Now who else would I do on Halloween, except Elvira, Mistress of the Dark? I mean, seriously, here.
Cassandra Peterson was born in Manhattan, (Kansas, that is)
She grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her childhood was badly traumatized by an accident she had at five years old, where she was scalded by boiling water, and ended up having to undergo seventeen different skin grafting operations to repair the scar tissue. She had to cover some of her remaining scar tissue on her neck and shoulders with make up or clothing. She admits that she had been mesmorized by Ann Margaret as a girl, and wanted to be a dancer. Days after graduating from high school, she drove to Las Vegas, Nv, where she got a job at the Dunes, as a showgirl. The Guinness Book of World Records cited her as the youngest showgirl in Vegas history. She was a showgirl in the Bond film "Diamonds Are Forever", dated Elvis Presley (briefly) and posed as a stripper for the cover of "Small Change", an album by Tom Waits.
in the early 1970's, she moved to Italy and became the lead singer of an Italian rock band. While she was there, she happened to meet Fellini, and got a small part in one of his movies, "Roma". She eventually came back to the US, where she toured nightclubs, and gay disco with a musical comedy act called "Mama's Boys, which she created. In 1979, she joined a LA based improv group called The Groundings. It was here that she started developing the very beginnings of Elvira....
she was also posing nude for several "Big Bust" magazines, auditioned for the role of "Ginger" in a Gilligan's Island movie, and was a radio show personality.
In late spring of 1981, a local LA station got the bright idea to bring back a weekend horror show called "Fright Night" whose host had died. They wanted a female host, and had originally hired Maila Numi, who used to be a horror host. They were going to call it "The Vampira Show". Numi quit the project when the producers would not hire Lola Falana to play Vampira. A casting call went out, and Cassandra went, with 200 other hopeful horror hosts. She won, obviously, and the producers told her to create her image. She'd originally planned to look like Sharon Tate, in the film "The Fearless Vampire Killers", but the producers jeered her for that. Meanwhile, Numi stopped the producers from using the name "Vampira", so "Elvira" was chosen, and the name of the show was changed to "Elvira's Movie Macabre". Elvira, with her drag queen makeup, and towering black beehive wig quickly gained notoriety. It also helped that she wore a tight fitting gown that showed more cleavage than had ever been on television before. The screened movies were all B grade, or less, and Elvira would recline on her red velvet couch, lampooning them all.
She became a frequent guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and did a long series of TV ads for Coors Light, and Mug Root beer, and guest starred on many TV shows (For years, my Father would gaze adoringly at the full sized Elvira cardboard figure he got from a grocery store. I think it was a Coors light ad of some sort).. Soon, costumes, calendars, dolls, among other things modeled after her began to surface. She even went on to be in a film "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" that she co-wrote. She put out some home video's (NO, not that kind) as well. Computer games with her persona were developed, and even pinball machines.
Like a thorn in a paw, Malia Numi surfaced yet again in the late 90's, and sued her for alleged unauthorized use of her likeness and character. Elvira ahem Cassandra won her case.
On Halloween night, 1992, she appeared with U2 when they played at Dodger Stadium. This is where she first announced her candidacy for President, saying "we already have two boobs in the White House, might as well be mine". She ran again fourteen years later. She also recorded five Halloween albums, and has written 4 books. There are thousands of Elvira impersonators in this world. She even was part of a reality show called "The search for the Next Elvira", where she (supposedly) crowned her successor. The winner goes to events where Cassandra cannot go, for any reason. (Kind of like a beauty queen runner up?)
Her career as 'Queen of Halloween' has now spanned over 26 years.
She is married to Mark Pierson, and has one child.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Those of you who have been regularly here know, that this summer, after we moved into our new home, we went and adopted three dogs at one time. (Yes. Three. Crazy. Absolutely.)
One of those dogs had the name of Cheese when we adopted him. Cheese he stayed. It makes life real interesting when you are yelling at him. (Cheese, come!)
Today's 13 features Mr. Cheese, in all his glory. So here I give you....
13 different ways you can use Cheese.
To see other Thursday 13'ers, click here
1. Cheese Ball
2. Wine and Cheese
3. Half Eaten Cheeseburger
4. Cheese and Crackers
5. Cheese Stick
6. String Cheese
7. Don't cut the Cheese!
8. Jack Cheese. (Jack is the black cat staring at the dog disdainfully from the top of the cat tree. This is as close as I could get them without bloodshed. My bloodshed...)
9. Cream Cheese (yes that is coffee creamer. I couldn't trust him with 'mini moo')
10. Cheese Log (this one could have been so much worse)
11. American Cheese
12. Macaroni and Cheese (you'll have to look closely to see the one lone piece of mac he didn't snarf up)
13. Cheese Doodle! (Doodle provided by Mustang Girl)
Bonus shot-The Cheese Stands Alone....
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
carved by Mustang Man
carved by Mustang Girl
carved by Mie
We carved our pumpkins this last weekend, and I must say that the talent of pumpkin carving in our little family ranges from mediocre (me), to stellar (Mustang Man and Mustang Girl).
