Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, Trees, an Etsy Treasury, and a Song

For the Wordless Wednesday portion of this post, I'm sharing an old picture of my dad and my grandfather Red (Earl). Written on the back of the picture is "1952, Los Angeles".

I participated again in my fab Etsian Artist team's treasury challenge. My last contribution really tanked, but I must say that this new one got many views, comments and was favored several time! It was also a treasury first for me - the first time every single featured shop commented! I was blown away and very happy about that. The theme was "COMBO" and I decided to do a combo of trees. I really have no idea how that came about, but it did and just kind of evolved.  Here's the treasury.

On the tree theme, I thought I'd share another song that I love. This was by the great Canadian group The Guess Who. I remember as a young teen asking for a Who album for Christmas and I got a Guess Who album. I remember being a bit bugged as it wasn't the right group, but as I played it, I loved it and knew so many of the songs!  Since my treasury is about trees, the Guess Who song I thought appropriate to include here is "Share the Land".

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Lineman and a Song of the Week

In my earlier post tonight, I addressed the possible upcoming grocery workers strike here in Southern California. Growing up, my dad always told us to NEVER cross a union picket line. Apparently, that stuck with me (probably prior to my rebellious years) and I always honored that. You just deal with it, inconvenience yourself by driving way the hell out of the way to get what you need, as long as you don't cross that line.

Then I found myself in a job where I dealt with unions. I began to find I don't seem to have the "love" of them I used to. When you employ union folks you are pretty much (in my opinion only) at their mercy. You agree to hire union workers and pay their wages, along with all of their fringe benefits. Their fringe benefits just might be better than the benefits you get at your company, but, whatever.  They also seem to be brought up to NOT even answer a question if they're not being paid for it. Hmm, some of us are in roles where we get paid for so many hours and are expected to get our work done whether or not we exceed those hours. That tends to make some of us just a little less sympathetic.

Now that I've had my rant, and I did mention my dad's rule that you NEVER cross a picket line, today my mom asked me to help her call her former hairdresser. She wanted to find out just what color the hairdresser used on her that was such a hit! My mom was certain that the card she had contained the hairdresser's personal phone number. I called it and got a recorded message for the salon. When I told my mom that, she went to get her collection of business cards, knowing she had a personal phone number somewhere.

She handed me a rather large rubber-banded collection of business cards to look through. As I did, I found numerous duplicate cards amongst grocery store club cards and countless massage therapist cards. Then I came across this very old and discolored card that caught my eye. It had my dad's name on it and was dated October of 1960. I paused and looked at it. Turns out it was my dad's "honorable withdrawal" from the IBEW!

My dad, bottom row, center. His good friend, Lowell Judy is back row second from left.

That kind of brought it home. Why my dad always raised us to never cross a picket line - he was a union guy. I so wish I could have this conversation with him now and get his opinion. I knew my dad was a lineman, but never thought that he was a union man. He never really talked about that (like so many other things he never really talked about). He used to work nights, climbing electrical poles and as his family grew, decided to go a bit more mainstream and get a desk job that was probably safer and, according to my mom, paid a bit more. Funny thing is that my nephew is a member of IBEW. I wonder if he knows that my dad, his grandfather, was also a member.

My dad was a lineman at the time I was born, but not for the county. Nor was he a lineman in Wichita. He was a lineman somewhere in Los Angeles for a utility company. When he got the safer desk job, he worked up to management and in the 70s did have to cross a line when workers went on strike. I remember that he was gone and somewhere in the desert. He and the other managers would be bussed in to work, crossing lines, and subject to violence by those union workers (workers that he once was). He did talk about that experience, and he didn't like it, but I don't recall that ever changing his mind about us never crossing the lines in a grocery store strike.

So as I sit here writing this, thinking of how inconvenienced I'd be (yeah, selfish maybe) by a possible strike and how I currently feel about unions, I wouldn't cross the lines. No, I'd just sit and bitch about it and drive farther to get my grocery items, while I still pay more for my health insurance than they do. Good thing my mom's pharmacy isn't in one of these stores, or I'd have to cross the line, as her needs just MIGHT rank over their strike.

