Monday, May 28, 2012


Don't want to burst any one's bubble today or rain on your parade_because I know y'all's Grills are being prepped for cooking,the salads,beans,cakes,plenty of beer,wine,& the hard stuff are on hand,smokes,etc are ready_folks on the way to Partee! Yea,it's the beginning of Summer Fundays....BUT Wait...

Take the time today to remember the people who served & still serve in the Armed Forces so that you may enjoy the Freedom to Celebrate!!!!

"Memorial Day" is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as "Decoration Day",it originated after the American Civil War  to commemorate the Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars.

Charles Edward Ives (October 20, 1874 – May 19, 1954)was an American Modernist Composer.
He composed "A Symphony: New England Holidays,aka A New England Holiday Symphony or Holiday Symphony,for orchestra.It took him from 1897 to 1913 to complete all four movements. The four movements in order are:
I. Washington’s Birthday
II. Decoration Day_listen below to his rendition
III. The Fourth of July
IV. Thanksgiving

                                           Composer Charles Ives_Decoration Day

So,even if you don't like Classical Music_just taking a moment to remember is important!Here's some moments in pictures_worth a thousand words....

Here's my other half_he's served in the Army(1st Cavalry),Navy & Army Reserves.
Currently,a Historical Reenactor for The Civil War,Irish Zouaves,Sons of the American Revolution and my sweetie!Both my Dad(deceased) & older brother served in the Navy.

5/28/2012_Taken at Aaron's Hilltop Farm_Headed to the Cemetery... will give a Soldier's Salute w/ his Musket,etc......Served this country from 1975-1995!!!!!!WOW!!!!!!

"And I'm proud to be an American,where at least I know I'm free.And I won't forget the "Men,Women,Gays & Lesbians who died,who gave that right to me"


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


             "Know Thyself" order for one to be wise. *Socrates*

There are moments in one's Life when the simple notion of surrounding one's self with friends is the ultimate JOY! My Birthday Party this past weekend was one of those moments! I'm declaring that I have got the Best Friends ever!!!!....the mixture of personalities,the funny sayings,the laughter,the hugs.. each person is like the most exquisite gifted wrapped present EVER...the Joy of just being with close friends is ....Priceless!!!!!!
As I've mentioned before in my Blog_I started having themed parties about ten years ago.This party was Hosted by a good friend who assured me that her creative skills were all good!Indeed...WOW!,what a setting_by the pool..with the Greek theme flowing from every corner inside and out,Greek music playing in the background.. at one point I imagined that we were in Santorini,Greece....
...okay ,so my mind was playing tricks or treats on me...or maybe it was the Greek Wine..WOW!that's some powerful wine...
"Boutari Greek Wines_Naoussa & Kretikos"

The food was delicious_3 flavors of Hummus dip w/Pita chips & Wheat Rusks,Turkey & Asparagus Wraps,Lentil Salad,Spanakopita,Greek Dolmas,Stuffed Pepperoncini(Pancetta/Cheese),Pepperoncini Dip,Chicken & Veggies Kabobs,Green Beans w/Caramelized Onions & Focaccia Bread_Baklava and Southern Lemon Pound Cake w/Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream...(a little Southern Greek food)!

The Bellydancing was OUTRAGEOUS_and if I put the videos on this Blog_I'd have to move into a Witness Protection Program....immediately!!!
Veilleuses,Collectors Guide(book),Passport w/ stamps from Greece,Cards....
Greek Goddess Veil,Bracelet &Skirt& Headband,Greek Spices,The Scarlet Contessa(book)...
Okay, A Ballerina FROG (with a good Bra),Greek Spices,A White Ironstone style Dish,APicnic Basket for Wine(beautimost)...

Birdhouse Teapot,Wine, Art Deco Chime...

                                        9 NEW VIDEOS!!!!!!!!!WHOA......
                        FRIEND Chime,Mini-Tagines,Greek ice bucket,Silk Road(book)...
                   My girlfriend's daughter(5 yrs old)painting & sweet!!!!!
                     Love that Greek Bag & New Greek Cookbook to add to my Collection!
                                             A Blue & White Grecian Salad Bowl
                       A gift to me from me...My First "Antique Veilleuses Teapot"..Love it!

Here's a couple of presentable photos from the party..
That's me in Yellow w/Violet _my Classmate from East Texas
Pam,Jill(Hostess),Violet & Shelly
Joy,Amy(traveled from Tacoma,WA),Jill & Karen
"Sorors" Pam & Karen giving the hand sign for Zeta Phi Beta
Back row:Shelly,Joy,Amy,Karen
Jill,Pam &Violet

This my friends was a Damn good birthday party! Who knew these Travel Parties would take on such an adventure. Greece was pretty special_loved it!My hats off to all of my dear friends,EFHARISTO!

     GREECE ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!

Next trip_SPAIN FOR CHRISTMAS ...need to start "perfecting my skills" on making ...


