Poetic Expressions: INTUITION

This poem appeared in my 1993 book “Poetic Expressions in Nursing…Sharing the Caring”.

I have strong intuition. Always have…Do you???




by Susan J. Felice Farese, 1993




Please respect your intuition

And acknowledge every hunch

For you will find most certainly

this “preference” is worth a bunch!



It’s that cozy yet dangerous gut feeling

That appears every now and then

You cannot explain this phenomenon

You just know what will happen...and when!



It may be a look in a person’s eye

(Or a sense of impending doom)

Predicting endless possibilities

…It’s the aura inside a room


Whatever it is, be wary and wise

Don’t cast it aside and ignore it…

If you’re gifted with intuition, my friend

Sit back, just relax, and adore it!

Extraordinary People Sharing Their Stories: Sharon Slosarik, Fierce Pink Warrior

Courtesy Photo Sharon Slosarik
Sharon Slosarik Before the 2014 Susan G. Komen Pink Tie Ball in Northern NJ

Extraordinary People Sharing Their Stories:

Sharon Slosarik, Fierce Pink Warrior 


Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

In honor of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’d like to introduce you to an inspiring, extraordinary person and true pink warrior, Sharon Slosarik, who is living life to the absolute fullest with Stage 4 Breast Cancer since 2006. That’s right, 8 years at Stage 4!!!! Sharon and I are “pseudo-cousins” and 2nd generation members of the very special one-of-a-kind “B-Cliff Club“, courtesy of our fathers and dear to our hearts. Little did they know what an impact the B-Cliff has had on our lives!

Much more about Sharon and her fierceness soon, but first a little history on the the B-Cliff Club (as you might be wondering about the name and how it came about)!

Tidbits About the B-Cliff Club

Sharon’s Dad Johnny (who sadly passed away in 2010) and my Dad Frank, along with 4 other grammar school buddies, Joe (Frank’s cousin), Steve, Paul and Vic, became lifelong friends in Passaic, New Jersey during the 1940’s and have continued through high school and life.

During the mid to late 1950’s…the six guys were courting and ultimately getting married to their sweethearts. They formed the very unique “B-Cliff Club”…each letter standing for the initial of their Italian last names. Sharon’s Dad Johnny provided the only vowel, the  “i” in the group.

Each month or so, the young couples would gather at one of their homes. The guys would play cards, the ladies would chat about this or that.  They’d all share conversations, listen to the music of the time, laugh a lot, enjoy food and light libations, etc. Twice a year they would host in some way or another.

The B-Cliff meetings continued over the years as each of the couples became parents, their kids endured K-12 and college, marriages, grandchildren and issues in-between etc. and we all became “cousins” by default! The families celebrated priceless friendships at Italian feasts, dude ranches, Great Adventure and other fun spots throughout the years. To this day, the B-Cliff Club meets every few months, despite miles between them the furthest living in Georgia, and some in Northern NJ and several in Southern NJ.

Sharon’s Story…Life Before Her Diagnosis

Now all about Sharon…She was born in 1967 to Uncle Johnny and “Irish” Aunt Connie and grew up with her older sister Dawn (who is 4 years older than Sharon) in NJ. She  graduated from Lenape Valley Regional  High School in Stanhope, NJ and obtained her degree in English Writing and Communications at the University of Pittsburgh in 1989. After college Sharon worked for Dun & Bradstreet as a National Business Consultant and Risk Evaluation Consultant and then as Administrative Assistant to the Head of Dermatology at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY.

The Ingrassia Family: Johnny, Dawn, Sharon and Connie, celebrating Johnny's 75th birthday in 2010. Sadly, he passed away October, 2010.
The Ingrassia Family: Johnny, Dawn, Sharon and Connie, celebrating Johnny’s 75th birthday in 2010. Sadly, he passed away October, 2010.


Just Kids
Blast from the Past: Sharon with Her Older Sister Dawn


Sharon and her future husband John had known the same friends since 8th grade but had never met. It was one infamous evening, however after she graduated from college, when Sharon was “stood-up” on a date with another boy, that hit the icing on the cake. Sharon’s fierceness surfaced when she encountered that “stander upper” at the establishment John was working at. After telling him a thing or two…she boldly poured a beer over the guy! Incidentally they remain friends to this day (but John lucked out)!