In honor of my dad, the former union guy that was a lineman, my song of the week pick is a song I grew up hearing and loved. As a matter of fact, Glen Campbell had so many great songs prior to his famous song, Rhinestone Cowboy, that I'm constantly amazed that Rhinestone Cowboy is a signature song for him. It would really take too long if I mentioned all of the fabulous songs he recorded prior to RC and hope you'll do a little research on your own to see for yourself.

Without further babble, I give you my song of the week pick, Wichita Lineman, by Glen Campbell. Hope you enjoy or I hope it might bring you fond memories as it does me every time I hear it!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Large Appliance Drama and Etsy Treasuries

I had every intention of posting sooner, but, another week has come and gone and nothing, until tonight. I should add that no art has emerged from me either this week. Not that it wasn't on the "to-do list", but reality kind of got in the way. I really don't know how that happened, and the past week, oddly, seems like a blur of typical things like work, errands, store, chores, dreams.

I did participate on Tuesday in the Etsian Artists Team Treasury Challenge, but that really tanked. Hardly any views or favs from the included shops, but oddly enough, TONS of comments from shops I was not familiar with! I was overwhelmed by such great feedback from those not in the treasury! That was just so cool. The theme was "Magic" and here's the treasury I created for the challenge. Personally, I don't think it was that bad and I was actually happy with it, and apparently "strangers" were too!

Needless to say, I didn't have enough views, clicks or favs to make the finals, but that's the way it goes. I'll just keep mental notes and know which shops to NOT include moving forward (especially if I notice a pattern with them, which I have in some cases). The point is to have fun and promote and the apparent "brick walls" take the fun out of it, so, I have to look beyond that, and as the team continues to grow, feature new shops and hope they're more receptive.

On the other hand, I think because of the "tanked" treasury, I was then invited to join a new team which is quite mellow and cool, and I did. They're called 24/7 Treasury Team. I did notice, upon accepting the invitation to join this cool new team, that many of those that commented, were members. I joined and on Thursday created my very first 24/7 Team Treasury.  I was AMAZED at the number of views, comments and favs I received in less than 24 hours! More than I ever have in any treasury I've created to date. I was truly jazzed about that! Here's that treasury I created featuring the members of the new 24/7 team.

I was so happy when Friday arrived and was going to go home from work and tackle laundry early. I did, but when I went to get the first load of bedsheets out of the dryer, they were wet and the dryer was cold. It was running but not hot. I hoped to make a hair appointment for myself as I really need to get a trim and color, but, that didn't happen. The really needed oil change is still pending, too.

Saturday was busy with typical mom stuff and walking her to an appointment she really wanted before we went to fabulous Tupperware party that some good friends of mine hosted. Timing, and the fact that I wasn't up early enough, prevented me from getting out to see my hairdresser. I really wish her shop was in walking distance. The Tupperware Lady, Aunt Cassie Rolle, was THE best TL I've seen to date! The party was an absolute blast! So fun and oh so campy, good food and free flowing beverages. My mom even had a blast!

This morning I decided to re-wash my comforter that was wet in my washer since Friday (and not smelling so good) and would use the dryer in the laundry room where I live, when suddenly the washer overflowed! Ugh, what else? So, my washer and dryer were useless and I had to get quarters in order to finish doing my laundry. Of course, this was after my sister grabbed the ShopVac to suck up the soapy water all over the floor and I was taking things out to the trash or to dry.

The bulk of this day was spent running back and forth to the laundry room. The lack of a washer and dryer in your pad really does limit your ability to venture anywhere while the machines are running. By the time I was down to two final loads, I ran to collect prescriptions for my mom, groceries and hair gel. The grocery stores here are currently in "discussions" with the local union and a strike is possibly looming.

If there is a strike, it will happen at one minute past midnight so I think the entire city was at the store and it was so busy, items were picked over and I noticed that things I normally buy, were actually more expensive than normal. When I got home, I finished the final loads of laundry and made dinner. What an exciting weekend, eh? It's now late, but I still wish I could do at least ONE creative thing before I have to power up the work computer to do that stuff and then begin the quickly approaching "Monday".

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years After

After all the hopes I had of being creative this weekend, it just didn't seem to happen. All the unfinished projects remain unfinished and now it is Sunday night and I'm feeling blue!

