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What a weekend I am having thus far! On Friday evening, I attended the play, The Way We Say Goodbye, written and directed by Donna Gay Anderson and presented by Southeastern Theatre. This play is a celebration of Southeastern Louisiana University launching a new B.A. in Theatre program this fall.The production’s entire cast and crew consisted of Southeastern students, faculty, and alumni. And, one of those cast members happens to be my good friend Sue, who I worked with for many years at Holy Ghost Catholic School. She also taught Andrew, my youngest son, science at HGCS. The Way We Say Goodbye is about 15 women saying goodbye for various reasons.

Sue played Sorter, and her character was saying goodbye to some of the sentimental things she had been holding onto for years and reminiscing about the impact those things had on her life. Sue has not been on stage in several years because for the last 27 years, she has been directing children’s theatre. Andrew performed in three plays under her direction. She has also been super supportive of my acting journey. I’m so proud of Sue. The play was incredibly moving, humorous, and entertaining. The entire cast gave phenomenal performances. Bravo!

On Saturday afternoon, Helen and I attended The Jungle Book at the Columbia Theatre in downtown Hammond. We thoroughly enjoyed the performance. I was fortunate to participate in readings of The Jungle Book over the summer. Being a part of the readings was super special because the playwright, Tommy Jamerson, was there with us via Zoom. It was incredible to see how the cast and crew brought this play to life. I loved seeing so many of my talented friends performing. Bravo!

Tonight, at 7:30 PM CT is the series finale of The Walking Dead. Earlier today, I watched a couple of the episodes leading up to the finale. I LOVE The Walking Dead! I am prepared for an emotional evening as this incredible series wraps up 11 seasons of outstanding storytelling. The 90-minute final episode should be spectacular since it was directed by Greg Nicotero. I have watched this awesome show from the beginning as well as the other shows set in The Walking Dead universe. Over the years, I have met a few of the actors (Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus, Scott Wilson, and Michael Rooker), who have portrayed a few of my favorite characters, at Comic Con in New Orleans. And, I even have plenty of TWD merchandise. I will miss my group. Thank goodness for streaming, so I can revisit my favorite characters from time to time. And, thank goodness for more series in TWD universe coming out in the future.

The last few weeks since I launched my YouTube channel have been busy reading and creating content for my new channel. Being a newbie has its challenges, especially with filming and editing videos. However, I have released four videos and have been having a ball meeting other booktubers in the Booktube community. My latest video is a Booktube Newbie Tag where I answer questions about my reading journey, my reading preferences, the reason for starting my channel and much more. Every time I create a video, I learn something new, and I find that exciting.

Well, dear reader, that is all I have for you today. I have to finish a few tasks before I park myself in front of the television to say goodbye to The Walking Dead. I hope you had an enjoyable weekend. May your upcoming week be filled with lots of joy, laughter, and good cheer. Happiness!

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” ~ Meister Eckhart

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I am having the most fang-tastic weekend, dear reader! The play I am performing in, The House on Haunted Hill as Mrs. Eleanor Slides, opened on Friday night. And, I am having the time of my life. My dear, bootiful friend Kelsi attended last night’s show with her boyfriend Paul. They drove all the way from Harahan to inky black Louisiana to see me perform. We were able to chat for a few minutes after the show.

My good friend and co-worker Debbie and her husband Jerry also attended the show last night. Debbie and Jerry snuck out after the performance since Jerry had to work early this morning, so I didn’t get the chance to see them afterwards. However, I received a sweet text from her this morning. Everyone enjoyed the spooky production. I am super appreciative of my friends’ support. What a happiness boost!

This morning, I finished the most spooktacular book. My Best Friend’s Exorcism is the first novel that I have read by Grady Hendrix, but it will not be the last. Kelsi recommended it to me ages ago, so I chose it for one of the prompts on our Halloween Readathon. It is AWESOME! Anyone who grew up in the 80s or enjoy 80s nostalgia will enjoy this book. While it is a horror novel, friendship is at the heart of the story. If you have ever had a best friend who will stick by your side until the end, this book was written for you.

