What a way to celebrate getting another year older! I must admit, I had a wonderful birthday filled with so much love that I don’t mind getting older if everything keeps getting better with age.
I was reminded that 43 is a prime number, and although years ago it terrified me, I'm not sure what I was worried about! Life gets better, and your celebrations get longer and more unique!
An annual Torrence tradition since as long as I can remember is spending our birthdays at the North Star. Of course a part of Topeka and TORRENCE history so is a must if looking for a good steak, but you also get a free steak on your birthday! And growing up, we didn’t eat out much and if so it was primarily at North Star or if you remember The Plantation. Over the years the owners have changed but overall the spirit, good food and memories still continue.
The North Star Steakhouse is known for their steaks and fries with homemade gravy, thus I strongly recommend giving that a try. Their hash browns happen to be my favorite but they are basically chopped up French fries sautéed with onions. Your fries and gravy are unlimited home style so dig in, and if need more just ask! I giggle when someone says they gave it a try and ordered their chicken. Well...North Star Steakhouse is known for its steak. ?
PS. If you are tall, use the potty before you go...you’ll thank me!
If you celebrate with a Torrence, we can promise you it will involve a cake/pie to blow out a candle with, and one must be serenaded by the birthday song. No if's ands or butts with that when dealing with my mom. That is a tradition I'm quite sure I will always keep.
I was beautifully serenaded this year at our Underground Concert at Serendipity just before my birthday. That might be one for the special moment books. Having Jake Livgren accompanied by Eric Wortham at the piano brought tears to my eyes listening to everyone singing around me. My heart was overflowing that evening for so many reasons!! (and if you weren't present at the Underground Concert, shame on you...and you need to find out about what they are and when the next one is. They are the most magical night of music...)
Each and every year I realize I am loved and I hope I am growing somewhat wiser. All I can do is try my best and continue to surround myself with some many incredible and loving people that challenge and support me along my crazy adventure called life!
PS. I've also committed to being better at Instagram, are you on instagram? My personal is below also.
me!- Jenny Torrence
I must admit, my house was a wee bit quiet after this gang left. We had more late night grilling, friendly banter, laughter, music and fun at all hours of the day. Throwing four very different schedules, and distinct personalities into one house can be entertaining and it certainly delivered. Of course Shannon and Eric are used to my crazy world, but this time we brought in Michelle to join us and she just added to our laughter and fun.
Since we conned Eric into a confirmed date in May, he insisted with bring this Philly vocalist that had this deeply soulful voice. He knew I would personally adore her and also she would bring a unique style to Topeka with her vocal stylings.
An artist whose voice was formed by the triumph of her experiences
Of course anyone that Eric recommends I should probably listen to, and of course he was correct. Michelle Lordi has not only a sultry look and voice, she has a heart and spirit that has triumphed and is contagious.
Michelle landed on Wednesday and hit the ground running. She made it to Topeka and then shortly onto Serendipity for their first concert of the trip. Following day she was game to do the Danielle Norwood show on WIBW with me to promote their final performance on Friday. And of course you can see, it didn't take me long to get them into their own #Iamtopeka shirts.
Interview Danielle Norwood, Eric Wortham, & Jenny Torrence WIBW
Their performance Wednesday evening was the launch of our Underground Concert Series at Serendipity. Many unique music opportunities and experiences from Eric and special guests at Serendipity are to come. After Eric's first visit, he was able to see the spirit in Topeka and the forward momentum that we have as a community, and is proud of NOTO. I guess my passion is contagious because Eric has committed to making NOTO a regular stop along his travels to help be a part of the change.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Goetz
The evening was just magical and I'm quite sure at one point or another everyone may have shed a tear. It was truly beautiful. The ambiance, our new piano (to us...), Eric, Michelle and those that were in attendance just made the evening a once in a lifetime event.
Friday evening Eric and Michelle helped with a fundraiser for NOTO Arts and Entertainment District. The NOTO Arts center hosted a VIP reception for Eric and Michelle and allowed for a meet and greet with the artists.
