I'm a rockin' Country girl from Indiana who loves NASCAR, Food, Football, and all things music! Check here first for the inside scoop on hot new artists on the rise, and spend your nights with me, 7-Midnight, on 93.1 The Wolf!
You may not know his name, but you've definitely seen his face - on the big screen in movies like Just Married and Secondhand Lions, on the small screen in TV shows like Angel and Leverage, and even in other singers' music videos like "So Small" by Carrie Underwood.Â But now Christian Kane is fighting his way to stardom in the Country music world, and as his debut single "House Rules" proves, he's holding nothing back.
Now, many people are skeptical when actors turn to singing, especially in the Country Music world, but this guy is the real deal.Â Christian was born in Texas, raised in Oklahoma, and his parents met in the rodeo...doesn't get much more Country than that!Â He turned to acting in college, but has always included singing in his repertoire...in his first professional acting gig, on the TV series Fame: LA, he played a Country singer.Â Christian currently stars in the TNT series Leverage, where he plays hard-hitting Eliot Spencer, and recently showcased his singing talents in Episode 306, performing "Thinking of You".
My best friend has a soft spot for Christian (ok, she has the hots for him!) so when he performed at Johnny & June's back in February, we had to go.Â I must say, when Christian hits that stage, it's no acting job...he puts every bit of energy into his live show and totally rocked the house.Â (Which was even more impressive when we found out he had the flu!Â Maybe that's where the acting chops came in...we would have never guessed)Â His current CD The House Rules was released in December of 2010, and features the title track (see the video below) as well as his current single, "Let Me Go" .Â If you like your Country mixed with a little butt-kickin' rock n' roll, Christian Kane is your man! Get more info and hear more tunes on his website . Enjoy!
When you see the Chris Lane Band live, you'll soon realize the emphasis is not on "Chris Lane", it's on "Band".Â 6 individuals make up the CLB, and each plays an important part in crafting the band's sound.Â Of course, there's Chris Lane, lead vocalist & rhythm guitar, who along with twin brother, Cory, on drums, started seriously pursuing a music career after college and founded the CLB (you may have noticed them in the audition segments of Season 7 of American Idol & Season 1 of Can You Duet!) Then there's Chelsea Sorrell on co-lead vocals, a girl with a Southern twang and a powerhouse voice that can take any Country song and make it her own. (and she also made the top 60 on Season 10 of American Idol!). Add in the talents of Dean Kreseski & Joseph Pope on guitar, and Tom Sale on bass, and you've got a full-scale party every time the band plays!Â The CLB's focus is on Country/Rock, but you never know when they'll mash that up with a little Pop, Classic Rock, Rap, and even old-school R&B!Â But their original songs are Pure Country, as is evident below on the first single, "Too Tennessee".Â Check the Wolf's concert page and local listings for the next time you can catch the CLB live, because trust me, it won't be long before they're packing huge venue's all over the USA!!
CLB official website
They've been mentored by Nashville Hall of Fame songwriter, Kye Fleming, scored a record deal from one of the most powerful label heads in Nashville, Scott Borchetta, and landed an opening slot on one of this summer's biggest tours, with Country Superstar, Brad Paisley.Â They're the hottest new band you've never heard of, Edens Edge.Â But trust me, you will!
Edens Edge stopped by the 93.1 The Wolf Studios in early June, and the staff was immediately impressed with their soaring harmonies and true-to-their-Arkansas roots sound.Â The group consists of Lead Singer Hannah Blaylock, Mandolin-Banjo-Guitar Player Cherrill Green, and Guitar-Dobro Player Dean Berner.Â Hannah's lead vocals are amazing, and the one thing that really stood out to me about her is that you really feel like she believes what she's singing in every song.Â That to me shows the difference between a good singer and a great performer.
The band just released a 5 song EP that includes the first single, "Amen" and a moving song titled "Christ Alone". Be sure to check out their live performances right here in the Wolf Studios under the video section on my Facebook Page! Â If you're going to see Brad Paisley this summer, get there early and catch their set!!Â Find out more about Edens Edge at www.edensedge.com
He's played with the likes of Johnny & June, Charlie Daniels, and Hank Williams Jr.Â He's written songs for Rascal Flatts and Montgomery Gentry.Â He's even played for the President.Â And he's only 19 years old!!