In my own defense. I still do not have nearly the use of my right hand that I wanted to have. It's been almost a year since my carpal tunnel surgery. I can do most of the stuff I want to, but when it comes to delicate stuff or any fine motor skill, my hand gets fatigued very easily, and starts to hurt. It sucks. And there are still days that I can't manage to use chopsticks.
Alright, whine over.........
Monday, October 27, 2008
Remember getting those? I do.
And they have changed... a lot.
I remember the hand written ones. The ones with a space for comments, where it seemed, no matter how bad you were, your teacher always found something positive to say about you. (Not that I was bad...).
My highschool report cards were not hand written, but, yet, somehow they managed to be somewhat personalized. At least it felt that way to me. By then I had (mostly) good grades, and never feared bringing my report card home.
These days, they still bring them home. And from what I could tell from the 8th grade one Monkey Girl brought home, they are very boring, and not personal at all. Nothing reflecting anything about the student.
Today, or tomorrow, she brings home her first highschool report card.
And we can also see it online.
Can you imagine having your parents have total access to your grades at all times? Frankly, the thought makes me shudder. I think I would have been in permanent trouble, certain years of my school career. Thank God computerized grading and posting was not a part of my little world. I almost have to feel sorry for MG.
But she is a good student. No worries there....
I wonder, do the little kids still get the nice ones with notes from the teachers? Those of you with little ones chime in, and satisfy my curiosity for me :)
Good night, going to bed!
Posted by mielikki at 7:43 AM
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Ava was out in her garden, planting bulbs so that she would have spring flowers. In her little corner of the universe, the first frost was coming, soon, and she needed to have her tulip bulbs in the ground before that happened. Suddenly, a brief breeze skittered around her skirts, tugging at them, as if the wind itself was trying to pull her away from her task. Tilting her head to the side, she listened, to everything, and yet, nothing at the same time. Far away, she heard the faint, tinkling crash, and smelled peanut butter.
"Oh well, no hope for it, then" she said, to everyone, and yet, no one in particular. Shedding her garden gloves, she went into her home, took one last sip of tea, then closing her eyes, she focused, once more...
Eden's big, blue frightened eyes met the shocked brown eyed gaze of her husband. Both of them were thinking the same thing as the torrential rain started to pour down. The nearest hospital was 20 miles away, and, in this rain and wind, it would take them forever to reach it. If they reached it at all. Ben quickly picked up the phone to dial 9-1-1, and realized they had no dial tone. Neither of their cell phones were working, either. By this time, Eden was beginning to feel her contractions, strong, and steady.
"I can go for Mrs. Strom" he offered, lamely.
"Don't leave me!" she begged him, scared more than she had ever been.
A knock at their door surprised them greatly, and Ben hurried to answer it. To his surprise, there was a tiny lady standing there, no more than 5 feet tall. And he could swear she had lavender hair. Her eyes were a shade never seen to him before, kind of a cross between amethyst, and, well, sea green? The wind that was tearing at everything else around him seemed to not affect her at all.
"Good afternoon, kind sir" she said. My name is Ava, and I am a midwife. I believe you may possibly have need of my services?"
Peace washed over Ben with her words and acceptance of her presence in their home. Opening the door wider, he let her in. As she walked past him, he could swear he could smell the fall scent of decomposing leaves, and dried bulbs.
Ava immediately focused in on Eden, and her need. Before Eden knew what was happening, she found herself tucked into her bed, that was made with fresh sheets. Her hair was neatly braided and tucked up, and her contractions were coming hard, and fast.
"This is your first child?" asked Ava, sipping her tea thoughtfully.
"Yes" answered Eden panting with the pain, as she had been taught.
"Must be the weather, then" answered the diminutive midwife. Outside, the wind was whistling like a whole room full of construction workers that was let into a beauty pageant. The trees were swaying, and the rain was falling in torrents.
After a few hours of contracting, it was time. Ava sensed it. Together, the three of them worked to bring the baby into the windy, stormy world that awaited her. It didn't take long.
Ben was delighted with their little girl, as was Eden. Beaming, Ava whispered a message into the little one's ear before handing her over to her parents.
"That is a special little girl you have, expect great things from her" she said to the happy couple. "Now, I must take my leave. I have bulbs to set".
With that, at the blink of an eye, she was gone. And, so was the wind and rain. Looking down at his daughter, Ben noted she had the most peculiar sea green eyes....
Posted by mielikki at 8:08 AM
Friday, October 24, 2008
BW watches a lot of TV.
at least this is what she tells me when she forwards me information on ladies she thinks we might want to learn about. So far she is 3 for 3, this being her third suggestion. Go, BW!
Todays selection is Empress Dowager Cixi.
