Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day

I recently received this in an email and I was deeply moved. I wanted
to share it with you if you have a few minutes...

In the early morning hours of a summer evening in 2002, Dr. Sam Bierstock was returning from a cross-country trip.

Better known as "Dr. Sam" to millions of people, the doctor had just performed an engagement with his band, "Dr. Sam & the Managed Care Blues Band ®". A professional musician and entertainer as well as a physician, Dr. Sam had been entertaining and making political commentary using satire, great music and humor since 1996 when he formed "Dr. Sam and The Managed Care Blues Band". With performances in more than forty states, and many thousands of CDs sold, Dr. Sam had been taking on managed care and it's impact on healthcare in the United States with such riotous tunes as "You Picked A Fine Time To Leave Me Blue Shield", "You're One Hip Mama ('Cause They Won't Pay For Two)", and many others. His music with a message and good-natured humorous commentary had been featured nationally on CNN, National Public Radio, People Magazine, USA Today and many other national forums.

On this particular evening, Dr. Sam was tired. He had parted with his band members and was headed home from a cross-country gig that had returned him to his home base in Florida at 1 AM. After retrieving his car from the parking lot, he handed his parking ticket to the elderly man in the collection booth. Retrieving his change, Dr. Sam wished the attendant a good evening. He was somewhat startled when he received an unexpected angry and resentful reply. " I took two bullets for this country," the attendant responded, "and look what I am doing now!"

Uncertain as to how to respond initially, Dr. Sam pocketed his change, rolled up his window and began to drive off. The time that it took to drive ten or fifteen feet from the toll booth was enough for him to digest what had just happened. With no one behind him, Dr. Sam backed up, rolled down his window and addressed the elderly attendant. "Sir", he said, " I have had a wonderful life in this country, and I want to thank you sincerely for what you did to preserve our way of life in this country." Saying nothing in response, the man began to cry.

As he drove home in those early morning hours, Dr. Sam was haunted by what had just occurred. As a 'Baby Boomer" his early years of life were within a decade of the end of the Second World War. His step-father had been wounded in Italy, and other family members had served in the armed forces. Distant relatives had perished in the holocaust. What would have happened, he thought, if we had lost World War Two to Hitler and his Nazi henchmen? He realized that not only would our entire way of life and system of freedom been destroyed, his parents and grandparent would have been killed, he would never have been born and his children would not exist. The same fate would have been met by virtually all other members of minorities, many religious groups, and the disabled. The personal freedoms that we take so much for granted would have disappeared. "How", he thought, "do you thank someone enough for the existence of your children, and for all of the freedoms and opportunities that we all take so much for granted?"

The next morning, Dr. Sam wrote the lyrics to "Before You Go". The lyrics came easily to him since they came so much from the heart. The challenge then came in setting them to music.

For months he struggled with finding just the right musical genre. Should it be a patriotic song resounding with majesty, or a country tune? He had consulted several well known and successful professional song writers who felt that his lyrics were more of a "poem" than song lyrics and suggested that he re-work them. But what he had written was what he felt, so he resisted a change in wording. He sent the lyrics to fellow musicians, and to authors of film scores. No one seemed to take interest or express a willingness to tackle the lyrics and the message.

During the summer of 2005, Dr. Sam was on his way to yet another gig with his band. The band had a new keyboard player, John Melnick. Classically trained as a pianist, and a seasoned singer and entertainer, John was on his first road trip with the band with scheduled stops in Philadelphia and Scottsdale. Walking through one of the airports, Dr. Sam casually mentioned to John that he had been struggling with putting some lyrics to music and couldn't seem to find the right fit. "Let me take a shot at it," john offered. The result was "Before You Go"

With the music provided by John Melnick, Dr. Sam went into the studio with John and his production team, John Catalano and Newell Bate. With Andy Russell on drums, John Catalano on guitar and bass, Dr. Sam on harmonica, and John Melnick providing both keyboard and vocals, and Peter White harmonizing, "Before you Go" became a reality at last.

