Happy Day After Halloween

Hi! I’m not a fan of Halloween. I mean, I guess I liked trick or treating somewhat when I was growing up, although I was always on edge looking out for other kids in creepy costumes. I don’t like costumes. Never did. Still don’t. I never liked being scared as a kid and that remains true even today. The scariest movies I ever saw were The Amityville Horror (1979) and The Exorcist (1978).

Haunted houses are not my idea of a good time and the last one that I was in was back in 1982. My boyfriend at the time had his heart set on going to this haunted house that was affiliated with a community group of which he belonged so being the good girlfriend, I agreed to go. I never said I would participate though and I think he was a tad disappointed when I informed him that I would be following close behind him, my hand gripping the belt loop on the back of his jeans, with my eyes tightly closed. And that’s exactly what I did, shuffling along, hearing music, screams and cries of thrilled terror, being jostled here and there as people reacted to the frightful happenings, never loosening my grip on my boyfriend’s jean’s belt loop.

We were nearing the end when my boyfriend came to a sudden stop. I ran straight into him and as I was attempting to peel myself off his back, I heard a voice calmly say, “Hi, Kat!” My eyes flew open and my head whipped every which way looking for person who knew me, in the dark, plastered to my boyfriend’s backside with my eyes screwed shut. Despite me asking my boyfriend (and anyone else I could think of), who that could have been, I never found out who it was. 35 years later, I still wonder who felt the need to break character and say hi amid the chaos of a haunted house, which I obviously was not enjoying.

And that leads me to the reason I shared that story from teen Kat’s past. In honor of Halloween, Hugh shared a song that would make his Halloween playlist and asked others to share their favorites for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past.

I’ve already shared the song that would have topped I list, if I did Halloween- see Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

This caused my mind to wander down a more creative path and I began thinking of haunting songs (keeping with the Halloween theme) but I guess when that rabbit scurried past me tsk tsking at his pocket watch, I fell down a rabbit hole and found this song.

White Rabbit, written by Grace Slick and performed here by Jefferson Airplane, hit the airwaves in 1967- a mere 50 years ago. The song, based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, is said to be a cautionary tale to parents of the dangers of reading your children stories like these and then wondering why they take drugs. I’m not sure how true that is. I lost count of the number of times I read Alice and have never tried a single illegal drug to date! I have loved Alice as long as I can remember and as a child, I could relate to her confusion in Wonderland where nothing is quite as it seems. It’s quite ironic how much I truly love this story given my intense fear of the unknown!

Now that I’ve shared with you my (most likely confusing) train of thought, please be sure to head over to Hugh’s place and see what he’s been up to. Not only does he have his weekly song feature, but he’s the king of short story endings with a twist!

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Happy November!

-Kat

 

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Autumn Colors

pumpkin farmAutumn is my favorite time of year. I live for the days of leaves changing colors, hoodies and jeans, and crisp leaves rustling as they blow down the street. It’s the most beautiful time of the year. Here are some autumn quotes along with photos of my favorite fall colors:

 

 

  • “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” -Albert Camus
  • “Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
    —Lauren DeStefano
  • “Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.” -William Cullen Bryant
  • “Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.” –Chad Sugg
  • “Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” -Emily Bronte
  • “Wild is the music of autumnal winds amongst the faded woods.” —William Wordsworth
  • “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “I’m so glad to live in a world where there are Octobers.” -Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery

If you live in a part of the world that has glorious autumns, I hope you are enjoying the changing colors! And if you aren’t, I hope that whenever your autumn is, you get to experience this beauty!

-Kat

 

Share Your World- October 16, 2017

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? 

I would move to Italy. I’m not quite sure how this would work since I don’t speak a lick of Italian but maybe my high school Spanish could come in handy. It’s a place I would love to visit one day. It might be a bit unrealistic and if I had to move, I should probably at least choose an English speaking country….. which would be England. There’s more than a mere desire to one day visit that draws me to these places. The largest parts of my ethnicity are from Italy/Sicily and Great Britain. It would be incredible for me to be able to go to the places my ancestors came from and see their worlds.

What color would you like your bedroom to be?

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I am currently in the process of redecorating my room so this is a timely topic. When I’m done, my plan is for my bedroom to be a mixture of blue, turquoise, gray and black. Whatever the finished product is, it will be much better than the mishmash/no particular color or design room it has been since we moved in to the house 20 years ago!

 

What makes you Happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy.

  • My family and friends
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Music
  • A peaceful place to write
  • Taking walks

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” -Audrey Hepburn

To take part in this challenge, you can find the details at Cee’s Share Your World. Thanks, Cee!

