Saturday, October 1, 2011

The CO Boy Gets Cleaned Up

This handsome boy is mine! 

Last weekend he had the honor of being in his cousin's wedding.  It was his first time to be in a wedding and he was pretty excited about it.  We traveled to Utah and enjoyed the weekend with the Roping Dummy's side of the family.
This is the RD's sis with the CO Boy.  How cute are they?

You may not be able to tell, but the CO Boy is showing his dance moves with the other younger wedding party members.  He danced all night long and fell into bed exhausted.

And now I'm off to sell popcorn in the neighborhood with 10 cub scouts!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Packing Up Stuff

Our office is being remodeled.  That means everything has to be packed for the movers by 4pm today.  Luckily I don't have a lot of stuff, but it can still be a pain.  The biggest pain will be working from home for the next week.  I love working from home, but I want to make sure I don't pack something I actually need to do my work. 

I've been absent from my blog because I've been so freakin' busy.  I'm trying to wrap stuff up at the office and then take on stuff at the tea room, plus keep my cub scouts happy.  I know that when November hits life will take on a different tone.  But for now I have to get through October and do this stuff!

I'm really getting excited about my contract work.  I think it's going to be great.  Now if I can just GET there.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Time is running out...

Clock by Junghans, circa 1890 - 1920

I've given my notice at my "day job".

This makes me very happy.  For the last year I've been working on average of seven days a week with my contracting work and the day job.  I'm at the point where I have to let one go and obviously it will be the day job.  This move gives me more flexibility and allows me to be with the CO Boy when I need to be as well as facilitate the expansion of my sister's business.

But getting out of here ain't easy.  My boss is a dear friend and as such, I've given a six-week notice so we can get someone in here.  But there's so much to wrap up.  So much to tell folks, like where the dead bodies are buried, etc. 

But I'm really happy with my decision and I feel it in my bones that it's the right thing to do.

Sidenote:  Is that clock gorgeous or what??  Sold for about $600 at auction.  That's a steal if you ask me.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

No bounding just yet

Okay.  So this isn't us just yet...
But we're still trying!

The days are changing and this morning when I woke up for boot camp it was dark.  Ick.  But I got out of bed, and walked to the family center to meet Laura and our trainer. 

She kicked our butts.  But she has to work a bit harder to do that now, in comparison to our first pathetic day.  So while I don't feel like the pup bounding in the first pic, know that we are on our way!

Right now, we both have a little spring in our step as we walk quickly-:).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I love this photo

Watching Steer Wrestling
This was taken at our county fair a few weeks ago.  We had so much fun looking at all the exhibits, going to the rodeo and then the midway at night.  The CO Boy and I rode all the rides and I am officially too old to do this anymore.  By the fourth ride I wanted to throw up and he just wanted to keep on going.  Also, my chiropractor was none too happy with me afterward.  Nothing like being thrown in three different directions on a big hunk of metal put together by carney folk!

I know many people don't approve of rodeos, citing mistreatment of animals.  I have very mixed feelings about them.  I grew up with them and didn't give it much thought until I was older.  That said, the boy is sort of like me that way.  He hates the goat roping because we (he and I, NOT the RD) look at goats as pets.  And for me, I still wince when they do the tie down roping with calves.  They are babies, after all.  But the bronc riding and the steer wrestling and the team roping don't seem to bother me.  That might be wrong but there you have it.

The CO Boy heard angels sing and trumpets from heaven the first time he saw the bull riding event.  He is sure he wants to be a bull rider or a steer wrestler.  I've tried to explain to him that steer wrestling is a big man's event and he is highly unlikely to grow into a six-foot-something adult, given the genes of his two parents.  As far as the bull riding goes, I got nothin'.  I just keep stressing how dangerous it is.  But that is probably part of why he likes it.  We've tried to steer him (no pun intended) to team roping but he really wants to ride bulls.  ugh.  Yes, he will only be nine in October, with plenty of time to change his mind, but still.