His name is Hunter Hayes, and he scored the opening slot on one of the biggest concert tours of the summer of 2011, the Speak Now Tour with Taylor Swift, so I'm sure you'll be hearing his name alot in the coming months.Â Hunter started playing a toy accordian at age 2, and hasn't stopped since.Â He learned by ear how to play keyboards, guitar, drums and more, and plays them ALL on his debut single, "Storm Warning"!Â Some may be quick to discount Hunter because of his cute looks and young age, but his songwriting and vocals show a wisdom well beyond his 19 years.Â Plus, if you have a teenage daughter that you're trying to sway to Country music, just show her this video...she will be in love!
Find out more about Hunter at www.hunterhayes.com, and listen for his fresh Wolf track, Storm Warning, right here on The Wolf!
(Note:Â We are lucky here at the Wolf to get the jump on hearing new artists, and having them come visit the radio station before they hit the "mainstream".Â When I hear someone I think is "on their way", I'll let you guys know!Â I love to discover new artists, and if you do too, then you'll enjoy this feature!Â And if you know of a new artist that you think deserves attention, please let me know!)
I first heard of Jason Sturgeon thru friends from "back home" in Indiana on Facebook.Â When I heard there was a talented Country singer from the "next town over", I had to check him out!Â Jason grew up in Petersburg, IN, population 35oo, and just 13 miles down the road from where I grew up.Â There's not much in that part of Indiana except cornfields and cows, and weekends are spent with good friends, family, and good music.Â That's how Jason started singing...entertaining his family for quarters!
When Jason decided to immerse himself in a music career, he hooked up with Dane ClarkÂ (a member of the band of another famous Indiana boy, John Mellencamp).Â Jason learned from Dane & his fellow musicians' insight and experience, and the resulting album is called, That's Me. You can definitely hear the Mellencamp influence on my favorite track, "Simple Life"!
Jason played last month at Johnny & June's, and stopped by the Wolf for an interview with me.Â Check it out here http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1939032321532Â and listen for an acoustic performance of his latest single, "The Cover" at the end!Â Get more info on Jason at www.jasonsturgeonmusic.comÂ and keep an eye on the concert calendar for the next time he rolls thru town.
I love Facebook.Â I love the fact that I can keep up with friends' day-to-day activities when our busy lives keep us from getting in touch.Â I love that I'm back in touch with people that I went to high school and college with.Â What I don't love is when someone you're not real acquainted with sends you a friend request, and although you don't want to ignore them and risk offending them, you don't really want them all up in your bidness either.Â So what do you do??Â You go ahead and accept their friend request, then hide all your status updates from them!Â I know, I know...it's sort of a backhanded friend acceptance, but it's better than ignoring them completely.Â Â They never have to know, and if you become closer to them, you can always change the settings.Â Click here to find out how.
Back in the spring, Blake Shelton (or his record company, but I'll give Blake all the credit) came up with the great idea to release his new music in "Six Packs" - six-song EP's* instead of the usual 10-14 song LP's* - so he could get his music finished and released faster.Â No more waiting years between new music packages!Â I, and many others, loved the idea, as shown by the success of his first Six Pack - Hillbilly Bone. Blake is releasing a 2nd Six Pack on August 10th that includes his current single and title track, "All About Tonight".Â To get you all excited about the release, he has posted weekly features every Tuesday on his Facebook page, counting down his "Top Six" in different categories.Â I love this guy's sense of humor...
You can pre-order All About Tonight and get an exclusive bundle with poster, key chain, and T-shirt (if you so desire) by clicking here.
*for those of you too young to remember music on vinyl - back in the day, music was released as either a Single: one song on each side of the record, an EP (extended play): 2 - 4 songs on each side (hence the "six pack") or an LP (long playing): 5 or more songs on each side.Â Ask your parents.
I know it seems like the kids just started Summer vacation, but it won't be long before it's Back-to-School time! (Is that sighs of relief from parents everywhere I hear?? LOL) Sadly, not every family can afford the school supplies their kids need for their optimum education.Â That's why Kellie Pickler is among the celebrities helping Staples raise money for school supplies for needy children.
Here's the info from Mediapost.com:
In conjunction with DoSomething.org, Staples is bringing the national school drive program online and mobile in a new way for the brand.
The effort kicks off July 6 and runs through Sept. 18. "Give-Back Pack" (www.staplesgivebackpack.com) features country music star Kellie Pickler, TV star/singer Drake Bell and pop music star Jason Derulo as "pack leaders."
