Monday, January 20, 2020

Continuing My Creative Chaos Theme!

Remember in a previous post when I explained how our so-called "orderly creativity" is constantly turned into chaos (which we do thrive on, really!) Well, that is why this blog is being published nine days after my last one, even though I have said I would complete one a week. I do think I should say I just have to pick the best "free time" within close to a week's time, or maybe even sooner - when I can enjoy writing and posting to you. Just keep looking; I'm still here, and still committed.

That being explained, let's return to that ever-present condition in our lives: "chaos". Webster's dictionary defines that word as "a state of things in which chance is supreme." (They certainly got that right!) My Oxford Thesaurus gives several choices, including disorder, mayhem, disruption, commotion and muddle. Again, all appropriate to our personal experiences.

Muddle. A word that makes me laugh, and fits best, I believe. R.J. and I give hours each day to our creative work, whatever form it takes: painting, writing, theatre, etc., but we never let that overshadow family. And this last week has been all about family: a birthday for our youngest grandson, helping our oldest grandson move from his apartment to our house for a few months, a meeting with our son about his next theatre directing project (which RJ and I will also be a part of), and phone calls, errands, etc., that are all related to those things. Oh, yes, and RJ had to shovel snow as well!

The muddle enters our world because we cannot ignore our work since that is how we pay our bills, have a roof over our heads, and continue to enjoy the life that being creative creates for us. Juggling all those things this week was difficult - but we did obtain success in one form or another. That's because we are used to a life where chance is supreme.

I must add that the technology that breeds the "hurry-up" of society in general initiates more chaos for us than in earlier decades, when we existed just fine without mobile phones, the internet, social media in any form, and screens in every public and private place - whether you want them or not! And the most annoying part of it all, for us, is that we had amazing creative lives without all that, before it became absolutely necessary to function because everyone now expects you to be "constantly connected."

So, when you try to imagine what our daily lives include, just conjure up the word muddle, and maybe giggle, thinking about what we might be attempting to create, complete, and control.

Hope you have a splendid week - and, please, let me know your thoughts on the above.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

A Typical Week - Ha!

Since my new theme - if that's what it is - for my blog posts is supposed to include funny, or touching or informational or editorial rhetoric about my creative life, then I must explain what a typical week is like for R.J. and I.

There IS no such thing: the only thing "typical" is that the week begins on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday. In between, we both have calendars with meetings, family plans, and work commitments noted, but there are ALWAYS interruptions, changes, and unforeseen "whatevers"! I must add that we thrive on this kind of untypical chaos - it keeps us young, keeps our brains sharp and offers a never-ending menu of challenges.

Let's look at this week to illustrate what I mean. On Monday, we took the day off to celebrate my birthday, and went by train to downtown Chicago. There, we had lunch, and walked the city - and walked, and walked. All fun, but we paid for it with sore muscles and crazy sleep patterns. We did manage to accomplish some of our scheduled activities and appointments, but in doing so, we had to cancel our FB Live show on Thursday to attend to work. We have spent the last two days taking down our Christmas decorations, and our tree - which we had planned to do on Wednesday!

I'm sure many of you could relate to a crazy week like that once in a while, but if you choose a creative life, as we did many decades ago, then craziness and chaos are part of the everyday. In my blog next week, I have a perfect story about that.

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

It's 2020 - And We're Back At "It"!

If you read my last post, from December 18th, you know that our new book is on the market - AND I promised another blog on the 21st, to be my last for 2019.

Well! R.J. decided he deserved a couple of weeks off, after his non-stop year of painting and commitments, and I totally agreed. I also knew he was right that I, too, deserved some days away from work and anything other than "fun Holiday stuff". So, no blog last week, and neither of us have any guilt about our down times - they have helped us both to recharge, and converse about our goals for this Leap Year.

During Christmas week, we received copies of our new book in the mail, and are definitely pleased with the finished product. If you have purchased, or plan to purchase a copy, please help us by going on Amazon and posting a review - which we hope will be positive! We spent almost 3 years getting this last in the trilogy of early WDW just right, and are proud of our work, and eager to have your feedback (which you can also do to me via this blog site, by the way.)

On Thursday, Jan. 9th, R.J. and I will both be on his Facebook Live show (3 pm CST), showing off our Disney Christmas decorations and talking more about the new book. Please join us - and thanks for staying with me here. There WILL be weekly entries here from now on!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

My Christmas "Excuse"

Last week, I was non-stop busy with entertaining company, a day with our youngest grandson, Christmas cards and our annual Newsletter, final house decorating, early shopping, Etc., Etc., Etc!