I did take my mom to her hair appointment yesterday and she was a bit slow and dizzy, but did manage to get through it. Otherwise, I did typical errands and chores and found myself a bit caught up in the 9/11 coverage on television.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, really early in the morning, I got up and ready for work. I took a shower and washed my hair and went downstairs to get coffee and put on make-up. I just sat down to begin the make-up "artistry" and the news was covering a plane that apparently crashed into one of the Twin Towers! I was drinking coffee, watching the coverage and apply cosmetics when all of a sudden the live coverage showed a second plane fly into the other tower! I was shocked. I looked at my sister and we both said something like, "that was not an accident". That was at 6:03 AM, Pacific time. The rest of that day is rather blurry.

I watched the weekend coverage when not running errands and began to reflect. What have I done in these past ten years? Have I made any improvements to the lives of others? Did the events of that day change me? Did the events of that day make me change my own life? I don't know those answer, but I feel that the coverage has got me thinking about all of these questions. Life is really short and our time unknown, and life is not about going through the motions (something I've done for far too long). I must figure out what I need to do, what my purpose really is, and move forward.

In honor of this anniversary, I would like to share two very moving treasuries I saw today on Etsy, created by two of my awesome team members, NettiesCollectables and MadriganDesigns. Please take a moment to view these and also check out their awesome shops. As the name might imply, Nettie has wonderful vintage finds, and Madrigan has beautiful handmade jewelry! Vintage finds and handmade jewelry are just a few things I can't live without!

The other thing I'd like to share is this very awesome and very powerful Budweiser commercial that one of my FB friends shared today. It brought me to tears. Apparently, it only aired once, but I did hear that some cable channel played it today.

Here's to a brighter tomorrow for everyone! Please take the time to live your life to the fullest every single day, and I am going to do my best also. Can you imagine what a great place this world would be if we all could do just that!

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Tabby Cat or a Stalker

I'm still trying to figure out if my little Petey is just a tabby cat or  a stalker! He had his smelly wet food tonight and has his kibbles in his bowl, but he is paying way too much attention to me. He is on the counter stalking me - rubbing on my arms and my hands as I try to type. He's also running in front of me, cutting me off as I walk through the room. He is so darn cute!

So, it is late Friday night. I am so thankful that the weekend is here. I hope to finish some pending art projects and start some new ones. I'll take my mom for her hair appointment tomorrow as she is feeling better (she wasn't feeling so good the past few days) and I really need to get the oil changed in the car. Exciting, I know, but necessary.

I also decided to put together a treasury featuring my team members from Etsian Artists Working Together! I really love that team. The philosphy behind it and the members are so cool. They really are a talented bunch. Here's the treasury I built, and I'm now in the mindset to create more with similar themes.

The other thing I've been thinking about is joining the already in progress 30 Days of Get Your Art On Challenge! Traci Bunkers is the culprit here and I am finding so much inspiration in her posts and the others participating. If I do join in, I've got some catching up to do, but I do have projects in process and just maybe I can let go of that "commitment" fear and do it!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

My dad at the beach. The back of the photo has 1941 written on it. Beneath that, someone penned, "I thought your girls would like to see what a 'stud' their dad was! I think maybe this picture was sent to my dad by his long-time friend, Jack's, widow, Bettie Ann.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

A quick little Wordless Wednesday post on Thursday. I had been meaning to scan this and share it and thought I'd go ahead and do it now. This is a copy of photograph of my dad's brother Raymond, their paternal grandmother Hattie Belle Horney Robinson Kemp Taylor Palmer, and my dad.  I received this and so many other photos from my cousin Beverly. Beverly's mother, Edna, was Hattie's youngest daughter.

I am quite certain this photo was taken in January of 1920, as Hattie, Edna, and Hattie's youngest son, Joe, were all listed on the 8 January 1920 census at my grandfather Red's house in Mason City, Iowa. Lola, Raymond and my dad were also on the census, as was Lola's brother Bill Meents.

Raymond died in July of 1920. My dad always said he'd drowned but last year we learned that according to the Elmwood Cemetery records, where he is buried in an unmarked grave, his death had something to do with his heart. I'm not sure when he died, but I know he was buried on 8 July 1920, and was listed as 4 years and 8 months old.

Raymond, Hattie, Robert