Welcome to my head!

This is where I store the "extra" stuff in my head.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I had an epithany today about my piano music.  More specifically, my fear of playing the piano in front of real, live people.  I've been taking lessons since January, and my teacher thinks I'm talented and that I play well.  (I have the email to prove it. ) My husband and kids love to hear me practice and I'm okay playing for them.  But I get crazy nervous about playing in front of other people.  My hands shake, I lose my place, I get hot and feel like I'm going to throw up.  So imagine my surprise when,  about a month ago,  my teacher asked me to play in a music festival in front of a judge and I said yes.  I'm terrified.  She KNOWS I'm terrified. Yet I'm practicing on my pieces daily.  I have to play 2 MEMORIZED pieces of music in front of a judge or two and that person or persons is going to JUDGE my playing.  They are going to tell me what I did wrong and how I sounded.  They are going to GRADE my performance.  Admittedly, I've been having second thoughts.  I had a hard time playing for my own mother when she was at my house. And she LOVES me!  And then, today, I had an epithany in the kitchen while I was making my lunch.  I was thinking about the contest, again, and getting ready to sit down to practice a little bit before I headed back to work.  Here is what occurred to me:   Do I REALLY care about what the judges say about my playing?  If I mess up, are they going to fire me?  Are they going to forbid me to ever take another piano lesson as long as I live? Are they going to shoot me for missing a note?  Am I going to let some strangers opinion distort my love of playing the piano?  Are they going to show up at my house and take my piano away from me?  Of course not!  I take piano lessons, not because I am forced too, but because I LOVE too!  I can make music and music is a gift to be given away!  So now, in the 2 and a half months I have left before the contest, I am going to perfect the pieces I am to play. I will walk into that room, sit down at that piano, and give those judges the best gift I can!  I'm going to make them cry!!

Robin Hood and Under the Mountain

I watched  two movies over the weekend.  AND I treated myself to another viewing of Charlie St. Cloud with Zac Efron.  YUMMY! Just sayin...

Robin Hood, starring Russel Crowe, seemed long and drawn out to me.  This version is supposed to be what happened BEFORE he was the famous bandit. Russel's character is fighting in the Crusades with the King when the King is killed in battle.  "Robin", along with a few of his friends,  also fighting with the Crusades, decide to leave then and there, since the King is dead.  They stumble upon the real Robin Hood in the woods, whose task is to take the crown back to Notingham. There was a brief battle before Russel's Robin arrived, where  the real Robin Hood is killed.  Russel's Robin assumes Hood's identity, and he and his men take the crown back. It's the only way they can get home. Maid Marrion, who in this version was already married to Robin Hood, knows he's an imposter, but she and Robin Hood's father play it off for the good of the kingdom.    The acting was good, there were some great battle scenes, but all in all, I didn't really care for it. It took me 3 days of starting and stopping it to get through it.  I prefer the Robin Hood starring Kevin Costner.  Maybe it's all about the eye candy?  :)

Under the Mountain was a gamble and a surprise.  I had rented it for the kids, not expecting much.  It's about twins who possess special powers and they need to work together to use those powers to save the world.  The special effects were great, as was the story line.  It was fast paced, well acted and well written. My kids liked it, too. 

I give Robin Hood a 2 and a half on the Melscale, and I give Under the Mountain a 3 and a half.  You can be your own judge!

Carpe' diem!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole

This casserole is a staple on my Thanksgiving table.  It's more like a dessert.  Even if you don't like sweet potatoes, I promise you will like this one.  ( I hate sweet potatoes!)

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 large cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
2 eggs beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar, less if preferred
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Mix all ingredients well. Put in a greased casserole and top with the following mixture:

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 stick butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Cut butter into remaining ingredients and sprinkle on top of sweet potato mixture in casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Caramel Apple Dessert

This was a new addition to my Thanksgiving table this year, and it was a big hit!  I hope you enjoy it! Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of it before my family dove into it!  It's gorgeous, trust me on this. :)

Caramel Apple Dessert

60 Vanilla Wafers, finely crushed.  About 2 cups.
1/3 c melted butter
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/4 cups milk, divided
1 (8oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed, divided
2 pkg (3.4 oz each) Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 EACH red and green apple, chopped
1/4 cup chopped nut topping (ice cream topping)

MIX wafers and butter and press into a 13x9 inch pan
BEAT cream cheese, sugar and 1/4 milk with mixer until blended.  Stir in 1 cup Cool Whip; spread over crust.
BEAT pudding mixes and remaining milk with whisk for 2 min. Stir in 1/4 cup caramel topping.  Spoon over cream cheese layer; top with remaining Cool Whip.
REFRIGERATE 5 hours until firm.  Top with apples, nuts and remaining caramel topping just before serving.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Life As We Know It

Life As We Know It

Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel (YUMMY!) are 2 single adults who become caregivers to their shared god-daughter when the child's parents die in an accident.  Holly (Heigl) and Eric (Duhamel...did I say YUMMY yet? ) meet when they are set up on a blind date by the friends, who later become the parents of Sophie.  The date is disastrous and they actually never make it out of the driveway.  It sets the scene for years of dislike for each other, despite always being at the same parties and celebrations due to their mutal friends.  Then the inevitable happens...or maybe we saw it coming...the parents of baby Sophie are killed in a car accident and  much to Holly and Eric's surprise, they find themselves legal guardians of her. Despite their dislike for each other,  they move in together to take care of Sophie , all the while trying to live seperate lives and trying to ignore the chemistry between them.  Yes, there are some funny scenes, but for the most part, I found it to be a sad movie and a tad long with a running time of 1 hr. 52 minutes.  I have to admit, though, that Josh's dimples made it worth it!  All in all, I give it a 3.5 on the MelScale.