The Crock Pot Brigade Awaits Appetizers In The Making

This group will be here ushering in the New Year with us. I have a whole bunch of appetizers planned to satisfy the hunger of all that can join us.

The “Crock Pot” brigade is awaiting the holiday cuisine we have chosen to make a New Years tradition. Cranberry Sauce Meatballs and hot, cheesy spinach dip… Lil smokies, spicy chicken wings, cheese ball and crackers… Apple filled crescent rolls. Chips and dip and the one request Zoe had for her party, brownies!


I keep trying to invite people to share in the holidays with us but everyone has been too busy to come. Speaks volumes about how much of a loner, I have been. I need to make more friends I suppose. I’m glad to support Zoe in her friendships by hosting lots of Get Togethers, for her friends. I do however feel a real loneliness and longing for friendships lately. All of these icons passing from my youth, remind me how the clock is ticking. If I sit and think about it, the depression of what I have not accomplished but so desire to, would consume my thoughts!  I’m trying not to go there but, I feel it! I’m so grateful for a fresh start, the hope and promise that a New Year brings. My pursuit of happiness and autonomous monetary success can live on in my head. Now, to figure out how to manifest my dreams into some sort of reality…

Something More Than Nothing 

Perhaps, this was the saddest dream crushing reality of 2016 for me on such a personal level… Prompting me to come face to face with my own harshest of realities. “Quit chasing people and dreams that don’t chase you back!” A harsh reality faced with no more illusion as to what if…It’s hard to face that just because you admire someone so much, it’s not necessarily reciprocal! The planets didn’t align for me regarding this dream.

This fool can put this, to rest…

Fool’s Overture-

The weather here in Phoenix has been out of this world beautiful. I spent the afternoon yesterday in the backyard yesterday. It was gorgeous! I’m sure we were the envy of the nation in temps. 


Daughter Britt and family went out of town. I am babysitting my Grandog, Oso. He is a beautiful dog who loves to be around kids! Such a wonderful dog!

If I were to pick my favorite cover that I did this year it is this…

Casual Conversations- true to my life experience in so many ways. This was an attempt at some humor surrounding my mundane existence as a career homemaker/ wanna be musician.


I added another family member to the equation this year. I legally adopted my Granddaughter! Amelia Rose.


May you and yours have a wonderful holiday celebration. Take some time to reflect back on your own life journey in this past year. Figure out what you want to change in 2017. I hope you can find some good and cherished moments as well. Coffee inspired introspection works well lol… My favorite musical accomplishment was the completion of this original!

Getting people to listen to originals is crazy hard to do. Pain in the butt! I had no idea it could be so difficult! So many songwriters out there producing originals, I have no idea how you get people to listen… I am however, pleased with this composition and throwing it out there in the sea of unheard originals on YouTube and SoundCloud. I don’t feel as if people don’t like my music because not enough have even heard my music! 

The Time Is Here-


Happy New Year!

Losing George Michael Was A Christmas Sadness 2016 Has Been A Year Of Great Losses

This probably looks like nearly everyone’s Christmas celebration. I have been so busy this week. Cooking, cleaning up and plenty of dishes… I have had everyone home this week. 

The death of George Michael rocked my world and put me in a Christmas funk. I have been so sad about the passing of this brilliant songwriter! When you cover a song you feel a real sense of intimacy with that song. The way that I play, by ear makes learning a song a different kind of experience. Sometimes they come together easily, sometimes certain chords are harder to discern. When it all comes together it’s gratifying and sometimes exhilarating!

I have covered Praying For Time, a lot in the past few years. The lyrics fit so well with my life experience at the time. I really felt as if I had a good idea what George Michael had been feeling when he wrote it. The more I play this song, the more I appreciate the genius songwriter that he was. Definitely a person I wish I had the privilege to know. An amazing talent and a humanitarian too. What a loss! So very sad at losing this icon. What a year of losses. Can’t wait to usher 2016 out! 

If you are a follower on my YouTube Channel you will find these “Praying For Time”covers.

Also you will find these on my SoundCloud channel…

As you can see, this is a song so near and dear to my heart! He had a whole host of hits and lesser known songs. He was an artist that would create a whole body of work in his albums/CDs. I never listened to just a few songs, it was the whole album or CD in it’s entirety. I loved his soulful, heartfelt music! 

I haven’t shared my funk, I am still trying to make sure everyone has a nice  holiday vacation.  My thoughts and moments alone are filled with great sadness and loss. Private tears in my bathtub have been my release…Awww George! Gives new life to the old ad …”Calgon, take me away!” 

