OMG!John Snow

Not to brag, BUT...

Oh, who am I kidding, I'm definitely going to brag. My chorus attended Gala Festival 2016 this week, and not only was it an overall amazing experience, but our choir was chosen (one of only three) out of 225+ choirs as Best of Gala and were invited to perform at the closing ceremony in front of over 5,000 people. Craziness! For anyone interested, this is the song that got us nominated:

The song was written by our conductor based on this story from NPR's StoryCorp. Glenda Elliot has become an honorary member of our choir family, and her support has meant the world to us ever since we debuted the song during our spring season. She went to Denver with us and became an instant celebrity when we invited her onstage after the song at the closing show. Such an amazing lady! She came to all of our performances at Gala, and after hearing "Glenda and Lauree" for the second time live, she turned to one of our choir volunteers/members and said that we had "brought Lauree back to her." Cue the tears!!

So there's that :)
OMG!John Snow

Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?

OK, but did I ever share my “Hamilton” pics? Because I met some incredible people, and it was an amazing experience. Daveed Diggs said my postcard of Lafayette was “dope,” Anthony Ramos was a sweet, gracious cinnamon roll, and I saw Mark Ruffalo sneaking out the stage door. What a weekend!

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I suppose it’s for the best that I didn’t meet Lin-Manuel Miranda in person – I would have been forced to give him the biggest hug ever, and it would have taken a crowbar to detach me. It was enough to see him on stage, and as the song says, “I have never been the same.”
dalek tea

Recipe swap! Any takers?

It's been a while since I've done a recipe swap, and I find myself with a hankering. Who's game? I thought for theme we'd say "Summer Savories," and the recipes we send out will be our favorite tasty goodies for the hot, lazy months. Whether it's a drink recipe, a picnic favorite, a sweet confection to serve up with a side of cold lemonade -- share it!

To participate, PM me or email [] me your contact information. You'll send one recipe card to every participant no later than April 18th, and it would be awesome if we all tried to make each of the recipes before the end of the summer (say, late August)! If you have any dietary restrictions, please include them in your e-mail.

I'm excited, guys! These things are always my favorite. I'm already scouring my recipe book for something good to send out...
nine and rose

Just a spot of karaoke for a friend :)

My friend Emily had her bone marrow transplant last week, but I had a chance to spend a few hours with her earlier that week, and we messed around on the keyboard she has set up in her room. She taught me a few of her favorite songs, but I had never sung them before, so I sounded pretty abysmal. I went home and practiced and made the above video which I posted to Facebook for her the night before she went in for her procedure. She seemed to like it, which is all I could have asked for.
nine and rose

My first entry in months and it's angst. Oh well, nothing new there!

I have a friend who was diagnosed with AML about a month and a half ago. She’s been in the hospital almost nonstop since then, but she’s been able to go home for an indeterminate amount of days right before Christmas as they await the results of her bone marrow tests. She’s due to go in for a transplant mid-January; her brother is going to be her donor. He’s a freshman in college. She’s only 27.

The thing is, this girl has been a best friend of mine for more than half my life. We met in first grade when, in her words “[she] saw this me go up to the teacher and ask for a red crayon and thought ‘who’s that short girl??’ and she and I were thick as thieves for the next ten years. We lost touch for a while after high school, but we reconnected after my stint with Teach for America; she was considering joining and wanted my advice, so we met up over lunch and talked about Americorp and teaching and what we’ve been up to over the last few years. Not long after that, she introduced me to her boyfriend and, despite my reservations, I took an immediate liking to him. About a year later, she asked me to be the maid of honor in her wedding.

When I found out she had leukemia, I broke down. We aren’t as close as we used to be, but she’s still one of the kindest, sweetest people I know, and she was by my side through what was literally the worst year of my life. She’s been incredibly strong through all of this, and her husband has been a rock. He works in a town about 2 hours away (where they just bought their first house) and he commutes back here to the hospital where’s she’s being treated every single day. Despite the fact that her strain of AML is chemo resistant, the doctors are hopeful that this transplant will be a cure. Nevertheless, the next few months are going to be agony as side effects of a bone marrow transplant can range from mouth sores to nausea, extreme bleeding, and organ failure.

I’m not sure why I’m sharing this other than to ask for all the good vibes and prayers that any of you out there can spare. Her name is Emily, and she and her husband can use all the help they can get. I feel pretty useless on my end as visiting is limited due to her compromised immune system, but I’m making her a quilt for her hospital bed and I’m (tentatively) making a book on tape of The Fellowship of the Rings for her to listen to while she’s recuperating.

I also wanted to share something she texted to me the other day. One of the books I sent to her in a recent care package was The Hobbit. She’s been pretty much confined to a hospital bed since her diagnosis, so I thought she could use some diverse reading material. A few days ago, she texted me the following:

Thanks! Reading ‘The Hobbit’ now. Jon and I just finished re-watching ‘Lord of the Rings’ series so I was inspired. It was fun and I weirdly related my experience to it. Jon is the Sam to my Frodo, the members of the fellowship of the ring are like my supporters, and my leukemia cells are like orcs that must be defeated.

Here’s to hoping that, like Frodo, she reaches Mount Doom and casts the burden of her leukemia into its fires for good.

Holiday card, anyone?

It's that time of year again! I have my Christmas/holiday cards ready to send out, and I'd love to pass along the love. If you'd like a card this year, let me know! If I don't have your address already, PM me!

It's that time of year again...

HALLOWEEN!! And you know what that means? Time for another All Hallow's Read!!

Every year for the last 3 years, I've hosted a Halloween-themed book swap, and I don't want this year to be any different. It's been such a fun way to send good books to friends and to receive some excellent reading material in return! The books don't have to be about Halloween or even particularly scary, although it's fun to stick to a theme. I always encourage sending used or previously-owned (by you) books to save on money and to pay forward the biblio love, so it's pretty inexpensive, and media mail is cheaper than regular packages, anyway!

The rules are simple:
-Let me know by October 12th that you want to participate
-Acquire books for each person you've been assigned*
-Send them out via snail mail by the deadline (October 21st)
-Halloween card included is optional, but encouraged!

*After I have the final tally of participants, I'll let everyone know the total number. Then, if you don't feel like you can send to everyone in the swap, I'll assign you one other person - so everyone, including you, will get at least one new book!

Sooo.... who wants to join in the fun?! Let me know ASAP and I'll add you to the list :D