Let's say we're all bees. Each and every one of us is buzzing about-
buzz buzz buzz.
The honey that we make is our lives. Experience has taught me two things...


...and LIFE is only as yummy as you make it!

Are YOU a Killer Bee?

bee my guest?

bee my guest?
Howdy Beezers! I'm excited to share something new with you... Over the upcoming months, most of the content you'll be seeing here will be from special guest contibutors! This is sure to add a new texture to this thing we've been weaving over the years. I know that many of my readers (yes, you!) are writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. PLEASE feel free to contact me if there's something you'd like to contribute! I'd be most honored to pollinate... send me a note: m.mckinley@rocketmail.com

please be seated

December 29, 2012

The Tao of Jasper: A Note For The New Year

I peered through the rectangular piece of security glass in the door that separated us, and he stared up at me with those enormous, almost human green eyes. Eyes that were clearly wise and full of love. I was instantaneously smitten with this kitten.

I was with Kerry at the Wisconsin Humane Society and we were "cat shopping". He'd recently said goodbye to his beloved Beauregard, and Miss. Sally (just a wee kitten at the time) was really in need of a companion. I called an attendant over, and asked if I could meet this little man who was already stealing my heart. Kerry came over too, and Jasper began to cast his spell. Kerry already had a soft spot for a little girl down the aisle, but I insisted that Jasper was "the one". In fact, I boldly stated that if he didn't take Jasper home... I would! Kerry adopted Jasper that very night, some 10 years ago.

This Summer Kerry and I combined resources (and households) to economize and help grow our business. Naturally, we were both concerned about how well our cats would co-habitate. My Jackson is a tender little beta boy, his Sally an aggressive alpha girl. Well worry not, three's company. Since their arrival on 47th Street, Sally and Jasper have made themselves quite at home, and Jackson seems genuinely contented with his new companions. He has however, noticed how I dote on Jasper...

You don't know this cat, but you love him. He's so wonderfully laid back, and he has the most agreeable disposition of any feline I have ever encountered. He's so handsome, so affectionate. A true-blue sweetheart. Social and tender,  he waltzes into a room and has makes you feel like you're "the only human in the world". Yes I'm swooning a bit, but I'm not the only one. You see Jasper loves everyone. And therefore everyone loves Jasper. Men, women, children...communists, even. I know it sounds a little silly, but there's an incredibly simple and poignant lesson in that. It's called the law of attraction. Apparently Jasper is a zen master.

The week between Christmas and New Years tends to be a bit reflective, doesn't it? Naturally, I've been contemplating 2013, and what it may have in store. I won't waste too much energy forecasting. Over the last couple of years I've been discovering the magic of co-creation through awareness...and that requires you to dream in the present.

I've also been listening to quite a bit of my favorite singer-songwriter, Beth Nielsen Chapman. Not familiar? Check her out. There's a song on her exquisite album "Prism: The Human Family Songbook" that's been on near continuous repeat for a couple of days now. The lyrics speak of how on a human scale, we often feel that our hopes, our desires...our prayers, are insignificant when pit against the vast universe. And yet,  if each of us would just give our love...

"Like sand on a mountain / Rain on a fountain / Shade on a shadow / A breeze in this tornado/ Just do what you can, clap with one hand / And shine all your light in the sun"

....then we could really make something beautiful in this world.

So that's my New Year's resolution.
I'm gonna shine all my light in the sun.
And take a page out of Jasper's book.
Because cattitude is everything. Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
Happy New Year!  Michael XO

Musical Treat Of The Week; Double Dip!

Thanks to William for many things, not the least of which for turning me onto my favorite musical treat of 2012, the exceptional "Queen of Denmark" disc by clever singer songwriter John Grant.

Boo Boo, Bacon, & Babs

Whether it's Amy Winehouse's iconic up-do pinned up with pills, or a tasty Kevin Bacon sculpted entirely from, you guessed it- San Francisco artist Jason Mecier's imaginative mosaic portraits are a 3 dimensional, visual feast! Working with a myriad of household items from plastic dolls and makeup to yarn and beans, Jason  brilliantly illustrates how one man's junk becomes another man's masterpiece.

"Aint nothing wrong with being a little gay. Everybody's a little gay."- Honey Boo Boo
For a glimpse into Mecier's fascinating process watch this clip...

For more information  on this incredibly talented artist visit jasonmecier.com.
Commissions welcome, posters available. I think I need a Streisand....
Thanks for pollinating, Sande Faulkwell!

