Thursday, September 30, 2010
Speaking of Halloween, I will be officially putting up my display outside and decorating inside over the next few days. I refuse to put anything up until the first of October, and then I go nuts!
Does your family get in the car during October and go around looking at the displays, like folks do at Christmas time? A lot of the same people who go nuts with the lights at Christmas also like to do it up at Halloween, and there are some pretty creative things going on out there. In fact....take a look at my next post to see what one ingenious decorator did with one of my songs!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
In Tennessee: www.PlanetChristmas.com
In Wyoming: http://www.ajschristmasmagic.webs.com/
In Texas: http://twiceshy.webs.com/
Also in Texas: www.mainchristmasinelgin.com. and http://www.elgintx.com/xmas.asp
In Georgia: http://larrydrum.home.comcast.net/~larrydrum/christmashome.html
In North Carolina: www.LakeParkLights.com
Also in North Carolina: www.highcountrylights.com
In Washington: www.woodinvillewonderland.com
In Minnesota: http://www.fairmontlights.com/
In Pennsylvania: www.rephswinterwonderland.webs.com
Also in Pennsylvania:
In North Carolina: http://pilotmountainchristmas.com/
In Virginia: http://www.fredericksburglights.com
In Indiana: www.joneslights.com
And in New Hampshire: www.ClaremontChristmasLights.com
I can't wait to meet all these folks!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Isn't she great? Now she needs a band!!
Saturday, November 27th
The Mitchell Homestead
16 Francis Street
Claremont, NH 03743
Wednesday, December 1
The Toole Castle
Wells, United Kingdom
Friday, December 3
The Factory at Franklin Shopping Experience
230 Franklin Rd
Franklin, TN 37064-2256
Saturday, December 4
Christmas by the Tracks
Several performances at the gazebo throughout the day
and that evening a performance at
The Dennis Residence
806 N Main St.
Elgin, TX 78621
Sunday, December 5
The Brown Residence
6607 Avenue S
Lubbock, Texas 79412
Tuesday , December 7
The Hurlle Homestead
1003 N.W. 24th St.
Fruitland, Id 83619
Wednesday December 8
The Zembruski Residence
23620 NE 183rd St
Woodinville, WA 98077
Saturday, December 11
The Bicknase Homestead
1027 North Hampton street
Fairmont, Minnesota 56031
Sunday, December 12
The Jeffries Homestead
2112 NE Waterfield Drive
Blue Springs, Missouri(east side of Kansas City)
Monday, December 13
The Home of Indiana Jones (been dying to say that!)
11720 Gatwick View Dr.
Fishers, IN 46037
Tuesday, December 14
The Reph Homestead
198 Firehouse Lane
Nazareth, PA. 18064
Wednesday, December 15
The Moyer Residence
117 West Penn. Ave.
Cleona, PA 17042
Thursday, December 16
Special appearance at Paul's Bakery in Fredericksburg...more details to come~
The Shank Homestead
Friday, December 17
Annual Driveway Party at the Joyce House
Sponsored by XTRA 99.1
Saturday, December 18
The Bottomley Estate
8010 Glade Valley Road
Ennice, NC 28623
Sunday, December 19
The Brown Homestead
4019 Lake Charles Way
Indian Trail, NC 28079
Monday, December 20
The Charpiat Mountain Home
2 miles east of Old Highway 52 on NC Highway 268 East in Pilot Mountain North Carolina.
Tuesday, December 21 (the first day of WINTER and the official RIBBON CANDY DAY)
The Greer Residence
114 University Drive
Conway, SC 20526
Wednesday, December 22
The Drum Compound (Larry and his neighbors)
4730 Bryn Ridge Ct.
Cumming, Ga. 30028
Thursday, December 23
The Walker Residence
1013 Mare Bello DrWinter Park, FL 3279
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
The Mitchells, Claremont, NH: Children's Hospital at Dartmouth
The Browns, Lubbock, TX: South Plains Food Bank.
The Hurles, Fruitland, ID: Food drive for two local Senior Centers and CASA, Court Appointed Special
Avocates for children.
The Zembruskis, Woodinville, WA: Special Olympics of Washington
The Jones' of Torrington, WY: The ALS Association
The Charpiats of Pilot Mt., NC: The Pilot Mountain Outreach Center
The Greers of Conway, SC: St. Jude's Children's Hospital
The Drums and their neighbors in Cumming, GA: Family Haven a local Forsyth County battered woman's (and children's) support center, shelter and legal aid group. We will be collecting cash and supplies for their shelter.
The Bicknase's in Fairmont, MN: The Salvation Army
The Moyer's of Cleona, PA: Shining Light http://shining-light.com/.
