Journey 334: St. Andrew’s Day – Scotland’s National Day

It amazes me how new reasons to celebrate have found me this year. I didn’t discover this one until early in November, totally missing it last year. As St. Andrew’s Day is my beloved Scotland’s official National Day, I spent time researching the holiday and found ways to enter into the festivities from across the Atlantic.   

Andrew, who was one of the twelve disciples, is the patron saint of Scotland. He was revered in Scotland from around 1000 AD but didn’t become its official patron saint until the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. Andrew died a martyr, and was crucified in Greece on an ‘X’ shaped cross in 60 AD, rather than the ‘T’ shape cross that Jesus was crucified on. This type of cross is also known as a saltire, the symbol that makes up the Scottish flag.


Scottish legend has it that he was made the patron saint of Scotland after King Oengus II prayed to St. Andrew on the eve of a crucial battle against English warriors from Northumberland, around 20 miles east of Edinburgh. Heavily outnumbered, the king told St. Andrew that he would become the patron saint of Scotland if he was granted victory. On the day of the battle, clouds are said to have formed a saltire in the sky, and Oengus’s army of Picts and Scots was victorious. The Saltire flag – a white cross on a blue background – is said to have come from this divine intervention and has been used to represent Scotland since 1385. 

I didn’t know that story about the origins of the flag until today. 

I know there were many celebrations across Scotland today, of Scottish culture by way of traditional food, music and dance. My heart longed to join in those activities in my ancestral homeland. Since that wasn’t possible,  I decided to have my own observance in Joplin, MO. 


I displayed my Saltire Flag that I brought home from Scotland last year.  

I had a simple Afternoon Tea, featuring Scottish Thistle Tea from Edinburgh, Walkers’s Shortbread, and a small pecan tart. I covered my little table with my Lauder Tartan. And drank my tea from the Thistle tea cup that belonged to Greg’s mom, Leta. As the tea was brewing in the white porcelain pot, I played Scotland’s unofficial national song, Flower of Scotland. The sound of bagpipes always brings tears to my eyes. I listened, standing by the kitchen window, looking out on a gray afternoon. The weather was decidedly Scottish, cold with a heavy mist falling. It was perfect. 

As I sipped tea, and listened to Scottish music, I colored in a new coloring book. It’s based on the Outlander stories, by Diana Gabaldon, which are set in 18th century Scotland. In honor of the day, I chose to color the page with the thistle, which is Scotland’s national flower. I didn’t finish the page yet, but the thistle is completed. 

What a special day I had. I am grateful that I now know to celebrate this holiday every November 30. Scotland calls to me. I love every part of her, however the ancient city of Edinburgh, in particular, draws me. There is much for me to explore and discover there and I will return soon. In the meantime, these opportunities to celebrate my Scottish heritage are much welcomed. Happy St. Andrew’s Day.   Slàinte mhath! 

You can listen to Flower of Scotland Bagpipes HERE

Journey 333: Happy 1st Birthday Lola

Incredibly, a year has passed, exactly, since we welcomed Lola Maxx Miller to the world and to the family. We gathered today to celebrate this beautiful little girl on the anniversary of her birth. Her daddy, who is my nephew Scott, and mommy, Nicole, and big brother Weston welcomed us all to their home. 


Nicole has a wonderful tradition of carrying over the baby shower theme to the first birthday party. Lola’s shower was a yellow & gray theme. Today there were yellow and gray decorations, including a large sunburst on the wall with monthly photos of Lola capturing her year of growth, and festive cupcakes on yellow and gray plates. 


I realized after I took the pic that the 2nd month photo had fallen off!

And it has been a year of growth and accomplishments. From newborn to toddler, this cheerful little lady has gone from being immobile, yet incredibly strong and alert, to walking, running and keeping up with her brother. She’s always happy. Smiles easily. Flashes her big brown eyes as she wrinkles up her nose. 

She was less interested in opening gifts and more interested in the toys that magically appeared before her, after Weston and Kaleb helped with tearing off paper. 


Seated atop the dining room table, in her little chair, she was like a princess on her miniature throne. She smiled as her family surrounded her, not sure what all the fuss was about. Her mommy lit the single candle on the small birthday cake created just for Lola. As we sang “Happy Birthday” this precious girl brightened up and looked around….until we sang the “….dear Lola…” part. Realizing we were singing to her, she dropped her head, overcome by shyness. It was such an endearing moment. 



