AXStv–Dan Rather

My life has been enhanced by the discovery of AXStv and in particular, Dan Rather’s THE BIG INTERVIEW!

I’ve loved music forever–the radio was always on while growing up on the farm whether we were cooking in the house or milking cows in the barn.

When I discovered Dick Clark’s American Bandstand at age 12 (we got our first television) my world expanded with his introduction of the latest songs and dances. More on that later.

Having enjoyed all genres of music for decades, I can’t believe I missed Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” for so many years. Perhaps it is because I was caring for our two little boys and Glen Campbell’s “Dreams of the Everyday Housewife” took center stage.

Now my music addiction has been expanded with these often in depth interviews. I am particularly intrigued with the interview of Roger Waters. Annie Lennox’s insight was a favorite too.

I know that Dan Rather is in his 80’s and I’m so appreciative of his talents and eye opening interviews. Hang in there, Dan!

GARAGE SALE TREASURES

And then today…

It’s always the thrill of the hunt. I began going to garage sales and estate sales years ago when I was looking for props for the lifesize soft sculpture people I made.

I particularly enjoy homes of the affluent who live nearby as they have great quality stuff!

Today was a good day!

Autographed Spalding Basketball

Both Bob Love and Michael Jordan have signed this basketball. The man who sold it is good friends with Bob Love. What a gift for our only grandson! We have taken him to a Bulls game but it was after the glory days of Love and Jordan.

This Technics Direct Drive Automatic SL-D3 is a vintage powerhouse. I’ve been buying vinyl records for years and am thrilled with the quality component pieces I find at garage sales.

I’m playing a recently purchased album vintage Sonny & Cher and Cher is pouring her heart out on “Danny Boy”.

Life is good.

Steppenwolf Theater–The Children

And then today….

I was going through last night’s playbill for Steppenwolf’s latest production of The Children. We have been subscribers to Steppenwolf for probably 20 years and I’m always amazed at how mind expanding and thought provoking the experience is for weeks, and sometimes years, after the initial viewing.

I have saved all my playbills.

Last night’s play The Children is best described by the playwright, Lucy Kirkwood, as “…how we can all know that we are living through a climate emergency, and yet continually fail to change our behavior. How can we go on pretending it’s not happening?

Well, one answer to that is that what we are talking about is a death. Both literal–the idea of a dying planet that will become increasingly uninhabitable and riven with famine and water shortages. And in a more metaphorical sense–to meaningfully deal with climate change means a rejection of the basic principles of Capitalism, under which in the West we’ve all had a really lovely and comfortable time of it over the past century. Action demands we give up things that we have been conditioned to think are our rights, things we feel our lives world be impoverished without–plane travel, bottomless carbon, Italian tomatoes in the winter”.

Yes. I agree.

Steppenwolf National Medal of Arts Award
Steppenwolf Tony Award

Although I try to be tuned in, I still find myself with lots of plastic and styrofoam waste (carry out and/or everyday packaging) that I feel guilty about.

Oh, and I might add, we drove home in one of those extreme weather situations that have been happening so frequently. I don’t know how the farmers of Illinois will get their crops in this season.

Food and water. Think.

Remembering Pfc. GUNNAR HOTCHKIN

And then today….

Tributes all around to our veterans (two brothers, an uncle and a cousin) and a special tribute for a local young man killed in Afghanistan.

A memorial tree for Gunnar Hotchkin in Burlington Park is on the route of the Memorial Day parade and village hall program. The high school band was outstanding as well as the high school students who read their winning Memorial Day essays.

Burlington Park tree planted for Gunnar Hotchkin

Thank you all.

CEMETERY DOGS–Best Friends

And then today….

I will be visiting a cemetery the Memorial Day weekend as part of my volunteer work for findagrave.com. Most requests for headstone photos come from people who are doing genealogy studies. My photographs over the years are diverse and quite interesting. Sometimes I will google the info about the deceased just to answer questions. More info on those stories later. A cemetery visit is always a reality check. Every headstone tells a love story, particularly when guarded by a dog.

I have a collection of photos of many dogs at cemeteries, a symbol of love and loyalty. “Respect is earned, Honesty is appreciated, Love is gained, and Loyalty is returned.”

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. Gandi

SNL Remembering Chris Farley

And then today….

I set the recorder to A&E Monday night for the Chris Farley biography “Anything for a Laugh”. Adam Sandler just did a wonderful SNL tribute to him as well. One of my all-time favorite SNL pieces is when Chris interviews Paul McCartney.