My hockey mom sister says, "Let's put him on the ice.  That's safer!"  Right.  Because flying on a slab of ice at double digit speeds while other guys are trying to trip you is much safer.  True, no bull involved.  But still...she's crazy, I tell you.  And if our fears are realized and he ends up riding a bull, she will be in the front seats with all the stats on the bull and the other riders.

But my boy is growing up way too fast.  I see the time just racing past and I'm a little sad.  He is such a joy to be around and I will miss these days when he is older.  Riding bullls.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Library Love - The Little Stranger and Halcyon Crane

I've been listening to this audio book in the car.  It's one I've been meaning to read but decided to give it a go in the car so I could finally get to it.  I love it.  All the gothic ingredients that I love so much.  Dilapidated house, in thise case Hundreds Hall.  Family secrets, don't know what they are yet. 

Sarah Waters is a wonderful writer and her ability to describe makes the narration even better.  Simon Vance is the narrator.  I understand he is a popular narrator for books, but this being only my second audio book, I didn't know that when I began listening.  Here's the back cover blurb:

One postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country physician, is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall.  Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in it stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine.  It's owners - mother, son, and daughter - are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as with conflicts of their won.  But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life?  Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.

I'm reading this one.  It's actually pretty good.  At times, I'm not in love with the writing the way I am with Sarah Waters, but the plot is very intriguing and keeps me going and she isn't a bad writer, just not as descriptive in the same way as Waters.  Here's the blurb:
When a mysterious letter lands in Hallie James’s mailbox, her life is upended. Hallie was raised by her loving father, having been told her mother died in a fire decades earlier. But it turns out that her mother, Madlyn, was alive until very recently. Why would Hallie’s father have taken her away from Madlyn? What really happened to her family thirty years ago?

In search of answers, Hallie travels to the place where her mother lived, a remote island in the middle of the Great Lakes. The stiff islanders fix her first with icy stares and then unabashed amazement as they recognize why she looks so familiar, and Hallie quickly realizes her family’s dark secrets are enmeshed in the history of this strange place. But not everyone greets her with such a chilly reception—a coffee-shop owner and the family’s lawyer both warm to Hallie, and the possibility of romance blooms. And then there’s the grand Victorian house bequeathed to her—maybe it’s the eerie atmosphere or maybe it’s the prim, elderly maid who used to work for her mother, but Hallie just can’t shake the feeling that strange things are starting to happen . . .

Work has been stinky as we have a big event coming up this weekend, so I've been dealing with that.  Additionally Cub Scouts is starting up and lots to do there.  So the reading/listening is a lovely escape at times.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Gershwin in Cartoon Form

I've recently discovered these delightful cards.  I love them.  They remind me of Gershwin, full of mischief and a bit jaunty.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The end of the road can't come too soon

Photo by Clifford Oto

I'm pretty much right here in terms of accomplishing everything I need to accomplish.  Sort of overwhelming and I'd like to just sit down in the middle of the road to be run over but, alas, one must attend to all commitments. 

School begins next Wednesday and I am beyond sad.  I do not want it to start and I mean that in the larger sense.  Everything becomes crazy once school begins:  School, homework, religious education classes, scouts, and then continuing with horses and guitar.  Somewhere in there, I'm supposed to clean my house, do the laundry, make dinner and go to work, as well as work at the tea room.  And then there's the Nissan Sentra-sized tire around my waist which needs some work, as well as the writing I long to do.

I think I need an attitude adjustment to get me through the next two months.  True, everything will still be at a frantic pace, but certain aspects of our lives, such as scouts and religious ed. will be off and running. 

I believe this will be me very soon.  I will send myself to bed and just read.  I'm due for one of those days/weekends.  A Pajama Day is coming soon.

