So Long, January!!!

Hello, Vixens!!!  How crazy is it that we arrived at the end of January so quickly?  What did you take away from the first month of the year?

I took in my new place surroundings and pondered my decorating scheme, which I have yet to act on LOL!!!  But I did get some great inspiration (thank you Kathleen at Faded Charm), explored some more local sights, got back into my groove of “estate saling” (although I have not had a chance to really dig for a treasure yet but I am hopeful it will happen soon!!!), figured out some shortcuts to a few of my regular places (work, grocery store, antiques stores) and decided I have to get out more despite all that I have to do at home.  So I got my library card, joined a church and a book club.  For our meeting next month, we are reading “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng.  Have any of you read this yet?

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January also brought the first snowstorm of my CT residency.  To mark the occasion with more than just snow boots, I made home made chicken soup, which turned out pretty well for my first attempt at it.  I do not use salt at all due to its negative health benefits, so once I got the seasonings to a correct balance (pepper, oregano & basil), it was not bad if I do say so myself.  It was so hearty I did not even add noodles!!!

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But most of all for me, January was an unbelievably sad month for the music industry.  Losing an icon like David Bowie was an incredible blow, and we will not see a visionary artist like him again in our lifetime.  For a career to span as many decades as his and encompass as many musical genres as his did only underscores that point.  He left us with a parting gift, “Black Star“*** which is as classic and bold as we remember Bowie to be.

But in the end he was also a beloved man who was taken from his wife and family way too soon, and that is the worst part of the story.  Hopefully 2016 will be the year we finally see cancer obliterated from our world.

Bowie

Source:  YouTube (original source unknown)

Bowie’s loss was followed by those of Glenn Frey of the Eagles; R&B singers Otis Clay and Nicholas Caldwell, who was a member of the group, “The Whispers“; Rene Angelil, who brought us the voice of Celine DionPaul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane/Starship fame and one of his co-founders of Airplane, Signe Toly Anderson, who died on the same day.  What she and Kantner did in their band changed the landscape of music forever.  In the mid 1960’s, rock and roll bands were a boy’s only game:  The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Moody Blues, the list goes on and on.  But when Airplane was being formed, another co-founder Marty Balin along with Kantner, knew how important a female voice & presence was.  Anderson provided that until she left the band in 1966 to have a baby.  But the precedent was set and it was a vital turning point in rock and roll and music overall.  Think about who soon followed:  Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Carole King, Deborah Harry, et al.  Thank God for Balin’s & Kantner’s vision.

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Paul Kantner & Signe Toly Anderson, second and third from the left.  Source:  Tumbler (original source unknown).

And today marks what would have been the 70th birthday of Terry Kath, a founding member, guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for the band Chicago.  Kath was the unbelievably gorgeous voice behind classics such as “Colour My World” and “Make Me Smile“.  He was compared to Jimi Hendrix for his musical ability and to Ray Charles for his vocal style.  He died from an accidental gunshot infliction a week before his 32nd birthday in 1978.  He will be inducted posthumously into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of Chicago at the induction ceremony in April.

Kath

Source:  premierguitar.com

But things are starting to turn around.  Reports are circulating that Paul Rodgers, who’s latest solo release*** includes fabulous covers of classic songs like “Walk On By” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”, and Bad Company are working on a new record together, which I PRAY is true!!!  What a band!!!  Swoon!!!  But best of all Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” tour is in full swing to promote “The Ties That Bind:  The River Collection“***.  All is right in my world when the Boss is on the road and headed my way (next month in Hartford!!!)  Double swoon!!!

I do not own the rights to any of the music I am sharing with you, but the starred links*** are my affiliate links. I only share what I love and am grateful for the support 🙂

So, how was your first month of the year?

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

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Weekend Wanderings

Hello, Vixens!!!  How are all of you, especially those on the east coast with Winter Storm Jonas’ wrath behind-er, around you?  How did you spend your time snowed in?  Cuddling under a toasty blanket with you favorite book, person or pooch?  Or cooking big pots of stew and soup?  Or just catching up on sleep?  Whatever you did, I hope you and yours were safe and warm.

