A Vintage Find & A Song

Happy Monday!!!

Are all of you staying warm in this deep freeze that is supposed to end this week?  By Friday in my part of New England, it is supposed to be near 50 degrees.  Right now, it is 13 degrees.  Wild, right?

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I came across a winter picture from my house in NY.  I always loved how my maple tree’s branches glistened after a storm.  But I do not miss shoveling snow!!!    🙂

Very quickly, did anyone catch the Golden Globes last night?  Shout out to “This Is Us” winner Sterling K. Brown!!!  So great to see legends like Shirley MacLaine & Carol Burnett there, too.  And so glad there were big wins for “Big Little Lies”, “Lady Bird” & “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”.  I saw all three and they were fabulous!!!  Plus, it is really nice to finally hear the conversations about valuing women with equal pay and zero tolerance for harassment.

Now that you have graciously allowed me my soap box moment, let me share with you my first vintage find from my first estate sale of 2018 (yes, I ventured out in this arctic freeze to dig, LOL!!!)

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Pretty, right?  I do not have any blue dishes as I try to stay with plain ones or white ones with light pink patterns, but I just fell in love with the soft color and the delicate design.  The edge of the dishes and the cup handles are lined with silver.  I think it will be gorgeous on a fresh spring table.  I really love them and I am so happy I found a complete service for four.

Since it is Monday, it is time for music.  The song I have chosen for this week’s inspiration is a hauntingly beautiful ballad written by the man who also penned “American Pie”.  The first time I heard today’s song, it immediately reminded me of one of my favorite Robert Frost poems, “The Road Not Taken”.  I always felt an incredible ache every time I got to to the last stanza of the poem because I believed the author felt regret with the choice he made.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

But then I read the poem to a sage friend of mine who thought the author was actually happy with the road he took.  Suddenly I realized how myopic my thinking was.  Of course there are two sides to the poem.  There is to everything.  You just have to choose to see them.

I do not think I am alone in feeling like at one time or another, I may have gone in the wrong direction than where life intended to take me.  But I have come to believe that in the end every road I have taken is my intended journey through life, so…….

There’s no need for turning back
‘Cause all roads lead to where I stand.
And I believe I’ll walk them all
No matter what I may have planned“.

Don McLean:  “Crossroads“.

Until next time, happy digging!!!

 

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A Word & A Song

Hello & happy 2018!!!

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Original source unknown

I do love the start of a new year-empty page, blank canvas and the rest of those similar metaphors.  I feel energized to tackle the items I did not take care of last month due to my end-of- the-year inevitable slowdown so I could divert my energy to all things holiday.  But yesterday I started  making my to-do lists again and I am eagerly looking forward to crossing off my completed tasks.

What I do not do, however, is make resolutions.  I learned a long time ago that word just sets me up for failure and I had enough of that when I tried to learn geometry in high school.  I do better by breaking the year up into four quarters and make a couple of goals to finish by the end of each one.  They range from choosing a vacation spot and putting a budget in place for it to listing some unwanted items on ebay to trying a DIY project or new recipe.

I am aware of the recent trend to pick a word to live by in the new year.  Way too much of a commitment for me, but if I use the same principal as above and choose a word for each quarter, then I will have four words for the year which is a lot more doable for me.

Grace

Original source unknown

My word for the first quarter of 2018 is grace.  I consider myself a kind and empathetic person so I usually have no problem showing it to others.  Of course, giving it to someone who intentionally hurts me is much harder to do, so I need to work on that.  But where I fail over and over again is honoring myself with the same favor.  I am so critical, so neglectful, so inpatient and so hard on my psyche that I need to just find a way to finally silence those disparaging, mean and useless voices.  I tell other people this but I need to remind myself as well that I am more than enough and that everything will be OK.

To help with this, I am using positive reinforcement.  I am going to give myself a song each week with a great message to remind me to show myself that grace.  Since I love music so very much, I feel like this is a total win-win.  This idea came to me two weeks ago when I was sitting in the Walter Kerr Theater for the Boss’s Broadway show.  As usual, his words hit that part of my soul that brings it peace.  That whispers to my heart that as long as I hear his voice, I am home.  And I belong.  In the same world that includes him.  And my heart is full again and ready to inhale and keep moving forward.  So when he got to this verse, I quietly sang right along with him:

Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted.”

Bruce Springsteen:  “The Promised Land“.

What do you do to motivate you?

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

Until next time, happy digging!!!

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25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 25

Merry Christmas, Vixens!!!  Buon Natale to my fellow Italians!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

joy-to-the-world-lightbox

 

(Original source unknown)

Let me begin by thanking all of you for your support not only over this last month, but throughout the year.  Having the chance to do what I love is a blessing in more ways than one.  This outlet centers me and keeps me focused on what is important when the ballast of every day living threatens to take over more often than it should.  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday & a Happy (& Blessed) New Year.

