Beware The Ides Of May……..

Yesterday I survived my first-and hopefully last-tornado. 

Being from the east coast, I have had my share of hurricanes, but not tornadoes.  Hurricanes give you several hours, if not days, to prepare.  Tornadoes do not.  They give you mere minutes. 

Picture it:  May 15, 2018.  Connecticut.  I got off work around 2PM because the office A/C was not working and the temperature outside was a very humid & stifling 85 degrees.  I went home, put on the A/C, had a snack and fell asleep.  I was awoken at around 4:45PM because both my cell phones were blasting the EAS (Emergency Alert System) tone.  I keep an old cell around with my TV app on it since I am too lazy to download it to my new phone.  (I know….please don’t judge).  

Tornado OXFORD

 

At first I thought it was the usual-an  amber alert-so I did not panic.  Then the automated voice came on:  

“Tornado warning in this area until 5:15PM.  Take shelter now.”

“What?????????????”, I thought.  

Then the voice repeated itself. 

“Tornado warning in this area until 5:15PM.  Take shelter now.”

I grabbed the phone to check the time.  I had less than 30 minutes to prepare.  Then I put the TV app on to watch the local news.  I heard every other word because my mind was still reeling from the shock……until the phrase “this is the kind of storm that has the potential to take the roof off a house” was spoken.  Then, panic set in.  My heart began to race.  And I started to cry.  I was never much of a crier, but in the last few years it has become my go-to thing.  And I began to pray.

Tornado WALLINGFORD

I unplugged my computer and TV because I was taught to always do that in a hurricane in case of a power surge.  I live in a small cottage and every room has windows except the bathroom, so I threw whatever necessities I could grab-like Snapple bottles, my meds-into my pocketbook, grabbed a folding chair from the closet and went into the bathroom.  

I was terrified but tried to focus on how to stay as safe as possible during the next few minutes.  I texted “We are under a tornado watch WTH” to my dear sweet cousin, Gina, who lived in Alabama for over a decade and knew the tornado drill like the back of her hand.  She is also a former nurse and one of the best moms I have ever seen so I knew she would help me just by answering my text so I would not feel so alone.  But when she texted back “OMG”, I think I threw up a little (I can’t really remember…..it is still a blur).

Then the Gina I know, love and admire started texting me instructions:  “Bathroom safest place if there is no basement.”  Check.  “Watch means conditions are favorable.  Warning means tornado has been spotted”.  Check.  “Plug in all your communicative devices-phone, computer.  Keep things plugged in in case you lose power.”   Leave bathroom to plug in computer and grab phone chargers.  Check. 

Then I heard the rain & hail hitting the windows and heard the glass bottles in my outside recyclable bins rattling.  I heard something heavy hit my roof and the lights began to flicker.  “It’s here” I texted Gina.  In the past she told me that when a tornado is close it sounds like a train.  The lights started flickering so the news app went off.  Then the power went out and, as Johnny Cash sang in “Folsom Prison Blues“, I heard the train a-coming.  Except for when my dad died and I felt like an orphan (despite being way over the age of 21), I have never been so scared.   I texted Gina that the power went out but miraculously it came back on less than 10 seconds later.  Then I told her I was scared.  And I started praying even harder. 

Tornado A-DAMAGE

Then, oddly enough, I remembered Cloud Nine’s manager & resident Baptist, Glenn, praying to Allah in the Superstore episode where they were hit by a tornado.  That must have given me enough momentary peace to slow my heartrate down for a second and suddenly the news app came back on.  The lights flickered a few more times but the power remained on.  Thank you, Jesus.

More texts from Gina:  “R U listening to weather?   Do you have sirens?”  (Where she lived they have tornado sirens, but we only have the EAS.)  

“Just listen to weather and stay in bathroom.  It has more support.  Trying to see on radar when the rain storm will pass.”

Then the weatherman said the winds were down to 85 from 100 so I texted Gina this development.

“It is passing.  10 more minutes it should calm down”.

“Can you hear the wind?”

“What is your zip code?”  (I knew she was checking the online reports of the storm for me.)

“It says it will continue to rain but tornado warning will cease.”

I thanked her for staying with me while I was so scared.

“It is very scary.  CT NBC has a site.  Put in your zip code and you get alerts and watch where the storm is moving.”

Tornado CHESHIRE

Then her wonderful news about the storm diminishing was confirmed by the news team I was watching.  The worst was over.  I was OK, so was my house, and so was my car.  Thank you, God.

The pictures in this post are ones I found online of some of the storm damage.  These towns are not far from me.  As the saying goes, it could have been SOOOOOOO much worse for me.  I could have been in the car driving, or at a place that was not as safe as my house.  Scary.        

Thank you, sweet Gina, for ALWAYS being my hero & my biggest cheerleader.  And hats off to all you southerners who deal with tornadoes as part of your lives.  I have no idea how you do it.   

Until next time, happy digging!!!  And stay safe!!!

Advertisements

In Like A Lion

March has arrived.  With a vengeance.

