MIAGD: Zoomday is not a day of rest

MIAGD: Make it a great day

I am in between Zoom meetings on this extraordinary beautiful day with the most agreeable weather and I would be far too distracted outside on the deck.
(11:30 AM – 1:30 PM) fellow arrangers. 
(1:30 PM – 2:00 PM) a researcher friend from Williamsburg. 
(2:00 PM) my nephew’s love-streamed graduation ceremony. 
(3:00 PM) teaching until 8:30 PM
(8:30 PM) studio Zoom session with theatre director and educator, Jason Hamen from Centerville HS.  
I have kind of missed these busy days but glad they are not consistent because I’d never catch up on rest.
Harrigan was not easy to capture; she had to grab a piece of plastic from the trash can and run around crying and talking because she was so excited.
Make it a great day!
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MIAGD: Saturday morning

MIAGD: Make it a great day

It’s a super boost to the day when you hear the familiar text-tone that always puts a smile on your face before your day even officially begins.

The morning was repetitive as any other morning at The Haasienda. The Mary Lincoln day Lily count is eleven blooms with the hopes of more tomorrow.

I spent a good deal of time on the deck as The Kids explored the yard and lounged about the area, some on the deck, sometimes in the guest bedroom with the opened door to return outside, and even in the yard or on the walkways.

It’s currently 83-degrees but a steady breeze, a continuation from last night’s made-perfect for sleeping breeze, keeps it comfortable under the umbrellas.

Even the humidity is holding off at 44% until it climbs, again, late this evening.

It’s now almost 2:00 PM and I’ve, once again, made it the perfect day of reading, HAMILTON, writing, researching, and enjoying The Quartet.

Make it a great day!

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MIAGD: A restful Thursday

MIAGD: Make it a great day

Morning and early afternoon have come and gone, and true to form, I’ve accomplished little this day except reading, listening to documents and presidential podcasts.

The morning began like any other Thursday morning:

  • FaceTime with Joshua and Dave
  • Prepped my Carnation Instant Breakfast and orange juice to set in the freezer while attending to other things
  • Front yard to count the 17 Mary Lincoln daylilies
  • A beautiful cardinal sat on the line above, chatting for the longest time
  • Fixed my toast
  • Fed the dogs
  • Ate breakfast on the deck
  • Read on the deck
  • Came inside when the sudden rain shower began
  • And, so on…

It’s a schedule. It’s my Thursday life.

Now, at 3:55 PM, I’m sitting in my rocker, enjoying the heat that is actually pleasant due to a rather nice breeze that mingles both warm and cool air.

My Thursdays are a comfortable existence. After my four days of solid teaching, I welcome my Thursdays to simply relax.

On to more relaxing and laziness, but it’s still a great day.

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MY DAY: On to the weekend

Unless you can swear “For life, for death!” –
Oh, fear to call it loving!

The teaching week is over and I feel drained from the energy expelled during a tremendous amount of fantastic lessons.

I climbed into the one twin bed in the guest bedroom with Bailey on my pillow, Harrigan at my feet, Erma on the floor beside the bed, and Chief in the octagonal hall. It’s oft a chore to climb over and step around dogs just to move to the bathroom; I’d not have it any other way.

The past two nights I’ve been able to turn off the A/C and use a window fan for sleeping. I prefer moving fresh air for sleeping but we’ve not had many cooler nights this past week.

No solid plans accompany me into my three day weekend. I have a list but it just keeps getting moved to the following week.

Forty-one years ago, July 8, 1979, I met Rick at Smith-Walbridge drum-major camp. It’s hard to believe this many years have passed since that Sunday afternoon while standing in the mess hall line.

Once upon a time…

I been enjoying colorizing old black and white photographs of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt which I’ve added to this evening’s collection.

FDR with daughter, Anna
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MIAGD: My Friday…

MIAGD: Make it a great day

It’s been one very busy, long four days of teaching great students who are climbing higher in their skills, each day.

It’s exciting.

Other than that, precious little else has happened around The Haasienda.

Yesterday, there was a record 24 Mary Lincoln Daylilies and today there are seventeen.

My teaching day commenced in thirty minutes and concludes at 10:45 PM, this evening.

