Kristina Furey

"They come to build a wall between us"--Crowded House

 

A second blog simply because I could not stop myself.  I seriously tried but I am overwhelmed by things I see and hear in the news and so here it comes…  a volcano ready to blow.  I had begun to blog on them Tuesday but stopped myself.  I seriously don’t want to be part of the problem, spitting hate out into the world.  If you’re happy with things as they currently are forgive me and please don’t read any further.  I don’t seek to cause you aggravation and this most likely will aggravate you.    

I just feel like one of those people that yells warnings to characters on a movie screen because they’ve seen the atrocities and they know what’s likely to happen next if the characters are not warned.  It’s a problem I’ve had all my life seeing things before other people do and yelling "Soylent Green is made out of people!" while "they shake their heads and look at me as if I've lost my mind." I feel sometimes like life is just seeing the same movie over and over and over again and each time it ends the same and I feel a little more sick on my stomach for it.  And all my life I've been yelling at that screen, “They come to build a wall between us” —Crowded House:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9gKyRmic20

It started out when I was a kid.  The Boogey Man, a belligerent bully on the playground, making fun of my friend’s and foster sibling's differences.  Thanks to older brothers that used to rough house with me I would do my best to look them in the eye and tell them “No”.  As a young teen, it was the beginnings of sexual harassment, peer pressures, the occasional acts of physical intimidation. along with lies spread, rumors to hurt reputations and the beginning of cliques and tribes, which I fell “Left Of Center” from, much like Suzanne Vega’s song:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YIBmZjONtA   It always interested me, the blind faith of those that fell into the order, especially when it was not to their benefit.  Some of them dismissing those they’d been best friends with because their new tribal ways deemed it a necessity.  How many sacrifices I watched for the sake of some cult or it’s leader, Queen Bee or King.  They tore friendships apart and changed the way the followers thought and acted.  I thought of those followers as “Pod People” who drank the Kool Aid.   Sometimes the Kool Aid was a belief system and sometimes it came in the form of something mind altering that had to be done if you were to be considered cool and keep your membership up to date.  I was often planning an intervention of some sort.  If I could just pull them away for a bit and help them be themselves again…  I were honest myself...   There were others like me, a handful of us that learned we didn’t fit these cliques but we couldn’t identify ourselves with outsiders either.  We just wanted our loved ones back.  We didn’t see anyone as the enemy, just as blind followers.  Well truth be told, there was a dark period there for a while, when I did day dream about lighting a match under the sprinkler system in hopes of drowning those with their noses stuck in the air.  And I did sing in my head and out loud occasionally, “Preps to the left of me Jock’s to the right, here I am stuck in this dumb class again.” to the tune of “Stuck In The Middle With You” by Stealers Wheel:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DohRa9lsx0Q
 
So on to my point, the 5 year old child separated from his mother and detained at Dulles Airport on what appeared to be his birthday, was all too reminiscent of Roberto Benigni’s “Life Is Beautiful” movie.  Is it true this child was a US Citizen?  If not, does it make our actions as a country any less heartless.  Where are we going?  And what about the torture and water boarding?  Is this who we are now?  Are we pro-torture?  Have we decided this is an okay thing now?  Maybe we should consider our family members, in the military, loved ones overseas and be sure our children are tucked into bed and have said their prayers before choosing torture as the American way or the Christian way…  

If I were being questioned by the “Authorities” as to whether or not I was a Christian, I think my answer would be “No, if this is what it means to be Christian and then I would say, I’m not even sure God exists currently. If God exists then I should see God in your actions and in your words.  If I don’t see signs of God, I have to think God does not exist here.  Here I can only see man with a God complex.”  I hope we give a pause to our actions and some serious considerations of what we are saying to the rest of the world through our actions.      

When we learn that “This is not God’s plan.  God left this in our hands.  I’m sure God’s wondering will we ever see that they’re us, we are them and they are we.”

I now return you to your movie, already in progress:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZegQYgygdw

 

"You're so far from home"--Kristina Furey

 

I was at a party hanging around the food table as I often do…  when I heard someone say to one of the men there, I hear you’re going over seas again.   As a conversation developed  around this opener, the wife joined in and I learned quickly of her dissatisfaction with her husband’s impending travels abroad.  I noted their child was young and wondered what it must be like for the wife to be left alone during these trips to raise their child alone.  I did not have to wonder too much as she was forthcoming in the conversation.  However, what was most apparent to me was that the husband and wife seemed to have a loving relationship with one another and any angst she was communicating was there to cover what was all too apparent when I looked at her face as she spoke candidly and tended to her child.  That conversation and what I saw in the wife’s face was like a hitchhiker, I couldn’t just drop off and leave somewhere on the side of the road.  That hitchhiker came home with me and hung out as I went about my normal life and imagined how that wife must feel when her husband is gone.   

