For Chip: He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. —Unknown

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Silver Springs

Stevie was a colorful character and best known for her contributions to Fleetwood Mac.  The song Silver Springs written by Stevie Nicks was a favorite of mine years ago.  I understood that  it was linked to the relationship of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham who were both in Fleetwood Mac.  My friend Cali sang most weekend nights at a Mexican Restaurant and I asked if she would add the song Silver Springs to her set list. She faithfully sang it during her third set.  She had an ability to sound like the artist and I enjoyed hearing her sing that song. 

Silver Springs was written by Stevie Nicks after her relationship with Lindsey Buckingham ended.
The meaning of the  song  is apparent and his rebuttal song was Go Your On Way.  Stevie  makes it clear in the song  that she doesn't want to know about his new love.  She says she hopes that everytime he hears the song that he will be haunted by her.  Apparently the two had trouble discussing their relationship but had no trouble expressing it in music.   When you watch their interaction in the song you can see the sexual tension  even though they have broken up.  It is obvious that the feelings are still there.

Stevie and  Lindsey went to high school and college together but both later dropped out of college.  They had some rough years with a lack of money.  Nicks' parents told her they would support her if she would move back home but not if she stayed in LA.  She did not give up and finally got signed to Fleetwood Mac.  She later wrote the song Silver Springs and thought of the name  after passing a highway exit sign while traveling in Maryland.  It has been mentioned that she used Silver Springs as an alias when traveling.  She thought the song would be on the album Rumours but it was on the B side of Go Your Own Way.  The audience enjoyed the interaction between the two musicians as they tried to express their feelings with various songs that they each had written about their lengthy relationship.  In one performance Stevie started to cry at the end of Silver Springs and Lindsay had to finish the song.  If you have suffered a heartbreak you can easily get lost in the music and sympathize with her pain.

Stevie's trail of relationships did not stop with Lindsey.  She eventually had an affair with Mick Fleetwood and after breaking up with him he married Stevie's best friend named Sara.  The song Sara came out of that relationship. There is even a line in the song that refers to another relationship with Don Henley.  'When you build your house, call me home" is thought to be a  message to him.

Songs that are built on emotion or  experiences are very powerful. Musicians write the best songs after a romantic breakup or some other life changing experience.  Does love really leave an imprint on your heart?  Can love live with success?  Beautiful songs produced by Stevie Nicks are intriguing and symbolic.  I hope she found love. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mad Max

Carla & Jeff
Max looking for a toy

 Olive (a friend) and Max (in red)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All American Food and the Chase

James is the pickiest eater of the family.  The family always based our food choices on restaurants where he would go.  There were only a hand full of restaurants that he would consider like Cheesecake Factory.  Even if it was some ones birthday we would consult him. I cannot talk about James because I have my own hang ups with food.

The problem with the picky eater may lie a little deeper than what meets the eye.  I have friends that have jokes about what I will and will not eat.  First I do not eat Thai food.  I know it comes in ratings of spicy.  No thanks, I pass.  I also was introduced to a popular Mediterranean restaurant.  I did not  know what any of the foods were, could not recognize any resemblance to  familiar items, and had to pass on most foods even though a buffet.  When someone claps their hands at hummus I do a double take.  I cringe at the color, consistency, and I have to be honest that I have no clue what it tastes like.  Then there is sushi.  Someone recently tried to organize an excursion to a sushi restaurant.  Yikes I do not eat raw fish.  The idea actually seems a bit petrifying.  Even though I am not a vegetarian I do not like to see fish hooked and have a slow death.  The idea of someone hitting a fish over the head to knock them out gives me nightmares.  When I visited Minneapolis in May I was bombarded by all types of Walleye fish burgers and salads.  Just the name is enough to make you gag.  I pictured a fish with a big eye looking at me on top of a hamburger bun.  I do like Mexican food and it is abundant  in Texas.  When it comes to food in general just give me all American food.  While watching Hugh Hefner's Girls Next Door reality show the girls were eating at Hugh's former girlfriend's house in Colorado.  When Barbi Benton's chef started passing out food Bridget cringed at the unusual salad and said she just wanted all American food.  Yes I do have something in common with those girls.

