Thursday, May 28, 2009

We Miss You Dad

Hello Everyone,

Today is a melancholy day in our family. Today marks the fifth anniversary of my Dad's passing.

His illness was swift and unexpected. His life too short. But he left his impression on this world as a man, husband, father, grandfather and a friend.

Dad had a great sense of humor. One of his favorite jokes was "Mrs. Murphy made a bean soup with 239 beans. If she put in one more bean it would have been too farty." And when he told it, he tried a little of the Irish brogue as well.

One of Dad's favorites was Laurel and Hardy. Here is a clip to enjoy!

We love you and miss you Dad!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Monday to Celebrate

Today is Memorial Day. A day that marks the beginning of summer and so much more.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, it was enacted in 1868 to commemorate the America lives were lost during service to our country, originally intended for Union soldiers that fought in the Civil War. Subsequently it was extended after World War I to include all members of any military action.

While it is wonderful to see the parades and the other special events, I think we as a country must keep up our gratitude for military services persons and their families every day.

Sometimes we take for granted what we are as a country or what being a citizen of this great country really is. There are people fighting in every corner of the world defending our freedoms. While some might question the validity of the battles, that should not shadow in anyway the brave people that take on that battle just because we are a great country to defend.

A few weeks back there was a citizenship ceremony for people that had passed all the requirements to become US citizens. I am sure that this is an event that ordinarily happens with some regular occurrence. Except this particular one really touched me. This group of people were military service personnel. These were folks that willingly signed up to defend a country and it's citizens that they were not a citizen of themselves. I was awestruck! We take so many things for granted!

People argue that it is frustrating that people from other countries immigrate here to start a new life. And they complain this or that about a particular nationality that is cornering a particular trade or business. And maybe those new people are a little more abrupt than some would like. But we forget, that they chose the United States of America because it is truly a better place, well the best place to be.

So on this day, like we should any day, let's be grateful and say Thank You for the bravery of individuals that enlist their lives to keep this country great and free and the place that people want to come here to live!

Switching gears slightly I'd like to wish my princess Jacqueline a very happy birthday. It is hard to believe that my first born is 12 today. Where has the time gone?

Our baby girl who is intelligent, beautiful and full of sass, is going to experience her last year as a teenager and I can hardly believe.

So my dear, you are another year older and another year wiser and as you fully mature into that wonderful young woman that you are destined to be, always remember how much we love you!

A little something for you!

Have a great day everyone!

Friday, May 22, 2009

'Tis the Season....

Okay so here we are the start of Memorial Day Weekend. The "start" of summer.

Aside from the obvious, looking forward to gardening and bar-be-queing and spending more time outdoors we can say "Yeah!" for the greatest aspect of this time of year. Out come the white shoes!!

Now I have always been told that white shoes season was Memorial Day to Labor Day. That was a rule plain and simple. Even for the stylish senior gentlemen that matched up the white shoes with the white belt as well! Straying from this rule was the same as not mixing bleach and ammonia. Makes you gasp, your eyes water and just a bad decision overall.

Oddly enough no one really knew the origin of the white shoes rule, just that it existed. And the rumors of the social scorning that followed if you should even consider breaking said rule. While no one really knows, I would guess that it has something to do with not keeping shoes clean.

According to this article from the Shine ezine via yahoo, there is no standard about the white shoes when. We can just be foot loose and fancy free with our whites, not matter what the calendar says. This article also suggest that our purse and shoes don't have to match and we can mix silver and gold jewelrey together on a regular basis. What are they thinking?!?!

Now I am not a fashion plate by any means. My usual style is clean and matching hopefully. Somtimes I get sucked in by trendy and love it so much that I am bummed when I cannot find the "trendy" item three years later. lol But somehow breaking the white shoes rule is just too much for even me.

So as of Monday, Memorial Day I will dance around with the white shoes season, enjoying it, flaunting it even and then come Labor Day, I will put them away with my fine summer memories. The way it should be!

And for all of you fashion forward, breaking the basic fashion rules passed down from the ages gals...well have a great summer too!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

End of An Era... Happy Birthday Harold Robbins

Today marked the end of an era in our house. A short one, but an era none-the-less. Today Jonathan was officially finished with 3 year old Preschool!

To mark the occasion the morning and afternoon classes met together, played on the park district grounds, snacked together and after a final song (If You're Happy and You Know It-for the curious), each child was awarded their certificate of completion.

Here is Jonathan with his certificate!
So one year of preschool down, one year closer to college! lol

My other two finish school the first week of June. Stay tuned for the details.

Today's Birthday Shout out is the late great author Harold Robbins. Today is the 93rd anniversary of his birth.