But tonight we go to the county fair where I shall ride the rides with the CO Boy and watch the rodeo.  Sounds like fun to me!  However, I've scheduled an appointment with my chiropractor for tomorrow so he can undo the damage on my poor bones after being tossed around on the rides-:).

Friday, July 29, 2011

Do I Look Crazed???

I sure feel crazed.  Been a busy couple of months.

Summer has just breezed by and I want about three more months of it.  We've had a good time the past couple of months but it's been chock full of stuff.  The CO Boy begins 3rd grade on August 10th!

I need to post photos of my living room floor!  (sorry for the nonexistent transition there). I simply adore it.  When the RD comes back from his gig, I'll steal the camera and take a few shots.  So once I got the floor finished I moved on to getting the remaining carpet clean and it really makes such a difference.  Of course Ella, Gershwin and Mercer will soon take care of my clean carpets.  If they weren't so darn cute, I'd make throw rugs out of them-:).

My nerd group meetings with the niece and nephew have been sporadic this summer, but the last one was extremely helpful.  The niece read the manuscript that has been waiting for finishing touches, and she was able to offer some substantial suggestions.  I'm actually eager to write again.  I've tried focusing on one manuscript at a time - finish it and then move on.  But my brain doesn't work that way.  I'm a butterfly, not a panther.  So I work on MS for a bit and then my attention is captured by another.

I've had precious little time to write these days but I can never go too far from it.  It's like a rock in your shoe.  Just bugs you until you take it out. 

I'm halfway through cleaning out the Lego room, people!  It could happen!  But perhaps not tonight.  The CO Boy has gone up to Vail to visit the RD's cousin so we have a weekend without him.  The RD and I have a hot date tomorrow night, but tonight, he's at a gig and I'm going to crawl in bed with my pups and read.  Yesterday's bootcamp kicked my butt, or rather my legs.  Waaaay too many squats. But remember, bounding is the objective here...I shall be a bounder one day instead of collapsing on the grass.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Someone, please give me $900 so I can buy these boots

Luchesse English Riding Boots

I know.  I'm a boot whore.  I get it.  But goodness, are these the most gorgeous things you've ever seen??  I saw them at Rockmount Western Wear, here in CO.  The leather feels like butter and they're just beautiful.  I wouldn't wear them to ride but I would get a great deal of use out of them otherwise.  I also like the buckles on the side.  My legs are fairly slender and I've always had challenges fitting a boot if it was supposed to be snug.  These boots with some slender jeans tucked in and a warm sweater.  Oh my.

I can't help myself.  I may need an intervention at some point.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Where we turn the Grey Garden mess into an actual house again

Home eclectic living room
Not my living room, but I love this floor.

I'm getting wood floors!

It's just in the living room but that is by far the most needed area.  Side note:  Have you priced wood for stairs?  OMG.  They'd cost more than the living room, so we'll be sticking with carpet on the stairs and in the bedrooms.  I'm beyond excited.

When we lived in L.A. we had wood floors and they're just so much easier.  And now with three dogs and a boy, the carpet takes a major beating.  Stains just don't come out after a while.  The picture above is darker than the color we selected.  Ours is more of a honey/maple color.  I, of course, wanted this gorgeous dark stained oak but it was soooo expensive.  So we have this instead and I think it will be lovely. 

The dogs will have some adapting.  Gershwin is quite used to launching his 13 lb. body off of the carpet and on to a chair.  Won't be so easy.  One friend asked if I was concerned about the dogs scratching the floor and I responded with an emphatic, "absolutely not!"  I love scuffed up hardwood.  Not one for pristine looking things. 

So tomorrow I'll be working from home as they begin a two day installation.  Woo hoo!

Friday, July 8, 2011


(At a museum exhibit on Egyptian embalming)
"Now there is a society where the funeral industry got completely out of control."
                                        ~Jessica Mitford

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book Love - Wait for Me!

North American cover

I'm reading the memoirs of Deborah Mitford.  Actually I'm listening to them on CD.  I don't usually listen to books but my schedule has been challenging and I find I have little time to read.  So I decided to make use of my commute and listen to a book.

