Saturday, August 30, 2008

Winds of Change

Reverend Wills was laid to rest yesterday.
I have to share a beautiful story someone told at his funeral yesterday. A man saw Reverend Wills walking with his brooms and stopped to give the Rev a ride in the car (which I learned that so many of us had done over the years.) After the usual pleasantries, the man asked, "Rev, are you ever angry with God?" Reverend Wills replied, "Why, no." The man said, "Come on, not ever?" the Rev said, "Not ever." The man, wanting to hear a different answer, said, "Rev, you mean to tell me that you have never once been angry that you were born blind?" Reverend Wills paused a moment, then answered, "Why would I be angry? I have never had to see war, or bloodshed, or hatred in someones eyes. How can I be angry when the first face I will ever see is the face of God?"

It must have been glorious, Reverend. And I know you are now playing and singing with the angels.

Other stuff...
Alleluia! Ben will be back to work September 15!!!! Oh LORDY - I am 10 pounds lighter from the stress that has melted away. I slept like a log last night. First time in 10 months, since that stupid writer's strike went into effect. I am THANKFUL!!!!!!!!!! I can breathe again! AAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!! Stardust has been selling like crazy, thanks to the Omaha World Herald, Borders, and to the special sale we ran for our mailing list and a couple of Mom sites where I feel very at home.

The winds have changed - I can feel it.
Tomorrow - all about submitting to the Grammys, (yes, we did) and, everyone needs a birthday party!! :)

Tonight. More restful sleep.

Happy Labor Day weekend, friends and loved ones!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Good night, Reverend Livingston Wills

I wrote the following post back in April about my dear old friend, Reverend ("Rev") Livingston Wills. Shortly after this post, he was moved to a nursing home. I got to visit him a couple of times at the nursing home - his health and memory were fading steadily. He wasn't eating much, didn't remember my name, and didn't want to get up and walk around. Thankfully, the home had a piano not too far from his room. We walked to the piano, and the moment he touched the keys, he came to life again. We spent the next half hour singing and playing. He even asked the nurse for ice cream so we all had a dish. We sang together just like the first time we sang together so many years ago.

On my last visit, I bought a broom from him, just for old times sake. I knew it would be the last broom he might ever sell, and the last broom I would ever be able to buy from my old dear friend. Reverend Wills, died yesterday. He was one of the greatest Gifts that God ever put in my life, so it was fitting that he died on August 22, my birthday. Rest in Peace, my Friend. As the Reverend would always say, "God is good." I already miss you.
Posted April 30, 2008

I have a friend named Reverend Livingston Wills. I met him when I was a little girl, maybe 4 or 5 years old. He was a strong, handsome man and liked to hum a song and whistle a tune as he would walk briskly down my street, balancing a dozen brooms over his shoulder with one hand and bouncing a white walking stick with the other. I had never seen anyone like him before. He'd stop at every house knocking at the doors, selling his wares. Like most of the neighbors, my mom would buy her brooms from Reverend Wills, and would always get a "little girl's broom" that was just my size, for me.

Most people knew him as "the Broom Man" and it was a usual and welcomed sight to see Reverend Wills walking around town with his brooms.

A few years later, we moved to a different neighborhood, and I didn't see Reverend Wills again 'til I was a teenager. I heard a knock at the door and there he was ready to sell me a broom. It was hot out, so I asked him in for iced tea. We talked, and as our iced tea turned into a meal of tuna fish sandwiches and cookies, he shared about his life and his faith. A truly remarkable and inspiring man.

Our friendship has continued over the years. He taught me the song, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" which I later recorded on our "Sunday" CD and in the liner notes, I wrote a special dedication to Reverend Wills. Once I brought him to one of my performances as my special guest, where I witnessed just a tiny fraction of how many lives he had touched - when I said his name and asked him to stand, I could hear the awesome hush fill the air and the entire auditorium gave him a rousing applause and a standing ovation! We went out to lunch several times, and I was honored to have Reverend Wills say a special blessing at my wedding. That was 11 years ago.

I spent the afternoon with Reverend Wills today. He is in his 90's now, and the years are beginning to take their toll. He's forgetful and was having a hard time remembering my name, but I didn't mind. Just to spend time with him, singing songs while he played the organ, then sitting together on the couch, listening to him recite his favorite poems or tell his favorite jokes as I held his hand, was enough for me.

I thank God for putting Reverend Wills in my life. He is a reminder to me of all that is good here on this earth.