December 23, 2012

Festive Intimacies

William Godwin ( Get Mummy's Purse ) goes public with his holiday wishes...

Every December Sky

A Killer Christmas Special....

Sometimes, things have to marinate for awhile. It was more than 2 years ago that I first suggested a holiday special to Cassandra. Then several months ago while we were going over ideas for the upcoming season of her YouTube channel Cassandra McShepard Television, she brought it up. "Maybe this is the year we do the Christmas special." That was all the encouragement I needed.

My initial concept was to pair her with a little jazz combo for the musical sequences. Maybe we would film them at a local nightclub. Then my dear friend Scott Luedtke had a genius idea. His husband Brian directs The Ozaukee Chorus. Maybe Cassandra could be a special guest in their annual Christmas concert at the Cedarburg Performing Arts Center...and perhaps we could film their performances for inclusion in the special! Brilliant.

I knew that this needed to be a 3 camera shoot, and the prospect of trying to film during a live performance combined with a mid-December deadline, seemed daunting. Brian suggested that we could film in early December if we did it on a rehearsal evening at St. Joseph's in Grafton...another great idea! Killer Bee Cherrie Hanson and Andy "Rogue Lens' Conkle jumped on board the train, and I had qualified bodies to deftly man cameras 2 and 3.

David Todd came to the rescue with the amazing Jason Ruck of RuckMedia, who supplied professional cameras and  finally at last- professional editing equipment! Jason and I spent 10 hours in the editing room at his office. There wasn't anything I wanted, anything I suggested- that Jason couldn't do. Frame by frame.... "How about camera 2 here, dissolving into camera 3? Sorry, I like the camera 1 angle better here, can we do it over?" Every time his answer was "No problem." Call me a dork, but one of my favorite parts of the finished product is the way the end credits turned out! In all honesty, I'm as proud of this special as I am anything else I've ever collaborated on...if not most proud.

So without further adieu (tomorrow's Christmas Eve!), I present...


The talented Rick Swearingen of Mortensen Photography took some amazing pictures during the filming of the musical sequences at St Joseph's. Here's a 1 minute montage set against The Ozaukee Chorus singing "Caroling, Caroling". What an awesome group of individuals to work with- enjoy!

THE HAIR: A Christmas Story

Originally posted on December 21st, 2011

Some man had trifled with my heart and I was sure it was breaking. Or aching. Or something that it wasn't supposed to be doing. This wasn't my first romantic failure, and it wouldn't be my last. I was on the phone long distance with my Mother crying the blues in her ear, and I could tell she wasn't in the mood for it. Of course, that didn't keep me from going on. And on. Bored and exasperated she finally said "Honey, I don't what to tell you. At least you'll always have Stacey."

It was December 14th, 1985.
I was at my very first gay party, a Christmas party hosted by my new friend Bobby Herd. Now Bobby (the older brother of my friend Cindy) was about 24 or 25 at the time, and though I looked and acted rather mature for my age.. I was just 14 years old.

Bobby knew I wanted so badly to meet other people "like me", and he took a mondo risk in inviting 2 minors (my only other gay friend Joel, aged 15 was also in tow) to an adult party where lots of booze (and other party favors) were being served. What could possibly go wrong except a police raid, right? I mingled, I met. I smoked a pack of my Mother's cigarettes, in an attempt to look old enough to just be present. That fateful night I would meet a fistful of people who would shape my future and remain close to me for many years to come. But none of them, would leave a mark on the landscape of me, as indelible as Stacey Dean Abillie.

I was crouched on the floor browsing a stack of vinyl, when a voice boomed from over my shoulder "You got any Madonna? Play some Madonna!" I looked up from a pile of records to find the absolute raddest, most exotic looking person I'd ever seen with my own eyes. We were both permed and in-between bleachings, suffering from painfully yellow hair. Did I mention it was 1985? He explained that he was a cosmetology student, and that he was going "white for Christmas". I played some Madonna for him and he was on his way. A short while later he circled back to me with intent.

"Hey. My friends and I will buy you whatever you want if you go to the liquor store and buy us some beer." When I told him I was only 14, he looked at me with utter disbelief and said "WHATever" as he pivoted on his heels and disappeared back into the party. Moments later, he and his entourage of infinitely cooler people were on their way out the door. Presumably on their way to a cooler party where beer needn't be solicited from uncool 14 year olds. Stacey Abillie was 18.

