Half Clown

Back in ‘April, I did an appearance with Fire Marshall Tom in the Safety Zone at the Adkar Shrine Circus. As well as being fire marshall, Tom also serves as Huffy the Clown, an educational clown. So it wasn’t strange that all the clowns at the circus stopped by to talk to Tom while we were there.

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The more I interacted with these fabulous folks, the more I thought, “these are my people” and “I need to be a clown”. At that time, we were tentatively supposed to move overseas so I told Tom that I would let him know once I knew for sure. 

At the Mrs. International Pageant a few months later, we each had to introduce ourselves at Orientation. Each table of contestants received a different question and we then had 30 seconds to answer it. The question for our table was “What is one item on your bucket list?” 

Well, I don’t have a bucket list but I do have a Goals list and at any one time there are over 100 items on it. I was the fourth person in line. While I waited I was trying to think what one thing on that list would be at all interesting to my sister contestants and pageant staff. Then it came to me:

Glammie the Clown!

I was happy with my idea and waited for my turn. I told them how my granddaughter already calls me Glammie so I want to take it a step further to become a clown of the same name. I told them that my big, wide clown shoes would be my favorite shoes ever. (I didn’t know how true this would be prior to wearing 5″ heels for 11 hours a day!) Glammie the Clown was very well received and over the course of the following week, many of the other girls told me how awesome they thought it was.

Now, I’ve been back from the pageant for a month or so and I realize that I need to get moving on this clown thing. I finally connected with the Gentle Jesters group last Tuesday and was able to go to their monthly meeting that night. They gave me all kinds of great tips and told me how it works. They had an event yesterday and told me I could come as a clown or come to observe. sickle_cell

Since I have no  clown items, I said I’d come to observe. I made my way to The Supporters of Families with Sickle Cell Disease Back to School Bash where I essentially served as a clown intern or clown in training. I learned how to make balloons into dogs and swords. Then I was thrown into face painting. 

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I’d watch Lucy paint several faces and I just wasn’t sure I could do it. So I asked the first little boy, what he wanted me to paint on his face. He said, “A lion.” OMG how do you paint a lion? So I kind of winged it and when I was finished, I handed him the mirror and he got the biggest smile on his face. It was so awesome! I’m glad that Lucy made me paint faces because I was pretty sure I couldn’t do it and it turns out, I was wrong. 🙂

lucy

I’m so excited to be a full clown. Glammie the Clown will be making her debut on September 10 and the Claremore Community Center. Stay tuned!

 

Book Review: One Less Problem Without You

One Less Problem Without You: A NovelOne Less Problem Without You: A Novel by Beth Harbison

I love Beth Harbison’s books and was very much looking forward to reading this one. It was good! A little different than her normal chick lit, a little darker.

Prinny, Chelsea and Diana are three women who are involved with the nasty Leif. What a horrible person he was. Leif was Prinny’s half brother who hated her just for being born and never stopped his whole life. Diana was Leif’s wife whom he betrayed and abused. Chelsea, who knew Leif as Lee, was also abused by him.

Prinny has a metaphysical shop where she sells crystals and gives readings. Leif is constantly trying to get her inheritance away from her but, fortunately, her lawyer Alex looks out for her. Prinny falls in love with her lawyer who is initially married. She brings him all manner of new ideas just so she can spend time with him. She had just made arrangements to expand her shop when Diana came to ask if she could stay there. She knew it was the one place Leif wouldn’t look for her and she had decided to finally leave him. Diana is excellent at making herbal teas and that is how they decide to expand the shop. Chelsea works at the shop, too, giving readings while she tries to become and actress.

This is a good book that draws you right in and that you won’t want to put down!

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Book Review: From The Sideline

From the Sideline (Wake Up Call, #2)From the Sideline by Amy Avanzino
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a really good book. Given my work with concussion safety, I was a little nervous to read it, especially when I got to the part where Zachary got hurt.

Zachary is a ten year old who keeps to himself. After an abusive marriage, his mom Autumn throws his dad out and Zachary misses having a dad. He decides he wants to play football. Autumn is not real enthusiastic. She knows the dangers of concussion and doesn’t want her only child to be hurt. But she sees a real change in him so she lets him play.