One late night in NYC Sharon and her friend went to a comedy club. There she was, in ’90’s attire, including stiletto heels, her “jersey hair”, & “lots of makeup”. After the club, in the wee small hours of the morning,  Sharon and her girlfriend went to a park because Sharon wanted to go on the swings. They had a heart to heart chat about what they were looking for in their future husbands. Sharon spouted off many of the qualities she was looking for..and her friend blurted out: JOHN! He is your ideal husband!

Needless to say, it took a little bit longer, but Sharon and John were happily married on 9.4.94. (fast forward…this year celebrated their 20th anniversary)!

After multiple attempts to conceive, they decided to try In Vitro. Their beautiful daughter Jennie, now 16, a Junior in high school, and a pink warrior-ette too, was born in 1998. More on Jennie later!

Slosarik Family Portrait
The Slosarik Family Portrait: Standing: John, Left to right: Jennie and Sharon

The events of September 11, 2001 strongly affected Sharon, as she lost several friends who either worked in the Twin Towers or were first responders who helped in the recovery of victims. After 9/11, she was compelled to make a drastic change. Sharon took a huge pay cut, took classes and embarked on her new career as a credentialed teacher. She has been teaching 9th and 10th grade English ever since (with gaps for medical reasons) at inner-city Passaic High School, the alma mater of the B-Cliff guys. She also is active as a class advisor. Additionally she serves as a tutor and chaperone for the New Jersey R.O.T.C. (Navy) as well as an advisor for the National Honor Society.

The First Diagnosis & Treatment

Fast forward to May, 2003, when Jennie was almost 5 years old. Sharon and John had gone to the rain delayed Yankees vs. Boston game in the Bronx that Wednesday evening.  Late that night when they finally got home from the game, John was taking a shower after his then split-shift at work, with Sharon sitting on their bed. Sharon felt some “itchiness” in the area on her chest. She rubbed the itchy area and sadly discovered a lump on her breast. That was the beginning. They both shed the beginning of many tears. The next morning they rushed to Sharon’s OB/GYN, who ordered an urgent mammogram that afternoon followed by an ultrasound the next day after work. Once the pre-op labs and workup was completed Sharon had a lumpectomy the following Tuesday, which was standard practice at the time. The diagnosis was stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma an estrogen aggressive type of breast cancer which was bulging the lymph ducts. It was an omen that the ducts didn’t burst for fear of spreading. Five lymph nodes were positive.  The decision to have the lumpectomy was because at the time, she was told that chemo, radiation and lumpectomy had the same success cure rate within  5%. The surgeon removed 5-6 nodes were biopsied.

In December 2003, Sharon experienced nine rounds of chemotherapy and 36 doses of radiation. Sharon lost her hair from the chemo and had other side effects. The radiation caused 2nd and 3rd degree burns, which required “Silvadene with gauze, tank tops, and big shirts” to go along with the pain and nausea.

BRCA-1 Gene Positive

A few years passed. Then, in 2006, Sharon found out that she was BRCA-1 gene positive.  Of note is that her paternal grandmother and all of her grandmother’s sisters as well as all of her paternal grandfather’s sisters  had breast cancer and several paternal relatives had colon cancer. She was the 4th generation to have breast cancer. Sharon’s sister Dawn has tested negative. Jennie will be tested at age 18.

Sharon’s Cancer Returns…This Time Stage 4

Once she found out that she was BRCA-1 positive, she decided to have an elective bilateral mastectomy as a precaution. While having her preop workup with labs and tests, it was discovered “accidentally” that her breast cancer had unfortunately returned. Despite her earlier Stage 3 breast cancer and treatment regimen of her lumpectomy, chemo and radiation, this time, her cancer was classified as Stage 4.  Additionally, it metastasized to her lung, slightly on one of her ovaries as well as one of her fallopian tubes. Even with her physician’s reluctance, Sharon fought hard and ultimately had a bilateral mastectomy, removal of her ovary and had 4 inches of her lung resected.