Friday, I have two online shows for students out in Colorado and I am eager to see their finished product.

Make it a great day!

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MY DAY: A Quiet Fourth of July

The weekend was quiet for this year’s Fourth of July, but in no way was it dull, but rather, relaxing and restful.

HAMILTON dominated Friday and Saturday, as well as reading, napping, dog time, and watching documentaries.

Sunday, teaching resumed. The evening ended with my beautiful friend and colleague, Katie Musick, Zooming with my studio about life as a performing artist. Two solid hours of advice for life/performance skills and interaction about the world of performing.  Excellent.

It’s Monday and I begin teaching in 20 minutes until 10:30 PM.

The dogs made it through fireworks that last from 6:30 PM to 1:30 AM, Saturday evening.  Today, at Noon, Chief briefly howled during the monthly tornado siren test; normally, all four cry and yelp at the top of the precious little lungs!

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MIAGD: Hamilton Day

MIAGD: Make it a great day


For another night I could not find sleep to be my immediate friend and I laboring in exhausting exhaustion.

Twenty-two Mary Lincoln day lilies have joined us on this first Friday in July.

My son and his partner got to see HAMILTON at 8:00 AM in London just as we were allowed to stream here in The States. Over our meal chat, he was pretty excited after viewing it and he is not a musical theatre fan.

I decided to go ahead and pull it up and “The Schuyler Sisters” just finished. Wow. I’m a bit groggy and feel sleep coming over me, again.

Whatever your energy, today, make it a great day.

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MIAGD: The Afternoon Edition

MIAGD: Make it a great day

I fully intended to have this post completed by 10:00 AM but now that it is 2:00 PM, that intention has thoroughly passed.

I was completely exhausted after finishing teaching at 11:00 PM Wednesday night and I could not manage to fall asleep until sometime after 3:00 AM.

Finally, at a little before 9:00 AM, with a very patient and seemingly understanding quartet, I was finally awake, one full hour late and missing chat time with my son in London.

After breakfast, I could not return to the guest bedroom bed quickly enough and slept soundly until 12:30 PM. I always feel as though I have wasted so much of my day but remind myself that I don’t keep the typical work hours as most folks. I am fine with that.

Lunch was Marion’s Pizza that I had ordered last night, and another amazing iced coffee.

Fifteen Mary Lincoln daylilies are in the front yard, today, and many more blooms on the wisteria tree by the back deck.

Here are some photos of the pooches from this morning,

Continue to make it a great day!

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MY DAY: On to the weekend

My teaching day ended just before 11:00 PM, having started at 9:30 AM; I am pooped.

Normally, my body just crashes on Thursdays after four long days of intense teaching. I’m hoping for some solid energy, tomorrow.

I made iced coffee for the first time. Nicole Melin gave me several options of how to go about the process. I chose one but adapted it since I kind of got started a little after 1:00 PM.

  • Hot coffee in Mason jar
  • Two hours in refrigerator
  • Two hours in freezer
  • Added sugar and creamer
  • Added ice
  • Magnifico!

Friday begins HAMILTON on Disney+ and I cannot wait to see it.

Bailey was the only one to join me on the deck at 11:15 PM since the fireworks and cannons were sounding. Poor Erma and Chief are so nervous. The next few days will be hell, and probably for the rest of the summer; these individuals are sophomorically selfish.

Now, some reading and then, sleep.

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MIAGD: My Friday is starting

MIAGD: Make it a great day

This has been an exciting week of student progress and many incredible moments of discovery which leaves me both elated and exhausted.

It is strange to not have my familiar plans for Independence Day, joining the McCutcheon family for the parade and festivities. I’m sure the only annual tradition to be kept will be watching the movie musical, 1776.

As I ease into my weekly three day summer weekend, my mind is making notes of what needs to be accomplished around the house. I think I already know how that game plan will go.

It’s to be up in the late 80s to low 90s, and the cool morning air is thickening with humidity.

Thirteen brand new Mary Lincoln daylilies are greeting passers by this fine Wednesday.

Make it a great day!

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MY DAY: Goodbye, month of June

Another fine day of teaching is in the books and I am pooped.