The exact origin of her is unknown, most biographies claim she was the daughter of a low ranking Manchu official and his principal wife. She spent most of her early life in the Anhui Province before moving to Beijing, before she was 15. She ended participating, with 60 other girls, in the selection process for concubines for the new Emperor. She was one of the few girls selected, and was appointed "Preparative Concubine xiu nu. (Elegant Female) She was "promoted" to Noble Person, concubine 5th rank after she entered the Emperor's bed. She became pregnant with his child, and gavebirth to the only male heir of the Emperor, and became a "Noble Consort", and at his first birthday became Noble Imperial Consort Yi"
Then came the British and French troops. They attacked many places, including Beijing, burning the Imperial Summer Palace Complex to the ground. The Emperor and his people escaped to Manchuria. Upon hearing of the loss of his Summer Palace, the Emperor, who was showing signs of dementia, fell into a depression, began drinking, using drugs, fell into illness, and died. Before he died, he named Eight men as "Eight Regent Ministers" to direct and support his heir, whom at this time was only Five. He also told his Empress, and Cixi, the mother of the heir, that they needed to get along and help the young man mature. Cixi was a master manipulator by this point in her life. She took advantage of the Empresses naivete and good nature,and got her to make them both co-reigning Empress Dowagers, with powers that exceeded those of the Eight Regent Ministers. This caused tension, of course, and many confrontations. Cixi began to secretly collect support of some of the ministers, soldiers, and others whom the Eight Regents disliked. After many manipulations, a coup was accomlished, the Xinyou Palace Coup, and Cixi became the first, and only Qing Dynasty Empressto rule from "behind the curtains". She ruled, despite her son, for 48 years, until her death. Her reign was despotic, and attributed to the fall of the Imperial China.
Posted by mielikki at 9:51 AM
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I thought it would be fun this week to find 13 random Jack O' Lanterns on the internets. Happy early Halloween!
for other participants of the Thursday 13, go here
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I seem to touch on this subject about once a year, usually after a hard shift at work. So I will just tell you all. Again.
Advanced Directives for health care Get one. Need more info? Contact me.
That is all
Going to bed, now
Posted by mielikki at 7:52 AM
Monday, October 20, 2008
We take for granted, I think, the internet.
There are kids who have been born never knowing a world without it.
It has become an extremely easy way to find anything you want to find.
Where's Tampa Bay at in Florida?
How old IS Wilford Brimley? (thought he was dead)
How many kilograms in a pound?
ect. ect. ect. ect.
But I remember. I remember dial up, and when we first got it.
I remember sitting with my mom, the famed Aunt Tuna, at the desk, intrigued by what we could find. For some stupid reason, we decided to look up Rosie O' Donnell. I think because she was one of the first 'celebrities' with a website.
Anyhow. We typed it in, and we spelled it wrong.
What we got back was a huge screen shot of a naked man. With a pron star sized penis. That had CHRIS O' Donnel's head cut and pasted onto the body. (It was painfully obvious). After a stunned three second silence, we both started laughing hysterically. We found the "home" button, and started looking at the other pictures offered. We saw nude pics of California's erstwhile governator, Arnold, um, I think Patrick Swayze was in there, and some others. Stallone, he was in there. We were still just dying of laughter at the cut and paste heads on these pron star bodies, when my Dad walked in. There he found his wife, and youngest daughter laughing hysterically at naked men on the computer screen.
My father has not touched the internet YET.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Daryl and I finally got it together enough to make our talk of a book swapping blog come to fruition.
Go on over and see for yourself, peruse the pretty books, and see if there is something you want to read.
Remember, we are operating on a 'pay it forward' postage plan. So many of us read, it would be awesome if we could start a round robin of book trading!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
The sky was gun-metal grey, and the clouds were fat with the raindrops that would soon fall to soak into the earth that so desperately needed it.
People, sensing that this would be a big storm, scurried to and fro like frantic squirrels, gathering nuts for the winter. The local stores quickly ran out of candles, matches, bread and bottled water. The hardware store even sold the two archaic generators that had been sitting on their shelves for 10 years. And people came in droves, complaining that there were no more.
Ben, the owner of the store shook his head, and began to get out the supplies he had to board up the windows. He was the fifth generation of MacAlisters to own the hardware store, and, since his father Joe, had retired to New Jersey, he had been running it all on his own. He missed having his father nearby to ask all the inane questions to, such as, how many pounds of nails should be buy in the month of November, or, how many garden hoses should he stock the shelves with in March?
Shaking his head out of the revery he was in, he got to work on the windows. His wife, Eden, would be anxiously awaiting his arrival, so he could board up the windows on their home, as well. She was pregnant with their first child, and he didn't want her stressed out, or worried when she didn't need to be. She'd already called the store five times that day, asking him to bring things home, including peanut butter, and Crystal Light packets to put in her water.
He finished, and closed the store, after explaining to yet another customer why, exactly he did not have anymore generators. ("I haven't sold one in ten years, Jim, why would I order more?"). Hurrying, he loaded up his 1971 Ford Truck with the groceries, and supplies he'd gathered, and sped home as fast as he dared. His cousin Paul was the local sheriff, but it didn't mean that he got out of any moving violations.
As soon as he pulled up, Eden tossed open the front door. "Did you remember my peanut butter?" she asked, absently patting her well rounded abdomen. She was rewarded with a sharp kick in return, she laughed.
"Yeah, I have it" he smiled, and grabbed the groceries out of the truck. Passing his wife, he stooped to give her a hello kiss, and continued on through the door, and into the kitchen. Depositing the groceries on the counter, he went outside and began to board up their windows, as the first, fat drops of rain began to fall.