Here in New England, it came in with a wild wind storm driven nor’easter.   I have to admit, it was pretty mesmerizing,  And reminded me of something my grandmother used to say about this month….”In like a lion, out like a lamb”.  Now that the roar of the wind is over, we are expecting the white noise later in the week.  Not sure yet how much.  I know so many of you have spring fever already, but I am relishing these last few official weeks of winter.  Call me crazy  🙂

2018-Oscars-Logo

Did you catch the Oscars last night???  They did a nice tribute to the military with a montage of many of the war movies Hollywood created in the last nine decades.  I found it hilarious and fitting they brought back Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway to present Best Picture after last year’s mix-up.  And I was sooooo happy Frances McDormand won.  I loved how her unity speech rallied the women in the audience, too!!!  I am really enjoying this movement of women supporting women.  It’s time we take it back from the mean girls and the others who strive to divide, break or silence us.

And it was so great to see some old school Hollywood at the show, especially since it was the 90th Academy Awards.  How beautiful did Eva Marie Saint look?

90th Annual Academy Awards - Show

And how handsome was Christopher Plummer?

Plummer

How about Rita Moreno wearing the same dress last night…..

Rita Moreno 2018

…..that she wore to the Oscars in 1962?

Moreno

I always love watching the red carpet for all the fashion, too.  What about you?  Here are some of my favorites:

Mary J. Blige:

mary j

Mira Sorvino:

Mira

Best Supporting Actor winner Sam Rockwell:

Sam Rockwell

Margot Robbie:

Margot Robbie

Jennifer Garner (my favorite of the night!!!):

jenn garner

Matthew McConaughey (sa-wooooon!!!):

Matthew

Taraji P. Henson:

Taraj

Woody Harrelson & his wife:

woody

Laurie Metcalf:

metcalf

I really wanted Laurie Metcalf to win for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Lady Bird” (great movie, btw).  I have been a big fan of hers since she played Jackie Harris on “Roseanne“.  And that reminds me-are you as psyched as I am for the re-boot of that series starting later this month?  I was such a fan so I cannot wait.  If it is half as good as the “Will & Grace” revival, I am IN!!!

For this week’s song, I chose Mary J. Blige’s Oscar nominated “Mighty River” from “Mudbound“.  Her voice is beautiful and incredibly powerful, just like the lyrics she co-wrote:

“Life is a teacher, time is a healer,
And I’m a believer like a river wild.
Ego’s a killer, greed is a monster
But love is stronger, stronger than them all.”

So how are you enjoying March so far???

All the pictures from the Oscars except the one from 1962 are courtesy of Getty Images.

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

Until next time, happy digging!!!

 

A Word & A Song

Hello & happy 2018!!!

Happy-New-Year-Images-2018-HD-6

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!!!

IMG_20171219_222549[1]

 

 

“Who Could Take A Nothing Day & Suddenly Make It All Seem Worthwhile…..”

I am heartsick today.  As I shared on Facebook earlier today, Mary Tyler Moore was my first female TV idol. I still want to be her when I grow up. I adored her & her spunk, even though I hate spunk just like Mr. Grant did. The world has a little less love all around today with her passing.

Mary Tyler Moore -- SLUG: old mary PHOTO DATE: NA SCAN DATE: 1/31/00 CREDIT: Viacom

Mary Tyler Moore’s spunky counterpart, Mary Richards (original source known)

Whether she was acting on stage (“Whose Life Is It, Anyway”,  “Noises Off”), opposite Elvis Presley (“Change of Habit”) , Donald Sutherland (“Ordinary People”), Ted Danson (“Just Between Friends”) or the incredible casts of two ground-breaking shows (“The Dick Van Dyke Show” & “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”), Moore shined with her superior acting skills & her impeccable comedic timing.  Despite being the star and producer of her own show, she never let her ego dictate her decisions.  She was smart enough & secure enough in her own talents to surround herself with the best actors, writers and directors in the industry.

And her show’s theme song?  I love music, and a lot of TV shows had (and have) great theme songs.  Hers was one of the first ones that I adored and sang along with.  It also celebrated the character and the star of the show perfectly.

mtm-2

Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards-and that lovely, happy smile (original source unknown).

I first started watching her show when it followed the NBC incarnation of “Late Night With David Letterman”.  Her, Lou, Mur, Rhoda, Ted, Phyllis, Sue Ann & Georgette kept me company overnight (you can read more about that here).  She was the best friend every woman wanted to have.

Moore changed the landscape of TV for women everywhere as she was all the things to all women:  Fashion icon, comedienne, actress, friend, co-worker, confidant and more (no pun intended).  Behind the scenes she was co-owner of one of the biggest and most profitable production companies of all time, MTM Enterprises.  It not only produced her show but other ground breaking ones as well like “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Rhoda”, “Phyllis”, “WKRP In Cincinnati” (swoon), “Lou Grant”, “The White Shadow”, “Hill Street Blues” (swoon x 2), “St Elsewhere” (swoon x 3) and many others.

 

mtm-show-2         mary-tyler-moore-cast-photo-1

The cast of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” from 1970 (left) and circa 1975 (r)

(original sources unknown).