Feeling that they had produced a very high quality "demo" recording, Dr. Sam and John began "shopping" the song in an effort to interest a well-known celebrity singer, certain that a highly recognizable and popular singer would assure that their message of thanks would be spread more quickly if it was recorded by someone of national stature as a recording artist. As negotiations continued, time continued to pass. Acutely aware that the veterans of World War Two were being lost to age and time at a rate of 1,000 to 2,000 per day, they made the decision to release their recording for free listening on the Internet, in the hope that the message would be spread by those who heard their tune and forwarded it on to others. To enhance the impact of the song, Dr. Sam created a visual presentation to accompany the display of his lyrics, attempting to include as many of the branches of service of the armed forces, the allies, both sexes, and as many ethnic groups as possible in order to fortify a recognition of all who had done so much to preserve our way of life - and our very lives.

Within one week, "Before You Go" was being downloaded at a rate of 400 to 500 downloads per day. By the end of the first six weeks, downloads totaled more than 450,000 peaking at 50,000 per day at one point.

Emails began to pour in, with profound expressions of gratitude for the recognition extended to World War Two veterans by the song - not just from veterans of that war themselves, but from veterans of all of the wars since, people in active service, and especially from the sons, daughters and grandchildren of the veterans of World War Two.

As can be seen by reading page after page of excerpts to follow, these notes contained a common thread. Sons and daughters told of their parents and grandparents never talking about what they had seen or experienced during the war. Just as "Before You Go" expressed;

"You never boasted, bragged or asked

For adulation for your past

You did the job you knew was right

And quietly you cry at night."

Our thanks go to all of those who have listened to 'Before you Go" at, and passed it on to friends, family, radio and television stations, printed media, religious groups and organizations of all types.

Dr. Sam's and John Melnick's goal from the beginning has been to get this message to every surviving veteran of World War Two while we still have them, to their families and to their descendants. "Before You Go" has had its own life, thanks to all of you who have helped to spread this message of thanks.

Thank you to all who have ever served our Country.

You are all heroes.

Happy Memorial Day and stay safe my loveleighs!

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Pink Saturday Celebration!

It's time.

Time for Pink Saturday.
Time for the party.
Time to get our pink groove on.

It's a two year Birthday Celebration!
Hip Hip Hooray for Pink Saturday!
Rah Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah for Beverly of


Grab your party hats girls and let's get this party started!

photo presentation by
Annick Wesemael as seen in her book Tasty Travels

Sweet pink treats all around...

photo presentation by
Annick Wesemael as seen in her book Tasty Travels

stuff yourselves to the brim with pink deliciousness.

photo presentation by
Annick Wesemael as seen in her book Tasty Travels

Really dig in and enjoy yourself, we're here to celebrate BIG time.


Pink Saturday
Online friendships
The Magic that is Pink Saturday

photo presentation by
Annick Wesemael as seen in her book Tasty Travels

Thank you Beverly for 2 years of dedicated, non~stop pink passion. For
being there each week, even when we can't be. We are ever grateful and
love being part of Pink Saturday.

Remember pinkies, in the midst of life, when troubles get you down

Think PINK...
Keep Calm...

and Carry On.

Long live the PINK.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shabby White House Envy

Come for a stroll with me and see if you will be hopping on my envy train.

Can you see yourself sitting here in the morning enjoying a cuppa.

This is my favorite. LOVE LOVE LOVE this kitchen!

What I can see of it anyway.

These mirrors lining the stairwell are marvelous. Is anyone else loving
mirrors these days? Not necessarily the reflection, just the mirrors.

Chippy~ White ~Divine

Gorgeous chairs. I love the big mirror on the left wall. I bought one similar
in shape and size for All That Jazz. It's gold now but I have plans to give
it a white makeover. I just can't help myself. I'm addicted.

Now, I'm no drinker but this cabinet is so fabulous I am sure I could find
SOME use for it if I had to, LOL!

Rusty glory in the form of an iron screen.

