Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Goals for 2009

Today, I got another of Sommerset's publications - "Life". In it were some ideas to contemplate for 2009. They were penned by artist Becky Shander. She is going to try to seek every day to:

* listen truly

* smile often (I kind of have that down, right?)

* practice patience (I am an extremely patient person, but not at home nor with loved ones. Only strangers).

* avoid greed (I am not greedy, but I do carry around a lot of resentment). I will try to work on that. There is a favorite quote that puts me and my attitude in perspective: "Expectations are plannned resentments." So, in a nice voice, I need to start letting people know what I expect of them before I get angry and don't understand why they aren't mind readers.

* maintain balance - the last line of editor Jenny Doh's letter to Sommerset readers is "And by doing all the above, perhaps we find the secret to maintaining balance.

Let's see how long I can try to consciously and deleberatly better my life and those who I am in contact.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Down Memory Lane

This year, I decided to use a photo from my dad, Harry Keller's stash of negatives, but, how to use it? My friends said I needed to make a black and white card - but, a total black and white card wasn't me or Ernie for a Christmas card. So, I took their idea and mounted it all on a really great red linen card stock from Kelly Papers. I got the last of this background fabric from JoAnn's - so 1/2 the cards have dots and then I went back and got a black and white striped fabric that worked just as well. 100 cards in all were made.

This particular card was my sample so the fabric is a little catawampus and the Swarovski crystal rhinestones are not showing up. The Swarovski crystal rhinestones really made a difference and made the card sparkle. Sloppy zig-zag stitching seems to be all the fashion so I just zoomed along with my old sewing machine.

On the inside, I had a little story that told people what the photo on the front was and a little history of what was sitting right in front of the tree. Here is what it said:

I found this very old 2"x4" negative in my dad, Harry Keller's "stuff". In 1923 my dad was 25 years old and living at home. This is actually my grandparent's home on Kostner Ave. in Chicago.

After coverting the negative in PhotoShop and brightening up the very dark photo, I noticed a vacuum cleaner in the foreground and decided to do some research.

I found on the web that in 1923 the Hoover Vacuum Cleaner cost $75 with a down payment of $5. The same year a new Ford cost $300.

Today, would you pay about one thrid of what a car cost for a vacuum cleaner?


This is the stamp I used on the right side of the card. The stamp is made by Inkadinkado.

Here is photo of our Christmas tree this year, 2008.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happenings - good and sad

Where to begin. . . from Dec. 12, I was up in the Los Angeles area 3 times in 6 days. The first two were turn around trips for funerals.

Growing up, I had 3 wonderful examples of woman who were non-judgmental in their approach to life. The first was Nadine, my mom from when she married Harry, my dad, in 1954.

The second person was Genevieve Butler, who lived across the street from us on Randolph in Glendale. Religiously, she was a "fundamentalist". She was my refuge from life at home. My dad always said, "If you want to know what Sally is thinking, just listen to her." So across the street I would go where Mrs. Butler listened and did not pass judgment.

The 3rd remarkable woman in my youth was Mrs. Pat Pope. It was her funeral I attended on Friday, Dec. 12, in Long Beach. She too was non-judgmental and accepted people as they are and didn't try to change them.

Mrs. Pope 1918-2008

Now with all theses examples, up close and personal, how did I turn out to be an "arrogant, judgmental, and a $%^&#"? I need to reflect on that this coming year.

On Monday, Dec. 15, in the pouring rain I did another turn around trip to Los Angeles to another funeral. My dear friend's son died suddenly and totally unexpected. He would have been 43 years old on Christmas Day. Mike had baby-sat my two kids when they were really young. I gave him piano lessons. Talk about someone always smiling. He always seemed like such a "big kid." And, he was. He stood 6'4". He was like Wikipedia regarding anything television or music. Remember to always make sure that the people you care about know how much they are loved. Luckily, Mike did know how much his sister and her family, his mom and his aunt loved him.

On Wed. Dec. 17, Ernie and I returned to Glendale. Again, it was pouring. It was my girlfriend's annual Christmas Dinner. In the past we have always gone to the Tam O'Shanter. This year we had reservations in Pasadena at Becham's. Like the Tam O'Shanter, they have the Currier & Ive's carolers. It was wonderful and we laughed and had a really great time.

Alice, Julie, Carole, me and Patty

Winter Symphony

Friday, Ernie and I headed home via the Honda Center in Anaheim where our Christmas Present from my kids awaited us - Sarah Brightman's Winter Symphony. The seats were excellent. Sarah was amazing. What a drama queen! That's what makes the show so special - the drama and Sarah's voice. . .

Have you seen her Symphony in Vienna on PBS? All I can say is "Wow". Below is just one of theatrical sets. There is a GIANT screen behind her where interesting backdrops were projected.

Sarah perched on a swing from the ceiling

It wasn't fun getting there, though. What should have taken about 45 minutes to get from Glendale to Anaheim, took over 3 hrs.

Erik, Kari and I had seen Sarah Brightman Christmas 1983 at the Music Center in Los Angeles. We sat in the 11th row and she was singing all the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. At the end of her concert they made a surprise announcement: Andrew Lloyd Webber was there and he came out on stage to a standing ovation. It was so very magical, just like Sarah's concert at the Honda Center.