Eden went to the kitchen behind her husband, and began to sort and put away the groceries. She knew the storm would be a big one, but, with the groceries Ben had brought home, they were well provisioned. She now had two jars of peanut butter, and, since that was what she was craving lately, things were good. She hoped they didn't lose power for too long. They wanted, and needed to finish putting together the nursery this weekend. She was over 8 months pregnant, and all the little, last minute things needed to be done, like putting fresh crib sheets on, touching up the paint here and there, and putting child proof covers on all the outlets. She was anxious to have everything done, because she just knew that the baby was going to be coming soon. She didn't care what all the people always said about first babies taking forever. She knew her own body. As if to echo her thought, the baby kicked her, hard. Laughing she patted her belly, then made herself some peanut butter and crackers.
Ben's thoughts were also on his child, and the upcoming birth. He'd wanted to know the sex of the baby, but Eden had wanted to be surprised. It was a moot point, because, each time they'd gone for a sonogram, the baby had refused to turn in the proper direction for it's parts to be seen, anyhow. It didn't matter too much to Ben what they had, he would be happy with a son, or a daughter. Truthfully, he was hoping for a little girl, who looked just like Eden. He loved his wife, and thought that having another female on this earth just like her would be a blessing. The rain began to fall in earnest, and Ben turned his thoughts and concentration towards the task at hand. Just as he finished the last window, a crash of thunder echoed around him, setting his teeth on edge. Silently, he counted. One one thousand. Two one thousand Three one thou- and Zot! a flash of lightning, zig zagging it's pattern through the gun metal sky. The lights in the house flickered, then went dark. From the viscinity of the kitchen, he heard the sound of glass, hitting the floor.
"Eden, are you alright?" he asked, concerned.
"Fine" she called back. The wind was really whipping now and the rain was coming down in sheets. Stepping into the back door, directly into the kitchen, Ben saw a broken peanut butter jar, and his wife, who was laughing, and crying at the same time.
"My water just broke" she said, wiping the tears from her eyes....
Posted by mielikki at 12:00 AM
Friday, October 17, 2008
Meet Linda Alvarado.
She was born in 1951, as Linda Martinez, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the only daughter her parents had amongst a sea of 5 sons.
Her father worked for the US Atomic Energy Commission, and built the 3 bedroom adobe house his family lived in by himself. Unfortunately, he did not put any running water or indoor plumbing in it. Her mother used to carry water in from a nearby ditch to do their laundry. She also took in ironing to make ends meet. She credits her strong work ethic to watching her mother.
Her mother actually absolved her from housework, so she could study. She did well in school, and was also the captain of the girls softball team. Her parents not only expected A's in school, but they expected their children to come hom and tell them what they had learned.
She went to college at Pomona College, in Claremont, California, on a scholarship. Her major was Economics. She needed a part time job, and applied for a job as a landscaper on campus. She had to battle the administration for approval, and won. She began a pattern of of a long line of jobs where she was the sole woman on the crew.
After she graduated, she began a job with a development company, and became intrigued with the construction business. She went back to school, to learn about bid estimating, and blueprint reading. Once again, she was battling gender roles. She used to go to the bathrooms on job sites, and find drawings done of herself in various stages of undress. She was frequently "assigned" to the office, to do the filing. This served a purpose, though. She saw the profit that the company's owner was pulling in, and struck out on her own.
She drew up a business plan for a construction management firm, only to get turned down by every bank she applied to. Her parents took out a mortgage on their own home, and gave her the start up money. She launched the Martinez Alvarado Construction Management Corporation, in Palo Alto, California, in 1974, with a parter (whom she eventually bought out). They started with smaller projects, and progressed into larger ones. She started only putting her initials onto bids, and with just that, some places didn't realize she was a woman. Her company grew, and she and her husband relocated to Denver, Colorado, where her company continued (continues) to prosper.
In the early 1990's, she obtained another first. She got involved in the project to bring a major league baseball team to Denver. She became a co owner of the Colorado Rockies. She was the first Hispanic woman to join the roster of Major Leage Baseball team owners, and the first woman to own a team on her own. She did not inherit it from her husband, or family.
She continues on to this day with her business, and baseball career. She has had three children, and reports she still does not do housework, her husband does! She gives tours of her workplace, and the Rockies home field to school children, and, always takes them to her office, where, pointing at her leather chair she tells them "the job you want to aim for is mine". Indeed.
Posted by mielikki at 10:09 AM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
As usual, go here to see more participants.
13 memorable (to me) fictional characters. (From Books)
1. Cathy- East of Eden. (John Steinbeck) I have one word for Cathy. Heartless....
2. Mc Murphy- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Ken Kesey). Easily one my favorite, and most entertaining characters.
3. Charles Wallace- A Wrinkle In Time (Madeline L'Engle) I loved the development and personality of this character. The end of the book was heartbreaking, he was so fragile, yet so strong. I still love this book.
4. Mammy- Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell). Mammy was the family backbone. She should have beat Scarlett stupid.
5. Yossarian- Catch-22 (Joseph Heller). Crazy, crazy character.
6. Scout- To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee). The innocence of this character touched me.
7. Tom Joad- The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck again). You wanted so much to hope and cheer for Tom. I think he is so well written.
8. Claire and Jamie Fraser- The Outlander series (by Diana Gabaldon.) Easily one of my favorite series of books. You can't have one without the other.