I'm telling ya, shabby white envy, courtesy of the Country Living
archives. Trust me when I tell you it wasn't the only house I
loved. There
will be more pictures to come in the future!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pink Saturday

It's time for Pink Saturday! Let's all do a little dance~



Thank you to Beverly from How Sweet The Sound for hosting our
Pink Saturday each week. Don't forget next week is the second
week of our sweet little ole' PS, don't forget to plan your parties!
You can find all the pink linkage at Beverly's.

It's time for the first rose of the season again. This little beauty smells
heavenly. I had to pick it and bring it inside to enjoy. I realize it is
not technically pink, but lavender.

So just to keep to the rules I went ahead and pinkified it for you!

The beauty bush in the back yard is also in bloom again. It's not quite
as bushy as last year, as it had a bit of a trim. The bees were buzzing, I
had to get in and get out awful quick.

The dangers of getting the shot for a post!

But it's all good. I lived to tell the tale and wish you all a Happy Pink

Saturday and have the most wonderful weekend my LOVELEIGHS!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"INSPIRED" Booth Makeover for Spring

Last weekend we went and changed things around a bit for Spring in
our booth. We had some new merchandise that we've been working on to fit
the theme so away we went.

A couple of hours later, this is the finished
product. I think it looks better
in person, my pictures just don't translate well for some reason.

Remember when I showed you the before pictures of a couple of pieces
I was working on, here is the before...

the after.

I took burlap and covered the inside of the back and then trimmed it out
with some jute rope. There was a small hole I wanted to cover!

We also attached an old window frame we added chicken wire to.
This was my favorite makeover, it turned out pretty cute!

Makeover #2...the before and the after.

Dumb me, I didn't lay this down before we drove off and it tipped over in
the truck and got all marked up. I had to bring it home and touch it up

We also added some new things to the wall.

An old window with shutters...

picket fences...

window boxes made from old planters and window frames. This
one was already sold when we went back the next day ( To bring back
the table that had to be touched up).

Bird posts to poke in flower beds, made from old banister spindles.
There are also two gates, a fabulous iron/wire gate and a picket gate.

A potting stand (at least that's what we called it, I guess it's original
use was for painting model trains!) Along side it all the

picket posts I painted.

We set all this up on Saturday. On Tuesday we got a call that all the big
pieces in the middle had sold. Potting stand, gone. Garden trellis, gone.
The little piece I worked on with the hidden hole in the back, gone.


However we had to run down to rearrange things.

This is the center after we moved things around.

This is not where the story ends though. Today it got moved around
AGAIN. We bought a cool burlap covered ottoman that would only
fit in the center. I forgot to take my camera, oops.

I swear our shop
owner must be so sick of seeing us. We must be doing
something right
thought because when we were there on Saturday,
she told us she was
dropping our rent $25. We asked why and she said
she felt "INSPIRED"!

We'll take that ANY day!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Busy as a BEE...

Here's a sample of what I've been up to all week. Getting ready for the
next big round of things to be added to All That Jazz. We are focusing
on Spring "stuff" and trying to get some furniture pieces in place to
produce a larger profit margin, LOL!

So here are some picket signs I whipped out, they were fun to make but

the pink and purple didn't show up as well as I would have liked.

Paint, paint and more paint.

More paint, PRIMER to be exact. I hate this stuff, but it's a necessary
evil when covering icky furniture with nasty stains.

Prime on Sares. Prime on. I primed EVERYTHING in site.

Now this little piece was a mess. I forgot to take the before picture, I
remembered after I started priming and ran for the camera.

Two different kinds of wood. A hole in the back, cracks on the inside.
Yep, a mess. But I see her potential and I am excited about the
finished product!

Another beauty needing some TLC. Poor thing was ripped apart from
another half of a vanity somewhere along the line. I think we overpaid
for this piece and hope we can recoup the monies spent.

A week in the life of an aspiring~ junking~crafting~entrepreneur,
that and taking care of the Man
Cub and his big sister while their
Mama is working.

I am afraid it's made me rather lax in the blogging department.
Has anyone else been
lazy about blogging or is it just me?
I just can NOT seem to get in the