Springing Into Another Hodgepodge…

Even though our current temperatures (32 degrees!) don’t show it, this morning, we’re ‘officially’ a week into spring! With that thought in mind, let’s all think warm thoughts as we spring into this week’s questions.  Thanks so much to our hostess, Joyce, for providing the questions and a place for us to link up with others!  Don’t forget to visit others, and leave a few comments along the way 🙂

1. March is known as the windy month. Which of the following phrases best fits your March so far…’throw caution to the wind’, ‘three sheets to the wind’, ‘run like the wind’, or ‘see which way the wind blows’?

‘See which way the wind blows’ would aptly describe my March.  It’s been a month of several  twists and turns–including the deaths of several people we know (six, so far!), a salary cut for Ed, and a hospital visit for our grand baby, Evan.  Whew, I hope April will be calmer!

2. Your favorite green food? Your favorite dish made with your favorite green food?

I don’t know why, but ‘Watergate Salad’ (also known as pistachio salad) was the first thing that came to my mind when I read this question.  You know, it’s the salad that’s made with pistachio pudding, cool whip, pineapple, pecans, and mini marshmallows…  so I’ll choose ‘Watergate Salad’ for my answer.  Now I’m hungry!

3. Ever been locked out of your home-car-office-anywhere? Do tell!

Once I locked myself out of my car, but even worse, I locked the twin babies I was caring for inside of the car!  (It was one of my all-time scariest moments, ever!)  My car was parked in the shade, in front of the twins house, so the babies were never in any real danger, but by the time I finally got a locksmith to come and help me get into my car, an hour later, I was a total basket case!  The twins were fine.

4. Yoda, Kermit, Shrek, The Wicked Witch of the West, Oscar the Grouch, The Grinch, or Mike Wasowski (Monsters Inc.)…of the green characters listed, which one’s your favorite and why?

My favorite green character is Shrek, simply because I enjoyed the Shrek movies.  I loved that crazy donkey and those hilarious fairy-tale characters!

5. “The first task of a leader is to keep hope alive.”~Joe Batten Do you agree? Why or why not?

Yes, I agree because it would be very difficult to lead anyone anywhere, or to do anything, without a glimmer of hope.

6. Share a favorite song with an emotion in its title.

Since I just finished reading the autobiography of  the late Jim Croce,  his music is still in the forefront of my mind.  I love almost all of Jim’s songs, but one of my favorites is “I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song”.  Now that I know the story behind the song, it’s even more special!

The story goes something like this:  Early in Jim and wife, Ingrid’s marriage, Ingrid went to Mexico, to study art, I think.  Soon after she arrived, she was raped, by a casual acquaintance.  A short time later, when Jim joined his wife in Mexico, Ingrid confided in Jim that she’d been raped.  Jim became angry at Ingrid, feeling that she’d somehow brought the rape on herself’.  For a long time, he couldn’t get over Ingrid’s rape, and this caused  problems in their marriage.  One night, after a huge fight with Ingrid, Jim stayed up, and wrote “I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song” for his wife– over forty years ago!

The video, below, contains some old images of Jim and Ingrid, together, along with images of Jim’s hand-written lyrics and the sheet music to the song.  Jim is singing “I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song”  in the background.

7. What’s a road trip you’d like to take?

Now that the trees are budding and the flowers are blooming, I’m feeling the need to take a road trip to the beach!  I can hear the sand and surf calling my name!

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Random:

One day, last week, our oldest grandson, Caden rode his bicycle down to play with our granddaughter, Madison, who lives next door to us.  About that same time, Ed and I decided to plant our lettuce and cabbage plants in the garden.  When Caden saw Ed raking the dirt off the top of the garden row, he quickly abandoned playing with Madison, and started “helping” Ed work in the garden!  As it turned out, I dug the holes, Ed set the plants, then Caden watered them for us.

 A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

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“Gardening Buddies”

Published in: on March 26, 2014 at 8:15 am  Comments (12)  
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Thursday’s Thoughts ~ Messin’ Around With Jim…

Croce_9780306821219_front_cover_smaller_image book(image via Google images)

After two weeks, I finally finished the autobiography of Jim Croce, entitled I Got a Name – The Jim Croce Story!  I’ve been a long-time fan of Jim Croce’s music, and owned all three of his last albums, back in the 70’s.  I played them constantly, and still remember most of the words.

I, like so many other fans, was heart-broken when Jim’s life was claimed in a plane crash, en route from one concert venue to another.  Jim died at the age of thirty, just as his career was beginning to sky-rocket, leaving behind a wife and two-year-old son, Adrian James, now known as A.J.

While I’ve always loved Jim’s songs, I had no idea of the story behind the man and his music.  Fortunately, his widow, Ingrid, along with her current husband, Jimmy Rock, finally decided to share Jim’s story–forty years after his death.  (The book was written a long time ago, but never published)

Here are just a few interesting facts I learned about the man and his music:

Jim began his journey with music, at the tender age of five, by learning to play the accordion!