9. Elphaba- Wicked (Gregory Maguire). I love the back story of the little green girl who grew up to be the witch. Anyone know how the author chose her name? (I do)
10. Marmee- Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) the glue that held the family together.
11. Ayla- Clan of the Cave Bear series (Jean Auel). I was taken with this story as a teenager. Movie SUCKED OUT LOUD. ( I detest Daryl Hannah)
12. Holden Caufield- Catcher In The Rye (JD Salenger). Very interesting boy...
13. Crowley- Good Omens (Neil Gaiman). Evil never was so good...
Posted by mielikki at 1:31 AM
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
When we moved into this house, we had (yes had) this nice little section to the side of the house, with some ground cover, and a fountain.
Not my first choice when it comes to 'fountain' (for lack of a better word). It is basically a cement bowl held up by three cement cherubs.
The first calamity, if you want to call it that, was that the ground cover pretty much died. BUT. It was the heat of August, we weren't exactly watering it on a reliable basis, AND, there were three young puppies running around peeing in it on a regular basis. (You'd think that would constitute water. Apparently, not.)
Strike two came about oh, I am not sure when. One day I went out there, and one of the cherubs was headless. There is a naked baby without a head holding up the fountain. Yes I am serious. Come back tomorrow, I'll put up the picture for wordless wednesday.
The cherub head is still laying in the dead ground cover. It entertains me, now, this headless cherub. I am not so secretly hoping that one day I will come home and one of the dogs will be running around with a cement cherub's head in its mouth. If it happens I will take the picture and put IT up for Wordless Wednesday....
Today, today was the strike three for the so called fountain.
I had attempted to get the bowl to hold water for the little birdies we have out here. The sun was too warm and the water evaporated too fast. So a few weeks ago, I put a bunch of bird seed in the bowl, and have enjoyed watching these little tiny round puffballs enjoy the seed I left out for them. Those little round chirpy's can eat a lot, though. So I got them another bag today. And I filled the bowl for them, and sprinkled some around all the patch of dead ground cover. While I was in the kitchen making dinner, I heard this noise. The thud, of something hitting the earth.
I looked out the side window of the kitchen, and there it was. 3 cherubs, (well, two and a half?) holding up...
On the ground, surrounded by seed, was the cement bowl. Sitting next to the bowl, picking the choice sunflower seeds out of the mix
was a squirrel.
Evil little furry bastard.
Next spring I am going to go find a fountain/bird bath (sans cherub, thanks so much) that will electrocute anything heavier than the little finches I like so much.
Roasted Ground Squirrel, anyone?
Monday, October 13, 2008
So, we have this idea, see?
We? Do I have a mouse in my pocket?
Er, not exactly.
My other 'we', in this case, is none other than Daryl.
We were busy with multiple other things this weekend, but we still had these random moments of sending email back and forth to each other discussing multiple things. Like tea, teenagers, wine, egg sandwiches.
We did discuss books. And our affinity for them. And our To Be Read piles. Hers is much larger than mine at said moment.
Anyhow. We thought it might be a cool idea to organize some sort of informal, bloggy book swap.
Here's how it would work.
I will, (for example) put in my side bar the books that I have that are worth someone else reading. If Daryl, or, someone else sees a book they want to read, they can send me an email, with their address, And I will send it to them.
Yes, the shipping will cost the recipiant some money. But to ship a book or 2 is not that costly of an endeavor. And yes, please, ladies across the pond, ask me for books if you want them, I will send them to you.
And if anyone wants to get rid of books? Put it in your sidebar. Or tell me and I will put it in mine. If this works out, and people want to actually do this, we may, in fact, after time, make the bloggy book exchange it's own blog, and let everyone post on it. Kind of like a book garage sale.
Is this an original idea? Probably not. People are probably already doing it. I know there are paperback book exchanges, and other book exchanges.
But this one is with people I know. Because my books have to go to nice homes!
So look for me to be re arranging my sidebar, soon. And look for the books.....
crazy women that we are, we decided books require a whole blog of their own. Look for us both to put the blog up very very soon!
Posted by mielikki at 10:42 AM
Friday, October 10, 2008
see more puppies
I submitted this to the website after I took the picture. I also put in a picture of Potter. Leave it to Mocha's knitting, though. Silly dog...
Posted by mielikki at 12:46 PM
My Thursday 13 yesterday got me thinking....
When I was a kid, we had this record. And I loved the lady's voice. I can't describe it. Or why I liked it. It seems to me that you either love Tammy Wynette, or you don't. There is no in between. But she had an interesting life....
She was born Virginia Wynette Pugh in Mississippi, an only child. She was always called Wynette, or Nettie, never Virginia. Her Dad was a farmer, and local musician who died of a brain tumor when she was nine months old. Her Mom was a substitute teacher, and worked on the family farm. She pretty much gave her daughter over to her parents to raise, and went to Memphis to work in a WW II defense plant. She eventually remarried.
Tammy stayed on her grandparents farm, near the Mississippi/Alabama border. She worked in the fields, picking cotton with the hired hands. She taught herself to play the instruments that her father had left behind, and sang gospel with her grandmother.