We have another few days left of vacation time. New Years Eve teenage party is on the agenda… 2016 looks better in the rear view mirror! 

Something More Than Nothing Emptiness Prevails 

Mini Banana Loaves and ready for gift giving.

Banana Butterscotch Muffins…

So This Is Christmas 2016


Smore Treats with peanut butter in some. Marshmallow Creme in others…

Chocolate covered pretzels!

Cherry Preseve Jam Thumbprints 

Oatmeal Scotchies with white chocolate drizzle…


Snickerdoodles 


These are all of the things that I have made this holiday season. My daughter gave many to her friends for little gifts. My husband took many to work to share with the office.

I guess that I just felt compelled to bake and make confections this season. I feel like I played the role of Baking Elf in it’s entirety.


Our Christmas Party is Friday eve. I have more yet to make for that. This year the party will be very small. I think all of this baking is my way of working through the grief of missing so many people that are gone now. I want to spread cheer but also, I’m really missing a lot of people! I’m also feeling the ticking clock. I am frustrated to not be achieving anything! Nothing that I do has been worthy of monetary gain. I give all day everyday 100%. I would think that I would have found a money making path using some skill I have acquired that I possess? What the heck, why haven’t I found a way to use any of this for gain? I admit that I hide in my shell in a lot of this that I do. I’m sure that has a lot to do with my lack of monetary compensation. Still, the skills I have acquired are rather useless in today’s world!  What a shame that I haven’t yet found my niche in society! It’s a race to beat the clock! I really wonder how many other homemakers feel exactly like this? Always a desire to be more and achieve…

Something More Than Nothing

Have a great Tuesday! Wherever you go, there, you are-

Oh Darlin written by Rick Davies My cover of…

This song is a little known song I suppose. One of the obscure songs that maybe only a true a Supertramp fan would know? As far as I know, it wasn’t a big hit? Anyway, I get a kick out of Rick Davies lyrics. Rather stalkerish or possessive, you get the feeling that if you were the woman of his desire, he would pursue you in a grandiose way. He is out to capture you… His love songs are very chivalrous! I find him endearing and beyond charming…

Anyway, I love the original of this song. In retrospect I suppose I could have played this in a keyboard voice more similar to the original. I chose a grand piano voice for this cover. 

I also posted one last Christmas Cover on my YouTube channel today…

I’ll Be Home For Christmas 

The kids will be on winter break after tomorrow so I wanted to spend time on this before the Christmas madness ensues. I am sure I will barely get a spare moment. Today, I chose to do this! Oh it was fun while it lasted… A few stolen moments! The music of Rick Davies, took me away! Oh and Bing Crosby as well…

Enjoy holiday indulgences and favorite pastimes, it’s cathartic!  I hope to finish binge watching Good Behavior… an addicting series all about addiction…

Semi-Homemade Confections For Christmas Giving

This is a variation on a previous recipe that was circulating on Facebook. I adapted it to my own tastes. These are easy but yet festive in presentation. Busy Moms, Grams really anyone wanting to present a homemade treat can make these. You can use your imagination to create personalized taste treats. Today I only used a few different toppings. Chopped pecans, chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles, crushed candy canes and small sprinkles were my toppings of choice today.

I spread a generous amount of Marshmallow Fluff, between boxed gingersnaps, vanilla wafers and lastly, a few fudge covered Ritz crackers. I melted a Vanilla  Bark chocolate candy product. I dunked my sandwhich cookies in the chocolate using a fork to drain the excess chocolate between the tines. I arranged them on my foil lined baking sheet and sprinkled my toppings onto them before the chocolate set. Dip and sprinkle one at a time, works best to ensure the topping will set into the melted chocolate. I refrigerated my coated cookies to ensure that they set properly. These do not need to be refrigerated once they are set.

I am happy with the way these turned out. My teen daughter sampled the finished product. She assures me that they are very very good.  

Try them, they don’t disappoint!

Caught Up In Christmas Splendor

Like many of you the holidays get so busy that your on the go all the time. That would be the case with me. I have a teenage daughter who has a very busy calendar lol. Between Christmas concerts and extra curriculars, just wow. We also went with all but two of the G-Kids to Bass Pro Shop for a visit to see Santa there.

