Saturday, December 31, 2016

Saying goodbye

It's New Years Eve.  It's not just the year that I'm saying goodbye to, It's my dad.  This has been the most difficult time of my life!  My dad... the man who always believed in me, taught me so much and loved all of us unconditionally - is gone. We lost him on December 23, 2016

I know most girls look up to their dad as the strongest man in the world, who can do anything, and no one can measure up.  Well... He was all of those things and more.

He shared his love of music, standards and jazz!  As a little girl I remember him playing either the piano or guitar and singing the songs that are now part of the fabric of my everyday life.  

He lived 84 years - and boy did he live.  Even though the last 10 years of his life were slowly robbed from him because of Alzheimers his life was adventurous.

He wasn't a risk taker like me (I think I made him nervous) but with his job he was able to travel the world and work on some exciting projects.  He played in a band.  He provided a comfortable life for his wife of 60 years and raised 4 kids. He shot pool like a shark, had a great sense of humor and as my cousin said, "He was the smartest man" that she'd ever met!

It's the everyday memories that I'll hold on to, like eating cinnamon and sugar toast as we watched classic horror movies late at night while everyone else was sleeping, washing the family car together as he asked me how school was going, and near the end, on the days that we knew me, I mean really knew me, he called me by name - " There's Brenda Jane" - as I walked through the door.  Even on the days that  he wasn't sure exactly who I was, he still sensed that he needed to watch over me. As I kissed him goodbye he would ask, "how's your car running" and "when will I see you again?"
Always the dad - Always the protector!

So as I say goodbye to 2016, I'm not sure if I'll ever be the same - but don't worry Dad... the car's running fine and I'll see you tomorrow! (Either in my memories or dreams - but I'll see you!)


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Do or Dye!

This has been coming for some time now... Gray Hair!
Actually, I started turning gray in my early 20's I've been so many different colors that when I see pictures of myself with my natural color it looks odd. But in that past few years I've noticed that the gray is really really prominent. 
My hair grows so quickly that I have to get colored every 3-4 weeks. Who has time for that? Not me!!
With everything that I have going on it just takes too much time and energy to keep hair appointments. 
Of course I've colored my own hair but there are just somethings I should leave to a professional.  No one in their right mind would think the greeenish hue to my hair was flattering, stemming from the fact that when I had time to color I would run by and just grab something that looked close to the color that I bought the last time I had a midnight colorfest
So, over the last few months I've decided to let my natural color grow out and let the chips fall where they may.  So bring on the gray, white, silver or whatever.   So I'm going to do it - I'm not going to dye it!

P.S. I hope I don't go through this process and crack at midnight and cave in!  I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

You're killing me smalls!

That's directed at myself.  It's been almost a year that I've written anything here. Like I said in my last entry I really want to try and a blog at least weekly.  Well.... it's been a looong time and there's been lots going on.  We celebrated 16 years in business at the Garden Gate, Alfresco Productions is continuing to grow, I started a new chapter (pun intended) and opened a book store, and am about to start renovations on another old and much loved building in my hometown.   I've never been one to stay idle.  So.... here I go again I am defintely going to try and stay focused and write! I hope that's a resolution I can keep!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Time Flies

Where does the time go? When I decided to write a blog for my website I thought this'll be easy.  I'll block out an hour a day just for me to relax, reflect, and write a few words about what's going on. Not that I think my life is so exciting that everyone will be chomping at the bit to follow my every move, but more for me to be able to journal my "adventures" Well.... So much for that!
It's been over a year and not one scribble from me, not that I've been idle and twiddling my thumbs! Just the opposite! This has been an action packed year.  I finished my last term as an elected official (I think everyone should get involved in local government in some way),
The Alfresco Art Center has been moving full steam ahead and growing at an unbelievable rate.  The Garden Gate Tea Room has just celebrated 15 years! I'm hoping for 15 more! I'm closing in the next few weeks on a book store/boutique and I'm rehabbing a beautiful Mission Style Arts and Crafts home to become a Piano/Jazz Bar!.  You'd think I could find something to write about.  So, I'm hoping to really take the time to chat about what's going on so in a year from now I can look back and remember the ride - Because.... Every day is an adventure!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Elf on a shelf!

It's December 9th and I have zero, zip, nadda - not one Christmas Decoration up!
I usually don't put any up at home, after all it's just me and Daisy. I really don't think she minds.

BUT!  I always decorate my restaurant and art center.  Every year my family's Christmas is held at the tea room, and this year we're hosting a Christmas Cabaret at the center.  I'm pretty sure decorations are in order!

So, I have got to get off the stick and get things pulled together.  The weather's been descent so I can't use that as an excuse.  Now watch... there 'll probably be an ice storm since I'm planning to do it this weekend!

I don't need an elf on the shelf!
I need a genie in a bottle! 

Wish me luck.  This year may be the scaled down version of holiday decor.

Now don't even get me started on the Christmas present thing - or the lack of. 
That's another fine mess!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Speaking a foreign language!

I've always wanted to speak a foreign language! In school I tried German that didn't go well, so I thought I'd try Spanish.  Geez I may know a whole 4 words in each language.  Needless to say those classes brought down the old GPA. 

So, as I got older I thought, French that's such a romantic language.  I want to learn French.  Have you seen those advertisements... Learn to speak a foreign language in so much time?  They may work for some people but for me... all I did was spend money on cds that sit on a shelf and remind me that I still can't speak a foreign language! 

Although!  I may have added four more words to my multicultural vocabulary.  Let me see 4 words in German, 4 in Spanish and 4 in French - I'm just about ready for that international vacation!

I probably should give up.

But, there is one more language that I really need to learn and that's the language of hair. 
Oh you haven't heard of that?  I'm sure you know that language.   That's language of when you go to get your hair cut and can't seem to make them understand what you want, not even when you have a picture!   Like when I took in a photo of a cute trendy style and left looking like the shrunken head guy on Beetlejuice!

I swear before I die I will concur that language if no other!

Friday, November 14, 2014

What a day!

Gosh - Time flies.  Has it really been 14 years since I opened The Garden Gate - and 2 years for The Alfresco Art Center?

I know it has, but when you say it out loud it's only then, it starts to sink in.

Today was a great day not just for my business but for my hometown.

Fox 2 News "In You Neighborhood" was airing live from Granite City.

It gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling when you see other people appreciating something that's near and dear to you.

Unfortunately not all of the great businesses in our community could be highlighted in this segment, as one of the crew said "There's so much here we could air 10 hours!"

So to the eclectic mix of business that make our community what is... a big thank you!

I'm thrilled I can be a small part of it!