As she grew up, she found country music to her liking, especially Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, and George Jones. She played their records over and over on a children's record player she owned. It was all she had. She dreamt of being a star, herself.
She went to high school, where she was an all star basket ball player. A month before she graduated, she married her first husband, Euple Byrd. He worked construction, and had trouble keeping a job, so they moved several times. She worked as a waitress, receptionist, barmaid, and in a shoe factory. She eventually went to beauty school in Tupelo, Miss., and became a hairdresser. She renewed her cosmetology license every year, for the rest of her life, just in case.
She left her husband, just before the birth of their third daughter. He did not support her dream of country music, telling her to "Dream On, Baby".
Her baby got spinal meningitis, and she made extra money performing at night. She began performing on local television shows, eventually ending up on the Porter Wagoner Show. She moved herself, and her daughters to Nashville, trying to get a recording contract. She was eventually given a contract at Epic Records, with producer Billy Sherrill, after he heard her sing "Apartment No. 9". Sherrill suggested she change her name, and he threw in the name "Tammy" because when he saw her, she reminded him of Debbie Reynolds in those Tammy movies she did. Thus, she became Tammy Wynette. Her first release was Apartment No. 9, and was followed by many songs, including "I don't Wanna Play House" (a song that brings tears to my eyes), for which she won a Grammy. After that, she had 5 number one hits, including D I V O R C E, and Stand By Your Man. She wrote that song with Billy Sherrill, and it stirred up much controversy and criticism because it basically said to stay with the man, despite his faults of oh, say, adultery? Despite that, it was a very successful song, and is now considered a "standard". She ruled the country charts, along with Loretta Lynn, during the 70's. She had a huge string of number one hits. She even had one in Italy. About this time, she started doing duets with George Jones. She had married her second husband, and had that marriage annulled, and was married to Jones from 1969-1975. They had a very tempestuous relationship, George's alcoholism played a large roll in that. Even after they divorced, they continued their collaboration together. They had one daughter together. In 1975, her house was burnt down.
Her popularity slowed in the late 70's, though she still continued to work. She married again, but this one ended up getting annulled, as well. She married George Richey in 1978, and he was, by all accounts, the love of her life. He was also her longest marriage, they were together until she died, and he brought a much needed stability to her life. Interestingly enough, there was also report of her being kidnapped and badly beaten in 1978, but no "hard evidence" ever surfaced and some question whether or not it really happened. She'd also had trouble with a stalker. She had a complete total of 21 number one hits, and countless others in the top ten. A movie of her life has been made, and she continued to work. She also began to have liver problems. In 1992, Hillary Rodham Clinton was interviewed, saying" I'm not sitting here like some some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette". Tammy demanded, and received, an apology for that. In 1993, she made a record with Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn, called Honky Tonk Angels. It did well on the country charts, but not really anywhere else. She did a few more records with numerous people on them, including "One", with George Jones. not really getting any popularity. She also designed and sold her own line of jewelry, and was the voice of Hank Hill's mother, Tillie Mae, on "King of the Hill".
She suffered medical problems for years, 26 major surgeries, and an addiction to pain medications. She died in 1998, in her sleep, of a blood clot to her lungs. She performed up until right before her death.
Posted by mielikki at 10:24 AM
Thursday, October 9, 2008
It wasn't working last week, but perhaps, it will work this week. Go here to find out if it's unstuck. If not, well, here is my contribution this week, anyhow.
13 songs that (to me, and yes this is subjective) empower women (in one way or another, and in NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
1. You Don't Own Me- Lesley Gore. I loved this song, still do, I think it's message is very powerful, a young woman letting boys know that she isn't "just one of their many toys". I still know all the words to it. Find them here
2. I Am Woman- Helen Reddy. Say what you will. It's over used, over played, and made fun of all the time. But, it had a powerful message for the era it came out in, and was instantly taken up as an anthem. Lyrics here
3. Independence Day- Martina McBride well, yes. Country. But this song, along with a few of her others hit the mark when it came to standing up, and saying no to violence. Unfortunately, the woman in this song had to burn down her house with her and her abusive spouse in it to end said abuse. But still... lyrics here
4. I am betting most of you haven't heard this one. It's called "I Can't Do That, Anymore. Faith Hill sung it, before she married Tim and sold out. It's about a married woman who realizes, as time went by, that she kind of lost her own dreams. Surprisingly, it was written by Alan Jackson. Go figure. Lyrics here
If you read any of these 13 songs, read this one.
5. Beautiful- Christina Aguilera- Once again, I am not a big fan. But seeing a bunch of little girls singing this song made me happy. Every girl should think she is beautiful, and have the self esteem this song promotes. Lyrics here
6. You Oughta Know- Alanis Morrisette. Many may well disagree with me. This is an angry break up song. But how many of us have felt like she felt? She put those bitter, angry feelings right on out there. Too bad it was about freaking Dave Coulier.
Oh well. She moved on. So did we. But we still have this wonderfully angry song to bounce back to when we need to. Oh, and the acoustic version of this is great...
