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Archive for November, 2008


Going to Bat

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“Going to Bat” for others and having an appreciation for what’s going on with others around us.   In the last year, I left a good paying job, lost two close friends and one of my other friends is battling cancer, which is all to familiar, loosing my best friend five years ago to cancer was a time in my life that as I sat and told my husband, “I’ve got it all together” he looked at me quizzically and said,


“Than why is the money from your wallet under the kitchen table, and your shirt is not only inside out, but on backwards?”  (I’ll explain my theory on that at the end)

We find our lives intertwining with people daily, but do we take the time to go to bat for them when needed, or just be an added support system in a volatile world?  Many do, most don’t, but the emotional surge that happens when someone does, is UNREAL.  My boss/partner & mentor recently did that for me, he went to bat for me because he saw the value that I added.

Do you take the time to see the value in people around you, not only professionally, but personally too? If not, you should question yourself .  Each and every one of us out there knows someone who has been effected by the decline in the economy, if someone you know has been laid off, have you given them a call? Just to say you are sorry or you’ll keep your ears peeled?  If you haven’t – shame on you! (I know a few that have been long standing friends, that have just forgotten now that times are tough)

Friends, are someone you should be able to rely on no matter what situation they find themselves in,  with the good comes the bad, and sometimes all we need to hear is a friendly voice, a short email or even a small little card in the mail.  What has happened that would make our society so callous to reaching out and going to bat for one another?

This is next paragraph is not meant to toot my own horn – but to explain how I view people’s needs and how a moment in time can help someone…

My shirt being on backwards and inside out was because, I stepped up to the plate, for someone who didn’t have anyone else, my friend was alone,  her family members seemed to be “too busy” and she was dying, she couldn’t even warm up soup on her stove.  I stepped out of my life and let her life become mine for a short moment in time..

A time if I could change to have her here, I would, a time if I could change at helping a friend, I would not have done anything different.

The photo you see here, is one that took me months to acquire, this is ancient history, happening five years ago, but it’s like yesterday to me, and will forever be ingrained in my DNA – we shared a passion for Chicago Bears Football, and I wanted to do something for her to make her smile.

I contacted several people that may be able to get me an autographed photo of Dan Hampton, her favorite Bear, and Richard Roeper stepped up to the plate and did what he could to make it happen.. for a stranger. Dan Hampton went well beyond anyone’s call of duty for a stranger with not only this picture and an autographed ticket to opening day at the New Soldier’s Field but with a personal phone call to Diane – her eyes lit up like saucers, and that’s a memory that’s tattooed in my mind’s eye.

Step up to the plate for someone in need, give thanks for those around you!

Soul to Soul – Happy Thanksgiving

~ Susie.

Categories : Thoughts
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Everyone has a story to tell

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Everyone does have a story to tell, but do we have the time to listen.

Terry Reid, started out with the Jaywalkers early on in life, coming into the public eye when the Jaywalkers were a supporting act for the Rolling Stones.  When Jimmy Page took notice of Terry Reid, he was interested in getting him for The New Yardbirds, which became Led Zeppelin – Reid had previous commitments and suggested Page contact Robert Plant, history was written.

Retiring his solo career in 1981he concentrated on session work for some time. Eventually he returned to the UK for a tour in 2005 one venue billed him as  “A Man with a Hell of a Story to Tell

Those stories that make us who we are, the stories about what makes us tick, do we share those enough with people around us?  Taking the time to remember those that touched our lives in a way that makes us smile? Do we do things for people that they will want to share with others what happened to them because of something we did? Something good, something self-less.  I read a post that Benny at Ya-ttitude wrote, 10 Suggestions for Success and point number 5 is a great way to start creating that Story to Be Told.

We – my husband, son and I ended up in Austin last March, as many of my readers know, the trip was fallout from my husband being denied vacation, even though he has twenty seven years seniority and loosing a lot of cash because of the cancellation it prompted me to book something else.  I knew Austin because of my love for Stevie’s Music and many of the other players that go through that town on their road to success.  The mantra is Keep Austin Weird and the Home of the SRV Statue right up my alley.

This is when I met Ray Hennig – A man that has a story to tell, if you don’t know about his career, and are ever in Austin, the walls are filled with newspaper articles, accomplishments and history.  A man that took time to tell me his story, has given me a story that I tell.   My son got to play every guitar he could ever dream of, I shook hands with a man who was friends with someone that I never got the chance to see perform, his entire establishment is filled with warmth, nostalgia and great people.  I have to say, Ray & Mary Jo Hennig are that “generous number 5 in Benny’s post” –

Mary Jo Hennig recently donated some guitar picks to go along with my “Little Soul for Christmas Ornament” Thank you for your generosity….