Of course the reception was amazing, especially the food from Front Door Catering. Holy cow! They had these lil bread things with brown stuff and avocados, to die for. (that is my technical description) We all then headed down to Serendipity for the private fundraiser for an intimate evening with Eric and Michelle.
The evening was as expected, spectacular. This intimate, private event filled another round of hearts in Topeka. Especially when our newly elected, Mayor Michelle De La Isla, decided to get up and show us just another talent of hers. So proud of her on so many fronts!
My heart is full although my house may be quiet. As fast as they all come in, they all head back out, leaving us with beautiful memories and reasons to look forward to their next visit.
If you missed this last concert and would like more information next time one hits the calendar please fill out below.
For more about Michelle:
One of the best things in life is getting to know others...understanding others, learning from others, and having people in your life that challenge you as a person and make you a better human being.
I completely acknowledge that I have worked hard to surround myself with those that will make me a better person. They build me up, and they are who I aspire to be, to emulate or to make proud. People in my world stretch me. Granted, I have a daily dose of stretchin’ from those in my world that teaches me patience, understanding, humor and honestly acknowledging those who can not do better, if they don’t know to do better.
I also have those that come into my world to teach me...more then most because they impact your world and you as a person. They leave your world a little better then when they entered it. These are the people you love to be around and crave to be in their space. They make you feel good and others around you feel good. These people make my heart full when I am with them naturally I want to be a better person because of them.
Then there are those that change your world. And in all reality, these might be the people in your “favorites lists”, or aspire to be in your favorites list, or have been at one time. I feel if you have been a part of that handful of people in my world that hold that place, these people know you and get you and still love you.
I acknowledge, that I Jenny Torrence, sometimes have the craziest things happen and get to experience the most mind blowing, amazing things. (refer to paragraph 2) my amazing people know their amazing people who know...
In comes my amazing friend Eric Wortham II. I will try and catch up eventually on the fun story of meeting Eric while he was touring with Adele, but I have to share this one chapter on Eric, and his impact not only on my world, but on those he crosses paths with.
The proper introduction to Eric Wortham would be sharing the impressive list of accolades, accomplishments and his impressive musical resume. Jazz and classically trained accomplished pianist, composer, songwriter and producer is just the tip of the iceberg. I never want to lessen his talents or successes, or the extreme dedication, hard work and drive of Eric’s career, but Eric to me is so much more. I will fully give Eric his professional accolades when I share how I met him, but In mean time, google him or better yet find him on I-tunes or catch him on tour. ;)
The true beauty of my dear Eric is his ability to connect with those around him. Eric’s platform of music will connect with most people in one way or another. His ability to hear a song, run it thru his head, and then let his fingers go to work is beyond nuts to me. So if music speaks to you, you’ll love and appreciate Eric. Listening to Eric play is truly beautiful, regardless the genre, you will appreciate his musical talent. Probably one of my top five favorite moments in life would have to be watching a recent performance of Eric’s while in the UK. (I'll share more soon, but will leave a sneak peak video). Getting to enjoy Seal along side of Eric was a fun bonus. They are coming to the US this summer, and you must catch a tour date. It was an amazing show!! **
Eric sharing his personal world, heart and talent is a special gift to those who matter to him. So I feel honored for Eric to have agreed to come play a private concert for my mom. I, along side some close friends, were blessed to spend an intimate evening with Eric at Serendipity and for a couple hours, and for those moments, we were his world. Eric opened up to us about his incredible journey, answered questions, shared laughter, accompanied lots of bad singing, saved me Jenny Dorrence (the side of my personality that makes those who love me shake their head...a name given to me by Eric ) from many a stumbles and spills, made life long impressions on a few young adults, and made a lot of hearts happy and full.
I can’t ever thank him enough for that beautiful gift he shared with me, my mom and so many others. I know Eric looks forward to coming back to Topeka, and course we look forward to having him. We are hoping for this summer after his current tour ends and each and every time we can get the wind to bring him here. ****see below special visit planned