Song over, Lola daintily picked at her cake, putting tiny morsels into her mouth with her fingers. Mommy helped her out by providing a fork. That handy utensil not only got more cake into her mouth, it functioned as a great comb too! As she finished her cake, Lola gave into the impulse to rub cake everywhere. It was bath time after that. 



What a special day, celebrating a special girl. Scott and Nicole are an amazing couple, parenting their young son and daughter with love, patience and a good dollop of humor. They work well together as a team, taking turns handling the never ending responsibilities of raising kids.  And they have a wonderfully supportive family who encourages them and steps up to help. I love watching this little family together. 


                                      Big brother Weston.  

Lola is a beautiful child. She was born into a loving family, surrounded by the number 3. I look at her birth date, Day 333 in the year, and remember that 3’s signify a Body, Mind and Spirit connection, the presence of angels, and are connected to the energies of creativity, joy, imagination, kindness, psychic ability, growth and manifestation. Though she be but little, as Shakespeare would say, she is fierce. Not in a mean way. But in her determination. In her joy. In her kindness. Time will reveal her creativity and how powerful her imagination is, how strong her intuition. I know though. I just have to look into those wise eyes. 

Happy birthday Lola Maxx. I love you!



Journey 332: Christmas Possibilities

I moved my Artist Date to today, since I have a birthday to celebrate tomorrow in Oklahoma. And this is also Small Business Saturday, when consumers are encouraged to Shop Small, Shop Local. I decided to combine my date with myself with a little Christmas shopping, and conclude the afternoon with one of my favorite activities. 


I was proud of myself that I got out today. It was cold and rainy and otherwise known as a perfect day to stay home and sip hot tea. I did that yesterday! I refuse to have a “date” at home. It would be too easy for me to rent a DVD and watch it in the comfort of my bedroom and call it good. So I layered on warm clothes and off we went, my inner artist and me, to support a couple of small local businesses and experience Christmas joy. 
My first stop was Blue Moon Boutique, located at 613 S Main Street in Joplin. I love this unique little shop that is marketed as a “modern boutique with a vintage soul”. The store  carries trendy clothes, accessories, gifts and home decor. And it is always so beautifully merchandised. Christmas items were all 50% off today. I carried out some lovely purchases that will look delightful in my home. 


My next stop was Gourmets, a kitchen and more store, located at 2800 S Main. This is another shop that I love to wander through. There is a plethora of kitchen accessories and gadgets, plus home decor and specialty items such as coffees, teas and soup and dip mixes. I happily crossed some items off my Christmas list here and enjoyed chatting with one of the owners. 

My inner artist graciously allowed me another stop to pick up a couple of gifts and then, thoroughly chilled, I opted to drive through Starbucks for a venti hot chocolate and a slice of gingerbread loaf. How festive is that? I didn’t mind the long line of cars, any more than I mind lines in the stores this time of year. There’s a camaraderie among us as we shop and  then wait in line to pay. People were in high spirits and chatty, which I loved. I heard about a pumpkin pie failure for Thanksgiving dinner and sugar intolerance, forgetful parents and decisions about a grandchild’s gifts, all from strangers. 


I carried my hot chocolate and slice of gingerbread loaf into the mall and settled into a comfy leather chair near the Santa Village. This was what I had been looking forward to all afternoon. Sitting among the bustle of shoppers laughing and moving in and out of stores and visiting Santa, while I engaged in a lifelong pleasure: people watching. I have been since childhood, a keen observer of people. I knew my creative child would enjoy this. 

The energy was high here as well. I loved watching parents with their kids as they approached a very authentic looking Santa, garbed in his red suit, with beautiful gray hair and a real, luxurious beard. Most of the kids were excited to see the jolly old elf. Even older kids called out to him and waved as they walked by, too old, they thought, to sit with him, but still young enough to notice him. I most enjoyed a young couple with a 9 month old baby girl. She was not going to cooperate with sitting on a stranger’s lap. She tightly clutched her daddy’s arm and leaned away from Santa, while her mom spoke to her in a high voice with exaggerated facial expressions, “Ooohhh look…it’s Santa!! Want to see him? Santa! Let’s see Santa!” Momma didn’t convince Baby, or Dad. They walked away. 

After a leisurely time of people watching while I sipped my hot chocolate, I stood to join the crowds and make another purchase. It was as I was preparing to leave the mall that I got a strong nudge to make one more stop. New pajamas came to mind. For me. Ah. On the way to Starbucks I had driven through the parking lot of a store, with the intention of looking for an item for myself. Not for the house. Not a Christmas present for a family member. For me. I never parked the car. I decided this was not the time to get something for myself and drove away. Now my creative child, my inner artist was getting my attention. 


