Boobies or Bullies


pink and purple – they represent more than a color this month of October. One color is a “popular” choice for fundraisers — the other is not :(

Originally posted on iCygnet:

October is a month of crisp cool air for those of us living in the Northeast.  Although autumn involved two of the worst events in my life, the fall remains my favorite season.

BreastCancer      Breast Cancer   Breast Cancer

October is the month designated for observing and screening for cancer.  The color PINK is everywhere you look — ribbons, shirts, pins — hair and food. Boobies are easier to think about and discuss. We get images of nurturing a life of an infant to a sensual adult pleasure.  What’s not to like about boobs/breasts?  Fundraisers for awareness, screening and survivors receive wholehearted support — emotionally and financially.

The reports of school violence astound us.  Random shootings for revenge trouble us.  We have become aware of ministers, priests, teachers, coaches, counselors who have crossed the line of comfort to criminal.  It takes years for most abuse victims to step forward from the shadow of silence and confront the creeps.

October is…

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Does Size Matter?

What’s the Difference: Orchestra, Symphony, and Philharmonic?

The Dilemma: So are the musicians where you’ve been dragged part of an orchestra, a symphony, or a philharmonic?
And more important, is it intermission yet?

People You Can Impress: guys named Ludwig, Wolfgang, or Dmitri

The Quick Trick: All symphonies are orchestras, but only the big orchestras are symphonies.

Full orchestra: strings, winds, brass, harp, percussion — this group fills the stage.

Chamber Orchestra: strings, winds, sometimes brass, occasional harp, maybe percussion

Chamber Ensemble:  One per instrument from 6 – 11

Quintet: 5 musicians – brass, woodwinds, strings with piano, mixed ensemble

Quartet: this shows a standard string quartet.  Can be 4 winds, 4 brass, 4 percussion, or a mix.

Wind Trio:  flute/basoon/oboe (shown) or oboe, clarinet, bassoon
or any mix of instruments — adds up to THREE (3) – hence a Trio

AND, what about a band, concert band and wind ensemble?

Concert Band: all winds (woodwinds/brass), string bass, percussion


Concert Band: all winds (woodwinds/brass), string bass, percussion, sometimes a harp

Marching Band


a Band — many varieties.

Image result for band


Bye Bye Box

This summer I did a “reboot” for my brain.   My mind had been bombarded for years with poison darts and digs to my spirit. Since my brain has been boosted, I’m ready to embark on a sensory safari, prepare to launch, my long-lasting legacy – by offering my expertise in creativity, observation, insight, and idea implementation.


Many people fit in the box. Some people feel boxed-in.

A few people think outside-the-box.

I think about boxes. I build boxes. I certainly don’t “fit in” the box. Are you aware of my previous boxes? Did you notice my new business boxes?

What will I create as my future un-box?

Creative Coaching Company

Would you like to go outside your “inner-box” and discover the life you were designed to live?


Big Bully Boys

“You’re always at work!” a hateful soon-to-be X said to me.  He attempted to imprison me in one of rooms in my home — the one that was set up as the new income producing “guest room.”  It was OK if he was on call 24/7.  I worked 7/24, but my work never received respect. If he built something – it was an engineering feat.  When I painted walls and wood, it made everything come to life.  What did I hear?  “You just painted it . . .”

So cunning (con-ing) it was for me to pay rent in my own home – to work there.   Slowly, steadily my income was drained as I deposited my salary the  “joint account.”    I inquired about work outside the businesses to get additional income so I could have money.  Nope. “Just work your business more.”  So I did.  I worked and worked — and built and nurtured more amazing businesses.

It was just a few months earlier he said, “Get a job!”  Then came “You can’t afford this place” followed by “You don’t want to share the profits.”  — and those were the less ugly comments. The abuser used sever bullying and fear tactics to destroy everything I built for over 20 years.

