“Another Year Over, A New One Just Begun…..”

Hello, Vixens!!!  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, happy holiday or just time to yourself, depending on what or how you celebrated.  It is always mind boggling to me that with all the months and weeks of preparation, the festivities just fly by!!!

Like so many of us tend to do this time of year, I find myself looking back on the year we are about to say goodbye to as I plan and hope for the new one ahead.  But in looking back, my memories wander past 2015 to so many other years gone by and the precious pieces of time those years have taken with them.

I wonder how it is possible that I am now older than my mother was when she died at the young age of 36.  Or that even though my dad lived to be twice her age, these last four years without him have been the loneliest I have ever known.  And how much I miss calling my paternal grandmother every night despite the fact that she died 14 years ago.  Some habits just do not go quietly.

My parents at their engagement party in 1961 & on their wedding day in May 1962.

I know a lot of people who say they feel their loved ones around them and that is a comfort.  I long for that feeling.  For me, the pain of my losses is so real and present every single day I feel more like John Nash (who died this year) in “A Beautiful Mind”, minus the mental illness induced hallucinations, of course.  My family is real, they are just not here anymore.  But I feel as if they are following me around like Nash’s imagined college roommate Charles did.  I can talk to my family in my head and imagine what they would say, but they ignore me the way Nash had to ignore Charles for his own good.  But how heartbreaking was it when Nash confessed to his wife,  “sometimes I really miss talking to him.”

My family does not ignore me intentionally, it is just a result of the veil that separates our roads.  I may see them, or hear them, and I know they are there, yet there is no way to touch them or feel them.  And sometimes the need to do that is so overwhelming I cannot breathe, which almost makes me wish they would just disappear for a minute or two so I could catch my breath.

Idie's wedding picture

My paternal grandparents on their wedding day in April 1934.  Unfortunately I never knew my grandfather , but my grandmother (Idie) raised me after my mother died. 

But like Nash, I always see them and it is up to me to know that some days will be worse than others.  And on the really bad days, I have to close my eyes to my family just to get through.  But eventually I will have to open my eyes again and when I do, I see that veil that stands between us so clearly.  They may be my family but heartbreakingly, they are in my past and as Nash said about his hallucinations, “They are my past. Everyone is haunted by their past.”  Incredibly big sigh.

Thank you all for being a part of my past year on this blog.  Your support means so much to me and I sincerely hope you will continue with me in the future.  I wish you all love, blessings, luck, happiness, health, great music and great finds in the year ahead and beyond!!!

Here is my last song recommendation for 2015.

Enjoy!!!

Happy-New-Year-2016-Banner-1[1]

 

Advertisements

Christmas Song Of The Day #16 & Some Holiday Decor

Merry Christmas, my dear lovely Vixens!!!  Hope you are in the throes of the nicest holiday celebration you have ever known!!!  Before we get to the final Christmas Song Of The Day, I would like to share some of my holiday décor with you.

Around the time I moved into my house, Hallmark released a series of ornaments to celebrate “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.  A different keepsake was released each week or so until you collected the whole set.  To promote this line of collectibles, Hallmark had four foot tall cardboard cutouts of Charlie Brown in his winter attire in the store.  From the second I walked into the store, I knew one of those cutouts had to be mine.  Luckily, the store manager was agreeable and sold it to me at a very fair price (let’s face it, he could have price gauged me and I still would have bought it!!!)  Since then, that cut out has been part of my Christmas décor and celebration year after year.  🙂

iPhone as of 12 24 15 383

I am pretty traditional with my decorations-real wreath on the front door and real tree in the house.  I usually always have a white poinsettia, too which reminds me of my grandmother as she loved them so.  She preferred the red ones but since I do not care for that color I opt for the white version.  This year I am sorry to write that was a fail as it fell out of my car when I opened the door to get it and died at my feet.  Ugh.  Next year I will buy two.

This sweet vintage snowman sign sits on the back of my front door.  I found him at an antiques store in Cincinnati in 2011 when my cousin & I went there on our way to the 127 Sale (a/k/a the World’s Longest Yard Sale).  I fell in love with his sweet teddy bear-like face!!!  Don’t you just love the top hat!!!

iPhone as of 12 24 15 388

Because my apartment is small I thought little pops of color would go a long way.  I filled a hurricane vase with some vintage ornaments to give the bathroom a little sparkle of its own.  It looked lonely by itself so I added a candle and an ornament (yes, that is Pig Pen next to a snowman.  My Peanuts obsession is real and deep, people!!!  LOL!!!)

iPhone as of 12 24 15 392

The Christmas song of the day is a simple wish for joy and peace.  Whether it is global peace, inner peace or a way to get through a personal war you may be fighting, my wish is that we all find whatever we need by next Christmas.  I hope you enjoy “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon & the Plastic Ono Band.