I read my first Harold Robbins novel when I was a teenager. Always a good read, when I was younger I can certainly say that I got quite and education reading his books! lol

I was looking over his list of books and I remember some of them but now I know that I need a Harold Robbins refresher course!

I never knew that the movie "King Creole" starring Elvis was based on the novel "A Stone For Danny Fisher". Sort of cool.

So today I leave you with a clip of commercials from 1977. They are all sort of corny to watch, but at the 6:20 mark, there is a commercial for the Harold Robbins novel "Dreams Die First".

So, hunt your local library, your used book store or someone's book shelves and pick out a Harold Robbins novel, any Harold Robbins novel and enjoy a steamy good read! And please share, what is your favorite Harold Robbins novel? Looking forward to reading it in the comments!

On that note I leave you off to grocery shop. I am tired of the kids asking for more food! lol

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Blinky St. James

Sometimes when we are in our most comfortable stations, life comes by and reminds that there is more than comfort to living. There is loving and caring and being. There is witnessing what else there is out there and acting accordingly. There is just loving people regardless of the fact that you might not even know them.

On twitter I have had the privilege of meeting Elizabeth and Katy Hughes of the south bay area of California. They are a mother and daughter team, Elizabeth is a widow and Katy is a delightful young lady who is insightful, witty and has the potential to be a great artist someday. The most amazing this about these two ladies is their perseverance as that they are homeless.

Elizabeth and Katy lost their husband/father when Katy was 6. Subsequently they have been living on survivor's benefits from social security and a job that Elizabeth held. A while back Elizabeth had lost her job and last year the survivor's benefits got cut in half because Katy turned 16. Now all they get is money for Katy herself monthly. Both ladies have health problems, they cannot afford rent and other expenses. They have had some short term apartments over the last few years, but except when they are blessed with someone donating money for a motel room, they sleep in their car.

I have read their blogs and you know, they are not happy with the situation at all, but somehow they are doing their best to keep their spirits up and I am awed by them.

My Dad used to have a saying, "I was sad because I had no shoes until I saw a man with no feet." I cannot think of better fitting words.

So the main reason I am writing today is that it is Katy's birthday. She is 17. Along with sending her my best thought, prayers and birthday wishes, I was hoping that we could all pitch in for her. They are currently staying in a motel through this morning and then they are back in the car. Maybe if we all pitch in we can come up with enough to keep them in the motel for a few more nights that would be a great gift to Katy. Not exactly a new purse or some new clothes, the typical 17 year old gifts, but at least they would not be sleeping in their car.

Okay here are the details. Elizabeth's website is God's Power and Love and Katy's website is Destination Anywhere But Here.

Elizabeth's email address is Paypal donations can be sent to that address.

On twitter Elizabeth is known as @imexhausted and Katy is @blinkystjames. Follow them they are great gals!

Whatever we all can do for them would be great. They just need a hand!

So Happy Birthday Katy! and many many more. And for you a little Michelle Branch.

I hope that we can help them. And Please pass this blog around to other friends, the internet is a great big place and we all can help if we try!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's Tuesday! ROAK Day

Good Morning to all!

Just a quick hello for the moment.

I just wanted to remind you that it is ROAK Tuesday. And let's do something fun today. When you get a chance come back and visit after your ROAK and let everyone know in the comments what you did. It is always fun to share!

Have a great day!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Jonathan

This is my youngest Jonathan and somehow to my dismay he turned 4 today. Where did the time go!?!?!

Of our three kids he is the one that has pushed my limits the farthest and made me grow the most as a person. Personality wise, he is so different than my other two, he certainly is the most outspoken!

Happy birthday my darling son! I am so blessed to have you in my life!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

