Kristina Furey

A busy week.

 

It has been a very busy week for me.  We had relatives fly in last Thursday and Friday for my Mother in-law's big birthday and on Friday we all convoyed to my in-laws for the celebratory weekend.  It was a very happy moment when my mother in law stood by my father in law and blew out her candles.  However, earlier, as I was leaving town for the celebration, I received an email that my Grandmother was in the hospital.  Prior to that, earlier in the week, I also received a phone call from my mother saying my father had what appeared to be a stroke or seizure and had been taken to the hospital.  While there he had received a consultation from a member of hospice and has chosen to go into the hospice program.  It has been a hard road to go down since my father's apparent stroke in January and the diagnoses he received of an aggressive form of terminal cancer, called Glioblastoma Multeforme.  He immediately established goals of things he wanted to accomplish and he put his faith in God that he would somehow get the necessary things done. Then he put his cancer in the hands of the specialists and hoped to buy time so he could complete those goals.  He took radiation and chemo treatments though he had to stop the chemo treatments before he could receive the recommended dose, due to health issues.  He had hoped to feel better but has really struggled the past few months with his health and attempts to wean him off of steroids have been unsuccessful and have caused him extreme discomfort.  It has been a real heartbreaking challenge as the steroids have helped him at times to feel better, while at the same time, have caused other health issues and an increasing dependency on continuous dose raises in the steroids. 

So after returning from my in-law's, I repacked and headed for my parents, where I spent time with my mother and father.  Fortunately, my father was still coherent. It was good for me to have that one on one time.  Though, while I was there others visited too, including my Grandmother, who had since been discharged from the hospital and brought by one of my cousins, so she could say "good bye" to her son.   The time I had sitting, just me, with both of my parents, and then me alone with my father, while my mother ran some errands and later, me alone with my mom talking, was so precious.  There is nothing to me so fulfilling as sitting with someone I love, one on one, able to just be ourselves without any outside influence.  I think that is where the real relationships lie and I'm so thankful I had that time with my father, while he could still talk and understand my words.  I got the opportunity to thank him for all he has done for me and tell him all it has meant to me.  I did not tell him how much it saddens me to see the strong man that raised me slipping away.  I just kept rubbing his head and thinking I have to be strong. 

 

On the passing of Robin Williams

 

Robin Williams brought so much happiness into the hearts of so many.  He was such a humoritarian (humanitarian with humor combined).  I'm so sad at his passing.  He has been there making me laugh and think about life more deeply as far back in my life as I can remember.  I think of all his work on Comic Relief and how his participation in that made an impression on me, not to mention the many people it aided.  I think of how he made me see him in a completely different light and took my own thoughts to higher ground in “Dead Poet's Society's” ah and the "Captain My Captain" scene.  Oh, all those movies where he broadened my own perceptions.   Thank you Robin!  I’m so sorry you suffered for your sanity but I do believe in my heart it made your gifts of laughter and beauty all the more sincere because you understood how precious a gift you were giving, even when you couldn’t feel it yourself.  God bless you!

In my mind’s eye, you are in the most beautiful heaven, even more beautiful than that dreamt up by those that created heaven in “What Dreams May Come.”  I thank those creators for giving me some idea of how to visualize you.  I will chose to hold onto those beautiful moments you created and expand upon those lessons you taught. 

Heaven in “What Dreams May Come”:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYonzhFT_z4

 

Party On!