Jim was a college graduate, but preferred to play, write, and sing music, above all else.  Jim’s decision to play and sing [for a living] caused a rift between him and his dad.  That rift never really healed since Jim’s father passed away before Jim became really successful with his music career.

Jim played and sang folk songs, while he was  in college.  He met his wife-to-be, Ingrid, during a ‘Hootenanny’. (She performed, while he was a judge.)  Jim was in college, and Ingrid  was still in high school, at the time. They later married, while Ingrid was studying art, in college.  The two began playing and singing together whenever and wherever they could.  They wrote several songs together, as well. 

In addition to making music, Jim’s various other jobs included: selling radio ads [in the black section of town] , writing radio commercials, working on a construction crew, truck driving, and even teaching some very rowdy special ed students!  He wrote several of his songs based on some of these experiences.

Jim wrote virtually all of the songs on his three albums from the 70’s.  He was a talented song writer, who used his life experiences to make lyrics for some great songs.  He carried a pen and notebook with him at all times.  He frequently carried a tape recorder, as well.

Unfortunately, Jim wasn’t able to open up and talk to his wife, when problems would arise between them, and, sometimes, he wrote songs to tell her how he was feeling. (I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song, and Tomorrow’s Gonna’ Be a Brighter Day are two such songs.)
 
In order to avoid being drafted, Jim joined the Army National Guard two years before he and Ingrid were married.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t ordered to actually report for basic training until exactly one week after their wedding!

jim-croce-singer-guitar-celebrity-young-couple Jim and Ingrid

Jim and Ingrid – still newly weds

(image via Google images)

Jim hated Army basic training!  His wife states “Jim didn’t take directions easily”.  Ultimately, Jim was forced to repeat basic training for a second time, even though he passed all of the tests the first time.  Jim met a man named ‘Leroy Brown’ while he was in basic training, who helped inspire the song Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.

Jim, also, received inspiration for the song “Operator”, during basic training, while waiting in line [with the other recruits] to use the pay phone.  He once struck up  a conversation with the operator, while making a call,  [to buy some time] because Ingrid’s line was busy and he didn’t want to give up his turn in the phone line.

Jim drove a VW Beetle, for years, that he and Ingrid eventually referred to as, “The Raisin”. The car became filled with dents at the hands of some of Jim’s special ed students, and Jim spray painted the car brown to help hide the dents. This made it look like a raisin! (During this time, Jim’s tires were also slashed five times!)  Following the eventual demise of ‘The Raisin’, money was tight, and Jim proceeded to purchase thirteen different ‘clunkers’ within the next twelve months!  His streak of bad luck with cars, was the inspiration for a song–‘Hard Time Losin’ Man’.

One day, Jim’s friend, and former college classmate, who had become a record producer, in New York, contacted Jim and offered a record deal.  (Jim and Ingrid had been playing and singing at coffee houses, colleges, and such.)  Jim and Ingrid then moved to New York to pursue a music career, which didn’t flourish, at that time.  The song, ‘New York’s Not My Home’ was inspired by this experience.

Jim was a trusting soul, and refused to read the recording contract, or even get a copy of it when he signed it.  Ingrid questioned this decision, but eventually signed the document, too. Both of these decisions came back to haunt them.  As a result, Jim received very little monetary compensation for his music, even after his music career finally began to take off with the release of ‘Don’t Mess Around With Jim’.

Ingrid went to court, following Jim’s death, and, finally, after ten long years of litigation, won the rights to Jim’s music (some of which she co-wrote).

jim-and-maury-muehleisen-in-plane-1973-385x290 Jim

Last picture of Jim Croce (and guitarist, Maury Muelhleisen) – taken 15 minutes before their plane took off and crashed

(image via Google images)

If you are a fan of Jim Croce’s, you would enjoy his autobiography.

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Once I finished the book, I was still curious, so I did a little Google research.

I discovered that, following Jim’s death, his wife, Ingrid, became very accomplished in many ways.   Among many other things, Ingrid developed a Head Start program for Costa Rica, opened a children’s school, and wrote a children’s book!  Ingrid, also, renewed her singing career, and recorded a couple of albums after Jim was killed.  Eventually she was forced to give up singing, due to a tumor on her vocal cords.

Ingrid then opened a very successful restaurant/jazz bar in San Diego, California, in 1985.  She located her restaurant in the same spot where she and Jim had once discussed opening a “Croce’s restaurant/jazz bar” together.  She named the restaurant Croce’s, in memory of her late husband.  The business was expanded five times, in the years that followed!

