Labor Days Past–What I’ve Done for Money!

And then today….

I’m grateful for my work ethic as learned from my family while growing up on the farm.  My dad encouraged resourcefulness and initiative.  I think that’s why I’ve often been “self-employed” in so much of my work.

Last Monday, Labor Day, I began to think back and list my lifetime of jobs.  They include:

  1.  Detasseling corn and baby sitting–early teen years…..it was so exciting to make money.  I used to pour over the Sears catalog with the thrill of deciding how to spend it.  I believe I bought clothes and maybe my first record player & records.
  2. Waitressing and store clerk–once I turned 16……my junior yearbook is autographed by many truck drivers who would routinely stop at The Galley along Route 66.  I then graduated to a bigger restaurant, Paul’s New Log Cabin in Pontiac, because the tips were better.
  3. Shoe salesgirl at Marshall Field–ages 18, 19…..while I spent a year in Chicago studying Fashion Merchandising at Patricia Stevens.
  4. Grocery checker–ages 19-21…..while I went to college at Illinois State.
  5. Teacher 1968-1969…..summer school, first grade, fifth grade, and substitute teaching while our boys were young.  (Regrets, I have a few, but then again, to few to mention.  However not getting back to teaching is my one main regret.)
  6. Homemade Barbie Doll clothes, a couple of children’s stories and a greeting card 1970-1977….the first lady who answered my ad for handmade Barbie clothes bought $70 worth and I was hooked!  I even made original patterns for Barbie and sold my copyrighted patterns via McCalls Crafts Magazine.  It was fun to get money in the mail.
Armful of Nudes
Armful of Nudes                                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.  Sculpture “People” sold at art fairs throughout the country–1978-1992….designed and created all kinds of themes and sizes under my business name of Marli Originals!  Modest Melvin was always a favorite.

8.  Real Estate Broker 1988 to present….with Prudential for many years (2003 Chairman’s Circle Winner as advertised in the Wall Street Journal) and now with Re/Max.  I never dreamed I could work so hard and make so much money in the really booming years of production.  I wanted to call my farmer parents (deceased) and tell them, so we could have a good laugh together.

9.  eBay 1999 to present….through years of gathering garage sale treasures (began when I was making my “people”) I have an eclectic mixture of items I’ve sold and continue selling on eBay.  I usually only list items before the holidays.  My best profit came from vintage Air Jordans I bought for $2 and sold for $665.00.

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Moral of this story:  If anyone is willing to work hard, take changes, and put yourself out there, you can make money and have fun doing it!

Vinyl Record of the Day:  

Listening to an oldies album, At the Hop, and especially picked the song “Get a Job” by the Silhouettes.

AMAZING GRACE–A Pope for All

And then today….

I’ve been thinking about the Pope appearing on network television’s 20/20 program last night as he prepares for his visit to the United States.  He took questions and gave heartfelt and comforting responses.

He seems to be an answer to our prayers as he is so perfect for these times in history.  We need him.

I was raised Methodist and now continue to search and study all religions.  My background taught me that God is love, not fear.  I reach out to other religions including Buddism and Islam.  I read Thich Nhat Hanh and embrace mindfulness.

In 2001 when we visited Italy, I particularly was drawn to Assisi and the works of  St. Francis’.  Pope Francis has chosen his name from St. Francis, I believe, and I am comforted by his inclusive, kind, courageous, caring and loving words.  He is so like my Jesus Christ whom I met in childhood Sunday School and who has been a guiding light in my life.

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Above is photo of the front of a shirt my children gave me for my birthday.  I love it.  I think it is another way of saying the Golden Rule.

At the end of last night’s program, the Pope asked for something from us.  He asked that we pray for him.

I pray and wish him well, now and always.

Yesterday I was thinking of how religion has caused so much desperation and strife in the world.  Today I celebrate a man of peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CROWDS–Desperation or Celebration

And then today….

I see the news story of the Syrian Refugees and I wince.  It is now burned in my brain–the crowd’s desperation, the cramming into flimsy boats and trains and through bus windows.  The beautiful children, the haunting expressions, the death, the hysteria–what can I do?