God bless you, Reverend Wills, and thank you for being my friend.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nice write-up in the Omaha World Herald

Oh Hooray!!!

We got a great review in the Sunday Omaha World Herald - front page of the Entertainment/Travel/Arts section - from the well-respected Arts and Music columnist, John Pitcher. The World-Herald is the nation's 49th largest daily newspaper.

We've gotten a lot of press around and outside the country, which we are very appreciative of, but none have given us the results that the World Herald has. That very morning, we had a ton of web hits which turned into sales. The next morning, a store called to tell us they had sold out of Stardust. They Reordered. That night another store sold out of Stardust! Another reorder! Today, because of the article, we were contacted to perform for an event. To live in the house that Jack built.

Now that Boo is back in school, I'm going to start adding more content beyond Stardust. I am also going to start sharing some of my favorite things on this site, as I am involved with so many great mompreneurs, and I love to share the cool products these brilliant women have come up with.

We also have some summer drawings to do, so stay tuned and sing pretty. :)

Cher :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm hooked on the Olympics!

I was never a big sports fan growing up, but I gotta tell ya, I am HOOKED! Especially on the Swimming. Now, granted, I am biased after singing the National Anthem for the US Olympic Swim Trials in July, but even with that aside, the US swim team is awfully impressive this year - watching the men's relay the other night, I was literally screaming at the tv, "Go- oh, go, go, go!!!!!"
I am so proud - Michael Phelps, Dara Torres, all the women and men representing the US. And I am so honored to have played a role in this historic event.

And I'm awfully glad I wasn't replaced at the last minute for having crooked teeth...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Stardust in Libraries!

I am so excited!! We are now with a distributor in Canada, who does distribution to libraries throughout Canada. They contacted us, after receiving several requests for Stardust from different libraries in Canada! We were also recently contacted by a library in Los Angeles who had heard our music. They put in a request to us and to their distributor in the US! We have been in contact with the distributor and will soon be available to every library in the United States! WOW!!!!!!!! I am so excited I can't contain myself!!! But I will... :) The librarian in LA said they get requests for our kind of music every day, and they have nothing in their systems like it! It would go very well with teachers and parents.

Me happy.

We are also going to be adding more content to this blog, dealing with sleep issues, relaxation, pursuing dreams - at ANY age - and more. Can't wait!

Also, if you are reading my blog, please feel free to leave a comment and say hi :)
Have a super day! I am!!

xooxo Cher

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I just spent two weeks in Florida - Orlando and Vero Beach. Aaaahhh... Disneyworld! The sunshine! The beach! The ocean! The no-see-ums..huh??

I live in Omaha, Nebraska. We have mosquitos. We have ants. We have bug repellant. We move on, fairly unscathed.

My first afternoon in Vero, I skipped merrily to the pool, slathered on the sunscreen and leaned back in the lawn chair. Just to be out in the sunshine was heavenly - Nebraska has left a lot to be desired this summer with all the storms, tornadoes and grey clouds. My mother-in-law sat down beside me and said, "Now down here you'll want to make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen (check) and get some bug spray for the no-see-ums." If you knew my mother-in-law, you'd know that half the time she is pulling your leg so you let things go in one ear and out the other without giving it much more response than a chuckle. Unfortunately this time, wasn't one of those times.

What I learned as I woke up itching at 4:30 the next morning, is that there are these nasty little critters in Florida called, "no-see-ums." No-fooling. I got over 200 bites on my right foot, and about half as many on my left. I could see the patterns they walked in - some marched along the edges of the bands of my flip-flops. Step-munch-step-munch. Some danced around in circles. Sidestep-munch-sidestep-munch. Some just hopped around deliriously happy to have found fresh Nebraska meat. Joy!-munch-Joy!-munch.

My feet swelled up like Italian sausages. My arms looked like I had the chicken pocks. I was going stir crazy, itching and scratching. All because of these mean, little, invisible people-eaters.
All the hydrocortisone, calamine lotion and eucalyptus oil could not bring relief to the aftermath of the war raged upon my little piggies.

Doctor said, "Benadryl." I found some relief and enjoyed the rest of my trip.

Sunshiney afternoons, trips to the park, time with family. Boo and his cousins had a sleepover at Grandma's and I had a midnight get-away to the beach with my hubby. And in my knee-high socks, tennis shoes, long-sleeved shirt and sweat pants, we listened to the ocean waves, felt the cool breezes and watched shooting stars write our names across the sky.