Today happens to be Halloween which is my absolute favorite holiday of the year. I have a bunch of activities planned for the day that will extend well into the evening hours. The first activity on my Halloween agenda is to bake an Autumn Pumpkin Cake. While the cake is baking, I will read one of the two remaining selections on my Halloween Readathon (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Widow’s Broom). I’ll read the other one while the cake cools.

I will be handing out treats tonight with the help of Andrew and my hubby, sporting my new Halloween themed t-shirt that my hubby bought for me last week. There are only three movies left to watch on my Halloween Movie Marathon list. I am planning to watch two of them throughout the day and saving one for after the trick-or-treaters have departed our neighborhood for the evening. My Halloween Fun List must be completed by midnight tonight. Kelsi and I will be scheduling a few chats very soon to discuss our Halloween season festivities, books, and movies.

In the meantime, dear reader, enjoy the spookiness of Halloween. And, if you are in the area and have a couple of hours to kill, consider attending a performance of The House on Haunted Hill. It will be running for two more weekends on Friday and Saturday nights (November 05, 06, and 12, 13) at the Columbia Theatre in Hammond. It’s a party like no other. Happiness!

“Don’t let the ghosts and ghouls disturb you, love.” ~ Frederick Loren, The House on Haunted Hill

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I have amazing news to share with you, dear reader! I have accepted the role of Eleanor Slides in the play, The House on Haunted Hill, which will be opening Halloween weekend at the Columbia Theatre in downtown Hammond.

As many of you know, I auditioned for this play back in August for the audition experience and the opportunity to meet the artistic director of the theatre, Jim Winter. I knew going into the audition that I did not have a chance of being cast because the weekend of the second show, my hubby and I would be attending The Psychedelic Furs concert at Tipitina’s in New Orleans. Then, I got a callback. My first thought was they didn’t see I have a conflict. I went to the callback, confirmed that they knew about my conflict (they knew), and did not get cast which was not a surprise. However, my goal was achieved plus more. I not only auditioned for the play and met Jim, but I also got a callback which exceeded all of my expectations.

So, I went back to living my life. As far as the play was concerned, it was an eerie extra on my Halloween Fun List. I was hoping to attend one of the shows, preferably the Friday night performance (opening night) on Halloween weekend. Yes, the dates for the play had changed due to Hurricane Ida. In addition to the show being pushed back, another weekend of shows had been added since the performance hall of the theatre sustained damage, and the play would now be held in the Conference Center of the theatre (a smaller, more intimate venue).

Out of the blue, last Sunday afternoon around 1:00, I received a text from Katy, the stage manager for the play. Since the play had been pushed back because of the hurricane, and they needed to replace a cast member, she asked me if I would be interested in joining the cast as Mrs. Slides. My conflict on the weekend of October 22nd was no longer an issue. Of course, I said YES! Last Monday was my first night of rehearsal. I am so happy I went to the audition and thrilled to have this opportunity. The cast, Katy, Jim, and Jade (the costumer) have all been super nice and supportive. I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity. The play is going to be spooky, creepy, and a great deal of fun which is right up my alley.

You never know where the universe will lead you, dear reader, if you are open to exploring the possibilities for your life and willing to accept the opportunities when they present themselves. Being a part of The House on Haunted Hill is definitely feeding my creative soul. In three weeks, I will take the stage with an incredible cast, and I cannot wait. Happiness!

“Acting is not about being famous. It’s about exploring the human soul.” ~ Annette Bening

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On Friday, November 1st, I took the stage for the very first time as Mitch Mahoney in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. My friend Tina sent me a text later that evening and asked me, “How did your first performance feel? Empowering? Awesome?”

I responded the next morning (since I was already in bed when she sent the text), “Without sounding dramatic, my first performance on the stage was exhilarating! Being a part of this cast has definitely been a dream come true. If there is such a thing as an actor’s high, I was as high as a kite last night. I cannot wait to do it again tonight. I’m still giddy this morning. Thanks for being one of my biggest cheerleaders. Love ya!”

Julia & Mitch

Julia and I after the show on opening night. 