The Jones' of Fishers, IN: Humane Society for Hamilton County, a non-kill humane society that is very
The Bottomleys of Ennice, NC: Glade Creek Volunteer Fire Department
The Walkers of Winter Park, FL: Give Kids the World where a lot of the Make A Wish Children go when they
wish to go to Disney World
The Jeffries' of Blue Spring, MO: The Salvation Army
The Browns of Indian Trail, NC: the Union County Christmas Bureau:
XTRA 99.1 in Gloucester, VA: The Peninsula Food Bank.
And the Holiday by the Tracks event in Elgin will help to support various local non-profits through the sale of decorated Christmas trees.
And coming soon, an announcement about how YOU can help a major children's charity during this tour....
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I've had conversations like this with young people before, and it always drives me kinda crazy because I wish that someone like me had spoken to me 30 years ago. What I mean is...I wish someone older had really encouraged me to GO FOR IT in a big way and not be afraid.
I was not raised to GO FOR IT. Without disparaging my parents, who did, in fact, give me the gift of piano lessons, I have to admit that they were not the type of people who thought of the possibilities outside of our home. I was discouraged from going to college ( I went anyway, thanks to my sister) and the first time I was invited to go to another town to sing (at a church) was when I was 19 years old and my mother absolutely refused to let me go because she was afraid something bad might happen to me. I don't want to go any more into my upbringing than that; I just want to say that I wasn't raised with "wings." I was raised with fear. Wings were something I had to grow on my own, and it took me a looooong time to develop the confidence that is needed to make it big in the performing arts world.
When I did get the chance to go to college, I was told by several of my high school teachers that I should study Music Education, because I should have a "fall back plan." I wish I'd never heard those words, because (as I've learned later in life) they are based on fear. You're afraid you're gonna fail at what you're good at and what you love, so you plan something solid for when you do fail. You know what? If you have a fall-back plan, you fall back. You never work hard enough at your dream to make it come true.
It ended up that though I spent three years in the Music Ed. program, I never got a degree in Music Ed. I dropped out after my Junior year when I accidentally became a radio deejay (that's a story for another time). I worked at a radio station and sang at a piano bar for a year, and when I went back to school and got my degree it was a Bachelor's in Music. I still had a fall-back plan, but now it was radio and not teaching.
At the age of 26, having worked in radio full-time for several years and singing "on the side," I finally got up the guts to leave Maine and move to Nashville and try to make it there. I had radio as my fall-back plan (oh, and a husband by that time too!). I was so terrified and intimated by all the excellent musicians around me that I hardly dared to open my mouth to say I was a songwriter, let alone go on auditions. I finally did audition for the famed Bluebird Cafe, got a slot on open mic night and was received well enough that I was invited back. Meanwhile, the radio station I worked for went bankrupt and, in a panic because I needed that fall-back plan, I got another radio job outside of Nashville which involved our leaving the state and I never got that chance to play at the Bluebird again. Fear, fear, fear. If I'd known then what I know now, I would have lived on the street to get the chance to play at the Bluebird again. Who knows what might have happened?
I'm not sure if I'm expressing myself eloquently enough here, but I guess the real point I'm trying to make is that if you are reading this, and you have a dream, you need to be courageous, not fearful. Forget the dang fall-back plan. Yes, you need to earn a living, but do something (like waitressing, if need be) that you are not invested in and spend ALL of your free time working on your passion to make your dream come true. There is no blueprint for making it in the performing arts world, but if you are dedicated, courageous and willing to take chances, you will find your way.
So I never got to be as famous as Madonna (who I believe does not have a fearful bone in her body) but I finally got the guts to make the leap and go into music full-time just 15 years ago...and I have never regretted it. My only regret is that I was not courageous enough when I was young to really go for the gold. Now, however, I've learned how to take risks and go out on limbs to try to make my career bigger...which is why I'm going on this nutty tour in December. I'm still hoping for that hit record, and if it never happens then at least I will know when I'm 97 years old that I tried as much as I could and I never gave up, and that's the legacy I leave for my children and maybe my grandchildren.
I'll probably never be invited to speak at a college commencement, but if I did I would say to the graduates: Don't have a fall-back plan!! The world is filled with gifted people who have fallen back. You are young, you are talented and you have no encumbrances....put all of your energies into developing your talent into a career and take every chance and every risk and never sit by the phone afraid to pick it up and make that call, and never be afraid to walk through that door or ask that person for help. BE COURAGEOUS.
I would end that speech with my favorite quote in the whole world, and I hope you take it to heart....
"Of what use is a dream if not a blueprint for courageous action?"