Fans can go online to pick their pack leader and gain exclusive content to their celebrities as well as tips for planning their own Do Something 101 drives. With every member who signs up to join their pack, the celebrities will donate $1 to Do Something 101, up to $5,000 per pack. At the end of the program, select winners will have a chance to meet their favorite star and receive special autographed merchandise.
Also new in 2010, Staples has made it easy for parents to get involved through a new text-to-donate campaign. By texting NOTEBOOK to 20222, they can donate $5 directly to the Do Something 101 campaign. Funds raised will be dispersed to the beneficiary organizations already matched to Staples stores.
Go here to see Kellie's PSA and join her pack!
According to this article in US News and World Report, it could actually be more affordable to live in today's world and have nicer things than we had 10 years ago.Â In relation to inflation rates, the prices of many household items such as TV's, furniture, paint, decor, appliances, and even music have stayed the same or gone down in the past 10 years!Â Whooo!Â Of course, you can still always get your favorite Country music FREE right here on the Wolf...that's one thing that will never change ;)
By now, you've heard about the devastating floods that rocked Nashville and its surrounding areas at the beginning of May.Â Many people lost their homes and possessions, and some of Nashville's historic landmarks were severely damaged by the water.Â If you would like to help, you can make a donation AND show your support with a cool T-shirt!Â Nashville Flood Tees were designed by a group of artists and designers who wanted to use their talents to help the victims of the flood. There are 10 designs to choose from, and 100% of the proceeds go to Cross Point Church, Grace Church Nashville, United Way Wlliamson County & MusiCares.
I got the brown "Umbrella" style (a similar blue one has been seen on Kellie Pickler) and I heard Brad Paisley has the brown "H2O" style. I'm sure we'll see it a lot on his H2O Summer Tour!!
In radio, we are privileged to see many new artists before they are set free on the rest of the world.Â Record labels will bring their artists by for a visit, and the artist will play a few songs acoustically for anyone in the station that can take a few minutes to give them an audience.Â In the past few months, I have seen more talent in these little artist previews than you'd find in Giants Stadium at an American Idol audition!!Â A few you should check out:Â Chris Janson, Ash Bowers, Blaine Larson, and this guy, Jerrod Niemann.Â Not only does he look darn good on camera, but he is part of the "Traler Park" songwriting group that includes Jamey Johnson & Randy Houser (look for them in cameos at the end of the official video here ), and he sang ALL 9 parts (high, low, everything!) on this song!!Â Yep, he's definitely a new favorite of mine :)
The NASCAR Hall of Fame grand opening ceremony schedule is shaping up, and it includes TWO FREE Country music performances!!!Â Sounds like the perfect day to me....
Country Music Rising Star Lee Brice to Play Free Afternoon ConcertCHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 8, 2010 â 32 days until opening) â NASCAR Hall of Fame officials today announced a second free concert planned for the May 11 grand opening of the 150,000-square-foot entertainment attraction in uptown Charlotte, N.C.
Country music singer songwriter Lee Brice, a native of South Carolina, will perform a free concert at 2 p.m. May 11 on the Ceremonial Plaza of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Brice is currently touring with superstar Clay Walker and has an album scheduled to release on June 8 featuring his current hit single âLove Like Crazy.â The Curb Records artist wrote Garth Brooksâ âMore Than a Memoryâ and Tim McGrawâs hit single âStill.â
âThis grand opening is shaping up to be the canât-miss-event of the year for Charlotte,â said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. âFirst we announced Love And Theft for the 7p.m. concert and now Lee Brice. He is a talented artist who will definitely put on a great show for our guests. This concert will be the highlight of our afternoon schedule and a prefect after-school activity. Families can stop by to enjoy Leeâs music, meet NASCAR drivers, participate in kid-friendly activities and tour the NASCAR Hall of Fame.â
Opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. EDT. The one-hour ceremony will culminate with NASCAR celebrities, elected officials and other dignitaries officially opening the interactive venue. The opening ceremony will be followed by free outdoor activities from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. In addition to Lee Brice and Love And Theft, other activities will include NASCAR celebrities, question-and-answer sessions, strolling entertainment, and food vendors.
The star of the show that day will be the NASCAR Hall of Fame itself. Tickets to enter the high-tech, interactive attraction are on sale now and can be purchased at www.NASCARHall.com or by calling 877-231-2010. Tickets are $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12, and free for children younger than 5. Memberships provide unlimited entry for one year and start at $25 for children and $50 for adults. Group discounts, facility rentals and sponsorships also are available by calling 704-654-4400.
