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 20

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

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(Original source unknown)

This may be repetitive for those who follow me. but it is the truth:  I love Bruce Springsteen.  He is one of my heroes, my favorite singer/songwriter and one of the most decent people to ever come out of the music industry.  He taught me so many of life’s lessons, never tried to sugarcoat what was bad, has integrity beyond measure, is loyal and remembers his roots.

Sure he is not perfect, but from what I have seen from people in this life, he is pretty damn close.  I am thankful every day that I not only found him, but I understood him as well.  When I watched him on “Storytellers”, he said his album “Born To Run” was his invitation to his fans to come along for the ride.  Well, I accepted that offer and it has been one of the best parts of my life.

While other rock musicians are lending their music to big box stores for commercials, he continues to honor his legacy by playing his three hour plus concerts and finding new ways to bring his music to his audience.  Publishing his biography and giving us a glimpse into his mind when he was writing his songs is one example, and performing his Broadway show is another.

I saw that show tonight and, of course, the man did not disappoint.  He was his funny, charming, reflective and rocking self.  He talked about his life, his childhood, his family and his career.  In between his monologues, he played some of his music, including a song from an album he released about six years ago.  And it summed up our vicarious relationship perfectly, figuratively speaking:

“Darlin’ if you’re weary lay your head upon my chest
We’ll take what we can carry and we’ll leave the rest
Big wheels roll through the fields where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams.”

Thanks, Bossman, for the land of hope and dreams.  And for the ride.  And the music.  I will never be able to thank you enough for all of it.

bruce-merrychristmasbaby

Courtesy of Eric Meola

Bruce Springsteen:  “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

Bruce Springsteen:  “Merry Christmas, Baby

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 3

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

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(original source unknown)

Several musical genres define the 1960’s:  Rock & Roll, Motown, The Beatles, The British Invasion, the San Francisco sound and the Wall of Sound-a technique which layered music tracks for a song to give the music a deeper sound.  Introduced to the world courtesy of songwriter and producer Phil Spector, the sound would become synonymous with his premier girl groups like the Teddy Bears, the Crystals and the Ronettes whose song “Be My Baby” stands as a definitive example of the unique sound Spector created.

He worked with men too, most notably the Righteous Brothers on “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling“, the Walker Brothers on “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” and the Beatles (he was responsible for finishing the “Let It Be” album after the group broke up).  He also co-produced four of John Lennon’s solo albums & three of George Harrison’s, as well as several of their singles.  Bruce Springsteen channeled the Wall of Sound sound on his epic “Born To Run” album while his bandmate/best friend Steven Van Zandt regularly features Spector produced records on his “Underground Garage” radio show.

Spector album

(original source unknown)

In 1963 Spector released an album of holiday songs which were given the Wall of Sound treatment.  Entitled “A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector” , it featured primarily all women, two of whom are my favorite female singers of all time:  Darlene Love & Ronnie Spector.  So to avoid making a difficult choice, I am including a song from each to share with you today.  Enjoy!!!

Darlene Love:  “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)“.

Darlene Love

Darlene Love circa 1963 (original source unknown)

The Ronettes “Sleigh Ride“.

Ronettes

The Ronettes circa 1963 (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!!!

Creating A Mood

Hello and happy fall, Vixens!!!

I have been stuck for a while on how to decorate my place.  It seems the more choices I have, the worse it is.  And since I have so much saved on Pinterest, I decided to go through my pins and create a mood board to help me narrow down my choices.

I started with the living room.  I asked myself what is important for me to have in there. Comfortable seating for me and guests when I entertain, good lighting for when I curl up with a good book, a comfy pillow and throw for when I want to get extra cozy, color, texture and a few things that I love.

Here is what I came up with:

 

Mood board

 

What do you think?

Let’s break it down.

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The focal point of any living room is the sofa, so that was my first pick.  I never had one with a chaise, but the thought of having one has always been in the back of my mind. This sectional from Arhaus really spoke to me, from the overstuffed cushions to the rolled arms to the gorgeous color (Theater Cream).  So pretty.  They have a wide variety of sectional couches to choose from.

 

lamp

 

Next I moved to lighting.  I adore the feminine charms a chandelier gives to a room, but in a living room, I prefer lamps.  This industrial style floor lamp embraced my love of old & worn while bringing in a masculine touch.

chair 2

 

books

 

A floor lamp eliminates the need for an end table on one side of the sofa, but on the other side I envisioned a place to stack a pile of old family books that I like to have around.  I thought the white metal chair from Target would serve that purpose beautifully while providing some balance to the metal lamp on the other side.

 

kirklands pillowcable knit throw from Ethan AllenVelvet+Throw+Pillow

 

More texture and comfort are provided courtesy of the cable knit throw and  pillow, and the velvet pillow provides a subtle pop of color while keeping the neutral pallet of the room alive.

 

coffee table

 

And those items store away easily when not needed in an antique tool chest which serves as a coffee table.  Look at that beautiful hardware!!!!!  Sa-wooooon!!!!!