                                                "FLAMENCO,dance like you mean it,Baby!!!"
My friend Amy has traveled to Spain & has danced the Flamenco in Dance School.Can't wait!

"Life isn't about finding Yourself.Life is about creating,


                                                     *George Bernard Shaw*

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What's Up?It's My Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Greetings from the Birthday Girl.....yeah!So,all you fellow May17th Birthday babies...Happy Birthday to ya!
Birthday's have always been pretty "Special" to me.As a kid,it was the birthday cake & ice cream,whatever my favorite meal may have been at the time,friends over for a party or just a family celebration,presents and more presents...and of course the annual....

I did not like this tradition..Why?Because,I got enough spankings from my mother everyday to last a lifetime.Mind you,I was my "Daddy's Girl"_so I NEVER got a spanking from Dad.Dad would just look at all 5 of us and we were good!

Seems this spanking thingie is in fact a ritual and/or tradition in some places!Take China for example..thousands of Chinese come to the Dong Lung Gong temple on the first day of the lunar Chinese New Year to take part in the century old ritual of spanking to rid  them of bad luck.The part I don't get is_the men are spanked,the women whipped!A little incense is burned_two pieces of wood are tossed_after which they all go home happy_they're Done & Done..and believe their luck will improve...mmm think I"ll pass on that one!

On Easter Monday_the Slavic tradition of hitting girls and young ladies with woven willow switches_then dousing them with water_is an "OUCH" moment for sure...switches,yea I remember those. In Slovenia if anyone succeeds in climbing to the top of Mount Triglav_the reward is a spanking.But the Romans_by God_they added a Festival called Lupercalia_naked men running through the streets of the city,carrying straps which they swatted the outstretched palms of women who wished to become pregnant...HAHAHAHAHAHA!Duh,they just needed to stop running,grab one of the women ...and the rest could be history!

So the North American tradition is a "birthday spanking"_ where the birthday girl or boy receives the same number of hits as his/her age (plus "one to grow on") during the birthday party. Birthday spankings are administered over the clothes and usually by close friends or family members, and are generally playful swats not meant to cause real pain. Okay,I'll keep it clean at this point_because "Adult Spankings" could be misinterpreted as a chapter in "Fifty Shades Of Grey"by E.L James it and weep! Birthday party will be this weekend! will NOT be a Victorian type settings as pictured friends and I have already done that one...a couple years back with a Jane Austen TeaParty one wanted to eat the traditional "Spotted Dick"Pudding..ah,the name didn't sit well with the girls, :-( !  I have this group of close knit girlfriends_where we make it a point to celebrate each other's Birthday and Christmas together.I started giving theme parties about 10 years ago...I now call them our Passport Parties.We visit a country as .....

"Mental Travelers"to experience the Culture,Music,Decor and Food.So far we've traveled to Africa,Italy,Russia, England,France,Ireland,Brazil,Japan_this year Greece! It started out of my love of cooking,music and being a History Geek! Each time,I've researched the culture,music,food and create the decor for ambiance!I made everyone Passport Books with stamps from each country.

 For the Russian Party _we all took on Russian women names,sang "From Russia With Love" & tasted at least 10 Vodkas_Vodka Shots,Baby_I did DROPPER Shots_no fan of Vodka;France was a 12 course meal with plenty of Wine & we wore berets,Japan was a tribute to one of my favorite movies "Memoirs of a Geisha",we wore Kimonos ate Japanese style;Morocco_I created a tent inside my home depicting a Marrakesh Market & we Bellydanced & sang the Top 10 song of Morocco_you just should have been there_we all become hysterical at the mention of that song;"Under The Tuscan Sun" was awesome (Italy)_learned to eat black truffles+In Home Wine Tasting presented by an Italian Vendor_we were toast by the final wine_Moscato;Brazil_ CARNIVAL....what happens at CARNIVAL stays at CARNIVAL! This year one of my friends took on the task of my Birthday Party.

We're going to Greece,y' in Goddess,BellyDancer,Warrior Goddess, Pagan Goddess Eostre.....around the Pool_ with hopes that scantily-clad Bronze Gods will appear at our beck and call..for whatever our needs may be....(keep it clean people!)

Since the origins of birthday celebrations is like most holidays_Pagan_Tarot Cards may be read,pampering may be had,bellydancing WILL take place,Greek foods will be served,Greek Music will be played and the decor will be Greek inside and out!

We may even do this traditional dance...
supposedly a great way to pass out...mmm,NOT at my partee! 

BUT,.."OPA" a Greek expression to express joy or high spirits while dancing will be heard!
It's a happy word_it's about leaving the past behind and starting over.
So as we partake in the Spirit of Greece...

..we'll be sure to shout an "OPA" or two for the Greeks! The current economic situation of Greece in the world as one Singer Giorgos Alkaios stated:

"I think Greek people want to say an "OPA" and get out know break a plate,and you know,very...with dance,and feelings,and smile.Live or leave it.This is the word we sing".