Zachary eventually becomes “Zeke the Freak” loved by fans and his teammates alike. He grows and blossoms in his role on the team. Autumn starts getting into the whole football mom thing. She begs Zachary’s dad to come watch him play. Then Zachary gets hurt and that’s the week his dad comes to see him play. His dad acts like a complete jerk but Zachary sees him for what he really is and lets him go.

Autumn eventually realizes that Joaquin, who had been a mentor to Zachary, is good for both of them. This is a heartwarming story of growth. I give it two thumbs up!

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Social Media in the Real World

urbangrind

I’ve written before about my reason for being on social media. It’s to be able to have coffee with a friend anywhere in the world. I’ve had coffee with one of my snapchat friends, nessamakes, who happens to live just a mile away from me. But we were heading to Jacksonville, FL for the Mrs.International Pageant and I was excited to see that one of my other snap friends, Dapromoqueen, lives there. I made arrangements to get together with her.

dapromoqueen

We met at a cute coffee shop called Urban Grind Coffee Shop. It was an easy walk from the Omni Hotel where we were staying and was on Laura Street. Now, I don’t like when someone calls me Laura (even though it’s my given name) but I had to have a photo with the cool Laura Street sign.

Laura Street

When Dapromoqueen aka Tory, arrived, we had to snap about our meeting, of course. We had a fun time visting. She’s so nice and genuine and I love that we felt like friends right away.

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When we got ready to head back to the hotel we took a photo together. I’m really tall AND I had tall wedge shoes on. Tory was prepared for work and had flats on so I was WAY taller than she was. It was pretty funny!

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THIS, my friends, is what social media is about in the real world. At least for me. I know I have a friend to share coffee with anywhere I go. I’m so glad I got to meet Tory. I hope I’ll get to meet you when I am in your town!

CTE is NOT a Laughing Matter

When I saw the logo for The Opening, I was stunned. Speechless is a state you find me almost never. But…

What can you possibly say about a group using a death skull inside of a football helmet as their logo? The Opening describes themselves as “four days of dynamic competition for the nation’s most elite high school football prospects”. 

With all we currently know about CTE and what causes it, using a logo like this is a mockery of the truth of what can happen to youth football players whether they are elite players or the average kid who starts playing a collision sport at the age of eight or younger. Risk everything? Really?

Horrifying.

Sponsors of these events are Nike and Riddell. Speechless again. These are groups who know  what is going on with concussion in football. Why would they choose such an image? 

So I’m writing a blog post today when I really can’t even adequately express how I feel about the fact that large companies, who should know better, would chose such an image to portray their product. 

We need to protect our children’s brains, not risk everything! Everything is a life or death issue. CTE IS life or death and it’s real and it shouldn’t be mocked or belittled. People are losing their sons and daughters due to collisions sports being played with no regard to the fact that a concussion is a brain injury and should be treated accordingly. 

Be aware! For more information about concussion and CTE, visit StopCTE.org. Also, if you are a parent or parent group interested in stopping repetitive brain trauma in youth sports, please join the Save Your Brain Campaign

 

 

 

Being Social on Social Media

smdream

Yesterday, as I was riding my bike, I was thinking about just how awesome social media has been in my life. I love nothing better than to engage with new friends all over the world. And, really, isn’t engaging with people the very definition of social?

I used to love twitter so much. I still do but the truth is, it’s just not as much fun as it once was. The people I was friends with in the beginning have moved off of twitter and over to facebook. Fortunately, I connected with them there so I haven’t really lost anyone that I cared about but I’m sad that I don’t have the extensive conversations I used to have on twitter. I still work it really hard but that’s just it: it’s harder now than it used to be to have a conversation on twitter. At my gym in California, I was talking to one of the guys and he said, “Oh, twitter is just a broadcasting platform”. Umm, no it’s not. Is that what people think now? Is that why it’s changed so much?

twitter_followers

I have twitter followers from around the world. 53 different countries! I love that but talk to me, please!