 

industrial photo

 

My sofa will be up against a wall because the room is not big enough for me to float it. That means the big blank wall behind the couch needs some visual interest.  Instead of doing a straight line of prints which will only follow the line of the sofa, I prefer one large picture.  I adore black and white photography, and the grittier the better.  This one satisfies all of the above.

 

pink roses

 

I finished up the room the way I finish every room-with fresh flowers.  Pink roses are gorgeous, but especially in my heart’s desire, white Ironstone.  Just imagine those beautiful blooms in that pitcher on top of that tool trunk………..too beautiful for words.

 

BTR

 

And the final touch?  Music, what else?  My favorite song of all time-“Jungleland“-from Bruce Springsteen’s life altering “Born To Run” album is always in my CD player – yes, I still LOVE my CD’s!!!!   🙂  And happy birthday, Bossman!!!

The best part of this mood board?  It can be created on any budget.  I may have taken some of the pictures from expensive websites or stores, but that does not mean when I am ready to bring my dream living room to life I will not be able to find any of the items at flea markets, tag sales or on Craigslist.  I find the key is to be patient and go after one piece at a time.  Start with the focal point and go from there.  Before you know it, everything comes together & you did not have to empty your bank account to do it.

What does your mood board look like???  Let me know in the comments below.

None of the images in this post belong to me.  All resources are provided in the links.

This post was not sponsored.  All opinions, ideas and swoons are mine 🙂

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

 

 

“Oh My, But That Little Country Boy Could Play…”

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry circa 1955 (original source unknown).

 

This is, indeed, a tremendous loss. As one of the architects of rock and roll, Chuck Berry’s contribution to music, for those who play it, listen to it and love it, will always be immense. The guitar riff that opens “Johnny B. Goode” is perfection defined.  Nearly 20 years after its release, it was included on Voyager 1’s Golden Record.  And in 1985, it took us all “Back To The Future“.

 

Chuck and Bruce

Bruce Springsteen and Chuck Berry performing together at the Concert for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Sept. 1995 (Courtesy Mike Duncan/AP).

 

When the Beatles came to America on February 7, 1964 and performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show” two days later, it changed the world.  When the Beatles performed their first concert in the United States later that same year – in Washington, DC – their opening song was “Roll Over Beethoven” because Chuck Berry changed their world.

Thank you for everything, Chuck. We miss you already.

 

Grammy Thoughts With A Valentine

Hello, Vixens!!!  Happy Monday!!!

Did any of you watch the 59th Annual Grammy Awards last night?  When I heard Justin Bieber was somehow nominated for Album of the Year (I know, WTH???) I debated a boycott of the show again like I did last year (read more about that here), but in the end I wanted to see a few of the performers (and Bieber cry and/or throw a tantrum when he lost) so I decided to watch it.  Besides, it is a great way to catch up on the new music worth hearing that I might have missed throughout the year.

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Here are my thoughts from the show.  I will start with the bad:

The politics.

I look forward to all the big awards show every year.  I love to watch what dresses the women will be wearing, how humble the acceptance speeches might be, the host, the presenters, the bad jokes-all of it.  But so far both the Golden Globes & the SAG Awards have turned into personal political platforms.  This is not something new.  For example, in 1973 Marlon Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather to decline his Best Actor Oscar for “The Godfather” in  protest of the film industry’s treatment of American Indians.  But given the immaturity and over-inflated egos of many of today’s Top 40 singers, I knew last night would be worse.

 

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Tim McGraw & Faith Hill looking as great as ever at last night’s Grammy Awards

(original source unknown). 

 

To be clear, I believe and support the First Amendment with all my heart.  However, after such a long ugly race for the White House, all the protesting which sometimes turns violent (like on Inauguration Day) or laughable by people attending dressed as a sex organ, the ongoing disrespect for the office and the refusal of the people who supported the losing side to accept that it is over, I am exhausted by all of it.  I watch the awards shows to escape into the grown up equivalent of the land of make believe (Hollywood) so I am not interested in hearing personal political opinions during these presentations.  We are in the age of social media.  Take to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or whatever source you enjoy and rant till your heart is content.  Let me and the rest of the audience enjoy our mini-escape into your world for one night.

The Newly Self Appointed Fertility Goddess (or the artist formerly known as Beyonce).

Talk about a completely ego driven performance-this was the worst I have seen.  Between her mother introducing the number, to the bizarre images and pre-recorded sounds and narrative, to the camera constantly cutting to her smiling husband to her daughter running around her, it was an absurd mess.  And shame on the powers that be at the Grammys for giving her nine full minutes to showcase that spectacle while cutting off people’s acceptance speeches.

Double dipping.