The Mitford sisters were so interesting.  I'm not really sure why.  Maybe because some of them were outrageous (one was a Fascist who married Sir Oswald Mosley, and another was a Communist, while still another shot herself in the head when she realized Great Britain declared war on Germany).  Deborah is probably the most conventional of all of the sisters and the youngest of them.  How funny that a Duchess would be considered, "conventional".  They had an interesting childhood and her writing is very "listenable".  It helps to have a good narrator in the way of Anne Flosnik.

Even though the girls didn't have a formal education (their mother was big on what we would be something akin to homeschool and she cared little for exams), they were so creative and witty.  All of them were voracious letter writers and their words have been preserved in various books written by them and about them. 

Most people know of Nancy Mitford, who wrote books about her family, thinly veiled as fiction.  You know my love of portraiture, be it human or dog or horse.  This is a portrait of Nancy Mitford I discovered and I love it.  She's a bit pointy looking in it, but I love it nonetheless.  I tried to find information on the artist but came up empty.

Nancy Mitford portrait by Mogens Tvede

The guys are off to Cub Scout Camp and I have three days to myself.  I'll be cleaning my filthy house, but also doing some stuff that will be more enjoyable.  Like staying up late and reading!

Monday, July 4, 2011

A chance to finally sit down

Not my porch...but I do have a cute porch with a rocking chair...

We have been going at a break-neck pace for the last week or so.  Lots going on that all needed to go on at one time. 

My sister has moved across the alley from me.  Yes, you heard me right. Across  the alley.  In our neighborhood we have driveways that are set behind the houses and you can stand on your back porch and talk to your next door neighbor.  Or your neighbor across the alley.  Some folks think it's crazy that we live so close but we're both quite happy with it.  We do a lot for one another - I take her dog to the groomer and pick her up, do stuff for the tea room, etc.  She watches the CO Boy every Monday and has even picked up a spare child in the process (Augie's friend usually joins them).  So it's quite wonderful to have her so close.  The CO Boy is already used to it.  Like she's lived across the alley forever.  And all the little kids in the neighborhood know "Tia Margo", because of the CO Boy.

So that was the first thing that had to happen.  She had to move into the house because she sold her old house across town.  Now I didn't help much, but I had stress just so I could share. You know, sisters and all...

Then we had Auntie come for a visit.  She lives in L.A. and needed her CO Boy time.  Before she booked her ticket I told her we'd be out at the horse stables during this holiday weekend because we were helping Miss Kim with an Independence Day celebration.  Auntie, in what must have been a deluded state, said, "Oh that'll be fun."  Auntie is a CITY GIRL.  But check out this photo of her with the Monte and Scott from the chuckwagon

This was taken at the end of the day, after she'd been stuck under a tent selling water and sodas to folks.  By then she'd had a tasty dinner, courtesy of Monte and Scott.  Plus the sun was going down and it was still stinkin' hot but shaded at least.

So Auntie's visit was the second thing that was happening.

And then the aforementioned Independence Day party out at the stables ocurred.  The Roping Dummies were playing the event and I helped with various parts of the event.  It was our first rodeo for this event, and while there were some kinks (I spent six hours taking money on the dirt road and directing folks to a field for parking), it went well and everyone had a great time.

The CO Boy getting ready to show off.

Biscuits from Monte's chuckwagon

Don and The Roping Dummies

So that was the third thing happening.

May not sound like much but I'm just one tired pup.

So today we are having a semi-pajama day.  We're taking Auntie to lunch and then coming home to be lazy and maybe, just maybe, I'll get my kitchen cleaned.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Roping Dummy got a vacuum for Fathers Day

Not just any vacuum but the Hoover Wind Tunnel Pet Cyclonic vacuum.  Sounds serious, huh?  Actually we were at Home Depot and I saw it and knew I had to have it, as our vacuum has lost that lovin' feeling when it comes to pet hair.  The RD was thrilled.  Right.

