The Soundtrack of My Life - The Early Years

After being transported back to my high school / college and early work years during the utterly cheesy (but fun) Rock of Ages Movie last weekend, I thought it would be fun to make a list of songs that immediately conjure up a memory / emotion from the past. I started writing my list and immediately realized it was too long for a single blog post, so I’m going to write a little series to break it into several blog posts instead.

Part One - The Music Memories of my youth
Note - I'm only listing the songs that first popped into my mind - I could list hundreds of songs, but that would be even more boring than this probably already is. Also, as a child of immigrants, my parents didn't have the normal vast collection of music from the 60's - no Rolling Stones or [gasp] Beatles music graced my ears until much later (like college). Just what was playing on the radio at that time.....

Delta Dawn (Helen Reddy - 1973)

I’m brought back to my childhood, singing in my friend’s house, right across the street from ours. Afternoon sunlight streams through the sheer curtains in their formal living room. We all have memories like that, right?

Yesterday Once More or any song from their Singles 1969-1973 Album (The Carpenters - 1974)

I’m in the Living room, lying next to the behemoth of a stereo system we owned (complete with 8-track tape player), rubbing the red velvet cloth that covers the speakers. I love this album so much that I bought it for my iPod, and after 30+ years of not even thinking about these songs, I remembered all the lyrics [every sha-na-na-na, every whoa still shines].

Have you Never Been Mellow (Olivia Newton John - 1975)

This song brings me back to singing in the car with my family. I was so in love with ONJ's ethereal voice - and I probably annoyed my family with my less than ethereal version.

I was also a big fan of the movie, Grease and its fun soundtrack, but no specific memories form in my mind. Instead, I recall listening to the Eagles’ Hotel California as a 5th grader during recess, with my Spirit of ’76 emblazoned transistor radio, under a shade tree. That song hit the top of the charts in May, 1977.

What songs do you recall from your early youth?

Next Installment – The [Dreaded] Middle School Years [can you smell the Love's Baby Soft Or What]

All album cover copyrights owned by the original artists.


Sam's Story

I'm going to start with a PSA - If you have a pet, please keep an identification collar on him / her. Also, have him / her micro-chipped. If at all possible, keep them inside.

It's been four days since Sam went missing. I've gone from being upset all the time to just part of the time, which is really still most of the time. I've gotten a not so pleasant education around who to call / what to do when your pet disappears. So far, I've called Animal control, posted ads on Craigslist, checked all the neighbors' yards, underneath all their decks and shrubs, and put up posters of our missing Siamese.

I awoke this morning (at 4:30, as it has been these past days), compelled to tell Sam's story - to get it all down before I forget how I feel, before I start to compartmentalize it all. When our other cat, Rascal passed away this time last year, I felt better that I could read back to her story and remember all that made her so special.

Sam was given to us from one of my daughter's friend - they were moving to a new house and decided not to keep him. Since we already had two cats, we told them we could possibly take him. But since we already had two cats, I was a little anxious about having so many cats in the house.

Sam had his first "sleepover" at our house two years ago. He hid behind the futon in the Living Room at first....
Big Blue Eyes
Before moving to the warm laps on the couch. I can tell by his eyes, he's still on high alert.
10.06.09 - Comfortable Sammy

The first night, Sam slept peacefully in Erica's room. The second night, he started in her room, but resorted to acting up. "Acting up" means trying to get out of the room by opening up the closed door. With lever style door handles, he jumped up on the handle, pushed down and voila - opened door. We moved him to the basement and stuck a crate in front of the closed door. Over time, Sam learned that with enough forward force, he could get the crate to slide and move the door open just enough to slip out. That's when we added a ten pound weight to the crate!

In the beginning, Sam preferred hanging out with everyone except for me. I think this was a learned behavior, as the mom from his previous family isn't really a cat person. He didn't completely ignore me, but he preferred the males first, then Erica and finally, me. Regardless, he always manages to find the most comfortable spot on the couch:

And really tolerates a lot without much fuss:
10.12.12 - Bundled Up for Snow

Sam and Brian

After Rascal passed away, we allowed Sam and Hannah full reign of the house - before this time, Hannah and Rascal roamed the upstairs while Sam was limited to the basement. I guess this is when he really became fully comfortable in the house.
Hood Ornament
OK, maybe he can be comfortable on any warm surface.

Finally, Sam and I really started to bond this past January, after I tore my ACL. I was couch bound and he kept me company before and after my surgery.
47/365 Recuperating
Recently, he has been getting into bed with me. See, Sam likes to spread the love around. He starts in Brian's room, sometimes goes to Erica's room (if Hannah is there, he doesn't), then shows up in our room around 3:30. He jumps up, plops down on my chest and gives me a lick on my chin. He's expecting a little ear rub and if I'm not too tired, I oblige for a couple minutes, enjoying his purring. When I stop, he nestles down in the crook of my left arm. This had always been Rascal's spot, and I had been reluctant to let another cat fill that spot, but Sam felt just right.