50 Things About Me


Sometime last year, in an email group that I am on, we were asked to post 50 things about us that the group did not know. Since my blog is relatively new, I thought I would post the list here to give you an idea about me. So here goes.
1.My Middle name is Anne as is my Mom's, my daughter's and our dog Pumpkin
2.I have three children 1 daughter and 2 sons
3.Other than last names, everyone in my household share part of their name with another realtive.
4.I have so much trivial knowledge stuck in my head, I think it spills out of my ears sometimes!
5.I have been married for almost 13 years
6.Jim was a blind date, we met 10-30-92 and haven't been apart since!
7.I try to be all things to everyone and sometimes, I just get tired.
8.I am a really good problem solver.
9. Growing up I had few friends, but my books were my best friends.
10.I always thought I wasn't a picky eater, but the list of things I won't eat grows every day.
11.I never met chocolate that I didn't like
12.I have crafted forever
13.My Grandma Tomlin taught me to crochet when I was 8
14.I have problems understanding instructions without diagrams
15.I have a million great ideas, but my execution stinks. lol
16.Every morning and every night I pray for all living beings to find peace and comfort.
17.About once a year I try to be vegan, but it does not last long.
18.Last year briefly, I considered letting my natural color grow out. Briefly
19.I used to be a hairdresser, loved doing the hair, hated finding hair on me at the end of the day.
20.My greatest fear is that something will happen to one of my kids.
21.I cry at everything all the time, always have.
22.I have a paper obsession!
23.First time I saw the Cricut Expression in a print ad and read the description, my heart was pounding!
24.When I am nervous, I laugh which tends to disturb people.
25.My brother broke my nose when I was 18
26.I am one of two children
27.I am a bad house keeper. Better Homes and Garderns will never be at my house for a photo shoot!
28.From 1987 to 1999 I moved 9 times between 2 states
29.Once a year I decide that we have to sell our house and move somewhere else. Usually means I am bored so then I paint or rearrange furniture.
30.I live on 1.5 acres, 20 minutes west of Chicago
31.My Dad and I have identical baby pictures
32.My kids fill my heart further than I thought it could be possible
33.I try hard, but sometimes I think I fail them
34.I won 3rd place in the fish category at a grilling contest for a radio station. I made shark with fruit salsa
35.#34, there were 7 entries! lol
36.My senior picture from high school, I look just like my Mom
37.There is a Christmas picture floating around in my family that I am modeling a gift of rainbow socks on my ears.
38.I make cream puffs from scratch. That is my signature dessert.
39.I have Christmas every year, it is easier on my kids.
40.I did not like dogs until I met my husband and his dog Baron.
41.My first husband didn't want kids. After I got divorced, every guy I met knew up front that kids were a deal breaker.
42.Most times things that bother other people do not phase me, I am oblivious to it all
43.I do not think I can write a short sentence!
44.It has taken me almost 45 years to have a true feeling of who I am and who I want to be
45.My favorite movie is Moonstruck
46.I read about 25 blogs daily
47.I tend to talk back to the TV or computer when I do not agree
48.I could eat shrimp every day
49.I would love to make a living from creating
50.Regardless of how the day went, good or bad, I thank God for everything!

So that is me in a nutshell. This has been fun. It would be cool for you to share somethings about you in the comments!

Have a great day!

Monday, May 11, 2009

ROAK Tuesday~Happy Birthday Steve Winwood

Hello Everyone!!!

Today is Tuesday and I am beginning a new tradition for me. Today is ROAK Tuesday!

Do you remember I asked you last week to do a ROAK (Random Act of Kindness)? I am sure that it gave you a great feeling knowing that you were making someone's day! Okay so let's do it again!!!

Today's birthday shout out is Steve Winwood. He is 61 today.

Stevie, as I always knew him by, is a world class singer/songwriter and plays many instruments, especially the guitar and organ. Along with his chart topping solo career he has been in the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic and Blind Faith. He has been paired with the likes of Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Lou Reed, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Joel and many others.

His song writing credits include "Gimmie Some Lovin'" (what would the Blues Brothers be without that song?) "I'm A Man" "All Along the Watchtower" and other songs as well. One of my fave is from the "Traffic" days "Low Spark of High-heeled Boys".

That song was co-written with Jim Capadli. Thought the general premise might have started out different, in an interview Stevie said that it was about the record business.

I have made a card as an inspiration piece. The front features lyrics from the song "If I gave you everything that I owned and asked for nothing in return would you do the same for me as I would do for you?" The front and the inside are hand stamped in a cloud pattern similar to the original album cover that the song was release on. Here is a picture of the album cover:

Now here is my card. It is available for purchase in my etsy shop. You can click on the picture to get to my shop!

Okay so let's wrap this Birthday Shout Out with 2 videos. The first is the "Low Spark of High-heeled Boys" from Traffic.

And the second is "Valerie" a Steve Winwood solo piece.

Happy Birthday Stevie Winwood, we love your music and keep churning them out!

So have a great day and don't forget ROAK Tuesday!

Martha Graham

Happy Monday Everyone!

Today we will get right to our birthday shout out and that is the late Martha Graham. Today she would have celebrated her 115th birthday.

While many might know her, Martha Graham was a important person in my family's make up; being that we have a hardcore dancer in the family. You see Martha Graham was the one of the dancers that broke away from the traditions and techniques of classic ballet to perform "Contemporary" dance. Dancing that contained emotion and free movement. Dancing that allowed the dancers to make good use on gravity instead of the lightness of ballet.