The next-door un-neighborly lawyer joined in the stalking and harassment every Sunday afternoon that fateful summer of 2011.  4.5 years later, the knot is not officially untied.  Starting over has been the biggest challenge in my life to point. Yet, I always remember how precious it is to be free from attack. Freedom is a crucial element for living.

Stop Bullying in Schools Bullying stops here.

Business Buzzards

The other day I was reminded of the unlikely product that showed up at a nearby gallery only one block down the street during 2010. It didn’t take long for them to add art classes — I had been offering those since 1994. But a pretzel?! I developed my own amazing pretzel recipe. I twisted my SofTwizts completely on my own. Have you ever heard of a gallery offering pretzels? Me neither. What unmittigated gall. That “downtown” gallery included Philly Pretzels within a couple months after snoop-scouting my studio coffeehouse. Whenever mARTi came up with another innovative idea, it was quickly included in another local (or gov’t funded library) business.

The latest stab in the back was the obvious buzzard business picking by the people who became replacements in my long-standing location. After perpetrated abuse resulted in the evacuation for my safety and employees/customers, I witnessed my brains being picked publically, perhaps with the aid of customers I advertised to obtain :(
To add a twist of the knife of this knowledge, the location where the businesses I nurtured for over 2 decades — is back on the market within 1.5 years after my forced evacuation.

One of the advantages of an internet business is the sleuth-snooping will not directly impact my wallet and survival. When we speak of Cyber Space — that terminology gives me a bit of hope. I can create and help people around the world and my ideas are not as easily duplicated (except for downloading).



Welcome to a new “creative” blog writer who is discovering her place in the “wireless” world. She fits well into my iCygnet blog. Dana is developing her designs. We can encourage her to keep pursuing creativity. You are always Good Enough — just the way you are.

Originally posted on Danadinomyte:

anorexia-bulimia-treatments3-14-15-   One of the many things I love about blogging is being able to interact with people through comments. On several of my outfit of the day posts, I received comments from girls telling me that I was their “thinspiration”. I must admit, I had no idea what that meant. Of course I googled it, because I was too curious not to. The search results were surprising and slightly disturbing.

The Eating Disorder Glossary defines thinspiration as, “Any form of media, print, pictures, videos, etc. that are utilized in an unhealthy manner to promote continued weight loss.” Please listen to me as I’m telling you, I do NOT want to be your thinspiration. I am anorexic.

I was diagnosed with Anorexia in January this year during a week long hospital stay. I can honestly tell you that there is nothing glamorous about crying on the bathroom floor after…

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Cleat, Coach, Courtesy

At what point did we (they), as a society become so self-centered that children are no longer taught MANNERS!

Today was an example how the “ME” generation treats other people.    I walked into my local Starbucks and noticed that there was a long line waiting to be served.   I set my laptop down on a chair to “reserve” the little side table designated for one/two people.    As soon as I walked near the counter, in came a large group of girls in soccer outfits.

I decided to relinquish my place in line because I knew the Baristas would be inundated with non-stop drinks to craft — one at a time.   Shortly after cleaning off my table (helping the employees who make your drinks, clean the tables, mop the floor, sanitize the restrooms)  I noticed the entire area in front of the counter was getting piles of dirt clumps from their cleats.

The generation long past the 1980s may have been on their way to a game, yet there was NO understandable reason that the woman or man coach wouldn’t have mentioned to the group of 15 girls to kick the dirt off their sneakers before entering the drinking/eating/food establishment.  Forgetful?   Busy? OR how ’bout — inconsiderate!

Considering I was born in the generation when we still had respect for our parents, teachers, elders, aunts/uncles AND business establishments, I simply said in a kind way.   “Could you ladies step outside for a moment to kick off the dirt on your sneakers?”   The women coach said “It will be OK.”   I looked puzzled and said “but they are getting dirt all over the floor.” She continued to explain “We’re on our way to a game.”

