Friday, July 31, 2015

Twilight


"The time just after sunset, when the light is half-faded, but the world is not yet totally dark, is twilight."

Even the dictionary is romantic about my favorite time of day.


As I was watering, I looked up into the sky and noticed the moon was playing peek-a-boo in the clouds.








And I noticed the soft glow coming from inside my home.





When I was finished watering, I said goodnight to the squirrel that kept me company...


goodnight to the bird feeder, that feeds my little friends all day...


goodnight to the playful moon...


and walked back into the glowing comfort awaiting me...


to watch the darkness settle from my window.



Have a wonderful weekend, my friends. 

And don't forget to enjoy the beauty of the days ahead, because every single day is precious, especially at twilight ;)

xo
rue




Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why the vintage? (part four)


You're probably asking yourselves, "What in the world could she possibly have to say after the last three posts?"

I'll bet even Dewena didn't expect this long of an answer when she asked me those questions, huh? ;)

Well, don't worry dear readers, this is the last post in this series.


Anyway, this time it's about movies and television.

The first old movie I remember seeing, around the age of 7 was Gone with the Wind.



I know you're just shocked ;)

Remember when it came on tv every year?

I so looked forward to it.

Eventually, VHS came out and you could buy your own copy and I did :)

It was never the same after that though.

I'm sure those of you old enough to remember specials on tv, will remember the excitement of seeing this:


For me, it meant a claymation Christmas movie or a Snoopy special was coming on and in 1976 it meant that Gone with the Wind would be on tv for the first time.

I remember how excited my mom was to have me watch it.

I was hooked the moment I saw Scarlett flirting with those Tarleton twins.

I wanted to be her and I wanted to marry Rhett.

Until I got older and realized that wasn't a good idea.

Well, the being like Scarlett part, anyway ;)

Earlier this year I finally got to see it on the big screen and it was even more beautiful.

My mom soon introduced me to Shirley Temple movies, The Road pictures with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, The Wizard of Oz, Doris Day movies, and many, many more.

Her influence started a love of old movies that I don't think she could have imagined, when she sat me down in front of the tv to watch them all those years ago.

In my life I've seen even more of them than she has and I constantly surprise her when she asks me if I've seen "such and such picture".

I 'discovered' actresses like Rita Hayworth, Jean Arthur, Claudette Colbert, Katherine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck, Lauren Bacall, Jane Wyman, Carol Lombard, Myrna Loy, Bette Davis, Irene Dunn, Joan Crawford, Gene Tierney, and actors like, Jack Carson, William Powell, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy, Fred Astaire, Charlie Chaplin....

I could go on and on.

Did you know that there are some pretty racy movies made before 1930 and even as late as 1934?

It's called 'pre-code Hollywood'.

They aren't quite as dirty as some of the music from that time period, that I mentioned before, but really racy for back then.


Now I know what my grandfather, Papa (Annie Belle's son), meant when he said to my mom...

 "What? Do you think your generation invented sex?"

Speaking of Papa, he's the one that introduced me to 'I love Lucy'

I would watch the shows at his house when I was little.

Then I found even more shows, thanks to reruns and Nick at Night.

Leave it to Beaver, The Honeymooners, Father Knows Best, Dobie Gillis, Ozzie and Harriet, The Donna Reed Show, The Ann Southern Show, and my two very favorites..

Mr. Ed


and Burns and Allen


George Burns actually reminds me a lot of Papa.

When my mother told him that, he said that it was just because George was an "old fart" like he was.

In actuality, it was the dry humor.

Well, regardless, I love George Burns so much that I bought all his books, watched all his movies, and actually got to see him on stage right before he died.

When he died I actually cried.

If you've never read his book 'Gracie: A Love Story', I highly recommend it.

So, I think that about does it.

My love of vintage is in every aspect of my life, whether it's the way I dress, the way I decorate, the music I listen to, the movies and tv that I watch and even in my belief system and the way I live my life.

Except I don't normally refer to any of it as vintage unless I have to classify it.

It's just how I am.

It's just me.

Influenced by something unknown and the people that brought me up.


Thank you so much for all your interest in my probably strange to you, but happy to me little life.

It's very odd to describe why you are the way you are, but I tried my best ;)

xo
rue



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why the vintage? (part three)


Music hasn't escaped my passion for vintage either.

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I've recently started doing a series called Music break.