His clique tried like hell to avoid our less polished motley crew, but over the following year our paths occasionally crossed. Most famously in Los Angeles, at my first attendance of a gay pride parade. By then my hair had moved onto a fiery shade of red, but his was still yellow- only now on purpose. "Chrome Yellow" by Sebastian, to be exact. On an asymmetrical Mohawk. With a permed, asymmetrical rat tail. He sauntered up to me in the blistering 90 degree heat, and asked me (in my pink cotton jersey mini-dress) "What's in the bag hon? He was in search of lip balm. I had none.

It was Christmastime once again, when it all finally clicked.
Through the impromptu suggestion of our only mutual friend Mark Farrell, Stacey ended up seated squarely at my Mother's kitchen table to help decorate Grandma Furman's Christmas cookies. I think we both wondered what in the hell he was doing there, but there he was.We had our first real conversation over frosting and jimmies, and suddenly for both of us, it was like discovering a long lost limb.

Our mothers were both blonde haired, fair skinned, green eyed Catholic girls from Wisconsin, who were half French and half Irish. We both had super diverse taste in music, 2 older siblings, and a serious obsession with vintage clothes. Later that night when he got home, he called to tell me something else he wanted (but couldn't wait) to share. We were on the phone until the sun came up, and from that night on we were thick as thieves.

I was completely fascinated by his every move. He walked so tall in his own shoes, and I followed him around in awe. I didn't want to be him necessarily, but I sure wanted to be like him. Confident and artistic. So unapologetically HIMSELF. I'd never met anyone who could dream as big as I, and now at last, I had a partner in crime! The cliques that once held us in separate camps were forced to commune, and the most amazing family of friends ever was co-created. Turns out we weren't so different after all.

When he first started coming around the house, my Mother accessed him with great apprehension. Just who was this outrageous looking young man with whom her young and impressionable son had suddenly become inseparable from? She referred to him as the The Hair. "Michael, The Hair called. He needs you to call him back." "Where are you going tonight? The Hair stopped by and said he'll be back to pick you up at 7." It wouldn't take but a few weeks and she was under his spell too. Since they are easily the two most influential people of my life, it seems so right that they shared a loving camaraderie of their own, completely independent of me. By March, The Hair was doing hers.

What to wear, what to wear...

In 1987's Santa Maria, there was little for a gay teenager to do but anticipate the next house party. Much thought was put into wardrobe for such occasions, and we were even known to drive (or hitchhike when necessary) to Los Angeles to buy color coordinating cigarettes from the Nat Sherman store. If Stacey wore one yellow sock and one pink sock, then the smokes were yellow and pink. Yes we were that gay. And we were totally fucking awesome. However, a personality like Stacey's was far too large for our small town, and it wouldn't be long before the siren call of the big city would take him from me. One Friday in August he announced that he was moving to LA. On Monday.

For weeks after he left I moped about. Mom said "He's only 4 hours away, you can visit him all the time if you want." "I know, I said. But its not the same."
I'd lost my limb.

9 months later, armed with a fierce determination to propel myself into adulthood, I moved to Los Angeles. I was barely 17. My Mother was beside herself with fear, but without involving law enforcement, there really was no stopping me. She entrusted The Hair with her last born, and proceeded to spend the next 2 years sending biweekly care packages with Eric Freitas. Or Lonnie Frye. Or whomever she could get to make a trip down to see the boys.

20 years later I would overhear him at a party, reflecting back on that time, when he had felt such a responsibility to look after me because I was so young. He continued on to say that truthfully, it had been Michael who had looked after him. I suppose we've always looked after each other.

We lived a tumultuous and sometimes thrilling life as roomies in LA, but it wasn't always easy. There was plenty of drinking, drugs, and rock n' roll going on at any given moment- which caused inevitable drama. And we didn't always get along either. As MJ once famously sang, "I'm a lover, not a fighter", but Stacey holds the distinction of being the only person I've ever fought with. We used to have  fights so ugly, we made other people cry! Then we'd forgive and repair. Because that's what family does. Through the course of it all we also let each other down. Hoisted each other up. I do believe that no one has ever made me laugh harder. Seriously, if you've ever experienced us in the same room, then you know this shit is funny. Laughter is important in any relationship, dontcha know.