Some other Sam traits - Sam loves chicken and will jump up on the kitchen table to get some. He can smell it and starts to go crazy - we started calling him "chicken hawk". We've been known to indulge him occasionally...
Chicken Hawk
He likes to sleep in cars. We've found him sleeping in either the Capri convertible or the Toyota Corolla, but not the Tahoe - probably because the Tahoe seats are leather and just not as warm and cozy. We tend to keep one of the windows open on these cars just in case he wants to take a nap there.

If you've read all this, you can probably tell how much we love Sam and pray he comes home soon. I didn't realize this until I pulled up these photos - he came to us on June 9, 2010. The last we saw him was Saturday evening, June 9, 2012. I'm not sure if I should take that as simply a coincidence, or a "sign". Regardless, I will continue to keep Faith and whatever the outcome, accept it as such.

I'll close with a slide show of the photos I've taken over the past two years.


Taking a Little Break

I'm taking a break from blogging - not sure how long.

I've lost some of the drive in it all - even the photography.

And this past weekend, our Siamese cat, Sam, didn't come home. We've scoured the neighborhood several times and fear the worst.

Caught Napping

I miss him.


P365+1 Week 22 - I'm Slipping, Must Be My Age

I've been struggling a bit to get my daily photo taken and this week, I'm blaming it on my new age, having surpassed 45. My husband says "we can round up to 50 now" (he's 9 days older than me and often reminds me of this fact).

I officially turned 45 and enjoyed the day by doing the things I love to do - I worked out (bike, run and swim), played violin in a recital without being overly nervous, and enjoyed a nice dinner out with the family.
146/365+1 Recital Time #music #uiuc
Oh yeah, my favorite red velvet cake.
146.5 / 365+1 Birthday Cake #sweet #cake #redvelvet

Monday was Memorial Day - a day to reflect and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep our Nation safe. We enjoyed lunch at a local BBQ place.
148/365+1 Saddle Up to the Bar #restaurant #linedup

Tuesday - not really a photo, but a screen shot off my phone.
149/365+1 Play Me Over and Over #music @bareilles
Sara Bareilles released a EP last week and this song is so beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I spent some time this evening attempting play it on the keyboard.

Wednesday - visit to the stable, where my daughter was kicking up lots of dust in the riding arena. The effect on the sunlight caught my eye.
150/365+1 Headlights? #barn #door

Thursday - Another iPhone screen shot because I didn't take a real photo. I'm trying to increase my mileage, but realize it will be a long time before I can run as effortlessly as I used to. But I'm happy to back to running.
151/365+1 Back to Business

Friday - Dinner out with friends at the local sushi place. We were celebrating three May birthdays - mine, Scott's and Dan's (who hit the big 4-0 milestone). The food was great and the company even better.
152/365+1 Sushi Time #food


It's Friday

I realized I haven't participated in the Friday Fill In Meme for a long, long time. I figure this is a good way to start off a new month. My responses in BOLD

1. Hallelujah! It's the weekend!
2. Right Here Right Now is where I wanna be!
3. When I was walking the dog this morning, I saw a handful of goose feathers in the road and I thought Wait, I don't own a dog, This is not my beautiful house, Where does this highway lead to, And I ask myself, am I right, am I wrong? And I say to myself "my God, what have I done" (Name that song).
4. My Orthopod discharged me from his care yesterday and that's how I knew it was time to discuss tapering off my PT sessions.
5. What were once vices are probably still vices, but I recognize them as such and try to keep things at bay.
6. Coffee, Greek yogurt and granola is what I've been having for breakfast lately.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the baseball game followed by dinner out with friends, tomorrow my plans include working out, taking the girl to horse riding lessons and Sunday, I want to relax, as always!

I also want to provide a weekly account of my work out activities, as I am starting to ramp up my running and need to track things. Yesterday I was officially discharged from my Orthopedic doctor, so I don't have to go back unless I have a specific issue.

Summary of activities since Friday, May 25, 2012:
Friday: PT session - bike, hurdles, squats, sprint starts, side to side plyometrics on the bocu ball, soccer kicks.
Saturday: 6 minutes on the bike, 1.4 mile run, 36 laps in the pool (1 mile)
Sunday: Rest
Monday: 2.3 mile run
Tuesday: 6 minutes on the bike, 36 laps in the pool
Wednesday: 2.5 mile run, PT session that included exercises similar to the above
Thursday: 6 minutes on the bike, 30 laps in the pool (I felt tired). I returned to the YMCA in the evening with a friend and did a 1 hour dance aerobics class (hilarious).

This week's photo - my running log in Run Keeper. It's been a long 4.5 months away.
Back to Business

Anyone get the song reference in #3 above?



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