Singing, Entertaining

Last Friday afternoon, January 20, 2012, I performed at Sandpiper Convalescent Center, singing with the Divas. Arriving early, I noticed a lovely lady, dressed in pink. A pink bow was in her silver-gray hair. Pearls and several necklaces she wore. The smile on her face when I said hello made me feel warm and welcomed. “Are you the Divas?” She asked.

“Yes, we are and we’re ready to entertain you for a while.” Again, she cast me that warm, welcoming smile. I introduced myself, noticing a business card placed on her chest.

A relative from Iowa had dropped by earlier to visit her and she was so happy. She cherished the business card. “I don’t get many visitors,” she said.

Perhaps you have never visited a nursing home or convalescent center. I have. In 1998, I toured Sandpiper, admitting my dad who was suffering with terminal cancer, needing ‘skilled nursing care.’ For those who do not recognize the definition of skilled nursing care, it simply means 24-hour nursing care. My dad was seriously ill. Although I attempted to care for him, I recognized I did not possess the professional medical care training he needed. Yes, the nurturing part of me was alive and able to nurture him, and I knew a bit about cancer, but my dad had a PEG tube.  Even though the nurses trained me about cleaning of the PEG tube, I was not comfortable with it. My precious dad needed more nursing care than I could give him. I visited him daily, with exception of three times during his illness when I had severe bronchitis attacks. When visiting the nursing home during his illness, I noticed several people never had visitors and that disturbed me deeply. Walking back into Sandpiper on Friday, I did not focus on the loss of my dad. I performed as well as I could without focusing on the day of his death, July 6, 1999, while I was walking into his room to visit with him. I must say, it was great to see some of the residents at Sandpiper bopping their heads to the music, and to hear them singing the lyrics with us. My dad would be proud of me. Yes, I could feel his presence, and it was great to walk into Sandpiper again, this time, to entertain.

My dad’s roommate is still residing at Sandpiper. I walked over to him, dedicated a song to him and kissed him on the forehead. He blushed. Seconds later, he was singing “Unchained Melody,” along with me. How I loved hearing him singing with me. Mr. Dudley was enjoying the music and his body was moving to the beat!

It was such an honor to sing to such a warm, responsive group, to share a bit of music, nostalgia, and memories to a group of senior citizens who rarely get out to enjoy life as much as they did previously. My fondest wish is that the Divas gave them happy memories and entertainment. As for me, I left Sandpiper singing, I lifted my head to the sky, telling God thank you. Thank you for life and the ability to sing to a group of precious individuals who still need the bonding of family, the therapy of music, and the touch of warmth the Divas shared with a group of beautiful, precious residents. I look forward to seeing them again, and inviting them to sing with the Divas!

Let Us Honor and Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King

As a sick little girl in August, 1963, I was resting at home in Atlanta, GA with an asthma attack, resting on the couch, listening to a speech by an impressive man by the name of Martin Luther King. He spoke his words, “I have a dream,” so eloquently and firm. I was 100% mesmerized. I knew that Dr. King lived in Atlanta, GA and living in the projects, I knew his name angered many people. The early 1960’s angered many people who lived in Georgia. Whenever I spoke up that I loved to hear his speeches, I learned there was a time and a place to speak and around certain people in the South during the Civil Rights movement, it was to my benefit to keep my opinion to myself!  Nevertheless, I listened to the speech, spellbound by his words. Years later, taking a class in Public Speaking, the professor encouraged us to find a speech that inspired or changed our lives and to speak about it. Of course, my choice was the speech of “I Have a Dream…” Public speaking is where I excel. I used many of Dr. King’s quotes, especially  the ending quotes:

“Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Today, we celebrate the birth and life of Martin Luther King. How proud he would be that America has changed for the better. Yes, there is still bigotry and prejudice, but today, the world is still changing. As Dr. King said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!”

Let us all appreciate that America is a free nation and we can still have our dreams to build our lives with freedom and pride for ourselves, who we are and the dreams that we all have. “I have a dream…”

Today, I still have a dream, but I am most thankful that “The times are a changing,” and we can look into the eyes, heart and soul of a person, not the color of their skin. Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for what you strived to do to make America a proud and free nation — for ALL of us. I fully believe the Women’s Movement would not have happened without the courage the young women found to stand alone to accomplish their dreams, all to the credit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the leaders who found the courage to walk tall and speak up so America can hear and change the times, allowing us all to have a better life with much success in the twenty-first century. Yes, it is true. I still have a dream — that the glass ceilings will break and women will be treated with respect, not wolf whistles and slurs! I have a dream, that America will stop being so judgemental and look for the good in a person, not the color. I have many dreams!

Losing Weight In 2012

Never is it easy to lose weight, especially when living a busy life, with commitments, demands, and so much stress within your life. For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, you will know I joined Weight Watchers last year on March 3, 2011. To date, I’ve lost 28.8 pounds. The holidays were difficult, with all the parties and social events, and of course — all of the food.

