Never Say Never

tiger woods wins masters 2019

One of the Greatest Comebacks of Ever!

Most people have already seen this image by now. It’s been splashed all over across the news and social media world. Whether one watched the historic event or just caught the highlights, I can’t imagine this image not making any human being smile a great big cheesy happy grin.

I thought it was simply magical to witness a truly gifted and disciplined athlete return to glory. I was also glad to see the folks in the media cheering for him instead of jumping on the bandwagon to tear him down as had been the case in years past.

There is no escaping it in the world we are living in, that is unless you move to the wilderness and get off the grid I guess. It still always bothers me when I see people in the media, and on social media piling onto tear down someone the minute something isn’t exactly “perfect” in their life. Sure everyone likes to be a cheerleader when someone is on top, but as they say a person discovers their true friends in times of difficulty.

Back to Tiger… Seriously though, his win might well be one of the greatest comebacks in the history of ever. How special it was that Woods, who has endured four back surgeries (including spinal fusion two years ago) and personal struggles and scandal ended his dry spell at the Masters. His comeback happened at The Masters, which was the first major tournament he won 22 years ago. I don’t know about you, but I just loved it! I mean this is the stuff movies and the great stories of the ages are made of.

It just goes to show you, you may be down but you are never out, that is unless you choose to stay that way. I was watching an interview with a journalist who ran into Tiger at a charity event last year. Tiger told the journalist he was putting very badly and was practicing three hours a day at that time to get better. Imagine it, one of the greatest golfers of all time practicing three hours a day to get better at something he is one of the greatest of all time at. Sounds crazy but that discipline is one of the things that made him the great that he is. It is also the thing that can take anyone from anywhere they are to anywhere they want to go.

I also learned there was a time when mere standing was painful for him, let alone holding a golf club. When the thing you love causes you pain it takes a special kind of drive to find a way past it to break through. Such a great moment in history, it is one I will never forget. In my adult life Tiger Woods has mostly been on top and a symbol of what one can achieve if they believe, and work hard. I am very happy for him and for what this event can and will do to inspire generations of people from all walks of life for years to come. GO Tiger!

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

 

 

 

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Super Trifecta Weekend

 

Patriots Superbowl 2019

Let the Confetti fall!

I couldn’t be any happier if I tried. Why? Well it all started on Saturday when Punxsutawney Phil gave me a belated Christmas gift with the prediction of an early spring. This had me jumping for joy because frankly last year winter hung around way too long. The Nor’ester that brought trees down all over our yard totaling one of our cars didn’t really add any love to the season for me either.

Sunday started out doing my favorite thing in the world which is to sing, at a military event The four Chaplins WWII Memorial Service. It was also a milestone wedding anniversary with the love of my life and on this same day with a hot cup of magic a la Dunkins in my hand I got to watch Tom Brady and the Patriots deliver a fantastic gift to us and Pats fans everywhere by delivering another historic Super Bowl win! There was so much talk about him being too old, and people speculating if he still had what it took, or if he should retire, and on and on. As the confetti was falling down all around and the celebration began I couldn’t help but think about my song “I Don’t Even Care”.  

It was written about stuffing your ears full of cotton balls when the naysayers of life tell you you’re too this or too that to do something. When they say that something is impossible. First off they are forgetting what the word actually says, “I’m_Possible”.

Nothing is impossible to anyone period, end of story. It’s all in your mind. If you think you can, you can and that is it. Well that is unless you’re ninety nine years old and your dream is to be an Olympic skier, but even then who knows really? The power the mind has on the body is incredible. There really are no words to fully express it.

Anyway there are a lot of people with Tom Brady derangement syndrome out there and I think it is beyond silly. He is an athlete who has broken all kinds of records in the sport. There were so just many beautiful things about this Super Bowl anyone should be smiling watching it all unfold. Especially the twins from my little neck of the woods. First time ever twins played together in a Super Bowl. Twins Devin and Jason McCourty were born in Nyack, NY the area where I live in the beautiful historic Hudson Valley of NY.

