…a new day…

(The following post was written earlier…)

My daughter’s middle name…Kehaulani  is Hawaiian for “morning dew.” Like drops of water clinging softly to a flower…my days begin with thoughts of my beloved daughter. 

Dew Drops

Today was no different, except for the fact that it was unlike any other…for both the Royal Family…and our family.

Delicate tutus will no longer grace my daughter’s lithe body. With pointe shoes in hand she is exiting stage right…a ballerina, and re-entering stage left…a contemporary dancer

While ballet companies are updating their repertoire to include non-classical pieces, they continue to make the bulk of their earnings from the likes of Romeo and Juliette, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Cinderella.

What ballerina doesn’t dream of dancing the lead in these epic tales of romance and drama? But as we all know the fairy tale ending is that only one lucky princess gets the prince. The company’s remaining women dance supporting roles.

While never the leading lady, my daughter has done her share of awesome dancing. She was especially honored to dance wonderful parts in pieces by guesting choreographers who hand-picked their dancers from among the company members. It became increasingly apparent to her, and others, that she was a natural in contemporary dance

Dancer Abby Silva Gavezzoli leads a master cla...

I had the rare opportunity to watch my daughter in dance classes while visiting NYC recently. She spent 6 weeks taking master classes at STEPS ON BROADWAY this summer.

Master classes are not for the novice…or the faint of heart or mind. They are normally taught by dance notables. As an added bonus, my daughter’s instructors were directors of small and large contemporary dance companies. She experienced their high expectations first hand, while sizing up the competition. 

Naturally I’m prejudiced, but my daughter was among the handful of dancers who stood out in each class.

Cheshire Cat

Among my daughter’s fans were a couple of moms who also observed classes in which their daughters were dancing. One remarked to the other “That girl in the purple tank top is an amazing dancer.” To which her companion replied “I know. I’ve been watching her all week.” Smiling like the Cheshire cat in “Alice in Wonderland,” I didn’t let on that it was my daughter about whom they were speaking.

The Russian woman who taught the daily ballet class my daughter took, praised and complimented her. The instructor loved having such a beautiful dancer in her class. Instructors in other classes made similar observations. Four were company directors who asked my daughter to keep in touch, a couple even asking that she send her resume and invited her to take class with their companies.

The future looks bright and promising.

My daughter is finalizing a Fall gig with a choreographer she greatly admires. In August she will audition to dance in a Broadway remake of “An American in Paris,” set to run during 2014-2015. And then, of course, she will be pursuing a dialogue with those artistic directors who thought she might be a good addition to their companies.

At 27 with 11 years of professional ballet experience to her credit, my daughter is confidently heading toward a new horizon in her career as a dancer. 

I wish Catherine and William and their royal son…all the love with which my husband, daughter and me have been blest.

babies are like dew drops…welcomimg the dawn of a bright, new day…

A drop of dew cupped in the leaf of the common...

………hugmamma. 

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daily post challenge: #188…can a camera truly catch a moment in time

In recent months I’ve gone crazy taking pictures. You might say I’ve run amok. That’s what my husband would say. I surely wouldn’t call myself a photographer. That sounds far too lofty for me. I dabble, just as I dabble in writing. Especially since I know very little beyond “point and shoot.”

My shiny, red, Canon Power Shot SD780IS Digital ELPH, is one bad boy when it comes to capturing “life in the moment.” It suits my purposes just fine. And whenever I look at the photos I’ve taken…I’m reliving that “moment in time.” Even if it’s 30, 40 years later. What more could I ask of my camera. What more could anyone ask?

…i’m sure you’ll agree………for your viewing pleasure………

…….hugmamma.  🙂

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tears…of joy

When my husband recounted a conversation he’d had with our daughter this morning, it brought tears to my eyes and laughter to my lips. I couldn’t stop myself from doing either, so I gave in to both.

To celebrate one of the dancer‘s birthdays, her friends, fellow dancers, staged a scavenger hunt throughout town. My daughter and 2 others came up with the list of clues, shared them with Kelsey’s boyfriend, and passed them along to the other dancers who were involved in the hunt.