When I get home in the evenings, the first thing I do is change into comfy pjs and soft fuzzy socks. That’s my home attire. I have to admit it’s been three or more years since I bought new pjs. While very comfy, the two sets that I have are decidedly worn. What a lovely thought, to purchase a new pair. I walked into JC Penney with the idea that I’d only buy a new pair of pajamas if I could find something decadent for under $20. I was being agreeable, going with the idea, but adding a condition. In hindsight, I didn’t need to do that. I’m learning. 

I found a beautiful, incredibly soft, warm pair of pajamas, in light gray and pink. Normally $54, today they were $14.99. I laughed. And I added two pairs of soft gray socks for $2.50 each. All for under $20, and barely over with tax. I’m enjoying the snuggly pj’s at home now. Thank you Little Cindy. 

I read Week Five in the Artist’s Way this evening, curious if my date today connected at all with the upcoming chapter. Called Recovering a Sense of Possibilty, this chapter is full of amazing truths, and explores how we might curtail our own possibilities by placing a limit on the good we can receive. There’s much to digest in Week Five and things I’ll share about later. These words caught my eyes: “We are stingy with ourselves.” Yes, I used to be very stingy with myself, and even today I held back. But my creativity is awakening, my awareness raising, and I’m listening to God and my inner child. I’m learning not to hold back. 

Journey 331: Messages from My Future and Past Selves

Today, with its steady rainfall and cool temps, was the perfect day for remaining snugly indoors. I love days like this, when I can write and color and work on projects. One of the most interesting things that I did today was an assignment from week four in The Artist’s Way. The instructions were labeled Time Travel. That caught my interest immediately. I was told to imagine myself as an 80 year old and have her write a message to my current self. And then to remember myself as an 8 year old and have her send me a message as well. 


I got out of my own way, envisioned myself at 80, still vibrant and in love with life and wrote her words to me, without overthinking. 

“Be yourself. Those things you long to do? Do them. What are you waiting for? You are already learning that as you think about what you want, and take that first step toward it, the Divine sets the whole universe in motion, in response to your heart felt desire. Keep opening to what is possible. Love, without conditions and without holding back. And never stop being curious. Curiosity is your ticket to your greatest adventures. I know! I’ve experienced them. You will too. You create an amazing life for yourself, by following your heart, by allowing life to unfold for you. For that I thank you. ” 


And then I remembered myself at eight. I connected with that young girl, whose future still loomed before her, and let her speak to me. As has happened lately, whenever I think of my childhood, tears fill my eyes. 

“Hello! It’s weird to think that I will ever be as old as you are now. Did I grow up to be a good person, a nice woman? Am I still afraid? Or did I outgrow my fears? I wish you could tell me. I hope I have figured out how to make it through a long dark night without being afraid. It’s funny to think about giving you advice. But here goes. 

Play. You hopefully still have a big imagination. Use it. Have fun every day. Write. You make sense of your world by writing about it. Use good words. Love. Relationships change. People come and go. Don’t be afraid to love because you fear loss. Love anyway, with all your heart. Be brave. You don’t have to understand everything. Accept who you are. Remember when you were very, very young? There was no fear then. There was wonder. There was fascination. Feel those things. It’s okay to share your feelings. 

Enjoy your times of being by yourself. But don’t forget to be with family and friends too. You get lost in yourself when you spend too much time alone. I hope you are cool! I don’t want to grow up to be an embarrassment. And write me sometime. I could use the encouragement that the path I’m on gets me somewhere that I want to be.”

I found these exercises to be amazing. I could imagine a twinkle in the eyes of my older self. My eight year old self especially had a lot to say. I paged through a photo album, looking for a picture of myself at that age. I studied my baby pictures and saw joy there. I looked into my own eyes as a young child, and saw sadness there, in some of those pics. I saw a guardedness that I’ve never noticed before. 

We have unfinished business, my inner child and me. I think I’ll take her suggestion, and write to her. 

Journey 330: Thanksgiving 2015

Today’s journey was one for feeling and expressing gratitude and spending time with family as we gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving. Greg, Elissa, Josh, Nate Pugh, Sara Adcock and I met at Adriel’s house for a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

This year was so fun. Daughters Elissa and Adriel prepared most of the meal. I was there to answer questions and step in during the last 15 minutes when so many crucial tasks are performed all at once, but the girls did most of the work. We had fun laughing and talking in the kitchen while the guys set up an extra table and fetched necessary items.