I don’t remember if it was the following day or a few days later when I walked downstairs as Dan was jamming on his guitar and the song started creating itself there in my head.  Right about the same time that hitchhiker, seemed to find a place outside of my head and heart, landing comfortably into a song.  “Play that again.”  I said.  “Keep playing that.  I think I’ve got something here.”  I turned on my microphone and launched in.  I admit, I had previously, years previously, recorded on my tape recorder, “You’re so far from home, far from home, you’re so far from home.” But that was more of a Celtic, folky thing I was doing.  This was more upbeat as Dan’s playing had set the tone.  It was a quick write.  It practically wrote itself.   We took it out and began playing it right away though we always felt it was in need of some tweaking.  The song was wee bit short too and so I borrowed a couple of lines from some popular songs and added them into our performances of the song, to give it length and familiarity.  I felt clever to have come up with this idea and it seemed to be appreciated as the song was repeatedly requested when we would go out to play.  

So flash forward to this past weekend:  Dan and I thought number one, we should fix this song and number two, we should record it.  So this past weekend, we fixed it and recorded a scratch track.  We plan to have a downloadable and streamable version of the song in time for our performance at The Parrish, Florida-Chili Cook Off on March 4th.  

You can find the video clips at my FaceBook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/thefureys/  

https://www.facebook.com/thefureys/posts/10154891848692319

 

"As each unconscious sufferer wanders aimlessly"---Concrete Blonde

 

I had a whole other blog planned about me, Me, ME!!! and DAN of course and what we are working on.  I don’t think it is what you would expect.  I have to save that for another day though, as a friend paraphrased a quote to me the other day that struck a chord in me and an intense desire to share what I know without doubt! The quote went something like this:

If you continuously push someone down, think about how high they would have to lift you if you ever needed them. When you continuously support and build someone up, if you or anyone would ever need their help, they will be able to lift you so much higher. 

It’s things like the understanding this quote encompasses, it’s these things, that come from people's personal experience or observation, that need to be expressed over and over again in many ways until we all get the message!  That, is what I love about writing and music most.  Trying to find ways to communicate these messages and then new ways for those that may not have grasped it the first dozen times around.  I know many times people have tried to communicate things to me that at the time I was unable to hear or I misunderstood and then someone else came along and said the same thing and I had a moment of clarity.  Then I’m like “Oh, that’s what they were trying to say!”  All sorts of things can get in the way from wether or not we had enough sleep the night before, if our blood sugar is off, if we are distressed over something… So many human quirks can keep us from getting these really important insights.  I personally,  love feeling like I’ve mastered a way to get through with a message.

In regards to this particular insight my friend shared, I am of the belief, when we push someone down we push ourselves down.  I don’t think we can ever judge someone without taking away our own ability to be free of judgments.  As soon as we judge someone else we become more conscious of our own actions and often limit ourselves in the process.  It’s good to be aware of these things, not so that we can be perfect but so that we can be forgiving of ourselves and others.  I’ve found on some occasions I can’t forgive someone else until I can forgive myself for my own actions that either participated in theirs, encouraged theirs in some way or sometimes  because I don’t like the way I reacted to their stimulus and the course my life took due to that reaction.  It’s a shame that we do unto others what has been done to us, just as much as we try to “Do unto other’s as we would have done unto us.”  But it’s important we understand, it’s the action that is shame because when we get this confused and identify ourselves or others as shameful it leads to people feeling lost, downtrodden and defeated.  That is very destructive as it can so easily become the dis-ease of our families, communities, and can reach worldwide proportions.   Which is why we need to focus on forgiveness!  Daily ask ourselves, Can I forgive today?  What do I need to forgive this person or event?  How does holding back forgiveness benefit me?  Am I the one I need to forgive?  And again, Can I forgive today?  

I don’t think any of the negative behaviors we express really belong to any of us.  I think we are just recycling the negative behaviors that have always been here and we will keep doing that until we discover or learn from others how to transcend them. 

I changed what I was going to blog about today because what is going on in the world is soooo much more important than anything I am doing.  I started blogging because I was told I should be as a tool of self promotion but I don't do well with self promotion.  I really feel awkward with it and that's because my music is not about me, not really.  I could have put all my efforts into me and my music but that was never what the music was about for me.  I am always listening and trying to get the messages that heal, out to others.  It’s why I became fascinated with the radio as a child.  The radio frequencies and those we communicate within, are like an artery I try to keep my finger on, so I can check the pulse and our vitals.  I want us all to be healthy and able to function together because I know without a doubt that is the purpose of life!  Or at least, it is certainly the purpose of my life. 