An example of a Trader Joe's storefront

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As a ruse, Kelsey and her boyfriend were to spend the evening alone. First he told her he wanted to stop at the coffee shop he manages, and where they first met. When they arrived, one of the dancers happened to be there and in conversation passed along the first of the clues. Kelsey was confused but cooperated, with a little nudge from her boyfriend. Driving to Trader Joe’s they were “surprised” to see Kim, another dancer, who dropped the second clue. At this point, Kelsey, a very savvy girl, caught on to the game, and was raring to continue. Along the way, they encountered my daughter, and on it went.

Much to the chagrin of the dancers and friend Heather who was hosting the party following the hunt, Kelsey was ahead of schedule by half-an-hour. Everyone was texting one another to hurry on over to party-central before the birthday girl arrived. Needless to say, she was enthralled with the entire evening’s fun, and her friends were pleased with themselves for having pulled it off.

A man and a woman performing a modern dance.

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The evening was bitter-sweet for Kelsey and her friends, for she will not be returning next year. Instead she will be moving to another state to work with a modern dance company. She’s been a great friend of my daughter’s, but I know they’ll keep in touch for dancers are great that way.

The previous evening our daughter had accompanied another dancer friend, Kim, to a symphony concert. Having played the violin for many years, our daughter has never lost her love of it. Continuing to dance to classical music, keeps her relationship with the instrument a perpetual one. She was quite taken with the guest violinist who performed with the symphony.

Following the concert, our daughter drove to another friend’s home where a party was underway. The group had a great time playing a board game, with which I’m not familiar. Their fun lasted well into the wee hours of the morning. Like Kelsey, Robert, who hosted the game party, will be leaving the ballet to pursue a modern dance career elsewhere.

It amazes me how these young dancers dedicate themselves to their passion, sometimes working 2 or 3 jobs to live their dream. And when they come to a crossroads, as Kelsey and Robert have, they do what they must to continue their journey in pursuit of that dream. Because of their dedication, work ethic, discipline, and unwavering ability to hope, these dancers will be alright. Wherever their paths may lead, they’ve already accomplished more than some folks twice their age. They’ve figured out how to deal with life and its many pitfalls.

So while I’m sad they must part company with good friends, my daughter in particular, I’m happy for the joy they will spread as they make their way among others.

glad for knowing…and sharing hugs…with kelsey and robert…hugmamma.

just when you think…

 

Swan Lake ballet

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My daughter’s had her share of frustrations these last 7 months or so, beginning with having to take a medical leave from her job as a dancer last Fall. That caused her to miss the first performance of the season, Swan Lake, as well as The Nutcracker. Resuming dance in January, she was able to perform in her company’s winter series, “Director‘s Choice,” where she had some nice parts, soloing in one piece, “Postcards from the Boys.” She was also able to dance small variations for the annual Ballet Ball fundraising event.

10.11.22 Carmina Burana fascinó al público en ...

Image by Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires via Flickr

After a 2-week break, she was happily back to work, rehearsing for the upcoming performance of “Carmina Burrana,” the last of the company’s season and a powerful work that includes an adult choir, and a children’s choir, singing along with a full orchestra. The music serves as an inspiring backdrop for the dancers. I’ve seen another company dance the piece, and came away emotionally spent. That’s how tremendous the effect is with the combined efforts of musicians, singers, and dancers flowing from the stage towards the audience. My daughter so looked forward to all the dancing she was prepared to do.

Multiple fractures of the metacarpals (aka bro...

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Yesterday I was shocked when my daughter called and said she had broken her right hand, below the ring finger, continuing down towards the middle of her palm. Falling from a stance on tiptoes, she, and the other dancers, were enacting a move that resembled their having been shot from a cannon. Evidently my daughter’s fall happened quicker than she expected, so her hand hit the floor to brace herself, and took the full weight of her body. She heard a “crunch,” and knew something was askew. Getting up, she immediately knew she’d broken something for she had no feeling in her hand. A visit to a walk-in clinic confirmed her suspicions when an xray was taken.