When I was 20 I left LA and moved to Milwaukee. The madness of the lifestyle I was immersed in seemed like a potentially disastrous course for me to stay on. And I hated the smog. And the pretentiousness. Go back to Santa Maria? I don't think so. I had spent my entire childhood plotting my escape.

I longed for a place where the seasons were markedly different and there were white Christmases, like the ones I'd seen in the movies. It was scary, you know. To leave my family, my friends, Stacey. But I did it, and it may have been the smartest move I ever made, figuratively speaking. 11 years later Stacey would finally heed my begging call and follow me here. He loves to bitch about how I forced him to come to "this place". Truth be told he loves it here, except for Winter which is like half the year. I hear about that too.

In many ways we're like an old married couple now. It's an interesting observation that while we still finish each other's sentences, we are far less alike than we used to be. We grew up and into ourselves, but never apart. I love that.

It was March, 2006
I had flown to California at my siblings behest. The human form of the spirit I had known all my life as Mother was about to expire. She was only lucid the first 2 days, and then hospice started her on the morphine. She lingered in the hospital bed which had replaced her own, in what had been her room for 44 years. She was so incredibly frail. We only expected her to last another day or two, but she wasn't yet ready to go, and at the end of the week I needed to return home to Chicago and work. I went to go sit with her for awhile before my flight, and say goodbye.

I sat on a chair next to her bed and held her hand and talked to her. She was completely motionless and hadn't uttered a word in 3 days. I was just about to leave for the airport, when in a dramatic moment (Oh, but she was good for those) she suddenly turned her head towards me and her eyes flew wide open. She looked me directly in the eyes, and said with absolute clarity "You tell Stacey I say hello, and give him my love." Just as quickly as her momentary animation had seemingly sprung her back to life, she closed her eyes and drifted right back into the morphine. Those were the last words I ever heard my mother speak.

So many people, places, and Christmases in-between. How do you reduce 26 years of history into something as long as what you've just read? Well you can't, really. Someday when the book gets written, there will finally be a place to share these stories... the story of us. Its a good one, and I promise not to sanitize myself or the role I played. It wouldn't be nearly as interesting. Or funny.

This Christmas we are 40 and 44. We look great, by the way. Stacey's sporting a really short, smart haircut. Me? Well I just have allot less of it these days.

Last night we sat at my kitchen table and decorated this year's "Round 2" of Grandma Furman's cookies. We talked a lot about our Mothers. Stacey lost his, in June. About things. About the future. I  remarked about how I thought that moving here would fulfill childhood fantasies of powder-coated Winter wonderlands. The reality is that over the last 20 years, snow for Christmas has actually been an infrequent occasion.

Once again the forecast for Christmas is calling for sunshine, but no snow. It would seem that both white Christmases and friendships that last a lifetime, are rare and special. But you were right Mom. I'll always have Stacey. 

Moms know things, they do.

November 26, 2012

Working My Way Back To You...Babe!

I realized this evening after what was only  my second day off in over a month (and reveling in every sloth-like moment) that it's been nearly a month since I've shared anything with you... and more on why later- but first: The holidays are upon us, and you know what that means around this hive! So hang tight, the honey should start flowing freely again in a week or so. I'm especially excited about the goodies I'll be sharing with you over the next several weeks, so stay tuned! Hope all is well with each and everyone of you...

Bee Well~

October 31, 2012

One From The Patch

You know, I used to make videos for the blog...oh to have time on my hands!

Until we meet again through the magic of digital video, here's an old pumpkin from my patch. After re-watching this 2 years later, I find I'm still scared of the same things... Wishing everybody a fun and safe Halloween!

October 29, 2012

Musical Treat Of The Week


Quote, Unquote #19: Equal in Value

The Privileged...


Three Times A Lady

The air was ripe with excitement and anticipation.
20,000 well-dressed people were seated in Chicago's cavernous United Center waiting for the legendary Barbra Streisand  to take the stage for what we'd heard would be a spectacular 3 hour show. Everyone knew it would be a polished production punctuated by a lush orchestra. But at 70 years old, could she still 'deliver the goods'?

If you aren't new here then you've seen Barbra mentioned from time {wink} to time. Perhaps you've even read my special Barbra story...

When we were teenagers, my best friend Stacey and I swore if Barbra ever went on tour, we'd quit our jobs and follow her like Deadheads follow The Grateful Dead. Of course back in the mid 80's there was no hope in sight that Barbra would ever overcome her legendary stage fright and give up those goods. She hadn't toured since 1966! When she finally did conquer her fears and hit the road in 1994, I was a struggling young waiter and the closest stop on her tour was Detroit. Forget the increasingly (and exceedingly) high price of concert tickets; I'd have to take a weekend off from work and pay for airfare! I could either fulfill a lifetime dream or pay my rent. I paid my rent and waited for the HBO special.

