Thursday, May 1, 2014

It's been awhile! :-)

My favorite flowers: violets

Spring has finally come to my little valley! :-)

 Hello, my lovelies! Wow, it seems like it's been an age since I've blogged. Or at least, this has been a longer absence than usual. Truth be told, a lot has happened in the past month and I haven't had a whole lot of time for blogging (or else I just haven't felt like it), but hopefully I'll be getting back to posting regularly.

   I hope you all had a really wonderful Easter holiday! Unfortunately I got sick the week of Easter and so I spent Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Saturday in bed and was just well enough to go to church with my family. I couldn't sing in the choir, or sing the song my sisters and I had prepared, :( which was really disappointing, but I'm thankful I was able to go. I've had a nasty cold that lasted quite a while (and DEFINITELY outstayed its welcome, *ahem*) but thankfully I'm much better now, and let's hope it stays that way. : ) Whenever I'm sick for a while it's always difficult to get back into the saddle and back into the routine of things, so that took awhile, but I think I'm finally rolling again. :-)

   I watched so much television in those three days I was sick, it's really quite embarrassing. Two episodes of Lonesome Dove, an entire season of Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice '95, and the Felicity movie, which did my soul much good. That movie is a form of awesomeness. Sure, it's got cheesy parts (hello, it's an American Girl movie), but that doesn't matter because it's just so good. Food for the soul, my friends. 1775 Virginia, fiddle music, John Schneider-- what's not to love??? :-)

   Also, on Friday when my mom and sisters went out shopping (without me*sniffle*), my sweet sister Sadie bought Celtic Woman's newest concert DVD to cheer me up, and cheer me up it did. There's nothing like Lisa Lambe's voice to lift a person's spirits when they're in the depths of despair. And Chloe Agnew has the most adorable Irish accent ever, period.
  Of course, seeing them perform was delightful, but it's just not quite the same without Lisa Kelley. It's really a pity she left the group. : ( However, I really liked seeing their newest member, Susan McFadden, and she's now one of my favorites as well. She has an amazing voice, and I'm beginning to like her rendition of Caledonia just as much as Lisa's.

   Isn't her accent adorable? :-) If I had an accent like that, I'd never shut up. Actually, I rarely do anyway as it is.

   So anyways, besides being sick, a lot of exciting things have happened. One of them being April 12th, when I went to a concert with my dad. But not just any concert.....

    I went to see Kevin Costner and his band, Modern West.  No, I am not kidding. I actually went to see THE Kevin Costner.

   Now, before you come to any rapid conclusions, I am not one of those crazy, fawning Kevin Costner fans.  (Although that would accurately describe the two ladies who sat next to us, as well as most everyone else in the room.) First of all, he's before my time, and second of all, I've only seen him in one movie (Dances With Wolves) and I was not over-the-moon impressed with him in that (although I know a lot of people absolutely ADORE that movie, so if you're one of them and you think Kevin Costner's just the greatest, I apologize, but I just do not share your sentiments.) Anyway. I wasn't even aware that Kevin Costner had a band until I heard about the concert on the radio, and since it was so near us, and after all, he IS a movie star, I thought it would be very interesting to go. My Daddy said he would go with me, and fortunately we were able to find some not-too-ridiculously-expensive-tickets, and we went.

  Apparently not many people know that Kevin Costner is a country singer now, 'cause when I told my cousin I was going to see him, he said, "What does he do?" I said, "He sings". And my cousins said, "You've got to be kidding me."   :-P

the theater
    But yes, Kevin Costner does sing. He's not an amazing singer, by any stretch of the imagination, but he can hold his own and he's a pretty good performer, even if he's not an outstanding musician. But it wasn't really about him being a musician, it was basically just about him being Kevin Costner. As my daddy said, "It's all about Kevin."
   He had a guitar strapped around him, but he didn't really play it very much, and Daddy said he stayed on a D-chord the entire evening, so we think it was just for looks. Daddy also said that he better not quit his day job. :-P

Rock 'n roll meets country meets Kevin Costner. :-P

   It was like nothing else I've ever been to, let's just put it that way. :-P

   His daughter Lily opened the concert with five songs, which was a delightful surprise because I had previously heard some of her songs and had wished she would be at the concert, so I was super excited when she walked out on stage! Her part of the concert was my favorite. There was no fanfare, no fuss, just a polite applause when she introduced herself. I really enjoyed her performance and I'm now a big fan of hers. She sings a lot of ballads and folk-ish songs, which is right up my canyon. And, unlike her father, she actually played her guitar, and the harmonica too. :-)

   After Lily sang, there was a short break while they set the stage for the band, and then they played a lot of movie clips from all Kevin Costner's movies, mostly of him shooting people and doing daring stunts, and it ended with the "looks like a suicide" scene from Dances With Wolves. Then he came in near the back of the audience and walked up the aisle to the stage (the opposite side of the theater from where we were sitting, of course-- it would be that way :-P) and the audience went completely wild. Everyone was cheering and clapping and going completely nuts.