I will leave you with the final song of the Christmas music countdown along with a bonus song to begin 2018 as I take a break to recharge my batteries and relax for the last week of the year.

For the final Christmas song, I chose one by a singer who defines the Christmas season with his classic version of “The Christmas Song“.  With today’s pick, he sings a song celebrating the arrival of earth’s King.  In par with yesterday’s song, this tune celebrates the religious holiday as it is based on two Bible passages:  Genesis 3:17-18 and Psalm 98, 96:11-12.

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Nat King Cole (original source unknown)

Nat King Cole:  “Joy To The World

For the new year, my hope and wish is the same every year.  Maybe one day, peace will be a reality.  Here’s to 2018!!!

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Richard Marx (L) & Kenny Loggins (R) (original source unknown)

Richard Marx & Kenny Loggins:  “Let There Be Peace On Earth

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

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

peace

(original source unknown)

25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 24

Hello, Vixens!!!  Merry Christmas Eve!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

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 (Original source unknown)

Today’s song dates back to 1847 and combined the words of French poet Placide Cappeau and the music of Adolphe Adam.  The more familiar singing edition came to life in 1855 courtesy of Unitarian Minister John Sullivan Dwight.

In whatever language this song is sung, the message is clear:  to rejoice over the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.  No matter how many signs we see at stores that read “Jesus is the reason for the season”, it may be easy to forget that Christmas is a religious holiday for those who believe in him.  We all know how commercial this holiday has always been (even Charlie Brown commented on that in 1965) and how it is arriving earlier and earlier in stores and the media each year.  But the little Catholic school girl I used to be 100 years ago cannot choose any other song for Christmas Eve than the one which celebrates the greatest gift God gave us.

These are my top three favorite versions of this song:

aretha-franklin al-green-pic[1]Mahalia Jackson 
                                                                                             (Original sources unknown)                                        

Aretha Franklin:  “O Holy Night

Al Green:   “O Holy Night

Mahalia Jackson:  “O Holy Night

And for the sarcastic adult that I have become, I cannot resist including this irreverent version every year because it makes me laugh until I cry.

Eric Cartman:  “O Holy Night

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 (Original source unknown)

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

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

25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day 23

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

christmas-2

(Original source unknown)

The original version of today’s song hit #1 on the charts in 1949, but the TV special based on the song was not released until 1964.  It has been recorded over a dozen times and three of them are on my list of favorites.  Both the song & the special are holiday staples for anyone who grew up with the tradition of watching it every year.

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(Original source unknown)

Gene Autry:  “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”  (1949)

Ella Fitzgerald:  “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1960)

Burl Ives:  “Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer” (1964)

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

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

 

 

 

 

 

25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 22

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

silver-bells

(Original source unknown)

Today’s song is from 1950 and like others included in the countdown, it was featured in a movie (“The Lemon Drop Kid”).  As pretty as the melody is, the lyrics are what I like most about this song.  It paints such a descriptive picture of how the holiday looks and feels from the point of view of a city street as opposed to the coziness of home.  Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.  Perhaps that is what is meant by “the magic of the season”.

For someone who loves words as much as I do, there is no way I can listen to this tune and not marvel at how well the words not only tell the story, but show it as well.  And I am able to see it just as clearly in all four versions of this song I love the most:  swing/big band, country, soul & acoustic.

tony bennett     martina

                      Tony Bennett (R) & Martina McBride (L) (Original source unknown)

Wilson Pickett     she and him

                                   Wilson Pickett (R) and She & Him (L) (Original source unknown)

Tony Bennett & the Count Basie Orchestra:  “Silver Bells

Martina McBride:  “Silver Bells

Wilson Pickett:  “Silver Bells

She & Him:  “Silver Bells

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

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

25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day 21

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

durango-co-christmas

(Original source unknown)

My love for Motown is immense.  I have adored it since I was a kid, thanks to my parents.  They bought one of those K-Tel compilations which consisted of four albums of the Motor City’s greatest hits and the rest is history.

So many great songs and singers came out of that era, and to this day four of them are still on my list of favorite voices of all time:  Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, David Ruffin (lead singer of the Temptations) & Levi Stubbs (lead singer of the Four Tops.

Despite the fact that Motown gave us some of the greatest music ever made, so many of the holiday music recorded by those artists is hardly ever heard during the Christmas season.  With radio stations starting earlier and earlier every year to play holiday songs, I do not know how this era of music gets overlooked.  I listen to these four Christmas songs year round, and maybe after hearing them you will understand why.

marvin gaye     Temptations

Marvin Gaye (R) – The Temptations (L) (original sources unknown)

Stevie Wonderthe-four-tops-abdul-duke-fakir-levi-everett

Stevie Wonder (R) – The Four Tops (L) (original sources unknown)

Marvin Gaye:  “I Want To Come Home For Christmas

Stevie Wonder:  “What Christmas Means to Me

The Four Tops:  “Away In A Manger

The Temptations:  “Silent Night

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

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