July 16, 2018 – I know that some people always want what they don’t have, but Christmas in July? I never understood the fascination. Are people so starved to celebrate a holiday after July 4th that they can’t wait until Labor Day? And how can anyone, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, think about Christmas during summer heat?
This strange tradition dates back to July 1933, when girls at a summer camp in North Carolina celebrated with a Christmas tree, gifts and a visit by Santa. Wonder who came up with that idea? Two years later, the National Recreation Association’s journal featured a story about the girls’ celebration and it took off.
Now its reached even the most common places. Turn on QVC, a guilty pleasure for me, and you’ll be given opportunities to buy trees, wreaths, other Christmas decorations and gifts. No thank you! And Hallmark Channel is running nonstop Christmas movies, which I can’t even consider this time of year.
But the biggest push to embrace Christmas in July comes from retailers who use it as a way to promote summer sales. So if you’re doing a little shopping while humming “Deck the Halls” don’t worry if some people look at you strangely. At least you’re helping the economy.
July 13, 12018 – This week’s photo challenge is Look Up.
Two “Look Up” shots of Philadelphia’s City Hall:
July 9, 2018 – A while back, I received a post card from a friend that completely brightened my day. She was visiting Santa Fe, N.M., more specifically the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year. It’s one of my favorite places on earth, the post card brought back a lot of pleasant memories.
I remember visiting the museum several years back in the early days, when it first opened. It’s nothing like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, my local museum, which is incredible in its own right, but on a much grander scale. Rather, it resembles an adobe style home in the middle of a residential neighborhood, giving it a straightforward appeal.
While there I took in two of my favorite paintings, Red Poppy and Black and Purple Petunias, prints of which hang in my dining room. It was incredible to see the actual work and brush strokes on the canvas.
A few years later, in 2000, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC offered an O’Keeffe exhibit, and when I read that my painting would be displayed, the three-hour ride seemed minimal. Ladder to the Moon is a simple painting, but it makes me feel full of possibilities when I look at it.
The technical aspect of art is lost on me; I’ve never taken a fine arts class and don’t know how to correctly interpret the paintings I admire. And that’s OK. I much prefer the way a painting makes me feel, anyway. The magic of art is like that sometimes.
July 6, 2018 — This week’s challenge is “cherry on top“.
July 2, 2018 – It’s not often I get to interview myself, so here’s part of a rare conversation I just had with me last night.
Confused? Don’t be. I received these questions from a friend and answered them to help her out with a survey/statistics project. They took a long time to complete, so I thought they’d pull double duty and act as a blog post as well.
1. What are you dreading right now? Running a communication task force meeting next Monday. Never cared for public speaking or running the agenda and worrying about the conference equipment. I’d rather just be an attendee and give my opinion when needed.
2. Do you celebrate 420? No, I never have. Honestly, I just learned what 420 was a few years ago. I don’t have a problem with legalizing marijuana, though.
3. If anyone came to your house on your “lazy days” what would y’all do? First, we would not get showered or dressed until nearly 3 p.m. or so. We’d spend the morning watching bad talk shows or movies, and probably take a nap or two in between.
4. Do you own a pair of Converse? Not now, but they were a staple of my wardrobe when I was a teenager.
5. Do you eat raw cookie dough? I’ve been known to eat my share of raw cookie dough while baking. But I would never eat cookie dough ice cream or anything like that.
6. Have you ever kicked a vending machine? Kicked, no. Pushed or pounded on, yes.
7. Are you cocky? I don’t think so, but those who know me may answer this question better than me.
8. Could you live without a computer? My first instinct is to say no, but that’s crazy. I don’t want to live without one, but I could if I had to.
9. Do you wear your shoes in the house? Never. Not even in the winter. My toes enjoy plenty of freedom and fresh air.
10. What do you do when you’re sad? Put on sad music, listen to it loudly with my earphones on, and cry. Before I realize it, I’ve switched to upbeat music, I’m dancing around with a smile on my face, and I forgot what I was sad about. Just ask my ex-husband…I used to do this after an argument with him and it drove him crazy because he wanted me to stew just like he did.
11. Is anyone on your bad side now? Not right now. But if there is, you know who you are!
12. When was the last time you left your house? Yesterday in the oppressive heat to run errands.
13. Do you return your cart? Absolutely. It’s a big pet peeve of mine, especially when folks leave them free in the parking lot very close to a drop off point. The trick is to find a spot near one, even if it isn’t the closest to the store.
14. Would you survive in prison? This is just like the computer question. I know I wouldn’t like it, but I would find a way to survive.
15. If all of your friends were going on a road trip, who would most likely over pack? Easy one. Me! But they would forgive men because I would have created an awesome road trip playlist.
16. Do you know anyone with the same name as you? Same first and last name: other than my mother, no. Same first name: yes, a few people, but not many. Jane may be a plain name, but it’s not very common these days.
17. Do your siblings ever pay for stuff for you? They have at one time or another. I typically don’t like it though and they know it.
18. Who would play you in a movie about your life? In my younger days, I would say Meg Tilly because a lot of people thought we looked alike when she was in the “Big Chill”. Today, there isn’t an actress who could handle the role, so I would star in it myself.
19. Ever been to Georgia (the state)? Yes. Driving through rural Georgia I came upon one of the most interesting places, too. Ruby’s Prayer Chapel and Hair Salon!
20. What song best describes your life right now? I could be living between two songs right now. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Paperback Writer”.
June 29, 2018 — This week’s photo challenge is partners.
This couple sits by the sea at the Grounds for Sculpture in Trenton, N.J., modeled after the actual painting, Argenteuil by Edouard Manet. A photo of the painting is below.
The real question, does the couple meet the “partners” requirement, or does that title belong to the sculpture and the painting?
June 25, 2018 – It’s no secret that I adore Carly Simon. She’s my favorite female singer/songwriter of all time. In fact, nobody does it better than she does.
The Grammy, Academy and Golden Globe winner turns 73 today. A legend in her own time, she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994.
The biggest success of her career was the classic “You’re So Vain”, which prompted rumors worldwide as fans speculated who she was singing about when she crooned, “I bet you think this song is about you.” Likely suspects include Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty, Kris Kristofferson and Cat Stevens. Recent speculation, however, claims that it’s actually music and movie mogul David Geffen.
Simon, who suffers from severe stage and rarely toured during her hey day. I was lucky enough to see her twice, once in the late 1970s and once in the late 1980s. With much anticipation I waited for her to announce new tour dates for venues in my neighborhood when she toured with her two children, Sally and Ben in the early 2000s. Alas, they didn’t come my way.
If you’re not familiar with Simon’s music, especially the wonderful deeper cuts on her albums, give her half a chance. You won’t be disappointed.
So join me in wishing Carly a Happy Birthday. It’s the right thing to do.
Ok, I may have overdid it with weaving in the song titles. Can you spot how many I mentioned? There’s at least one in every paragraph.
My favorite video of Carly on ; the harmonies are beautiful…