She was also an animal activist, one of the first celebrities to publicly seek treatment for an addiction (she went to the Betty Ford Clinic for alcoholism), wrote books, brought so much awareness (and raised countless funds) for Type 1 Diabetes due to her own struggle with the disease along with her many other charitable endeavors.

Moore saw her share of heartaches (the deaths of her only son and her brother), but through whatever trial she was facing her smile, fighting spirit and love for life never waned.

mtm3 Country Living Magazine posted this on Instagram today (original source unknown). 

How will we make it on our own???   😦   Sigh

Tossing that beret in the air is how I will always remember her.  I hope she throws it to Ted when she sees him.

Rest in peace, sweet Mary.  Thank you for giving women everywhere a new road to call our own.

 

mtm-beret

That famous beret toss from the beginning of her iconic show (original source unknown).

Happy 2017!!!

Happy New Year, Vixens!!!

I feel so invigorated at the beginning of the year!!!  That whole clean slate thing, a new story to write and  a second chance to make things happen all rolled into one changes the game for me every year.  Whether I am happy to see the old year go or anticipating something in the one to come, a new year is a fresh start-period.

2017

I spent the end of 2016 doing something I have not done for years-shopping the after Christmas sales.  I used to do it every year and loved every minute of it.  But then my practical frugal side took over and I convinced myself my money was better spent on necessities (what???) rather than adding to my already bulging Christmas storage boxes.  And the more I bought vintage Christmas items all year long, the less I needed anything come December…..except maybe more room to show off my finds.

This year I needed lights, had the day off and the money to spend so how could I not take advantage of all the signs from the universe telling me to shop, shop, SHOP!!!   🙂

Here are a few items I picked up at Jo-Ann’s at a whopping 75% off plus a coupon!!!:

img_18331

Cute, right???  I picked up the lights there, too.  But boxes of lights are not very photogenic.

Over at Target, I bought this adorable camper mug and the treat boxes at 50% off.  And how about the Peanuts tote bag?  I found two of them (the other is currently in use) in the Dollar Spot of the store.  Despite their Christmas design, I plan to use those totes all year round for groceries and trips to the local farmer’s market.

img_18271

Speaking of the Peanuts, look what I found when I stopped at CVS to pick up some incidentals:

img_17811

Forty-40!!!-Peanuts Christmas cards that were already a steal at $19.99.  But at half that price…..simply divine!!!

On New Year’s Day, while overdosing on the antics of Ralph & Norton during the annual “Honeymooners” marathon and waiting all day for my absolute favorite episode  (hint:  it contains this little exchange-Norton to Ralph:  “Do you mind if I smoke?”  Ralph to Norton:  “I don’t care if you burn!”  LOL!!!  It never gets old!!).  I set up my Google calendar for mostly the next three months-goals, budget, posts, book club dates, etc-while adding in the antiques shows, fairs and other events I plan to attend and new ones I might want to go to for 2017.  This way I have time to save up for any special things I might spot on my travels.

the-honeymooners

I am waiting for the Feast of the Epiphany (a/k/a Little Christmas) before I take my tree down, and as sad as I am to say goodbye to it and its glorious aroma, I am more than ready to see the pine needle rug below it to finally disappear.

And every night I fall asleep to the sound of the Boss himself reading his life story.  Yes, my Christmas gift to myself was the “Born To Run” audio book.  Sa-woon.

img_17131

So that is how I have been spending the first few days of this new year.  How about you?  Are you ready to take it by storm???

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 digging!!!

 

Christmas Song Countdown #13

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

picture-wreath

Courtesy of Widadesign.com 

 

Today’s singer has being performing for decades, and is probably the greatest and most famous back up singer that ever was.  She has worked with the likes of Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt and Aretha Franklin, whom she channels in today’s song.

A phenomenal singer in her own right, she will probably always be best remembered for her work with Phil Spector’s groundbreaking “Wall of Sound” recordings in the 1960’s; namely ”He’s a Rebel,” ”(Today I Met) the Boy I’m Gonna Marry,” and today’s featured song which she performed regularly on David Letterman’s show during the Christmas season.

She was one of the main singers spotlighted in the 2014 Best Documentary Oscar winning film, “20 Feet From Stardom”.  She also played Danny Glover’s wife in all four “Lethal Weapon” movies and Judy Burrell on my soap “Another World” in 1993.

lethal-weapon

Danny Glover & Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon” (Courtesy of IMDb)

 

If all that were not impressive enough, the New York Times paid her one of the greatest compliments ever when they said her voice is ”as embedded in the history of rock and roll as Eric Clapton’s guitar and Bob Dylan’s lyrics”.  Wow.  Who would not want to be remembered like that?

Darlene Love:  Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).

P.S.  An honorable mention to U2 for their version of today’s song.  Who does not want to imagine themselves as the reason for Bono’s pleading?  Or more to the point, who does not want to listen to Bono and the rest of U2, period???

u2-mojo-254-770

U2 by Mattia Zoppellaro for MOJO magazine

 

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!!!