 
I've been pressed for time today, so I've decided to post my last two newsletters in lieu of my blog.  I give people the option of receiving newsletters each week, when/if I have something to share (I try to keep things interesting...) or once a month where I just give an overview.  You can sign up for my newsletters at http://kristinafurey.com/ on the lower right hand side of the page where it says, "Join the email list".  You will then receive an email confirming your interest and you can let me know by replying to it with weekly or monthly in the subject field.  Here's today's followed by last weeks:

 

Hey,

I learned an interesting thing this past week. Mike Myers movie "Wayne's
World" almost didn't happen because the studio wanted to use a Guns N
Roses song for the "Mirth Mobile" scene instead of the guys singing along
to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". Which I thought was epic! Mike Myers
said, "No way" and was going to pull out but the studio conceded and
"Wayne's World" was "Way." As we all know the movie was an
"Extraordinary. Big. Something mega. Something copious. Something
capacious. Something kajunga," "WAY" kind of movie! I'm not sure but I
think that's irony, since the movie was about the artist taking his work
in his own direction, instead of allowing the suits to "make it"
"commercially sucessful" and ruining his vision in the process. I can't
imagine the "Mirth Mobile" scene any different and I for one, was content,
with that "Doodle-ly-do, Doodle-ly-do, Doodle-ly-do," "Mega happy ending!

IF YOU'RE LOOKING for a "Mega happy ending" to your week, join us on the
patio of THE CAJUN EXPERIENCE, this Saturday from 7:00pm-10:00pm.

Party on!
:-)

 

Last weeks:

Hello!

I hope you're having a fantastic week and if you're looking for something
fun to do with your special someone or the kids, this is the perfect time
of year for a scavenger hunt. You can make it nature oriented for the
kids, city oriented for a group of friends or intimate for that special
someone. It's whatever your imagination can come up with.... ;-)

While you're out and about looking to find the things on your list, look
for Dan and I at the following special places on these specials dates.
See if you can capture us with your camera and send us the pics, or post
them to FB or Twitter. Definitely, stop by and say "Hi!" I will give you a
list of things to find while you're there... If you come up with a great
list you'd like to share, please share them on my FB page or via Twitter.
If it's X rated, best you just share it with that special someone. Summer
is hot and crazy enough without getting everyone hot and bothered!

This Saturday, 8/2 we will be at Kalypso's Sports Tavern in Reston, from
5-8pm. http://kalypsossportstavern.com/

Next week we will be at The Cajun Experience in Leesburg from 7-10pm.
http://www.cajunxp.com/

I've been blogging about my complaint bracelet this week at
http://kristinafurey.com/blog/

Have fun!
Kristina :-)

 

This changes nothing. Nothing but my life!

 
So for the first time this year, I've grabbed this bracelet I have and put it on for what I originally bought it for in the first place. I wanted to be consciously aware of my complaints and negative thoughts. Idea being, when I complain, I would move the bracelet to the other wrist. I learned this from a Minister, Oprah interviewed some years back. His whole congregation was doing it and noticing an improvement in living a more positively focused life. First thing I noticed when I caught myself complaining was my thoughts became very manipulative in an attempt to wiggle out of the idea that what left my lips was an actual complaint. I think I was trying to disguise this from myself, by making my complaints harder to spot. I mean, this is me, lying to myself and thinking I can get away with it but at the same time this is me and I can see through the lies, when I want and choose. (Very childish and kind of funny like when my son was young and I asked him if he had eaten all the chocolates in his advent calendar and his mouth was so full, with chocolate that it was dripping out of the sides of his mouth and he couldn't answer but insistently shook his head NO. Meanwhile, the shredded calendar lay semi hidden, poking out from under the couch.) So, I've been doing this for a week now and while it hasn't cured me, I am now also more aware of my negative thoughts that don't get spoken. I'm trying to redirect my thinking to a more useful direction because I've been finding myself in more moments that resemble depression to me.
I've spent more of my life in an outwardly focused pattern but found I thrive better when I'm tending to my core needs, its desires, hurts, fears and happiness. I have control over this part of my life and I can chose, to feel full, content, healed, okay and joyful, when I follow the directions that come from within, intended to tend to my core. I believe all complaining and negative thinking was learned behavior from outside sources. Where as my core, was intended to be constantly evolving and faithfully moving forward, like our expanding universe, becoming, becoming, becoming. I see that as the purpose of life. I think it's my job to see the reality of the situation and find a way to evolve so that the truth doesn't stop my inner core from pushing me to deliver what my burst of life came to deliver. I've been purposefully seeking out down time this past week in an effort to be more in touch with my inner core. At the moment, I'm feeling more at peace. Nothing is really changing for me, except my perception and to me, that is everything. And this changes nothing. Nothing but my life!
Wishing you peace!
 