Peanuts snow day

Original Source:  Charles M. Schulz

Saturday brought us remnants of the storm and I reveled in the beauty of my first snow storm as a CT resident!!!  The snow did not start here until around noon and in total I think we received somewhere between 3-5 inches.  It was a little hard to tell for sure with the wind drifts.  Here is a picture I shared on Instagram about two hours in:

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I have trouble parting with my Christmas tree every year, especially when it still looks so healthy and green.  So instead of throwing it into the recyclable bin, I put it outside my front door after Little Christmas, or the Feast of the Epiphany.  It seemed to thrive despite the bitterly cold weather of late and the snow:

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I think I am going to use the shortening tin again next year to hold my tree.  I really like the way it looks.  I usually use a crock to hold it, but since this tin was bigger, I was able to get a larger tree.  What do you think?

As much as I should have spent my time inside unpacking my “Hoarders“-like apartment, I did the next two best things:  caught up on sleep and scoured the Internet for decorating inspiration.  I have a small wall in the bedroom part of my studio that I think would be perfect for a faux fireplace.  I got the inspiration from Kathleen at Faded Charm, who was kind enough to let me share two of her pictures with all of you:

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Courtesy of Faded Charm

Isn’t everything you see in the room simply stunning???  I really adore her style, especially how she strategically places pops of color amongst the neutral palette.  Look at the way she has displayed a chandelier on a stand:

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Courtesy of Faded Charm

I have a chandelier that I want to hang in my new apartment, but in case I cannot due to rule restrictions, I can do what Kathleen has done and add candles instead of bulbs for a gorgeous ambience.

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I just love the cut glass design on my chandelier:

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I also have a mirror that I hung over the fireplace mantel in my house.  I think it will be perfect for the faux fireplace project.  What do you think:

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So now starts the hunt for the perfect fireplace surround and mantel.  Maybe by the time I find it I will have room to use it if I can get passed my procrastinating ways.  If I don’t, the threat of a “Hoarders” episode is more real than imagined.  But then again, I would have a cleaning crew and a professional organizer to help me so it might be worth it!!!  Just kidding.  I am not really a hoarder, just an anti-proactive person who is a little lazy sometimes because daydreaming is soooo much fun!!!

Any tips for getting past my dreams and into action?

And how did you spend your weekend?

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

 

Weekend Wanderings & Happy Birthday, Betty White!!!

Hello, Vixens!!!  How are all of you doing?  Hope all is well.  How is it even possible that we are halfway through the first month of the year already???

I went to an estate sale on Saturday, but nothing really caught my eye or made my heart leap from joy.  So after I left there, I went exploring.  I ended up on a block named Lakeside for obvious reasons:  a lake is behind the houses on the block.

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Even driving to the estate sale the view was just so pretty.  I love to see water in the winter, especially when the sun is shining on it.  I see it as a reminder that some things are constant no matter what time of year it is.  I like that.

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You know how wood slice anythings are all the rage right now?  Well, take a look at this adorable little guy (or girl?) I came across.  Just too cute!!!

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Not far from the wood person, I saw a pretty little bird perched in a tree.  I guess he or she did not fly south for the winter.

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Please forgive the quality of the pictures, except the one of the bird.  They are all from my iPhone as my SLR camera is just refusing to work.  I am taking it in for an evaluation this week.  Fingers crossed that it is not completely dead.  I really do not need the expense of a new camera at the moment.

Sunday I spent trying to unpack since last month I got zero of that accomplished.  I previously mentioned that I had to move again at the end of last year.  Unbeknownst to me, the landlord of my last apartment had been trying to sell the place for over a year before he decided to rent it out.  Not long after I moved in, he received an offer and thanks to a legal glitch I knew nothing about, he was able to break our lease.  So I spent the month of November looking for a new place and moved on December 1st.