7. Back to the 70's for this one. Everybody with me now "First I was afraid, I was petrified...."
Yes, it's "I Will Survive", by Gloria Gaynor. Lyric here
8. RESPECT- Aretha. We can all agree about this one, can't we? Ladies?
9. Stand By Your Man-Tammy Wynette. I expect the most argument about this one. But it struck a chord, and, though I am no Betty Crocker Susie Homemaker waiting by the door with slippers and a drink kind of girl, I still think the underlying message of support and solidarity is good. And I think it can work both ways. (as in men can stand by their women.( Wait. Someone did a song about that...it sucked. But someone did it). I love Tammy Wynette's voice, and used to listen to her greatest hits album repeatedly. Lyrics here
10. The Pill- Loretta Lynn- this song got her in all kinds of hot water. But it's great. And I admire her for having the guts to come right out and say this when it desperately needed to be said. Lyricshref="http://www.musicsonglyrics.com/L/lorettalynnlyrics/lorettalynnthepilllyrics.htm"> here
11. At Seventeen-Janis Ian. A classic. Beautifully written. Lyric's here
12. Who's Sorry Now?- Connie Francis. Another song I could listen to, and did, over and over again. I had the record. (Or rather, my parents did, and I hijacked it. I like the fact that she is telling him that HE is the sorry one. Lyrics here
13. You're So Vain- Carly Simon.
I bet you think this song is about you...
There you have it. Agree, disagree? Comments? Suggestions?
I had more than 13 songs for this, but. It is 'thursday 13'......
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
mmm, hot tea. It has been getting me through the last 2 weeks, and seems to be the only thing that will soothe my cough that still lingers. Thankfully, the cough is only really bad in the mornings, when I get up. Hence my lack of early morning blog posts. But I digress.
This is the Capresso H2O kettle. I got one, yesterday, for our house, to heat up the water in a faster, more prettier way than the typical stove top kettle. Celtic Rose and I purchased a kettle for work over a year ago (an aluminum one) and I love how fast it gives me hot water.
But I did not blog this blog to talk about my kettle. (Though I love it and will add it to my treasurelicious)
I want to talk tea.
My absolute favorite tea is Jasmine Pearl tea. It is a delicate tea, a fun tea. I make my Jasmine Pearl tea not in a tea pot, but in my French Press so that I can see the delicate Jasmine pearl unfold into it's green leafyness. I am out of the Pearls right now, and our local tea shop, in this economy, went under. I am going to have to resort to the internet for my Jasmine Pearls. Sigh.
I am also an Earl Grey fan. With just a little touch of milk. The Earl is made in my teapot, as befits an Earl. I love the smoky warmth of the Earl. He is a bit strong, (hence the milk). If he isn't to your taste, try his sister, Lady Grey. It is less smoky and strong. Sometimes I get her, just for a change.
And my other tea of choice is Scottish Breakfast. It is not for newbie tea drinkers, however, as it is darker, and stronger than Earl Grey. Think of it as the Guinness of tea's. But it is what I used yesterday when I broke the kettle in. (No I didn't make it in the kettle, I made it in the pot!).
I prefer my tea's in loose leaf, though in a pinch, the bag will do. My Scottish Breakfast is in the bag right now, and it is strong enough that you can use only one bag to make a whole pot. I have not made the mistake of using one bag per cup. I think my hair would fall out if I tried it.
So, there you go, tea to soothe the savage cough. And a sweet new kettle to boil the water in.
Monday, October 6, 2008
This weekend we got the opportunity to do something we've been waiting to do in this new house. Something we've not ever done before. Something we really wanted to do. But, we didn't.
We started a fire in our wood burning stove.
Fall is here, and October isn't usually THAT cold here in Nirvana Ciry. But this weekend, the temperature dropped, and we enjoyed a few days of rain. Much needed rain.
Saturday night, we finally decided to do it, to light that fire. We did fairly well for 2 people whom have not owned a wood burning stove, before. We managed to get a fairly nice fire going.
Sunday, was of course, a day for football. And still chilly. MM tackled the stove his own self and managed to get a ROARING fire going. So warm that we both ended up in tank tops that evening! Mustang Girl would disappear into her room now and again, to talk secret agent teenager stuff on the phone, and probably to get some cooler air!
Both MM and I are still having a problem with the cough that seems to linger forever, but, we are feeling better. I would really like to be not coughing anymore, though. A nice cup of hot steaming tea seems to do the trick. Speaking of tea, I am off in a few minutes to go forage through the local kitchen stores for an electric kettle. I have one for work, but have always wanted one for the house. So off I go...
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Tired from 3 nights of work
A little bit frustrated with humanity in general
STILL recovering from the crud I've had for over a week
Nice rainy day in the hood
All these are reasons why there is no story here. I am working on one, I promise. It just is not ready to be displayed, in all it's glory....
Don't worry, it will be worth it.
Posted by mielikki at 11:57 AM
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thank the Bubblewench for finding this one, and emailing me about making her a mieography. I *heart* learning about new women that have escaped my notice.
This is Anna Mitchell-Hedges. She's led quite an interesting life.
She was born Anne Marie Le Guillon, in 1907, in Canada, the 6th of 10 children. Her parents were French immigrants. When she was five, she was playing near a canal with her sister, who was pushed in by another child, in play. Her sister drowned. Tragically, another sister was burned to death, when their house burnt down.