We shared a very delicious meal, with all of our favorite foods. The men graciously ate together in the living room while the ladies dined nearby at the larger table. There was no sense of being rushed or needing to be anywhere else. We could enjoy our meal and the moment, fully.

After our leisurely meal, full and contented, we all gathered in the living room and played games. We enjoyed the card game Uno first and then the more challenging game, Set. As we competed in a good natured way, Christmas movies played on the TV. In fact, Christmas movies were the backdrop for the entire day and included Christmas with the Kranks, Christmas Vacation, Elf, and A Miracle on 34th Street. The day concluded with slices of Dutch apple pie and pecan pie, with scoops of vanilla ice cream, and a variety of cupcakes that Sara made.

I am so blessed with a beautiful family and wonderful friends. All my children and grandchildren live nearby, so I have the privilege of seeing them often. All my extended family lives in Joplin or within an hour and a half of the city. We celebrate often and share meals, laughter and life. Gratitude overflows my heart today, and every day. And love surrounds all.

Journey 329: Pumpkin Protein Cookies – a Pinterest FAIL

I love finding interesting recipes online, especially on Pinterest. Although I don’t cook a lot, when I do I love to try new things. I found this recipe several weeks ago and looked forward to trying it this evening, as I was prepping for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. 

Here is the simple recipe:


I purchased a container of protein powder. When I opened the canister tonight, I discovered I’d bought chocolate protein powder. Since the recipe calls for chocolate chips, and it was 7:30 at night, I decided more chocolate would be okay. 
The recipe makes about two dozen cookies. The kitchen smelled wonderful as the cookies baked. As soon as they were cool enough, I sampled one. Not bad! The chocolate protein powder wasn’t noticeable. However, the amount of cinnamon is too much. All I can taste is the cinnamon! I wonder if the recipe has a typo? Perhaps a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon would be better!

I’ll try these again, but I’ll tinker with the recipe next time. Less cinnamon and maybe leave out the protein powder entirely. I know others have experienced a Pinterest Fail. This was mine! 


Journey 328: Goodnight Beautiful Garden

We have had such a splendid fall. Warm days, with just the right amount of rain, have extended the life of my backyard paradise. I have taken advantage of the unseasonably mild weather, enjoying cups of tea, reading and coloring on the brickio. A cold dip a couple of nights ago signaled the oncoming winter and the long slumber ahead for my perennials. The golden afternoon drew me into the garden today to further the tidying up process. 


Although that bite of cold ended the growing season for some plants, everywhere I looked, I found life still, and beauty. 

 I trimmed back herbs, inhaling the scent of basil, mint, oregano and thyme. Lavender and lemon balm were yet green and equally fragrant. 

And I gathered fresh eucalyptus for the first time, from my own plant, as I trimmed it back as well. Sprigs are now hanging in my kitchen to dry. I’m looking forward to using it in my Christmas decorating. 

The irises were cut back. My friend Beth and I did a garden exchange. She gave me white irises to add to my Japanese garden and I gave her seeds I collected from my pink and yellow firework plants. I’d love to participate in more such exchanges with other gardeners this spring! 
The letters spelling B E Y O N D came down, seat cushions were gathered up, cuttings and a paper cup that had blown into the yard disposed of. Tools were put away and clay pots emptied and stored. Last of all I transplanted the Scottish thistle plants into pots, in preparation for moving them indoors. I don’t know how the plants will do in a warm, dry environment, which is the opposite of their native Scotland. I’m willing to baby them and try! 



I thought I might experience sadness, as I worked in the garden today. But there was only quiet joy. I have so loved being in this backyard garden this year. The growth and beauty far exceeded my expectations for its second summer. I am content here. I am at peace. I am restored. I am grateful. Goodnight my paradise. Slumber through the winter little, and not so little, plants. I will greet you as you awaken next spring! 


Journey 327: Doctor Who Day

This was a special journey today, for a Whovian. And I most certainly am one. On November 23, 1963, the first episode of Doctor Who aired on British television. Fifty-two years, and thirteen Doctors later, the show continues to do well, producing quality episodes that expand the mind and touch the heart. 


