Archive for December, 2011

Believing IS Seeing

NEVER THE OTHER WAY AROUND! Isn’t that what this season is all about?  The ability to believe in something bigger than ourselves must FIRST begin in our hearts or that belief is sure to fail.

Believe in what your heart is saying

Hear the melody that’s playing

There’s no time to waste

There’s so much to celebrate

Believe in what you feel inside

And give your dreams the wings to fly

You have everything you need

If you just believe.

We wrapped up our Christmas celebration at the home of my mother’s sister.  The last few days have seen sickness, some frustration, and I believe a LOT of love.  Christmas Eve, we had our immediate family celebration.  Alyssa was not feeling well but by the time the celebration began, she was well enough to eat a pickle and a deviled egg.  Not my first choice after having a sour stomach but she kept it down.  Alex also was feeling under the weather but came later and opened his gifts by himself.

Something new this year (prompted by the craziness of Santa’s busy schedule) was the exchanging of names to fill each other’s stockings.  Some of us grumbled not knowing what to get each other but in the end, I think it worked out well and I hope the tradition continues.  People just had to use their imagination (if they have one).  I was pleased with my stocking stuffers choices.

Christmas Eve mass was even earlier than the 11PM of years past.  I was pleased to see some more male voices come up to the loft as Chad and I are typically the sole men in the choir.  Cousin Dan from Sandusky, JJ (a wonderful tenor), and a few others joined us. Really glad for that because some of the rafter reachers wold have drowned us out for sure.  Apparently, what  must have been a traditional piece in years past was revisited.  “The Bells of St. Mary” hopefully will become another fitting tradition along with “For Unto Us A Child Is Born.”

Ater Chad dropped me off after mass, Mom came out and told us that she had to take Dad yet again to the ER.  Complaining of stomach and chest pains and diarrhea.  So we all headed to the hospital.  I won’t say “fortunately”, but it could have been worse than dehydration.  He had to have two units of IV fluids pumped into him.  This year has been just a BIT scary and hopefully soon, we can get some answers as to what is going on.  But until then, I personally need to really focus on  stepping back when things get out of control.

After getting 4-5 hours of sleep, I had planned on attending services at the church being ministered by my pal who just continues to amaze me.  I was so psyched that I did because he seemed to be surprised that I did.  As an added present, he sang the beautiful “Mary, Did You Know?”  Chris has such a tremendous voice that when he uses it gives each listener a extraordinary gift!  It is also so inspiring to see how much he has personally come to accept his savior…a beautiful sight.  I was so thankful that I got to see the people I choose to include in my extended family on one of the most joyous days of the year.

DInner Christmas Day was served at Jeff’s kitchen. Before that however, Shelby sprained her ankle pretty badly when she climbed the stairs at my house in the dark.  She had to be taken to have it checked out for severity.

Today, the celebration continued at the Maxwell Country Estate where both of Mom’s siblings and their families gathered.  I always enjoy being regaled by stories of their youth and today was no exception.  Jeff, Alicia, and I played Words With Friends via iPhone or in my case iPod.  My oldest brother CHEATS with an app that actually says “Cheats With Friends.”  Later, Dan and Carla tried to teach some of us how to play Mah’Jong.  If I had been lucky enough to draw some good tiles in the three rounds we played… Of course, if we had had more time to play I might have caught on.

I hope you all are having a beautiful holiday season full of love and true belief.

A Break From The Chaos

So glad that I got to take in 2 SUPER shows last weekend amid all the hectic goings on otherwise.  As I pointed out in my last post, Nuncrackers was hilarious, kudos once agin to to Mare for going the extra mile by steppin out on stage to fill the role of Sister Amnesia as well as serving as director!  Yesterday, I was lucky enough to take in my other home away from home’s production of one of MY favorite holiday gems LIVE ON STAGE!  I know that I have mentioned my family’s extreme love of A Christmas Story.  Each year to get a viewing in, I have to stay up after mass and catch one of the showings during TBS’ 24-hour marathon while everyone else is all settled in for a long winter’s nap.  This year, Christmas Eve mass is even earlier so I should be able to catch the midnight show!

