Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Glenn Miller Concert, A Tag, and More Awards

I was invited to a Glenn Miller Concert this past Sunday evening, January 25, 2009, held at our new Chapman Cultural Center downtown. Stosh invited both my daughter and me to go with him. We had second row balcony seats, which were absolutely wonderful! I was worried if I would be able to walk that far with my bad knee and leg, but I made it! I love music and just couldn't miss this great opportunity. It was a truly delightful evening!

Upon entering the massive lobby, we were thrust back decades in time. In between the shows (after the 3 p.m. show and before the 7 p.m. show), the lobby of the David Reid Theatre was transformed into a classic USO Dance and Canteen. This was a free reception to all ticket holders with huge platters of sandwiches, bags of chips, candy bars and several different beverages. War time music was playing and people were dancing all the old dances. It was just so much fun to watch! The oldsters were having quite a fun time!

A second performance at 7 p.m. was added to this engagement. It was a special show for our military service men and women, both active and veterans. What I found so heartwarming was that some of the older veterans showed up in uniform. One little old guy even had his white Navy cap on. The band leader honored the veterans by asking them all to stand at one point during the show. I felt so proud of my ex when he stood, as he had served his country with a 3-year stint in our U.S. Army! As I looked around at them all standing, I felt a great sense of thankfulness and pride to these great people who fought to keep our country free!

The 19-member band continues to play many of the original Miller arrangements that keep exciting fans who have not heard them played for a while. Additionally, they are also playing more modern selections in the big-band style, carefully selecting only those newer tunes that lend themselves naturally to the Miller style and sound, carefully selected pieces that will stay around for a while. The entire repertoire, which now exceeds 1,700 compositions, keeps the band popular with both young and old. Most of the band’s shows are sell-outs. It has proven staying power, and its popularity has never seemed to wane. Indeed, the Glenn Miller Orchestra today is still the most sought after big-band in the world just as it was in Glenn’s day. If it ever comes to your area, please don't miss it. They had the audience clapping, and everyone really got into the mood and music!

Some of the songs they performed were Chattanooga Choo-Choo, A String of Pearls, Danny Boy, People Like You & Me, Too Little Time, Moonlight Serenade, Moonlight Cocktail, Sunrise Serenade, Little Brown Jug, Stardust, The American Patrol, Elmer's Tune, In the Mood, Bugle Call Rag, Pennsylvania 6-5000, Rhapsody in Blue, A Sentimental Journey, Everybody Loves My Baby, Too Little Time, St. Louis Blues March, At Last, Serenade in Blue, Tuxedo Junction, Anvil Chorus, Runnin' Wild, I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo, Come Rain or Come Shine, Pavanne, Juke Box Saturday Night, Adios, For All We Know, Song of the Volga Boatmen, Perfidia, I Dreamt I Dwelt in Harlem, Begin the Beguine, I Know Why, Tangerine, Tail End Charlie, Caribbean Clipper, Sun Valley Jump, Here We Go Again, Skylark, The Nearness of You, Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree, Body and Soul.

Glenn Miller was before my time, but I grew up listening to his music as my mom and dad loved his sounds. The following is mainly for all you younger bloggers, in case you never really knew who Glenn Miller was.

Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904–presumably December 15, 1944), was an American jazz musician, arranger, composer, and band leader in the swing era. His reign as the most popular bandleader in the U.S. came relatively late in his career and was relatively brief, lasting only about three and a half years, from the spring of 1939 to the fall of 1942 when he joined up to serve our country. But during that period he utterly dominated popular music, and over time he has proven the most enduring figure of the swing era, with re-issues of his recordings achieving gold record status 40 years after his death. He developed a distinctive sound in which a high-pitched clarinet carried the melody, doubled by a saxophone section playing an octave lower, and he used that sound to produce a series of hits that remain definitive examples of swing music. His approach is not much appreciated by jazz fans, who prefer bands that allow for greater improvisation than was found in his highly disciplined, rigorously rehearsed unit. But he brought the swing style of popular music to a level of sophistication and commercial acceptance it had not previously achieved and would not see again after his untimely passing.

The Chapman Cultural Center is a three building campus arranged around a central plaza, the Zimmerli Plaza. It is just a gorgeous piece of architecture! The Chapman Cultural Center, owned and operated by The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, is the community's pre-eminent common ground where the people of Spartanburg County and its visitors come together to discover, experience, and celebrate the performing and visual arts, science and history.

And now on to some other fun things...

Gramma Ann tagged me a week or so ago for a game of sharing six things about myself, and I am just now getting to post it and pass it on. If you already haven't done so, go check out her blog. She has more than one blog for you to enjoy. She is an avid reader and knows all the best books. I thank you so much, Gramma Ann, for including me to play along in this game!

