That shiny oily spot is where antifreeze is leaking all over the place..I am very, very sad because I do not want to go radiator shopping..but life doesn't care about what you want so I am going radiator shopping ..

Blanca from Laredo

Blanca owns a gymnastics school in Laredo , she was so sweet and kind to bring me some chalk . I was down to a pebble ,of course the weather turns cool now that I am stocked up with the stuff !


I like having a little fresh chalk on my hands before I start my swinging on my trapeze when it is hot outside, it gives me a great grip .

true grit


Driving on The Tropical Trail ,through border towns, we arrived on the lot to experience wind and sand . We are getting dirty . The dirt/sand is everywhere , covering everything in an instant . Teeth are crunchy and hair is going to be a handful . How lucky are we to be able to have another day .

Buy this ! mam

There are a lot of salespersons on the streets

A couple of guys playing music

Time stands still

I can't believe how fortunate we are at this moment . I love looking at these sweet young women and enjoying the youth that is so unfairly fleeting .


The Brown and the Eckoff families crossed the border to Mexico on Wednesday . We were good little tourists and purchased baskets, ceramics, treats and medicines . Unfortunately the cream I purchased for Fresia's eye area is questionable and I don't know where the heck and what it is used for , something got lost in translation . We found a hole in the wall restaurant and ate some crazy fresh tacos , they were so fluffly and loaded with meat, cilantro, avocado and lettuce . The journey to Mexico was a nice little segment to our day indeed .

I never want the making of this costume to end

If you ask me , we need more shoes , dogs, books, bungee cords, dog leashes, ,pack backs and nick knacks..that would bring the look of the trailer together BUT enough about clutter ,  I just need a gazillion more sequins and jewels and this costume will be finished . I can see how this chaos drives Marshall crazy..sorry Marshall..

except we drive our houses to different locations often

It is no lie that I have felt kind of sickish for awhile. I finally got sick of myself and went to some stranger doctor.. it turned out I wasn't a big crying baby. It turns out "I got the bronchitis and ain't nobody got time for that ".. Antibiotics and I even got an inhaler !! Shut the front door and stop the presses, I had forgotten what a breath of air was like..sigh..so I am feeling all happy and proud .

Meanwhile today so far has been pretty good . Fresia did great on her brutal civics test . I added more flowers to the vines . Jeremiah the cookie made pozole soup . Marshall fixed a few things around the trailer. We have a couple a shows and then a BBQ with Cousin Grumpy and and and a bunch of us old timers..ha ha ha ..I even make myself (if only myself) laugh .

Lamont warming up for the production

rehearsal in Brownsville, February 5th or 6th

I think this is a nifty photo of the gaucho (which means Argentian cowboy ) act .

bitter is as bitter does

Fresia asked me the other day , how could a person know anything unless they have experienced it or studied it . A very good example would be , math , pemdas or parenthesis, exponet, multiply, divide, add ,subtract . If you don't follow the instructions or know the formula or have seen it with your own eye ..well one just doesn't get it correctly.You end up getting a big fat F and perhaps some people think you are not very intelligent . Algebra is big on formulas and following them . Circus tales are the "seeing it with your own eye "..For example someone had a spatial interaction of the face with a prop . The story ranged from lip falling off, to face falling off , saw cutting face in half etc. It is always good to get the facts or you sound like a goof . For example when I started being the tour guide on the circus I had to learn everything I could about this circus !! EVERYTHING, from poop to advertising . I used many resources. I asked different specialists and I read and researched and asked again. I learned so much, crazy cool things. I didn't just run around spewing nonsense .. People have hobbies . Some people have hobbies that are interesting and productive like knitting or collecting things or pie making, but usually people are not only passionate but knowledgeable as well.
Professionals get paid for their services. When someone does something for a living it is not quite the same as a hobbyist . In conclusion , be that hobbyist if that is what you wish but please get the facts, the formula , we all get old and sadly leave planet earth..but why be stupid about it..think before you speak..look before you leap, measure twice and cut once ...and unless you are dimwitted try not to speak about something you know nothing about..can you imagine someone critiquing a Broadway musical but never seeing it ? ha ha ha .. I don't want to use any more bad words
the end

scholars going on bookstore field trip


the mixed act

Another Carolyn bit of genius. Dogs, llamas, goats all performing in a very entertaining and fun way. The theme is patriotic , the theme is fun, the theme is happy ! All new and marvelous ! It is action packed and cuter than cute . I got to enjoy this act in rehearsal . Now that the show is running we can't really go in the tent , I suppose if I was in town clothes and acted cool I could, maybe ? I must ask , because watching Fresia, Carolyn and Shirley and the animals in this massive spectacle of sheer joy is fun and makes me happy . I must get some more photos , I must !!