I took dinner to the deck at 10:00 PM and within a few minutes the fireworks began. It’s gotten to the point that Erma and Chief will not join us on the deck at night.

Tomorrow is July 1st. During the Civil War it was the first day of Gettysburg in 1863.

July 2, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

And then we have July 4th this Saturday. It will be a more subdued day than in years past, but it does diminish the meaning of the day in any way.

It’s time to read for a short time and then time for sleep.

While I was teaching Marisha, I looked over to see Erma, Chief, and Bailey. Harrigan was in her favorite corner, curled up, sleeping.

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MIAGD: PuppyTudes

MIAGD: Make it a great day

Something is definitely in the air that is affecting the attitudes of four dogs, this morning.

Normally, the morning potty time is about 7:45 AM. This morning, Harrigan was terribly demanding about going outside at 6 AM. When I finally relented and let her out, she just sniffed the air at the edge of the deck and returned inside.

Picture taking was a bit like having four toddlers experiencing their terrible twos.

  • Chief, naturally, was turning his head but as I lined up one great shot, he rolled over on his back
  • Erma managed to get one or two good shots but she was still persnickety
  • Bailey wiggled through everything
  • Harrigan found a few sticks, refused to sit, and grunted and talked back to me the entire time

On the brighter side, twelve Mary Lincoln daylilies are spreading their joy out front.

Make it a great day!

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MY DAY: Monday is done

The air outside is just comfortable enough but I retreated into the study where I have an A/C window unit to keep the room cool while I am teaching.

The day was a solid hit of some great moments with students making steady progress.  It was exhilarating.


Ed Iverson

The afternoon session ended with a tremendous hour of area actor, Ed Iverson, reading Willy Loman against my student, Adam Weaver’s Biff Loman.  They worked on two scenes from Arthur Miller’s classic, DEATH OF A SALESMAN. It was riveting. I read the roles of Happy and Linda and I am so glad I had minimal work as I was so affected by the electricity between Ed and Adam. Unbelievable.

It’s 11:05 PM and my Tuesdays are long days.  I am going to read for a while and then turn out the lights.

It’s been a great day!

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MIAGD: Monday is moving along

MIAGD: Make it a great day

The morning hours completely escaped me and though much was accomplished, I feel slightly behind.

Sunday afternoon I began a new week of teaching. At 8:45 PM I led a conducting class on Zoom and at 9:30 PM we had a special guest for a studio zoom class.

50394065_10213818841841458_1594241209725878272_oJames Hamen, teacher and theatre director at Centerville High School, gave the students a fantastic presentation on maneuvering, managing, and making it in the performing arts. It was an excellent message and super coaching for the students planning on any type of career in the performing and educational arts.  Thank you, Jason!

Today, there are 16 Mary Lincoln daylilies.

Monday’s teaching schedule begins at 1:30 PM, dinner break, then another five hours starting at 5:45 PM.

Make it a great day!

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MIAGD: Sunday morning

MIAGD: Make it a great day

Five new Mary Lincoln day lilies are dancing in the breeze beneath another round of grey skies.

People have been mentioning the Sahara Dust passing over so I’m wondering if that’s the result of two days of grayness.

7:30 AM, I had my coffee while Zooming with Joshua, Dave, and The Bostonians (Dave’s parents). These Sunday morning gatherings are such a great jumpstart back into my teaching schedule.

The outside is still a bit wet and damp from yesterday’s heavy rain showers. The older pooches are relaxing near me while the six year old sisters are patrolling the backyard.

I’m going to spend some time in the deck, listening to “something” while reading through my new book on Jefferson’s Monticello.

Make it a great day.

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MY DAY: Saturday blahs

While it wasn’t a bad day it was slow moving and a tad dull.

The day was grey with two heavy morning showers. The afternoon was heavy with dampness and the sun was nowhere to be seen.

My day, as usual, was filled with lots of reading, documentaries, an audiobook, and time with the dogs.

This evening, I finally opened my Disney Plus which I’d gotten earlier this week. I came across an incredible documentary, THE IMAGINEERING STORY. Oh, my gosh. It’s unbelievable.

What a way to close out the day!