My disclaimer:  While I know these things and see them so clearly at times, I am only human.  One moment spouting truth the next making mistakes.  I don’t want to mislead anyone.  I prefer leading from behind.  So I can keep my focus on the big picture and the lives that stand before me.  I can watch and give guidance when needed.  I have no need for control here.  With the exception of self control perhaps.  I only desire the peaceful knowledge that when I’m gone, those I leave behind, will not be lost and while I exist, I will not lead anyone to despair.  

Concrete Blonde’s, “Beware of Darkness”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOBPAwCCDEE 

 

"Brainstorm, take me away from the norm"--311

 

Once upon a time a girl anxiously awaited Casey Kasem’s Top 40 Countdown.  She hoped to tape the songs that moved her, so she could stop and jot down the lyrics of the beloved songs and analyze them as she poured over the words like an archeologist trying to discover and understand a civilization.  Language, words, sounds, so soul stirring and powerful.  A bridge to our oneness.  A connection to the past and the most simplest way to teach or remember something important.  

From the first moment she heard him speak, she felt allured, comforted and curious, all at the same time but it was what he would say that drew her in and on the third date, as he eased into his real self and unconsciously spoke about what was truly important to him, she wanted to jump up in the Roy Rogers and incredulously ask at the top of her lungs, the others there, “Do you have any idea, whom you are in the room with?”  Though this was going on inside her, he would never know as she was having a silent victory there, editing herself.  It had been explained to her that she should practice this editing as she had a serious case of diarrhea of the mouth and it was not working in her favor.  However, what she was learning to hold back in words, would find a way of coming to the surface, in the lyrics she wrote.  

Now if this was a movie or a TV show this is where “The Logical Song” would play and possibly give you an understanding of the girls story.  Her story might be called “Growing Up Female.”  The song would be sung by a female and the lyrics, “simple man” would be changed to “simple mind.”  

But today we are past all this.  We’ve progressed much further down the road of life and I’m doing my best to make peace with the illogical.  

Along with my husband I’ve picked up and moved to the place where I hope to build a solid and logical life that revolves around our needs and wants.  We like to be active year round and saw ourselves living a healthier life here in Florida.  Plus I’ve had past issues with Seasonal Affective Disorder that seem to now be alleviated.  The dream was to live near family and friends already living on Florida’s West Coast.  Not just surviving winter but thriving during it.  Work our way back into the music and create tours up the East Coast in the summers.  Our music has been appreciated by the older generation, our own and those that are my kids age.  Maybe because these are the same people that make their way and their needs into my heart and I in return try to praise them for this with song.  More so though, this is about Dan’s and my pursuit of health and happiness and if we can attain it, I know it can be secured by helping others to do the same.  Again, I keep working on that bridge to OUR (an all inclusive our) ONENESS.  

Currently, life is good.  I saw this life in my head and I had a strong feeling it would be good, if I could be in an environment where I could get plenty of sunlight, daily activities, have less financial concerns (Cost of living is a big plus for us here.)  Basically, if I could get on a schedule and live where all my needs were being met along with Dan’s, I knew I would be better off than where I was previously.  It’s a work in progress but progress is good!  Dan continues to work a full time job and I continue to handle most of the house maintenance, healthy and cost effective food needs, bills, etc, while we are trying to put down our social and musical roots here as well.  It is time consuming AND rewarding for us.  Hmm?  it is life and not a bad life.  We have once again incorporated daily healthy rituals into this thing called life.  I’m on a quest to budget not just our money but the time we have so we can spend it wisely on what Dan and I desire to work towards.  I find myself spending more time acting on these goals and with less time to spend on the computer.  For me computer stuff just seemed to be getting too much out of control and I was losing time on it, instead of accomplishing real world things.  So I’m seriously trying to budget my computer time and be mindful of how I’m spending it.  I get soooo much email; personal, music related and in regards to the things I’m doing to be a part of the community I live in but mostly solicitious emails.  Thankfully, it was recently brought to my attention that unsubscribing from solicitious emails is a kindness to the sender who is putting time, resources and money into them.  Point taken and a win/win for all!  This has helped alleviate my guilt over the unsubscribes and I’m certainly aware of where to find these services and beautiful people, should I need them in the future.  BUT Honestly, I’m more of a book person.  Ah, to let my mind wander and explore it’s own course as I sit in the sun with my feet dangling into the water, or digging into the sand, while basking in a sunny place.  I like to hold knowledge in my hands. Which is why another thing I’ve been trying to make more time for is writing my own books, in an effort to pass on some of my own knowledge.  Here’s a link to part of one of the books I have been working on:  https://www.facebook.com/thefureys/photos/a.10151325330427319.486591.34854122318/10154845204157319/?type=3&theater 

The book I’m reading at the moment is Ari Herstand’s book, “How to Make It in the New Music Business.”  It was just released this year.  2017!  Thank you Ari!  I’ve read many of your posts.  I agree with your recommendations to younger artists in regards to jobs and money.  