wowie !! The 75th edition of the Kelly Miller Circus opened yesterday !
we hit the ground running and  it has been a whirlwind of activity ! I am partial to this show , and  I gotta tell you it is great , entertaining and such a change from last year , Mike has Zebras at liberty  ! yup that's right , four beautiful zebras, waltzing, by 2 ,by 4, cut away, changes ,blah blah blah ..I don't know exactly the terms but impressive !! Carolyn has created a patriotic mixed animal act !!! People start clapping upon entrance ! so fun and so much action! Fridman is doing a chair balance act this year with a sweet theme . The clowns have a car , shut up and are a riot as always ! Head balance trapeze by Gerard , the Rosales family is doing perch pole , I am in the production ..whee .It is a tropical jungle theme, fire , dancing , stilt walker, feathers, color , ,the webs are vines, there are more vines in the air . I am doing trapeze and there are 4 webs . I had to take out a couple of tricks in my still routine ( but I don't mind ) , the music and choreography and costumes were a collaborative work with Tavana and Danny  at the helm . The finale is a birthday party with a cake and brilliant party hats and the most fun costumes !! We are all wearing converse or van type sneakers, because skipping and jumping on the crazy terrains need functional shoes . There are more acts that I didn't mention a mariachi juggler, tigers in a new huge arena,new gaucho act with spears etc.. , elephants being magnificent with super FUN music , hula hoops and a little bull with a matador !!
It begins , a whole new shiny show . New and different ..change is good we are all jazzed . The cool thing about this group , this recycled ensemble is their ability to change and do different amazing things .I guess that is the beauty of an ensemble . The ability to work together and make the total production bigger than all its collective parts .

An action packed day

Today was filled with almost finishing my sewing projects and putting the finishing touches on the show . I am really excited about the production number , it is tropical jungle . The finale is a birthday party , FUN & festive. The clowns are now calling me Beckelman thanks to Sean Emery . Today as I was sewing through sticky Velcro I broke a needle , it was a challenge to remove it . I had to use tools , the reason it was so difficult was because I sewed through felt , feathers and spandex. Every department on the show is busy , welding , sewing , organizing, animal and distributing costumes , the musical department ... So many odds and ends. Opening day is tomorrow ! I do not feel like such a cow , trapeze was not too bad , so challenging to work to different music ! Shocking sad news , we lost our friend John Hansen , he was an agent now but in the past he did a dynamite platform roller skating act . He booked me a lot of jobs and was a really nice guy , so sad about losing another friend . However he is now in the great beyond with his wife Thina so hopefully they are doing whatever you do in the great beyond and having a sweet time .

Scythian is beautiful

North Dallas RV , Randy and all did an incredible job saving the life of our trailer ! What a relief to be able to drive down the road and not fret about the Scythian . We started rehearsals today , my feet are sore from jumping and skipping on the ruts. Fresia has a lot of costumes and looks so fabulous . I still have hooks and eyes and things to finish on all my costume endeavors . I need to teach that little miss how to sew so she can help me and make more scratch . I think I was overwhelmed for a while today , now I see the light at the end of the tunnel ! I feel like a whale a big fat one , so horrible !
On a very sad note we lost our neighbor Mark McLane to cancer tonight , a shout out to Mark , the neighborhood is going downhill without you !

hashtags and sewing

in the modern world of communication..what wild times we are having !! People have been reduced to less than one liners !! We have emoticons or emojis little pictorial icon things  :) I mean I like emojis . Lucky us to have hash tags #  , really?  is that what we have become ? We #dog or #bangs or any topic, things are written in abbreviated form. One example is #inaug2013 , take a phrase and type it into your browser or device and you can dive into the current modern thread of trends and ways and what does it all mean ?Are we too stupid or so overwhelmed with digital imagery we cannot have a freaking tangible thought ? What is wrong with writing a sentence ??????? ARGH or should I say @rgh..I guess we all have to flock like lemmings and twitter is a way to get your voice heard (how can you call it a voice when all that is importance is a single word)and instagram is such a clever way to share photos..I will not judge I will not judge... I will use these tools for good .
Sewing costumes, sewing is sewing not gluing !!! That is all I have to say on sewing, I have glued I admit it, in 1995 we were going on a new show and I was getting behind on costume construction so I used sparkly fabric paint and glued my rhinestones or sequins on . I have done that when I was desperate but it is not sewing it is gluing .. How wonderful and what a time saver gluing is! I mean we are so busy with our  # & @ . We are going to evolve into virtual people if we aren't careful .

Marshall is a fashion guy

Marshall is sporting a new look, he is the king of retro and will be taking his John Herriott collection of 1980 leisure suits on the road .
 I mean he will if we ever get out of dodge. We are supposed to be in Hugo right this very second ..We have been the victims of circumstance .This morning as we were ready to roll we noticed white smoke vomiting out of our exhaust pipe . I knew it was something with  an egr valve or worse a head gasket . Our mechanic took a look see and  put it in surgery..After making sure the head gaskets weren't blown ,they concluded the egr ( exhaust gas recirculation )or something in that department had done a pratfall . A quick repair ,under a g-note..not so fast..it turns out our turbo had cracked , but fortunately they had one in stock ! We were so happy ,we would be rolling by five  !! unfortunately it was the wrong one..fortunately they are getting the correct size turbo at 7.30 am..and very fortunately it happened here.. with our guys who know our Black Beauty .
The last few days have been filled with angst beyond belief . Stressful things and hemorrhaging money and waiting for the dmv to get it together and not sleeping ..
we were supposed to leave Wednesday , drive to Dallas , pick up the Scythian ,drive to Hugo, drive to Brownsville..The tent is going up Sunday . I have said too much, been too whiny.I should have realized when things seemed great I should have known around the corner...lurks the next lesson or test in life .I will never be cocky again .I will be thankful for everything .
In hindsight we have a had a marvelous winter. Sarasota has been so full of successful wonderful circus activity . I am so serious , great circuses and events everywhere ! What a town !