The Surgery and Aftermath

After a terrible encounter in 2006 with her Oncologist  who “didn’t want to treat her due to the fact that she was going to die from stage 4 breast cancer”, Sharon waited a year and found a wonderful new Oncologist and team. She was advised not to have new implants. In 2009, Sharon underwent and endured a 14 hour trans-flap reconstruction comprised of 6 or 7 procedures from a team of physicians. She had an enormous amount of postoperative pain which persisted for months.

In  2011 Sharon’s Physician started her on a new med, Zometa, twice a year.  Zometa is an intravenous medication which treats bone problems from cancer. She suffers from difficult side effects from this treatment, including ongoing neuropathy.

Sharon sees her Gynecologist, Oncologist and Primary Physician regularly. She had scans every three months for awhile, then every 6 months. After celebrating 5 years at stage 4, since nuclear scans can lead to toxins she now has them every 18 months to two years.

Sharon’s Warrior Spirit and Community Involvement

slosarik.sharonjohnfinishing                               slosarik.collagepink                      slosarik.victorypink

Interview Q & A with Sharon

SF: Please share your involvement with Breast Cancer awareness in the community:

Sharon: My sister Dawn first saw a commercial for the Susan G. Komen walk in 2002 when I was undergoing my chemo and radiation treatment. The day I completed my treatment I registered both of us (without telling her) to walk 60 miles.  Dawn and I first walked in 2003. During 2006-2007 I was having extensive surgery. In 2008, my husband John walked for me for the first time. I was supporting cheering him and others from the sidelines, since I wasn’t cleared to walk yet. John has walked for me alone from 2008-2011. http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2014/PhiladelphiaEvent2014?px=3672255&pg=personal&fr_id=1863. I’m so proud to say that we have walked together since 2012!


3Day Walk

Sharon and Dawn at the 2013 Philadelphia 3 Day Walk “PIt Stop”!

A Message from Sharon’s Sister, Dawn

It’s funny to think that when we were kids, Sharon and I couldn’t be in the same room together without trying to kill each other because now she is my best friend and I can’t imagine not having her in my life.  That’s why her diagnosis hit me so hard.  Your little sister is facing this nightmare and you can’t do anything to stop it.  You just feel so helpless.  Then I saw the commercial for the 3-Day and told Sharon about it.  I thought it would be a great way to do something together to try and make a difference, but she was in the middle of her chemo treatments.  Well apparently she thought it was a good idea too because when her treatments were done, she signed us both up and the rest as they say is history.  She and I did two walks together before her 2nd diagnosis.  We took time off from walking while Sharon began the 2nd round of her battle.  Now the 3-Day is a real family affair.  John, Jennie, Sharon and I walk and my mom and aunt volunteer as support staff.  We have also become part of an even bigger “Pink Family” through the friendships we have formed participating in the walk.  Our “pink peeps” as we call them are the most loving and generous people I have ever met.  Their dedication to ending this disease warms my heart and I know that because of them, Sharon lives to fight another day.  She charges forward with no hesitation to face every challenge that this disease throws at her.  She never complains, never slows down, she just stares cancer right in the face and tells it to kiss her ass.  I am so proud to call Sharon my sister.  She is a true Pink Warrior.  She is my hero and I love her very much!

Sharon, Her Sister Dawn and Mom Connie

Sharon, Her Sister dawn and Mom Connie

I was finally cleared and have walked in 2012, 2013 and 2014. I was one of five women to give a speech in 2013 in Philadelphia. After a three step preparation process, I became an affiliate of the North Jersey Susan G. Komen. I speak as a survivor, spread awareness and provide ongoing support. http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2014/PhiladelphiaEvent2014?px=1226262&pg=personal&fr_id=1863 and…

if  you would like to support Sharon you can donate to her fight to find a cure and read more about her story at http://www.the3day.org/goto/sharonslosarik

Sharon’s 2013 Philadelphia 3 Day Camp Speech:

. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aysbLFLlkI

My daughter Jennie contacted Komen after she wrote and gave a speech. Jennie has now walked and crewed and has done an enormous amount of fundraising to support the fight against breast cancer. http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2014/PhiladelphiaEvent2014?px=6946592&pg=personal&fr_id=1863



I am also active in the Pennsylvania Chapter of Breast Friends, an organization that provides support for breast and ovarian cancer to those who otherwise don’t have support.   http://www.breastfriends.org/  and http://www.breastfriends.org/breast-cancer-charity/affiliates/pennsylvania/.