Frappuccino – founded in 1993

The next thought came in my mind was Why didn’t they wait till AFTER the game to get drinks?   I was flabbergasted by the arrogance of this “role model (?!)   The “coach” just showed, by her words and actions that it did not matter if they walked into a private, open-to-the-public business, and drop dirt from one door to the next.    She showed her team that they were ENTITLED to their behaviors.  The male coach in a short time (I went to my table stunned by their discourtesy) commented “You better get used to it.”

REALLY?   I’m expected to get accustomed to arrogant, disrespectful children — Nope, not gonna happen, though I may need to look the other way — or leave — when I notice such disrespectful behavior in the future.

The topper-off was when the male “coach” turned to me attempting to make a point by saying “I guess you’re here for the Free wireless . . .”    Well that did it!     I looked him straight in his face and said “NO.  I bring my OWN wireless.”  The children were noticeably mocking the situation.    BUT, there was the last girl in line who actually appeared sincere, and said the cliché expression “Have A Nice Weekend (Day)” .   I said “Thank-you.”   That ONE child may be the only person on her team to carry consideration into the future.

What the world needs now — is not LOVE — that’s over exaggerated with the expressions of: I love pizza, cellphones, cats/dogs, Starbucks, ice cream, the NFL.

We miss you Emily Post.  What the world needs NOW — is MANNERS.

50 Shades of Grey – Part 2

Yesterday, I discovered that I am “trendy.”   That’s an amusing revelation for me at 56 years of age.   As it turns out, there is a new fashion trend across the world to create “Granny Hair.”   I’m not a grandmother, yet I do have grey hair – at least my roots are naturally grey.

My first grey hair was spotted in college. Those were easy to pluck out. They were hidden by the long, wavy dark brown tresses that measured to my mid back. Three decades later, trips to a salon and hundreds of boxes of hair color later, I have decided to embrace the effects of “mother nature.”

Image result for grey in nature 

There is a slight correlation to the pepper/white vehicle I drive and I have been accustomed to wearing black and white as a musician long before my hair began to transform.

Choral Concert Clothing

I’m anticipating the transition to my “Granny Hair” hair and facilitated the process through another popular style – the “layered bob.”

My fraternal grandmother had lovely looking locks of silver for most of the time I knew her. My father’s hair remained salt and pepper from his 60s till it became snowy white wisps in his final years. My mother – well, it’s better if I let her give a descriptive posting on her blog . . .

I’m certainly thankful that the fashion of wearing a grey wig has not become a trend!

Image result for classical concert musician attire   Image result for salt and pepper

Now is it grey or gray?

Here is history repeating itself — through the fashion of hair styles and color.

Hairstyles of Roman Women

Hairstyles of Roman Women

Vincent & the Monkey

Featured Image -- 2826

Originally posted on Danny Gregory:
Long after his death, Vincent van Gogh has been diagnosed with everything from schizophrenia to syphilis. He may have been bipolar or epileptic, eaten too much paint or drunk too much absinthe. Did van Gogh…

50 Shades of Grey


I was reminded of this blog post tonight.

Originally posted on iCygnet:


Tonight I met the sister of a classmate from my High School.  I had the chance to let her know how much I admired her family for being the only black family to enroll in my small town school in the 1970s and ask what it was like for them.  We knew we received a very good public school education and acknowledged the respect we gave to teachers who were in charge of our education. We reminisced about the “old days” as they were — but mostly admitted how glad we were to move on in our life from High School.  Over 35 years later, this wonderfully educated women transcends the prejudices society, towns and gender based systems hold on to regarding race and gender.

This is a re-blog from 2012 and seemed very appropriate to re-post after seeing

It’s interesting how much our country is shades of grey, yet…

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Snow, Smell, Smile

This season has been as unpredictable in Pennsylvania as usual.  We did however, get the snow that was in the forecast.  There was 7.5″ in our “neck of the woods.”    It was a good snow for packing and creating snow sculptures — an activity I promoted in my former arts organization.


