My art and writing are two channels I use to express gratitude for all the goodness in my life.  Being creative requires me to step out of my comfort zone and explore new avenues.  When I write and paint from the heart, everything makes sense.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share my joy with you.

Las Vegas: Love, Loss, and What I Wore

images Last week my chorus and I had the honor of competing in the Sweet Adeline's International Competition at the MGM hotel in Las Vegas.  In the days leading up to the event I was very excited; my husband and I had planned to fly in to Phoenix, rent a car, and spend three days in Sedona before driving to Vegas.  We had never been to that area of the country and were looking forward to exploring.

What I loved:

Sedona was incredible.  As soon as we landed I felt as if we had landed on a different planet.  The terrain was so different from New England's.  Gone were hardwood trees and leafy forests; instead we drove pass mile after mile of magnificent red rocks rising from the arid, baked earth.


It was beautiful.


The weather unfortunately did not cooperate while we visited but we didn't let that dampen our spirits.  We hiked each day, spending as much time as we could taking in the beauty this part of the country had to offer.


We loved every minute of our stay in Sedona.

On Tuesday, we headed out for Las Vegas, stopping first at the Grand Canyon.  Once again, the weather was uncooperative; it rained on and off all day and getting a good picture of the canyon was difficult because of fog.  Nonetheless we stood in awe at the majestic sight in front of us.



These pictures really do not do justice to the beauty of the canyon.  We hope to go back one day when we can spend more time exploring.

Las Vegas and What I Loss:

Vegas.  What can I say that hasn't already been said?  It is truly some sort of twisted Disney World for grownups.  As soon as my husband and I walked into the lobby of the hotel he said, "This is so not us."  The lights, the music, the noise of the slot machines...

...I am certain I lost some of my hearing during the four days we were there.  As well as any residue of the positive energy we'd absorbed while visiting Sedona's famed vortices.

We are not gamblers, but we did play the slot machines a few times just for fun and I lost $40 in about 15 minutes.  Sigh. It is said that you have to lose money in order to win money in Vegas but I was not about to test that piece of wisdom any further.

We enjoyed visiting The Venetian hotel and casino, with it's indoor and outdoor canals (complete with gondolas) and we did enjoy the two shows we saw (David Copperfield and Cirque du Soleil) and time spent with friends, but by the end of the trip we lost any desire to ever return.

What I Wore (and why)...

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, what brought us to Vegas was the Sweet Adeline's International Competition.  The chorus I belong to, Harmony on the Sound, had won our regional competition two years ago making us eligible for this year's international contest.  Sweet Adeline's choruses sing four-part harmony, a cappella.  For competition we had prepared a song package consisting of an uptune and a ballad.  Harmony on the Sound is known for our parodies and for this competition we were brides who are jilted at the altar.  We based our package on the comedy "In and Out" which starred Kevin Kline and Joan Cusack.

Here is a peek of what I wore...


Yes we were brides.  There were 84 of us altogether, and boy did we get some comments!  We looked like we were headed for a massive wedding ceremony led by Reverend Sun Myong Moon.  More than one of us was congratulated on our good fortune.


I had never sang in front of 11,000 people before and it was a little unnerving at first.  Our director had reminded us to just 'follow the plan', which helped tremendously during those very fast six minutes of performance.

The audience loved our package!  They laughed at all the right moments.  We ended up placing 19th out of 34 choruses, not as high as we'd hoped but brimming with great ideas on how to improve for future competitions.  I love singing with this amazing group of women.

I can't wait for the next competition.  Bring it on!

Creating from the Heart

Letting in the Light