And Breathe

 
Currently I'm miffed!!! Seems everything I've attempted today has been nothing but a struggle. I was trying to put together something Dan and I did to share but I SUCK, I REALLY, REALLY SUCK at all things computer!!! And that SUCKS! Okay, I'm starting to giggle now but it doesn't change the fact that I'm really irritable right now. So I'm trying to make sure I'm breathing from my diaphragm to calm myself and I've just lit some incense in hopes it will help.
I spent the morning cleaning my pool. I actually intended to get a swim in, which I've done VERY LITTLE of this summer. I vacuumed it and realized the bulk of the debris that was in it was not vacuuming up. Normally, the vacuuming is meditative for me but not so much when most of the debris is still there when I'm done. I did check the suction and it was working. So I had to physically scrub the pool which took at least another 45 minutes and it's physically draining. This afternoon I've been working on an audio project, I was hoping to post but hours later, many mistakes made, and I got nothin'! I won't even go into yesterday's struggle with the computer. I'll just say it was time lost. My to do list is so long now!
So here I am blogging. Blogging works for me! It centers me. It's a form of communication I can handle all by myself. It occurred to me earlier in the year, I may never get my music out at the rate my life is going but perhaps through blogging... There is so much I want to leave behind to the world and my life seems so complicated at times, that I have a hard time believing I will get any of it, let alone, all of it out in time. I feel like so many times in my life when I was at a crossroad and things could have gone really bad for me, something or someone always showed up. And I do, I REALLY realize, how fortunate I've been! I'm conscious of this even as I blog today. Mine are first world problems and even here in America, I realize I'm a fortunate soul. No matter how big my problems seem to me, I know there are many people in the world with real problems in comparison to mine. So, when I feel like I have felt today, I try to give myself a reality check and allow myself to enjoy the true ease of my life. I'm aware in this moment, that what distresses me is the idea that I will not be leaving the world with the resources I have gained from those people, books, songs, etc. that were there at the crossroad moments in my life, when my life could have taken a terrible spill but instead I gained new insight and tools, I was able to put towards my physical and mental well being. I've had some real angels in my life and I don't doubt for a moment if they hadn't shown up, I wouldn't be here today. So, it drives me! Crazy sometimes! And that drive just wants to create those resources and be that person for others when they get to the crossroad. I want to share what I've experienced and learned on my journey, so others can use it to map out the directions to where they want/need to go, without taking hostages, or stepping on others to get there.
Okay, I feel much calmer now, just getting that out! If I had one wish, it would be for more time or more knowledge on all things computer. Wait... no... world peace but not the kind where the peace has come from the annihilation of any of us. So number two wish, would be the time/knowledge thing. Number three, the ability to support Dan and I with my work/art/music, while also making a contribution to the improved quality of life for those in need of that. BUT if I can just come to peace with my own shortcomings I will be happier!  "Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. Let it be." I think the Beatles had the right idea. 
 