When she decided to give it another go 6 years later, there was no question I would be there. A plan of action was quickly put together and implemented. I flew into Los Angeles and met Stacey there for one of the most exciting evenings of my entire life. I'll never, ever forget sharing that experience with him. Or going to Canter's deli on the way for patrami on rye and the best rugelach in L.A. for desert! I clearly remember leaving the venue that night amongst a silent crowd of thousands- everyone still too mesmerized to speak. Once we hit the street, Stacey lit up a joint. Two older ladies passed by us and one said to the other "At a Barbra Streisand concert?" Her friend quipped "Sure, why not."

In 2006 while I was living in Chicago, she did it again.
There were allot of folks griping because they had paid steep prices for tickets 6 years before under the guise that she would never tour again. But this new tour was devised as a way for her to raise money for her charitable organization and in doing so, she raised millions and millions for excellent causes. I was more than happy to do my share! This time I was able to host a pre-concert soiree at my place, complete with tasty noshes and Barbra's favorite libation- Bellinis. Jeffery arranged for a limo for the whole gang to be transported to and fro worry free. It was all-so chic. Stacey and I were interviewed by Rosie O' Donnell's cameras for a documentary that never saw the light of day, and I wore fur pants. Yes I did.

Flash forward to this past Summer. 
With her 70th birthday just behind her and her 50th anniversary with Columbia Records just around the corner, Barbra announces a special 2 night stint at Brooklyn's brand spanking new Barclay's Center. It would seem that the borough's most famous export was coming home for a first time ever concert event! Then several weeks later, the Brooklyn shows unexpectedly expanded into a mini tour. The morning of the announcement my reaction was calm and resolved. After a lean year it didn't even occur to me that I would go. I couldn't justify the expense. When tickets for Chicago went on sale Jeffrey called and said "Are you crazy? That's what credit cards are for! It'll be your Christmas and next year's birthday present. We're GOING!" And the next thing I knew I had a ticket.

In the press and gossips (and even online fan forums) there was much speculation about Streisand taking on such a venture at her age. Could she still cut the mustard? Would her voice hold up?

Welll, I was there in Chicago this past Friday evening and I'm here to tell you that she not only delivered the goods once again, she exceeded expectations. Her tone sublime, her legendary phrasing of the lyrics as impeccable and poignant as ever...and in some instances like never before. She hit and held all the necessary notes- caressing or belting. The buzz at intermission was all about how her voice seemed to be in even better shape than it had been in 2006. Clearer and stronger. How was it possible? I could go on, but you really ought to read Miriam di Nunzio's spot on review from the Chicago Sun Times here.

When the concert came to it's rapturous conclusion and we all met up at Gate 3, the look on everyone's faces was that of pure bliss. Barbra Bliss. It wasn't so much the awe of being in the presence of a living legend, or even the sheer delight of having had an exceptional musical experience. It was quite simply, Barbra herself. She imbued the evening with so much warmth that you had no choice but to part ways with a glow. She's never been a mere songbird. She's an activist, a humanitarian, a mother. To see her in concert is to be wrapped in the cloak of all those things. Did I mention she looked like a million bucks in Donna Karan? She did.

I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt that she'll ever tour again.
She has a couple of almost certain film projects coming up, and by the time she were to get around to putting another show together, she could easily be in her mid seventies. After seeing her this past weekend, I can't help but think about how fortunate I was to be there for this last, magnificent hurrah. Thanks Jeffrey.

The kid who never dreamed he'd be able to see his idol even once, has been three times lucky. She's truly ageless...and yes, evergreen.

October 17, 2012

The Killer Bee Club: Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius. It's a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk. Enjoy it, if you haven't already caught this excellent TED Talk.

Card Carrying Member

As the season of hibernation grows near, I'm vowing to get reacquainted with my inner reader...A visit to my dear old friend The Library feels like a good way to break the ice.

The Killer Bee Club: Maya Angelou

Illustration by Benjamin Jancewicz

This short clip from a recent interview with Dr. Angelou illustrates why this Killer Bee is a national treasure.
Can you imagine? Can you?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

October 8, 2012

Musical Treat Of The Week: Double Dip!

