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TONI'S
TAKE
- 2010 -

Toni’s Thoughts on Life, Music and Whatever...
Send your comments to: TonisTaken@aol.com
Rules & Regulations: please read...- -
Toni's RECIPES !! click here
Read the LATEST Blogs of "Toni's Take"
Toni's Take / 2010-11
Read the LATEST Blogs of "Toni's Take"
Toni's Take / 2009
Read the ARCHIVED Blogs of "Toni's Take"
Toni's Take / 2008
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Toni's Take / 2007
Read the ARCHIVED Blogs of "Toni's Take"
Toni's Take / 2006

April 21, 2011
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TONI'S LAST BLOG | TONI WILL SING A LOCAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA - CONCERT IN PRESCOTT - FEB. 2012| UPDATE ON DARYL'S HEALTH

I want to thank all of you who regularly read my blog. When I started writing it, I had no idea there would be that much interest in what I had to say. Now that Facebook, Twitter, etc. have become so popular, and since I really never wanted to share my thoughts with anyone but our fans, I've decided to "officially" let you know that I won't be writing it again.
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As far as Facebook and Twitter, I think there is far too much blather out there... .I don't need to add my voice to all the other noise.
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As a quick snapshot of how we are now, let me just say that Daryl's health is excellent, but his tremor has made it difficult, if not impossible, for him to play anymore. This is a great loss for him, as you could imagine.
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I have a very full life, and I am grateful every day for my good health, good friends, loving family and beautiful Prescott.
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Smoky and I still visit the hospital weekly as part of the Pet Partners volunteer program. He has become as beloved a therapy dog as was his sire, Moon, and is carrying on in Moon's tradition. He loves to go on his "rounds" and receive all the hugs, pets and loving that is given to him by the patients, their families, and hospital staff.
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Smoky's beautiful nieces, Bebop and Lula, are part of our family now. They are blue merle Australian Shepherds, just like their Uncle. They'll be ten months old this month.... so hard to believe. I watched them being born, and they came to live with us when they were 8 weeks old.
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Smoky and I still run agility together, and I am training the little girls do it also. I will also train one of them to be a therapy dog like their Uncle. Smoky finished his ASCA Championship, so now I am starting to show Bebop and Lula in Conformation shows.
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My sister, Louisa, and her husband Bob now live here in Prescott.... just about a five minute drive from our house. I can't tell you how happy I am to have them here. Louisa and I laugh a lot.... and, as you know, laughter keeps you healthy, happy and strong.
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UPDATE ON DARYL'S HEALTH:

Keep good thoughts for Daryl. He IS very healthy, but the tremor is really affecting his lifestyle. He's embarrassed to go out in public... to a restaurant, to the theatre, etc. I encourage him as much as I can, but he has to find his way. I feel certain that he will.
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Once again, thank you all for your interest. And remember to always
Keep A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart. !!!!!!!

- And still, once again, remember to always Keep A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart. !!!!!!!