While she waits to see the orthopedist on Monday, my daughter has much to reflect upon, the physical pain being one. But for a dancer it doesn’t end there. She must now regroup mentally and emotionally. At 25, she’s better equipped to handle such occurrences without being devastated. In her younger years, especially as a student of dance, these setbacks were more difficult to rationalize. Now that my daughter is a professional, having proved herself, and being valued for her contributions to the company as a whole, she can deal with being sidelined better. Not that it’s easy; it’s never easy. Not being able to dance for 3 or more weeks is sheer torture for a dancer, especially one so passionate about it as my daughter.

Because the break is a clean one, my daughter feels the healing time will be quicker. She’s glad it was her right-hand because she’s left-handed. She’s glad it was her hand, and not her foot. She’s glad she has a girlfriend living with her temporarily, having just moved in a few days ago. How timely was that? And when she realized something was amiss, that something was broken, her fellow dancers immediately went into action, getting her an ice-pack, pain-killers, and hovering, offering assistance, and support. And the artistic director, her boss, was at her side, sympathetic and concerned. After he viewed the xray of her broken hand, he asked if she had help at home. Replying that she had a friend with her, he still told my daughter to call him if she needed anything, as did many of the dancers.

Last night a number of people from work were at my daughter’s apartment, dining on pizza and sitting around chatting. As a mom, my heart is warmed knowing she has a family with whom to share her ups and downs. I can’t be everywhere, so I’m glad there are angels always hovering nearby.

Children grow up to assume lives as adults. How they do it is not a mystery, really. It’s just putting one foot in front of the other, knowing that every day presents new possibilities. There’ll always be challenges, but with them come new discoveries…about life…about themselves. We’ve all been there, done that, and continue to do so. That really is what life’s about, isn’t it?

another challenge…another possibility…hugmamma.

postaday 2011 challenge: has japan’s crisis effected a change in your life?

 

Misawa Air Base Personnel and Family Members h...

Image by DVIDSHUB via Flickr

The challenge by WordPress was for bloggers to think of topic ideas, since the staff feels it’s been a one-way street, with them coming up with the 99 ideas thus far. So I suggested the topic that’s in the title of my post. Here’s the comment I left on WordPress Daily Post Challenge blog.

Have the natural disasters in Japan made a specific difference in your life? If so, what and why? If not, why not?

Living in Washington State, one of the places in the “Ring of Fire,” I’m preparing myself physically, including learning CPR, and mentally, by figuring out what to do…in case. I’m also trying to appreciate everything about the present, loved ones, memories. I’m also reaching out to connect with others in my community…while I can. In the final analysis, people are more important than stuff.

that’s my suggestion for a topic…in fact i’ll be writing about it…hugmamma.

 

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

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Last night Father Brian hosted our “neighborhood” dinner. In attendance were probably 75-80 people who contributed appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts to the potluck meal. We took a favorite Hawaiian meatball dish, as well as a sliced tomato, mozzarella balsamic vinaigrette seasoned salad. Both were gone by night’s end… except for a couple of meatballs which I devoured at home. They were so good!

From the get go, another woman and I immediately connected. I overheard her telling an acquaintance something about ballet. My ears perked up. Stepping forward I asked if someone was involved with ballet, to which the woman replied that her 9-year-old grand-daughter was taking lessons at Pacific Northwest Ballet. Explaining that my daughter dances professionally, our conversation continued in earnest.

My husband and I shared a table with my new friend, her husband, acquaintances of theirs, a young couple, and another gentleman with whom we were already familiar. It’s not often we dine with new people, but my communication skills never fail me. I’m sure readers of my blog have discovered that for themselves. I can talk, and some.

Downtown Seattle, Washington and the Bainbridg...

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Having moved west 3 years ago from Scranton, Pennsylvania, Marilyn and Rich were happily settled near one of their daughters and her family, including 2 grand-children. Another daughter resides in Portland, Oregon with a couple of other grand-children. A very lovely couple, we spoke of life on the east coast, where we’d lived before moving here 13 years ago. We also learned that they had actively participated in their church community, and felt inclined to be a little more laid back now that they were retired.

Looking around at the other tables, I observed that everyone was engaged in lively conversation. Father walked about, chatting, laughing, very comfortable in his role as host. While expected, the transition to business was done without the usual moaning and groaning. In fact, people actively participated in discussions about making the church and its community more relevant in the lives of the church-goers. Some in the group volunteered to form a committee to move this neighborhood gathering to the next level of involvement.