I think the problem started when I was a child.  My mother insisted I drink milk.  I did not  like the taste then and I do not like the taste now.  My mother would put the glass on the table and  I would eat really slowly and hope that she would walk away.  When she left the room I ran to the sink and poured the milk out.  When she served me boiled okra that had so many seeds it was nauseating to look at she would make me sit for long periods of time hoping I would finish my food.  I was a stubborn little kid and it's hard to make someone choke down slimy okra. I sometimes let it slide down my throat but it was not a pleasant experience.  My parents thought no food should be wasted even if it was disgusting.

It is tricky having kids and making sure they eat what is healthy.  I had trouble insisting on vegetables when I am not too fond of them.  I made an attempt to offer the food groups and two of them liked milk.  One son has not liked it since birth which created a special bond among us.

I never realized until recently that there is a support group for picky eaters.  Some people eat only a handful of items.  It is called SED (Selective Eating Disorder).  I wonder if my parents would have felt guilty if they had known about this?  Foods can be eliminated based on texture or aroma?  Also a contributing factor can be color.  That would cover two foods I dislike.  The texture of okra is intolerable as is the color of hummus. Somehow I doubt my parents would have allowed me to participate.

Recently we were offered an incentive program through our insurance at work.  If you exhibit one of the five diseases and follow the requirements of talking to a counselor three times you get $100.  Is that unusual that you will be paid for an illness rather than staying healthy, exercising, and eating right?  Is your information really private?  What if we go to another employer and he has access to one of our diseases?  Since when did employees get rewarded for poor health?

I did enjoy the night James and I waited for In-N-Out Burger for an hour in Frisco after it had been open a few days.  We got in lines of three rows of cars and waited to get in the bigger line that would take us to the window for payment and receipt of food. Burgers are definitely on my acceptable food list but the experience was what we were going for.   It was not really about the burger but was about the feeling you get when you get through the line and actually have the food in your possession. Oh yes the burger was great but we got so much out of the achievement before we got there.  

I saw a sign for Krispy Kreme donuts.  I haven't had one in years.  I thought about how amazing it would be to taste one.  Sometimes after it is consumed you regret it but the act of anticipation is joy. 

I was recently asked by a friend why I had waited for over an hour for the iPhone 4S.  Who wants to wait for something to be delivered weeks later?  We are a "now" society that wants immediate results.  I'm a librarian that wants my articles within minutes.  The same idea applies to waiting for a new iPhone, restaurant, concert,  movie, or club. It is an exciting experience and is about meeting the people and going through the slight inconvenience with the group.  I loved watching the Apple employees run around the line cheering and showing such enthusiasm. The pastries that they served were delicious. When I reached the entrance of the store and was waiting to go in it was like heaven. Even though I had nothing in my hands I had not given up and was about to receive my gift.  Like so many things in life the chase may be better than the reward.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Brothers & Friends

Jeff, John Paul, & James

Jeff, Carla, Julie, James, John, Jennifer, & Michael
John and Friends of Meagan Ahlstrom

Wes, Alyson, Lynn, John

John with Jeremy and Album Party
John and Friends

Carla & Julie

John, Jeremy, & Chris

Max & Bella (Max's sister and met accidentally at the dog park)

Carla and Friends

Max, Jeff, & Bella (Max's sister)

John at Jeremy's Wedding

 Monkey & Samuel Jackson (Chip's parents)

 Jeff & Carla & Friends
Chip, Jeff, & James
Jeff & John Paul

Julie, Carla, & Jennifer

John, Carla, & Jennifer

Verdes Family with James, Carla & Jeff

Jeff, Michael, & John Paul

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Salon

It is Saturday night and I am five years old.  My mother is scurrying around and is about to wash my hair.  I remember seeing a commercial about beautiful hair after using Prell.  My mother would wash my hair and then lay out Sunday clothes and pretty shoes for church.  I liked getting pampered and having my hair curled and my nails polished. It was a warm feeling of having someone care about you.                                                                                                                                