Just a few thoughts

 
I get a great feeling of satisfaction when I set out to do something and can sit back and enjoy the progress made or see the results of my work. I've been getting that satisfaction the past week while hanging out with Dan and making updates to our house. It occurred to me what a great feeling it is to work alongside someone you really like, admire and have a good rapport with and I feel blessed for that. Sometimes we're quietly going about our work and sometimes we converse, even find ourselves having fun. It's peaceful and the progress we make is something to smile about.
I got to thinking about how great it is to know what needs to be done, know what action to take and take it. Everything works and you enjoy your efforts, when you're working in areas that are in your own circle of influence. As a music artist, things like music gear, vocalizing, practicing and "Woodshedding" <---(to quote Tom Jackson) can be satisfying as you look back at where you were and how far you've come.  There's no telling what will happen as you step out of your own circle and into unknown territory, a new venue, a strange music set up, the wrong venue for your music, someone else's bad night, or even a venue's expectation of how big your draw should be. Things that you can roll with but things you really don't have control over. I know many people experience some version of this, no matter what their job. In fact, some people deal with this in relationships they have with people that are significant to them. It can get tiring and frustrating when something is outside of our control and we work it from every angle and find ourselves missing the mark every time or worse yet, trying to live up to unachievable expectations. Something that was once enjoyable can become more of a chore when this happens, jobs can start to interfere with our health when this happens and relationships can become estranged and even completely dismantled. <---So that was a cheery little thought I had. (sarcasm, ar, ar!)
Cut to another subject--->Last night while I was painting, I shook a can of paint I hadn't completely shut earlier yesterday and the result was, paint all over me, from the waist down and all over the drop cloth and a little on our new floor. Whoops! With Dan, it was such a laughable situation, he's been through these before with me. Notorious? ...maybe.... A jester? ...yes and without even trying. What can I say it just comes naturally to me. I told Dan, "Now that's how you paint! And if you want to get out of something you don't want to do, like painting for instance, do it on purpose! If you don't want to paint, spill the paint all over yourself and then moronically freak out and start flipping the paint off of your fingers, toes and limbs and onto everything around you. Then drop to the ground and roll in it, saying something like, I don't know what to do or make it stop!" I bet no one would ever ask you to paint again. So I couldn't help but start imagining different job scenarios and how the same process could come in handy... Come to think of it, my son's used to pull something similar when I'd ask them to clean their room... <---There, now hopefully I've left you with a somewhat legitimate cheery thought. :-)
 

Umbrella

 
Some songs we fall in love with the very first time we hear them. Well I'm guessing you do... I know I certainly do and then I normally wish I wrote it! I have song envy issues... One of those songs for me was "Umbrella" written by Tricky Stewart, Kuk Harrell and Jay-Z and recorded by Rihanna and Mandy Moore. It is listed as #412, in Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time". I did not know this when local artist Amy Hsieh performed it at a showcase Dan and I set up and hosted at a local venue. I hadn't heard it before and her voicing of the song, along with her acoustic guitar, struck something deep inside me. I asked her later about the song and learned that it was a cover and she had introduced it as such but somehow I had missed the introduction. WOW when she started the song though, she had my full attention! Her style, so perfectly fit it and she really made it her own! I was actually let down when I heard the known Rihanna version. There was so much going on with the rest of the music in it, that the heart of the song was burried and failed to move me the same. Later I discovered Mandy Moore's version, which I like better, it was closer to Amy's version.
I think Amy's version captivated me because it touched me in such a way that I was transported back to a time when I was child and had two foster siblings that I was closer to at the time, than my own blood brothers. It was nostalgic, in that pang in the stomach sort of way. Time stopped for a moment as I fell back into it's worm hole and found myself defender of the underdog on the playground and school bus and as I sat up in bed at night, as my foster sister cried in hers and I tried to console her. My little brother that came to live with us when he was four and stayed for four years, was also tugging at my heart as I listened to the lyrics. Their stories and lives too complex for little children and mine intertwined in there with them. If I had been an adult I would have been able to make a bigger difference but I was the same age as my sister and two years older than my brother, so I could only do what I could do. I tried to mother them I guess, keep them safe under my umbrella, as best I could.
I like songs that cross boundaries, styles and everything else that separates us as people. I like songs that make me feel not so alone in my own feelings, even if the experiences that created those feelings are something someone else may never be able to relate too. I like songs that teach me things I need to know or explain why others think or do so differently than me. I like songs that are politically incorrect, even morally chancie, if they are honest or funny/fun enough to help me let go of my sometimes too deep self. I also, really like the song "Umbrella" and I'm happy to say last night Dan and I began to work on it. :-)
PS- I did upload a video of the song I finally completed last week.  The one I blogged about...  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfZQ2UEFg4U&list=UUPLCm3Z8Xa_yUen2ckAZUTA
 

