Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Single Man

I just finished watching Tom Ford's A Single Man - Wow, what a powerful film. Tom Ford's crease less demeanor comes across in every scene.  I may watch it one more time before I return it to Netflix.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wings of Hope Friday

It's Friday, I am off to save the world. Blog will resume tomorrow. Be safe out there!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I remember Maui

Westin Hotel, West Maui

Earlier this month when I was in Maui I walked through the Westin Hotel to gain access to the beach. I was standing here in this open lobby area and looked up and saw this beautiful design swirl. If wonder if the architect thought about this scenario when he design this structure?

On another day my niece and I were walking through Whaler's Village and came upon another wonderful design. The nice thing about this one is you can eat it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

California with an O

California Dreaming

Every Kid in the World should be this HAPPY!

Friends and TOMS

An original by artist Meredith Ambruso

People that know me know my obsession for all shoes TOMS. If it were not for all the good the TOMS One for One Program does I should probably be hospitalized for this addiction. I always moan and groan that I am here in Middle America when an LA event is held and all the artists come and do their handy-work.

This past weekend TOMS was doing an event at the Spectrum in Irvine, California and luckily for me it is my old stomping ground and home to my friends. I checked to see if they would be attending and then pleaded in my most wily emaily way - "Could you pick me out a pair, size 8", she pleaded. Calls were exchanged..."No, no - you just pick something, I will love it. Surprise me!"

Today my one of a kind TOMS shoes by artist Meredith Ambruso arrived and I LOVE THEM. And I love her little tag business card which reads: I Make Stuff.

Puttin' on my dancing shoes!

Tomorrow night the shoes will make their St. Louis debut when I take them out on the town to see Evita. My friends said they had a lot of fun checking out all the artists at the event and making a choice. I think they made an excellent one and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Keep smilin', keep shinin'. That's what friends are for.

"When you learn, teach. When you get, give." TOMS ONE FOR ONE PROGRAM Check it out:

My Grandfather's Autograph Book - 1894

Front Cover

Back Cover

J. M. Schanel - March 4, 1894

In my rummaging through old treasures (with the encouragement of friend Casey) I came across an old autograph book that belong to my grandfather. Going by the date written on the first page he would have been a little over a month  past his twenty-third birthday. He and grandmother were married on January 24 of that same year and I was trying to deduce if there was a special event that prompted this particular autograph book.

Some research on the subject of autograph books in general indicates that on many occasions they would serve as a guest book, a written records of friends coming and going. This book spans a little over a year in time, except for one entry written years later in 1905 by my mother age nine at the time. I chuckled as it reminded me of the time I wrote an entry into my own parents Guest Book, making note "I had a wonderful time and enjoyed my stay".

Here are just a few of the pages from this 1894 treasure, I love the handwriting style, the prose and even the artistic embellishments that were included with the entries.

Eda Muskat

Selena Severson

Jas. Ayward

Sadly I don't think the scribblings that today's kids leave on their Facebook pages will be quite as enchanting a hundred years from today, but I could be wrong. These treasured old autograph books have value beyond the sentimental one, they are now becoming yet another valuable tool for researchers to use in collecting historical data on those who composed them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Finds Whilst Digging Through Keepsakes

Christmas Card from 1933

I was digging through a box of keepsakes, just poking around and looking for nothing in particular. I came across this Christmas card that had been mailed to my grandmother in 1933. What struck me was the unusual use of these pastel colors for the traditionally brighter red and green season. The card is printed on heavy card stock and almost looks as though the colors were later added by hand.

The only way I could determine this in my non-professional manner would be to wet my finger and draw it across the figure to see if the color would streak. A technique I used to see if letters I received from "important" people were actually signed by them and not printed. Silly I know for anyone could have signed the letter.

1934 -  Frank X. Enderle, Inc. Ltd.

This picture covered the inside page which read:

We keenly enjoy this opportunity,
as business friends, of 
extending to you our best wishes
for a Merry Christmas and 
a prosperous New Year.

Frank X. Enderle, Inc. Ltd.

Below the greeting was stapled a small  1 1/2" x 2 1/2" monthly calendar for the year.

1935 -  Frank X. Enderle, Inc. Ltd.

In 1935 the greeting read:
Season's Greetings

To our old friends we express our gratitude
for their loyalty.
To our new friends we convey our appreciation
for their confidence.
To those we hope yet to serve we send thanks
for their many courtesies.
To all we wish a Happy New Year.