People should celebrate others success and be happy when someone achieves a dream or a goal because if it happened to them it can happen to you. Anything is possible if you work hard and take the necessary steps to achieve your dream and goal. I listened to a pregame interview of Brady on Saturday night, and he was saying how he makes a daily choice to do the work necessary to do his job. There was a lot more to it, but it was really poignant. Many people today want things overnight, and feel entitled to have them without doing the things required to get them. Here is a guy who has worked practically every day of his life on one thing, and he is the best at it not only because of his talent, but because of his effort. He works hard, stays out of trouble, and has a beautiful wife and family. I think it is a great example and inspiration to people everywhere.

His interview actually reminded me of a great quote from President Ronald Reagan. It was made while he was Governor of California.

“Attitude, not aptitude, controls altitude. Along with a positive attitude, we must have a positive plan.” 

Very true. Even more so the more you think about it. Another thing that made the Super Bowl so special this year was the National Anthem. I mean HELLO! Gladys Knight knocked it OUT OF THE PARK! Quite possibly the BEST National Anthem ever in my opinion (and to think she didn’t need to write the lyrics on her hands and she was fully clothed) wow – what a concept. I will use my inside voice to describe what I thought about the half time show because my mom taught me if you don’t have anything nice to say, sometimes it is best to not say anything at all.

Onto the third and final item in the what made it a Super Trifecta weekend for this greek girl. Well, it is not really the weekend still because it happens on Tuesday. However, Tuesday is the Super Bowl parade in Boston and the grand finale that same evening… if you guessed the State of the Union you are correct!

I have my popcorn ready (organic of course) and I’m all set to watch the President address the nation. I could go on about another major case of derangement syndrome some people have but I won’t. I will however say that there are far too many people who show no respect for the office. Even when there have been people in that office I did not agree with in any way, shape, matter, or form, I showed respect for the office. The level of discourse out there is frightening. Where is the common decency? People should be able to disagree and not hate each other as people. Good grief Charlie Brown.

Anyway it’s a happy day for me. So go download my song, tell the naysayers where they can go, and go out and make it a happy day!

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New year new you

New Year 2019

Happy New Year!

They say the new year is a time for new beginnings. A whole new chance to begin again. New year, new you, or maybe a new me. Possibly the same old me, just one that I haven’t seen in a while.

It’s that time of the year when we get the opportunity to reflect on the past year and set goals for the new one ahead. For me the last year has really been a great opportunity to grow and expand my awareness of all kinds of things from health/wellness and going almost totally vegan to changes in fitness. The year I began to really love yoga. Which for a girl who spent most of her life doing all kind of crazy workouts, is actually quite surprising. I never thought I would love it as much as I do. In fact it has been the best thing for my back. Having sustained a back injury in two close-dated car accidents years back, really put a damper on the crazy workouts. Since I started to do yoga regularly, honestly my back hurts if I “don’t” do yoga.

Anyhow back to my original thought. It happened kind of randomly actually, but it got me to thinking. My acting representative was visiting shortly before Christmas. He started to tease me a bit about the fact that he has a hard time finding jobs to submit me for. As there are far less castings for blondes than for brunettes. If you are at a certain level in an entertainment career you can have your hair any color and mostly people adjust to you, or you change it for a role, then put it back as needed. However, until that point, you kind of need to be able to “be” what is being cast. So if a role says “female 30-40 brunette” he can’t send me if my hair is blonde.

Unless, my inside voice started to say “unless I wear a wig”. So the next chance I had I dragged the Mr. along to some local wig shops. Just to get an idea of how I would look, because honestly I had not seen it in so long I couldn’t even remember how I looked as a brunette.

Yes it is true, I did not come from the manufacturer (the man upstairs) with blonde hair. So I put on a few and of course none of the pictures below are what I have in mind, but making use of what they had in the shop, I took a few fun pics just to see how I looked in a dark hairdo. So here ya go:

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Holy 90’s hairdo & way dark but hey it’s what they had ;o)

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Whole lotta hair & super dark with BANGS! Good gravy.

