Who Am I?

One of the phrases that came up in Sunday’s sermon is “I Am”. I decided for tomorrow’s post is to write a poem that is in reference to “I Am”. This is a poem about who “I am”.

I am: 

I am a daughter

I am a sister

I am the youngest sibling

I am blue-eyed

I am right-handed

I am an American

I am a North Carolinian

I am someone who loves to hike

I am a musical theatre fanatic

I am obsessed with Les Mis

I am a mountain person

I am a strong spirit

I am a snowglobe collector

I am a playbill collector

I am a college graduate

I am a volunteer

I am a blogger

I am a bookworm

I am a lover of fantasy, mystery, and classic

I am smart

I am unique

I am determined

I am big-hearted

I am funny

I am compassionate

I am a fan of glitter and sparkles

I am a fan of Disney

I am true to who I am

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My Snowglobe Collection

I cannot believe I never talked about this on my blog before, but I collect snow globes, and I want to show my followers my snowglobe collection.

Below are my small snowglobes. My Paris one is looking a bit sad since it has lost water. I don’t think that was bought when I went to Paris. Sometimes people buy me snowglobes on their vacations; but most of them I buy.  Also found within the small snow gloves are ones from the Jacksonville Zoo, Chicago, Africa, Hilton Head, Rome, Atlanta, and an additional France one. I love how my snowglobes are a mix of small and big snowglobes. The Rome and Africa ones are places I haven’t been to for instance.

In terms of most of the other locations, I remember going to. Like Jacksonville, I go to Ponte Vedra annually; which is about twenty to thirty minutes away from from the Jacksonville Zoo. In 2015, I went to Chicago to celebrate my grandma’s 85th birthday with my extended family, and I wanted to find a snowglobe.

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Below ares snowglobes that people made for me. The one on the left my parents made for me. As a bit of background, Kanuga is an Episcopalian Conference Center located in Hendersonville, NC. Annually my church goes on a Parish Weekend there- I have been there for the Parish Weekends, Thanksgiving and a high school youth conference called Winterlight. Kanuga was the place where I truly began to believe in God. So that snowglobe has a very special meaning to me.

As for the other one- for my 24th birthday, my two suitemates made that for me. My suite started with six of us, but in the 2nd semester, it ended up just the three of us. Knowing that I collect snowglobes, they ended up giving me a snowglobe. Before heading for dinner, a picture was taken of all three of us, which was put in the snowglobe.

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The Maine snowglobe is another one of a place I didn’t go to, but close family friends got that for me. Saint Louis is situated in Missouri and like Florida, I have created some very lasting memories there like going to the City Museum, going up in the arch, seeing Cardinals baseball games or spending a week with my grandma alone (which was when I saw Annie). I am glad I got that snow glove. As for Grandfather Mountain, I went there when the daughter of a close family friend invited me to spend time at Montreat, which is near Black Mountain, and part of that trip involved going to Grandfather Mountain,  and that is where I bought the snowglobe.

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The three snowglobes below come from three very special trips of mine. Spending time in Alaska wasn’t just some ordinary vacation: My family and extended family went to Alaska through a program called Tauck Bridges- think of it as cruise; but our main traveling was by bus, not by boat. We ended up geocaching, meeting husky dogs, lots of hiking, seeing wonderful glaciers, and so many other wonderful things. This all happened in 2011.

I went to Costa Rica in 2014 when I was still a student at Central Piedmont Community College. I studied abroad in Costa Rica for two weeks. We ended up staying in Atenas, Costra Rica, which is about thirty minutes away from San Jose. It was a cultural immersion study abroad trip. Part of it included visiting a farmer’s market, which I got to enjoy coconut water, where we got to drink it straight out of a coconut. We did some service as well. Part of it included going to the theatre, where we saw a comedy, but I was kind of confused as to what was going on. We a few days in Monteverde Rainforest Preserve, where one day all of us hiked and another we participated in the canopy zipline. The zipline was scary at times because we were right above the canopy and when I would get stuck in the middle; I had to right for a guide to get me so I would just be dangling there and it was scary just knowing how high up I was. Costa Rica was one of the most beautiful countries I ever visited.

So many followers know about England. It was debatable if I should get my snowglobe in London or Bristol. This was my very first pilgrimage, which would become a huge part of my spiritual journey, which would become very transforming in many ways. I thought I wouldn’t attend all ten church services, but I did. My mountain-top moment was Stonehnge because of the way the wind was pushing me me towards the stones and the atmosphere surrounding the stones. Even the small parts that weren’t as effective like Bath would add up in the end. Even the two extra days, that weren’t part of the pilgrimage, were still part of England- I mean Les Mis followed perfectly into the pilgrimage- after all Les Mis is a spiritual journey- which meant I would go on Jean Valjean’s spiritual journey the day before I went on my own- see what I mean.