311 “Amber”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUFSB2plwzM 

Supertramp’s “The Logical Song”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh3Kk5tZSmo 

 

A Double Feature=BlogX2

 

I was all about to post a blog yesterday but I woke up with this in my head and it seemed important to get it out...

BLOG 1:  Last January, I had all these fantastic ideas of things I would do.  After all, making our way to living in Florida had been a loooong time coming, there had been a lot of thinking “What if we could?  What if we tried?  What if we did and we survived?”  Oh YES, I was "contemplating the possibilities!” We were researching and planning for success, we were facing set backs and loss, we were faced with difficult decisions and an understanding that we couldn’t “Just Do It” <—A slogan I love NIKE!!!  However, if we broke it down into smaller doable chunks we believed it could be accomplished.   I had some of the most awesome minds in my cabinet trying to help by brain storming for me, with me, with Dan and I, so many suggestions to wind me up.  So many in fact, at times I was exhausted just considering the ideas.  I came up with the most awesome plan and presented it to Dan.  He made a few edits and we were off!  (Thank you to the beautiful people that were supportive or giving of their time and ideas!!!)  Then we landed in Florida and had to reassemble our lives here.  Me, for the first time in my life, I was living more than 45 minutes from where I was born.  I mean like over 900 more miles!  But I had to do it.  I had to take myself out of the comfort of the circle I had lived within all my life.  I had to take myself out of the orbit my life had grown accustomed to, the same orbit that would insure I would continue to repeat the same patterns that were not fulfilling what lies deep within me. Patterns taught and ones that came from outside of me, instead of from inside me. Some patterns fit me and some no longer did.  I knew I needed different and I spent years working on what that need was and how I could fill it.  Last thing I expected was that I would get here and need time to adjust.  Adjust?  To this which I chose for myself?  It’s been interesting folks…  

I was like a parachuter on their first jump.  I was in a glorious state of bliss and I forgot to pull the chord.  Luckily, I was in tandem and the chord was pulled in time.  Ah, what a landing!  When the bliss became the norm, I looked around and saw that it was time to get back on track with my plans, which was when life threw some more twists into this story, some I was able to spring to action to take care of and some out of my hands.   Why would I expect anything different?  Why? Because I’m a romantic and I believe deep inside, even in my darkest hours that there is a possibility for a happy resolution to everything, when we are informed and willing to work towards it, over and over and over again, until we get it right.  Even when their are setbacks. Now, I’m gonna make my own twist here in this blog and say, I think President Obama is the same as me on this.  I don’t think this is the last we will hear from him or the last we will see of him focused on and working towards the needs he has of promoting that same hope in you and those who are lost and without hope.  Sometimes we know when change is due but sometimes we are up against a lot in our efforts to orchestrate it.  Time, patience, persistence, and our ability to reconsider information and readjust to it, along with our discipline and tenacity, these are incredible tools to have but... without the hearts of others, without their investment, and without their belief in something better, we have to be the guardians of hope and so I, hold it safe in my hand.  I nurture it like a baby bird and I have every belief, that it will fly, when the time is right.    (More to come on where I've landed and what is next in the coming weeks but for) Now a second feature...

BLOG 2:

YES, to Meryl Streep’s speech!

YES, to President Obama’s exiting speech!  For me it really takes off around minute 23:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siyBp8Csugk 

YES, to the ever wise writing and excellent presentation of ABC’s comedy, “Black-ish”that aired 1/11/17!

And YES, to NPR’s “Ted Hour” on Heroes! :  http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510298/ted-radio-hour   As it got me wondering, “Who are our heroes?”  What are our heroes made of?  For some reason the old TV show “Gilligan’s Island” popped into my head.  Crazy, I know, but stick with me just a moment more because I was thinking about how when the TV Show “Survivor” first came out, I thought it was going to be a real life “Gilligan’s Island”.  I was let down when it turned out to be some competition thing, pitting the castaways against each other, rather than having them figure out their circumstances, how they would initially survive by bringing each individual’s skill sets into work and how that too, would ultimately lead to getting them back to civilization or help them to get themselves rescued.  I saw about one and half seasons before vowing “NO MORE!”  I have no use for the “reality” or more likely manipulated people shows that have people being pit against each other, put in sleep deprivation situations and encouraged to drink alcohol, form alliances and show humanity at it’s worst and all this, so the media companies can create content in the “Cheapest” fashion.  Cheap in cost and cheap in taste.  Back to “Survivor” this is no way to survive in the real world!  Yet a generation of children have been brought up on the teachings from these shows that this is the way to succeed, to be the hero or the heroine.  It’s bled all through our culture and pulled us away from bringing our differences together our unique skill sets and respecting one another for their skills and differences.  It’s sad.  It makes me think sometimes I’d rather be trapped on “Gilligan’s Island” with Gilligan, The Skipper, The Millionaire AND his wife, the movie star, the professor and Mary Ann, than in the world that seems to be representing our current “reality”. 