Post church fellowship

Image by Tojosan via Flickr

Funny thing is, my husband and I were at the wrong neighborhood dinner. Our zipcode gathering occurred last week. But, of course, we weren’t turned away. We enjoyed ourselves, and those we met. Now we’ll just have to find our neighborhood community, and work our way into their midst.

leave it to me…hugmamma.     

omg…the sun’s out!!!

View of Mt. McKinley of the Denali National Park.

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Here in the Seattle area, the sun rarely comes calling. This winter it’s stayed away even longer than usual. Is it still lazing in the tropical Hawaiian skies, or warming the high elevations of Mt. McKinley, or is it just refusing to pick up and move? If I were only as agile as the young man in Greek mythology, Icharus, I think, who rode his chariot up to lasso the sun, dragging it downward, closer to earth? Or was it a young Hawaiian boy who did that, housing the sun permanently in the dormant volcano, Haleakala? Sometimes too much education can be confusing. Although this particular myth may have its home in both cultures. Will have to check.

Icarus and Daedalus

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Being unprepared for such an event, especially when the electricity has been out for about 12 hours, I feel like a kid in a candy shop. I don’t know where to go or what to do first. Too many choices, not enough time before darkness settles in again. What am I saying…it’s always dark around here.

I think I’ll just keep blogging until September when the sun is REALLY here!

an arthritic hawaiian who’s like a “fish out of water”…literally……… …..hugmamma.

Looking into Haleakalā Crater

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for sure, outrageous fun!!!

Teatro Zinzanni, a cabaret dinner theater acro...

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Found a YouTube video ofTeatro ZinZanni that I wanted to share with you. As much as I tried to explain its spectacular brand of zaniness in conjunction with great performances by amazing professionals, topped off by tasty eats, I know I didn’t do it justice. You have to see it to believe it. So enjoy an appetizer of the real thing.

Madames e mesieurs (my French?)………………….welcome to Teatro ZinZanni

…hmmm…i may be going again soon…hugmamma.

365 photo challenge: invite

This is a fun challenge, although it’s not always easy to come up with the perfect photo for the “word-du-jour.” But it’s great trying. So if you’d like to join the fun, check out the details on the blog, my life in photos: 365 challenge. She’s always got great stories to go with her pictures.

Teatro Zinzannia blend of Cirque du Soleil and Broadway, fulfills its promise of a night to remember. The fast-paced spectacle caters to adults because of its bawdy humor, but I find it no more objectionable than films that are rated PG-13. When we’ve gone, the master-of-ceremonies, different each time, has embarked on a classy, but definitely gay, modus operandi. God help the men in the audience! They’re easy pickings for some good, old-fashioned, tongue-in-cheek humor. Throughout the show those who have involuntarily “volunteered,” find themselves the center of attention. Women needn’t hold their breaths nor keep their eyes averted, for they’re rarely called upon to make a special appearance. While I’ve relaxed completely, my husband has tried to appear invisible, sitting back into the shadows of our booth. But it’s all in good fun, and nobody is maimed in the delivery of a great show.

Duffy Bishop belts out the music in "Radio Free Starlight" at Teatro ZinZanni. The costumes are gorgeous, colorful, whimsical, over-the-top! Audience members are welcome to dress up as well. In fact, the gift shop is equipped to accessorize those who want feather boas to drape around their necks, or glittering masks behind which to take refuge, or stylized hats to add the finishing touch to a woman’s “crowning glory.” Baubles glitter within glass cases, perhaps a ring for each finger, or bangles that swath the length of one’s forearm, or a tie awash in crystals to accent a simple, black dress.

The minute I step inside the front door of Teatro Zinzanni, I find myself whisked back to a time when an evening out included dark, velvet curtains, a glass of bubbly, an underlying excitement barely contained, eyes darting everywhere soaking up the circus-like atmosphere, women dressed for the occasion, men minding their p’s and q’s, performers mingling, heightening everyone’s expectations of a fantastic evening.