Here are the rules of the game:

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Share six random things about yourself.
3) Tag six people and let them know they are tagged on their own blog, but please feel free to play any way you want.

Six things about me:

1) I cannot stand clutter!
2) I LOVE cats and all animals for that matter.
3) I work from home and love both my jobs. Most days I work in my PJ's!
4) I love to watch old classic movies and musicals.
5) I love decorating my home.
6) I am a NY native, raised in the beautiful mountains of PA known as God's Country, and a Yankee and proud of it!!!

Now with all those enlightening (?) things about myself, I will tag everyone who visits and comments on my blog! Please let me know if you participate so I can check out your answers, too!

This above award is called the Honest Scrap Award, and was given to me by Merle from
Australia. I thank you so very much, Merle! Be sure to drop by and visit Merle as she has a great blog and features jokes quite often. So if you ever need a good chuckle, be sure to drop in
and say "Hi" to Merle. I promise you'll leave with a BIG smile on your face!

1) List 10 honest things about yourself.
2) Post the award on your post and also on your blog sidebar.
3) Put a link to the person who you received the award from.
4) Nominate at least 7 blogs which show "honest scrapness."
5) Be sure to link to your nominees in your post. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blogs.

My 10 honest things about myself :

1) I am a procrastinator. I never was until I got a little older. I think they call it 'lazy' these days. LOL
2) I have 2 wonderful children whom I love with all my heart!
3) I have no grandchildren......yet!
4) I am a true night owl...I love to watch TV all night or clean house late at night!
5) I play piano and was church pianist for many years.
6) I studied opera years ago, but since I had throat surgery 4.5 years ago, I cannot even carry a tune anymore. The nerves over vocal cords were damaged during the surgery.
7) I despise going into the city for supplies, as I am strictly a homebody. I have to psych myself out to get out the door!
8) I love to blog but wish I had more time to do it every day.
9) I love to knit and sew, but again not enough time to do either.
10) I love to do ceramics! And I also have to add that I LOVE my cats...all 33 of them!!!
I am not going to name just 7 people to pass this award on to, but I want everyone who reads and comments on this post to please accept this "Honest Scrap" award from me! Please copy it and take it to your sidebar.

And now another one from Merle! This award is called Your Blog is Fabulous.

Thank you so much, Merle! You are such a dear to share your awards with me! I consider you one of my dearest blogger friends!
I would like to pass this award to everyone who reads and comments on this post, so please accept this "Fabulous Blog" award from me! Feel free to copy it and take it to your sidebar.

And still another one from Merle! Again, I thank you, my dear friend! This one is called Friends award. And we all know that we have made so many new friends through blogging!

I would also like to pass this award to everyone who reads and comments on this post, so please accept this "Friends" award from me! Feel free to copy it and take it to your sidebar.

I saw on the news earlier today that some of our blogger friends in the Midwest have been hit by a BIG ice storm and are without power for possibly a week! Let's all pray that these friends are able to cook and keep warm and remain safe from falling trees. I blog with several gals from Arkansas, which was hit quite hard by this latest storm. Thinking of you all at this time.....and hoping that your power is restored really soon! Be safe, my friends!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our Big Snow Day

We woke up to some 'white stuff' this morning! All day yesterday, the media was all excited about the big impending snow storm headed our way. They had predicted 2-4 inches. Well, this is what we got! LOL They were on the air at 4:30am this morning with updates! They said the brine trucks headed out at dusk last evening to spread salt water on the highways to help prevent them from freezing. There were 68 accidents in our county alone this morning! As you can see, not everyone headed out to work early.

It was a rather cold day here in 'Dixie,' though. And a cold night again tonight. This will probably be the extent of our winter here. We don't get snow all that often, but when the word 'snow' is even mentioned, people get all excited and head out to the grocery stores to stock up. They stated on TV that sleds were a big seller yesterday, too. Unfortunately, schools in our area were not closed today. I do wish we had gotten more snow for the kids' sake, as kids here don't get snow to play in all that often. Anyhow, this is the extent of our accumulation where I live. They are predicting areas of 'black ice' for the morning commute again tomorrow.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Grandma's Pie

Grannie made such beautiful pies!
One day, I asked her, "How do you get such beautiful pies
with the crimps around the edge so even?"
"It's a family secret," she said.
"So promise not to tell.
I roll out the dough, then cut a bottom layer
and carefully put it in the pie plate.
Then I slowly pour the filling, making sure it's not too full.
Next I cut a top layer and put it over the filling.
Finally, I take out my teeth and just run them
around the edge of the pie crust,
and they make the nicest even impressions you ever did see."