 

"Then a hero comes along" and her name is Mariah!

 

There’s this old belief that whatever you are doing at the stroke of midnight, will be what the new year gifts you with all year long.  Some people hold dollar bills with hopes of being rich.  Some people kiss their loved ones with the desire to have plenty of love in the new year.  I wonder if Mariah’s performance on New Years was a sign of things to come.  Maybe this year, life will gift us with truth and we will accept it for what it is, a gift and a functional tool in our successes and survival.  

I see Mariah’s performance as a woman standing up for herself and saying “I came prepared.  I put in the work.  I deserve this opportunity and I deserve better than to be scapegoated for the dysfunction at work here. All the same I’m doing my part, to do my best, to honestly address the situation at hand, in an effort for the best outcome.”   Have you ever felt that way?  Sure in the end she did lip synch but that was not her original intent.  She was doing it to make up for the sound system or sound person’s failure.  If the monitor was not turned on or up enough for her to hear herself, she was failed, not the one, who failed.  

It isn’t easy to work so hard at something and be discredited by someone or something else’s, mistake or flaw.  It’s even harder to experience that in a room full of people focused on you or I would imagine, ON TELEVISION.  To work so hard and find out it didn’t matter.  It’s an even worse feeling if you have any mistrust of those that were in control or should have been.  I am extremely uncomfortable when I have to leave my own sound system behind and put my trust in someone else’s sound system, their set up, their understanding or misunderstanding of it and their ability to use it correctly, (all too often they don’t believe in monitors or working monitors or simply don’t understand how to give singers what they need in the monitors-which btw all these scenarios, can wreak a singer’s voice, if the singer tries to compensate for it).  I have carefully observed some sound system operators and noticed they give lesser and better mixes to certain performers.  (I have wondered what that’s all about…?)  I have been left stranded by more than one Sound “Engineer” who abandoned their job of delivering quality sound during my performance.  I even had one sound guy completely check out on me at a festival once.  He was sitting right there at the system but I think he was napping.  I did not know how to handle the situation.  I tried to be professional and expected I should just, go with the performance and hope for the best.  And no it was not.  It was not my best because I was dependent upon him to do my best and he wasn’t giving his.   These things have messed up Dan’s ability to do his best too as timing is imperative to his looping.  Yes, he creates his loops live.  Nothing we do is prerecorded or enhanced with filler sound.  Our thoughts being live music, is live and not in any way previously recorded but there seems to be varying opinions on this.  

It was an eye opener for me to learn about how many local musicians across the country are now using tracks to thicken their sound and their vocals.  I even had another musician tell me they were at a ten year Anniversary party for a big development and noticed the drummer’s timing was off.  It was a very curious thing at first and then he came to the conclusion the drums, he was hearing were actually tracks.  He, a drummer himself, felt disgusted.  Upon closer observation of the band, he started to see evidence that no one was really playing what the crowd was hearing.   He had seen enough and was actually ready to leave when the power went out.  He paused to see what would happen next, hoping they would play live for their audience.  They looked shocked and dismayed at what they should do next but they never even tried to just play for their audience and It was his opinion that they couldn’t perform live if their lives depended on it.  Fortunate for them, their lives, their careers, nothing, depends on playing for real and people are none the wiser or don’t really care.  No one’s life depends on a “Singer” being able to sing or a “Musician” being able to play their instrument.  Because I have worked so hard on my vocals, I struggle with not being bitter when I learn about how someone else is faking it and I feel like that little kid that points out that the Emperor has no clothes.  It frustrates me that some people would rather live in denial of that fact.  What if our surgeons didn’t actually know how to do surgery or had never done it before when they showed up for our surgeries?  What if they were like the Emperor?  What if our President had no clothes and just had a really good publicist?  Or what if our food wasn’t real and it didn’t have the building blocks that bodies need to replicate healthy cells?  I mean, what would become of us if we stopped noticing what was real and what wasn’t?  I think we would set ourselves up for extinction, which is exactly what I’ve been fearing about “live” music, until Mariah took the mic and made it real!

Mariah Carey’s “Hero”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IA3ZvCkRkQ 

 

 

"The Future's open wide"--Modern English

 

As of today, December 31, 2016 Dan and I have been together for 30 years.  We met at a New Year’s Eve party.  I had experienced a break up that year with my first true love.  By breakup I mean, we chose to go our own directions.  Not that the love was lost, more that, because we loved each other we did not want to find ourselves resenting the other later down the road and it was obvious that we both did not want to walk down the same road.  It had been a very emotionally conflicting time for me.  Some moments thinking, well maybe we could have… and other moments wondering how could life be so cruel to let me fall so hard and deep, only to let reality rip me out, like when you wake up from an awesome dream.  I chose to believe I was lucky to have experienced love and to know how it feels to be treated through the filter of love.  I made a vow not to accept anything less as I continued down the road of life.  I did emotionally beat myself up occasionally thinking that maybe I should have been something other than I had been and I did have a little resentment at times that he wasn’t more willing to be what he was not.  But after many rounds in that ring, I took off my gloves, left them there and walked out in search of what was next.  