Ingrid decorated Croce’s with memorabilia from Jim’s career, which was a good thing, because her house burned down about the time she was preparing to open Croce’s! Over the years, Croce’s became a favorite spot for Jim’s fans to come and remember him.  Unfortunately, Croce’s was forced to close its doors, in December of 2013, after the landlord refused to renew the lease.  Ingrid has since opened a second restaurant, Croce’s Park West.

A J Croce 37

A.J. Croce

(photo via Google images)

I, also, discovered that, after the death of his father, A.J., contracted a brain tumor when he was about four years old.  The tumor caused swelling to the optic nerve, which left A.J. blind, for a time.  Fortunately, by age 10,  A.J. was able to regain sight in one of his eyes, but A.J. became an accomplished pianist while he was still blind.  A.J. sings and plays the guitar, as well.  A.J. has recorded several albums, and now owns his own record company, too.  By the way, I think A.J. resembles his late father a lot!

Published in: on March 20, 2014 at 8:37 am  Comments (4)  
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A Simple Woman’s Daybook Post…

simple-woman-daybook-large

FOR TODAY-
Monday, March 10, 2014
Outside my window…
It is still dark!  This time change really sucks.  The weather is predicted to be warm and sunny, though.  We had two glorious warm and sunny days over the weekend, thank goodness!
I am thinking...
I’m not ready for the weekend to be over, yet.  Yesterday seemed like a really short day.
I am thankful…
for many things, but, today, I’m especially thankful we’re almost debt-free (we still owe a bit for Ed’s eye surgery), because beginning today, we’ll be living on less income.  Ed’s reduction in pay kicks in today.
In the kitchen...
I have a mess.  The kitchen table is covered with groceries that need to be put away, then there’s the box of china sitting on the kitchen floor, waiting for me to find a place to put it!  As for food, I’m going to have to cook ‘from scratch’, today, because Ed and I ate the last of the ‘left-overs’ for supper, last night.
I am wearing…
my night-gown, a house coat, and some socks.  It’s a bit cool in the house, this morning.
I am creating…
more clutter in our house every time I bring something home from my MIL’s house!   It’s so hard for me to let go of things, sometimes.  There are over sixty years worth of memories in that house, and were having a really hard time deciding what to keep and what to let go of.  Hence, the box of china sitting on the kitchen floor, as well as a shoe box full of ‘treasures’ sitting in the living room.
I am going…
to do some serious house cleaning today.  When the weather is warm and sunny, I become inspired to do ‘spring cleaning’!
I am wondering...
when my cousin’s husband’s funeral is going to be.  Charles passed away early yesterday morning.  My heart is heavy for his wife of fifty-something years.
I am reading...
I Got a Name, the biography of singer, Jim Croce.  It’s quite an interesting story, so far.  So much talent, gone much too soon!  I think the saddest part of Jim’s story, other than his untimely death,  is how he never really reaped any of the financial benefits of his amazing talents before he died.
I am hoping…
my son’s household gets well soon!  Brad, called last evening to say that he is still sick, and, now, baby Evan, is sick with congestion and fever, too.  It seems to be a never-ending cycle at their house, lately.
I am looking forward to…
having some family time, again.  Our family once spent so much time together, but lately, everyone has been busy doing other things.  You could say, life’s been getting in the way of getting together.
I am learning…
how amazing it is to have ‘Google’ at my fingertips!  Anything I ever need to know can be found through Google, such as–how to fertilize pecan trees!
Around the house…
everything looks nice.  Ed mowed all of the grass, for the first time in 2014, on Saturday.  Let springtime begin!
I am pondering…
how time managed to slip away so quickly.  It seems like, just yesterday, when Ed and I were newlyweds.  We’ll celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary, in June.
A favorite quote for today…
“But there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do, once you find them” (from the song Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce)
One of my favorite things…is listening to good music, and reading a good book.  I know that’s two, but who’s counting?
A few plans for the rest of the week…
planning to do a little ‘deep cleaning’ inside of the house, but, also, plan to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather outside, while it lasts.  I’ll spent the week trying to get my body adjusted to the time change, as well.
A peek into my day…
it’s almost time for the sun to make its appearance for the day.  After that, it will be time to go outside and feed the five chickens, our twelve cats, and two dogs. Let the day begin!
From my photo files:
The video, below, isn’t from my photo files, but it’s worth sharing.  While reading ‘I’ve Got a Name’, I discovered a video made shortly before Jim Croce was  killed. (Jim’s wife mentions it in her book)  It features Jim, along with his wife, Ingrid, and son, Adrian James, and was filmed at their home.  Jim’s wife says he wrote ‘Time in a Bottle’ for their son.  It was almost as if he knew he’d be leaving this world soon…
 
Thanks to Peggy Hostetler for hosting The Simple Woman’s Daybook.
Published in: on March 10, 2014 at 8:29 am  Comments (7)  
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