And by the way, a wonderful dinner of several courses is part of the act. The night’s entertainment unfolds around the appetizer, the soup, the salad, the entree and the dessert. What an imaginative way to help the digestive process. I’ve heard that laughter is good for the waistline. Believe me you’ll be skinnier at the end of the evening, what with all your belly-laughing.

So for an uproarious good time………………………………………..you’re invited      

and tell them………………………………………………………..hugmamma sent you!!! 

weekly photo challenge: home

home sweet home…………………………….

home sweet home……………………………

home sweet home …………………………….

home sweet home …………………………..

home sweet home …………………………….

…there’s no place… like home…hugmamma. 😉

 

Home Sweet Home Records

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a trunk of “old memories”

If you had an old, long-forgotten trunk stored away in a cob-webbed corner of your attic, or a dark, shadowy corner of your basement, what would you find if you were to drag it out of its hiding place? What treasures would you uncover, hidden away these many years? What memories would escape, like moths taking flight once again?

Like me, I’m sure you’ve so many memories of bygone days, some further back, only fragments remaining. Sorting through them isn’t easy. Their essence is so ephemeral, after all. Is it one complete remembrance, or is it a collage of several? Where does one leave off, and another begin? Unwinding memories can be like pulling on a single thread, and watching a sweater unravel, until nothing remains but handfuls of yarn. But I think reminiscences are made of stronger stuff than articles of clothing that are eventually tossed out, or given away. Of your own free will, you could  never be rid of your memories.

A painting of Wailuku and the Iao Valley, Maui...

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One of my fondest memories is of a time in high school, when I was recognized by the nuns as a budding choreographer. The St. Anthony Girl’s High School  Logothat I attended in Wailuku, Maui in the 60s, was a relic from another era. There was a Boy’s School as well, but it sat across the parking lot, on the other side of the campus. There were very few occasions, very few, when the student bodies would interact. Teenage boys and girls could only strain their necks, trying to ogle each other from a long distance away. Binoculars would’ve been handy. I should have had a concession. No. Too capitalistic for Catholic nuns.

I can’t remember if anything I staged for school assemblies, held in the cafeteria, was performed for a gathering of both student bodies. It wouldn’t have mattered to me, except that the butterflies in my stomach would have multiplied sizeably in number. After all, how often did I have more than a hundred guys staring at me all at once? Never! I repeat. Never! Still don’t.

I can recollect 3 particular instances when I entertained my fellow students. I did a modern interpretation of a popular Peter, Paul and Mary folk song at the time, “Blowin in the Wind.” 

 
Peter, Paul and Mary onstage at the Westbury M...

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 I vaguely remember starting the piece lying prone on the floor, and eventually dragging myself into an upright position. Slaves were my inspiration, what they had to endure to survive, another day, another month, another year. I delivered my performance with great anguish, felt in every moral fiber of my spirit, every muscle of my body. The nuns hailed it as my entre into the professional world of choreography. I took their acclamations in stride. At the time, and considering my mom’s personal financial straits, New York and Broadway were as far  away as the moon.

But I went on to bigger and better productions. I choreographed a number from West Side  Story, which one I can’t recall. Perhaps it was “I Want To Be In America.” Setting the piece on my best friend, Lee, and myself, we had a blast dancing it. She was also my romantic lead in an Asian fairytale  that I wrote, at least I think I wrote it. The title of the play escapes me, although it contained the word “runner.” And no, it wasn’t “The Road Runner.” Besides Lee as a princess, me as the poor peasant pining for her, and her disapproving father, there was a green dragon. Of papier-mache and medium height, it was also one of my artsy concoctions. I’ve an old, black-and-white photo of the 4 of us buried somewhere in an antique blanket-chest. But don’t look for it in this post. It’d take me days, if not longer, to unearth.

Cover of "Flower Drum Song"

Cover of Flower Drum Song

A final memory, not a favorite, is of a solo I choreographed to “Happy Talk” from the  movie “Flower Drum Song.” I imagined myself as the beautiful, Eurasian actress Nancy Kwan.

Nancy Kwan Looks Back on an All-Asian ‘Groundbreaking’ Film

January 25, 2002

Nancy Kwan recalls that the 1961 film version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical “Flower Drum Song” was such a big hit with audiences, “I used to go to Chinese restaurants and get Chinese for free all the time! It was very well-received. We were very proud because it was an all-Asian cast and it made money.”