September 13, 2010
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“TENNILLE SINGS BIG BAND” CONCERT IN PRESCOTT COMING UP!!! | UPDATE ON DARYL’S HEALTH
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“ SINGS BIG BAND” CONCERT IN PRESCOTT COMING UP
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My big band concert here in Prescott is less than two weeks away! The concert has been sold out for quite a while, and I feel terrible when people ask me about tickets and I have to tell them there are none to be had. We did no advertising for the show. The local newspaper, the Prescott Courier, did a story about the concert a week before the tickets went on sale in May, and all of the tickets sold rather quickly on word-of-mouth.
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I have been spending the last 3 1/2 months choosing the songs, and putting together a FANTASTIC group of musicians for the band. Those of you who are long-time fans will remember Rusty Higgins, who joined Captain and Tennille in 1979, and then went on to conduct symphony orchestras and big bands for me for 20+ years. He will be here to conduct.
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Scott Lavender
, who was keyboard player and pianist for Captain and Tennille for many years, and who has been my symphony and big band piano accompanist on many occasions, will be here also. He has been music director and accompanist for Johnny Mathis for at least a decade, but Johnny is not performing on the weekend of my concert, so Scott was able to come to Prescott to accompany me on piano.
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C&T fans will remember our terrific drummer, Kevin “The Kid” Winard. He will be back behind the drums, kicking the big band with his usual authority and verve.
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We will have beautiful lighting, courtesy of Greg, Danny and the wonderful staff at Yavapai College Performance Hall, and great sound thanks to Spike, of Sound on Site here in Prescott, in collaboration with Danny at YCPH.
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I am thrilled to announce that my long-time symphony and big band arranger, Sammy Nestico, will be in the audience for the concert with his beautiful wife Shirley, and his grandson. He has written a brand new opening number for me just for this occasion.... a swinging version of Hank Williams’ HEY GOOD LOOKIN’. I’ll be singing it for the very first time in this show.
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Our long-time Personal Assistant, Becky Greenlaw, has done a terrific job of handling all of the logistics for the concert.... a very, very tough and time-consuming job, which she is accomplishing with her usual expertise and thoroughness. I simply would never do a concert without her.
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My dear friends and neighbors here in Prescott, Kathy, Carol and Penny, along with Angie and John, are handling many tasks for the show... such as driving musicians to and from rehearsal and the concert, handing out programs (the hall doesn’t provide people to do that for “renters”, although they DO provide ushers), dog wrangling (you’ll understand when you see the concert), backstage security help, etc.
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Oh....and we will be offering no longer available (but timeless) CDs for sale at very affordable prices in the lobby. There will be two of my big band CDs and the 6-CD boxed set of C&T albums.


UPDATE ON DARYL'S HEALTH

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There is only one thing that has not worked out the way I had hoped. Daryl told me this morning that he is not up to performing the three C&T songs I had hoped he could do. Many of you know he is dealing with a neurological condition (not Parkinsons, but something similar) that causes him to have tremors...pretty severe at times.... that interfere with his ability to play keyboards. Some days he does pretty well.... other days his playing is severely compromised. His condition is exascerbated by any kind of stress, and worrying about his ability to play has made his condition worse. Also, his sister, Carmen, passed away recently, and he is trying to deal with that loss in his own way. I hope all of you understand that he would be there if he could, but it isn’t possible this time. Maybe next year.
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Until then,
Keep A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart.



May 11 , 2010

WHAT A HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!! | SEPTEMBER BIG BAND CONCERT UPDATE
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WHAT A HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!!