Seeing the show on stage ALMOST made up for that one viewing!  Things have been crazy around the house the last few weeks so I was not able (or did not take the time) to make reservations before all 6 performances were sold out.  This has not happened for a scheduled WCCT show since the 1978 production of Fiddler on the Roof! I know of at least one NON-scheduled show that was a sell out, but I won’t go there (something about a karaoke). In any case, my vocal coach who played Ralphie’s mother made arrangements for me to attend.  They had to turn 20 people away who had called the reservation line.

Almost everything from the movie was brought to wonderful life in front of our eyes.  The tire changing episode, the rattle trap furnace battles, Randy’s mummification with the arms that would not stay down, the “Fra-JEE-lay” leg lamp, the Bumpuses’ dogs (unseen but heard), the “triple dog dare,” and of course the “official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle! With a compass in the stock and a thing which tells time.”  My  only qualm was the absence of the original soundtrack as Ralphie and friends are being chased by the notorious Scut Farcas.  Everyone on stage perfectly captured the essence of the characters being portrayed from the adult Ralphie down to little Drew.  But I have to make note of the two brilliant actresses.  Tiff was her typical showstopping brilliant as Ms. Shields with her margin marking quill.  Seriously, anytime she is on stage the audience is in store for a treat!

I had never before seen Kathrine on stage; however, she was extraordinary!  Her total presence on stage was wondrous!  Her facial mannerisms, her voice, each little quirk and nuance MADE Mrs. Parker a delight to see.  Her chemistry with The Old Man was one of many highlights of the show!

Now here is a bit of some of my favorite scenes in the movie or the complete theatrical trailer which I have never before seen:

If you can see this, then you might need a Flash Player upgrade or you need to install Flash Player if it's missing. Get Flash Player from Adobe.

A Day of Performances

I was fortunate enough to take in two musical performances today.  It began as I attended the dress rehearsal of my nieces’s elementary Christmas program.  A Bug’s Christmas was adorable.  2nd Grader Alyssa had a speaking role as a wood nymph.  Before the show began, she caught a glimpse of my from the risers and waved to me.  Although it was at times difficult to understand what the 70+ kids were singing, it was quite fun.  My favorite segment was the “12 Bugs of Christmas.”

Tonight, I had promised Mare Mare that I would man the ticket table for the Village Players’ production of Nuncrackers.  I had the opportunity to see and participate in a production of the original Nunsense back I still can’t believe 20 years ago! on my high school senior trip!  I did not know that I would be making punch and setting up for the opening night after party as well.  While taking the money from a couple and hoping they enjoyed the show, a gentleman commented in a rather gruff, opinionated tone:  “We’ll try.”  I said that sounded like a comment Mr. Potter would make.

I must say if you want to continue your holiday celebrations with a good hearty laugh then this show is for you.  Nuns singing a grab bag of tunes.  A scatter-brained amnesiac sister.  A Julia Child-inspired cooking segment.  A version of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet not to be missed.  VERY strong singing! BRAVO Mare (who doubled as director and last minute actress), cast, and crew! A phenomenal production all around!  Soon, very soon.  Fourteen months is FAAAAAARRRRRRR tooooo LOOOOOOOOOONG for me to be off stage.  I hear that The Sound of Muc (err…) Music is coming for next holiday season.

But it was totally enthralling to settle down with many of my friends after the show and meeting some people that I have heard a lot about!  Just walking into the theatre made me realize that I have been away too long.  The Huber really is the gem of the area!

