Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscar Night

  My favorite parts of the Oscars happen at the beginning, then the end.  I love to see the stars walk the Red Carpet wearing  their beautiful dresses.  It is over the top with sparkle and pageantry.  This year seemed to feature the simple black embellished to perfection. Adele and Halle Berry looked spectacular.  I loved Jennifer Aniston's red dress, and Charlize Theron's silver gown was fantastic. Michelle Obama was streamed  in from the White House to read the winner for Best Picture.  She always looks perfect!
  The live performances by Barbara Streisand, Jennifer Hudson, and Adele were wonderful!
  Best Picture was awarded to Argo.  Best Actor was Daniel Day Lewis for "Lincoln".  Best Actress went to Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook". The Best Supporting Actress went to Anne Hathaway for "Les Mis".  All in all, this year's  nominees were fabulous and any one of them could have won.
   Many of the acceptance speeches contain the words "dream come true", and remind us of how serious these performers are, and how hard they work to perfect their craft.  Ben Affleck spoke of winning his first award fifteen years ago, "when he really didn't know what he was doing".
    We all have dreams and aspirations.  My dream is to publish my children's picture book series "Matt and Muggzy".  I have been writing the short stories, which chronicle my son's early years, and the adorable pug who was part of our family at the time.
   We are running a contest to find an illustrator who may be able to help bring my words to life.  I encourage anyone interested to submit an entry by the Friday, March 1, 2013 deadline .  I promise to award a $100.00 Amazon gift card to the contest winner, which will be announced in my March 10,2013 blog entry.  I want to see this dream become a reality, and I look forward to beginning the next chapter of my journey.....and the beat goes on....the beat goes on......

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Red Hatters Celebrate Fifteen Years

  My Red Hat Chapter, the Improper Bostonian's got together on Saturday for a Valentine's Day Tea Party.   The Red Hat Society is celebrating fifteen years as an organization.  The first chapter formed in California, and now there are thousands of chapters around the world.  It's a club for women over fifty, who wear a red hat and a purple outfit to events.  Anyone younger than fifty, wears a pink hat and lavender shirt.  We are encouraged to show our individuality, whether we choose simple or elegant accessories.
  Everyone was asked to bring a china tea cup and saucer.  We were told to put all the saucers on a separate table, then keep the tea cup.  More than half of the tea cups were vintage, and the shapes and patterns reminded us of our grandmothers.  Many were delicate with gold rims, no longer popular since gold cannot go into the microwave. We each chose a saucer that we liked, then we had to go around to each table and find the matching cup.  I loved the idea, because it allowed us to mingle more than usual.  We all talked about the cups we had brought, and any memories they held.  My cousin brought a set that came from her Dad's antique store.  Many others had similar stories, which gave us plenty to talk about during our catered lunch.
   The camaraderie that the Red Hatters experience is priceless.  We get together with our own chapter, and team up with other groups for bigger events.  Four different chapters were represented at our Anniversary Tea.  Everyone received a Chocolate rose for Valentine's Day,  and we have drawings and prizes at every gathering.  Our group rounds up the cost of each event to include some extra money, which we use to support one of our charities.
Friendships are formed, and women feel connected at a time in our lives when we sometimes can feel isolated.  The benefit is that we share both the good times and the bad times with our sisters.  The internet allows us to send get well wishes, and notes of encouragement.  Our chapter represents a slice of life, with members battling cancer, and others facing surgery and medical issues.  There is a saying that " a problem shared is a problem cut in half", and I believe that to be true.  Cell phones show pictures of new grandchildren, and chronicle happy events.  Our get-together's are buzzing with friendship.  We are not alone, and it makes a big difference to have a network that we can rely on.  I've been a part of my group now for ten years, and I look forward to attending as many events as I can......the cost of our luncheon was minimal, but the value of our chapter is priceless......and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on.........


Sunday, February 10, 2013


Muggzy Needs a Facelift! ILLUSTRATION CONTEST!
(See the Deviant Art Contest Post HERE!)

2013 is the year we're going to really push to get the Matt & Muggzy series published. Everyone knows that any good storybook needs a fantastic illustrator, and that's where YOU come in!