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On May 8th, the morning of my 70th birthday, I drifted up from a lovely dream, cozily wrapped in the arms of my husband of 35+ years. The day could not have been more beautiful. It was the kind of morning where you wake up full of joy and grateful for being alive. The first thing my dear Captain said to me was.... ”Are you awake?” I snuggled down even more, relishing the warmth and comfort of the cozy bed. “Huh?”, I mumbled. “I have a birthday card for you,” he said. “Oh, how sweet,” I said, still only half awake. Then he reached over to his nightstand and handed me an envelope . “Can you see it? Do you need glasses?” he asked. “NOPE!!!!” I said, smiling, “ I can see just fine!”
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Daryl and I have a tradition of giving each other birthday cards the moment we wake up. The cards are usually store-bought, but we always write a special note inside. I must say that this was the sweetest note he has ever written to me! I think I’ll have it framed!
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That was just the beginning of what would turn out to be a perfect birthday. Daryl planned and hosted a birthday dinner for me with a few close women friends and my youngest sister Melissa who was able to drive over from southern California for my “special day”. The dinner was held at a romantic gourmet restaurant called THE ROSE in downtown Prescott. He wore his Captain’s hat and looked quite handsome. He was the ONLY man there! At his request, the table was decorated with beautiful pink roses, with pink and orange balloons arranged about the room. The restaurant even printed up a special birthday menu for me. I was so proud of Daryl! . . .
He even paid the bill,
with a limited amount of moaning and eye-rolling at the expense, with his own credit card! That card hasn’t seen the light of day in YEARS!!!!
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I want to make sure to thank all of you who took the time to email birthday wishes to me! It was so heartwarming to read your kind words. You know, even if I wanted to let my 70th birthday slip away unnoticed, many of the newspapers and magazines still print it each year, so I still receive emails and ecards from our fans, and it is a joy to read them.
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I have to say that I have never been happier in my life. I never thought that, at 70 years of age, I would have such a happy and fulfilling life. I don’t really know what I thought it would be like, except 70 sounded pretty darned OLD. But, surprise! Other than the fact that my body occasionally reminds me I’m not 30 anymore (especially after running Smoky in agility trials), I’m feeling great! I have a wonderful husband, four beautiful and accomplished sisters that I love, and many, many dear friends. And yes, I have “gone to the dogs.” Smoky, my Australian Shepherd Therapy Dog partner, and I visit patients and families at the local hospital every week. He and I were also on hand at the regional Special Olympics a few weeks ago to offer friendly support to the athletes and their families. Starting in June, we will again visit children every other week in Sedona at the Kids and Kritters Day Camp at the beautiful Humane Society facility there.
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I am also proud of Daryl for the way he is coping with his Parkinson’s. His attitude is wonderful and getting better all the time. He exercises at the gym three days a week and walks every day... often with Smoky and me. He practices his keyboards every day, and thinks he will be ready to do a C&T song or two with me during my big band concert this September.

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SEPTEMBER BIG BAND CONCERT UPDATE
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Speaking of my September Big Band concert..... tickets went on sale yesterday, the morning of May 10th. As of 4:30 PM we had sold half the house! I was totally surprised, but so pleased. The Yavapai College Performing Hall is a beautiful 1100 seat theatre, and there are really no bad seats in the house. If you are thinking of getting tickets and haven’t done so yet, you should probably do so soon. I’m hoping that everyone who wants a ticket will be able to get one. Probably the best way to order tickets is through tickets.com. They take orders 24 hours a day. You can also order by phone through the Yavapai College Performance Hall Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM.... or you can go there in person on Thursdays and Fridays.
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Once again, thank you all so much for your birthday wishes. It could not have be
en a more perfect day to turn 70! Until next time, Keep A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart. -

[ Birthday Photos above, courtesy of Kathy Bryan, Prescott, AZ ]