As you can see, I look quite different, it was a bit shocking for me. Of course these are much darker than my hair actually grows out of my noggin. However, it was fun to try them on an see a different version of me. So in order to be cooperative with my acting rep, I am going to humor him and comply with his request. Hey what do I have to loose? If it works I can have more opportunities for acting work. If not, I can always put it back if I don’t like it.

My plan, is to just go light brown with some blonde in the front more along the lines of Jennifer Anniston. To have even more options, I am also going to order a wig online in a medium brown ,and then have my talented Mr. (being a super awesome photographer is one of his many talents) take headshots of me in both colors. This way my acting rep has more options.

This my friends is how the new year is going to bring a new version of the old me. What are your plans for the New Year? Do you have any resolutions, big ones, small ones? Whatever they are try to keep a positive mindset. I think sometimes we can set big goals and then beat ourselves up if we don’t accomplish everything all at once or as quickly as we might like.

Remember to be grateful for the past year and thankful for every day, because it is a gift. We only get one day at a time and that my friends is the best advice I can give as to how to roll into the New Year.

Wishing you and yours a beautiful, blessed and HAPPY New Year!

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

 

 

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No Worries

beach

With a title like that one might think this could be a blog about a sunny beach vacation with some Jimmy Buffet playing in the background and a tropical drink in one’s hand. Nope. This is a blog about a very serious topic… the holidays.

Funny how that word can mean different things to different people. For me, it seems like every year they come around faster than I expect. Which in turn causes some people to move into overdrive mode trying to get every little thing done to make sure that the holidays are “perfect”.

Except there is no such thing as “perfect”, so now what? For some people without family the holidays are something they want to avoid altogether. For people with large extended families the holidays start practically right after Veterans Day and go nonstop until after New Year. Seems like every year people put their Christmas tree up earlier and earlier. I know people who hardly get any sleep because they are so busy that they run themselves ragged practically making themselves sick trying to do and be everything. So where is the happy medium?

I say the happy medium is you. We are all lights. We all have the ability to either be people lifter’s or drags. Opportunities arise each and every day to either build people up or to tear them down. So in this time of year when there are so many extremes all around bombarding us at every turn, from stores to places of employment, we get to choose what we will be in the situations we are faced with.

Every day is a gift whether one has a large extended family with boatloads of holiday activities going on, or for the person living alone without any family. It’s a simple choice. It’s easy to get wrapped up in making sure everything you want to accomplish get’s done and things get marked off the “to do” list. However, I think it’s important in the midst of the daily “grind” to be flexible and if everything gets done that’s great. On the other hand if every single little thing on that list does not get checked off, not to beat yourself up over it. At the same time, not to be so wrapped up into our own “to do’s” that we miss those opportunities where we can be lifters.

My motto is if I see something I “do something”. Meaning if I encounter a situation where someone needs something, and I am able to be that something, then I do it. This motto was actually the inspiration for my latest single released to iTunes titled “Don’t Walk Away.” (click here to listen at iTunes) Here’s a section of the lyrics:

ARE YOU BUILDING UP OR TEARING DOWN
HEARTS ARE HURTING CAN YOU HEAR THE SOUND
HE SAID WHEN YOU DID IT TO THE LEAST OF THESE
YOU DID IT TO ME

DON’T WALK AWAY, DON’T WALK AWAY
SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU NOW
DON’T WALK AWAY, DON’T WALK AWAY
YOU MIGHT BE THE ANSWER HOW

You get the idea… basically my motto is, if a situation arises and you can do or be that something for someone, I say like the Nike saying goes… “just do it”. Which in reading this it might seem like I’m saying to do two opposite things. On the one hand I say don’t kill yourself trying to do everything, and then on the other hand I’m saying to do something. Actually it all comes back down to that happy medium again. That’s where the no worries mentality comes in.

Let everything roll off like water off of a ducks back. Keeping in mind that every day is a blessing, to count every blessing and when we have the chance, to “be” a blessing to those we encounter. People, animals, whatever the case may be. Not to be so busy that we miss opportunities to be the answer how. If we run into a situation that we can change, don’t assume someone else will do it. Just imagine… what a wonderful world it would be.