Because it all happened so fast, I completely forgot to take a picture of my new apartment before I moved in (sorry).  But I downsized from a roughly 750 square foot one bedroom place to a 400 square foot studio.  The one thing I learned from both living in my house and my last apartment is that I spend all my time in one room-my bedroom.  My TV is in there, and so is my laptop, my desk, etc.  So I sit at the desk to eat & watch TV, or lie in bed to use my laptop, read magazines or go through my mail.  And when I need to recharge my batteries, I curl up under the covers to read an old book or watch reruns of “The Golden Girls”.  On that note, happy 94th birthday to the sweetest, greatest friend any of us has ever had, Betty White!!!

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Source:  articlebio.com

So this time around when I went out to look for a new place to live, I realized I could save at least $200 per month if I rented a smaller place, not to mention my heating & cooling bills would be less, too.  Not too shabby.  Just think of all the vintage treasures I could buy with the money I save!!!  Even for a studio, my new place has a full kitchen (dishwasher included), a full bath, its own water heater and two big closets.  Here is how one of them looks right now:

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I know…..not pretty.  I am working on it.

So that was my weekend, Vixens.  How was yours?

Until next time, happy digging!!!

 

“And The Stars Look Very Different Today…”

Not even two weeks into the new year and we already have a devastating loss in the world of music.  David Bowie, the 1970’s rock icon who transformed himself over and over throughout his illustrious career, died after an 18 month battle with cancer on January 10.  He was 69 years old.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Young/REX (100574d) David Bowie DAVID BOWIE AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL - 1983

        Photo by Richard Young 1983

Born David Robert Jones in London on January 8, 1947, he changed his last name to avoid confusion with the other Davey Jones in The Monkees.  Bowie’s  musical career began with his break through album “Space Oddity” in 1969 and he spent the 1970’s establishing himself as a glam rock, art rock musician like no other with songs like “Changes“, “Golden Years“, “Rebel Rebel” and “Suffragette City“.  He easily segued from his Ziggy Stardust persona of the 70’s to the suave, well dressed gentleman in a string of 1980’s videos for hits like “Modern Love“, “Let’s Dance“, “China Girl” and “Blue Jean“.

Not only did Bowie do great work as a solo artist, but his collaborations were stunning as well.  Aside from his ground-breaking work with the likes of Lou Reed, Brian Eno and Iggy Pop, Bowie also worked with John Lennon on “Fame“,  covered the Motown classic “Dancing In The Streets” with Mick Jagger, joined Bing Crosby for a wonderful collaboration of “The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth” and teamed up with rock group Queen for “Under Pressure“, to name a few.  These collaborations showed how innovative, versatile and truly unique Bowie’s musical genius was.

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Source:  ultimateclassicrock.com

Bowie also had several acting roles, most notably in the movies (he played Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s film “The Last Temptation Of Christ” as well as roles in “The Man Who Fell To Earth” and “The Linguini Incident“) and on the Broadway stage (he played the title role in “The Elephant Man” in 1980-1981).  He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1996 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by David Byrne of The Talking Heads.  On January 8 2016, on what was Bowie’s 69th birthday, his last recording “Blackstar” was released.

My two best memories of Bowie after his collaborations are when the TV series “Without A Trace” used “Space Oddity” in Anthony LaPaglia’s signature episode entitled “John Michaels“.  The second was Bowie’s performance at the Concert For NYC in 2001.  He was humble and grateful to the men and women who kept his adopted home of Manhattan safe and showed that with a stand out performance of “Heroes”.  I cannot seem to find that performance online, so here is that song from his “Live By Request” show a year later in 2002.

Rest in peace, David Bowie.  “And may God’s love be with you”.

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Source:  livinglifeboomerstyle.com

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

The King And I

I can still remember the first time I saw Elvis Presley on TV.  (No, it was not his now infamous “Ed Sullivan” appearance.  I was too young for that.)  My mother was watching “Jailhouse Rock” one afternoon and I sat down to watch it with her.  I was not too happy the movie was in black and white, but when I remembered “The Addams Family” was also, along with certain reruns of “Bewitched” I rolled with it.

My mother began to explain the movie to me (“Elvis was not a bad man.  He just tried to help a woman stay safe from a man who was bad except the judge did not believe Elvis…”).  However, before I heard the rest of the story this beautiful but not bad man with the high hair and unbelievably great voice started to sing:  “The Warden threw a party in the county jail…”.   Sa-woon!!!  OK, I was only 6 or 7 so I did not know the meaning of that word then, but now that I do trust me, it fits!!!