My Mom Connie and my sister Dawn also continually support me in my community involvement. Here are Dawn’s pages from her walks: 2014: http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2014/PhiladelphiaEvent2014?px=4183023&pg=personal&fr_id=1863 and 2015: http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2014/PhiladelphiaEvent2015?px=4183023&pg=personal&fr_id=1934

SF: Did you ever have “really bad days”?

Sharon: Yes, I remember three of them in particular. The three hardest days were definitely the day I lost my hair, the day I realized my daughter “gets it” and the day I had a doctor give up on me.

The hair day was really difficult because nobody really warns you. It is not a gradual thing it comes out in clumps and it hurts and it is horrible. I remember sitting there just pulling it out by the handful and I looked like that ratty doll from rug rats. My husband John said “That’s enough” and finally just buzzed it. Jennie was so sweet she was only 4, but she said “Don’t worry Mommy, you are beautiful on the inside so your hair doesn’t matter.” Oy that kid kills me but in a good way! John of course was already bald but a dear friend shaved his head for me and showed up at the Yankee game that night bald. He said, “Baby, it’s only hair… yours will grow back and so will mine.” I was speechless.

The next bad day was when Jennie was about 6. A friend from work had a heart attack and passed and I was getting ready to attend his wake. She looked at me and said, “What kind of cancer did your friend die from Mommy?” I said, “No baby, he had a problem with his heart.” Jennie replied, “Oh, he had cancer in his heart and that’s why he died.” In that moment I knew that she understood that what mommy had killed people and I cried the whole way to the wake. It’s one thing to know it yourself, it’s another to have your child know it. That part really hurts, she never remembers a time that mommy wasn’t sick, but at the same time it has given her such strength and compassion.

My other really bad day was when my physician  told me she didn’t want to treat me because I had Stage 4 and was going to die so why would she waste her time on me. I left her office and wandered for blocks in NYC finding myself at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I sat down and lost it. Sobbing uncontrollably. A security guard got a priest but I was so upset I couldn’t even breathe or speak. They hit redial on my phone and luckily I had spoken to a friend who was an FDNY chief on the way into the city. He came lights and sirens to pick me up parked on the sidewalk, drove me to the nearest bar and lined up shots of Jameson’s I threw back a few, told him what happened, he did one himself and asked me her name. I did another and began to laugh. I knew if I gave up her name he was going to hurt her so I refused!

SF: Tell us about the IV pole story…

Sharon:  When the cancer metastasized my poor husband was so upset. We hadn’t expected it but I pushed the doctor to biopsy “the probably nothing spot” on my lung, and what was supposed to be a “quick” procedure ended up a 4 inch lung resection with a chest tube. I was in the recovery room and John walked in and started to tear up. I looked at him and said, “Knock that off now, before I shove this IV pole up your *****, we beat it before we will beat it again.” The nurse looked at me and her mouth dropped, she asked, “Did you just threaten to shove that pole up that very large man’s ***?” I said , “yes I did and I will do the same to you if you don’t get me a wheel chair because I have to pee and I don’t do bed pans.” The nurses laughed so hard and we ended up having so much fun they pulled strings and got me a private room.

SF: How do you keep healthy?

Sharon: As far as keeping healthy I try to find a balance between healthy and fun. I don’t really deny myself “goodies” but I don’t over do it either. I walk as far as exercise goes, and I am careful around people who are sick or obvious germ hang outs. I also drive my doctor crazy sometimes but he has learned to trust that I know my body and I know my limits and has resigned himself that I am the only one allowed to set those limits.

SF: What are your coping strategies?

Sharon: Ok, so how I cope is easy, humor. I tend to laugh a lot! I never allowed cancer to interfere with my life, and my family never did either. I pushed through because I had a daughter and I knew she needed her mother. My dad lost his father when he was 7 and I wasn’t about to allow my daughter to face that because I knew how it had affected him even later in life. From the first diagnosis and every re-occurrence my question has been “OK, so how do we attack this the hardest.”