May your holidays be filled with many many blessings.

Music, Love & Blessings ~
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

 

 

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Best Dressed

Who can resist a furkid dressed in a costume? I can’t. Which is why every year one of my favorite fall traditions is picking out cute costumes for my furbabies and taking loads of pics!

My almost twelve-year-old Pekingese Punkin Pie says they are not costumes, rather “torture devices”, and that dressing them all up in these costumes is animal cruelty. Then I tell her she has no idea what animal cruelty is. Further, that if she wants to see what actual animal cruelty is to go on Facebook for about five seconds and she will see it with her own eyeballs on the pages of one of the countless rescue groups that work so hard to pick up the pieces for so many innocent creatures. Which is why I always give to as many as I can because without the rescues these animals would never get the second chance they so desperately need and deserve. Of course I talk to my dog… doesn’t everyone?

Anyhow back to a happy topic, pets in costumes. Now I would love to dress my two spoiled black cats up in costumes, but like Punkin says “they don’t need a Halloween Costume because they come with a built-in one, they are black cats.” Besides putting a costume on Jaxson and Bella would probably go about the same way putting their leash and harness on when they have to travel or go to the vet, which isn’t a very pleasant experience.

So it’s up to the dogs to fill the cute bucket year after year. So without further ado… I present the 2018 Aston Dogs Howl-O-Ween Costume Parade.

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Superman

I give you Pepe. My little rescue monkey who is a sixteen plus year old Tibetan Spaniel new hope only euthanasia list survivor from the NYC ACC. He had a lot of issues when he first came to us, but after six years he is a very happy old man enjoying the life he should have had for his entire life.

Next is Punkin Pie. A beautiful Pekingese girl who is going to be twelve in November. We have had her almost her entire life and she is spoiled as it gets and we love her to pieces!

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A little Lamb

 

 

Next is little Lulukins. She is a Shitzu who is also a rescue from the NYC ACC the same shelter that Pepe came from. The vet says she is somewhere under five, we are not exactly sure. She was very young when we rescued her three years ago. Lulu is without a doubt the happiest little dog I have ever met in my life, she literally bounces when she walks.

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A little Butterfly

 

 

 

 

And all together…. for the group humiliation shot (as Punkin would say) I present to you below… the Aston Furkids Halloween 2018 photo!

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Shortly after we already assembled the group for the humiliation, we rescued a Japanese Chin who we have named Yuki. Since he is still settling in and learning what life is like around our house, new smells, new things, new people, new stuff… we did not want to stress him out by dressing him up in a torture device too ;o) So his humiliation pic will have to wait until next year when he can join the bunch for the Halloween Costume Parade. So for now, this normal un costume pic will have to do. I give you the newest member to the Aston pack… Yuki.

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Happy Howl-O-Ween!

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

 

 

 

 

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In the Heart

911 Memorial -KeithRousseau.JPG

Photo by my husband Keith, available at http://www.keith-rousseau.pixels.com

I’m not sure why I’m surprised when it happens, but somehow it seems to get me every year. It’s late August, I’m doing my best to soak in every last bit of summer I possibly can, and then the next thing you know it’s Labor Day. Sometimes Labor Day just so happens to fall on my Birthday. So by the time I’m done with my whole week before and week after my birthday doings it hits me, it’s almost September 11th.

So then I say to myself it’s time to be grateful. To be thankful and grateful for all of my days, even the bad weather days. Grateful that myself and my loved ones are here to enjoy them with, the good the bad and the ugly.

It is a difficult time of year for many who lost loved ones that tragic day. It is hard to believe it was seventeen years ago. Grief and loss are never easy for anyone. I cannot imagine having to bear a loss from something so tragic. The one thing that can help to bring a sense of peace in any loss though is the knowing that our loved ones are never really “gone” from us. We carry them with us in our hearts until we see them again one day in heaven.