Schedule of Events 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Facility Hours NASCAR Hall of Fame Ticket Required 9-10 a.m. Opening Ceremony Ceremonial Plaza Free; No Ticket Required 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Outdoor Activities Ceremonial Plaza Free; No Ticket Required 2 p.m. Lee Brice Concert Ceremonial Plaza Free; No Ticket Required 7 p.m. Love And Theft Concert Ceremonial Plaza Free; No Ticket Required
All Ceremonial Plaza activities that day are free to the public. The Ceremonial Plaza faces Martin Luther King Boulevard between Caldwell and Brevard. Guests are encouraged to use the Charlotte Area Transit System.
About NASCAR Hall of Fame
Opening May 11, 2010 in uptown Charlotte, N.C., the 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue, designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike, includes artifacts, interactive exhibits, 275-person state-of-the-art theater, Hall of Honor, Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop and NASCAR Media Group-operated broadcast studio. The five-acre site also includes a privately developed 19-story office tower and 102,000-square-foot expansion to the Charlotte Convention Center, highlighted by a 40,000 square-foot ballroom. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. www.NASCARHall.com
The Acadamy of Country Music is allowing fans to vote in the categories of Top New Male Vocalist, Top New Female Vocalist, and Top New Group.Â The winners of those awards will all be put into the Top New Artist category, which will also be decided by fan votes.Â Luke Bryan is nominated in the "Male" category, and has gathered some of his country friends to create a clever campaign video and it's hilarious!!Â Click here to see the video...does he have your vote??
Article taken from www.dalejr.com:
RANDLEMAN, N.C. (March 1, 2010) - Victory Junction kicked off their "Keeping the Dream Alive" campaign today by announcing that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will join the elite list of Victory Junction Founders, as he commits to donate $1,000,000 to build and maintain The Dale Jr. Corral and Amphitheatre at the Randleman, N.C. camp for children with serious illnesses.
Victory Junction began with a dream, Adam Petty's Dream.Â His passion for helping children drove him to think of new ways to directly change the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.Â During a Nationwide Series practice session in 2000, tragically, Adam lost his life...but not his dream. Adam's dream now lives on in the lives of over 13,000 children and families that have suffered from over two dozen diseases such as cancer, hemophilia, spina bifida, physical disabilities and sickle cell.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is keeping Adam's dream alive.Â Â On March 27, 2010, during The Dale Jr. Foundation Physical Disabilities Weekend at Victory Junction, Dale Jr. will join the Victory Junction family as a Founder and will break ground on a one-of-a-kind project, The Dale Jr. Corral and Amphitheatre. Â Eighty-eight members of The JR Nation Crew, The Official Fan Club of Dale Jr., will be randomly selected to be special guests for this private ground breaking ceremony.Â To become a part of the FREE JR Nation Crew fan club and be eligible to attend, go to www.dalejr.com/jrnation.
"There are many reasons why we wanted to get involved with Victory Junction and build this amphitheatre, and it starts with the tremendous impact the camp has on these kids.Â It's incredible how one week changes lives," said Earnhardt Jr.Â "Just as important to me is my friendship with Kyle and Pattie Petty, and the memory of my buddy, Adam Petty.Â Adam and I met each other at an early age, and from that point on our lives and careers were virtually parallel.Â He was as genuine as they get and a great friend.Â If I can play a small part in helping Kyle and Pattie keep his dream alive, it doesn't require a second thought."
This unique, interactive & accessible outdoor amphitheatre will provide campers, the opportunity to sing a song, act in a play, tell a joke, play an instrument, watch a movie or even get their face pictured on an old, western "Wanted" poster along with the infamous outlaw, "Junior."
"Pattie and I are extremely humbled by Jr.'s kindness and generosity.Â We've known Jr. since he was a kid and it means the world to us that he is honoring our son, Adam, by helping change the lives of these kids," said Kyle Petty.Â "Adam is definitely smiling."
Victory Junction is extremely proud and humbled by the generosity and hard work of all of the individuals who not only believed in Adam's dream, but helped make it a reality.Â Now it is time to keep that dream alive.Â You, too, can join Dale Jr. and Victory Junction in their mission to help this very deserving group of children.