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Publicity photo from the movie “Jailhouse Rock” (MGM Inc)

Before I knew it, the not bad man slid down the pole and was doing his hip-shaking, walk-dance amongst the other inmates.  I was mesmerized.  I remember saying to my mother, “Wow, what a great song” to which she replied, “Just wait until you hear him sing a slow song”.  And such was my introduction to Elvis Aaron Presley, not to mention the phenomenal songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.  Years later, I watched Presley’s film “Change of Habit” with my grandmother.  I could not believe his co-star was my beloved Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) as a nun!!!  But I digress.

Thanks to my mother’s love for Presley, I grew up listening to albums like “Elvis’ Christmas Album” (I still swoon over “Blue Christmas“), “A Date With Elvis”, “For LP Fans Only”, “Blue Hawaii”,  and the rest of the soundtracks.  As much as I love his rock & roll songs, my mother was right:  his ballads are beyond beautiful.  My personal favorite is “Can’t Help Falling In Love“, my mother’s favorite was “Love Me Tender“, but let’s not forget “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, “Crying In The Chapel“, “The Wonder Of You” or “In The Ghetto” just to name a few more.   I also love the version his daughter Lisa Marie Presley did in 2007 as a duet with her father.

I am profoundly sad to report that my mother’s records were lost when we moved into our house on Long Island.  Sigh.  But I have amassed my own collection of Elvis’ recordings with CD’s and vinyl whenever I am lucky enough to find the latter at garage and estate sales.  And on March 18, a limited edition 60 disc set of Presley’s recording will be released to honor the 60th anniversary of his first album release.  The box set will include three CD’s of rarity recordings and a 300 page book.   I am saving my pennies now.  If that is too much of an investment for your budget, try “Elvis 30 #1 Hits“.

In the meantime, enjoy the King’s performance from “Jailhouse Rock” as we remember him on what would have been his 81st birthday.

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Source:  vagalume.com

I do not own the rights to anything nor have I been sponsored in any way for this post.  I am just sharing some of my favorite music with you.

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

 

Weekend Wanderings

Hello, Vixens!!!  Happy 2016!!!  As this is the first Monday following all the holiday craziness, life goes back to normal today with the help of a clean slate in front of us in the form of this brand new year.

With such big changes in my life last year-moving to a different state, getting a new job, two apartment moves (I moved again in December which I will explain more in a future post), a lot of things I loved to do took a back seat to make room for the inevitable adjustments new beginnings bring.  The biggest things I miss are the estate and garage sales.  I want to get back in the game soon and luckily I live in an area where they take place all year round.  Plus, after watching the latest installment of the Hallmark series “Garage Sale Mystery: Guilty Until Proven Innocent”  last night, I am more than ready to dig again!!!

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Source:  Pinterest & howtocleanthings.com

But let’s not call that a resolution because I do not make those anymore.  I did at one time but for my own self-esteem I gave them up.  I used to fall into the trap of becoming a whole new person overnight-one who worked out religiously, ate healthy at every meal, organized her place and saved every single dime she could.  Yes, that all or nothing approach served me well until I went back to work and forgot how much sugar and chocolate is required to help me function.  So before the first week of the new year was over, I failed multiple times.  Woo-hoo 😦

But since I am not a quitter, my resolution-rather, my new life approach-is to stay in the moment.  Yes, the grocery store may already have Valentine’s Day candy on the shelves, but I am not going to buy what I need for that holiday until I am ready.  I came across these displays as I was running some errands this weekend:

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I know February 14 is basically a month away, but I need a second to catch my breath.  It has been nothing but commercial candy pushing since just after Labor Day because of Halloween, and with Easter coming early this year (March 27) we should see the baskets and jelly beans on the shelves any second now.  But I am going to hold firm to enjoy where I am now without losing this moment for what is just around the corner.

So what did you do this weekend?  And do you make resolutions for the new year?

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