Kwan, a vivacious 62, played Linda Low, a beautiful and ambitious performer in a Chinatown nightclub in San Francisco. Although her singing was dubbed, Kwan had several memorable dance numbers including “I Enjoy Being a Girl” and “Grant Avenue.”

Gosh, wasn’t she gorgeous? For this number, I sat upon my haunches, using only my hands to gesture the lyrics. I was appropriately attired in a sleeveless, Chinese top, with a cooly’s hat perched on my head. Why I performed the piece in an outdoor assembly of both the girls and boys student bodies, I’ll never know, but I did.

Standing very close to where I performed, were my boyfriend and his friends. Of course I was in my “element,” or so I thought. As I began to move my arms, the strapless bra I decided to wear so that straps wouldn’t slip down my arm as I danced, began inching its way down my chest, almost nonexistent at the time. I literally sweat through that number, constantly trying to maneuver my bra back into place. It was the longest 4 or 5 minutes of my life, and a memory that I’ve not relished telling. But at my age, there are so many others that far surpass that one in remaining buried at the very, very bottom…of my trunk of old memories.

remember some of yours?…hugmamma.

if i were to speak

I’m not a public speaker. I heard my husband speak once at a community gathering of “movers and shakers” in the small, eastern Washington town of Okanaga. He was starting a conversation about possibly bringing employment to some of their citizens in the form of a call center, where questions could be fielded, and reservations booked for his company. Initially fearful for him, I was soon mesmerized by my husband’s comfortable, conversational style of public speaking. He smiled easily, added small touches of humor, and to my way of thinking, knocked their socks off! He did mine, anyway.

My daughter has also taken to speaking publicly without anxiety. At the end of her ballet company‘s season, the end of April, she and 3 or 4 fellow dancers choreograph pieces, setting them on the trainees. These are dancers hoping to be hired into the company one day. Unfortunately most don’t make it, so they audition elsewhere, or go on to do other things.

It seems my daughter has emerged as the spokesperson for WIP, “Works In Progress.” On the day the pieces are performed for a non-paying audience, she gives a brief introduction about the history of the project, and the choreographers, and the pieces to be danced. Evidently my daughter’s been congratulated by the artistic staff for her eloquence, and ease of delivery.

I’m not sure if I’ve always felt tongue-tied, with a panic attack near-at-hand just before standing, or sitting, to speak before a group, large, medium, small, or tiny. I know I begin to hyperventillate, trying, in the last few moments, to memorize an entire speech which I’d not written beforehand. But, of course, I can only visualize a blank wall, staring back at me.

So if I were asked to give a fantasy speech, for example about blogging, in front of a group of professional writers, here’s how it might unfold.

I’m not as good a speaker as I am a writer. That’s not to say I’m a great writer. It just means I don’t speak as well as I write. But I’m sure I don’t write as well as you all. If I could speak like anyone, I’d like to speak like Colin Firth, not the stuttering Colin Firth, but the tongue-in-cheek Colin Firth. Know what I mean? No, of course not.

I was asked to talk about blogging. Well, I’m only a novice, having started a mere 7 months ago. I can only tell you what I know, which is not a whole hell of a lot. Oh, sorry. Excuse the language. Getting old you know, words just slipping out, just as other things are apt to do in old age. Oh, sorry, sorry. TMI. TMI. My daughter’s words, not mine. Now where was I?

Blogging! Right! Pretty mind-boggling stuff, you know. Couldn’t do it without wordpress.com. Those buggers set the whole thing up, I just “click” wherever they tell me to “click,” and voila! I’m good to go. As long as I’ve got pictures with the directions, I can get most things. But when they start throwing around techy-speak, well I’m as lost as the cow who flew over the moon and never came back.

You want to know the truth? I don’t know why the hell they asked me to talk to writers about blogging in the first place. We’re birds of a different feather. You’re all flamingos, and I’m just a Hawaiian mynah bird.

But you were real nice to listen to me jabbering away about nothing. Mahalo!

i’d say the same about you, dear reader…hugmamma.