I have heard many friends say they plan to lost weight this year. Some are going the route of Dr. Atkins. Others are considering Nutri System, and one is considering something new — “The Pink Method.” They asked my advice. “Simple,” I replied. “Weight Watchers, because it works.”

OK, so I didn’t lose the 50 pounds I wanted to lose in 2011. And it is true, I am losing slowly…EVER SO SLOWLY; nevertheless, I am losing weight, inches and lots of clothing sizes.

For 2012, I started the year off with a slight weight gain — 1.2 pounds. Yes, I was discouraged, so disappointed that I failed to maintain during the holidays, but this is a new year, a new week, and I will achieve weight loss this year.

At Weight Watchers, I haven’t met with my leader to determine a goal. I have a goal in my mind. When I get closer to it, I will meet with her to make certain I am on the right track. For now, I can see the light. I have a goal established and I will achieve it, and when I do, there will be a celebration. Perhaps during karaoke night with my closest friends.

Last week I managed to clean closets, bagging four large bags of clothes. Many of the outfits still have tags on them, so they could be considered ‘new.’ I tried every outfit on, amazed that most were too big for me now! When I bought them, they were too tight. I have the tendency not to try clothing on before buying it. I must change that habit now.  There was one cute pair of pants I gave to Goodwill with reluctance. The pants have been hanging in my closet, in anticipation of wearing them — someday — when I could get into them. I tried the shiny silver lame on, excited that they fit! I rushed to show my husband that I could wear them. “Trash them,” he said, in his grouchy, controlling way. “They’re too d— big!”

“If only I had a full-length mirror, I could see,” I mumbled. I opened the bag for Goodwill, tossing the silver lame pants into the bag. “I suppose someone will enjoy them, but not me. Too big!”

It really is a bit difficult to toss away clothing. Part of me wants to keep many of the clothes, in the event I gain weight. Recognizing that thinking is not positive or beneficial for me, I decided it was in my best interest to throw away all the clothing that is too big now. A weight gain will not happen again. I have made the commitment to change my life with Weight Watchers, and I have kept that commitment. I am the type of personality who makes a commitment and usually keeps it. Weight Watchers is now a part of my life!

Happy New Year, 2012. This week I will drop by Goodwill, giving all the clothing to them, and I will continue to count and track my points.  Let us all continue our commitments — with Weight Watchers, or at least Weight Loss. Whatever works for you, and for me. Weight Watchers, because — IT WORKS!

Top 10 Workout Songs


The Top 10 Workout Songs For Winter 2011

San Francisco, CA – Dec 31, 2011 – Traditionally, winter is the time of year when folks find it hardest to get out and exercise.  In the hopes of keeping folks motivated, readers from–the web’s most heavily-trafficked workout music blog–were polled regarding their favorite, current workout songs.  The resulting top 10 list has a little of what you’d expect—and a little you might not.  Flo Rida, who’s no stranger to this list, shows up in two recent tracks.  Enrique Iglesias continues his transition from balladeer to club rocker.  And Kelly Clarkson, after faltering with the first single off her new album, bounced back ferociously with the second.

As for surprises, they’re mostly entries from folks relatively new on the dance scene.  Highlights include songs from Tim Berg (who remixed his own track under his Avicii moniker), Skrillex (whose collaboration with Kaskade is the first dubstep track ever the make the Top 10), and Wolfgang Gartner (who’s made the chart with a little help from the Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am).

Here’s the full list:

Tim Berg – Seek Bromance (Avicii Vocal Edit) – 127 BPM

Katy Perry – The One That Got Away – 135 BPM

Alexandra Stan – Mr. Saxobeat (Maan Studio Remix) – 126 BPM

Flo Rida – Good Feeling – 129 BPM

Wolfgang Gartner & Will.I.Am – Forever – 128 BPM

Hot Chelle Rae – Tonight Tonight (Goldstein Remix) – 118 BPM

Taio Cruz & Flo Rida – Hangover – 129 BPM

Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull & The WAV.s – I Like How It Feels – 129 BPM

Kaskade & Skrillex – Lick It – 128 BPM

Kelly Clarkson – What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) – 117 BPM

To find more workout songs–and hear next month’s contenders–folks can check out the free database at Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era–to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Chris Lawhorn
Run Hundred

Here’s to Weight Loss Success in 2012 and Beyond!

Taking just a moment to wish all of you a Happy and Healthy 2012. May we all continue to lose weight, the best and healthiest way — with Weight Watchers. For 2011, since joining on March 3, 2011, I have lost 28.8 pounds. My goal for 2012 is to lose the remainder of my weight, and to keep it off. Last week, I cleaned out a closet. Actually, I went shopping in my closet, finding many things I forgot I had. Several outfits still had the tags on them. When I tried them on, they were too big. I hope Goodwill will appreciate them!

Here’s to all of us continuing the weight loss for 2012. May we achieve our goals and make new friends. Happy New Year!