You can read those posts 'here', 'here', 'here' and 'here', along with me waxing poetic about music on blogs 'here'

I have no idea where my love of old music initially came from, but I have loved Big Band from the beginning of my life and even during my"rock phase" in the 80s and 90s, I still turned to it. In fact, I was the oddball in my group of friends. The only thing I can think of is that my grandparents listened to it and it must have entered my brain at a young age. 

I can still picture my grandmother, Bonnie, wagging her finger along to music as it played and my grandfather, Ox, singing along to music that didn't have words on some AM station that I can't recall, or on k-earth101, which was an oldies station in L.A., back when they actually played "oldies".

Some of them were:

Tommy Dorsey


Jimmy Dorsey


(yes, they were brothers)


Artie Shaw


Benny Goodman



Gene Krupa


and my personal favorite, Glenn Miller


Then there was the 50s and 60s that had me listening to...

Buddy Holly


The Big Bopper


Ritchie Valens 


(they "belong together" if you know what I mean)

Elvis


Sam Cooke


The Ronettes


 Dean Martin


Frank Sinatra


(I've since fallen in love with his older material)

The Beach Boys


And of course The Beatles


Quite eclectic huh?

Most of the latter music is because of my mom :)

Much later I discovered music from the 20s and 30s. I'm officially hooked and it's what I'm planning on sharing more of in upcoming posts, because I consider it forgotten music that needs to be brought into the light.

Be careful though, some of that music back then was quite racy and although it doesn't bother me, I know quite a few of you would blush.

'Shave me dry' Lucille Bogan is a good example, but there's much, much worse.

Rap music has nothing on the music from that era, trust me!

Nothing new under the sun, as the saying goes ;)

I seriously could go on and on with this post, but I don't want to bore you, so next I'll be going to another old love of mine.

To be continued...

xo
rue





Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Why the vintage? (part two)



Thank you so much for all the compliments and comparisons to Vivien Leigh on my last post.

I've been told that all my life, and although I don't really see it, aside from the dark hair and light complexion, I take it as a huge compliment, because she's my favorite actress.

My daughter's middle name is Leigh, after her :)

Last time we covered the clothes, so this time, how about the decor?

As a child, my mother had antiques throughout our home that were passed onto her from my great grandmother Annie Belle (Annie's other namesake), which in turn were passed onto me, when my mom downsized.

Annie Belle:


You've seen them here and there.

One of the two sets of silver and some china that you can see a glimpse of...


The cedar trunk (more on that on a later post)...


The bedroom set...


The Welsh hutch..


The record player....


etc.

All of those things and many more were in the homes that I grew up in (all three built between the 1920s and 1950s).

So, I can see my love of antiques coming from there.

The beauty of average objects during that time have always fascinated me, because no one puts that much work into them anymore.

Take for instance the record player above, compared to something that looks like this:

More convenient? Yes, but certainly not pretty.

But it's not just that.

For some reason, I've always been more comfortable in an old home filled with old things and I've never liked anything modern.

Do I find them pretty to look at? 

Rarely. 

For example, I could never live in a place that looks like this:



No offence to anyone that likes this look, but what does it say about the people that live there?

Nothing that I can tell.

It basically says "hotel" to me, which is fine if that's what the owners like, but I don't want to live in a hotel. I want to live in a cozy, colorful place filled with memories. Somewhere that says "this is who I am".

Which brings us to why I not only love antiques, but vintage interiors as a whole.

I attribute that to my grandparents, Bonnie and Ox.

Not at first though. I was all about Victorian decor for years, much to my mother's chagrin.

Then one day, I realized that wasn't where my heart was and I went with it.

My grandparents lived in a little 1940s ranch house that was never redone (even in the 1970s and 1980s), but kept up, with a victory garden, a red front door, original bathrooms, and the original kitchen that looked something like this:



The fridge was on the left just like the picture and it had a window like that, but the tile was different.

I want to say it was more like this, but not exactly:



Which would probably explain my love of yellow and green ;)

Bonnie also had a stool kind of like the one in my kitchen on the right, which is what I would stand on to help with the poundcake:


They also had a table kind of like mine in their kitchen, except it was white and the glass top was clear:


The story is that I was so little when I learned to walk, at the age of 9 months, that I could go right under it without hitting my head.

It was where I spent my childhood when I wasn't at home, looking at all of Bonnie's bric-a-brac, making creations out of felt on her sewing machine, helping bake her famous poundcake (I was the official sifter), where Ox taught me to use an aloe vera plant for burns, about vegetables and fruit in his garden and how to hold a baby chick.

