10 things volunteering can do for others and you!


1. There’s nothing like giving to others. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
2. People do need people. Although some animals need help too.
3. Meet other people you wouldn’t ordinarily ever come in contact with.
4. Share your knowledge about something: for example, art, writing, music…
5. Helping older people is a good thing. Some of them are very isolated, and this is not a good way to live. There are many children who need someone too!
6. Put good karma in the universe. ( I’m not sure there is such a thing, but
who knows?)
7. You would be surprised how many people you help will want to pay it forward and help someone else.
8. Maybe learn a new skill while you’re volunteering.
9. Stretch yourself further than you thought was possible.
10. In the process, you will make some good friends.

What have you gotten out of volunteering? Share your experiences and thoughts.

Pleasure Guild’s excellent production of” Peter Pan” provokes memories and thoughts!


Peter Pan 1915 cover 2

Peter Pan 1915 cover 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pleasure Guild sponsored an excellent production of “Peter Pan.”  This is a group that raises money for Children’s Hospital in Columbus. One way they do this is to produce a play.  The play was an amateur production, but seemed professional to me.  I loved it so much I put a few dollars in the Children’s Hospital’s  bucket after the show was over.

All of the actors are amateurs who did a terrific job. The choreography was fantastic. The main characters are all actors who’ve been in productions before, but there were children, who couldn’t have had much experience. The acting and singing were just perfect. They didn’t miss a step or a note!

Emily Cipfiani  who played Peter Pan was convincing.  She had a tremendous voice. (I’d read in The Columbus Dispatch that she suffered from juvenile arthritis. You would never know it by her flying and dancing.)

The actors who played Captain Hook (Doug Joseph)  and Wendy (Kelly Hogan) were particularly talented. They had those characters down perfectly.

I was impressed with everything: scenery, costumes, flying and music.

Thoughts the production provoked

This is a very old story. The first time I watched this I was a little girl. I know I liked it then, but for different reasons. I wanted to be like Wendy and fly. “Never Never Land” seemed appealing to me at the time.  I liked the amusing conflicts between the pirates, Indians and Captain Hook.  Peter Pan made a great hero. I truly believed in Tinkerbell. The music charmed me, just like it did in this production!

Now, that I am getting older, the play hit different chords. Do I wish I could go back to childhood and never grow up? (Maybe just for a day)   Can I even remember what it was like to be a child?  Hardly, but those good memories are ones I treasure.

At the end of the play, the grownups were bemoaning the fact that their children were gone. That touched a nerve. Your children eventually grow up and you and  go barely remember their childhoods. They leave one way or the other. We all want them to grow up, but it is a little sad, just the same.

There’s nothing like a good play to touch your heart.

Good job Pleasure Guild!

Did you see the play? What is your opinion?  What memories does “Peter Pan” evoke for you?

“Parental Guidance”: Movie Review” Nobody makes me laugh like Billy Crystal!


Do you think Billy Crystal is hilarious? Then, go see Parental Guidance. I both laughed and cried during this movie. But, nobody makes me laugh like Billy Crystal. He plays Arte Decker, an over-the-hill baseball announcer, who has been fired for being old and out of touch with the newest generation.  There were some poignant moments in this movie interspersed with all the laughs.

I laughed a lot more than I cried. Bette Midler plays Crystal’s adoring put-together wife (Diane) who sees the chance to babysit their three grandchildren as another opportunity to win their grandchildren’s love. Currently, their photo is pushed aside on the mantle because the “other grandparents” take center stage.

Alice Simmons (Marisa Tomei) is  their only daughter  who is married to Phil Simmons (Tom Everett Scott) he’s handsome, understanding and smart.  He’s a gadget computer guy who’s completely made their house user friendly.  Crystal’s awkwardness around all this stuff felt familiar to me.

Alice and Phil direct the parents on their modern child rearing methods. Use positive reinforcement and don’t ever say no. “We let them ‘use their words and make choices.” says Tomei.

The three kids are adorable, but they have their problems. The oldest girl, Harper, (Bailee Madison)  is too serious,  the middle child, Turner, (Joshua Rush)  has a stutter, and the littlest guy, Barker (Kyle Harrison Breikopf)   has an imaginary friend. They all play straight guys to Billy Crystal. He’s great with them, especially Barker, but there is a moment in the film when Turner steals the movie.
There are a few slap-stick gags that are old, familiar and predictable, but they still work.

Crystal does one scene by himself that I found particularly touching. You’ll have to see the movie because I don’t want to ruin it.

What I was glad to see were all the kids, mostly preteens or early teens,  in the movie theater. A clean-cut movie with no monsters, guns and violence. They seemed to be enjoying it too.

If you’re looking for depth, there isn’t a whole lot in this movie. But, if you’re looking for laughter, you’ll find it here.  And if you’re trying to reconcile your place in the universe, it’s reassuring to know you’re in the same age category as Midler and Crystal.

Do you agree with my review? Comments are welcomed.

 

Downton Abbey makes an American splash in newest series debut: A review


I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I tuned into Downton Abbey on PBS. This British series actually held my attention. It was a combination of the good acting, intrigue and fantastic costumes.