So it was New Years Eve, when I left my desk at work and headed into the bathroom.  I was in need of some peace and quiet to contemplate my next move.  A friend of mine’s New Year’s Eve plans were shut down when they did poorly in their first semester of college.  I had another friend inviting me for a quiet evening with her family and another friend who had run into an old boyfriend she received an invite from, to a party, that was certain to be anything but a quiet evening.  I was ready to go out and explore my possibilities and I had decided I would start the new year with a jump into the unknown.  Glad I did, as that was the night I met Dan.  It never would have turned out the way it did, had I still been pining for what was never going to be as beautiful as it was when it started.  

Over Christmas dinner someone asked me, well I believe she asked, not completely certain of exact words but think it was, “What is a trash dumpster kind of year?”  She continued, “I’m asking you because I thought it might be a reaction to how the political stuff went this year.”  Brave of her to ask.  Kind of her to ask, rather than condemn the supporters of the political candidate, she knew I had attempted to vote into the White House.  But I hadn’t heard the term and I also did not know what it was, so I admitted to my ignorance over it and then said, “May be politically oriented or it may have something to do with the celebrities we’ve lost this year.  Could be a combination…”  I was thankful she felt comfortable enough to bring that question up to me.  Also, that she had the courage and curiosity to ask.  I think we should be talking our way through our differences so we can understand, it’s not simple and we shouldn’t be simple either.  It’s complex.  We are conflicted inwardly but it doesn’t have to end in some form of outward conflicting reaction.  I know it can be scary to ask the hard questions and our perceived reality could be at risk but the bottom line is, the sooner we understand our circumstances the sooner we can act responsibly in a way that will bring us the best of what the situation is able to offer.    Being honest with ourselves is often the hardest thing but it’s one of the best tools we have when building the lives we truly want.  

No matter what kind of year you’ve had, I am wishing your next one to be one that you will manage in such a way that you will be at peace with yourself, your circumstances and those that surround you.  I wish that you will be honest with yourself in regards to what is most important to you and above all, I wish you love, self love, the love of those that surround you, the love of those that have the power to make your struggles less, and the ability to know love and see it for what it is, so you don’t spend precious time, second guessing it or too much time in the company of someone that isn’t willing to give it.

God bless us, everyone!

PS:  Dan's and my song (the first song we ever danced to) is by Modern English, "I Melt With You".  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuN6gs0AJls 

 

 

"I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing"--The New Seekers

 

Normally I save this blog spot for my seasonal salutation.  If you are used to getting a holiday card from me or a letter, I’m sorry but this year, I kept waiting for that divine message to come through me and it didn’t.  I sat down and tried to get things to align within me and it just didn’t happen.  I’m not in a bad place or anything, in fact when I am, I am more inspired to wish for others in written form what I feel lacking in my own life.  I am more connected to my inner muse, when I am caught up in the joy and even more deeply so, when I have my own inner struggles.   As an artist I pride myself that it is my job to share whatever gifts my inner muse has given me and the muse seems to lyrically chatter to me during those moments of joy and encourages me through the tougher moments in my life, when I’m willing to lay down my baggage or my pride and listen.  

So it occurs to me, rather than look for something awe inspiring to tell you or give you this year, maybe I should just encourage you to lay down your baggage and engage.  Engage with that person that seems lost, over burdened or the one that feels unheard.  Listen for their wisdom.  Step out of your clique, tribe, political party, religion, whatever may be holding you back from really connecting with your fellow humans.  Make a real effort in what’s left of the season to create a real peace in your heart for them and for yourself.

Let's teach each other how to sing in perfect harmony.   "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiri_EDfU8U  