It’s funny, my conscious self is fine. I really handle it well but at one point I started to have night terrors. Apparently deep down inside, my mind was not laughing! I spoke to a therapist and my doctor finally ended up giving me some medication to help me sleep for anxiety. I am not big on meds but learned that it is sometimes better to take what you need and not be ashamed of it.



SF: Where did you inherit your “fierceness quotient”?

Sharon: I think I learned how to fight from my Grandmother Jennie and my Aunt Kay. They fought the same fight but we never really knew they were sick, and both beat odds they shouldn’t have at the time.  Some days you could tell it was a “bad” day but they still always put us first. My dad remembered my grandmother telling them, “You lost your dad, you won’t lose me,” and she lived, she just lived.  I remember my Aunt Kay went in the hospital two months before my wedding and they didn’t expect her to ever come home. She laughed at the doctor and said, “I promised Sharon and John I would bake cookies for their wedding.” She made 50 trays with her arm so swollen from lymphodema we thought we would have to cut her dress the day of the wedding, but somehow she woke up, no swelling, color in her cheeks and ate better that day then she had in over 6 months. We couldn’t keep her off the dance floor. It’s funny whenever I wanted to feel bad or say “I can’t” I would look at the picture of her dancing at my wedding and say “Hell yeah you can,” and I just did.

SF: Do you have  motto or mantra?

Sharon: YES! I always say my motto is “Heaven doesn’t want me and Hell is afraid I am going to take over so really where am I going to go?”

Thank you so much, dear Sharon, and it is an honor to celebrate you as our Extraordinary Person sharing your story!

If you would like to support Sharon you can donate to her fight to find a cure and read more about her story at http://www.the3day.org/goto/sharonslosarik


Acoustic Guitarist Laurence Juber’s Mesmerizing Master Class at Canyon Crest Academy, October 9, 2014

Laurence Juber at Canyon Crest Academy
Laurence Juber at Canyon Crest Academy                            SJF Communications   2014

We literally could hear a pin drop, when Laurence Juber, two-time Grammy Award Winner, and former Lead Guitarist of Paul McCartney and Wings (1978-81), gave a fascinating, entertaining, and educational Master Class on October 9, 2014 at Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) in Carmel Valley, San Diego. This event was sponsored by the Canyon Crest Academy Foundation and CCA Envision Performing Arts Program.

The master class embodied the mission of CCA: “to enrich the experiences of each student,every day”.  Students and parents were invited to the CCA Proscenium Theatre after the school day ended.  Mr. Juber enlightened the crowd with anecdotes about his early life, education, and musical journey. He also played quite a few well-known tunes, including “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “I Saw Her Standing There”, “Live and Let Die” and acoustic tunes such as “Mosaic” and “Guitar Noir”  flawlessly. Between his stories and songs, he kindly answered a variety of questions from the students.

Laurence Juber at Canyon Crest Academy SJF Communications 2014

Not only is Juber a  rock musician, solo guitarist, and recording artist, he’s also an accomplished composer of over 160 songs, as well as an arranger. He won  the “Fingerstyle Guitarist Player of the Year” Award in 2000. (Fingerstyle as in playing guitar without a pick)!

An an award-winning studio musician Juber has been a featured musician in many films, TV shows and video games. He’s  performed with three of the four Beatles, (Paul, Ringo and George)…It was a poignant moment indeed when Juber mentioned that October 9th would have been John Lennon’s 74th birthday.

Juber delighted the audience and traced the beginnings of his musical virtuosity with anecdotes. Laurence began playing guitar in November, 1963 at the tender age of  11 during  “Beatlemania”. According to Juber, “L.J”. as he’s called, this was a “remarkable musical renaissance period” where new “twangy” guitar sounds were being explored after the late 1950’s “vanilla” guitar pop. Juber admired The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix and was mesmerized with sounds in the “James Bond” movies.

During his teenage years the guitar was thought of as a “hooligan” instrument, not an “orchestral” instrument. Juber learned sight-reading from a “Play in a Day” instruction book which included the musical notes for “When the Saints Go Marching In”. He mentioned that he had lots of time to learn guitar, since “it rained a lot” in London and he was often “stuck in his room”. He would listen to the Top 40 American songs on his transistor radio and listen to vinyl records that were 33 r.p.m. and 16 r.p.m. Back then, the classical guitar was like an “orchestral step-child”…yet he realized his burning ambition that he could one day become a studio musician and earn money.