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Donna Mae Clary-Barmes

8 May 1924 – 27 June 1992

Missing my Grandma Donna who passed away twenty-eight years ago, today, at 2:30 PM.

From this valley they say you are leaving
We shall miss your bright eyes and sweet smile
For you take with you all of the sunshine
That has brightened our pathway a while
Then come sit by my side if you love me
Do not hasten to bid me adieu
Just remember the Red River Valley
And the boy that has loved you so true
For a long time, my darlin’, I’ve waited
For the sweet words you never would say
Now at last all my fond hopes have vanished
For they say that you’re going away
Then come sit by my side if you love me
Do not hasten to bid me adieu
Just remember the Red River Valley
And the boy that has loved you so true

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MIAGD: Saturday morning

MIAGD: Make it a great day

The sky looks grey, threatening; the breeze feels great but is heavy with dampness; the birds sound off after long intervals and only in spurts.

Although I’d not planned any yard work , today, I’m elated it would have probably been weather-delayed.

It’s a wide open schedule, today. With the weather looking wet, it just feels like a fantastic day for reading and watching documentaries.

Make it a great day!

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MY DAY: Friday evening

A busy, fun, and semi-productive day and a beautiful evening on the deck.

I submitted my Instacart order and had all groceries delivered and put away within 90 minutes.

Mama Kay took Laura and me to Culp’s Cafe at Dayton History to celebrate Laura’s birthday which had been the day before. It was a delightful lunch with excellent service. It felt good to be back at one of my favorite history haunts.

We returned to Mama Kay’s for some strawberry cheesecake and more laughter.

I returned home to four very excited dogs. This had been the longest amount of time I’ve been away from them since mid-March.

I read some books, napped, fixed a dinner of steak and garlic mashed potatoes. I had enough mashed potatoes left to make a nice size bowl of potato salad with chopped ham, celery, green onion, and some sour cream.

My deck time is about as perfect as it can get. The wind seems to be pressing from several different directions and the trees, up and down the easement and in my yard, sound as like waves crashing onto a beach. My five sets of wind chimes are in a perpetual static dance.

I suspect rain may be heading this way as the wind feels and smells of it’s impending arrival. However, radar is clear.

I now have Disney+ so that I can enjoy HAMILTON a week from tonight. I’ve not seen it but am quite familiar with the score.

The “canon” is sounding, again, and Chief and Erma have retreated inside the house. Bailey and Harrigan are seated on each side of my Adirondack chair where I’m relaxing.

The wind is a bit more fierce and I’m afraid I may need to head in before too long.

Happy sleep to all.

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MIAGD: Friday morning on the deck

MIAGD: Make it a great day

A sound sleep rejuvenated me and this most excellent morning packed with breeze, tinkling wind chimes, singing birds, and the slightly muffled sound of passing traffic on Shroyer is constantly refreshing me.

I’m also still on a motivated high from the Mary Lincoln Zoom discussion.

Five Mary Lincoln day lilies are swerving with the passing air, as are the swishing leaves of the trees.

I have a first outside-the-house luncheon at Mama Kay’s, next door, to celebrate Laura’s birthday and I doubt I will be pulling myself away from the deck until it’s time to journey across the drive-way.

Make it a great day!

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MY DAY: Thursday night

There were portions of the day where I actually felt productive; they were few, but at least there were some.

My day started the same time, as usual, but my day was rerouted back to the bed in the guest bedroom where I quickly fell back to sleep after breakfasting.

Little took place in the early afternoon and the grand feat was broiling a steak for a late lunch, listening to a podcast on The Louisiana Purchase.

At some point, I busied myself with reading while listening to a documentary on Abraham and Mary Lincoln, A HOUSE DIVIDED.

A little after 6:00 PM, I filled my dance card with my new weed eater and leaf blower to tidy up the front yard.

Author & Lincoln historian, Jason Emerson

At 8:00 PM, I joined a Zoom group that studies Mary Lincoln and we were excited to have Lincoln historian and author, Jason Emerson. In this link you can learn more about Jason. It was so much fun and I wish we could have gone an additional hour past our scheduled two hours.