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Now on to the gigantic snowglobe. This was a Christmas present one year. This was the most perfect gift for me. After all it is a Wicked snowglobe. It represents my love for musical theatre perfectly. My love for Wicked is so special- I have loved it for 12 years now. My vision of musicals is represented perfectly in Wicked and if you turn in upside down, there is a way for it to start playing “For Good”. Wicked actually sparked my love for musicals- if Wicked never entered my life- Les Mis wouldn’t have able to enter my life. So Wicked is very very special to me- my favorite musical character is part of Wicked- Elphaba.

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Children’s Fantasy-Fairy Frogs and Toads

What some of my followers may not know is that I am in the middle of writing a children’s fantasy. I got inspired about six years ago walking on one of Charlotte’s greenways. On a boardwalk, to the left, I saw a bunch of Cattails, but to me it looked like a “Cattail Forest” so an idea was born. Below is a breakdown of this book I am writing.

Summary:

Sparkle, a 12 year old Fairy Frog, befriends Marge, who is a toad. But it is against the rules for frogs and toads to be friends. What happens when Sarge, the toad’s leader and Marge’s uncle, tries to get in the way of their friendship? The book centers around the friendship Sparkle has with this toad and how she starts a cycle of friendship after showing compassion to Marge, which eventually leads to the Fairy Frogs trying to befriend the toads.

Characters:

Fairy Frogs- all of them are artistic, clever, and deeply compassionate. They may all share these three characteristics, but they all still each have different personalities. Unique fact: not everyone can see them. Humans can see them; but not all humans. I gave each of my Fairy Frog characters a different craft to show that they are artistic. 

Sparkle: a drawer Frog who is 12 years old and my protagonist. She is very adventurous, courageous and rebellious due to how invested she is in her craft. Even though she is not allowed to be in Graysloup or befriend a toad or interact with them, she doesn’t care. She just wants to help a toad who is in need of a friend ,who also needs some compassion. She always carries around a gold and silver backpack with a pink S in the center. That backpack holds all her drawing supplies. She is one of the most gifted drawers and usually at age 12, they are still getting to know their craft and not quite as skilled as Sparkle is. Sparkle likes to draw anything even in places that she knows are against are against the rules, which is how she ends up in Graysloup in the first place.

Misty: She is Sparkle’s best friend. She is very protective of her. She sometimes has to lie to Aires if she knows where Sparkle really is. Once she know that Sparkle is really in Graysloup, she might just tell Aires she has been in the Cattail Forest all along or just found a new place to draw in the opposite direction. She is my singer frog, and she discovered her talent a bit late. She doesn’t have much time to write many songs due to her protective nature of Sparkle.

Aires: He is the Fairy Frogs leader. He is a very confident leader and will do anything to protect them. That is why he made the rule to keep the frogs out of Graysloup. Even though he is Darcy’s uncle, he is very concerned about Sparkle. She is always sneaking out and he can notice that. His craft is in construction and he is head carpenter. He wears a red hat construction hat with a white “A” on it.

Darcy: As I said with Aires, he is Aires’ nephew. He is a sculpture frog. He is about 14 or 15. That is all I know about him for him for now. He and Felipe are best friends.

Felipe: I already said this, but he is Darcy’s best friend. He also is about 14 or 15. His craft is in woodcarving.

Celeste- She is 8 years old and is a potter

Tweetsie- She is one of my youngest frogs at the age of 5. She is of the most energetic frogs out there. She spends the story trying to figure out what her craft is. From the ages of 3-5, frogs are still trying to figure out what craft they are naturally talented at

 

Toads- they are assumed to be rude and disrespectful mainly because Sarge is their leader, but that is not really true. After all, Marge is one of them. 

Sarge: The main antagonist. He is basically this bully and leader of the toads. He hurts the toads and other creatures, but it is most frustrating that he would do what he does to this niece. He eventually has to hire a spy to spy on Marge and any Fairy Frog activity going on in Graysloup. He does actions like throw rocks at the frogs or say hurtful things or shove Marge and other toads in the mud. I don’t know if Sarge is going to clean up his act by the end of my book or not- if I decide he will not, I will just kick him out of Graysloup.

Marge: About Sparkle’s age. She just happens to be niece to my book’s antagonist, She has to stand up to Sarge on multiple occasions. She wants him to clean up his act and clean up Graysloup, but he never listens. It always ends up with him hurting her. He emotionally or physically hurts her. She feels like an outsider among all the toads. She sees that other toads are unhappy in Graysloup as well, and she wants to change some things. She is very wise for her age. I developed a soft spot for her due to how poorly she is treated by her uncle, but thank good Sparkle shows her compassion and becomes her friend.

Norg: He is the one who become Sarge’s spy. Norg makes me hate Sarge even more. Sarge just had to hire him to make it easier to get in the way of Sparkle and Marge’s friendship. Once all the frogs start befriending the toads all together, Norg tells Sarge even more things going on. I don’t what it is about Norg that causes Sarge to trust him to become his spy. Why does he treat Norg the best out of all the toads?

Claude: He is a 15 year old. In the book, he only does rude or not so nice things because Sarge demands him to. He really doesn’t want to do those things one bit. When the Fairy Frogs start befriending the toads, he ends up becoming friends with Darcy and Felipe.