I have had this picture for a little while now but was just waiting for the right time to make a post of it. Yesterday I made an apple pie from some Granny Smith apples I had leftover from the last batch I bought at the apple farm. That's when this pic popped into my mind again, and I just had to share it with you all! Sorry, but I forgot to take a pic of the pie I made. And, no, I do not have false teeth, so my crust was just crimped with my fingers!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Little Christmas

Today, January 6th, is Little Christmas, so I thought it wasn't too late to post my Christmas pics, after all. I have been experiencing some rapid heart rate problems the past several days, so that is why I am late in doing my Christmas post.

First of all, Stosh, Tammy and I started our holidays off by visiting my Mom's place of rest and honoring her with a Christmas wreath the weekend before Christmas. The banner across the middle reads 'Mom.' She always visited friends' and family members' graves each year and saw that they all had flowers. Now it is her turn to receive flowers. Below is the new name plate I had made for her, having the first letters of her name in larger letters than the rest and also had 'Beloved Mother and Grandma' added across the bottom.

My daughter's birthday was on December 15th, but she was in Montreal on a business trip that week, so we celebrated her special day on December 19th with this birthday cake. Somehow, we managed to mess up the 'B' in the word 'Birthday' while getting it out of the box, but, believe me, it didn't affect the cake's taste one bit. (It was chocolate!)

Below is the new centerpiece I bought the day my daughter and I went to Greenville shopping. I put it on my kitchen table and think I'll leave it there for awhile! I love snowmen! Unfortunately for the snowmen, so do my cats! I found one of the little carrot noses pulled out one day, and so now it has little teeth marks on it!

I don't put up a tree as the cats would just tear it down, so I decorate outdoors to share with my neighbors. One year my tree was knocked down 3 times, so no more big trees until some of these cats grow out of the devilish kitten stage. I have the little tabletop tree that I purchased for my dad when he was at Duke Hospital days before he died, but I forgot to take a picture of it. I placed it on my mantle and then took it down each night and put in a closet.
Below are pics of my outdoor decorations...
My gingerbread train...and deer in the background...

Mr. and Mrs. Gingerbread to greet guests...

Below is a pic of my daughter's outdoor "Winter Wonderland" decorations...

This is a picture of her 9-foot Christmas tree. It has 3,000 lights on it!

Gee, I wonder what this gift could be????

Tammy loves her Aunt Jemima frozen waffles plus she loves to cook and bake, so I made her this apron as her gag gift this year. She loved it! I am going to make myself one next.

She had Christmas Eve dinner, and this was her display of goodies afterwards...

This is her Nativity scene. Looks like I blurred the picture when I took it...

This is her village....one year she displayed it even larger on a 4x8-foot sheet of plywood, but this year she cut back and didn't display all the pieces...

And, of course, Buster had to get his picture taken! As you can see, he is doing very well after his invasive surgery and chemo...

And, of course, he had to engage in his favorite sport of the season...removing the bows!

And we can't forget Sweet Pea! She was enjoying the big squirrel I gave her and Buster. She tore right into it! So you can see that she is doing quite well since her 2 cancer surgeries and 19 radiation treatments. She and Buster both are such sweet cats!

This is Sweet Pea with the squirrel. I am posting this pic so you can see where her hair came back all white at the radiation site. You can see the white streak on her back. But so far, both she and Buster have had good reports with their ultrasounds and chest x-rays!

This is a pic of my ex's home all decked out for the holidays! I took this as I was leaving there on Christmas night. You can see the city lights in the sky 8 miles away behind his home! (You can see him standing on his front porch. No, we didn't leave him there...he just posed for the picture. He soon followed to Tammy's for more gift opening.)

This is his Christmas tree and gifts for the kids. They open their packages at his home. We later went to Tammy's to open up gifts there. We have to bend our holidays a little as Tim has to drive in from Orlando on Christmas Eve and never gets in til quite late. (The dates are wrong on the pics....seems when I put new batteries in, it messed up the date thing in the camera!)

This is a pic of Stosh, Tammy and me at his home.

He also loves his village display and plans to do it even bigger next year. He and Tammy share their love of Christmas villages.

I loved the centerpiece of his village....a waterfall!

This is an electric animated ski slope...

A car stuck in the snow with people pushing it up the hill....

I loved the scene below of an old-fashioned sleigh ride....

And I thought this was kind of a cute scene, too...decorating the arbor in the middle of town....

And last, but not least, his nativity scene. We remember the Reason for the Season!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We always enjoy our family times together! Wishing you all a great 2009 with good health, lots of fun times and many blessings! I am so grateful for all the new friends I have made through blogging this past year!
I just now received an email from Michelle about Taylor! It is good news! Please visit Michelle's blog and read the latest update on Taylor!