Categories : Pencil Sketches
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When it's Shinin' Blue

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Tamas Katona Jr. or Tommy Katona – saw Stevie Ray Vaughan playing Look at Little Sister at the early age of 4, and began requesting to see “The Man in the Hat”

I was just introduced to Tommy by a internet acquaintance and after reading a bit on his site, I had to investigate further, and boy do I thank her that!

I pumped up the volume and listened to When it’s Shinin’ Blue as I started my sketch.  There is something that emerges from the depths when you listen to good blue’s music, it grows wings and begin’s flying all around you.

You can hear the sound I am talking about on I Need SomeOne, where a mental picture comes to mind, as the strings of the guitar are pushed and achieve a sound that comes from the soul.

I personally have not met any of my favorite artists, but somehow as I watch and listen to so many of them, I envision gentleness in the likes of the blue bird that I added behind Tommy.

Go forth & listen!.

Categories : Pencil Sketches
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Music & Nature – A Path to Peace

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Music & Nature can well be a path to peace.  Mt. Bonnell is the highest point in Austin, Texas and has been a tourist attraction dating back to the 1850’s.   This was on my list of to do’s while I was in Austin, knowing that it was a hippie hang-out and one of Stevie’s favorite places in the wee-hours of the morning.  A place to get lost and remove yourself from the everyday world.

I trekked the tough climb of over 200 or so limestone steps and found myself in a place I found similar to a “comfortable song”  What is it about music and nature that bring us peace of mind and can calm a restless soul, as well as bring memories flooding back as if they happened yesterday?

Great Musicians and Scenic Places bring us to a place where we fit in, where we are comfortable and the worries of the world can be shut off for a brief moment in time.  When you turn on the Ipod, or crank up the turntable to hear your favorite oldie,  you become part of that sound a part of the music, it’s the great musicians that draw you in and you become part of the music, your inner soul begins to dance and that sound is branded within your subconscious.

It’s a place where you can be home, it’s a place where you can re-charge your batteries and the dam can be opened to release the rising waters of thoughts that well up in of our daily minds,  if those thoughts are not released from time to time they can drown us.

Living with two musicians, I have a greater appreciation of music and I don’t just hear the it anymore, I see it and feel it and become a part of it.  Nature also has a way of provoking a peace of mind, as I stood at the top of Mt. Bonnell, closing my eyes and listening to the screech of a distant hawk, I could smell the mist of the Colorado River and feel it’s touch deep within my senses.  Tuning out the world around me, and feeling the energy of Nature and those that came to this place long before me, was refreshing and it was an brief escape.

We are not meant to be in overdrive all the time, and finding ways to remove the chaos that depletes the natural order of our mind, body and souls should be a part of our daily routines.  Take a moment this weekend to listen to the music around you,  whether it’s the music of a great musician or the music of the screeching hawk you may find that missing cord…..


Walk the Line

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With all the talk of Joaquin Phoenix stating he is not doing film anymore, I want to touch on one of his fantastic portrayals of one of our great musicians.   I sat and watched Walk the Line again.

Johnny Cash & Joaquin Phoenix both had traumatic experiences as children.  Having that connection prompted Phoenix to take the roll of Cash, and an outstanding job was done.

Whatever the reasons for this 34 year old actor to give up movies is really and ultimately his business.  We could go over the reasons not.  It’s his decision, but it leaves his fans and followers disturbed.

Johnny Cash had a long and fiery career as a singer and songwriter, he left us shortly after the love of his life passed.  The two could be considered similar but there is a drastic difference, Joaquin is still with us.  His fans are feeling what has been expressed as disappointment and hopeful that his decision will not be a lasting one.

The only constant in life is change, can we always understand it, not in the least.  How we cope with things is how we begin to understand.  I’ve experienced alot of loss and as mom put it the other day, it seems “surreal” when those around us are gone.

This decision to move on for Joaquin may be something deep-seeded for him, and it’s a life change he feels necessary.  For whatever reasons, celebrate what he has done, respecting decisions of others doesn’t always go down as good as a cold Corona, but it’s something that helps embrace your character.

Learning to support and live with the decisions of others around you, will also eliminate the anger and the angst that we allow it to create in us..remember that post about self discovery?

If you are trying to figure out the actions of others, what drives them to do something? what makes them act the way they do? How could they have? It will only fester within your genetic make-up and create a barrier to your emotional growth.

Trying to swallow the actions, decisions or behavior of others will eventually make you choke.  Be supportive & concentrate on understanding why it is that you are allowing the reaction that the circumstances have created in you..

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