Go to http://www.victoryjunction.org/ to donate toward the project and to learn about Victory Junction's new Dream Team Challenge.Â Sign up as a crew chief, start your own Dream Team and join us in honoring the young man who had the vision to make us all feel our hearts race!
About The Dale Jr. Foundation
The Dale Jr. Foundation is a charity dedicated to giving underprivileged individuals with a focus on youth, the resources to improve their confidence and education, and the opportunity to achieve extraordinary goals.Â For more information, visit http://www.thedalejrfoundation.org/.
About Victory Junction
Victory Junction is a year-round camping environment for children, ages six to 16, with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son Adam, the camp is located in Randleman, N.C. with a second location opening soon in Kansas City, Kan. Victory Junction offers programs for 24 disease groups and maintains strong relationships with 30 partner hospitals. Victory Junction's mission is to provide life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, in a safe and medically-sound environment. As a not-for-profit organization, the camp operates solely through the support of generous donors to provide this experience at no charge to children and their families. For more information, visit http://www.victoryjunction.org/.
One of the best things about living in NC is that the "country" is just down the road.Â We don't have to travel hours outside the city to appreciate the beauty of God's hand.Â This video looks like it could have been shot just around the corner.Â Absolutely gorgeous!
Hey Ladies...wouldn't you love to get a message from a hot country artist on your birthday?Â I know it would make my day!Â Well, just go HERE and sign up for free, and Country hottie Chuck Wicks will leave you a personal message on your birthday!Â Just like he did THIS lucky lady ...
First of all, I must admit, I am a celebrity gossip junkie.Â I love to read about the latest thing my favorite actresses/actors/musicians are doing/wearing/saying.Â But I have a bit of disdain for those people who are "celebrities" for absolutely no reason at all.Â They haven't done anything to propel themselves to stardom - i.e. acted in a movie, had a hit song, talked on the radio (j/k!) - they're just famous because they were born into a rich family.Â Lucky them, but I'm still not sure why anyone cares what they are doing.Â Especially when they pull something like this:
TMZ has confirmed with limousine manufacturer Armor Horse, that Kim Kardashian - the girlfriend of New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush - will be chauffeured around Miami next week during the Superbowl in a tank/limo hybrid featuring bulletproof windows and composite ballastic panels.
The 2009 Armor Horse Vault XXL looks like a combination between a Brinks truck, an 18-wheeler, and an ambulance.Â It seats 28 people and features over six-and-a-half feet of standing room.Â The price tag is a hefty $770/hr. during Superbowl week, or roughly $8,000/night.Â If you want to buy it, the Armor Horse retails for $149,900 and boasts functional gun ports, two bars, seven TV's, and various emergency escape hatches.
Why Kim Kardashian needs more protection than Colts' star Peyton Manning, Saints' QB Drew Brees, or even her boyfriend - all of whom will be taken to the Superbowl in a regular old charter bus with police escorts - is anybody's guess.
I have no words...
Nothing makes you feel all warm & fuzzy inside in the wintertime quite like hot apple cider!!Â Here is a yummy, easy recipe that your friends and family will enjoy!Â *thanks to my friend, Mendy, for sharing it!*
Red Hot Apple Cider
2/3 Cup Red Cinnamon Candies (Red Hots)
8 Cups (1/2 gallon) Apple Cider
Combine in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.Â Stir mixture constantly (or candies will stick to the bottom) until candies are melted.
Add thin apple slices, if desired, and serve warm in large mugs.
**Adult twist: stir in 1 Cup Apple Brandy (or to taste) before serving.
"Suun-ny days, sweepin the...clouds a-way, on my way to where the air is sweeeet"
Who doesn't know how to finish that song?Â It's as American as Apple Pie, and today, November 10th, Sesame Street celebrates 40 years on the air teaching ABC's, 123's, manners, tolerance, and much much more to kids (and adults, too).Â Sesame Street debuted into the world less than a month before I did, on November 10th, 1969, so I feel an extra special kinship with the show - we've grown up together!Â Changing with the times, adding new characters and saying goodbye to old ones, learning new things every day, and hopefully making the world a little bit happier.Â Yup, that's Sesame Street and me, too.Â So Happy Birthday, Old Friend!Â May we both continue to have sunny days & sweep the clouds away for many many years to come!!