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Hope you have an awesome week!

-Kat

What Does the Fox Say?

I thank goodness that when this song was released only four years ago that my children were too old to get obsessed with it. This kept the song from being played continuously in my house so I only heard it everywhere else I went, where it was being played non-stop. The Fox by Ylvis was a music video that was uploaded onto YouTube by the Norwegian comedic duo as a teaser for the new season of the pair’s television talk show. Going viral was purely accidental. The “anti-hit” topped the Norwegian Singles Chart and spent three weeks in the #6 spot on Billboard Top 100 in the U.S. (Thank you, Wikipedia!)

I always thought the song was rather strange but then I saw the video and that sealed its fate as the most unusual song ever. I have nothing against people wearing animal costumes. Or even people wearing animal costumes singing…and dancing. There’s something about the combination of the song and the animals and….. I just don’t know. And I thought I was slightly spooked by the gnome video Hugh shared for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 39. His topic was a favorite “unusual” song. I can’t claim this as my favorite but it’s definitely unusual.

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What do you think? Was this song stuck in your head for what seemed like yearsmonths when it was getting way more attention than it probably should have?

Happy Saturday!

-Kat

6 Things I Don’t Miss About Driving Kids to School

school drop offAs I mentioned earlier this week, I drove my kids to school for more years than I would like to remember or count and I have recently found myself back in the role of chauffeur once again. I’m having flashbacks of all sorts which has caused a short circuit in my brain resulting in some of the most complex and confusing run-on sentences ever created.  Here are the things that I do not miss about school drop offs and pick ups:

  • Sitting in line for 15 minutes waiting for the staff to come out only to have to wait an additional few minutes while the person at the front of the line proceeds to have a lengthy, emotional good-bye conversation with their child complete with darling student climbing over the seat to hug and kiss mom good bye before having to flip back into the back seat, bulky backpack and all, to climb out the car door, which she is too small to open on her own, requiring the staff member to finally head over to assist the student while the rest of us who were parked in sidewalk range have let our passengers out of our cars and are just waiting to get out of the blasted parking lot (because quite frankly, the reason we were waiting for 15 minutes was because we wanted to get near the beginning of the line so we could just get out quickly!)
  • The crossing guard who stands with one foot on the sidewalk and the other in the street holding the stop sign at a slightly outstretched/partially raised level, looking as if she is going to step out in front of you at any second to stop traffic and let people cross so you slow down to let her know that you see that she might be in motion and she just stands there frozen in that confusing position while staring RIGHT at you so you slowly coast past her (and the large group of parents, children, younger siblings who have gathered next to her on the sidewalk) giving them all a timid (and hopefully friendly) smile.
  • Having to tell your own darling child that “No, you cannot play on the dirt pile” with the other kids whose parents obviously don’t care if their kids walk in covered from head to toe in a fine coating of dust and dirt….and having to repeat the answer each and every time of the 25 times that your child asks in that 15 minute period while waiting for staff to come out and drop off to officially begin. (And why exactly is there a pile of dirt conveniently located next to sidewalk in the drop off/pick up area anyway??)
  • The soft voice of the two year old behind you telling you all of his innermost thoughts and feelings and not being able to decipher a single word!
  • Having your child stare at you blankly when the time has arrived for him to depart the car after the endless 15 minute wait and after being told by you no less than five times that “When I tell you it’s time to go, grab your backpack and get out of the car” in the last 2 minutes and when he finally does begin to move, his every action is in slow motion…..(with you cringing in anticipation of impatient beeping horns coming from the cars behind you then realizing they won’t come because those people are also trying to shoo their own kids out of their cars- phew!)
  • Hitting a few red lights and pokey traffic so that you are running behind (which is still before the actual drop off time because you’re a little bit anal that way) reaching the school parking lot too late to pull in leaving you on the street with your left turn signal on waiting to turn in when the line starts to move but each time you think you’ll be able to make that turn, oncoming cars turn right and fill up the line so you are stuck out on the street and when the line has moved and there are no oncoming cars five families of different assortments (parents, parents with strollers, kids on bikes, kids walking, toddlers running, kids running to the edge of the sidewalk only to come to a screeching halt when their parents yell at them to stop) approach the crosswalk SO by the time they all cross safely to the other side, there is traffic coming from the other direction AGAIN….which is why we will be leaving even earlier tomorrow morning—oh wait- it’s Saturday!