Seriously, the whole Father's Day thing is something the poor man has to create on his own.  I'm the absolute worst at doing all the stuff you're supposed to do.  I mean, I birthed the CO Boy, what could I possibly do to top that?  So for his big day we went out to the stables and I rode a horse.  Yes, I rode a horse. Not him.  Just me. 

But let me explain.  I haven't ridden in oh, 15 years and I am in love with equines.  Truly, I don't really need to ride them but I do need to be around them.  So he got Miss Kim to give me a lesson today.  I've wanted to go back and learn a lot of the Natural Horsemanship methods, but with the CO Boy riding regularly, there is only so much money to go around for lessons.  At first I protested but then he made me shut up because he said I was ruining his fun.

Well, it really was fun.  My fun.

And not just fun, but gosh it was truly relaxing.  Sort of like yoga in paddock boots.  My stress just melts away when I'm around horses.  After I rode, he helped Miss Kim muck stalls and I groomed Bailey, MY horse-:).  I combed all the tangles out of her mane and her tail.  On the way home the RD says, "You know don't you, nobody else combs their manes or tails." 

Well MY horse gets her mane and tail combed.  End of story.

So my lovely husband watched me do ground work, ride and coo over Bailey.

Then I came home and used my Hoover Wind Tunnel Cyclone Pet vacuum!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Learning to fall the right way and a little stunt work

The CO Boy and his papi are doing horse camp this summer.  Every Tuesday the Roping Dummy  takes a playbook out of his stuntman past and teaches the kids how to tuck and roll if they get thrown, keeping their neck safe.  Then for fun they do some old western fight stunt work.  The CO Boy is the RD's assistant and demonstrates for each group of kids.  As you can see from his grin on his face, it's all good.  So please don't call child services on us, okay?-:)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Cole Porter

See.  He even liked dogs. 

Happy Birthday, Cole.  He was born in 1891 in Indiana.  Such a debonair fellow to be from Indiana.  NOT that you couldn't be debonair and be from Indiana...

I wish I had a favorite Cole Porter song but I don't.  I just can't choose.  But I suppose, "In the Still of the Night," would have to be up there - such a beautiful melody.  Then I like, "Every Time We Say Goodbye."  Rosemary Clooney has a lovely recording of that one.  And then perhaps, "You'd Be So Easy To Love."  I could go on but I'll stop. 

Do you have a favorite Cole Porter song?  If you can't think of one, just think of something/anything Fred Astaire sang.  He introduced so many of CP's tunes to the world.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The devil is on my drive home from work

It's been so nice to drive home with the windows open in the evening.  One of the best things about living here is the summer evenings.

And then I pass by it.  I pray I don't get the red light at that intersection.  It calls to me. 

The Rainbo Bread plant. 

The smell of freshly baked bread is just one of those things that is just, well, just magnificent.  It's right up there with onions and garlic being sauteed.  Gotta love it.

So I resist the urge to make a hard right and barrel into the bakery attached to the plant.  Like I need bread.  White bread.  My spare tire will increase from one that's suppposed to fit an economy car to one that fits a Dodge 1500 pick up. 

My biggest food weaknesses are bread and pasta.  If you want to throw some butter into the mix, please do.  But you'll have to wait until I come up for air to talk to me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Slipcover Love

Yesterday morning I came downstairs (the RD was already up and drinking his coffee) and the scene in my living room was enough to inspire another Grey Garden's movie.

The throw which is supposed to cover the old worn green upholstery on the couch, was bunched up and hanging off the side of the couch.  The CO Boy's action figure toys were strewn all over the 1950's ranch burger designed coffee table (pictures of that will come later). And Mercer was sitting on the head portion of the couch, looking out the open back door, waiting for someone to walk by so he could run and bark.  Right about at this moment, Gershwin took his entire 13 pounds and bounded up the sofa to go for the body slam, sending the two pups off the side of the couch.