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Bruno Mars saluting Prince at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards (original source unknown)

 

I love Adele and was so happy to watch her perform the show’s opening number.  But since she was slated to perform the George Michael tribute, wasn’t there someone else who could have opened the show?  (And this has nothing to do with her do-over.  Mistakes happen and it proves her singing is real, not lip synced).  The same with the Prince tribute.  Was Bruno Mars the only person who wanted to participate, other than The Time?  It just can’t be.  And he had performed a song less than an hour earlier.  The Grammys did the same thing last year with Lady Gaga as the only person to salute David Bowie.  There is a wide range of musicians out there.  Tom Petty won the Music Cares Person of the Year Award and Sly Stone (of Sly & the Family Stone) won a Lifetime Achievement Award.  A performance by either one would have been welcome.  Let all the voices in music be heard.

The Bee Gees Salute.

I grew up listening to “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart” because it was one of my mother’s favorite songs.  To this day I know all the words and cannot help but sing along with it when it comes on the 70’s music channel.  The Bee Gees made some great  music before they went disco with “Saturday Night Fever”.  Yet every time there is a salute to their songs, it is usually focused on that record, much to my chagrin.  Add to that the salute was done by a bunch of previous Disney stars took it from bad to worse.  I am a Springsteen fan.  That is the music equivalent of being a Harvard graduate.  Disco is the music equivalent of getting a GED.  Does that visual make you feel my pain???

The Rap segment.

It was rap.  No further explanation needed.

Now for the good:

James Corden.

james-corden

James Corden in his underwear after the guys from Twenty One Pilots (below) accepted their award that way (original sources unknown)..

21-pilots

 

This man is hilarious.  And after seeing the skit with his parents, it is clear where he got it from.  From his opening show rap, to the impromptu “Carpool Karaoke” (led by the great Neil Diamond, who should have had a full performance slot on the show), to Corden appearing in his underwear to mirror the guys from Twenty One Pilots to dressing up to act like a presenter, he was great for the entire show.  I must remember to DVR his show more often.

 

David Bowie.

bowie-the-independent

Courtesy of The Independent (original source unknown)

 

The rock star won 5 posthumous awards for “Blackstar”:  Best Rock Song, Best Alternative Music Album, Best Rock Performance, Best Recording Package & Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.  Well done, Major Tom.  Wish you were able to accept them in person.

 

The Beatles.

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Ron Howard, Ringo Starr & Paul McCartney (original source unknown).

 

Best Music Film was awarded to Ron Hoard for his labor of love, “The Beatles:  Eight Days A Week–The Touring Years”.  I still have not seen it but it is next on my list.  Don’t judge-Springsteen’s autobiography took up a lot of my time last year  🙂

 

Sturgill Simpson.

sturgill_simpson_photo_2016

Original source unknown 

 

His album “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” (love that title) won Best Country Album and it was well deserved.  He performed one of the songs from it, “All Around You” with the Dap- Kings and it was one of my favorite moments of the night.

 

Maren Morris.

maren-morris

Courtesy of Billboard 

 

Wow, this girl is incredible.  Her voice, her lyrics, her stage presence-she has it all.  Her nominations included Best Country Album (for “Hero”), Best Country Song (for “My Church“, a song I should have written) and Best Country Solo Performance for the same tune which she won over the likes of Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Miranda Lanbert. Last night she performed a different song from the record – “Once” – with Alicia Keys and it was sensational.  A few online stories that I read about Morris said she was turned down by both American Idol and The Voice.  I do not watch reality shows because I do not think there is anything real about them, and this just proves my point.  I think this girl has a huge career in front of her.

Adele.

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Courtesy of Billboard.com (original source unknown)

 

Fantastic as always, even with the do-over.  Five well deserved Grammys.

But I thought her fawning over Beyonce was way too much.  If Adele did not want to go up against Beyonce, she could have taken her album out of the running.  I am so sick of hearing about how white the Grammys are every time a black person loses to a white one.   Where was the white uproar when Kanye West hijacked the stage at the 2009 VMA’s and embarrassed the hell out of Taylor Swift because he did not think she deserved to win?  Or when 50 Cent walked across the Grammy stage in 2004 cursing because he did not win Best New Artist?

This year another rapper, Frank Ocean, not only boycotted the show but refused to put his two albums in the running for any nominations (as if they would automatically be nominated) because he thought Kendrick Lamar’s album deserved to win the Best Album Award last year over Taylor Swift’s.  This bad sportsmanship and sense of entitlement is beyond rude.  I don’t know about anyone else,  but I am really tired of hearing about the race card.  Why is that more important than the gender card?  I am a woman living in a country where a black man became president before a woman ever became vice-president. Women still earn less than men do at the same jobs.  As far as I am concerned, the gender issue needs to finally be addressed.

This post was about the Grammys, right?  🙂

I do not own the rights to anything.  All opinions are my own.

In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, here is one of my favorite love songs ever (set to an adorable little video).  Enjoy!!!

Bruce Springsteen:  Should I Fall Behind.

love

(original source unknown)

 

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

 

 

 

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!!!:

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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.

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

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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.

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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!!!