April 3, 2010

WE HAVE A CONCERT DATE!!!!! | WILL DARYL BE APPEARING?
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I am very happy to officially announce that I will be performing a Big Band concert here in Prescott this fall. The concert will be held at 7:30 PM on Saturday night, September 25th at Yavapai College Performance Hall. Tickets will go on sale Monday, May 10th.
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As many of you already know, for the past two years I have donated my performance to the Prescott Jazz Summit to help raise money for young musicians. I did this to help out the brilliant musician who created the Jazz Summit, Mike Vax. Mike was lead trumpet with the legendary Stan Kenton Orchestra and is a music educator. He now leads the Kenton Alumni band, which tours all over the country.
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However, I was never really comfortable in a pure Jazz setting, since I am definitely NOT a "jazz singer" or "jazz singer-II". If I had to categorize myself, I'd say I am a "pop" singer who is comfortable in several pop genres. Most of you also know that I have had a "side career" singing the great American standards of the '30s and '40s with symphonies and big bands and have recorded several CDs in that mode.
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Last year's big band concert for the Jazz Summit was so much fun for me, and the audience seemed to love it.... especially when Daryl strolled out on stage at the end and said, "Prescott" ('Press-kitt'). He brought the house down with just that word (after I had been singing for at least 75 minutes!!!).
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Although last year's concert at the 700 seat Ruth Street Theatre here in Prescott was wonderfully well received, I was very uncomfortable with several technical aspects of the concert over which I had absolutely no control..... things like sound, lighting, ticket sales and audience seating. Reportedly, the concert was oversold by about 200 seats. My friends had to go into classrooms to find seats for people, and some people had to listen to the concert in the lobby since there was no room in the theatre. There were no assigned seats so it was first come first served. Frankly, if the Fire Marshall had been there, I believe he would have shut us down.
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I really can't stand this kind of situation for my audiences. Daryl and I discussed last year's concert over the next several months. I so wanted to do it again, but I didn't want to go through the same kind of situation for another concert.
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I started to talk to Daryl about whether or not it would be possible for us to produce a concert this year by ourselves. That would mean that we would be able to control all aspects of the presentation. It would also mean that we would be "gambling" with a great deal of money. The expenses involved in the show of this type, with 16 top flight musicians (salary, travel, hotel, etc), sound, lighting, rental of Yavapai College Performance Hall and all of its facilities, event insurance, ticket and program printing, advertising, would all fall on us.
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Our wonderful Personal Assistant, Becky Greenlaw, crunched all the numbers for us, factoring in all of the expenses that we would and might encounter. One of my main requirements was that ticket prices MUST be as low as possible so people in this economy could afford it. Once again, I will NOT receive any payment for my performance. This will be our gift to the Prescott community, and it will be flat out fun for me! I love to sing, and don't get to do it very often any more.
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Becky determined that if we sold out the Yavapai College Performance Hall (1100 seats at ticket prices of $40 for the front row and $35/$30 for the remaining seats) we would be able to cover all of our expenses.
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Daryl and I decided to go for it!
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The show will consist of wonderful songs written by legendary American composers such as Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, George Gershwin, Sammy Cahn.... and many more, with arrangements by the GREAT Sammy Nestico and terrific Matt Catingub.

WILL DARYL BE APPEARING?
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Now....as to Daryl's possible participation. I have asked him (actually he volunteered) to join me towards the end of the show to do two or three C&T songs with me. However, most of you know that he is dealing with Parkinsons Disease, and we'll have to just see how he feels on September 25th. Although the disease is causing hand tremors, some rigidity in his left hand, and some difficulty walking, he tells me he can still play, and practices every day. So.... I cannot PROMISE that you will see Daryl onstage.... BUT, I'd say is it a good possibility.
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What I hope those of you who come to the concert will experience is an evening of musical joy... some nostalgia perhaps.... a few songs about the folly of love, the sadness love can occasionally bring, the true joy of real love... and some SWINGING big band charts! I hope you leave the concert hall with great big smiles on your faces!
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Hope to see you there! Here is ticket information.

Yavapai College Performance Hall
1100 East Sheldon St.
Prescott, AZ 86301

For Even MORE DETAILED INFO..
- SEE TT-NEWS-GAZETTE PAGE HERE !

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Tickets will go on sale Monday, May 10th, '10
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Ticket prices: $40 (front row), $35, $30
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Box Office Info
Local phone (928) 776-2000
Toll free phone 877-928-4253
Phone orders taken Monday - Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Lobby hours are Thursday and Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
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Online Ticket Sales
Convenience and service fees apply and are non-refundable
www.yc.edu/communityevents
OR
www.Tickets.com


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Until next time....
Keep A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart.