The week of my big concert experience, I got the worst cold! Chest and head cold with the worst cough I have had in 25 years! Ugh. Cough cough cough! I still have the remnants of it. So although I didn’t go down, I was walking around out of it for about a week. Awful virus. Probably better that I didn’t get to meet my idol. Here, have my flu by the way, I love ya? I wouldn’t want to be remembered that way lol. I was however very sad, ok pretty devastated that I didn’t get to meet him. I had to rethink my whole made up illusion about this artist. I thought long and hard about this…I wallowed in the disappointment for a while. His manager was there. I met her, we spoke. I had to give her my name to be admitted to the Soundcheck. If he had been interested to meet me, his camp knew I was there. I’ve been vocal, I’ve been blatant about my desire to meet this man…I’ve blogged, I’ve promoted, I’ve liked every tweet. Commented on every post for two years…If he had a care of meeting this fan, it would’ve happened! 

I decided that it was only important if I make it important. I also coined a phrase to my own unique personal perception…”Quit chasing people and dreams that don’t chase you back!” For whatever reason, it wasn’t for me to do. I’m not in his orbit lol. Oh well…

So, rather than dwell on what I don’t get to do I decided to do what it is that I can do…decorate outside lol! 

I had help, my elderly cat Twink sat outside while I enjoyed decorating the patio…

Even the doghouse got a wreath!


In between, I even revisited and uploaded a song on SoundCloud. Just to prove to myself  that I can power through even with a cold. For what it’s worth lol, here is the link. Oh Darlin, written by Rick Davies.

Then, it was on to the front yard decor… I serve as helper to my husband on all the outdoor decor. People seem to enjoy our effort. We feel  rather obligated to decorate as we live in a corner house. Our street is prevalent to the traffic flow in the neighborhood. We are sadly one of the few who decorate. Most of our neighbors are older and don’t decorate.


I’ve wrapped almost all of the gifts and now I’m moving on to baking! Zoe and I are going to have a baking day tomorrow. I like to make homemade goodies for my neighbors and friends. This year I am making a few new ideas in semi homemade treats… I will show you as they are simple, don’t take all your time and anyone can make them! A little homemade goodness without major time consumption!

Have fun in your holiday festivities whatever they may be!

Roger Hodgson Is In Arizona

My world has been upside down and all around this week. Very very personally challenging. I won’t get in to too many details except to say  I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. A very hard place! I want to have hope and, I’m trying very hard to see a window of opportunity for change. We can always have hope. I have spent the week seeking spiritual guidance. I have a need to believe in something greater than this earth. I am seeking answers and change from within myself to be able to take a solid step forward. Meanwhile, I am enjoying the Christmas spirit that comes from decorating and listening to beautiful Christmas music! Michael W. Smith’s album entitled “Christmas”, comes to mind! This Christmas CD is grand in sound and in spirit! Full orchestra with that clever heart tugging musical style that he incorporates into all of his  projects. From start to finish, this CD will take your emotions and thoughts over hills and through valleys! Lose yourself in this collective musical ambrosia, it does not disappoint!


While I listened to this I was decking my halls…

I had a little help… bless her heart, she told me this is the first time she has ever put ornaments on a tree. She told me that her Mom never decorated a tree. I was happy to have two trees just her size for her to decorate! She has been so amazed to see Christmas go up here. It’s been fun to see her reaction. She keeps telling me that Santa is going to love it here when he comes. Precious!


 


From the outside looking in! 


Whew! What goes up must come down lol. I don’t want to think about having to put all of this away. It’s the journey right?

This being the 1st of Dec… guess what tomorrow is!!!

Omg Roger is coming! He plays in Tucson tonight. So he is here in AZ probably right now! If I could have afforded the Tucson show as well I would have driven the hour and a half tonight. I don’t know that I will get to meet him but I did get an invite to the Soundcheck! I asked the President of his fan club for a meet and greet pass. She wasn’t able to do that due to venue policies. She did however get my daughter Britt and I on the list of guests to the Soundcheck check! Ana his fan club president is a wonderful lady. Kind and very understanding of the desire his fans have to meet Roger. She has been supportive and wonderful in helping me to achieve this. She knows I’ve been waiting a long time.We are to arrive at the theater at 3:30 for registration. The actual concert doesn’t start until 8:00 pm. This will be a really interesting behind the scenes experience! I can’t wait!!!

If you follow this blog than you understand how very much I have been looking forward to this experience. Bucket list! I really hope that I can finally come face to face with Roger Hodgson. He probably has no idea that I cover him… I ‘m just another fan!

https://soundcloud.com/tyna-j-phipps/dont-leave-me-now-written-by-1?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=email

https://soundcloud.com/tyna-j-phipps/dont-leave-me-now-written-by-1?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=email

These are my covers of his music. I love this creative genius!

I will blog about my concert experience! 

Have a great Dec. 1st. Do something spirit filled, it feels good!