Needless to say, this is why, when my kids were in school I parked down the street and made them walk over and find the car!

I need to run now. It’s time for me to rouse Beej from his nap so I can get him settled into his car seat so we can be first in line at pick up! (I sure hope Cj doesn’t get on the bus by mistake!)

-Kat

Yesterday Once More

“If you were offered a recording contract, what favourite song would you record and release into the singles charts?”

This is the question posed by Hugh in his post- 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 38. 

In 1973 The Carpenters released “Yesterday Once More” on the B side of their Now and Then album. This song kicked off an oldies medley that included 8 cover songs from the 1960’s as part of an old time radio show. (This video is 19 minutes long- the entirety of that side. You can stop after the first song, or listen all the way through.)

2017 Kat will be stepping aside to make room for Teen Kat to step up to the microphone.

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Hi! It’s me, (Teen) Kat here. I’m here to sing the song that is going to skyrocket my name into the top selling hit charts of the year….. Okay, not really, at least I sure hope not! Since I first heard this album in the mid 70’s, I fell in love with the B side.

Let me set the scene for you- I’m Kat, I’m a teenager in the late 70’s. I’m here in my parents’ basement holding a microphone, preparing to record my own hit song. My ensemble consists of my favorite (skin tight) Jordache jeans, a tube top- which I have to pull up constantly because I don’t have anything to hold it up, and my platform sandals. When I’m here, safe in the basement away from prying eyes, I am transported to another time and place. As the song “Yesterday Once More” begins, I sing along with Karen Carpenter, walking around the room, pausing to lean against the piano to smile at Richard. I sing my heart out and in my head, my voice is as smooth, rich and beautiful as Karen’s.

As the last note fades away, the revving of the engine kicks off “Fun, Fun, Fun” and the radio segment of this side of the album. Here’s when the real fun begins. I’m working the stage with hips swaying, shaking everything I’ve got and even some stuff that I don’t when suddenly————————–

SCCCRREEECCHHHH!!!!!!!!!– No, that isn’t the phonograph needle skidding across the record album. It’s the sound of my mother opening the door to the basement and as fast as Woody and Buzz fall to the ground when Andy walks in unexpectedly, I crumple into a chair, my heart pounding while I catch my breath and try to look like I was doing something other than putting on the performance of my life. My mom gives me an indecipherable look and heads into the laundry room without a word, while I slink over to the phonograph to turn the volume down.

And there you have my flirtation with fame.

This is where I hand control back over to my older self and wave goodbye, exiting the stage area.

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I might be re-thinking letting Teen Kat come out to play. I suspect she could really embarrass me! Anyway, Hugh asked and I responded. I’m still shaking my head at the tube top and mentally counting how many times I nearly broke my ankle in those blasted wooden sandals!

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Thanks for sharing this time with me! Have a great rest of your weekend!

-Kat

I Am the Walrus

Released in 1967, “I Am the Walrus” by the Beatles has some of the most interesting lyrics I’ve ever heard. The story goes that upon hearing that a high school English teacher was making his class analyze the meaning behind the lyrics of Beatles songs, John Lennon set out to write a song that was so out there, it couldn’t possibly mean anything. “I Am the Walrus” was the result.

As I was searching for a simple video of the song, I stumbled onto a YouTube series that asked teenagers to read the lyrics of the song and give their thoughts on what the writer(s) of the song meant. I found this video to be entertaining to watch and interesting to find that maybe Lennon wasn’t as “out there” as he hoped.

“Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come
Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday
Man, you’ve been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long”

I can’t begin to analyze this song half as good as the kids in the video did. It’s fun to sing and little Beej has added it to his growing list of Beatles’ favorites. What do you think?

Thanks again to Hugh for his fun feature- 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 36

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Have a great week!

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past: Week 35: Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney- Say, Say, Say

Last week Hugh shared Elton John and Kiki Dee singing “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past.

It’s a fun song from 1976 and when Hugh asked us what our favorite duet was, the song that immediately popped into my head was NOT the one I’m sharing. I’ll share that song a little bit later. This week, it’s more about the singers than the songs.

When I first heard that Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney were pairing up to sing a song together, I found them to be an odd couple. While there was no questioning the tremendous talent of these two men, especially combined, the King of Pop and Sir Paul,of Beatles fame and more were an unlikely duo.

In 1983, they released the “Say, Say, Say” music video. It’s playful and entertaining to watch.

But the song that came to mind first, and the one I like better, is “The Girl is Mine,” which came out a year earlier- in 1982. There is not a cute music video to accompany this song, which is why I led with “Say, Say, Say.”

