Giveaway Winner, Plans for 2010, Men in Tights, and a Mass Exodus

And the winner is....

Congratulations, Katy! Just send me your mailing address and let me know which three cards you'd like (you can choose on my website shop - any image that has a card option), and I'll get them out to you next week!

Katy's comment was selected using a random number generator - much easier more scientific than my last method of printing out all the comments, cutting them into little strips, and selecting one out of a hat.  Katy has a lovely blog of her own - be sure to stop by and check it out!

Let me just say, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your kind comments and goals for 2010! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and enter this giveaway! I appreciate all of the links and things that many of you did for me - you're very kind. And stay tuned... I will be doing more giveaways in the not-too-distant future!

Plans for 2010

Well, I asked all of you to share some of your goals for 2010, so I thought I'd share some of mine with you regarding this little blog...

One of my goals is to be more structured in every area of my life (if you've ever tried to run a home-based business, I'm sure you can relate to the importance and challenge of doing this). So, that includes this blog.

I'm thinking I'd like each day of the week to have a theme - so here's the working plan as of today:

  • Miscellaneous Monday- I need a day when I can do whatever I want on here. This is it. This could be anything from a book review to something I'm knitting to a cute picture of my dog. After all, it's Monday and we need to be dealt with gently.
  • Tuesday's Tip(s) or Top Ten (or Eleven or whatever) - I'll try to give you some type of helpful/useful information regarding something related to something I'm intersted in. This could be very random.
  • Watercolor Wednesday - I'll try to show you something I've painted recently. I might occasionally vary from watercolor and show you some other art-related project.
  • Thoughtful Thursday - This is the soapbox day. Dear reader, beware.
  • Just for Fun Friday - You'll need a laugh after I've blasted you on Thursday. So this will be something funny that happened to me or someone I know (with the names changed to protect the guilty), a funny video clip, a cartoon, etc. And if I have nothing funny for you, I'll make it Foto Photo Friday (sorry, I was going to try to be cutesy and misspell "photo" so that it started with an "F," but I just can't do it - I'm a spelling Nazi) and give you a picture to look at. How's that?
  • Weekends - we'll see what happens.
So that's the plan, which may be tweaked a little along the way if something else comes up...

You're probably still wondering, "What's this about men in tights??? Did I miss something?" So here we go....

My Review of Central Ballet Theatre of Greeneville's
January 22, 2010 Production of
The Story of Moses

(Incidentally, I did the cover art for the program... click here to read more about that.)

(I'm reviewing this ballet, not because I generally review ballets, but because I was somewhat involved in this one by doing the artwork for the programs and signs. This will not be a regular feature.)

Now, in order to exercise journalistic integrity and honesty, I need to let you know about a little bias of mine. I'm not big on ballet. It's not that I don't have respect for the time and dedication involved in putting one on. Nor do I fail to recognize the athletic ability of the dancers to spend 3 or so hours of running and leaping around on the stage on their tip toes, flinging their bodies into all kinds of unnatural positions, and doing it all with a baffling display of effortless gracefulness. (Trust me, I truly respect this, since I have all the gracefulness of a cantering ostrich. Which is why I paint for a living.) No, it's not that.... I have three issues with ballet in general:

  1. I usually have no idea what's going on. I saw the Nutcracker when I was about 8 and am still trying to figure it out. Something about a nutcracker doll coming to life and fighting with rats (whom everybody knows are the natural enemy of nutcracker dolls)....I got that part, but how does a sugarplum fairy fit into that scenario? What IS a sugarplum fairy??? Inevitably, during most ballets I feel like the kid who gets halfway through watching the final act of the Harvey play and stands up and yells in frustration, "WHERE'S THE RABBIT?" A Broadway show where they're singing and talking and telling you what's going on is more up my alley.

  2. Ballet can be very sensual, and many of the costumes can be very revealing. I believe we need to strive for modesty and purity in every area of our lives, even artistic expression (which is why I don't paint or draw nudes, although that is a common area of study for artists), and I have found some ballet productions (not all) in conflict with those goals.