We were only inconvenienced for one day.  And that one snow day was a good time to catch up on blogs and online sales listings.


The smell of chocolate/peanut butter and sugar cookies in the next room were somewhat distracting.  The end result — was delicious.
The “accidently” broken cookies needed a taste-testing. Lucky for me.

HeartPBcookies IMG_7457

The cookies on the left were enhanced with a dusting of  white crystals (ala Frozen).   I had a tradition of baking chocolate cookies on the first snowfall of the year.  I’m sure I will bring that activity back when I have my own home and kitchen for baking.


If you have any photos of your snow creations or cookies — be sure to send them my way.

I anticipate a box of baked goods for this upcoming holiday :)


One of my favorites — crescent cookies!





This is one of the few blogs I follow — well written and insightful — fits right in to my blog concept.

Originally posted on Blathering About Nothing:

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about a day back in circa 1988, when I was stranded in a small beach town, with a 10 digit phone number written on a piece of paper, that wasn’t getting through to anyone because the phone it was ringing was “out of range.”

Back then, after the stress of that day was in the past, I got a lot of mileage from retelling that story. With a story-teller’s licence, I felt free to exaggerate certain elements, and downplay others, and I seem to recall that the audience was in stitches when I retold it a few years later at my friend’s 21st.

Now that its 2014, the humour is somewhat lost – it just sounds quaint. Nowadays, the main point that story serves to reveal is my age, but also, the enormous advances in mobile phone technology that have occurred in the…

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Strange and Stunning

TriangleHead PredatorPrayingMantis

The Praying Mantis is a protected insect and it is illegal to kill one.   TRUE or FALSE *

Some facts about the Praying Mantis:

The praying mantis is sometimes called the dragon because it is a fierce hunter.

There are about 1,700 varieties of praying mantis.

The two forward legs of the mantis have sharp spines like a jack knife.

The mantis uses its two front legs to attack it’s prey.

The mantis females are the among biggest insects.

The Latin name of the praying mantis is Tenodera Sinensis.

The female mantis lays up to 300 eggs.

Most mantis live in warm climates.

The mantis will attack butterflies, bees, beetles, frogs, spiders, mice, lizards, and small birds.

The female sometimes eats the male after mating.

The mantis has very good eyesight.

The female mantis can not fly due to all of the eggs in her abdomen.

Mantis nymphs march single file.

When nymphs hunt they eat leafhoppers, aphids, and very small flies.

The mantis sheds its skin twelve times before it is full grown.

The female mantis lays her eggs in the fall.

The mantis nymph is tiny like a mosquito.

The front legs of the nymph have claws for holding their prey.

Praying mantises bite the back of their victim’s neck to paralyze it.

IMG_4573 IMG_4576

*FALSE.  The praying mantis is not protected by any type of law.  It’s an insect as easily captured as any if you are fortunate to see them.  Most people don’t bother with them unless trying to make a grand statement for an insect collection for science class.

I find the praying mantis fascinating and creepy.

The Mantis vs Mouse — This video shows some disturbing pictures of nature in action.

Wonderful Winged Walkingstick

When was the last time I saw one of these cool creatures?   I don’t remember.

Here it is — the walking stick.

IMG_2165 IMG_2167

But I sure was thrilled to have this resident of the woods visit me this Autumn.

He was easy to spot on the aluminum garage door, but his methods of camouflage are quite impressive.

IMG_2186  IMG_2191

I did some online research to learn more about this fascinating stick insect.


Not very easy to hide on a bin of art prints – I spotted him immediately.

One day when I opened the garage door, he fell to the ground — not hurt — but “played dead” to keep the predator from getting him.


I looked closely at this prostrate positioned insect.  He sure looked dead — legs and body stiff as a stick . . .

I went about my business and within 5 minutes the little guy was walking and jumping from post to pillar.


Simple facts about the walking stick — HERE and more detailed facts HERE.

These amazing creatures and others that I meet at my mountain office make my time in transition a true discover of joy.