It was where I had my first crush on a neighbor kid, named Hudson Elliot, around the age of 5 or 6, where I saw a tinsel tree that spun with a color wheel every Christmas, watched old family movies on a projecter without sound, learned how to use an old crank style ice-cream maker, where I looked at a hunting scene wall mural in the dining room with fascination, and it was where I heard them sing "If I knew you were coming, I'd have baked a cake" or "Open the door Richard" every time we showed up on their front door step.

It was also, for the most part, where I learned how women and men were supposed to act... like ladies and gentlemen and most importantly, husband and wife, about good music, how to bake, to fix what you have, instead of buying new and to appreciate the old ways of doing things.

It was my home away from home.

I didn't always appreciate it or them them until later in life though.

Silly teenager that I was.

I wish I could thank them now.

I can still hear Ox's voice the last time I talked to him on the phone, after Bonnie had died and just before he followed her, about 11 years ago...

"Is this ol' Heath?"

Rue is a nickname a friend gave me years ago.

My real name is Heather, but he never said my whole name, only the first syllable.

Anyway, that's where my fascination came from and why it's such a mix of antiques, vintage and memories :)

To be continued....

xo
rue






Monday, July 27, 2015

Why the vintage? (part one)


My sweet friend, Dewena, asked me this on my 'Trendy' post:

When I look through my cabinet of vintage magazines, something I do all the time, I see things that remind me of you. I think "Rue would love this!" 

Have you written before on when and why you came to this love? Did you love them as a little girl? Did you inherit this love from your mother? If you've written a post on this and I missed it, I would love to be directed to it.

Well, it's kind of a long and somewhat difficult answer.

I honestly don't really know, but I'll try to explain it as best as I can.

From what I can tell, I've been like this practically from the time I was born and it started with the way I dressed.

My mom said that I refused to wear anything except long dresses as soon as I could voice an opinion, which she told me, was somewhere around the age of two.

Not just long, but dragging on the ground long, like a train.

In my little girl mind, I must have imagined I looked like this:



All my nightgowns and robes had to do the same thing.

I used to love walking downstairs with my robe or dress dragging behind me ;)

This went on until one day my kindergarten teacher told my mom that she thought it was dangerous for me to wear dresses that were so long on the playground.

According to her, this new rule didn't go well with me, but she settled it by getting me much shorter dresses for school.

Me at age 4, probably wishing I could wear a long dress, instead of that red velvet short one:


The odd thing is, it started before I had ever seen anything like Gone with the Wind (my favorite movie) or any kind of Disney Princess movie.

My mom could not (and still can't) figure out where this need of dressing that way came from, but it's continued my whole life.

Here I am (on the left), with a friend, at my Junior Highschool Graduation, with a Laura Ashley dress that went to the ground...


Me as Scarlett O'Hara for Halloween...


Easter with Annie as a baby...


This long dress obsession has since been reduced to special occasions.

Anyway, for a long time, I went with the trends and didn't wear dresses at all, unless I was going out to dinner or somewhere that it was called for, but then one day at the age of 38, I realized I was tired of trying to keep up with those trends and I really didn't like what was in style anyway.

It wasn't me, this trendy clothes horse that I'd become.

So, I did what I'd been dying to do and went back to wearing dresses, but this time from the 1930s to the early 1960s (before the Mod look came into play).

It seemed more reasonable than wearing a Victorian gown and corset everyday ;)

This shocked everyone.

In fact, my mother claimed I was having a midlife crisis.

In reality, I had honestly just found the courage to do what I wanted and felt more comfortable this way.

So that explains the beginning or at least I think.

To be continued...

xo
rue


PS

Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts and prayers about Jonathan. 

It deeply touched me.



Friday, July 24, 2015

Jonathan



My friend Jonathan died on Tuesday, July 21st.

He was only 36.

His best friend asked everyone for a story that they could share for his mother and although it was hard for me to do, I sat down and wrote this...


About two years ago, maybe more, I went to an event pretty far from where I live. I don't remember the details, but they don't really matter. My friend Jonathan happened to be there and he was his usual sweet, huggy self that day. We had all talked about going to meet up for dinner and he said he wanted to go. So, later when it was over I went to look for him and found him asleep in his car.
I knocked on the window and he seemed to wake up. He got out of his car and closed the door. I was talking to him, but he still seemed kind of out of it. Suddenly his eyes rolled back in his head and he fell backwards onto the ground. His head hit the pavement with a loud bang and he passed out. I yelled out "Oh my God, Jonathan fell and he's hurt! Help!" People panicked around me and finally someone that happened to be an actual medical person came to his rescue. They placed something under his head and someone told me he wasn't bleeding. When he came to, he didn't realize what had happened.
Turns out he'd had a seizure and had them all the time when he'd wake up, but no one had ever told me. Somewhere between anger and relief, I jokingly yelled at him and told him never to do that again and that he had scared me to death. Then I walked away and broke down in tears.
I thought he was dead and it was so scary that I thought I had lost my friend.
Now today, when I learned that he was truly gone, I couldn't find the tears. I suppose I was in shock.
Somewhere in my mind, I keep thinking... it's not true... and I'll be able to yell at him again for scaring me so badly.
I know it's true, but I so wish it wasn't.
There they are... those tears... I knew they'd come eventually.
Rest in peace my sweet friend.