I find hanging with those who have conflicting beliefs to mine  to be a lot like an allergy shot.  So I start in with slow, very watered down doses and I try to stay calm so I don’t have an allergic break out or allow myself to overreact.  I do my best in not priding myself in being right but instead, I try to pride myself in my feats of self control, as I listen.  I really listen.  I ask them to do the same and when they’re not willing, I walk away to try again another day, less I say something too damaging and forfeit my goal for peace entirely.  It is so good for us to challenge each other with our differences.  Soak in what they've said and reply.  Everyone has a need that is wrapped up in their belief.  When we disregard or miss the needs through our own arrogance or ego we lose.  We lose out on an opportunity to either be enlightened and able to grow or HONESTLY validated in our own position.  When we come in without ego,  we can see the other persons point or how we can point them into a better direction.  Keep in mind we all have ego and most of us use it as a line of defense.  Often it's something we quickly put up when we feel challenged, fearful or confused.  Keep in mind, when someone puts that wall up, it doesn't mean our words spoken respectfully, and in kindness will not get through.  Those words may be the beginning of what sparks change in the way another person thinks.  It they like you, trust you, and honestly feel you are validating them, even if you disagree with their position, then they will more openly receive you and your beliefs, even if, only in small watered down doses.  We know honesty and we know respect when we feel it, just as we know love when we see and feel it.  Patience goes a long way.  If you really want to strengthen your own beliefs surround yourself with people that will challenge them and have fair, open hearted discussions with them and honesty with yourself.  As you honestly and respectfully defend your beliefs one of two things will happen, you will strengthen them or decide it is time to change them.  If you've never changed your beliefs, then chances are you are you are not evolving.  No one is always right.  You have to be open to peace if you want to feel it.  

I wish you love and I wish you peace this holiday season and in this coming new year!

PS-Kudos to first lady Michelle Obama for offering her help and counsel to our next first lady Melania Trump. — “All I Know” by Art Garfunkel:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaBjY-zm0sI

 

"The lights, the lights, the lights, the lights" Grasscut

 

When I was a little girl my family used to pack up and head for Florida each Christmas.  Right before Christmas, trucks would dump of loads of sand in the communities and we’d bring a bunch of it back to my grandparents house and distribute it into bags, that we would then put candles into, creating luminaries, we’d strategically place along the edges of the driveway and the edges of the street in front of my grandparents home.   Everyone in the neighborhood would participate and it was truly a magnificent sight when the sun went down and the luminaries were all lit up.  "The lights, the lights, the lights, the lights"!!!   Prior to that, Santa would show up on a firetruck, cruising down the streets and throwing candy canes to all the children.  I loved to see the houses lit up Christmas Eve, along with all the luminaries.  I haven’t seen a sight like that in so many years.  I wonder if they still do that anywhere…  Well obviously, they still do in my memories...  The lights, the lights, the lights, the lights"...   The other evening Dan and I took a walk around our neighborhood and admired the brightly decorated homes of our neighbors.  

Then last night, I finished decorating our tree and went through lights I haven’t put up in years because my kids had outgrown their enthusiasm for helping out with that tradition and I simply did not find it worth it to go it alone, freezing off my izzy, while trying to place lights with numb fingers or even more so, unstringing lights after the holidays with numb fingers, a frozen izzy and all in whipping winds of a cold Virginia January.  It just didn't fit in with my plans of a "Happy New Year."  Just seemed self defeating.  Last night as I took stock of my outdoor lights, I was not too surprised to find many of my lights were no longer up to the task.  I will put out what I have and most likely add a little each year to my collection.  On my Facebook page I added a few pictures of my favorite decorated homes in my neighborhood.  As you look at these pictures, I can assure you, I have no intentions of competing with the Jones’ but I will bask in the beauty of the lights  https://www.facebook.com/thefureys/posts/10154733802712319 

Since we are 12 days from Christmas, I have copied and placed here, my twisted take on “The 12 Days of Christmas”.  Enjoy!  Better yet, write your own version.  It’s quite fun to do. :-)  Another thing that is fun to do, that I did one year was I gave a friend a pear the 1st day, followed by another clue from the song each consecutive day till I had filled all twelve days.  I had 11 guys leaping in front of her and I cut out 12 drummers from her favorite bands from magazines and handed them to her.  I don't recall everything as it's been a loooooong time since I pulled that one off but it is a fun challenge to take on.  Try it, you'll see...

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a French maid's outfit, just for me! ;-)

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 2 empty beer cans and a French maid's outfit, just for me!

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 3 loads of laundry, 2 empty beer cans and a French maid's outfit, just for me!

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 4 calls from work, 3 loads of laundry, 2 empty beer cans and a French maid's outfit, just for me!

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 5 minutes in ecstasy!!!  4 calls from work, 3 loads of laundry, 2 empty beer cans and a French maid's outfit, just for me!

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 6 hiny pats, 5 minutes in ecstasy!!!  4 calls from work, 3 loads of laundry, 2 empty beer cans and a French maid's outfit, just for me!

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 7 errands to run, 6 hiney pats, 5 minutes in ecstasy!!!  4 calls from work, 3 loads of laundry, 2 empty beer cans and a French maid's outfit, just for me!

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 8 flatuations, 7 errands to run, 6 hiny  pats, 5 minutes in ecstasy!!! 4 calls from work, 3 loads of laundry, 2 empty beer cans and a French maid's outfit, just for me!