I am at the nail salon now on Sunday and I am going to get my eyebrows waxed.  This was not needed when I was eight but now had become a routine.  The nail salon is the same one I go to every few weeks to have my nails done.  I ask to have my eyebrows waxed and am ushered back by someone I do not recognize.  It is a small little room with a bed and I wonder if the sheets are clean.  I quickly ask how long she has been there and she says two months.  Ok that sounds reasonable and she probably came from another salon.  She offers to wax my entire face for just a few dollars more.  I say sure and she starts waxing my forehead.  I really do not think there is any hair on my forehead but she says they do everything on the face . Suddenly I feel a tug in the bang area.  There are a few more tugs but I cannot tell what is happening.  When I ask what is going on she tells me that she got wax in my bangs.  I ask how do they usually remove wax and she says that oil is the only way.  I realize I have a heap of oil all over my bangs.  When I touch my hair it feels like it is wrapped in sticky tape.  I am feeling helpless.  She continues waxing parts of my face that I doubt have microscopic hair.  I talk nervously about how my mother used to use aloe vera for everything.

Suddenly at the end of the session she says she will be right back. How ironic that I had mentioned aloe vera.  When she returns she has a huge leaf and she repeats the word "aloe vera".  It is cold and was taken from the freezer. Its a bonus treatment.  She says aloe vera is for burns.  "Oh really" I say.  For a second I feel like I am at home when my mother used to go outside and  get an aloe vera leaf to fix the problem.  I did not know that nail salons kept plants in the freezer like a biology lab.  I ask what she thinks of laser hair removal and she said that your skin is much too sensitive for laser.  "Really" I say.   "I never thought of my skin as being sensitive".  I ask what she is going to do about the wax in my hair.  She says she will get  it out but it seems to have turned into a dilemma.  I am now picturing a bald spot in the front.  I finally ask if she has a brush or comb and maybe that will work.  She says  "oh yes this is going to do the trick".  She finally hands me a mirror.  I am horrified to see my bangs dripping with oil.  My hair looks black and Halloween scary. Then I notice I do have sensitive skin.  I have two big burns on either side of my chin.  Most people would call the manager.  This is like crying for help in a prison.  I am sure there will be no sympathy.   When they hand you a mirror they always tell you that now you look ten years younger.  I paid and even gave a tip because I wanted to escape while I could still get out alive.  It's been three days and my face looks like it took a spill on concrete with nasty burns.

Is it possible to get nails done and have the same pleasant conversation that you have with a hair dresser.  How's your dog? What is for dinner?  Doing anything this weekend? This is not happening at the nail salon so best just to accept it.  How is it possible to be so focused on your work that you have no emotion with the person you are working with.  This is America where service is valued.  Why do I put up with this?  Could I pay a few dollars more and get someone that cared or would that be out of my price range?  Why must we accept service that lacks the human touch?  Is it possible to experience the same care that I felt in my little house on Columbia in the Heights and enjoy once again the concern that you cannot buy.  I am not asking for much but just some kindness, a little emotion and if I am lucky maybe a smile.  It would be wonderful if it felt like home.

Feels Like Home Lyrics
Artist(Band):Randy Newman

Something in your eyes
Makes me wanna lose myself
Makes me wanna lose myself
In your arms.

There's something in your voice
Makes my heart beat fast
Hope this feeling lasts
The rest of my life.

If you knew how lonely my life has been
And how low I've felt so long.
If you knew how I wanted someone to come along
And change my life the way you've done.

Feels like home to me
Feels like home to me
Feels like I'm on the way back
Where I come from.
Feels like home to me
Feels like home to me
Feels like I'm on the way back
Where I belong.

A window breaks
Down a long dark street
And a siren wails in the night.
But I'm all right
'Cause I have you here with me
And I can almost see
Through the dark there's light.

If you knew how much this moment means to me
And how long I've waited for your touch.
If you knew how happy you are making me.
I never thought I'd love anyone so much.

Feels like home to me
Feels like home to me
Feels like I'm on the way back to where I come from.

Feels like home to me
Feels like home to me
Feels like I'm on the way back where I belong.
Feels like I'm on the way back where I belong. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Brothers & Co.

John & James

Jeff & James

James, Jeff & John

John & Granny in Austin
John & Charlie

Mollie & James