151499-john_lennon_contest_617_409[1]

Source:  billboard.com

Merry Christmas, Vixens!!!

 

 

Christmas Song Of The Day #15

Hello, Vixens & Merry Christmas Eve!!!  We have arrived at the 24th of December.  I hope you are all basking in the beauty of this moment and letting go of whatever you possibly did not get to do yet.  Take comfort in a job well done and let yourself enjoy the day.  If you have approached the season with a less is more approach, may you continue to focus on what matters most not just during this season, but every day of the year!

139330182191300728kf3Mcbqpc[1]

Source:  indulgy.com 

There really was only one song I thought was perfect for today, but since there are about 100 versions to choose from, picking one was not an easy task.  Until I remembered this version by Andrea Bocelli.  It features one of the most beautiful arrangements I have ever heard, courtesy of multi-Grammy winning songwriter and producer David Foster.  The orchestra is simply gorgeous and compliments Bocelli’s voice perfectly.

Truth be told I could do without the appearance of a children’s choir at the end for two lines (the song just does not need anything more than Bocelli’s voice and the exquisite arrangement).  Most of the song is done in Italian until the end when he sings a chorus in English.  I have adored Bocelli’s voice from the fist time I heard him perform “Time To Say Goodbye” with Sarah Brightman.  It is strong, deep, passionate and unbelievably beautiful.

I remember going to Christmas Mass as a child with my mother and her mother, and singing this song along with the rest of the people in the church.  All the Christmas songs the congregation sang were special, but this always seemed to be the loudest one, as if every one was participating.  As we attended a Catholic church, I should not have found that surprising.  The song focuses on the religious part of the holiday so if you believe in that theology, then “Silent Night” is probably one of your favorite holiday songs.

Please remember I do not own the rights to anything, I am just sharing some of my favorite music with you.

Enjoy & Merry Christmas!!!

andrea-bocelli-cover-art-no-text-1351607121-view-0[1]

Source:  classicfm.com

 

Christmas Song Of The Day #14

Hello, Vixens!!!  Happy Christmas Eve eve!!!  I hope at this point you have put the to-do list away and you are doing nothing more than enjoying this festive season with those you love.  I am sure you have done more than enough to make the holiday special so stop chasing perfect because it does not exist…..except in music, of course!!!  LOL!!!

images[3]

Source:  apartmentsilike.wordpress.com

When I was looking for a video of this song on YouTube I came across this clip which is a real gem.  It features three of my all-time favorite people:  Nat King Cole, Danny Kaye & Mary Tyler Moore.  What a find!!!

The description states it is from Danny Kaye’s Christmas Special in 1963.  I have not had the time to research it more, but that will not stop me from sharing it with all of you because I love it SO MUCH!!!

The three of these people have a place in Christmas history on their own:  Cole’s recording of “The Christmas Song” is undoubtedly the most popular & most well-known version of that song, Kaye was one of the stars of the movie “White Christmas” and Moore celebrated the holiday on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” & her own show.

We have been singing this song for years, and hopefully in 2016 it will finally come true for all of us, wherever we call home.  Here is “Let There Be Peace On Earth“.

Please remember I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some of my favorite music with you.

Enjoy!!!

4829fa95c869d6e9a1d1280914e1723c[1]

Source:  pinterest.com (Original source unknown)

 

 

 

 

Christmas Songs of the Day 12 & 13

Hello, Vixens!!!  Sorry I missed all of you yesterday but unfortunately, technical difficulties prevailed.  Ugh.  So first, let me wish you a happy Winter Solstice!!!  Two, to make up for missing yesterday, I will share two favorite holiday tunes with you today!!!