Frank X. Enderle, Inc. Ltd.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Off to Siberia for Tony!

I'm not sure this falls into the category of "getting my life back" but Tony Hayward is out of BP kind of - heading off to Russia for a little joint venture operation. Bye Tony!

P.S. Looks like Tony's payoff is $18 million - Gulf Residents - $ ???  That's some life back!!!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

For Artichoke Annie – Her 912 Recreated

 Created for Artichoke Annie by Casey

I woke up a little later this morning, it was Sunday after all. Made a pot of coffee and checked my emails, nothing much going on there unless you're a swinging senior. I may be a senior but in all honesty my swing is a bit rusty. 

My next click was to to see if there was a new posting. Well knock me over with a feather and pass the Kleenex box please; I seem to have something in my eye – a little tear.
Featured there in all her past glory was my little 912 Porsche, it must have landed there when I tripped and my treasure photo box went flying from my hands. 

Casey you are a dear, thanks so much. What a wonderful world when a complete stranger would take so much time to do something like this for me. It's a crazy world with a common "hello ross" beginning and a cook named GRANNY to stir the pot and keep things cooking – Mare, Granny and Me/as in I - end up at Casey's place. We are the guests that come to visit and are slow to leave. 

Casey, I have already printed out your perfectly captured picture of my 1968 Porsche 912 and have tacked it up on my note board above my desk where all things important eventually end up. 

There are many wonderful stories of my little car both happy and sad. First, not long after acquiring her she became responsible for a little business I started – "Annie's Wax Museum". Porsche owners were like ants in those days forming their own colonies and speaking in headlight blinks as we traveled down the highways and byways. Most Porsche owners were very picky about how their little babies were cared for and the thought of allowing them to ever see the inside of a car-wash was unheard of. 

We lived on the beach in Corona del Mar, CA and weekends were filled with visiting beach going friends several of whom owned Porsche 911's with alphabetic endings. Well one thing led to another and soon I was hand washing and waxing these beautiful hunks of metal. Word spread, cars were dropped by my place in the a.m. and picked up after work, and a business grew that lasted several years. I even gave the cars a feather dusting just prior to pick up by the owners. 

The sad story really deals with the instability of the car and it's fondness for fishtailing under certain conditions and most definitely in the hands of a novice driver like me. On this one particular evening, oblivious to the fact it had recently rained and the streets still glimmered with its wetness, the rev of two engines could be heard, my friend's 911E and my 912, the race was on. Never mind the facts that I was underpowered and inexperienced, this race was going to be mine. 

Off we went, my friend generously allowing me the first jump, which did nothing more than to really spur me on. Down the street I flew much too fast for the approaching turn, I slammed on the breaks (mistake one), started to fishtail and I over steered (mistake two) the rest is a bit of a blur. My husband sat frustrated and helpless in the passenger seat a witness to this horror. Eventually (probably mere seconds) we came to rest after have I had done a complete 360 and was finally slowed by scraping a lamp post along the driver's side while going backwards. 

The miracle to my indiscretion was that no innocent bystanders or drivers were involved and I came out of it with a few chipped teeth when my head it the steering wheel and a minor laceration on my shoulder from the broken driver's side window. The police saw fit not to ticket me, an act of kindness that did not go unnoticed – I never raced again. 

The victim in this case was my completely innocent Tangerine Porsche 912 who suffered the brunt of this blameless abuse. I was told she wasn't a pretty sight, the cost of a new door versus used door the only thing separating her from being totaled. But my memory of her that night was of a tangerine tinged sparkle leaning gingerly against a lamppost. 

I never saw her again after that night, too embarrassed and ashamed to face her, I had no words to proclaim my innocence. It was one of those love affairs that you just had to walk away from without any words spoken. 

Casey, you have brought my love back to me as we were in the beginning. I remember this day we parked alongside this country road and enjoyed a lovely picnic in the woods. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blast From the Past

June 1955 - Rosemead High School

This must be nostalgia week in the blogosphere, all of us are digging deep and pulling out our old photos. Actually the ones included in this blog I just received in the mail today from my best buddy Sivi from my high school days. From the looks of the smile on my face I was really happy to be getting out of high school. Maybe it was a stunned look that they actually issued me a cap and gown.

The great thing is that while it has been fifty-five years I do remember this day like it was yesterday. Good times for sure. Can I do it again?