I like their chemistry. It looks like these two legends were friends and truly enjoyed singing and creating music together. Their voices blend together so nicely, too. They definitely make a winning combo in my book!

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Hoping your week is off to a good start!

-Kat

“I Want to Hold Your Hand”

I Want to Hold Your Hand was the Beatles’ first #1 U.S. hit back in 1964. Nearly ten years later it would become one of my favorite songs. I was aware of the song before I knew exactly who the Beatles were. I hope you’ll give me a break- I was born while they were topping the charts in the 60’s so it took me a few years to catch up.

walterSince the Netflix children’s series Beat Bugs has become a regular on our watch list, Beatles songs have filled the air. If you haven’t met the Beat Bugs yet and you like the Beatles (and kids’ shows), you’ll have to take a look. The animated series centers each episode around a Beatles song with a cast a cute bug characters facing challenges both kids and bugs encounter from day to day. The incorporation of Beatles music adds a fun (and familiar to the adults watching) component. Seven year old CJ, who also enjoys the show, often asks, “Can we watch another episode so I can get a new song stuck in my head?”

Little Beej has taken to the music of the Beatles as if he was the long lost fifth Beatle. He sings the songs, memorizing more and more parts, and he adopts a new favorite every few days. Drive My Car, In My Life, Birthday, and Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da have all been recent favorites. Since the Beatles are my favorite performers, you don’t hear me complaining. And there’s nothing sweeter than the sound of a two year old singing, “In my life, I love you more!”

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This post is in response to Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past. In his latest post he asks if we have a favorite song which was a first for somebody.

If you love music, you will want to check out his weekly feature. He writes about more than just music so be sure to see what else he has to day. His short stories are my favorites!

 

Have a great week!

-Kat

 

Insomnia

My anxiety and worries are getting the best of me and they have succeeded in taking firm hold of my sleep cycle. As each day passes, I find myself spending more of the night awake.

While the world slept last night, I watched 2 episodes of Friends, 3 episodes of The New Adventures of Old Christine, 3 episodes of Roseanne and the early morning news beginning at 4 a.m. I found out that the vast majority of my Facebook friends are not very active in the middle of the night with the exception of one person who admitted to being manic at the moment. I played endless games, running out of lives and having to wait for them to refill, moving onto the next game, downloading a number of games only to delete them when they didn’t hold my attention. I read and read and read. And finally, meandering around Pinterest. It was on Pinterest where I decided to look up quotes about insomnia, which brings me to this post.

I would like to share some of my favorite quotes. I don’t know who said them because none of them gave credit so anyone. I only know that I did not say them myself.

  • “No one looks back at their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep.”
  • “Do you know that awesome feeling when you get into bed, fall right to sleep, stay asleep all night, and wake up feeling refreshed?   Me neither.”
  • “Due to tonight’s lack of sleep, tomorrow has been cancelled.”
  • “That moment when tomorrow is here and you’ve been trying to go to sleep since yesterday.”
  • “Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it’s time to get up.”
  • “According to the “you snooze, you lose” principle, insomnia makes us winners.”
  • “Didn’t sleep much, but I got a few solid hours of worrying done.”
  • “Legend says when you can’t sleep it’s because you are awake in someone else’s dreams. When I find out who you are, I’m going to punch you right in the face.”

I find it fitting that there are seven quotes. Normally I like to keep my bullet points to an even number but since this is a topic that has me feeling at odds, I like that it’s seven- a number that I don’t particularly like.

I anticipate that sheer exhaustion will catch up with me and I will get a full night’s rest….hopefully sooner rather than later. One thing is certain and that is- if I do get that much needed slumber, it will be on a night when I have to rise early the next day.

My love-hate relationship with sleep began when I was pregnant with my first child and could no longer sleep on my stomach. It has come and gone countless times over the years and although I have accepted that I don’t sleep as much as the average person, there are times when I really wish I could just lay down and fall asleep instantly. Especially when a toddler day follows that night.

It’s only slightly more frustrating when I know what’s causing it as opposed to those sleepless nights when I’m literally in the dark. I’ve tried it all. I’ve come to accept it and learned that if I don’t fight it too much and just ride it out, it does pass.

As I close, I would like to share the song that runs through my head on a loop when these bouts with insomnia hit-

How about you? Are you one of the lucky super sleepers, or a fellow sleep chaser like me, or somewhere in the middle?

Here’s hoping everyone has a pleasant night of sleep (me included)!

-Kat