I was introduced to this phenomenal show by my grandson, Dayan. I originally watched it so I could discuss his favorite show with him. But something happened three episodes into New Who, Series One, which launched in 2005. I was hooked. I fell in love with the show, which is often described as being more of a fairy tale, rather than sci-fi or fantasy.  The stories are powerful glimpses into the frailties and the magnificence of humanity, as seen through the eyes of an ancient Time Lord, who does not die, but regenerates when death is imminent. 


Dayan and I established the weekly practice of getting together after school on Wednesdays to have a late lunch and watch two or three episodes, to catch me up to the current 9th Series. That’s eight seasons to get through. With some binge watching thrown in this past summer, Dayan succeeded in getting me to the current season in a little more than a year. 



I will always treasure that year of Doctor Who. The episodes, the characters, the actors, made me laugh, made me chew my lip, made my eyes fill with tears. I’ll never look at angel statues in the same way, or bow ties, or bright blue police boxes. I think of Shakespeare differently and seeing a Vincent Van Gogh painting makes my lip quiver. Doctor Who has made me “bigger on the inside” and my experiences are richer because of the impact of that show. 



Today I celebrated Doctor Who Day in the best possible way. Dayan and I watched two episodes together. We completed series eight with the Christmas special and I’m now ready for this year’s episodes. Scottish actor Peter Capaldi is the Twelfth Doctor (the War Doctor didn’t have a number). I’ve watched through four Doctors, three regenerations, and six companions so far. While the Tenth Doctor is still my favorite, by a very slim margin, I’ve found characteristics about each portrayal to appreciate. 



I completed Doctor Who Day by watching the first episode that aired on this date in 1963. The film was black and white and the special effects minimal, but there was the same TARDIS, and the familiar opening song that starts with WOOOO EEEEEE OOOOOO…. The Doctor looked different. And his companion was his granddaughter Susan. I’ve heard her referenced in the newer episodes. I looked up info about her. Her Gallifreyan name meant “Rose”. What a nice tie-in that the Ninth Doctor’s companion in New Who is named Rose. 


The thing I love most about Doctor Who is that Dayan and I watch it together. We have shared Chinese food and conversation, laughter and teary eyes around this campy British show. Some of the episodes have sparked new thoughts and made us wonder, “what if?”. We have fun spotting obscure references and seeing the connections between the current Doctor and past ones. Doctor Who has created another strong connection between my grandson and me, one that will endure. I can image texting Dayan while he’s away in college, saying “Wow, what did you think of that Doctor Who episode?”. 

Travels through Time and Space can be experienced without a TARDIS. Dayan and I share a Whovian vocabulary that will instantly connect us, no matter how far away he goes in his own adventures, no matter how much time passes. For that, I’m extremely grateful to Doctor Who. Allons y, Dayan. 



Journey 326: Love the Coopers, Love Me

Week Four began today, in The Artist’s Way, and along with the start of a new chapter, I enjoyed my Artist Date as well. As with the previous weeks, this synergy exists between me, the date with my creative self, and the next chapter in the book. I don’t fully understand how this connection is occurring. It is enough to recognize that it is, and be both encouraged and inspired by it. 


I began asking my inner artist a few days ago to impress on me what I should do this afternoon for the Artist Date. Last night I felt drawn to see the movie “Love the Coopers”. I’ve seen a couple of previews for the film. It looked to be a warm, family comedy set around Christmas time. I’m always game for a movie. I checked show times this morning and saw that the afternoon matinee was perfect, time wise. Without holding expectations, I was curious to see how the movie connected to the chapter I was about to read in The Artist’s Way. 

Week Four, titled Recovering a Sense of Integrity, was amazing. I don’t write in my books, so that I can lend them out and not have my notes in the margin or my highlighted words distract the next reader. But I so wanted to underline words as I read today! The summary of this short chapter is “…grappling with changing self definition…introspection and integration of new self awareness.” 

Julia writes that we fall into the habit of saying we are “okay”, when we really aren’t. The Morning Pages are a tool for puncturing our denial, and helping us to stop saying “It’s okay” when life isn’t. I’m finding this to be true. The flow of thoughts onto blank pages every morning has helped me to go deeply into my creative side, but more than that, they’ve helped me to uncover long forgotten aspects of myself. Chekhov advised, “If you want to work on your art, work on your life.” Julia adds that in order to have self expression, we must first have a self to express. 