The show is about the interplay between the aristocracy and their servants. The family is the Crawley Family. According to Wikipedia , “ The series, set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey, depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the Edwardian and post-Edwardian era — with the great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy.

In the opening episode of Season 2,  they were all really worried that their huge old mansion would have to be sold because  Lord Grantham, owner of the estate, made a bad investment in a railroad.  The time is now 1920.

Despite the fact that Lord Grantham is about to lose everything, he throws a huge audacious wedding for his daughter and fiance.   She drove to the church in a horse-driven  carriage.  To make matters worse, her soon-to-be husband has suddenly inherited a pile of money that he refuses to use to salvage her family’s mansion.

Maggie Smith, a seasoned British actress, plays the main English grandmamma Violet Crawley. On this episode, she clashed with the American grandmamma, Martha Levinson, played by  Shirley MacLaine. They couldn’t find better actresses to play these parts. Smith was properly snobby, and MacLaine played an inappropriate loud American who says what’s on her mind. Maclaine is finally showing her age despite her obvious plastic surgery. Smith has let herself age. I think she looks more real.( They’re both the same age in real life, 78.)

Maggie Smith and Shirley Maclaine in English series, Downton Abbey.

Maggie Smith and Shirley Maclaine in English series, Downton Abbey.

The servants live downstairs, and help the aristocracy dress and feed themselves. (They put the food on their plates). The higher class has to get dressed for dinner, and the servants also have to wear proper servant’s attire. There is all kinds of drama going on between the servants.  In this episode one of  daughters brought home her Irish husband who used to be the chauffeur.

I also liked seeing Elizabeth McGovern, mother, Cora Crawley,  who I haven’t see since she played a teenager in Ordinary People in 1980. Luckily, she still looks pretty good . She’s not that old.

The acting was so good that I will catch up on it next week on Sunday night on PBS at 9:00.

According to Reuters,  I’m not the only one who tuned in because it scored a record 7.9 million viewers for public broadcasting.  This quadrupled the average ratings for a premiere episode. The show is also nominated for some Golden Globe awards.

It just goes to show you, that Americans love gossip about the English, even if it’s make-believe. Besides, we all like to see filthy rich people squirm. (Unless your filthy rich too).

Did you watch the opening show of this season?  What did you think? Did you stay tuned the whole time? Why do you think this show is so popular with American audiences?

Hair Talent: We don’t all have it: it helps to have talented children!


French Braid

Shirley_Temple
Shirley_Temple (Photo credit: hto2008)

After reading a post  by  another blogger (motherhoodisanart.wordpress.com) about

games she’s thought up while brushing her child’s hair it  got me thinking about my past life as a mom.

 

Where was her post when I needed it? I should have thought of games to play. When my kids would see me with styling implements they would run as fast as they could! I was not good with hair.

 

Luckily, my oldest daughter took over this responsibility at an early age, 8 or 9. She did it because her brother and sister needed her. She’s a good person.

 

My hair
I’ve always had easy hair. It’s the wash and wear type. I never worried about it. It was easy. (Maybe there is a God?) Now it’s getting tricky. Namely, because the color follicle things died, and now it’s just white. So, I have to pay a fortune to cover it up. I don’t really think I’m fooling anyone, but myself, but I don’t have the nerve to let it go yet.( Maybe I’ll get more sympathy from others if they realize how old I really am.)

 

I first realized I had no talent with hair when I attempted to cut my bangs in the 8th grade. . I couldn’t get them straight. By the time I gave up, I was already down to the scalp. I actually had to wear part of the back of my hair in the front. (Exactly like those bald guys who won’t admit their bald.) Luckily my hair grows fast, so I only had to do this for sixth months.

 

Daughter #1’s hair
As a young mother, I received three very different heads of hair to work with. My oldest daughter had straight blonde hair which was easy, but i didn’t want to mess around with it. I took her to Lazarus, the defunct department store Columbus, Ohio, and had the nice lady beautician cut it. She put her on a plastic pony and cut away. To this day, she is still mad at me about it. This painful memory comes back to her when she looks at old pictures.

 

I attempted to French braid her hair when she was around 10. She got so tired of my feeble attempts, she learned to do it herself. She became so skillful that she braided her friends’ hair for special events. She really could’ve opened up a paying business.

 

Daughter #2
Her sister had  completely different hair.  She had blonde curls.  Everyone would stop me and comment on it. She looked exactly like Shirley Temple.  After her first haircut, it came in a little differently. It was still gorgeous but complicated.  It wasn’t in my realm of expertise. She’d run away when she saw me coming toward her with the hairbrush.

 

Daughter #2  tried out her own hair cutting skills by doing a smart thing. Instead of experimenting on herself, she cut her brother’s hair. It wasn’t so great, but what can you expect from a 5- year old. If he was unhappy, he kept it to himself.

 

Son
My son was a cross between the two, but his hair was dark brown and a little curly. It was no problem because it was short.  He preferred to wear a hat most of the time anyway. It used to make me laugh when I took him to get it cut. He was very particular about what he wanted it to look like.

 

My conclusions

 

Don’t take your hair stylists for granted! It takes talent to style and cut hair! If you’re lucky one of your kids will take over the job!

P.S, motherhoodisanart.wordpress.com, please link your article to mine!

 

Any funny experiences you’d like to share?