March 7, 2010
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RACING TOWARDS SEVENTY | WHAT MY PRESCOTT FRIENDS HAVE TAUGHT ME | UPDATE ON DARYL | POSSIBLE FALL CONCERT IN PRESCOTT |

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RACING TOWARDS SEVENTY

!!
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I am fast approaching seventy years of age. On May 8, 2010 I land smack into elderliness. I simply cannot believe it. I don't FEEL elderly, but nevertheless the physical signs are there. I notice more wrinkles on my face and elsewhere, more "age" spots, skin more easily bruised or broken by even slight trauma. I recently got my first "floater"...a piece of vitreous humor in the eye that breaks off and forms little black spots or blobs one's vision., but it seems they crop up often when you are "70 or older." It is annoying, but Daryl has had them for years and thinks I am a wimp for even mentioning it.
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I am noticing hair where there never was hair (chinny chin chin mostly), and much less hair where there used to be plenty (head, and nether regions). The only good thing about that is that I no longer have to shave under my arms. Whoopee.
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My body is not as flexible or strong as I used to be..... muscles are flabbier despite my active life style. I have developed "love handles".... may have to resort to Spanx for special occasions.... not that we have that many such formal-type events here in Prescott..
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My brain seems to function about as well as ever..... not too many senior moments... although I notice that I occasionally lose my train of thought in conversation. I have decided to cut way down on my attempt to multitask. Too much info..... most of it, in my opinion, useless, superficial and a waste of time.
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My feet have been majorly traumatized by 30+ years of tromping around onstage in 3 1/2 inch heels. Now I wear mostly sneakers or Merrell Chili Stitch slides.... my very favorites.
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I wear dressy flats the rare times I appear onstage. My dress shoes here in Prescott are western-style boots, which are amazingly comfortable. I have given away or donated all of my high heels..... just can't wear them anymore.
( See ANDY ROONEY's comment on 'aging'... HERE )
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In spite of all this, I do worry a bit about what people think when they meet me in person around town. I hate to disappoint everyone who remembers me as that tall vibrant gal who danced and sang on TV, when they see instead a much older version of myself. Just about every day I think how blessed I am that Daryl and I decided to move to Prescott and to get out of the Hollywood/Show Biz pressure to be thin, glamorous, and ageless. When we were still in the public eye, I would get Botox treatments every six months or so...... especially if I had a TV appearance or photo shoot coming up. But now.... why bother? Except for my own vanity of course. I have even toyed with letting my hair go gray. It certainly wants to do that and it is quite expensive to keep up the color.
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WHAT MY PRESCOTT FRIENDS HAVE TAUGHT ME

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But here is the good news.....I am happier than I have ever been in my life! Daryl and I are closer than we have ever been. I have made wonderful friends in my neighborhood who have taught me many useful things, such as.....

  • When you have people over for dinner, don't worry if your wine glasses, chairs, place mats, etc. don't match. Don't worry if there is dog hair on the floor.
  • It is as easy to host 14 people for dinner as it is to host 4 people when everybody brings a side dish or a dessert.
  • You can find great deals on chicken or vegies at certain local markets at certain times.
  • You can find terrific jackets or suits at Good Will to wear when showing your dog. My friend Myste just found a perfect little sleeveless jacket for me to wear while showing Smoky in the summer....cost six bucks and is in perfect condition.
  • You can get cheap dark glasses at Tuesday Morning.
  • You can do your own hair color, and go to a nice barber when you need a trim (my hair is very short.....easier to take care of). I still go to an excellent hair stylist in town, but she's so busy she can only see me once every four or five weeks and my hair grows faster than that. I can save money and time by doing it myself, and I am getting ready to make that change.