The Morning Pages, and I’m finding, the Artist Dates, are doing that. Clearing away old beliefs. Shining a bright light into the dark recesses of my childhood. Awakening my creativity, yes. And stirring my intuition. These connective leaps are taking place, that astound me. Julia says that will happen as I lose my vagueness about my self, my values, my life situation, and become fully available to the moment. Art, she writes, lies in the moment of encounter: I meet myself, I meet my truth, I meet my self expression. 

There was so much to savor, in this chapter, so much that echoed what I had just written in my Morning Pages before I read this section. My heart thumped in my chest, as truth sunk in. The image of who I am is coming more sharply into focus. I am knowing, and loving, me. 

With a great sense of anticipation, I took myself to the theater, to see Love the Coopers. This film, which is classified as a comedy but is so much more, has a run time of 1 hour and 47 minutes and carries a PG-13 rating for adult themes. It has a big cast that includes Alan Arkin, Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Amanda Seyfried, Marisa Tomei, Olivia Wilde, June Squibb and Jake Lacy. 

I knew I was in the right place when the opening scenes of the movie began, and my eyes filled with tears before anything at all happened! Immediately I received another “ping” as the first song of the accompanying soundtrack played. I’d never heard the song before, until yesterday, when I downloaded a new music release and heard the same song there. 

I sat enchanted for the next hour and 47 minutes, my eyes often glistening with tears, as the story unfolded before me. Members of a large family are gathering for Christmas, each dealing with their own crises of identity. There’s the recently divorced adult son who hides the fact that he’s also lost his job. And the grown daughter who feels she’s a disappointment so she hides behind cynicism and a cutting wit. The mom wants a perfect Christmas together before sharing the news that she and her husband of 40 years are separating. The dad wonders how their lives became so small, and what happened to the passionate woman he married. Each person carries too much of his or her past with them. They are missing the moment, missing each other, missing themselves. Into all that chaos and struggle  the opportunity arises to see themselves and each other with fresh eyes. 

I appreciated this movie and understood why I was drawn to it. In the midst of life, of celebrating, of family, the Coopers remembered who they were, became more self aware. Life presents the same opportunity to me, meeting me exactly where I am. As I clear away the past, as I allow the future to unfold as it will, as I inhabit and embrace the moment, my true shining self is uncovered. And I no longer need to hide. 

“All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life.”  M.C. Richards


Journey 325: Seussical

I had the privilege this evening of attending Carl Junction High School’s musical, Seussical. I enjoyed the lively and colorful production with my daughter Elissa, grandson Dayan and his girlfriend, Elly. We sat near the front, and settled back as the lights dimmed, ready to be entertained. 

Seussical is a musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty based on the books of Dr. Seuss, primarily “Horton Hears a Who!”, “Horton Hatches the Egg” and “Miss Gertrude McFuzz”. The musical debuted on Broadway in 2000. The play’s story is an amalgamation of several of Seuss’s most famous books. After a Broadway run, the production birthed two US national tours and a UK tour. It has become a beloved classic for schools, communities and regional theatres to perform. 

The Carl Junction HS Theatre production starred Shelby Bryant as the Cat in the Hat, Cade Hensley as Jojo, the young boy on the dust speck planet of Who, Jarrett Little and Tiffany Durbin as his parents, Alec Huffman as Horton the Elephant, Sophia Day as Gertrude McFuzz, Megan Richins as Mayzie LaBird and Katheyn Martinez as Sour Kangaroo. There was also a talented host of supporting cast members, an amazing production team and a live orchestra. 

This was a fun musical, incorporating familiar characters from the whimsical rhyming tales of Dr. Seuss. The sets and costumes were brilliantly colored, and a trampoline was cleverly hidden in the midst of the set. The characters made full use of it, expertly bouncing across its surface. 

While I was impressed and highly entertained by the entire cast, there were stand out performances by Shelby, as that odd Cat in the red striped Hat, and Alec, who played a soulful Horton the Elephant. Sophia was a delightful Gertrude McFuzz, who loved Horton and longed to be noticed by him. And I enjoyed Tiffany and Jarret as the Mayor and his wife, parents to Jojo. 

I was absolutely wowed by the singing ability of Kathryn as Sour Kangaroo and Megan as Mayzie. Megan is a friend of Dayan’s and I got to know her better earlier this year when she attended the Phantom of the Opera musical with us in Tulsa. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be in the audience tonight for her performance. 

I’m ever amazed at the abilities of these high school kids. I like seeing creativity expressed well, with passion and obvious enthusiasm. Carl Junction High School’s theatre department consistently delivers high quality productions. I look forward to the next musical!