Over the past year or so I’ve fallen madly and passionately in love with snapchat. By it’s very design, it’s an engagement platform and I’m rather blown away by all of the incredible people I’ve connected with there.

snapcodecrown

 As the reigning Mrs. Southwest International, I have my community service platform to promote and I’ve done it well on snapchat. I’ve had conversations with people all over the world and I’m set to make appearances as Mrs. International in five foreign countries should I win the international crown. 

I’m absolutely amazed to have connected with people who realize that keeping kids safe from concussions is a message that needs to be spread far and wide and I, personally, will not rest until I’ve told everyone. Just this morning, I connected with another of my followers who is, himself, a former hockey player and a TBI (traumatic brain injury) survivor. I learned that his mom has been helping TBI survivors for 26 years through a foundation she started. That’s good stuff she is doing. 

The reason I connected with him is because, in his snap story today, he asked what the meaning for Snapchat ROI is to you. To me, currently, it’s the connections I’ve been making for my platform. But it will no doubt change over time as my life changes. 

This is the sort of thing you miss if you aren’t social on social media, though. You will never make the incredible connections that could change your life. I love people and I love social media. I will keep engaging my little heart out on all platforms because, truly, social media is a dream vehicle that can take you anywhere you want to go! 

 

Book Review: Fever at Dawn

Fever at DawnFever at Dawn by Péter Gárdos

This was a good book about Miklos and Lili who both survived their respective concentration camp imprisonments. They were each being nursed back to health in rehabilitation centers many miles apart.

Miklos was determined to find a wife for himself and began a letter writing campaign to 117 girls who met the requirements he established for a wife. Lili writes him back and they communicate via letter for six months.

This is a fictionalized account of the author’s parents actual love story. It’s a sweet story and I found myself cheering for their relationship amidst the efforts of external situations and people to ruin it.

The book is light and easy to read. A love story.

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Book Review: I Almost Forgot About You

I Almost Forgot About YouI Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! As I was reading I realized taht the reason I love reading Terry McMillan’s books is that I would want to be friends with the main character. Georgia Young is no different.

Georgia is nearly 55 when she finds that a man she used to know has passed. This makes her re-evaluate her own life. She has been a successful optometrist but feels bored and that there’s more in life for her.

She decides to get in touch with the men she’s loved in her life to see where they are and how their lives have progressed. She wants to tell them she was glad to have been in their lives since they all taught her something. She manages to make peace with her two ex-husbands and then thinks pursuing the rest may not be the best idea.

While she’s trying to decide how to change her life. She puts her house on the market and makes plans to sell her share of her practice. Different events occur that make her realize that she really likes her home and she takes it off the market and decides to start making “art” from furniture in her garage.

Her friend throws her a party for her 55th birthday and invites a man she loved, but never even admitted that love to herself, in college. Eventually, in a rather short time, Georgia realizes this is where she’s supposed to be in her life.

I loved being part of Georgia finding herself. I’m glad she ended up with Stan, happy. I highly recommend this book. I couldn’t put it down! 🙂

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Book Review: The Girl From Summer Hill

The Girl from Summer Hill (Summer Hill, #1)The Girl from Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. No, I LOVED it. Such a great story and I loved the way it ended. The book is a modern day take on Pride and Prejudice. I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice (I know I need to rectify that) but I’m not sure if it would have made me love the story any more.

At first I thought it was going to be a standard love story where Casey and Tate would be together and then split up over and over again. I probably would’ve been okay with that because I really loved the characters in this book. But that isn’t how it went. When the character of Devlin turned out to be such a bad guy throwing unexpected twists into plot, I was surprised and excited. It gave the book so much more depth.

Casey is a cook and she is planning to take care of the food needs for the play that’s being produced in Summer Hill for the summer. While standing in one day, she unknowingly gets her own part in the play. Tate came to Summer Hill to try and revisit his mother’s early life. Casey and Tate start out on the wrong foot but over the course of the story, they fall in love.

This is a wonderful book. I loved it so much I didn’t want it to end. Seeing the Book 1 in the title makes me happy because I can’t wait to read more about the folks from Summer Hill.

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