I lived in the rarified and often superficial air of show biz and fairly wealthy people for many years. My new friends have reminded me how "regular" people live..... how they budget and deal with health care issues... how they share what they have with each other..... how they come to each other's aid in tough times. These are the people who make up the majority of our great country. I was one of them until Daryl and I had our first hit. We were lucky enough to have success in the music business, which was very good for us financially. But is very truly wonderful to be reminded of the reality most people experience.
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In our neighborhood I have friends who are younger than I am, and those who are older. The younger ones set the bar pretty high to keep all of us active and engaged, The older ones set a fantastic example for me, showing me all that is still possible in the later years. You wake up in the morning. Something aches. You get up and keep going anyway. You do what needs to be done to the best of your ability, and you live life to the fullest. You laugh as much as you can....... you comfort and help when needed..... you try to live "straight ahead" ....no games in your relationships. You do your best to contribute to your community in some way..... Smoky and I are a Delta-certified Therapy Dog Team at our local hospital, and I receive such satisfaction from our work there.
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I have especially enjoyed the friends I have made through the Northern Arizona Australian Shepherd Association and our local canine agility club, Top Dog. Competing in trials and going to conformation shows is fun... as long as you don't take it too seriously!
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UPDATE ON DARYL
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Incidently, you might check out my friend Kathy Bryan's website, redrockaussies.com. Kathy is Smoky's breeder, and Daryl is her webmaster. Most of you will recognize Daryl's sense of humor in various elements of her site. Bless Kathy's heart, she goes along with just about anything Daryl wants to add to her site. He definitely has his own style!
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Speaking of Daryl...... he is dealing fairly well with his Parkinson's Disease. It is a slow-moving variety, and he received a definitive diagnosis only a year ago. He still goes through various stages of acceptance..... I don't have Parkinson's... maybe I do.... but he is doing his best.
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POSSIBLE FALL CONCERT IN PRESCOTT
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There is possibility that I will be doing another big band concert in Prescott this coming fall. This time it will not be associated with the Jazz Summit. I was uncomfortable in that format since I am not a jazz singer. If I must be categorized, I'd call myself a Pop Singer. Daryl and I will be producing the concert ourselves as our gift to the Prescott community. I will not take a fee for my performance so we can keep ticket prices as low as possible. We will just be trying to cover our expenses..... performance hall, ticket and program printing, musicians, lighting, sound, etc. Although the show will be my Big Band show (remember.... I don't do C&T without The Captain), Daryl has been implying that he might come onstage and do two or three C&T songs with me. I am not pushing him.... I only hope that he will do it. It will be his decision, and it will depend on the stage of his health at that time.
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Anyhow, I do love to sing, and my voice still seems to be there regardless of what is happening to the rest of me! We will let you know if we are able to put the concert together. Our long-time Personal Assistant, Becky Greenlaw, is working on the details right now. We are waiting to hear if we can get the date we want at the Prescott venue we prefer. I will let you know if it all works out. Prescott is beautiful in the fall!!!!
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ONE MORE THING
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One more thing.... I often get email notices that someone is trying to add me as a "Friend" on Facebook. Daryl and I don't do Facebook, Twitter, or other social-networking sites. I barely have the time to do everything I want to do in my Real life.... much less a Virtual life. If you see a presence for us on Facebook, I can assure it is isn't Daryl and me.
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Well...that is all for now. I've been sitting at the computer for almost three hours, and I have many things to do on this rainy day in Prescott. Until next time....
Keep A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart. -


Jan. 01, 2010
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NOTICE: Please click on the 'ARCHIVES' Link above. No new 'Toni's Takes' have been added since November, 2009. Toni DOES plan to add some new 'T-Takes' soon.


Repeat: No recent 'TONI's TAKES' text have been added since 2009. Sorry.

UPDATE: 11/12/2009: Daryl's tremor HAS been diagnosed as PARKINSON'S DISEASE. - - Read more.



.. but in any case - - always continue to ..... Keep A Song of Joy Inside Your Heart. -

Read the LATEST Blogs of "Toni's Take"
Toni's Take / 2010
Read the LATEST Blogs of "Toni's Take"
Toni's Take / 2009
Read the ARCHIVED Blogs of "Toni's Take"
Toni's Take / 2008
Read the ARCHIVED Blogs of "Toni's Take"
Toni's Take / 2007
Read the ARCHIVED Blogs of "Toni's Take"
Toni's Take / 2006

 


Contact / Fans / other C&T-oriented Information:
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Moonlight & Magnolias / Arizona, Prod.

Prescott, AZ

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This Page Last Updated: November 29, 2013

 


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