Sometimes it's good to know what you're getting for Christmas!
Alber in my stocking has been promised, and I'm very excited.

The new "Matt Alber with Strings Attached" dvd promo looks absolutely gorgeous...

STRINGS ATTACHED TRAILER from Greg Sirota on Vimeo.

Sneak Peek!
This version of Velvet Goldmine is stunning...

VELVET GOLDMINE from Greg Sirota on Vimeo.

Quote, Unquote #18: The Value System

"The value you place on yourself is the value the world will give you. If you want to be compensated for your talents - value your time. If you want to be a valuable business - solve valuable problems. If you want to be a valuable lover - give your love away with no expectation of return. If you want be valuable to yourself - choose people who do the same."

- Jackson Kiddard

The Original D.I.Y.

by Cassandra McShepard

When I was younger I went through a period where I didn't want anything home-made, even though my mother was a professional seamstress and was capable of constructing anything, and I do mean anything. I wanted to dress like my friends, so I didn't want to wear anything that didn't come from the store. Now, being the loving mother that she is, she indulged this foolish whim with one shopping trip which resulted in a pair of too short jeans from the Wooden Nickel, and an ill-fitting top from Gimbles-Shuster’s bargain basement...

You see I've been 5’9” since I was twelve, and back then store-bought clothing wouldn't accommodate my long frame. My mother knew this of course, but she wanted me to learn it for myself. The next time I went back to my mother to ask her to make an outfit for a class field trip, (which I’d often done and she would sometimes sew through the night to accommodate my last minute request) it resulted in a sewing machine and loving “Do It Yourself.”

Man, had I offended her? Who knew mothers had feelings? 
Well I learned that they did, but that wasn't all that I learned. I really did learn how to do it myself. Now of course my mother helped me. She would show me how to trim a pattern, how to measure it and make allowances where needed to ensure that it would fit my then size 10 hips (and size 6 waist), as well as how to lengthen it so as to be long enough. Because she sewed for people she always had fabric and she would let me pick from some of her 'choice pieces' (this was a phrase of hers).

Of course I always wanted to rush through it, but she would check my seams and make me do it right, saying “It should look as good on the inside as it does on the outside. You should be able to wear it inside-out”. Which I thought was incredibly silly. Who would wear a dress inside-out? Like so many other jewels my mother gave me, this too became invaluable. As I went on to design for entertainers exacting a high price, and saw many a seam checked.

My mother could have coined that phrase, for it was what she believed in. She taught me to be independent. Independent of the hair salon, the nail salons, the clothing salons. Her mantra, “Learn to do with excellence anything that you would pay to have done”. Well I took her advice, and I am now the ultimate Do It Yourselfer. As a matter of fact I do it for others too. All the time. Because of the wings my mother gave me, I have earned income as a Clothing & Jewelry Designer for such artists as the late Phyllis Hyman, Nancy Wilson, Abby Lincoln, The Manhattans, Frankie Beverly & Maze…I worked as a stylist doing hair & make-up for a nationally published magazine. I am very capable of doing my own nails. Yes, the left hand is done as well as the right. I build furniture and make window treatments. I am a personal trainer, motivational speaker, television talk show host, and on occasion, professional songstress.

But am I special? Nope, not in the least. I’m just free, free to do it myself. You see at an age when I was still listening, I was told that I could-  and just in case you're still listening, so can you! You too can D.I.Y.

Because I promise you, this is what I know so far;
Something happened. We have advanced ourselves into dependency. Why learn to do it, just pay to have it done? We have become so reliant upon others! Instead of encouraging our children to learn simple skills we have crippled them. Where we used to have to be D.I.Y’ers, we have now become the ultimate consumers. Sadder still, many of us seek our worthiness in the amount of that which we are able to consume.

Because I am a D.I.Y’er, I work very hard. My jobs though are not drudgery, I enjoy the work I do! I have turned all of my passions in to dollars... and all because I was told to D.I.Y.

So I’ll give to you the same gift my mother gave to me.
You will never know what you are capable of doing until you at least try to D.I.Y! Whatever you choose, pick something thing that you are paying someone else to do for you and just try it. Let me know how it works out! cmcshepard@yahoo.com

Cassandra McShepard has more hyphenates than Chins in a Chinese phone book. She's currently enduring Wisconsin Winters so that she can co-host the incredibly popular morning television talk show, Real Milwaukee. You can catch more of her on Cassandra McShepard Television.