8941cce5863830424b15cf91abf2b572[1]

Source:  Heartfelt Finds 

Up first is a familiar song that has closed out two of the most famous Christmas specials out there:  “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “It’s A Wonderful Life“.  So many people have covered this tune so I have too many favorites to list here.  But this year I have been listening to Amy Grant’s version of “Hark! The Herald Angels” the most.  Not a lot of bells and whistles, just her voice strong and clear and in the same version I remember best from my childhood.  Sometimes simple says it best of all 🙂

amygrant1-300x252[1]

Source:  entertainment.caller.com

Next is a more modern song (despite the fact that it came out almost 40 years ag0) that almost instantly became a holiday staple from the minute it was first released, despite coming out in April not December.  For anyone who has ever been away from home for an extended period, from service men & women to college students to married couples who moved away from their families for various reasons, this song welcomes them all home and more.  It’s Kenny Loggins with “Celebrate Me Home“.

Please remember I do not own the rights to anything, I am just sharing my favorite music with you.

Enjoy!!!

MI0003569032[1]

Source:  allmusic.com

 

 

Christmas Song Of The Day #11

Hello, Vixens & happy Sunday to all of you!!!  As we continue our countdown to Christmas, I hope you enjoy another one of my favorite holiday songs!!!

christmasfireplacescene[1]

Source:  worshiphousemedia.com

Every once in a while a singer comes along who changes the game and takes it up much more than a notch.  Sometimes its the timing that’s perfect, or the song, or the arrangement or the singer.  Sometimes, when the voice is really spectacular, it’s all of those things combined.  That was the certainly the case with Karen Carpenter.

As one half of the brother and sister duo, her voice became the sound of soft romantic music in the 1970’s.  Even if their music was not your particular favorite, there was no denying the beauty or subtle power of Karen Carpenter’s voice.  Her brother, Richard, knew exactly how to write and arrange music that perfectly suited her vocal range, which only added to the magic of the recordings they made together.  Add in the fact that she was also one of the first drummers in an all male setting made Karen Carpenter a real hero to so many women and little girls, me included.  In fact, I started to learn how to play the drums in fourth grade because of her, and stayed with it throughout elementary school as the only girl playing drums with the boys.

If I think about her life too closely, it is hard not to feel sorry for how things unfolded for her:  a rigorous touring schedule that left her little time for a personal or social life, a failed marriage when she just wanted to be happy and have a family like most women her age and a battle against a disease that would eventually claim her life at the age of 32.

So I’d rather focus on the beautiful music she left us, from “Superstar” (remember Chris Farley & David Spade singing this in “Tommy Boy“?), “Rainy Days and Mondays“, “Close To You” (also featured in the movie “Parenthood“), “Goodbye To Love“, “Yesterday Once More“, “We’ve Only Just Begun” and so many more.

The Carpenters also made several holiday recordings but my favorite one is The Christmas Song.  Karen’s voice is crystal clear, soft and completely mesmerizing.  She had an incredible gift.

Please remember I do not own the rights to anything, I am just sharing my favorite songs with you.

Enjoy!!!

la-re-place-carpenters18feb18-3[1]Source:  latimes.com

Christmas Song Of The Day #10

Hello, Vixens!!!  How are all of you lovelies doing today?  How can it be that we have arrived at the final weekend before Christmas???  A week from today, it will be behind us and we will be at those fabulous after Christmas clearance sales!!!  But before I get too ahead of myself, let me share another fantastic holiday tune with all of you.

silverbells-pic[1]

Source:  noelladesigns.com

I told you in yesterday’s post how much I enjoy the big band sounds from the 1950’s.  Well I should have been clear:  I like big band music period.  The booming percussion, exploding brass sounds and piano combine with the rest of the instruments to make magic with every note.  And a fabulous singer only adds to the perfection.

Anthony Dominick Benedetto, better known as Tony Bennett, has sung with big bands since before he became a household name.  One of the bands he worked with on several occasions was Count Basie’s.  Even after Basie passed away in 1984, his band played on and collaborated with Bennett for the 2008 album, “A Swingin’ Christmas”.  Eleven Christmas classics are covered on this fantastic recording including my personal favorite, “Silver Bells“.  Coming in a very close second is “Christmas Time Is Here“, which just might be my favorite recording of this song, second only to the Peanuts version (read about that here).  Bennett recorded a few holiday albums, but “A Swingin’ Christmas” is definitely my favorite.

Please remember I do not own the rights to anything, I am just sharing my favorite music with you.

Enjoy!!!

tony-bennett3-2[1]

Source:  showbiz411.com