If a normal person without a boy, without three dogs, without a husband who could care less about a clean house, had seen this...they'd think my house had been abandoned and wild dogs were using it as a hang out.  Sigh.

But back to the sofa.  I love this sofa.  It was given to us by the RD's dead aunt (well she didn't give it to us but her daughter did.  She was dead already...).  The shape is pretty and for a while the upholstery was in pristine condition.  Dead Aunt was one of those folks who had plastic over her furniture in the formal living room.  You know what I'm talkin' about?  But alas, the years have passed, the couch has suffered trauma from two pups who like to romp on it, one old "pup" who thinks she's sneaky when she gets up on it at night, and then the CO Boy who does high falls off of it.

So I need a slipcover, people.  That's what I need.  What do you think of these ideas?

From (I think)
The pink is a bit much to commit to, I think.  But the colors in the photo were appealing to me.  Can you imagine light pink slipcovers with the pups?  Me neither.

From Mustard Seed Creations

I love everything she does on her blog.  But I really like these pretty pleats at the bottom of the sofa.  But I know how long it takes to make those pretty pleats, and I'd like a slipcover before I'm 80.
 From LJC Style

A compromise on the pleats - they're bigger.  Not as cute.  But bigger.  Doesn't this look so comfy?  Makes me want to dive into those pillows which is exactly what CO Boy would do.  Glad we talked all of this out beforehand.

I also saw an article in the Mary Jane magazine that showed how you could use drop cloths for fabric.  Mucho savings because cotton duck cloth is a pretty penny per yard and my couch is not small.  So perhaps a trip to Home Depot is in order?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer with the CO Boy

The CO Boy has kicked off his summer vacation with friends sleeping over, movie night in our neighborhood, and spending the days out at the stables. 

Do you remember what it was like when you were a kid and you thought summer would never end?  Well that's where he is right now.  It's all pretty joyful to him.

He asked me if I had summer vacation.  But I enjoyed my Memorial Day out at the stables with him.  Maybe I'll ask my boss about that whole summer vacation thing-:).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Six in the Morning, Pushups and Me

Photos were not allowed as Laura and I wanted zero evidence of our wimpiness. 
This is a re-enactment of sorts - just picture two women lying face down in the grass.

Today was our first Bootcamp at 6 am!  We are, how shall I put it, out of shape??  Yeah, that'd be it.  Laura and I decided we needed a little kick in the pants, you know, a push.  Well we got pushed and kicked all over the park in my neighborhood.  Thank goodness it was early so our humiliation was only seen by the few early commuters.

Seriously, it was hard (never used a 10lb weighted ball before. Ouch.), but it was really great.  We were worn out by the end but it felt good and we managed to do everything the trainer asked of us, even if we did it slowly with grunts and groans.  So every Thursday morning during the month of June, we'll be at it.  Hopefully, I'll be able to post a photo of a pup bounding through the air by the last week!  Yeah.  That'll be us...bounding!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A fight for the CO Boy's musical soul

Well, maybe not his musical soul, but something close to it-:).

The CO Boy takes guitar lessons and his reference for guitar is The Roping Dummy and the western music he plays.  So he has learned to sing and accompany himself on "The Old Chisholm Trail," and "Don't Fence Me In" is next.

BUT he has recently been listening to my ipod which has selections from the late 70's and early 80's.  He loves it, and in particular, he's a big fan of Hall & Oates, just like his mama!  He likes this one song called, "Wait for Me."  Now for die hard fans, the song is a favorite but the average listener wouldn't probably remember the song.  Here's Mr. Hall doing a live version which is actually better than the pop version.

