lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Terror of the Seas March 16, 2018

Filed under: Animal Antics — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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About manatees.

No really, I have a story about sea cows.

Following the yellow brick road led me back to sunny Florida. I love Florida. It’s one of my favorite states. There are beaches and Disney, and with my Pluto obsession, it’s a really great place for me.

I’ve performed down in Florida often enough that I’ve forced my mother to visit me several times. I always try to have some kind of adventure with her when she comes to visit and once I decided that we should go swim with the manatees.

I’ll set the scene for you. My husband, sister, mother, and I don our wetsuits to commune with the gentle sea cows. It was a chilly winter morning. The canal wasn’t too crowded. There were a few manatees munching on sea grass.

The company that we went with is one of the few grandfathered in to allow interaction with the manatees, so getting to swim with them is a really special experience. You get to rub their bellies, which they really love. It should have been a beautiful memory to cherish for years to come. (more…)

 

Month of Madness May 22, 2017

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life,What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 5:30 pm
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Well… I’m back!

It’s been a hell of a… month? More than that?

Let’s do a recap.

Closed a show in Florida and flew out to Ireland.

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Had an amazing two weeks exploring the country. Saw some beautiful places, met some awesome people, cracked my husband’s phone screen. All in all a great trip! (Don’t worry, there are plenty of Emerald Isle stories I’ll be sharing!)

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Got back to the U.S. just in time to run to my mom’s old house to help with some repairs and sorting to prep for sale! We tried to replace a faucet and ended up replacing a counter, we built a railing, and we watched the angry old-men packers box all sorts of things they weren’t supposed to touch.

 

 

2A50CA89-3326-48F8-AB57-3EFB46839883.JPGThen we got keys to the new house! Bought some plants, had the stuff moved in, and jumped into rehearsals for a show the husband and I wrote the music and lyrics for and are in!

Day off meant a break to clear out our storage unit, which is really hard when you bought the fancy non-break-in-able lock but don’t have your key. It all worked out in the end, and all of our stuff is finally under one roof. We’ve even started framing and hanging almost ten years of collected art!

There was a bit of editing and signing of a book contract thrown into that mix as well. But mostly it was just a month of madness. But now I’m having my first proper day off, sitting on my couch, typing a blog, and having coffee from my coffee maker.

It was a rough and wonderful road, and I am so glad to be back with you all! I can’t wait to tell you about my run in with a raven in Killarney!

 

The Snorkeling Sickness March 11, 2017

My husband and I aren’t usually seasick people. We’ve ridden on boats from canoes to cruise ships and neither of us has ever gotten ill. Until we went snorkeling a few weeks ago.

It was our first double day off since September, so we treated ourselves to a little trip to Key West. We rode the catamaran down. That was great! I read the whole way, my husband played his video game. We spent the evening exploring and woke up the next morning ready for a snorkeling adventure!

That’s where the problems began. We left to hotel too early for their breakfast and had to find food on the docks. My husband, feeling adventurous, chose a Cuban breakfast sandwich with pulled pork and chorizo. Then we got on the boat. Everything was still fine, but since it was a little choppy, they decided to take us to the soft coral instead of the actual barrier reef. Still super cool. I’d never snorkeled with soft coral before.

Then we got into the water, and I learned something very important: soft coral doesn’t hold down sand. It was like trying to swim through a sand storm. (more…)

 

The Pregnant Nun January 5, 2017

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 3:30 pm
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I’m weird. If you’ve been to this blog before, I’m sure you’ve realized that. But there’s nothing like spending time with family to remind you just how terribly weird you are.

I got to spend Christmas with my mom and sister this year, which is a rare treat for a performer. My husband was there; my sister’s husband and his parents were there. We were all chatting, and at one point my mom said something like, “Well, I knew you were going to be weird when I made the nun your mother.”

Outside of my family, you would think that was the ravings of a mad woman, but no no, it’s true.

I grew up in an inn, and some of the many things that happened between those brown brick walls were murder mysteries. You’d arrange the group, my mother would mail everyone a character, you’d come to the house, and we’d slowly kill you all off. It was usually a good, family-friendly time.

When I was about four (so my sister was around six), a group was coming in, and the woman who should have turned out to be the killer according to my mother’s grand plan for the evening didn’t show. (more…)

 

Christmas in Exeter Street December 28, 2016

Happy very late Christmas! I hope yours was wonderful!

Mine was rather like Christmas in Exeter Street. If you’ve never heard of it, you should read it. The book is about this house where everyone ends up for Christmas. Some by design, some by accident. But Father Christmas brings gifts to them all, and they have a great holiday. There ends up being eighteen children in the house, and poor Father Christmas has to count on his toes to be sure he’s left gifts for them all. The homeless baby is especially hard to find since she’s sleeping in the kitchen sink. No, really, that’s where they put her.

Reading Christmas in Exeter Street was a tradition when I was little. There’s a two page illustration that shows everyone sleeping in the house. There are men on mantle pieces, a pastor and his wife in the tub, it’s great. My sister and I would go through and count all the people to make sure there really were eighteen children for Father Christmas to bring gifts to. We still count to this day, like the picture might somehow change.

Going back to the book as an adult, there are some very strange things child me didn’t notice. (more…)

 

A Burning Legend December 14, 2016

You know those family legends that get passed down, and you know the core of them, but the details get fuzzy? Well this is one of those.

My great-uncle or Dad’s second cousin or something like that, liked to blow fire. It was a party trick that he liked to show off, and I guess he was pretty decent at it. Well, he worked in garage and one day decided to show off for his buddies and blow fire in the garage. He didn’t have booze, so he decided to use gasoline…

Well, gasoline burns much faster than drinking alcohol. So, the fire raced down his throat and burned the inside of his stomach!

All pretty tragic, but he actually survived and ended up in the hospital. When he was finally allowed to go home, they gave him strict orders not to eat any solid food. (more…)

 

Off the Wagon September 26, 2016

Guys… I’ve fallen off the blogging wagon. I used to be so good. Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday every week. One blog over on my author site. And then… moving, traveling, adventuring, theatring, and publishing caught up with me.

I love everything I’ve been doing! From painting my face green in Oz to road tripping to see lovely faces I’ve missed so much, I love it. So much so that blogging about it fell through the cracks. Maybe it’s a personality flaw. I’m so much better at sharing the disastrous and humorous moments of life than the wonderful and perfect ones. (more…)