Words I wrote many years ago while dealing with the loss of a loved one. Words that then went into a song, my song titled “I Carry You With Me”. A song that helped me to deal with a difficult loss, and has since helped many others as well since it’s release (click here to watch video). I have received emails from people across the world writing to tell how much the song had touched and helped them.

One time I even received a frantic email from a women in Ireland looking for the chords so it could be sung at her Mother’s Eulogy, I happily sent them to her. As an artist that is really what it is all about. I have heard it said that art is our soul’s expression, and I think it’s spot on. As a music artist I live to create music that I hope will touch people and positively influence their lives in some little way, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

911 memorial 2 - Keith Rousseau

Photo taken by my husband Keith. Available at http://www.keith-rousseau.pixels.com

So on hard days like September 11th reflect and remember… in the end love really is what makes the world go around. Love comes from our heart, and our heart is where our loved ones are. We may not be able to see them, but we can feel them. They are with always us and one day we will see them again.

Blessings, Love and Music ~
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

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Anything is Possible

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Beautiful painting by Mouth and Foot Artist Tom Yendell.

Most people who follow my blog know a few things about me. First coffee, Dunkin Donuts (I’ll pass on the Starbucks please). Second, that I love animals. My sentiments about the topic are basically to borrow the words from a famous T-shirt worn by Doris Day “Be kind to animals or I’ll kill you.” This leads me to the next thing, that I was either born without a filter, or it broke off sometime in-between the time I was born and now. Most importantly and on a more serious note, that my desire is to be a people lifter.

So besides making and relaeasing music that is meant to encourage and inspire people, I like to share things I come across that I think can benefit someone somewhere. We all do really, at least I think we do. Anyway I was posting something to instagram last night and came across a video and it just absolutely blew my mind in a good way. Click to watch Foot and Mouth Artist Tom Yendell create the above amazingly beautiful flower painting.

When I watched this video, I was amazed by what he is able to do with what many would call a disability. Upon visiting his website Tom Yendell I learned that due to the drug Thalidomide he was born without arms or hands. He has learned to do everything with his feet. To be perfectly honest the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw his work (besides being extremely inspired) was “what’s your excuse?” I sat there thinking how so many people today without even realizing it (myself included) so often complain about not being able to do the things we want to do because of thus and such, and life and this or that has happened, and so on. I’m sure you get the drift.

When here is a man with a real “limitation” that could and would keep many a person from expressing their desire to paint being born without arms or hands. Yet here he is painting and he has blown past any so called “limitations” by following his desire to create art. He had a vision in his mind and he made it happen.

So here comes the harsh part, the following may or may not offend some people (as so many are so easily offended these days) yet it needs to be said. So many people today make issues and complain about things like gender identification, what bathrooms they want to use or identify with. They go as far as to make so much noise and bully major corporations into letting men use women’s bathrooms (which really isn’t good or safe for anyone especially little kids – I’m just sayin). People on college campuses making all kinds of chaos about so many things that in the grand scheme of things really in my humble Greek opinion seem pretty petty.

We all have gifts and talents. Every single one of us human beings was beautifully and wonderfully made. Whether we want to acknowledge our creator or not. We all have something very special and unique to offer to the world. Yet I think we spend way too much time focusing on limitations or things that we may see as obstacles. When in reality if we would just focus on the thing we are great at, and offer that to the world, the world would be so much better.

Yes bad things happen to the good and bad. Maybe my view is choosing to see things through rose colored glasses, but you know what? I would rather see the world through rose colored glasses and see the good in everything rather than see the problem in everything.

So much of what is spewed on a daily basis via news and social media is negative. Seeing Tom Yendell paint a spectacular piece of art with a credit card using his feet better than most people who do have arms and hands was like a punch in the gut. If he can do that, my friends we can do anything we set our minds to, anything. It really is that simple. You can either overcome or be overcome. You can choose to be a victor or a victim. The choice is in our minds.

Hope you take a minute to check out some of his work and are inspired by his talents to focus on and develop your own. Have a beautiful day!

Blessings, Love & Music ~
Ava xo
www.avaaston.com

 

 

 

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