I must have thought this an appropriate pose for a newbie graduate.

Yes, that 1954 Ford, that I shared with my Mom my senior year was given to me as a graduation gift a year later. Talk about being spoiled! But hey, I turned out alright didn't I?????

My senior year sweetheart, we sure do look happy. Wonder why it didn't work out?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sweet Lou To Say Goodbye

The Sweetest Spot In The Middle of Goodbye

Goodbye is difficult.
It is bitter.
A torture.
A slapstick comedy,
A parody of a promise,
A pleasantry exchange.
Tiresome and hurtful.
But, right in the middle
Of words unspoken.
Among the emotionless
Beneath the silence
We seem to scream,
Beyond, the melodramatic
Memories long-playing
In our crying hearts,
Goodbye is a revelation.
A celebration of our truths.
It's a humble acceptance
Of what we cannot be.
And that's what I choose to see.
Our reality!
That tiny speck of honesty-
The sweetest spot
In the middle of
Our goodbye.

                                                       November 1st, 2009 by USI 

The above poem puts to words Lou's goodbye better than I myself could even attempt.

Monday, July 19, 2010

You know...

You know you are getting old when you can't wait for summer to be over.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Where have all the Blue States gone?

Talk about a political upheaval, whew! Consensus is that it is HOT!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 14th - Happy Bastille Day!

A toast to France!

Aboard the Gemini - Just Off Maui

View of West Maui from the Gemini

Rigged and Ready to Go

Just so peaceful

Dinner is just a bite away

Gemini Captain and Crew Member

Monday, July 12, 2010

Back Home

Going through Maui withdrawal so I stopped by the market today and bought a pineapple. Not quite as sweet as the ones we had in Hawaii but if I close my eyes and try real hard I can almost hear the waves crashing on the beach.

Over the next few days I will share some more of the pictures taken on our trip. Really we had the most perfect weather, the only rain was when we drove up country and then just sprinkles.

Driving through up country Maui

Maui up country

Westin Hotel Lobby Pool

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Aloha Maui

The Foot on A Sunset Cruise

Can you believe it, tonight is the final night of this fabulous Maui vacation. So decided to take the foot on a sunset cruise, looks like all five toes are having a great time.

This is the Captain and a crew member. Oh, lordy... if I were only in my thirties again. Well, that's another story for another time. The cruise was great fun, we left from the beach in front of the Westin Hotel. We got to wade out to the ramp and then on the go signal, raced up the steps to board the catamaran. Exit was the same but in reverse.

So here is the final sunset, tomorrow we pack our bags and head back to California. On Sunday I wing my way back to St. Louis and promise to catch you all up in more detail. Before we disembarked our cruise everyone on board sang happy birthday to our friend Barbara. It has been a very special trip to celebrate the birthday of a very special friend. See you all soon when I get back home and settled back in.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Paia, Maui, Hawaii

We spent today driving around to various spots on Maui. This is the east side of Maui, isn't it pretty? Drove up country as well. I will have to go through my photos and post some of those later.

This is the beach in front of Mama's Fish House in Paia. We are going to have dinner here tomorrow night to celebrate Barbara's birthday again. If someone offered me a shack right here on this beach I could live there forever.

Tonight we walked down to the beach to catch a sunset, but it was cloudy out at sea so there was no sunset to catch. So I captured my well traveled foot once again as we sat at the edge of the ocean on the sand and enjoyed an after-dinner cup of coffee.

So that's about it for today, July 5th. Gosh...Monday is in the past, just three more days left. Wow, the time goes by so fast. Aloha for now.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 3, 2010 - Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Ninety years ago today this very special lady was born! She has been my best friend for thirty-eight of those years. When I asked her how she wanted to celebrate this special, one-of-a-kind birthday, her reply was that she wanted to celebrate it on Maui.

A Happy Birthday toast to Barbara!

So celebrate we did, with her daughter and grandson in attendance and a day that was heavenly perfect, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Kimo's restaurant that looked out over the Pacific Ocean.

Kimo's Restaurant

No birthday is complete without a birthday cake but this delicious ice cream concoction is over the top.

As you can see no one liked it at all.

Happy Birthday, Barbara and many happy returns!!!

Maui - Day Two

At the Beach!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Maui Wowie

Here I am in Maui enjoying the great Hawaii Sun, Water and Wind. Off to put my feet in the blue Pacific. Will report back later.