And then we have "Don't Fence Me In," as sung by Roy Rogers.  It IS a Cole Porter tune, so can't argue with that.  AND Trigger is quite the amazing equine.  But I dunno....
So the battle is on!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

This is the voice, or why Arlene just wants to be Blossom Dearie

I love music.  Everybody knows that.  And I listen to a variety of styles.  But I always go back to certain types of artists and I'm in one of those periods right now.

This morning I was on youtube (can't you just spend way too much time on that site??) and watched this video of Blossom Dearie.  She is older in this video but still has the same voice I love and plays the piano with such magic.  Her song selections are always a treat to hear.  Side Note:  After I watched this video, the CO Boy woke up and we had to watch "Unpack your Adjectives", the old Schoolhouse Rock video in which Blossom's voice is featured.  See.  Everyone loves Blossom.  Here she is with Billy Taylor.  The lyrics to this song make me laugh.

Then fast forward to about a decade ago when I found Stacy Kent.  Her phrasing is so deceptively simple...and gorgeous.  Her song selections are wonderful and her recent LP is in French with some French standards as well as some current compositions.  But one standard that makes it into my all-time Top 10 is "You Are There", written by Dave Frishberg.  She has a wonderful recording of this song.  Unfortunately no video, but you MUST listen to the song below.  Just close your eyes and listen to her the beautiful song. Interestingly enough, Blossom recorded this song but I can't find a video of it either.

And then there's the jazz that is more tinged with Brazilian rhythms.  I love Gretchen Parloto.  She is so free in her singing but yet she knows exactly where she is.  She's singing "Flor de Lis," in this video.

Fast forward to just today and I stumbled upon Jules Day.  She and the Roping Dummy are FB friends.  They have a lot of mutual jazz musician friends from the Los Angeles days.  Her songs are original compositions, and for the most part I like them very much.  She looks like Diana Krall just a bit, but not nearly as annoying with an almost-dead delay in vocal delivery (sorry, DK - you're a fab pianist, but listening to you sing brings out such anxiety as I wait for you to get the words out).  Jules is a blend of jazz, pop and bossa.  I'm diggin' it.

So I'm just gonna samba my way upstairs for the night and sing softly like these ladies, albeit not as beautifully.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

National Clean Up Your Room Day

Berenstain Bears

Today is the day, people!

Who knew there was a National Clean Up Your Room Day? 

This could be cause for a celebration (read: task) at our house tonight.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Snoopy is Real

At least to me he is.  He's always been real.  And now the CO Boy is sharing in my laughter of the beagle's antics.  He'd seen the holiday shows, but he'd never seen, "Snoopy Come Home," which is my favorite.  So I rented it and he and I have laughed until we hurt.

Because of the CO Boy's interest in the canine, I printed out some snoopy pictures with the idea that he could draw them during our Peaceful Time (as he calls our nights in bed when we draw).  He loved it.  But to back track a bit:  Last week he was frustrated because he couldn't draw the airplane the way he wanted to.  What he was doing was drawing it from an overhead view but he was looking at it from a side view.  We had a whole discussion about drawing what you see and how the mind wants to impose what it knows on to the page, but you must draw what you see to make it look as you would like.  Well he did it and was so happy with himself.  So when he drew his Snoopy and Woodstock picture I was quite impressed. 

He was going to draw it for his Tia Bel, but he liked it so much he couldn't part with it.  So we're working on a piece that might be suitable to send to Tia Bel.

I just love how he gets so engrossed in drawing and really seems to enjoy it.  As I've said before, he's a lot like his dad, but there's a little bit of me in him too.  That would be the Pajama Days and Peaceful Time-:).

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Dress Was Lovely...

But this little girl wore her tiara like nobody's business!

Now, everyone, don't be jealous that we can't all look as fetching-:). 

Didn't wake up to watch the event, but my Roping Dummy brought up my coffee and the laptop this morning and said, "Here's the dress."  He knew that was what I really wanted to see.  And the tiara.  Now the tiara was absolutely perfect.  It belonged to the late dowager queen and was from the 30's.  So understated.  So fab.  Her dress wasn't bad either.  Very Princess Grace of her.

