Here’s To The Arrival of Spring…………………..

whenever that may be because this is the view from my apartment today………………

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PLEASE SPRING SHOW UP SOON!!!

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Road Trip: The Carolinas

Hi Vixens!!!  I spent a week in February in the Carolinas visiting my brother and two of my cousins.  The week before I went they had weather in the mid 50’s.  I got there and realized the northeast weather followed me down south!!!  Almost every day (and night) was single digit temperatures!!!  Say it with me:  UGH!!!

Aside from the frigid weather, it was great to get away and visit with family-and do some antiquing, of course!!!

On my trip down, I stopped at the Factory Antique Mall in Verona, VA.

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I saw some great vintage items that I had as a kid like…

Barbie’s camper (I LOVED playing with this….):

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And this sweet little suitcase that screams the 70’s:

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And some Peanuts items (I still have the thermos, the other two items were after my time):

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And my favorite gum in the world (and the best comics after the Peanuts):

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This reminded me of when I would go to the beauty parlor with my mom or my grandma (so retro!!!):

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And I love to look at classic vinyl:

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There were some great items I would love to own and repurpose some day like this vintage Maytag clothes washer (look at the rust…sa-woon!!!):

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Or this Coke cooler which would make a great kitchen island or buffet:

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I would love one of these for blankets someday:

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And who does not find little shoes irresistible!!!:

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They were some great old toys, too (one of my brothers had a similar fire engine!!!):

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And there is always a creepy one……..:

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And at least one whole booth dedicated to Fiestaware:

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And a sign I LOVED but have absolutely no place for it:

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On the way home I drove right into a snow storm in Virginia:

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But thanks to the folks at the Howard Johnson’s  in Lexington, VA I had a warm place to wait out the storm.  This was the view from my room:

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The next day it was clear as a bell:

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Before I got on the road, I stopped at my favorite on-the-road place for breakfast (or any meal, for that matter):  Cracker Barrel!!!

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The hostess always sit me as close to the fire as possible without me having to ask-just one of the many reasons why I love this chain so much:

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And even though it was before noon, I indulged in the best diet root beer I ever had:

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And fell in love with an old print ad (sorry for the blurriness but the angle was bad and I did not want to bother the people at the next table):

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And ate a delicious breakfast:

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All in all, it was a great trip as usual!!!

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #1

The #1 song on the countdown was called “the greatest love song of the past 50 years” when it was released in 1969 by none other than Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.  It also has the distinct honor of being the most covered Beatles song second only to “Yesterday”.  The top song on my list is…drum roll please…”Something” by the Beatles.

Inspired by James Taylor’s 1968 song “Something In The Way She Moves” and written by George Harrison for his first wife, Pattie Boyd, the song was the masterpiece of his career as a Beatle.  It was released on the album “Abbey Road” and issued with “Come Together” as a double single which hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1969.

That was the Beatles 18th chart topper, putting them one song ahead of Elvis Presley’s previous record of 17.  A video of the Beatles and their wives set to the song was also released that year to promote it and the album amid rumors that a break up of the Fab Four was imminent.

Harrison’s lyrics expressed  both his love for his wife while acknowledging the uncertainty that is the future:

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me

You’re asking me will my love grow
I don’t know, I don’t know
You stick around now it may show
I don’t know, I don’t know

Legends including Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Elton John & Willie Nelson have covered “Something” either on record or live in concert.  Sadly Harrison’s marriage to Boyd did not grow, as she eventually left him for his best friend, Eric Clapton.  But that’s another song (“Layla” to be exact).

After the Beatles broke up, Harrison went on to have a successful solo career and hosted one of the first benefit concerts ever-1971’s Concert for Bangladesh.

The Beatles were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1988 by Mick Jagger and Harrison was inducted as a solo artist in 2004 by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, who were members of Harrison’s other band-the Traveling Wilburys .

As if the attacks of 9/11/01 were not devastating enough to the world that year, two months after those tragedies we lost George Harrison to cancer, which left only two of the four Beatles around to carry on the legacy of one of the greatest bands of all time.  Sigh 😦

There you have it, Vixens-my picks for the top 14 love songs.  Hope I included some of your favorites or helped you discover some new ones.

***BONUS:  One of my favorite songs is named “Valentine” and it is by E Street guitarist Nils Lofgren, with a little help from the Boss himself.