All that should excuse me from totally forgetting to do a blog post, right? But, there's one more happy reason that my attentions were elsewhere: our newest book, Imagination and Dreams Are Forever debuted for sale early in the week, and R.J. and I were both busy promoting it everywhere. By now, it should be available on the Theme Park Press website, and I know you can purchase it on Amazon.

Tomorrow, on FB Live (at 3 pm, CST), R.J. and I will be showcasing the book, and reading some passages from it to entice buyers. Please join us for that; it will be our Christmas broadcast, and we have lots to share.

I WILL do another post at the end of this week, so come back on Saturday for another blog. I've put a post-it under my computer screen to remind me!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Just Our Way

Early each morning, R.J. and I spend about an hour, in our living room, listening to music, drinking our coffee, and just talking - about all manner of topics both important and not so. We've discovered it is the best way to recharge our creative energies.

R.J. can always make me laugh, help me see new solutions to any problem I struggle with, and is forever my cheerleader and confidant. He claims I do the same for him. As far as our daily schedules go, for work and commitments, one day is never like another, so having that morning time together is the spark that ignites us - much more so than a quick cup of coffee and a hurried kiss, as we head off in different directions.

I realize that our special careers, which allow us to work from home, is not what most couples enjoy. And, without sounding like a boring teacher advocating life's best solution, let me make it clear that, in describing the start to our days, I'm not trying to say this is the only way to be productive, or have the perfect marriage!

No, my purpose, in this new launch of my blog, is that I will sometimes describe aspects of our lives that are unique for us, hoping that, by doing so, you will know me a little better.

I welcome your comments about my thoughts - and please share with me some of the ways you inspire yourselves each day.       

Friday, November 29, 2019

My Own Idea of Thankfulness

I didn't take a picture yesterday, of the members of our family around our dining table - at least not a photograph that you could view. Instead, the picture I do have is a mental one - and a thankful one.

Let me give you a word picture: there were 8 of us able to get together for Thanksgiving, and, before we began the sumptuous dinner we had all helped prepare, we joined hands - not simultaneously - but with smiles and some remarks of "what are we doing?" I explained that I wanted everyone to say what they were thankful for. I'm aware that this is not original to the holiday, but the responses from each of us certainly were!

They ranged from the last to arrive before dinner being thankful we had saved some appetizers for him, to a very quick blessing so that we could start passing food. Others were more traditional, such as being thankful for their children or the love of their partner. I said I was able to enjoy the day because of all the help I had with the meal.

I watched all the faces of these special people in my life, laughing or smiling as each took time to respond in their own unique way. And that's my own idea of thankfulness, having them all there, sharing their own brand of happy with me. That image will never dim.   

Thursday, November 21, 2019

This Is "My Expanded Blog" - Enjoy!

After many months of ruminating about how I could make this blog more open and interesting - I went through several titles changes, thought about what parts of my life I wanted to share, what thoughts I had that might be of interest to my followers, and on and on - I consulted my creative other half, and working together, I finally untangled my brain and am happy with what I'm about to write here as we go forward.

First of all, I decided that my original title would stay because, after all, I am a published writer, and my "musings" are basically anything I think about and want to write about and share. I did come up with what I feel better expresses my intention with my work. My new subtitle definitely does that (I do have a crazy life and I want you to enjoy it with me!)

My posts will be at least one a week, and will include subjects of my writing life, my theatre life, my Disney life, my family life, etc., etc. etc.  There are so many facets of what creativity in a life style have given, and continue to give every day.

Please come back and visit often, and PLEASE send me your comments, remarks, or critiques. I sincerely want to know what my readers/followers think of my writings, and you also inspire ideas for new avenues to explore. There is a place to comment at the end of each post, and you can indicate whether you want your remarks published for all to read - or not. I look forward to how you can make this blog even better!

Lastly, on the Facebook Live show that my talented artist husband does every other Thursday (just go on FB and search "Randy Jack Ogren" - every other Thursday at 3 pm CST), I appear with him, once a month, to share stories and answer questions from our Disney followers. I am starting a new item on there with today's Live by occasionally sharing one of my favorite recipes. On the days that I do that, my blog will have the full recipe in print for anyone who wants it.

So! After that long-winded explanation, here is the recipe that will be on our show. It is one that I've been making for about 40 years, for special dinners, and my family - especially my husband - loves to have for Thanksgiving dinner:

Scalloped Corn Supreme

1 15 oz. can of cream style corn
1 cup milk
1 well-beaten egg
1 cup cracker crumbs (either saltines or Ritz type)
1/4 cup minced onion
3 Tbls. chopped pimiento
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttered cracker crumbs

Heat corn and milk. Gradually stir in egg. Add next four ingredients and a dash of pepper. Mix well. Pour into an 8-inch round baking dish. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over it. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Serves 6. 

Have a great Holiday, and I'll be back here next week with - well who knows?!