October 2, 2012

COVERGIRL: Cassandra McShepard

If you're a newbee here, you may not know that I represent renaissance woman (and force of nature) Cassandra McShepard. If you've been buzzing around this hive for awhile, then you're fully aware of all the exciting things that have happened (and that are happening!) on our exciting journey together...

Yesterday the very talented Rick Swearingen of Mortensen Photography, photographed her at my house for the November cover of Wisconsin Woman Magazine...I couldn't help but want to share a few these gorgeous shots with you here!

September 30, 2012

That Autumnal Feeling

It's what comes before that "holiday feeling".

PAMELA ANDERSON Untitled Abstract I 36 x 36
Acrylic, Spray Paint on Canvas (and yes it's for sale)

Break out the sweaters! Start roasting the squash!
Don't panic, there's still 85 day's till Christmas!
Forget March madness. I'm clearly in a Fall frenzy.

Autumn is truly honey to this Bee. I'll gladly trade you August for 2 Octobers. If October were a man I would marry him. Handsome October. It's always so good to see you.

This fall finds me a bit more fractured than usual. The toll of reinventing a business while trying to juggle clients and manage Cassandra has left me a little weary this evening. It's deliciously cool and crisp, perfect for a fire in the place...but I don't think I have the stamina to see one through. The blaze beneath the pan of Jiffy Pop will have to do. For crying out loud, I was painting floors until 2 this morning. Today my body was like "Bitch, please." But I shall soon reap the fruits of my labor, and I will as promised share them with you here. Our grand reopening is November 16th. Keep you're eyes peeled.

There's a new computer in my life. She's still in the box. And I'm sure that's where she'll stay to until after we have our "soft opening" this Friday. Anyway, she's got a lot more 'joie de vivre' than this old girl I'm typing on right now, and we're going to make little movies together, her and I. The virgin effort will be something I piece together from the footage I shot over 11 days in August, on Lake Orlando with Cherrie and Cassandra. I can't wait to share my little slice of heaven with you!

Are you enjoying the Special Guest Series as much as I am?!

If you've missed any, you can access all of them in the Bee My Guest Archive. While I've missed the therapeutic benefits of writing, I haven't missed the pressure of solely supplying all your entertainment! All kidding aside, I want to make this a permanent and prominent feature...so PLEASE! Would you bee my guest? I'd sure like to have you. Write something. Draw something. Film, or sing something. Share your stories with me, here. We'll sweeten the honey pot, you and me.

Alright then beezers, there's a cool pillow and a cozy comforter calling my name. I'm leaving my window cracked open tonight. I've got a date with October at midnight. Ciao.

P.S. If you don't buy Pamela's painting I will. Even if I have to do it in 63 installments.

Musical Treat Of The Week

It's been a long time coming...

"Quote, Unqote" #17: Look Both Ways

"One thing I know for sure is that with time everything becomes clear, questions are answered, what's broken is restored, new trails are blazed, hearts are mended, love returns, and you look over your shoulder, with a tear in your eye, at life's utter perfection."
 ~ Mike Dooley

September 29, 2012


Originally posted on July 20th, 2010

I was on an airplane making my way to California when I read this touching story about an extraordinary relationship...here's an excerpt:

Mya senses something wrong. Sitting in the back of the SUV as they barrel down a back road, she detects a change in the air. Jacob is driving, on their way to camp in the Grand Canyon. Though Mya met Jacob only a month ago, she knows him better in some ways than he knows himself. With his ‘yes ma’am’ Southern twang and lanky, broad-shouldered, 6-foot-3-inch frame, he can seem like a big, easygoing guy. But there are times, urgent times, when Jacob needs Mya.
Outside the window, the desert hills that stretch as far as the eye can see might as well be in the Middle East. A car comes up behind their SUV-the first car they have seen for many miles-and it passes them, kicking up a whirlwind of dust. Mya doesn’t even look to see Jacob’s shoulders tighten. She leaps into the front seat just before Jacob slams on the brakes. They skid to a stop, and in an instant Mya is on top of Jacob, licking his convulsing body so hard she almost seems to smother him.
In reality, this highly trained black Labrador accomplishes just the opposite. Her care leads him out of his dark terror and back to the dusty road...

For the whole( tearjerking )  story, visit Spirit Magazine :
How Mya Saved Jacob

Buzz Out!

Buzz Out!