It was a post-war, baby boom with “battalions of hormonal enamored teenage girls”. Juber’s musical influences were listening to Radio Luxenborg, pre-BBC, as well as American Top 40  where some of his favorites were Motown R & B and Carol King.

Laurence Juber;   SJF Communications 2014
Laurence Juber at Canyon Crest Academy; SJF Communications 2014

November, 1966 was the making of the  Beatles “Strawberry Fields”. Juber spoke about this transition from the “pop” to “psychedelic” era symbolizing the “awakening of musical possibilities and record making”.  There were new “backward studio tricks” in music. For instance, a B flat is a bit faster, and an A is a little bit slower. He described how George Martin would make the “slow-fast” and the “fast-slow”. There was also more “texture” and not the normal “classical” sound of cellos. The mellotron was a synthesized keyboard. Then came the advent of 4 tracks which evolved in to 8, then 16, then 24 tracks.

Juber then spoke of the differences between Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Paul was more of  “an artisan…a crafter of melodies and a fabulous singer as well”. John was a  true artist, visually and musically and also a poet who was passionate with rock and rhythm and blues.

Laurence Juber at Canyon Crest Academy SJF Communications 2014


Juber spoke about the fact that the B flat is not your typical guitar key. As an arranger he attempts to find the nexus of music and guitar.

In his earlier musician days, Juber got his start playing what he called, numerous “chicken dinner’ events, like weekend weddings, Barmitzvahs, colleges and corporate events. All of this “sharpened his ear”.

He was a featured soloist in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. He studied and obtained his music degree at London University’s Goldsmith College where he learned to be a “big band-trained studio musician”. As “target practice”, Juber performed with the 20th Century Chamber Ensemble, was guitarist for “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the Royal Albert Hall in the West End of London and  performed under Berlin Philharmonic Conductor Simon Rattle.

In 1977 Juber played lead guitar on the David Essex TV show where one of the Wings,  Denny Laine (also of early Moody Blues fame) was a guest. Denny was the catalyst for Juber to audition for Paul McCartney and  Wings. He also related a chance meeting with Sir Paul who was washing his hands in a rest room in England. He auditioned for Wings “winging it” as a “well prepped, versatile, sober musician”. Juber’s time with Wings earned him his “McCartney Masters Degree”.

Juber spoke about many of his influences, such as the “James Bond” movie scores, and where styles are “cross fertilized” like the Fahrenheit 451 score by Bernard Herman, where furious cellos drive the score. He spoke of Andy Summers having trouble with the guitar song “Every Breath You Take” by Sting (The Police) and how the group was influenced by Bela Bartok. He mentioned that he saw Jimi Hendrix play “Little Wing” twice at Albert Hall, and then played there himself. Juber played guitar for Dirty Dancing‘s “She’s Like the Wind” and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”.

Juber professed that “variety is his favorite style of music, a bit of everything”. He is on the soundtrack of “Colors of the Wind” from the Disney film “Pocahontas”  is featured on the soundtrack of “Home Improvement” has played banjo wth Kermit the Frog on “Sesame Street”.

Juber spoke about his guitar made of rare Brazilian Rosewood and not being able to take it out of the country. And how the precious yet limited ivory from elephants  is affecting the production of  guitar string bindings and piano keys.

Laurence Juber with Canyon Crest Academy Foundation Members Photo by Susan Farese, SJF Communictions
Laurence Juber with Canyon Crest Academy Foundation Members Photo by Susan Farese, SJF Communications

And then, the magical master class ended, because Juber’s next gig that evening was at the “Museum of Making Music” in Carlsbad.  Everyone applauded and gave a standing ovation and recognized this humble musician of many talents. Find out more about Laurence Juber at  http://www.laurencejuber.com/

Canyon Crest Academy delivers not only an outstanding education but has the unique Envision arts program supported by donation dollars.  Envision utilizes working artists as instructors.  These professional artists work with the visual and performing arts students to deliver an outstanding arts experience at a professional level.  CCA’s theater program has won numerous awards and recognition. Performances are known as above and beyond a ‘high school theater show’.  The Canyon Crest Academy Foundation is a parent-led 501(c)(3) organization providing fantastic opportunities across academics, athletics, and the arts, and creating an environment where students can thrive. The mission of CCA and CCAF is to “enrich the experience of every student, every day”. Your tax-deductible donation to the CCA Foundation is vitally needed to continue our support of these programs. You can donate online at www.canyoncrestfoundation.org.