I can't wait to share with you all the fun,"BREAK A PLATE OR TWO",eat,drink & be Merry! A good friend is traveling from Tacoma,Washington,another from East Texas(my Classmate) and a college friend from Dallas for the partee!We gonna get our Grecian Goddess on......until then all you May's looking at ya....




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mystical Musical Nights~Nights from Alhambra & The Courtyard of David~

Welcome,all "Mental Travelers"! I'm glad you've joined me on this journey_together we'll be transported into a palace and fortress located in Granada,Andalusia,Spain.Constructed during the mid 14th century by the Berber rulers of the Emirate of Granada in al-Andalus,it sits at the top of a hill ~Alhambra~,"the red fortress".....overlooking this area.

The Alhambra's Moorish palaces were built for the last Muslim Emirs in Spain and its court_the Nasrid Dynasty.We will experience our journey in the Palace of Charles V,built by Charles V._Holy Roman Emperor in 1527.His Palace was inserted into the Alhambra within the existing Nasrid fortifications.
                                       Many,many fountains among the Palaces...
                                        ~ Arches in Mosque~
                             ~Detailed Wall Carving..exquisite!~

~Alhambra~ exhibits Spain's most significant and well known Berber Islamic Architecture,16th century Christian buildings and Gardens.The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Moorish poets described it as "a pearl set in emeralds",in allusion to the colour of its buildings and the woods around them.

Follow me to...The Palace of Charles V. for our experience.....
                      ~The Palace of Charles V~Palacio De Carlos V.Alhambra~
At the heart of this massive square structure,is a circular Courtyard which symbolizes Heaven and Earth_indeed impressive and unique.
                                         ~The Courtyard of The Palace of Charles V~
~Doric colonnades of conglomerate stone,orthodox classical,classified as a Mannerism structure~

It is nightfall Mental Travelers....lit by Andalusian stars above and stage lights below,hear the sounds of running water from the several fountains and cascades,feel the gentle breeze on your face,smell the fragrant Spanish jasmine and gardenia nearby,look to the sky for twinkling stars,embrace the enchanting walls as they whisper sounds of travelers from centuries past,isolated from outside noise, relax and be taken to your world of imagination whatever that maybe..witness the enchanting musical performance,set beneath the stars in the breathtaking Moorish heart of medieval Spain.......................................captured in concert 2006 by singer/composer Loreena unforgettable experience!

 ..only a real Artist can set the words of great Poets to music like Loreena...talented beyond words!

~Breathe life into this feeble heart,Lift this mortal veil of fear,take these crumbled hopes,etched with tears,we'll rise above these earthly cares...cast your eyes on the ocean,cast your soul to the sea,when the dark night seems endless,please remember me...~Dante's Prayer~Loreena McKennitt.(as in Dante's of my favorites).

Yet, my fellow travelers our journey does not end in Spain!Travel with me to another beautiful setting in Sarasota,Fla...another night filled with stars above,a gentle breeze, plush surroundings,along the Bay Shore Road...arriving "in the nick of time" at the gateway of the Ringling Museum Of Art to witness the voice of an angel...for PBS Great Performance....11 year old Jackie Evancho sings Nessum Dorma:

Nessum Dorma_an aria from the final act of Puccini's opera Turandot. It is one of the best-known Tenor arias in all opera. It is sung by Calaf, il principe ignoto (the unknown prince), who falls in love at first sight with the beautiful but cold Princess Turandot. However, any man who wishes to wed Turandot must first answer her three riddles; if he fails, he will be beheaded. I read the book ...what an amazing story for young and old!I love this aria so much, I "TRY" to sing it often while taking a shower.....

"Nessum dorma!Nessum Dorma!Tu pure,o Principessa,nella tua fredda stanza,guardi le stelle che tremano d'amore,e di speranza!"_(None Shall Sleep!None Shall Sleep!Even you,O princess,in your cold bedroom,watch the stars that tremble with love and with hope)

Oh!!!, how familiar this landscape looks...yet another beautiful venue to engage the senses.."The Center Courtyard at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art",Sarasota,Florida.
                            Venetian Gothic Style

The Courtyard of the Museum of Art features casts of original antiquities and renaissance sculptures, including the towering David by Michelangelo. The Courtyard features two fountains - Fountain of Tortoises, one of three replicas from the Piazza Mattei in Rome, and the Oceanus Fountain, copied from the 16th century original by Giovanni Bologna in Florence’s Boboli Gardens.

Here's a few references :

*I have included Amazon's links to some great buys related to this post to the right of Blog.I purchased all three_and what a delight to enjoy!

Thank you for being my travel companion on both of these "unforgettable journeys". Beautiful Music & surroundings..I'm almost lightheaded from the experience! Keep your Passport handy as we  continue to be "Mental Travelers" on planet Earth.On second thought, I need to make some real travel plans for the Fall....I'm feeling an Epic Journey!

~A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.~Lao Tzu