ABC is all about some country music this coming week.Â First, on Tuesday, November 10th, Robin Roberts from Good Morning America (who was once a country radio dj, by the way) hosts In The Spotlight With Robin Roberts: Bright Lights, Big Stars, All Access Nashville (whew! Long title!).Â The show will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at country music, and will travel to the homes of Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, and more.
Then, of course, on Wednesday, November 11th, it's "Country's Biggest Night", the CMA AWARDS!!Â Hosted by Carrie Underwood (who has at least 9 costume changes lined up) and Brad Paisley (I'm sure he has considerably less), the awards show will feature performances from some of the hottest acts in country music today.Â Now, personally, I don't really care who wins what award, but I LOVE watching the live performances!Â There's always a few surprises, and with Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney/Dave Matthews, Kid Rock/Jamey Johnson, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, and tons more set to perform, it is a music lovers' dream!
Now if I could only convince the big bossman that we need a live reporter (i.e. ME) from the event....
I lovelovelove Miranda Lambert - her spunk, talent, "real girl" attitude, and the fact that she's dating Blake Shelton ;)Â She seems like someone I would definitely hang around with (and would definitely not want to make mad at me! ha).Â Check out her new album, Revolution, and the first single/video, "White Liar".
**Jamey Johnson fans: pay attention to the preacher in the video!
When you become a character in a video game!Â Taylor Swift was recently chosen to be in the video game "Band Hero".Â Here's a cool look behind the scenes of the making of that game.Â You can practice along with her and enter our "Sing Like Taylor Swift" contest!!
Fall officially arrives today, September 22nd, 2009, at 5:18pm.Â I LOVE Fall!Â Why?Â Just a few reasons:
1.Â Crisp, cool weather (right before it turns COLD - yuk)
2.Â Fall fashions - especially boots!!
3.Â Football, Football, Football
4.Â Fairs & Festivals, and the yummy food!
5.Â Chicken Stews, bonfires, and the like
7.Â The changing leaves
8.Â Fall colors - browns and oranges, especially
9.Â Did I mention Football??
10.Â New TV shows
See, you love Fall, too :)Â Happy Autumn everyone!!
On Monday, I had to do one of the hardest things in the world: I had to make the decision to have my cat put to sleep.
Let me tell you about Sebastian - this was a cat that made numerous people say, "I usually hate cats, but I love this one!"Â I even had one friend who thought he disliked cats get his own after spending time with mine.Â Sebastian would let you hold him for a long time, and even put his paws around your neck in a hug.Â He loved rubbing his head on your chin, especially if you were a guy with facial hair.Â He wasn't afraid of dogs - usually just ignored them and their silly ways.Â He loved to sleep on your head (whether you loved it or not), and would actually steal food off your plate if you weren't watching!
I got Sebastian as a kitten in 1991, and he was my best bud for 18 years.Â That cat moved with me 12 different times and it never phased him.Â He was so much more than a pet, and I will miss him with all my heart.
Here's a great little story that will make you smile if you have lost a pet, it did me:
The Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
Picture this...You're in Wal-mart, picking up your much-needed odds and ends like bath soap, dog food, and something for dinner, and you turn the corner and see this guy:No, you're not dreaming...that's exactly what could happen this Wednesday, 5:30pm at the Burlington Wal-mart on Garden Road!Â Chris Young will be there for the official Wolf CD Release Party, playing songs from his new CD and signing autographs!Â Who'da thunk Country Weekly's Hottest Bachelor would be hanging out in the middle of the Electronics section?Â Makes you want to put on a little makeup and do your hair for that next Wally World trip...you know, just in case ;)Â See you there!!
I have always been an advocate of adopting animals from shelters.Â That's my pretty girl, Dixie, below, who was adopted from the Humane Society.Â The following story is another great example of why it's so important to give a shelter animal a new home!
**Warning:Â This story WILL make you cry!Â But so wonderful and moving,Â I had to share.
They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly. I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.
But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant. They must've thought I did.
But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes, and a sealed letter from his previous owner. See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike.
For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls - he wouldn't go anywhere without two stuffed in his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes. I guess I didn't really think he'd need all his old stuff, that I'd get him new things once he settled in. But it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn't going to.
I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like "sit" and "stay" and "come" and "heel," and he'd follow them - when he felt like it. He never really seemed to listen when I called his name - sure, he'd look in my direction after the fourth or fifth time I said it, but then he'd just go back to doing whatever. When I'd ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.