WW One broke out, and Anna's father returned to France, to fight. Her mother, trying to correspond with her family in Breton, France, became nervous when she got no replies. Unable to leave Canada, she sent Anna to France, instead, to see to the family. During her voyage over, Anna was on deck, and spied what she thought was a stick, in the water. It was a submarine. Everyone panicked, of course, but, they were not torpedoed.
She arrived safely (somehow) at the farm in Breton, to find that her Mother's youngest sister had moved her grandparents out into a barn, while she herself was living in the house. She gave Anna a straw pallet and told her she could sleep in the roof. Instead, Anna ran away, and went to go find her Uncle. Her Aunt sent men on horseback after her to no avail. Anna located her Uncle, who ousted the evil Aunt from the property, and reinstated his parents. Anna went back to Canada.
Her father returned on leave, and managed to get the time to impregnate his wife. Back in the war, he was gassed, and died. Then, her mother, and the baby, died during the childbirth.
The house where Anna and her siblings lived was opposite a hotel, and, two Americans became regular guests there. Anna used to find fishing worms for them to use as bait. These Americans also invited an English friend, named Albert Mitchell-Hedges. They persuaded him to adopt Anna. Though she did not want to go, her older sister could not afford to keep all the children. So she went.
He was very well off, and had a NYC apartment overlooking Central Park. She was frightened very much of him at first, but slowly, they developed a father-daughter relationship, the beginning of it starting because she did such a wonderous job of darning his socks! He nicknamed her 'Silly Sammy', and she was called Sammy for many years. He was fond of going on expeditions, and she accompanied him. She was 12 at the time. He took her first to Central America, and she became adept at fishing, and playing poker. Revolution broke out, however, and she was sent to the safe haven of boarding school.
Never fear, however. Alfred took her abroad again when she was 13. They traveled many islands, her fishing and being generally happy. When she was 17, she was on an expedition with Alfred, at Lubaatun, and, seeing something bright and sparkly amongst the stones, she went for it. It was the Crystal Skull.
More island fishing trips occured after that, and she landed the largest hammerhead shark ever caught by a woman (until the late 1980's). It weighed in at 1,500 lbs. She also had to become versed in defending herself. Weapons of choice? Pistol, and whip. She saved the life of her father's secretary, Jane, twice, with her pistol. When she shot a man, he didn't get up.
On one island, Anna decided to plant a coconut. In doing so, her spade connected with something, solid, and metal. She found buried treasure! Of all the luck.
During their 'down time' of non travel, her father (Alfred) bought up properties in Dorset and Cornwall, where Anna lived. In 1934 she went to Paris to learn the beautician trade. She qualified, and ended up being a much sought after beautician, cutting hair on Vanderbelts, and De Rothschild's, to name a few. Oh. And she also cut the hair of the infamous Mrs. Simpson, and her husband, Edward. Surely, you remember him, the almost King who had the balls to marry an American divorcee?
But I digress.
Before WW II broke out, Anna was the manager of a Beauty Salon on the Normandie Ocean liner. During the war, she stayed with Alfred in Hampshire. She met many people, like Churchill, General Hague, General de Gaulle. She frequently made stew, and served it to all, including the Italian prisoners who were working nearby. She had an accident during this time, falling off a chair while she was painting a ceiling. She awoke, in a hospital, getting her last rights....
She obviously did not die. Instead, the war ended, and she and Alfred ended up in South Africa. (St. Lucia to be exact. They liked it enough that that Alfred purchased the hotel, and nearby houses (I told you he was loaded) and they entered the hospitality business. Anna got restless after 2 years. To get the money they made out of South Africa without the red tape, they bought a famous Icon, the Virgin of Kazan.
Alfred was very ill at this time, and they went back to England, and Anna looked after him intil his death in 1959.
Another long standing secretary of Alfred agreed to stay with Anna, and the adventures continued. She still had the Russian Icon, and she sold it back to the Russian Orthodox Church, waiting several years until they were able to raise the money for it. She then returned to Canada, and began to give lecture tours about their nomadic life, and showing the Crystal Skull. She evenually bought, then ran, a hotel for 6 years before returning to England, to live, and then bounced back to Canada, yet again. Cynthia, the secretary died, but Anna continued to have people to her home, doing interviews, making documentarys (about her) and showing off the Crystal Skull. She died, shortly after her 100th birthday.
Posted by mielikki at 1:21 AM
Thursday, October 2, 2008
It's Thursday. And I am in search of 13 things.
For more Thursday 13, Go Here
Thirteen Things I spy with My little Eye
1. Sign Here sticky notes in red and yellow
2. Corporate Express Pencil Sharpener
3. Busy co worker flipping through charts
4. Wheel Chair #7
5. A phone book with a bail bonds advertisement on it's spine
6. boxes and boxes of green medical gloves
7. Coffee cup adorned with a black cat and pumpkins
8. Claim Jumper Restaurant badge in the shape of a sheriff star, says 'Buffy'
9. An annoying patient screaming at me to untie him
10. A 10 cc syringe
11. Blood collection tubes
12. A fire extinguisher
13. The clock that is moving too darn slow.
Can anyone guess where I am at today?