I remember visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. and the experience of crowding into an elevator, getting off on the upper lever and crowding down the narrow hallway to begin the tour.  I’m sure this was architecturally designed on purpose, reminding visitors of the crowded cattle cars.

I have experienced crowds on numerous occasions but my experiences have been celebrations!  A few of my favorites include:

  1.  Crowding into a venue to see a concert–U2, Paul McCartney and Bon Jovi , to name a few.
  2. Crowding into Memphis and the Pyramid on the 25th anniversary of Elvis’ death was a celebration of The King we shared with thousands of his loyal fans.
  3. Crowding onto The Mall in Washington D.C. for the inauguration of President Obama (picture above) will always be a life defining moment.  Millions of people of all ages and sizes and colors mingled together with mutual respect and kindness and with the hope that this country had finally grown up and somehow changed.   It’s turned out to not be that easy.  Racism and hatred are as evident today as ever.

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We walked for a while to a spot near the Washington Monument with this guy, Bill Murray, who seems to be a fan of crowds in a historical context.  He has related several stories over the years on Dave Letterman.  (Oh how I miss Dave.)

But now back to the crowds of desperation….again, my garage sale adventures led me to a home where the proceeds of the sale were to benefit the Syrian Refugees.  The seller is from Syria and we talked for a few minutes.  He thanked me for caring.  But again, what can I do?  I asked him that and he said it was too late.  It seems the most horrible things happen in the name of religion.

PBS NATIONAL GALLERY Documentary

And then today….

Before I got out of bed this morning, I finished watching the last segment of this  3 hour documentary — awesome!

The DVR description says:

“Sequences feature the galleries of the National Gallery in London that shows how the exhibits are studied, restored and planned out over time.”

I love to hear English people talk, but I love even more hearing English people talk art!  I caught the programming (initially released in 2014) in the middle of the night and was awake enough to push the record button.

For the second time this week, the Bible story of Mary and Martha, was discussed.  First at a funeral and then with the artwork above.

The artwork of the early masters are particularly thought provoking.  The “Virgin of the Rocks” below is one example they discussed.

 

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I would encourage all to invest 3 hours of your life and enjoy this treasure.

And hopefully some day we can visit the museum in person.

 

 

MTV. VMA, Vinyl Records–If aging isn’t for sissies, then neither is today’s music!

I’m crazy about music–always have been!

I try to act my age, but I remember when the country was upset about Elvis and his simple gyrations on the Ed Sullivan Show.  That makes me 72. I watched the Video Music Awards Sunday night as I always do.  I know most of the music.

I’d love to have purple hair like Jim Peterik above, whom I ran into at the Brian Wilson show at Ravinia last month.  Jim is the EYE OF THE TIGER guy (Survivor, Ides of March) and he’s always gracious to his fans!

I’ve been picking up vinyl records at garage sales for years and now I’ve even been buying new vinyl–Hosier, Father John Misty, Jack White.  I have thousands of albums, hundreds of books, and all kinds of memorabilia–Grateful Dead Cookie Jar, Jerry Garcia doll, Beatles bootlegs–again from garage sales.

Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me.  When will I grow up?  Or should I work at growing up?

Or should I just keep enjoying today’s scene.  Outrageous is in.  Every year it seems like a “can you top this?” event.

The music I listen to covers every genre and every decade.  I play a record almost every day and now this week they sound better than ever with my new Kef speakers–again a garage sale.

One of my Artist’s Way projects is making a handmade journal from an old book.  I took an old library copy of “Life, Death, Legend” (Jim Morrison) and I am transforming it into my Dead Rock Star Album.  It’s so sad to recount the tragedies of so many young musicians–and the quirky way many have died!  I do this out of respect for all, but especially some favorites–Elvis, Ricky, George, John, Whitney, Marvin, Sam Cooke, Freddie Mercury, John Denver, Jackie Wilson, to name just a few.  Just think of the story of how each of them died.  I also treasure the journal I found by Kurt Cobain.

I sometimes wonder why music grabs such a hold of me, but I have been aware of music always.  I listened to it on the farm while helping to milk cows, I watched Dick Clark’s American Bandstand religiously, and I’ve toted my growing record collection to college to marriage to now!

Music helps make good days better and it helps make dark days tolerable.  I thank Elvis gospel for helping me deal with a family suicide.