   Later on in the concert, Lily came back out and sang a song with her dad, which was very sweet. That was definitely one of the highlights of the evening.

Lily and dad singing 'Let Me Be the One'

   At the end of the concert, after Kevin Costner had already left the stage, he came back out and sang "Mr. Tambourine Man" and everyone stood up, so I did too. :-) It was really funny because he said he wasn't sure if he remembered all the words, so right before the last verse he stopped to say something, and then he said, "I'm just stalling because I'm trying to remember the words." :-P Haha.

   On April 15th, my mom took Sadie and I to see the Moscow Festival Ballet perform Swan Lake, which was absolutely amazingly awesomeness. PERFECTION, people. Watching them made me just a little bit blue, since I know I will probably never dance like that, but it was also very inspiring to me as a dancer. Also, last week I got new pointe shoes and two leotards, and of course we all know there's nothing like a new leotard to get a person psyched. : )

Trying to get a good picture of my shirt :-P

   My dance recital is coming up in less than a month!!! : ) I'm really super excited for this year, since I am one of the three principles in Les Sylphides and I'm also performing the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker (which has come such a long, long way from what it was when I performed it in January! *shudders*)

     April has been a month of music, flowers, long walks in the creek, Les Miserables, dreams, and lessons learned. I've been learning (or maybe just realizing again) that most often it's the little things in life that mean the most, to ourselves and what we do for others. Little, almost seemingly insignificant kindnesses are often the most appreciated, and it really doesn't take much effort!

    One thing I've learned to appreciate more lately is imagination. It's one of the best things ever, and it's extremely underrated these days. Imagination is a precious gift from God, and with it I can go anywhere, do anything. I can stand on the deck of the Indefatigable with Horatio and Archie, I can dine with the Crawleys at Downton Abbey, I can defend Geyser's Hill with John Geyser. I can track down outlaws in the Choctaw Nation with Mattie Ross, I can help the people of Cutter Gap with Christy Huddleston, and I can dance with Mr. Knightley at the Hartifled ball. Imagination makes life so much brighter, and everything more interesting. Imagination is not dead: not yet, anyway, but I think maybe it needs a little revival. So anyway, those are my thoughtful musings of the day. : )

   So how are you all, my dear readers? I've missed you these past few weeks! I hope you're all enjoying spring and all it brings. (Hey that, rhymed. You see, I'm a bit of a poet, and you did not know it.:-P) Like I said, hopefully I will not be so scarce around here in the future, and I have some posts planned (and even a blog series, but I'm still sorting it out in my head). And once again, thank you all so much for following and reading what I write here-- it really means a lot to me, and this blog would definitely not be what it is if it weren't for all of you. So thanks! :-)


   Oh yes, and I have an announcement! My darling sister Sadie, my dearest friend Naomi and I have started a Downton Abbey Fan Blog! We're all desperate fans (we love it madly, as Rose would say), and so we've made a blog dedicated expressly to writing about the show, the period, the actors, and anything having to do with it. Naomi and Sadie have already written some very diverting posts, and we'd love it if you'd stop by!


  1. It was so fun reading this post, and knowing more than half of it already. I was struck by how close we are now- it's so lovely!

  2. Oh yes, I wanted to say- I LOVE that Celtic Woman song you put up!
    The other song you put up... sorry m' dear, but I don't really like that one. I know I can be blunt with you. :-)

  3. I find Kevin Costner okay, but I have a friend who really likes him a lot, so send her the link to this blog post -- I bet she'll enjoy it!

  4. Hamlette,
    Yeah, same with me-- I think Kevin Costner is okay, but I'm not a huge fan of his. But it was really exciting to see him in person. :-) And I am now a big fan of his daughter Lily.
    Thanks for mentioning this to your friend!


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