Gallery of Images of Laurence Juber by Susan Farese, SJF Communications, October 9, 2014

Blood Orange Moon 10.8.14





 The Blood Orange Moon  Returns!

I don’t know why, but this has been the year I “discovered” with awe and began to photograph the spectacular moon.

The Blood Moon is truly captivating and worth staying up or waking up for.

Enjoy these collages from early a.m. 10.8.14.


Blood Moon 2    10.8 collage

Collage of blood moon with heat map photographed at 5:14 a.m. p.s.t.





Blood Moon Over San Diego
Blood Moon Over San Diego

Photographed at 4:19 a.m. p.s.t.


My Moon Haiku (Awaiting the Blood Orange Moon)

“My Moon Haiku”  10/7/14

Susan Farese, SJF Communications,
10 News Weather Watcher (San Diego)

full moon 10.7.14
full moon 10.7.14

“My Moon Haiku”


Full moon stands alone
Soon it will turn blood orange
To delight us all!


Will you stay awake?
Rush outside to catch a glimpse?
Masquerading hues…


If all else fails,
Someone post pics on this page
In case our slumber creeps.


We weather watchers
Stealthily seek magic shots
Our spirits? fulfilled!



San Diego Musical Theatre’s NEXT TO NORMAL Through October 12 at the North Park Theatre


San Diego Musical Theatre’s NEXT TO NORMAL


Left to Right: Eddie Egan (Gabe), Bets Malone (Diana) and  Robert J. Townsend (Dan)

Photo Credit: John Howard

San Diego Musical Theatre’s NEXT TO NORMAL,

(Production runs through October 12, 2014 at the North Park Theatre)

NEXT TO NORMAL tells the story of a mother, Diana Goodman, who struggles with bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness has on her family. This contemporary musical is an emotional powerhouse that addresses such issues as grieving a loss, ethics in modern psychiatry, and suburban life. With provocative lyrics and a thrilling score, this musical shows how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their family’s world intact.

Directed by Nick DeGruccio with Musical Direction by Don LeMaster.  Cast includes: Bets Malone*, Robert J. Townsend*, Eddie Egan*, Lindsay Joan, Eric Michael Parker and Geno Carr* (*- Member, Actors Equity Association).

October 5-11 is National Mental Health Awareness Week…San Diego Musical Theatre‘s current highly acclaimed production, NEXT TO NORMAL (with only two more weekends at the North Park Theatre, which closes October 12), boldly addresses several mental health issues…and SDMT is donating 10% of funds raised at the theatre during the run of NEXT TO NORMAL with their new fundraising campaign: “YOU GIVE…WE GIVE” to these Non-Profits : The National Alliance on Mental Illness http://www.nami.org/ and the San Diego Chapter and International Bipolar Foundation http://ibpf.org/.

Here is a video montage of SDMT’s Opening Night of NEXT TO NORMAL

 and the  “Meet the Cast” video:

 For more information:  SDMT website: www.sdmt.org or 858-560-5740.


UT Pam Kragen: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/sep/28/theater-review-next-to-normal/

Carol Davis: http://www.examiner.com/review/next-to-normal-the-best-of-sd-musical-theatre?CID=examiner_alerts_article

Charlene Baldridge: http://charleneandbrendaintheblogosphere.blogspot.com/2014/09/normal-special.html

Pat Launer (Times of San Diego): http://timesofsandiego.com/arts/2014/09/30/dark-themes-delectable-production-next-normal/

Barry Jagoda: (At the Top Journal): http://www.atthetopjournal.com/

Marty Jones Westlin (San Diego Story): http://www.sandiegostory.com/next-normal-sports-flaw-ensemble/

SDMT Social Media Links


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SDMT: The Local Way to See Broadway!