***BONUS TWO:  If you have never seen the Golden Girls episode entitled “Valentine’s Day“, take about 20 minutes out now to watch it.  I love all their episodes, but this one is in their top 10.

Enjoy!!!

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #2

The next singer on the countdown had what I believe was the greatest voice EVER.  No one before or since can sing a song with such a heart wrenching achingly impassioned vocal that was Otis Redding’s signature sound.  His talent for writing songs was also phenomenal, as he either wrote or co-wrote such classics as “Respect”, (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”,  “I Can’t Turn You Loose”, “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”, “These Arms of Mine” and the #2 song on the countdown, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long“.

Co-written with Jerry Butler and released in the spring of 1965, the song hit #2 on Billboard’s R&B chart & #21 on its  Hot 100 chart, giving Redding his first hit song.  The lyrics are simple, straight forward yet unbelievably powerful in Redding’s pleading vocal:

My love is growing stronger, as you become a habit to me
Oh, I’ve been loving you too long
I don’t wanna stop now

This song is ranked #110 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list, with Redding ranked at #8 on their list of the 500 Greatest Singers of All Time.  If you have never heard this man’s glorious voice or this song, please listen to it now.  You have been denied this gift long enough.

Or better yet, watch Redding’s entire performance from 1967’s  Monterey Pop Music Festival.  This song comes on at the 6:53 mark, but all 5 songs Redding delivers in his high energy persona are worth the watch (not to mention a glimpse of Booker T & the MG’s and the Mar-Keys providing the music to his phenomenal show) .  If you have never seen any part of this performance, it will change your life.  Nothing I write will come close to describing this legend of soul.

Redding was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 by Little Richard.

In the blog featuring the #10 song on the countdown, I wrote that the end to Jackie Wilson’s story was one of the saddest in music.  Well, Redding’s is the first, in my humble opinion.  His entire music career took place by the time he was 26 years old, with the exception of his only #1 record which hit that spot several weeks after his death (for “Dock of the Bay”, which also earned Redding two posthumous Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Performance and Best R&B Song).  Add to that the fact that Redding left behind a young wife, three very small children and only gave us a glimpse of what his voice could have done for the world throughout his future career, and the story is almost too sad for words.

Redding died in a plane crash in Wisconsin’s Lake Monona on December 10, 1967.  Five members of his touring band, the Bar-Kays, were also killed.

I have been to the R&R HOF twice since it opened, and while I loved the history of it all and the spectacular artifacts on display to help illustrate the story that is rock & roll, it was unbelievably daunting to come thisclose to the display showcasing parts of the twin-engine Beechcraft plane wreckage Redding was killed in.  The fact that we have lived without his voice for almost half a century is heartbreaking enough on its own.

At least we had him for a little while.  What a gift he was to music.

Enjoy!!!

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Song #3*****

*****Blogger’s Note:  Sorry for the delay, Vixens.  Computer/technical/life difficulties prevented me from finishing the countdown last month.  I will finish it over the next three days and then we will resume our regularly scheduled programming!!!  Thanks for your patience!!!*****

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How do I love Bruce Springsteen?  Let me count the ways.  I can’t-there are just too many.  He is one of my heroes,  not just in music but in life.  I hope I get the chance to thank him in person one day for everything he has given me.

One of those things is the #3 song on the countdown, “If I Should Fall Behind“, from his 1992 album, Lucky Town.  This song is one of the most honest accounts of “what this world can do” to people in a relationship they spent so many years building, but with a little foresight and a lot of commitment, maybe they can side step the landmines if they remember they are in it together:

“We swore we’d travel darlin’ side by side
We’d help each other stay in stride
But each lover’s steps fall so differently
But I’ll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me

Now everyone dreams of a love lasting and true
But you and I know what this world can do
So let’s make our steps clear that the other may see
And I’ll wait for you
If I should fall behind
Wait for me”

When he performs this song in concert, it is such a special moment with him and his different band mates taking a turn with the lyrics.  But Springsteen and his guitar remain the steady constant presence on the stage throughout the entire song.   Very comforting.

One of the things I cherish most about the Boss is that he never, even in his younger days, painted a sappy picture of love and romance.  There was always the element of truth that even love was not always enough.  For instance, in the song “I Want To Marry You” (from The River album), he sang:  “To say I’d make your dreams come true would be wrong, but maybe darlin’ I could help them along.”  Pure poetry, utter truth.

Bruce Springsteen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1999 by U2’s Bono.

Enjoy!!!