Beginning of Chris chapter in Second City Book

As a faithful fan of Saturday Night Live since its very first night, I have acquired some interesting memorabilia over the years. Gilda, Tina, Phil Hartman and Will Farrell are other favorites of mine.

Classic from Aurora?

Games, record, sealed chocolates
Early drug death for John same as Chris. Sad.

Thanks Saturday Night Live. We stopped by 30 Rock when we visited NYC a year ago, but there was no performance that Saturday night. Oh, how I’d love to see one!

American English Tribute

And then today…

I’m going through my videos/photos of last night’s Beatles Tribute Band, American English. Loving all music and in college at the time the Beatles came to America, I’ve always appreciated their place in history and their incredible talents. It’s amazing that these guys found each other in that little area of Liverpool and became THE BEATLES!!!

American English at Humane Society benefit–mop tops!

Sergeant Pepper segment called for colorful costuming!

And a bubble machine!

Much as I admire each one, George has always held a special place in my heart. Martin Scorcese has an in depth story of George Harrison’s life entitled “Living in the Material World”. I have the book and CDs, but I realize it is also on Netflix. I bought the artwork below by Shephard Fairey for my 70th birthday because of the way George handled his impending death. Olivia said his soul “lit up the room”.

Shepard Fairey (famous for President Obama posters) Signed Print


We’ve been fortunate enough to see Sir Paul McCartney in concert and to visit Strawberry Fields in New York City Central Park outside John Lennon’s Dakota home.

My massive record collection includes many original Beatles albums.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was rated as number one album by Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” extensive panel of judges.

Thank you Beatles!

New Beginning, Old Age

SUPERMAN & BEST PLAYMATE for 54 + years!

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. It’s cliche but true. Yesterday Bob and I celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary and I’m scared! Time is passing so quickly and I have so many things yet to do before I die!

This is my second try at blogging and also my second try at THE ARTIST’S WAY class that inspires me to get off my fat butt and do this! Writing does not come easy for me, but I want to try. I want my kids and grandkids to know what a zany, quirky, fun-filled life I’ve had–and I wish for them the same! I’m inspired by creative people and hopefully I might inspire too.

TOP TEN THINGS THAT MAKE MY WORLD GO ROUND:

  1. Family--one perfect husband, two perfect sons, two perfect daughters-in-law, and five perfect grandchildren (more info later)
  2. Friends–# one trait–FUN
  3. Home & Garden (more info later)
Lucky, lucky, lucky to find this spot on the water with glory of nature all around!

4. Work–teach, art shows, realtor (more info later–lots more

5. Hobbies –collections of everything! I am the garage sale queen. Much of my collecting has been concentrating on all things music. My vinyl record collection is in the thousands and lots of other memorabilia. More….

6. Activist–speaking out for what I believe in. This is part of the luxury of age. I’ve been to four marches in the last couple of years. I fight for justice!

7. The Arts–any extra money goes for theater/concert tickets. I don’t care about clothes, jewelry or stuff like that any more! Love art and artists.

Jean-Michel Basquiat Original just arrived in town art store–only $415,000

8. Television & Books–I’m just recovering from 80 hours of Game of Thrones and hoping to get into new Howard Stern book. I love pop culture and movies and biographies and smart writing. My new favorite word from VEEP is “fuckedydoodah” or however you spell it.

9. Cemeteries–As a volunteer for findagrave.com, I love visiting any and all cemeteries. It’s an excellent reality check.

10. Everything else–all the things I forgot to mention. After all, I am 76 now and multi-tasking is in the past. The mind locks in on one thing at a time.

Newton Custom Interiors

And then today….

I took some time to check out and marvel at my niece’s website.  She’s right in line and ready to fill the shoes of Martha Stewart when she retires.

Jann has been creating exquisite custom window treatments for clients (many in central Illinois where I grew up) for years and I’ve loved seeing her posts on Facebook.  Now I realize by looking at her  newtoncustominteriors.com  website, I’ve discovered a wonderland of ideas and tutorials and recipes for creating a better home life!

Jann’s information will, of course, be beneficial to those involved in a real estate transaction–both buyers and sellers!  Her staging skills are evident in the videos she shares of her own home decorating!

I have seen Jann’s workspace and she practices what she preaches.  When I was creating my soft sculpture “people”, my work space was a mess!  That’s who I am, I guess.  Jann is organized and disciplined and very creative–and all while being exceptionally neat!   I want to be like Jann when I grow up!