And, I DID do it again last night. And, I get to do it again four more times this month. I’m having a blast! I fully expected to be a bundle of nerves on opening night, and shockingly, I was not really nervous on opening night or last night. I couldn’t wait to get out on the stage and entertain the audience. There is nothing quite like performing for an audience. We sold out opening night and had a good number of guests last night; however, both crowds brought the energy we needed to give it our all. I am proud of our cast and the musicians. Did I mention that we have live music for the show? The music is amazing! I am extremely grateful to everyone who has attended so far, including my friends and former students from HGCS. Our next show is on Friday, November 8th. Of course, I can’t wait! Undoubtedly, it is going to feel a bit strange not going to rehearsal in the evenings this week.

In Other News:

  • I’m flying to Atlanta on Wednesday of this week. My niece Emma, who is also my godchild, asked me to be her Confirmation sponsor. What an honor! It will be a quick trip, and I’ll be back home by Thursday evening.
  • NaNoWriMo started on Friday, November 1st. I have not written one word of my novel, yet. The plan is to start writing today. I will have to adjust my word count per day to reach my 50,000 words by the end of the month.
  • Today, my hubby and I are driving to the WWII Museum in New Orleans to see the play, Higgins: The Man, the Boat, the War. It is a gorgeous day today, so the drive to the city will be pleasant.
  • As for my weight loss goal, I am down another 2 pounds which puts me at a total loss of 11 pounds since September 2nd. I have 8 more pounds to lose by the end of 2019 to reach my goal.

November has certainly started off with a bang for me, dear reader. Much more is to come as the month unfolds. I am amazed that there are only two months left in 2019. I still have a few items to cross off of my 19 for 2019 list. I have a feeling a couple of those items will be added to my 2020 list. Life is unpredictable, so it is best to go with the flow and to adjust as needed. I’m really not a go-with-the-flow kind of gal by nature. I’m more of a planner and prefer structure; however, life doesn’t always accommodate me, so I’m slowly learning to adapt. While the unpredictability of life can be stressful, it can also be invigorating. How do you handle life and all its unpredictability, dear reader? Happiness!

“It is tempting to quit striving toward a goal when you have neither the time, the resources, the support, the means, nor perhaps the confidence in talent to reach the level of standing you wish to reach. But these are not reasons to quit. Move forward anyway. Try your best. Put what little you do have into accomplishing what you can, because along the way you may attain a portion of what you feel is lacking. And owning a portion of a dream is better than owning no dream at all. Never give up.” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich

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My hubby and I worked concessions with Andrew and some of his fellow troop (Boy Scouts) members last night at the SLU football game. It was fun, but busy. My duties consisted of filling nacho trays, wrapping hamburgers and hotdogs, pouring soft drinks, and waiting on customers. I even had to squeeze the cheese bag to get the last bit of cheese out of it. Come to think of it, I also had to squeeze the chili bag, too.

Today will be another fun and busy day with my family. My hubby is cutting the grass, I’m blogging, and Andrew is about to hurl my little dog out the door. Comet aka Tooty just wants to go outside and get in Barry’s way, so he is whining and whistling, and well…being a tad bit obnoxious. This is aggravating Andrew because he cannot hear whatever he is listening to on the computer. After lunch, we have tickets to attend the play “The Nerd” at the Playmakers Theater. One of my acting friends is part of the cast. It is suppose to be hilarious. Who doesn’t need a good laugh? I’m excited because my hubby agreed to go with us. He is not big on plays, so this is a big deal. 

My weight loss journey continues. I lost another three pounds this week bringing my total weight loss to 18 pounds. I now weigh 135 pounds. Just ten more pounds to go until I reach my goal weight. Then it is all about toning and maintenance. I’m repeating my run/walk schedule this week, which is to Walk 10 minutes, run 8 minutes. Walk 2 minutes, run 8 minutes (repeat twice). I feel like I can increase my run time; however, I don’t want to risk injury. I’m also riding my bike more during the week. My hubby bought me a light for my bike. I’ll get to test it out on Tuesday morning.

Now that my blogging is done, I must take care of the laundry and clean a toilet or two before eating lunch. Wishing all my readers a terrific day…do something to create some positive energy. Happiness!

Check out Leo Babauta’s blog zen habits. He wrote a wonderful post about 20 Simple Strategies for Getting Healthy.

“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”  ~ Roald Dahl

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