xo
rue



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Music Break 4



I'm sorry I've been gone so long, but I've been busy with personal things. Some sad, some great and some regular everyday stuff.

Anyway, since I haven't had much time for pictures, I thought I'd post another music break.

This time it's the 'Boswell Sisters.'

Connie, Martha, and Vet (Helvetia).

Their music comes on all the time, but I didn't really know much about them until I went to write this post today, so we're learning together :)


Their father, Clyde (a vaudevillian) and their mother, Meldania had them learn classic piano, cello, violin and classic music in general, but when their mother took them to jazz performances in New Orleans, it won them over and eventually changed they're tune.

The sisters did very well for themselves traveling all over doing performances, but it wasn't until 1930 when they ended up in New York that they gained national stardom.

They ended up with they're own radio program on CBS from 1931 to 1933 and eventually appeared in films as well.

Fun fact: 
The Andrew Sister's started out at as Boswell Sister imitators.

They have quite a few wonderful songs, but I just love the sound of Down on the Delta from 1932.

Enjoy :)


xo
rue

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Finally the mudroom


I say finally, because it was way back in January on 'this post' that I mentioned finishing the "mudroom".

This is what it looked like then...





Many things stood in my way, like snow, rain, etc., but mostly a lack of desire to get it done, because honestly... 

I was being lazy.

Shhhh.... ;)

So yesterday, I finally decided to get to it.

That's what I do when I need to think.

I either clean or paint.

I'm sure some of you understand that.

Or at least I hope ;)

Anyway, I took everything off the walls and this is what I was left with...


I had already painted the door (Behr's Sage) and the window trim (Behr's Melted Butter) that was a dingy white originally, about two months ago, but the room was still dark, and of course brown.

I swear the previous owners must have gotten a discount on brown.

Ugh.


And here's what it looks like painted Cotton Whisper by Behr, after I put everything back...


The line above on the floor, is a step.

The thing with the bell, in the middle of the two needlepoints, is an old system from the 1800s that would ring the maid and tell her what room to go to when someone needed her. I've had it for years in many different homes, but it's never been hooked up. 

I'm the only "maid" in reality and I don't need a bell ;)





Again before, leading to the side yard:


After:





From the kitchen:


Oh! And there's this cute little sliding door:





It comes in handy when I need to keep Mini and Bubba upstairs.

And well, it's cute :)


If you're wondering where this little mudroom goes, besides the kitchen, it also takes you downstairs to the laundry room (that still needs work), my bedroom, and dressing room (or vanity room), that used to be the maids quarters.


So that's it.

Not a big redo, but definitely one that makes me happy :)

xo
rue


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Music Break 3


I had a different song picked out for today, but when I went to write the post, this is the only one that called to my heart, after the news this morning.

It's a song of hope, a song of dreams, and it's a song beautifully sung by the one and only Judy Garland.

Many people have covered this, but her version is timeless and it eventually became her signature song.

The music is by Harold Arien and the lyrics were written by Yip Harburg (who ironically wrote the other song I was going to post today).



God Bless the families of the Marines that died today.

xo
rue


PS
I'll be visiting and answering questions tomorrow.

Today just isn't the day.

I hope you understand.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Random catch-up



A full moon.


Birdie activity in my tree.





I think the Ravens liked having their pictures taken ;)


My once dying Hydrangea finally bloomed.





A sweet letter from a blogging friend, that I've known for years.


Thank you again, Tina! :)


A road trip this weekend...





A beautiful prize to come home to...


I won my beautiful friend, Laura's giveaway!

She makes aprons from her Grandma Eleanor's fabric and trim, that she inherited.

You can read more about it 'here'.

How wonderful to have a piece of history like this.

Thank you, Laura! :)



And this is what I woke up to this morning....


A little quail family on my fence :)

I hope you all have a beautiful day!

xo
rue