I needed the smaller travel size so I could fit everything into that TSA allowable bag.
In desperation, I called the product’s toll-free phone number. The customer service representative was very nice to me and informed me that stores rarely stock that travel size anymore. I groaned. She said that they do have a few in the warehouse and that she would be happy to send me one. I gave her my address and was about ready to get off the phone when I realized that it would not arrive in time for my trip. She then offered me what I consider to be the worlds greatest kept secret and a super travel hint.
She told me that I can ‘make my own’ travel size if I have an empty container to put it into. I told her that I did. This is what she told me to do.
Take what is left in the bottom of the deodorant container and microwave it for just a few seconds. I found that 5 seconds was enough. Be careful, It can be hot and spill easily! Then you just simply pour the now melted deodorant into the smaller travel size container. Let it set for a few minutes and you have now made your own travel size deodorant!
It was so cool, money saving, convenient and best of all, I get to use my favorite deodorant when I travel.
July 31, 2010
Be sure to shop QVC for their Super Saturday Sale benefiting Ovarian Cancer Research today from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Pacific time. That would be from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Eastern time.
Proceeds benfit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
July 30, 2010
Super Saturday Live is this Saturday, July 31, 2010 from 11:00am – 1:00pm West Coast time.
QVC presents Super Saturday Live, a nationally televised sales event featuring designer products in support of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF). The net proceeds from this event will be donated to OCRF to advance ovarian cancer research, raise awareness of the disease, and eventually find a cure.
In support of the fight against ovarian cancer, QVC has invited top brand names and companies to donate high-quality accessories, beauty, jewelry, and home goods at wholesale cost. This merchandise will be sold during the Super Saturday Live event both on QVC’s broadcast and QVC.com with all net proceeds benefiting OCRF. Check out the brands that have partnered with QVC and OCRF this year to make this event a success:
|Amrita Singh||Bare Escentuals||Dalton Cosmetics||DHC|
|Dr. Denese Skinscience®||Dr. Michelle Copeland Skin Care||Honora||It Figures!®|
|Joan Rivers Classics Collection®||Judith Ripka||Laura Geller||Lierac Paris Skincare|
|Lucky Brand||Mally Beauty||NARS||Perricone MD|
|philosophy||Slatkin & Co.||Supersmile||Smashbox Cosmetics|
|Talbots||tarte: high performance naturals™||Votre Vu||WEN by Chaz Dean|
|Jacqueline Kennedy Collection||Juicy Couture||kate spade new york||LORAC|
|Poppy King’s Lipstick Queen||Rivka Friedman Jewelry Collection||Theory|
This is just a partial list, for more information, go to : http://www.qvc.com/cgen/render.aspx?qp=promo|supersaturday_2010&rewrite=no#
July 24, 2010
Saturday, July 31, 2010 QVC will be having a special event to benefit Ovarian Cancer Research from 2 to 4:00 pm Eastern time. That would be from 11:00 am to 1:00pm Pacific Daylight Time on the West Coast. It is called Super Saturday Live and they actually have some designer items on sale online now.
I was told that the show items are very nice, high quality and that they are below retail prices so they sell out very fast. This sounds like you should not miss this opportunity to pick up a few goodies (early Christmas shopping perhaps) and benefit Ovarian Cancer research in the process.
Some items are already available onlline at:
July 18, 2010
The auditions for America’s Next Top Model, cycle 16 are now under way.
In the Portland area you must go TODAY from 10:00am -2:00pm to be considered for the show.
1221 Southwest 12th Avenue
Portland, OR 97205-2036
The basic requirements are: 18-27 years old, a citizen of the United States, at least 5’7″ tall (although there are exceptions). You must live in the United States and be able to obtain a valid US Passport as international travel may be required. Three photos are required, a head shot, a full length, and one in a swimsuit. A video (no longer than 3 minutes in length) is required. Producers are looking for a variety of models, including plus size models.
You can go to this weblink for additional information: http://www.nw32.com/entertainment/antm/
July 9, 2010
It has now been 4 months since Portland Firefly went off Chemo. I’m doing well and my CA 125 numbers are relatively stable. My eyebrows and eyelashes have grown back. YEA!!! And my hair is making a slow comeback.
It is the longest at the nape of my neck and it sometimes peeks out from under my head scarves so it looks like my hair is longer than it really is. Last week I saw a documentary on PBS about a woman who gave up everything and became a Buddhist nun. Her shaved hair is longer than mine.
And so, when people ask me I tell them that my hair is shorter than a Buddhist nun’s hair!
July 5, 2010
Well, Dr. Oz did it again! He (his staff) came up with some unusual uses for olive oil. None of them really surprised me.
He emphasized that drinking olive oil will help reduce bad cholesterol and showed this with one of his ‘science experiements’. Then he had one of his guests shave her legs with olive oil. She liked it as it also moisturizes your legs. Then he had her pour olive oil on her long dark tresses; massage it in and cover with an old shower cap for 15 minutes. You then wash your hair.
I wonder if her husband thought that she was a salad!