We're looking for the new face of Muggzy, the loveable star of our story, and a beautiful little pug puppy. The winner will get a $100 gift certificate and the chance to become the illustrator for the new series!*

Using the photo and the current illustrations here on the site, we'd like for you to come up with a new fresh and updated face for Muggzy. We're looking to keep his current charm and appeal, but give him a more current look. Here are the rules and how to enter:

1. Submissions may be in any artistic format: graphic illustration, painting, drawing, vector, print - but must be submitted in digital format via a URL link in the comment section below. You may submit as many entries as you like, provided each has it's own individual url link.

2. Please be sure to link your contest submission here, but ou must also send an email with your entry information to The email must include:

-Your name
-Your contact phone and email address
-The URL with your submission

3. You must "LIKE" and be a fan of the Matt & Muggzy Facebook page here: We encourage you to also post your URL link submission on this page too.

4. Your submission must be 100% your creation and have no copyright infringements or limitations.

5. Your submission MUST be family-friendly. This is a children's storybook series, after all!

6. Submissions must be received by Friday, March 1st at noon, EST.

7. Winner will be announced via blog entry announcement by Sunday, March 10th.

Questions? Please contact


   The Northeast got hit with another blizzard, and they are calling it a winter hurricane, because some areas got 'thunder snow'. The snowfall amounts were measured in feet, and this storm ranked fifth all time.  It seems like we are having "the storm of the century" every season lately.  Super storm Sandy just happened four months ago, and folks are still trying to recover from that disastrous hurricane.
  This storm was very similar to the Blizzard of 1978, which happened this same week,  thirty-five years ago.  Thousands of cars were stranded on the highways which made it impossible for the snow plows to clear the roads.  There was a state of emergency for more than one week. Everyone remembers where they were that week.  My parents were trying to move to New Hampshire.  They had passed papers on our old house in Massachusetts, but the moving company could not pick up the furniture for several days.
  This storm was managed must differently.  The Governor asked all motorists to stay off the roads unless essential personnel.  Airports were shut down, and buses and trains stopped commuter service.    Banks  closed early on Friday, then did not open on Saturday.  People stayed home, and Sunday there was business as usual.  It was a good time to catch up on TV shows, and eat junk food.  Luckily we did not lose power, although close to a half million homes did.  I hope life gets back to normal for everyone in a few days.
  We were planning to have a party on Saturday, because Matt is home from California.  All the plans were rearranged, but he did get to visit friends for a few days in Boston.  His dad would have loved help with the snow blower and shoveling, but that's a lousy way to spend a vacation. It reminds me of a tea bag saying, "Life is what happens, when you are making other plans."  I often say the best memories happen when the plan is ruined, and we will never forget this visit.  In the scheme of things, it will be a minor inconvenience, because we are all safe and sound.  I'm glad we kept the plans simple.  I've learned not to make things too complicated, and I can enjoy myself a lot more......and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on........

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Superbowl Sunday

  Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens who just won Superbowl Forty-seven!  Congratulations also to the San Francisco 49ers who staged a valiant comeback, and made it a very close game.  It is fantastic when every player and fan is locked it to a game with one minute to go. It was close enough that either team could have won.   It was also a weird game,  because there was a power outage, and play was suspended for more than thirty minutes.  Joe Flacco was the MVP, and Ray Lewis will retire with a championship ring.
    I did not have a favorite in the game, and so I rooted for each team when it had the ball.  There was a lot of scoring which makes it exciting to watch as a fan.  As always,  we had lots of snacks, and the menu is a big part of the fun.  It's important to have everyone's favorite junk food.
    I liked the half-time show, and the pre game songs.  I teared up when the kids from Newtown, CT. performed.  It is hard to become famous due to another mass shooting, but I give them credit for trying to continue to live normal lives.
    I cannot recall my favorite commercials at this time.  It usually takes a while for them to sink in.  I also cannot believe that the ads cost millions of dollars.  I heard that the most expensive ad cost close to four million dollars, and sometimes it was difficult to identify the product being sold.  Some of the movies look really good, and they will be fun to see.
    The NFL must do more to make the game safer for the players, and a few ads suggested that there will be an evolution within the sport.  I think it's time to look at all the safety options, because parents cannot let their kids risk serious head injuries.  That is too big of a price for a teenager to pay in order to play a game they love. Gotta run....I want to watch the interviews...and the beat goes on....the beat goes on.....