  3. I don't want to see men in tights. Ever. The only possible exception would be if your name is Robin Hood and you've just been whooping up on some Normans and need to make a quick escape through a sophisticated network of strategically placed grapevines in Sherwood Forest, in which baggy clothing could pose a real danger by snagging on a branch and rendering you an easy target for the Sheriff's archers. But even then, I still don't want to see it. Ick. Nope, men should be manly. Tights are not manly. Especially if you're dancing in them.

*** Please note. These are my reservations about SOME ballet performances that I have seen. They do not apply to any ballets that I have seen involving anyone I know. My intention is to pay a higher compliment to this particular ballet by saying that I was impressed, and that's not an easy feat with me and ballet in general. I have no problem with your little girls being in ballet. Men in tights - that's a different story. Please don't send me hate mail.

So, having apprised you of my general sentiments regarding ballet and my three reservations regarding it, I have to say, this particular production trounced all of my objections, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. (I thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas production of God With Us that Trinity Arts Center put on at Milligan College a few weeks ago for all the same reasons, but unfortunately, none of my photos of that came out too well.)

God uses Moses to begin the first plague - the River turns to Blood.

1. The story was based on the story of Moses in Exodus, so I knew what was going on. That helped a lot. Not only did I know what was going on, but it was a very worthwhile message based on true historic events from the Bible, and you can never go wrong with that. The music selection was fantastic, beautiful, and also helped tell the story. So, objection one - overruled.

2. I did not feel uncomfortable at any point during this ballet. The costumes (which were very elaborate and well-done) were all modest, tasteful, and did not contain an over-abundance of spandex. The dancing was beautiful and graceful without being sensual or suggestive. And the message was clearly to bring glory to God, which I really appreciated.

3. And last, but certainly not least, not a man in tights was to be seen. They all wore baggy pants and looked and acted manly.

    Here's Moses whooping up on an Egyptian guard - which was actually quite an impressive fight scene- one that could give even Errol Flynn a run for his money. No tights needed.
    So all in all, it was an excellent production, and since there are two more shows (tonight at 7 and tomorrow at 2:30pm), there's still time for you to go check it out. Visit Central Ballet's website to learn more about it. You can get tickets at the door. I highly recommend that you go check it out if you're in the area!
    Some more highlights....
    Those Midianites know how to party....
    Moses and Zipporah tie the knot.
    A very cool portrayal of the Burning Bush.
    The Angel of Death Passes Over the Houses Covered With the Blood
     (This represents the Blood of Christ covering those who repent of their sin and place their trust in Him - we are passed over by God's judgment. Jesus is throughout the whole Bible if you just look for Him!)
    And the parting of the Red Sea was very cool too....
    I took a video of it, but I don't want to spoil it for you - it doesn't do it justice.
    Go see it in person!
    And I've got to say, it was pretty exciting for me to look back through the audience during the intermission and see a couple of hundred people holding a piece of my artwork!
    They even used it on their shirts!
    At any rate, I'd just like to tip my hat to all the members of Central Ballet and everyone else involved - excellent job!
    Here I am with my friend, the Angel of Death,
    but I have nothing to worry about, because I'm covered by the Blood....
    I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
    Thanks for bearing with me on this terribly long post! See you next week!


  1. Yipee! I'm so excited! Thank you, Beth!

    And I think your plans for your blog sound great!

  2. You're very welcome! Congratulations!

    Thank you!

  3. Hey, I see me! LOL You got the close up shots I wished I was getting as well. My hope is to dabble around in cropping all my pics to try and get some good ones. We had sat in the second row at Beauty and the Beast, and wanted to try the balcony this time.

    My feelings on ballet are identical to yours, even down to only having seen one before, a condensed version of the Nutcracker, which I was clueless about.

    But I was so impressed. The whole thing was visually stunning, the fire and water portrayals especially so. We saw it again today, having ushered, and I even understood some of it this time. (Reading the program helped. It's not just a souvenir and way to measure how close to the end you are. LOL) It also helped that I actually WATCHED it, instead of spending the whole time with my eyeball pressed to the eye cup of my camera. :oP


  4. i thoroughly enjoyed this post and i was so amused about your thoughts on ballet. my sentiments exactly about the men in tights!


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