This just wasn't going to work. He chewed a couple of shoes and some unpacked boxes. I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell.
The friction got so bad that I couldn't wait for the two weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in full-on search mode for my cellphone amid all of my unpacked stuff. I
remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the "damn dog probably hid it on me."
Finally I found it, but before I could punch up the shelter's number, I also found his pad and other toys from the shelter.. I tossed the pad in Reggie's direction and he sniffed it and wagged, some of the most enthusiasm I'd seen since bringing him home. But then I called, "Hey, Reggie, you like that? Come here and I'll give you a treat." Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction - maybe "glared" is more accurate - and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down with his back to me.
Well, that's not going to do it either, I thought. And I punched the shelter phone number.
But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that, too. "Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice.".........
To Whoever Gets My Dog:
Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie's new owner. I'm not even happy writing it. If you're
reading this, it means I just got back from my last car ride with my Lab after dropping him off at the shelter. He knew something was different. I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door before a trip, but this time... it's like he knew something was wrong. And something is wrong... which is why I have to go to try to make it right.
So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.
First, he loves tennis balls. The more the merrier. Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hordes them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn't done it yet. Doesn't matter where you throw them, he'll bound after it, so be careful - really don't do it by any roads. I made
that mistake once, and it almost cost him dearly.
Next, commands. Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I'll go over them
again: Reggie knows the obvious ones - "sit," "stay," "come," "heel."
He knows hand signals: "back" to turn around and go back when you put your hand straight up; and "over" if you put your hand out right or left. "Shake" for shaking water off, and "paw" for a high-five.
He does "down" when he feels like lying down - I bet you could work on that with him some more. He knows "ball" and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business.
I trained Reggie with small food treats. Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of
Feeding schedule: twice a day, once about seven in the morning, and again at six in
the evening. Regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.
He's up on his shots. Call the clinic on 9th Street and update his info with yours; they'll make sure to send you reminders for when he's due.
Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car - I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.
Finally, give him some time. I've never been married, so it's only been Reggie
and me for his whole life. He's gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn't bark or complain. He just loves to be around people and me most especially; which means that this transition is going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new. And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you....His name is not Reggie.
I don't know what made me do it, but when I dropped him off at the shelter, I told them his name was Reggie. He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn't bear to give them his real name. For me to do that, it seemed so final, that handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting that I'd never see him again. And if I end up coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it means everything's fine. But if someone else is reading it, well...well it means that his new owner should know his real name.
It'll help you bond with him. Who knows, maybe you'll even notice a change
in his demeanor if he's been giving you problems.
His real name is Tank.
Because that is what I drive.
Again, if you're reading this and you're from the area, maybe my name has been on the news. I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available for adoption until they received word from my company commander. See, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've left Tank with... and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call to the shelter...in the "event"... to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily, my colonel is a dog guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he'd do it personally. And if you're reading this, then he made good on his word.
Well, this letter is getting too downright depressing, even though, frankly, I'm just writing it for my dog. I couldn't imagine if I was writing it for a wife and kids and family. But still, Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family.
And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me.
That unconditional love from a dog is what I took with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do something selfless, to protect innocent people from those who would do terrible things... and to keep those terrible people from coming over here. If I had to give up Tank in order to do it, I am glad to have done so. He was my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.
All right, that's enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at
the shelter. I don't think I'll say another good-bye to Tank, though. I cried too much the first time. Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.
Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.
I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer.
I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, starring at the dog.
"Hey, Tank," I said quietly.
The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes brightened.
He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor.
He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months.
"Tank," I whispered.
His tail swished.
I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood
him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.
"It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me."
Tank reached up and licked my cheek. "So whatdaya say we play some ball? His ears perked again. "Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?" Tank tore from my hands and disappeared in the next room.
And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.
Deciding to play intramural sports when I moved to the Triad was one of the very best ideas I have ever had.Â Now, if you know me well, there's no question as to my lack of athletic ability.Â I love to watch sports, but playing them is a whole 'nother story!Â I tried various sports in school and was terrible at every one of them (except Cheerleading, and that was only because I worked my tail off because I loved it so much).Â Sports have never come naturally to me.
So although over the years I have toyed with the idea of playing intramural sports, I was always a little scared to join a team for fear I'd be laughed off of it (or severely injured).Â But when I moved to Winston-Salem, I met a few friends who were part of the Winston-Salem Sports and Social Club.Â They organize different team sports and other events solely to meet people and have fun.Â I needed to meet people, and I love to have fun, so I decided to go for it.