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 9 "I love you"s, 8 flatuations, 7 errands to run, 6 hiny pats, 5 minutes in ecstasy!!!  4 calls from work, 3 loads of laundry, 2 empty beer cans and a French maid's outfit, just for me!

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 10 cards to be sent, 9 "I love you"s, 8 flatuations, 7 errands to run, 6 hiny pats, 5 minutes in ecstasy!!!  4 calls from work, 3 loads of laundry, 2 empty beer cans and a French maid's outfit, just for me!

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 11 gifts for wrapping, 10 cards to be sent, 9 "I love you"s, 8 flatuations, 7 errands to run, 6 hiny pats, 5 minutes in ecstasy!!!  4 calls from work, 3 loads of laundry, 2 empty beer cans and a French maid's outfit, just for me!

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 12 hungry relatives, 11 gifts for wrapping, 10 cards to be sent, 9 "I love you"s, 8 flatuations, 7 errands to run, 6 hiny pats, 5 minutes in ecstasy!!!  4 calls from work, 3 loads of laundry, 2 empty beer cans...         and a French maid's outfit, just for me! ;-)

Grasscut's "Lights":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqLETuiXJDU 

 

 

A blog, a blog and nothing but a blog

 

I got back home a little less than a week ago and this week I’ve been playing catch up.  While playing catch up, I found myself in another game, that just seemed like a time waster at the time.  So as I was doing my laundry I opened what I thought was an empty dryer and began to pull out the filter, located just inside the door.  As I did this, I saw what looked like a quarter quickly fall in.  I was hustling about in fast mode and this brought everything to an abrupt stop.  I was a little irritated by the interruption and then...

I thought fondly of a teacher that used to live on my street as a child.  He and his wife were an elderly couple I’d visit on my wanderings.  I’d stop in and check on them.  In my elementary mind at the time, I assumed they looked forward to these visits as much as I did but I kinda laugh a little now as I wonder if he didn’t see me more as a Dennis the Menace type.  See, I’d show up and want to look at his wife’s latest painting, that she’d be working on.  I’d ask a ton of questions and tell them of my latest adventures and then, he would give me a brain teaser and tell me to come back when I figured it out.  Today, I smile as I think that’s a pretty nifty way of getting a kid, like I was, to go away suddenly and quietly and keep them away for a good long while if you found the right riddle.  Still, he did occasionally see me, out and about and ask me if I’d yet figured out the puzzle.  If I hadn’t, he’d help clue me in.  So maybe he enjoyed our friendship as much as I did.  To this day I don’t know.  He was probably close to 80 and left this planet a long, long time ago but I won’t forget that he instilled a hunger in me for answers and a belief in myself.  He never once let me feel broken like I needed to be fixed just curious about my thought process and how he might help guide me.  He gave me the belief that I could figure out just about anything.  I suppose he was my Obi Wan Kenobi, even if, I was just a menace.  

So back to the present I was, and seeing the dryer annoyance, as a little less annoying.  I considered it more a challenge, like an up leveled game of “Operation”.  I grabbed a ruler as my best substitute tool for tweezers big enough to do get down in there and relieve the dryer of, that quarter, which turned out to be a nickel.  I was able to clean out some other stuff, like a guitar pick. Gee Wholly, I wonder where that musta come from?  I also got some things the previous owner of my home must have lost along the way.  There was a piece of plastic from, I suspect a dress shirt's collar and a metal chain, a possible light pull? I was down to the last strange thing I could make out in the light of the flashlight I was holding.  It was what appeared to be a drill bit.  My technique shaky as I clumsily went for it, only to butter finger and dropped the ruler.  It would have been nice to hear the buzzer from that old game of operation as I said some things I’m not so proud of saying and needed it edited out.  Dan, upon hearing those choice words that slipped out of me came out to investigate.  Then he Macgyvered the shop vac by taping the entrance of the hose into a smaller hole, stuffed in some latex tubing and voila, he had created a tiny vacuum, perfect size to slip in there and get out that last piece.  The game was won and lucky me, I was able to move on in my "To do list".  

Why do I share this?  Because I learned a new trick and you may one day need to evolve it into your own circumstances.  I also share this because it’s so easy to be in the get it done mode but the real living comes from the experiences, what we learn, how we are changed and the relationships that we experience along the way.  It’s like this thing someone said to me over the summer.  They told me about how they asked a paratrooper if they were ever afraid their parachute would not open and they replied,  "No, if that happened I would have the whole rest of my life to figure it out.”  I suppose once they did, they’d have a fantastically, inspiring story to tell to others too, as well as some lessons to build on.  It's so easy to see the distractions and hurdles as just that and get angry or feel hurt somehow, instead of seeing them as other special moments in our lives that we can enjoy right along with the rest if we'd only stop trying to live up to our perceived ideas and those of others, of what our lives should be.