Tomorrow, I’ll join Mama Kay next door to celebrate her daughter Laura’s birthday which was actually today, June 25th. Laura is exactly three months older than me.

Laura & Don Parker

For several years, Laura and Don, along with two of their three children, joined Mama Kay, and it was the best time. Josie and Kelly were the same ages as Jose and Quintin and there was a good deal of fun and camaraderie.

Laura & her brother, Michael, my bonus siblings

At some point, Laura and her younger brother, Michael, decided I should be their adopted brother. For several years, I’ve joined the Parker/Moore collection for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and other fun family occasions.

And, Don The Lawn Man I mention weekly is Laura’s husband.

As I prepare to read before sleeping, my mind is already organizing the things I need to do tomorrow. Naturally, those items will be heavily debated and probably tossed aside with any history book that comes within reach.

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MIAGD: Thurs… Restday

MIAGD: Make it a great day

I hit the guest bedroom bed around 11:45 PM, Wednesday evening, and slept straight through the night with only one bladder break.

8:15 AM this morning I dragged myself into the kitchen to prepare my breakfast and the dog bowls. Breakfasted on the deck while chatting with Joshua and Dave as they lunched.

I returned inside to write and got as far as the guest bedroom doorway. I turned around and walked back to the bed.

It’s now just past 1:00 PM.

My brain still feels bogged and my eyelids are heavy. This is normal after teaching 64 lessons in four days. I’m still as animated and energized online as I am with in-person lessons.

The dogs have taken turns on the deck and in the guest bedroom. The breeze has been refreshing as it passes throughout the house.

I have email and texts to go through, rooms to finish reorganizing, and writing.

Yet, I still feel sleepy.

I’m sure I can [yawn] make it a…

Make it a great day, even if it’s napping.

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MY DAY: My weekend begins

It’s moving on toward midnight and I’m feeling the heaviness of fatigue.

The teaching day began at 9:30 AM and I closed up shop tonight at 10:45 PM

I ended up with a 60 minute break so I hurried to Meijer to pick up my prescriptions. This marks the third time I’ve been out around others since March 15th – twice to Meijer and once to Kroger. It was familiar, yet odd.

I returned home for my 10:00-10:45 PM lesson and then ate a light dinner.

The eyelids are heavy and I’m ready to call it a day.

Bailey was on my pillow and did not take to me making sounds. After some glares, kisses, and a few growls, she turned away with a heavy sigh.

Sleep well!

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MIAGD: Welcome, Mary Lincoln Day Lilies!

MIAGD: Make it a great day

And, one Mary Lincoln day lily has premiered!

The next several days will be exciting.

The cool, even chilly night air was so comfortable for sleeping. I love sleeping in the one twin bed in the guest room which is right by the south window. The breezes are just magnificent for sleeping. I can shroud my self in a blanket and get tucked in on each side as Bailey and Harrigan curl up tightly next to me.

Right now, it’s a cool 67° outside and it feels absolutely wonderful. There’s a terrific tiny breeze, the sunniest of skies, and a symphonic chorus of different birds.

Chief and Erma are holding Sphinx-like near me on the deck while The Sisters investigate the perimeters of the backyard with Harrigan’s keen eye always on the outlook for critters.

It’s a full day of teaching but today is my Friday with three “Saturdays” to follow.

Make it a great day!

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MY DAY: Tuesday in the books

I was so swamped this morning that I didn’t get to my morning post, but I can assure you that I made it a great day.

As I go to sleep I know that tomorrow morning I will greet my first several Mary Lincoln day lilies. They are ready to open.

Teaching was exciting, again, today. The students don’t realize just how much I love working with them and seeing their “works in process.” They’re amazing.

Last night, I discovered a yellow gift bag that contained Dorothy Lane Market “Killer Brownie Coffee,” and the most touching, uplifting note from a lady I adore, respect, and cherish.

Thank you, Diane!

I posted this video on Facebook but just had to leave another link.

“The Story Goes On,” from the Broadway musical, BABY, is a powerhouse of a song, reminding us that we are each a link in a long chain behind us and a continuation before us. It speaks to my genealogist’s heart.

“The Story Goes On” from

And, on to reading and sleeping…

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