Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wrapping things up!

I've been wrapping things up... both figuratively and literally!

Like on Christmas Eve - "wrapping up" meant just that... I was in a panic trying to gets my gifts wrapped.  Nothing like waiting till the last minute!

And now, today- the day after Christmas, here at the tea room we're wrapping up loose ends getting ready for end of the year stuff.

When I look back on the year, both at the tea room and art center, it has been quite a year!  Handling the day to day operations at both places I sometimes forget all that's really happened in just 12 short months.  I usually only seem to focus on what "still" has to be done instead of how much "has" been done. 

If next year is like this year, it should be (as kid president says) an awesome year!  (If you don't know who kid president him!)

I'm going to make a conscious effort to slow down next year.  I want to enjoy the ride a little more. 

And stress... some things I can control and something things I can't - so I am definitely putting together a game plan to recognize and reduce that!  So if anyone brings unnecessary stress next year you just may hear a quote from my favorite movie.  As Glenda says.. "Be gone!  You have no power here!"

Oh, and one more thing before I wrap this up... "Sometimes you just have to say no" and that's OK!

So as I wrap up this year, I just want to say...THANKS!

Thanks to everyone, and you know who you are, for seeing me through my latest adventure, for having faith, and always believing in me.

That's a wrap!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

Just a tad longer and I'm finished.  Today is cookie day. I'm putting ribbons on the last of the trays. Saturday night was the final performance of our  2013 season with a holiday production of It's a Wonderful Life at The Alfresco Art Center.  What a year it's been!  So many wonderful things have happened. 

I must admit I'm ready for the holiday and year to be over.  The hustle and bustle has worn me to a thread.  Between running the business, producing a show. Time has flown by!

decorating the tea room and the art center I don't have time or the inclination to decorate my home.  The only Christmas decor at my house is my dog Daisy in her holiday sweater. 

Now... I don't want to sound like Scrooge - bah humbug and everything  but I'm soooooo ready for Christmas day.  To most that's the busiest day but for me that's my day of rest.  My Christmas is Christmas Eve with my parents and siblings and theirs kids.  After our celebration I'm on lock down.  I stay home and just relax.  That's the greatest gift for me.  No phones, no deadlines, no nothing- just munchies and great movies.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Never say Never!

We've all heard it..." never say never", but we've all done it.  For example I said "I'll never wear crocs those are the ugliest shoes ever".  Wrong!  I wore them for almost a year straight!  I had them in every color and style. It was pathetic.
Or - "I am NEVER" watching Duck Dynasty - as you can imagine I did!  It was one of those nights when I couldn't sleep.  As always, I started flipping through the channels. I stopped and saw some of the funniest stuff! I literally laughed out loud and thought what is this?  So I hit the info button and wouldn't you know it - It was Duck Dynasty! Before I knew I was popping popcorn and getting something to drink at 2 in the morning!  Really?  A normal person would have watched a few minutes and gone to back to sleep. Not me! I watched episode after episode knowing full well that my day begins at 6 am!  Now I'm not someone who has to rush home to see a show BUT if I can't sleep I seem to suffer from the late channel surfing sickness.You would think that I would just turn off the TV, but after all of these years I still have to sleep with the TV on (that's another story)
And after all of these years - I've come to the conclusion that for me, saying "I'll never" is part of a cruel cosmic curse.  So... I'll never say "I'll never" again!  Geez - see what I mean?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The perfect manicure

Have you ever noticed how some women's nails look perfect all of the time?  Polish never chipped, nails the perfect length, well -  I am not one of those people.

By hands are always in water or dirt or some other something that makes by hands look like a laborers hands.

Oh don't get be wrong I would love to have nice looking hands, I've tried!

Sometimes when I have nothing to do on a weekend night I try and do all of those girlie things.

Such as....
Color my own hair (sometimes it turns out and sometimes not so much)
Color my eyebrows (I know the box says not to do that but...)
Bleach my upper lip (What do you mean not everyone has to do that!)

And what's with that one course hair that grows from your chin that has probably been there all week and you just noticed it - oh great!

Now the nails.  I pick the color, pop in a CD or DVD ( I have to have white noise)  Even now as I write this I have the documentary of Walt Disney playing in the upper right hand corner of my computer screen - I love the split screen!

Now I'm ready - oh wait I better get my magnifying glasses - Lord knows I need those.

So after everything is finished my forehead is stained from the dye, my lip is red from the bleach, and I have polish about an 1/8th of and inch around my nails. 

As long as I don't have my magnifying glasses on it looks like the perfect manicure - besides the excess polish eventually comes off in the shower.

Well, that's my beauty regiment or lack there of for the next 4 weeks!


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lights - Camera - Action

I love movies.  I love all kinds of movies.  So yesterday when a movie producer walked into my restaurant I was thrilled.  She (the producer) was looking for film locations for a movie that's being filmed in Granite City. Not only is it being filmed in my home town it's being filmed in my neighborhood, from the book "Men of Granite"about the actual events of a 1940 basketball championship!

When you're a kid and you hear these and other stories from the "old timers" you're thinking... yeah I know I've heard that before.  But in my mid 20's I really started listening to and appreciating these and other stories - Because after all a movie is just a great story.

This story, that I've heard for years, is bound to make a great story. I'm so glad that I'm around to see it happen.

Now I'll be just one of the many passing on this story of my neighborhood and it's people onto the next generation.

So come on spring 2014 I'm ready for Lights - Camera - Action!  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What an honor

Last night I was awarded the Southwestern Madison County Community Service Award.  It was such and honor and a humbling experience.