Martha Graham did not herself develop Modern Dance, she surely had a hand in it's development. She danced well into her later years, was the first dancer to perform at the White house and traveled as an ambassador of goodwill. She was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Here is a clip that I found on You Tube. The lead dancer in the long dress with the cape is Martha Graham performing!

As you watch that clip you can even see where hip-hop dancing has grown out of due to dancers like Martha Graham!

So Thank You Ms. Graham for all your contribution to Modern Dance. I know that my daughter sure appreciates the work that you have done!

Have a great day everyone and I will talk with you soon!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to every Mom out there!

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Big Reveal...

Well is is Happy Tuesday!

Happy Cinco De Mayo to all! Let's celebrate just because we can!

First the big reveal...

If you recall, I started out with just materials yesterday

And now today we have this..


Actually this is an inspiration piece as well. Our nephew Levi is graduating from Colorado State next week. I am sending one of these cards to him!

If you have a graduate that you would like to congratulate, this card is in my etsy shop here.

Today's birthday shout out is from Ann B. Davis who is 83 today. Our beloved Alice from the Brady Bunch.

Seriously who didn't love Alice? My favorite "Alice" episode is when she secretly sent Jan the locket because she was a middle child like her. (Actually, Jan was sooo misunderstood. lol). And by the Brady reunion time to know that Alice and Sam the butcher finally tied the knot, well that made the whole thing!

So I could not find a Brady Clip that I like so here is a commercial from the '80s in her Alice character for Shake-n-Bake.

Thank you Ann B. Davis for your very many Brady years. Happy Birthday and many, many more!

One more thing..
My other blog, It's A Fairy World, my topic is kindness today. Would you please carry out at least one ROAK today. For me? Please? Thank you in advance!

Have a great day!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Audrey Hepburn

Howdy Howdy Howdy

It is Monday! Everyone stand up and cheer. This means that all that crap that occured last week has washed away to a beautiful new week! Yea!

So what are we going to do this wonderful new week. Work, explore, take care of business. What ever we stinking want to!

So now that's out of the way.

I am working on graduation cards that will be available tomorrow. Here are all of the materials. I feel like the cooking show, here are all of the ingredients and let's she what she can cook up in just 15 minutes! They should be cool, I can see them in my head. lol

Today is Star Wars Day. "May the 4th be with you!"

Today is also the anniversary of the birth of Ms. Audrey Hepburn. She would have been 80 today.

I do not remember really any of her movies sadly, the clip of My Fair Lady seems familiar. And I know that she made the original movie Sabrina (which the remake is one of my favs). What stands out about Audrey Hepburn to me is class and a great sense of the importance of helping others. She was a world class humanitarian working with UNICEF and she blazed the trail for the likes of actors like Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie to get involved with matters other than Hollywood.

Here is clip from Roman Holiday that is very cute:

I think there is an Audrey Hepburn film festival in our future!

Well every one have a great day and

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day ~ Happy Birthday Kate Smith

Hello To All!

I hope that this post finds you well on this May Day.

So what is May Day other than and distress signal? Actually it is rather interesting.

In the Celtic traditions, pre-Christianity, May Day signified the festival of Beltane. Which was the start of the summer season. The herds of livestock were driven to the fields and a new fire was built that would be kept going all the way til it was time for the next festival.

May Day is also a cross quarter day, marking the half way point between the sun's journey from spring equinox and the summer solstice.

The May Pole was a fixture in many towns and was decorated for this festival to signify to new growth and vitality of Spring. Traditions like hanging flowers on doors of the homes in the villages and picking a May Queen become more prominent in the late 1700's and are of the British and Puritan influence.

In the late 1800's May Day became the symbol of international labor as worker's gathered together to demand better working conditions including the 8 hour work day. This relates to the Haymarket Square affair in 1886 Chicago. After employees decide to strike a machinery plant when fellow workers were killed due to unsafe conditions. This lead to further protest, a bombing in the crowd with a lot of bloodshed and the eventual public hanging of 7 convicted criminals. Ewww

In 1958 President Eisenhower signed a proclamation naming May 1 as Loyalty Day. A day to re-proclaim our loyalty to our country. Some areas of the country celebrate this with parades and festivals.

Which brings us to our Birthday Shout Out which is the late Kate Smith. Today she would have been 92. She was a talented singer that was featured on radio shows in the 1930's and beyond. Her most memorable recording was her rendition of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America".

You had a wonderful gift Ms. Smith and we are all grateful for you sharing it.

So we have come full circle celebrating the beginning of the growing season, to the celebration of labor to the very reminder why we as so blessed with the freedoms we have.

Go out and dance around the May Pole or just brings some fresh flowers in your home. Celebrate what a great country we have. And celebrate all of those who fight to keep our country great!