Writing, rewriting, what I previously wrote

 
I spent the afternoon writing and rewriting a song I previously wrote and rewrote before. Some songs come right through me onto paper or recording device, perfectly formed from beginning to end and some need a few tweaks. While others speed through me so fast, it's like the equivalent of seeing scenery lit up by a momentary lightning and then trying to sketch from memory what I saw. Those songs have less of chance of being as good in my opinion but those, I guess, are the songs that teach me to work at "the craft" of songwriting. Though many of them keep me frustrated for years as the various stabs I take at them aren't good enough for me to feel I have finished the song. Somehow the songs that come through me know what they're meant to be and my meddling with them, only seems to get in the way. I just wish they'd give me a little more time to record or write them before disappearing back to where ever they came from.
So I've been plunking away on my keys today and shredding paper after paper as I try to Frankenstein this song that ran through me as fast as an electrical shock some years back and I'm actually content at what it is turning into. "It's ALIVE!" I think God smiled, I did when I saw that it was good. The test will be to see if that feeling sticks. I'm hoping to record it raw and get it on YouTube as quickly as possible, to share with you. Maybe I'm wrong but it feels special to me. So this is what I was doodling prior to rummaging for previous renditions of the song, with the strong feeling that today it would be completed!
"You should have known better but you didn't. You should have done better but you couldn't. You shouldn't have accepted what was thrust on you but you didn't know you had a choice. With everything so messed up, you should have let go but your stuck. How do you get better? How do you give better? When all you know is to give what you've got? You should have known better but you didn't. You should have done better but you couldn't. You should have given better but you wouldn't. You would only give what you got but when does the madness stop? What if you have a choice to let go of the noise, to pull the answers from your heart, to make a clean start, trust that there is a better way and do a little better every day. Look through the pollution. Find the solutions. Commit to evolution. Make a start. Take your part. Do better cause you can. Cause now you understand. With just your thoughts turned into plans and compassion for your fellow man. We now do better cause we can. While we forgive those who can't. Who should have known better but they didn't and should have done better but they couldn't."
It's a busy week. Don't know if I'll get back to the song tomorrow or not. Maybe... :-)
 