Undeveloped Toads-

Effa/Rudy- I have no idea who they are the moment. They are two girl toads and I want them in the story because I do not want Marge to be the only girl toad.

 

Locations:

The Cattail Forest– home of the Fairy Frogs

-In the center, there is a grove of trees with treehouses on it that the carpenter frogs made. Each tree house represents the frogs. For example, a drawer frog’s house might have a bed made from colored pencils with a drawing studio

-The trees are connected by brides

-At bottom of each tree, there are small red mushrooms with white dots

-The creeks are lined with pebbles that the Fairy Frogs painted: they are very creative: for example- Felipe being a woodcarver, he carved some of them into different shape. Sparkle may not be a painter, but she actually drew the design, then painted in between the lines- so how the pebbles are painted or carved shows their cleverness: very clear creeks

– There is a Gazebo there where the singers, dancer, and performers entertain

-There are various sculptures found throughout Cattail Forest that Sculpture frogs are created

– Due to their artistic abilities, you can constantly see Fairy Frogs working on their crafts throughout the Cattail Frogs. You can see the 3-5 year olds trying to figure out what their natural gift is. The 8-12 year olds may know what their craft is, but they still are only just experimenting with their craft trying. It is the 13-18 year olds who are the most skilled at their crafts before they become adults.

-So it is a very magical and enchanting place

 

Graysloup-home of the toads

– -stuck sleeping underneath a highway

-muddy creeks and mud everywhere

-weather feels very muggy and humid

-lots of trenches and ditches

-not beautiful at all

 

It is going to be a book with illustrations as well. I have always been a storyteller; just never written any story down. Since I want to work in Nonprofit: needed to find a way to make more money. I am very slow at getting this book written. This book really seems to be a book all about compassion and forgiveness.

 

Celebrate America: Pops Symphony

I started celebrating My Fourth of July on the 1st of July through the Pops Symphony

Of course, the opening song was our National Anthem. One of the songs was “The Soldier Farewell”. One of my favorite moments in this symphony was when the veterans and current soldiers are honored and they have to stand when their march is played so it is basically a way to thank them. We get to sing along to what I said “The National Anthem” along with “God Bless America”, and “America the Beautiful”. It was filled with a couple of marches. The symphony played the overture from Guys and Dolls. This symphony ended with fireworks. So this outdoor symphony was a great way to start Fourth of July even though it happened at 1st of July.

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2018 Pops Symphony: Broadway Musicals

June 24 was the first outdoor Pops symphony of 2018. The theme of the 24th was Broadway. I asked if one of my best friends from college wanted to come and she did. Outdoor Pops is basically an outdoor symphony while enjoying a picnic at the same time.

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Shows of Yesterday- Songs except for a few:

Chicago- All That Jazz, Cell Block Tango, etc

Carousel- “Waltz”: it sounded exactly like a carousel: I know knew what the song was because before Carousel began, the composer said they will be playing the Waltz from Carousel

My Fair Lady- I Could Have Danced all Night, On the Street Where I Live,  Wouldn’t it Be Loverly, Show Me, Get me to the Church on Time, With a Little Bit of Luck

Music Man- “76 Trombones”: one of the best anthems in musical theatre

Wicked- No One Mourns the Wicked, Dancing through Life, Popular, Defying Gravity- during Wicked I got so in it

Phantom of the Opera- Overture, Think of Me, Angel of Music, Phantom of the Opera, All I Ask of You, Masquerade, Music of the Night: just from music alone, I felt the Phantom’s presence during the haunting music.

Porgy and Bess- a musical where I don’t know what any of the songs were

Sound of Music- Sound of Music, How can Love Survive, My Favorite Things, Sixteen going on Seventeen, So Long Farewell, (Sang: Do Re Mi and Edelweiss), Maria and Climb Every Mountain

 

Short Trip to the Mountains

From Tuesday to Friday, my family went up to Sugar Mountain, which is near Boone, Banner Elk, and Grandfather Mountain. The picture below is a sunset outside from where my family where we were staying. North Carolina has pretty mountains and this trip proves that.

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Profile Trail:

One of the trails we hiked was the Profile Trail. We didn’t hike the entire way. But hiked for part of it.

Grandfather Mountain:

Courage Cannot Erase our Fear

Courage is When we Face our Fear

-Seize the Day, Newsies

I put this quote up from Newsies because it reminds me of how I felt crossing the Swinging Bridge. It can be quite scary going across that bridge because it goes straight across a gorge. But I made it across and to get a nice view, you have to walk up these rocks, which is also scary, but my hiking stick helped. But it was so worth it. Grandfather mountain was what my family did on Thursday.

Banner Elk:

We walked through the town of Banner Elk on Thursday. Below is a picture of me standing at the Elk. There isn’t much to Banner Elk, but a lovely town.

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Boone:

Friday was exciting. I was able to meet up a good college friend for lunch. She lives about thirty minutes away from Boone so we were able to meet up.