Say…. FART

No.. honestly, the photographer for our big Jamiahsh family portrait used that in an attempt to get a few of the more rambunctious models to cooperated.  A certain young man chose to say “gingivitis” instead (bad teeth, Noah?).  In any case, today was the big family portrait day.  It probably has been a good 10 years since the last one.  Looking at the old one, there are a few people it was deemed necessary to delete for one reason or other and Alex for one had those monkey ears hanging out and I still had a reasonable amount of hair on my head plus a few extra pounds (now it is the opposite on both counts).  There have also been a few additions to the family so it all balances out.  The last picture was more a photo of the children for the parents’ Christmas present.  This one included all 17 (or is it 18?) of us.

The day began at mass.  I was not aware that the choir sang this morning (it is not the third Sunday of the month.  Guess I should look at the schedule a bit more closely).  The choir master came down and told me to come up to the loft.  I was shocked to see Chad (who had just had gall bladder surgery on Thursday up there.  Better than expected but he did not do much.  I KNOW that the next time the choir sings is Christmas Eve at 9:30PM mass.  A half-hour earlier than normal (hope the Children’s mass at 7 is quick since we sing carols at 9).

Then it was off to break the camera.  It actually went quacked than I thought i had.  We arrived around noon and were finished by 12:20.  I think the most troublesome one was my 15 year old godson who really was not appreciative of being torn away from his Fortress of Solitude.  We asked him if he would do better if we showed him a picture of his girlfriend.  Still amazes me that he has found the time to be social enough for a girlfriend.  Guess there is someone for everyone.  Rather humorous with about 10 photographers offering placement suggestions.  Not me… I just went with the flow.  Wonder if she can photoshop a bit of hair to cover the glare that is sure to come. 😉

Today was also the combined three-store Christmas party.  Not for me… not that I am not a sociable person, someone needed to stay behind and run the store.  We now have Noble Romans pizza at the store.  The sign out front says “Made Fresh Daily.”  Apparently, we had a customer who took the sign a bit too literally as he called to place an order.  We are NOT a pizza parlor and do not deliver.  You have to buy and bake at home 😉  Kind of reminded me of the customer who called and inquired on our availability of breasts.  As reward for staying behind,  a pizza, 2 liter, and leftover cookies were delivered to me to take home.  We also have a stand up mascot of Noble Romans at the front of the store to greet the customers.  I do recall back in the day that  there was a Noble Romans in the Fort and vaguely remember said mascot in television ads.  I remember the tag for Godfather’s Pizza which was the apropos “Pizza You Can’t Refuse” but that is another chain.

Well… off to bed.  Early start tomorrow.

Not As Good As Others

Well as I am often reminded after wishing customers a good day: “They are all good just (all together now) some are better than others.”  I think that this year has taught me that there are times that test us but with the help of family, the best of friends and the power of HIM above, we manage to get through them even (often times) better for the experience.

This past week, my Dad was back in the hospital.  At least he was in the right place at the right time as he was at his doctor’s office for a follow-up and ended up spending the next two nights and one day in the luxurious accommodations of our area hospital.  After getting him checked out, I had to take him across the street to the medical center for his appointment with a specialist.  I learned something new about his condition: one of the arteries in his neck is 60% blocked.  Unfortunately, physicians do nothing unless it is at 80% or more.  I’m beginning to think that this just might be the crux of his problems.  Not knowing how it feels physically, I can see where it is having an effect on his mental health.  The specialist said he would see him in another year and sent him on his way.  Seems to be the response of the day.  In any case he had a CT scan done today, has a stress test next week, and to the VA on Thursday.  Think that is why he asked his sister to come up from California who arrived last night 😉

Prayerfully, Chad seems to be doing well.  Yesterday, he went in to have his gall bladder removed.  His friend called here about 10AM before he went “under the knife” and by one, my brother was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing wonderfully.  He got to come home a few hours after as well.

I received a Facebook comment yesterday from BooBoo who “Hopes that the Jamiahsh family has investments in the hospital.”  After this year, I think we have our own private rooms with engraved beds. 😀

And thanks to my pal-brother who happened to be in the ER the other night and was there for them as he, himself, was checking on another friend.