While you were working

 
I will start by saying I love my working sisters. I have goals and dreams for myself as well. As a mother, a goal of mine has been to invest to the best of my abilities in my family. Both my husband and I worked outside the home when we were 1st married. When our second son came along, for the first six months of his life he was on a heart and lungs monitor and was considered to be a high risk for SIDS baby. I was tired all the time between the two boys, daycare runs, my dog who still needed lots of attention, my 40 hour plus a week job and nursing and pumping. In the midst of this I got the talk from my hubby about "What has happened to our sex life?" Fair question but I was in no mood to hear it. Our older son was bouncing off the walls in need of attention. I knew something had to be done, so I did what I always did, I found all the written material I could find, this time on cutting expenses and I tallied up the costs of me working verses not. Then, with my husbands blessings, I made the choice to invest 40 plus extra hours a week into my family, my life, our home, our money and managing it all. I realized that time buys money and money can buy time, if you have enough of it and make wise choices with it, rather than let it wash away with the wants of the moment. So I cut out the middle man (incoming money) and I invested my time in things I would otherwise be spending money on. I found my time to be a better investment in my family and possibly a better investment in yours, than the money ever was. We are such a money driven society and it also seems to be a necessity so far as I can see but sometimes it behooves us to take stock of our lives.
While everyone was at work, I was making sure my family was having balanced meals and cooking and baking with my kids, the neighbors kids and my niece and nephew.
While everyone was at work, I got exercise and sunshine playing with them outdoors and at the pool.
While everyone was at work, I was learning by trial and error to groom my poodle, who when I erred, we lovingly called "Rat Dog."  I think I said that to myself under my breath a few times too, when I took scissors to my own hair.  My youngest son never had his hair professionally cut till he was 19 or 20.
While everyone was at work, I was volunteering, in the school, the PTA, some community groups and I was also advocating for children too. My neighbor's kid once asked, "Miss Kristina, will you watch me in the park while you watch your son, so I can feel safe?" I did! We in fact had a known child predator that was scoping out the kids in our neighborhood and got physical with one of our neighbor's kids while they were out riding their bike. He got off on a technicality and continued his behavior until I believe his asthma made it to difficult for him. I stopped some teacher/student violence and prejudices in our schools. Ours was also the safe house in the neighborhood where kids would hang out till their parents came home. 
At the end of the day, I would pop in videos or video games from Blockbuster and sneak off with my husband for some quality time.
It wasn't perfect but it was worth the time I invested. I found myself again. I found my husband was still the guy I fell in lust and love with. I found I wasn't a yeller, which was something along the way I had somehow sadly become.
I did pick up a few part time jobs along the way, when it seemed necessary. I started writing again. I started singing again. I started feeling like myself again and not the drone just going through the motions I had felt like previously.
I have a sensitive nature and the choice I made allowed me to nurture not only the people around me but also myself. I tell you my story in case you're looking for another way in your own life and also because it should be known that full time moms are people, making choices to better themselves, their families, their communities and they have worth. Sure some depicted on TV these days with their exotic lives and what not, can come across as a sideshow at a carnival but most of us, like our sisters that work outside the home, really work hard and really invest value in all we do. It is my hope that one day our government will respect us well enough to give us social security checks when we're old for our investments in our country or at the very least for all the hours of volunteer work we do that benefit our schools, our government our society and possibly you.
 

I'm a quitter

 
Early on I learned in "Tug Of War" if my opponent was stronger and I was losing, I could let go and have immediate satisfaction in no longer putting all my effort into something without a sense of reward or worse yet, feeling like I was failing. I equated letting go and quitting as a sort of freedom and an opportunity to find success elsewhere. It's not normal for me to quit at games, unless they last too long to hold my attention or start to feel tedious to me. In general, I'm not really that much of a game player unless it's puzzle based or fun in a community sort of way, where everyone's having a good laugh. Winners and losers is not so much for me. I have always preferred win/win. I like games but not when things get too complicated or too competitive. Yes, I purposefully lost out to my kids when they were young, not always but more often than not and I'd totally throw the first part of the game in an effort to make them feel excited at the prospect of winning it made it more fun for them and more interesting for me to try to have a comeback but I never cared if I got skunked by my kids.
What I don't like is wasting time. When my mind starts to wander, I normally start to question if I need to as well. I start getting anxious that I'm missing out on something better, like me, if not here in this moment then where are my thoughts and I normally want to follow them and so I quit what I'm doing and try to catch up with my mind's vision. I free up time for wherever it is my mind wants to go. If I'm tired and don't know where that is, I'm content with the idea that at least I won't be caught up in doing something I don't want, when the thing I do want, makes itself known or available. I like the freedom of knowing I can just jump in and give it a go and see how it makes me feel.
I've been feeling like there's too much on my plate lately and I'm looking around skeptically at things and asking is this what I want? Does this fit the life I want to live? Is this something I own or is this something that owns me? Is this tool useful anymore? This habit? This lifestyle? I'm taking inventory of my time and my things and I know, I'm about to quit some things in order to make space for what I want or maybe just space where I can be, comfortable, till that next inclination moves me in a direction that has my name on it...
Current song on my mind-Beatles, "Let It Be"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajCYQL8ouqw&feature=kp