But I think back to when Diana was married to Charles and how technology has just changed the whole viewing aspect.  I remember being at my sister's home in San Diego at the time and getting up at some ridiculous hour to watch the wedding.  But that was really the only way to see the dress, etc, immediately.  Now we wake up, go online, and bam there it is.

Now can we all please get back to work????-:)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Cecils

"Mickey" by Cecil Aldin

"Pup with Indigestion" by Cecil Aldin

"Mona & Harrison Williams - Palm Palm Springs" by Cecil Beaton

"Dorothy Hirshon" by Cecil Beaton

Sharing two of my favorite artists with you:  Cecil Aldin and Cecil Beaton.

I've posted Cecil Aldin's work before.  He was famous for his drawings/paintings of animals, usually dogs but also he did a lot of work for hunters (as in fox hunting).  His animals are always so animated and I just want to hug them.

Cecil Beaton is probably best known as a photographer.  He photographed everyone from Queen Elizabeth as a young woman to Babe Paley and other socialites of his day.  He was also a set designer for films.  My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn is one of his films.  But I like his drawings and paintings the best.  His painting style is now considered fashion illustration.  I don't care what you call it, but I like it.

Thanks for the feedback on the Lego Room.  I'll keep you posted.  If I have the courage, I'll take the "before" picture and post it along side the "after" picture.  But I'm working up the courage to share the disaster area online.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Revamping the Lego Room

Do you like this room?

Elegance & Decay eclectic bedroom
We have three bedrooms in our home.  The third one is supposed to be my office, but it has been taken over by any number of items a family member wants to make dissappear but perhaps not throw away.  As a result, I can barely walk through this room without tripping.  The CO Boy has dumped a bunch of Legos in the room along with a Hot Wheels race track.  He goes into the room to play with them and now he refers to the room as the Lego Room.  sigh....

I'm working up the courage and fortitude to clean out this room and reclaim it for my office/writing/art space. You know how they talk about Man Caves for guys?  Well this will be my Girl Cubby, as I could never be happy in a cave, but I could be happy in a small space of my own such as "the cupboard underneath the stairs" ala Harry Potter.  I don't need a lot of room.  In fact I LIKE small spaces and always have. 

So now I'm looking at images to inspire my Girl Cubby.  It needs to be cozy for certain.  I like to write on my laptop on the bed with pillows behind me or on the couch with pillows.  So a bed or daybed is a must.  No writing desk but need a place to put computer things such as printer, scanner, etc.

The room has a beautiful big window and faces South so you get lots of sun.  A good thing for me.  Still undecided about color.  Pink?   French Blue?  What?

So look at these photos and tell me what you think?  What makes a room feel cozy and make you not want to leave it?

Again with Room #1 - There are many things I like about this room.  Bookshelves, pillows, even the wallpaper.
Elegance & Decay eclectic bedroom

Room 2 - I like the day bed and the vibrant color.  Wavering on the color though.  Not quite warm enough.
Betsy Burnham  living room
image from Houzz

Room 3 - The color obviously makes me happy.  Again with the bed.  Is this too orderly for my creative, messy mind?
recent inspirations eclectic kids
Room 4 - Again with the color.  This has more of an office feel to it.  I like the giant bulletin board which is framed and I like how the work area is facing the window.  But not very cozy, huh?  Efficient, but not so cozy.
Home Office Inspiration traditional home office
Room 5 - This is Kim's office from Daisy Cottage.  She loves red and yellow and black.  It's inviting.
Dear Daisy Cottage- home office eclectic home office
image from Houzz

So what do you think?  Which one do you like and why?  What makes a room cozy, but not so cozy that you fall asleep and don't do any work (a problem that could definitely arise!)

Off to work at the tea room now...

PS:  It was 80 degrees yesterday and we are expecting snow this afternoon. Sigh...again.