Now the key to joining these teams is making sure they know up front that you are terrible.Â That way, any improvement at all is good, and if there is none, well they can't say you didn't warn them!Â I bowled in a winter league, and although I certainly didn't have any games to write home about, I did get better, had fun, and the guys even asked me back on their team for next winter!Â Thru bowling, I met some people who wanted to organize a softball team (and met my boyfriend, but that's a whole other story).Â We've played in the spring and fall season, and outside of a few "beginner" mistakes, I've found out that I'm actually not as bad a softball player as I thought! (2 base hits last night and our team won!)
So my point is, if you're interested in something, anything, give it a shot!Â Most likely, you will meet new people and have some fun.Â And even if you don't improve or decide it's not for you, there's always the beer afterwards! ;)
Taylor Swift was on tour with Keith Urban and decided to pull a prank on the headliner during the last show.Â Keith was performing "Kiss A Girl" for the encore, and Taylor and her band came out dressed as KISS!Â (Taylor is Ace Frehley)Â There were also girls dressed as Hershey's Kisses running around...too funny!!
Did you ever notice how it seems one weekend there will be absolutely nothing to do, and then the next there will be at least six different things to decide among? Â You'll have one whole weekend where you're just itching for something fun to do with your friends or family and there's nothing really going on,Â and then the next weekend a wedding, concert, festival, party, game, race, BBQ, etc. will all fall on the same day.Â There's no possible way you can do them all, but they all seem like a good time in their different ways.Â Come on, Gods & Goddesses of the Social Calendar...how about a little communication?
After 8 seasons, Paula Abdul has decided not to return for the next season of American Idol.Â She posted on her Twitter account this past Tuesday, "With sadness in my heart, I've decided not to return to Idol. I'll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day one become an international phenomenon."
I've been watching American Idol since about halfway thru the first season, and I do think Paula will be missed. I mean, who else leaves you wondering "WTH?" every time they open their mouth?!? Randy, Simon, and Kara are pretty straightforward...Paula, on the other hand, talks circles, makes up new words, and pretty much leaves you dazed and confused half the time. That's a skill the other judges can't compete with.
Bottom line is it came down to money...supposedly she wanted $20 mil to return and Fox offered about half that. I'm just wondering who else is going to pay her even $10 mil to do anything, much less sit on her behind and talk gibberish for a full season.
Will you miss Paula?
Alan Jackson has his Franklin Tennessee Estate "Sweetbriar" up for sale.Â Got an extra $38 million lying around?Â Then 135 acres, a 2 story, 18222 sq foot house with 6 BR & 7 full baths, plus a whooooole bunch of other crap can be yours!!Â I'll just rent out a bathroom, thankyouverymuch.
I'm thoroughly convinced that people who say they don't like tomatoes have never eaten a real, homegrown tomato.Â Those pink, mushy things you get in restaurants or at the grocery store were bio-engineered by a chemist/geneticist/biologist/some-kind-of-ist who had never tasted a real homegrown tomato either!!Â There's no possible way they had or they wouldn't even try to pass those things off as "tomatoes".Â Real tomatoes are a yummy, tasty, slice 'em up and eat 'em off the plate kind of deliciousness!Â Trust me, people, you won't believe how good they are.Â One of my favorite meals of the summer is a B-L-T, minus the L, add M, and make sure it's oozing with homegrown T's.Â YUMMERS.
How many times have you sung along to a song,Â only to find out later that the words you have been singing were soooo off?Â Currently, my boyfriend sings along to Gloriana's "Wild At Heart" like this:
That rebel moon is shining,
Those stars burn like diamonds,
Hellbent on chasing down that crazy slut...
Now, if you stop and think about it, why in the world would they say that?!? But it sounds like "slut" to him, so that's the way he's singing itÂ (FYI...it's actually "slide"Â - not sure what that means either, but whatevs)
I like how a song is popular and you sing certain words to it, then it goes away, and years later you hear it and all of a sudden the real words are so obvious!!Â Why did you ever think they were saying anything else??Â Yeah, I still sing the words I thought it was though...there's just something fun about making it "your own"Â :)
By the way, if you want to find out the REAL lyrics to a song we play on the Wolf, who sings it, see the video, or learn more about the artist, just click on "Station Playlist" on the right side of the Wolf homepage!!