To be recognized for fulfilling life long dreams that others feel have  helped to enrich our community is pretty surreal.  I'm a very fortunate person because  I've been able to check so many things off of a wish list that I started years ago.
  1. Start my own business - Check
  2. write a book                 - Check
  3. start an art center         - Check
My former teachers mentors and friends Bev and Margie
Some people think that they peak in their twenties but for me at 51 - I think the best is still ahead.

Rosemarie Brown  Chamber of Commerce Director

One of my biggest fans Jim Holland
My second family Melissa, Amy and Margie 

So, thanks to all who have always been there for me, my family and friends, and for believing in me and my sometimes crazy dreams!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Time to read

I envy people who say that as soon as they lay their head down they're fast asleep.   For me it's either toss and turn and flop around so much that even my dog Daisy looks at me as if, "Really, I'm trying to sleep here", because heaven forbid I disturb her beauty rest.  I jokingly say that the house is Daisy's house and she just lets me live there but deep down that may be true.

Anyway,  I either toss and turn or flip channels till I fall asleep with the remote in my hand then to suddenly drop it as I'm drifting off only to have to start all over again, flip - flop -toss and turn Sigh...

But then again sometimes I read.  There's nothing better that curling up with a good book, that's what I'll do tonight.  Tonight instead of reading one of the many novels collecting dust on the night stand I have 5 scripts to read. I'm researching material for the 2014 season line-up for The Alfresco Art Center.  There's nothing better than getting lost in a great story.

Sometimes when I read I catch myself laughing out loud. Heck, I even laugh out loud in the Hallmark store picking out cards.  Don't you know that's a head turner.  But if its funny-  what else can you do?

So, I hope I find lots of laughs tonight as I read.  I'm looking for some comedies and musical comedies. So here I go...   Act 1 Scene 1

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's almost showtime

These last few months have been a whirlwind! Do you ever stop and think... What have I gotten myself into? 

I don't know if this ever happens to you but it seems every time I start a new project, big or small, it always seems to take longer than I had expected, those dreaded unforeseen variables!
More time, more money, more everything!

But there is a light... we're finishing the second floor of the art center just in time for our next production  - "Forbidden Broadway", then we will announce our 2014 season.

One thing I know for sure! I am not doing anymore renovations till after the first of the year AND the next show I direct will not be at the same time as a renovation project!

As things come together the Crow Gallery is nearing completion along with Club 21 (which is near and dear to me.)
Club 21 is a small piano bar nestled within the mezzanine.  It's named for the year the building was constructed.  But the interior came from my aunts bar.  She recently passed and always wanted me to take over her bar.  So I removed key elements and recreated her bar as Club 21.  I think she would be proud!

So even with all of the delays, aggravations and all that jazz... The Alfresco Art Center is coming along nicely.  But if I start talking about the next phase of renovations before the end of the year would someone please remind me...

P.S.  pictures to follow after the show!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'm Back!

It seems like forever since I've had a minute to just relax and even write a bit.

Since December I've going, as my grandpa would say, like a house a fire on renovating the art center.
We've completely renovated the main performance floor and gosh is it pretty.  We have two reaming floors to go. 
The space, while it may be unconventional for big theatrical productions, is perfect for more intimate performaces.

We've had three such performance so far.

First we had the High School Vocal Christmas Concert under the direction of my friend Donald Stratton.  FABULOUS!

Second - we had our very own National Award Winning High School Jazz Band under the direction of Mr. Wyatt Roberds.  AMAZING! Along with our middle school jazz band under the direction of Mr. Chuck Noud.
I love jazz music and to see the talent of these young people boggles my mind.  Wow, what I wouldn't give to have just a little of their talent.

How anyone can't see the importance of arts to a child's education....Well that's a rant for another time.

So that's two performances.  Now for the third...

This past weekend, Summerstage, our local community theater company performed Joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat.  What a fun show and a fun time.  Having Summerstage perform at the center meant a lot to me since the director, Beverley Scroggins was my high school teacher.  She  along with Margaret Holland-Pennell, another amazing teacher, are part of the reason that I'm involved in the arts today.

So, while it's been a dream come true to be able to create this center, it has been STRESSFUL.
And speaking of stress, did I tell you that I'm a stress eater?  You would think working 20 hours a day I would be rail thin - but nooooooooo

Not only do I eat without realizing it but now I'm walking in my sleep and waking up with a jar peanut butter and a half eaten nutty bar stuck to my face.

Now don't think I haven't thought of taking all of the food out of the house during these stressful times!  My only fear is I'll wake up with Daisy's dog food and a spoon in the can!

So, I'll try from time to time to post pictures of the renovation. And hopefully it wont be months between the updates. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Is it Spring?

Not that I'm complaining or anything but it's certainly strange weather for January.  Mid 40's in early January - Yippee! I'll take it.

Maybe I'll get out of this winter funk! - I'm like a bear, I think I should hibernate and or course eat.  But as soon as that sun comes out and the temperature starts to climb I start feeling human again.

So come on temperature keep climbing I'm ready for ya!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

This is my year...

Every year for that past 25 - maybe more,  I've probably made a New Years resolution - only to have completely blown it by mid February.  This year like every other I'm going to try and eat healthier and take better care of myself. ( I hope it can last at least till June)  I would like to say... and exercise, but I know that's not going to happen.  

But, I am serious when I say - this is my year for organization!  I just purchased the neat scanner.  I hope it's as easy as it seems.  We all know how challenged I am with technology.  If this thing works, or should I say if I can work this thing - I'll be a happy camper!

I am also purging 12 years of accumulating everything imaginable in the storage area above the tea room.  What we can't use at the art center will have to find another home.  I am cleaning house!

So 2013 - This is my year, I'm getting organized once and for all!