Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Final Crush to the Finish!!!

Little did we know what awaited us in flowerland.  Up early as usual, the sun shining under the clouds was pretty spectacular.  Rain is forecast at around 9:00 for an hour.  Sunny the rest of the day!!  That's good, because we could use some warm.  It's been in the low 40's every night and barely into the 50's during the day.  I thought this was sunny Southern California!!
So far, all the flowers we have processed have been shipped in vials, making it much easier to work with.  Today was another day altogether.  We were given hundreds of bundles of a dozen or more flowers, not so sharp razor blades, over 1800 water filled tubes and styrofoam boards for standing the flowers on, to be transferred in to the float building for placement.  Here's the first bunch ... easy to cut, so we got immediately spoiled!!  Gold as far as you can see ... until we switched to red, yellow and many colors in between.
When those were done, we switched to roses.  Hundreds and hundreds of roses!!  By now the skin on my fingers is starting to slough off from being too long in very cold water!!
These were finally found and secreted away to replace the stolen ones from yesterday.  We were so short of pallets for the flowers, that we scounged everything possible to stick the tubes in.  If we didn't keep a close eye on OUR supplies, someone would come and steal them.  Yes REALLY!!  They are serious about the float they are working on!!  We worked on several, so it was no big deal for us, but don't steal our supplies!!
By noon, we were all exhausted!!  We stood at the table and worked for four hours straight.  Finally the dinner bell rang!  The Sikh Mission, here with their first float, provided lunch for everyone in the building.  Can you imagine??  There must have been over 300 people.  Chicken Tika Masala, curry beans, basmati rice and naan bread.  What a treat!!  It was just delicious!!  
Back at it, we cut, wired and tubed over 400 roses before finishing up another 400, unwired.  By now everyone's fingers are about to fall off from being in water all day, to say nothing of the razor blade cuts and rips from thorns!!  We started to lose people fast!!  By 3:00 practically everyone had baled except Tom and Barbara Westerfield, Cyndae, Katie and I.  Eventually a couple more were hijacked ... I mean indentured ... I mean ... well you know, we just grabbed them off the street!!!  By 5:00 my puppies had spent 10 hours in the rig, which meant I was sure to have some messes to clean up.  I finally left at 5:30 ... they only had maybe 400 more roses to tube ... a piece of cake!!  A messy, dirty, cold job, to say the least.  Oh, and I forgot to mention it started to rain about 1:00.  So much for the forecast.  It rained steady until 7:30!!  That created another whole new set of problems ... NONE of the flowers can get wet.  So with all the water mess we had, PLUS the rain, we were constantly trying to keep the flowers DRY!!!
With so much work, I never did have time to check out the status of the floats.  Since judging was scheduled for this morning at 7:00 am, they had to be completed.  That gives us a day off!!  It's a good thing, because we three florists at this Elk's park are beat!!

Here's the head of the wizard.  He's attached to a large metal arm that once outside, will slide up to the top of the body.  All the stars have lights that flash!  Pretty impressive.  This is the American Armenian float.  Farmers Insurance is the one with the knight in shining armor.  Shriners Childrens Hospital has a large teddy bear on the front and the Lutheran Church has Noah's Ark.  There are a couple more in our building ... hard to believe right??  It's a BIG building!!
This morning my fingers don't work very well and are sore to the touch.  With splits and cuts all over, neosporin is my friend today.  Thankfully the cold/flue thing has subsided, although I'm still on meds for a few days.  Just in time for some shopping at the Glendale Galleria.  From what I've seen, Glendale is a rather ritzy little town!!  Lets see what damage I can do!!

Not sure what time the Rose Parade starts tomorrow, but everyone be sure and check out our handiwork on the floats.  It certainly was no easy task, but we had GREAT FUN and that's what counts!!!  By the way, anyone want to volunteer for next year??  Just contact me and I'll set you up with Gretchen!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Flower Shop .. Pasadena!!

I always wanted to work in a flower shop ... and I finally got my chance.  On the way to "work", we passed the HGTV grandstand, along with thousands of others.  In the next day or so, I expect to see people camped on the curbs!!
Here's an example of the detail work from one of the floats.  The letters are glued, flowered and split-peaed ... with tweezers!!  Pretty tedious work, to say the least.  Although there are lots of kids around since school is out, most of the work is done by us "older" folk!!  The more common sense, the better ... I'll leave it at that!!
Since the Western Assets float wasn't making any headway, I went to see Gretchen in the flower shop, while Cyndae, Joe and Katie went to cut flowers.  That means they took very small scissors and cut the petals off straw flowers.  While doing so, they got to meet people from all over the U.S.  I've met ladies from Indianapolis, Kansas City, Washington State and Maine!  They all come here to volunteer.
This is a dock on a waterway with a fish jumping out of the catch bag.  The designs are so imaginative and detailed!!
Closeup of the fish where flowers and beans have been glued on.  The bosses have worksheets that tell them exactly what goes where.  Take a look at the fins!!
Back in the flower shop, the heart of the parade floats beats like crazy!!!  It's almost like a continuous heart attack!!  Every float designed has figured the number, color and type of flowers required.  That was sent to the Dept. Head, who ordered the flowers and gave the control list to the Flower Shop.  It's our job to be sure they get exactly what they ordered!!  The problem comes when people just walk in and pick up buckets without checking in first.  Yesterday, several people got off with the wrong ones.  In the end, some specific orders probably won't be filled with the exact right color.  That didn't happen today, but only because the Flower Police (me and two helpers) were on the job.
I'm officially the Detail Florist ... meaning I handle the most delicate flowers, including anthuriums and these amazing cattleya orchids .. 80 to a box.  I get the float name and order from the boss, then unpack and re-water every little tube.  You can't touch these orchids or they will turn brown immediately.  Can you imagine getting the packing material off without damaging these babies??  
They were packed in Hawaii and shipped in these huge boxes.  Once refilled with water, we stick them in the box tops with the number and float name.  In between, we kept people honest!!  You can't imagine how many don't follow the rules!!!  OR how many people came through and just wanted ONE for themselves or their wife!!  Sorry, no can do, but I'm sure she will appreciate the thought!!
Each anthurium is packed separately in wet shredded newspaper and are even more delicate.  These are cut, counted and bucketed, then tagged with the float name.
These gorgeous babies will be substituted for the ones that went missing!!!
In the middle of all this, a huge truck brought in an order of miscellaneous exotics, including bird of paradise and ginger.
When it was all counted and tagged, we were short quite a few and had some that weren't on our order list.  It took a couple of hours to finally figure out they had delivered to the wrong building.  Yikes!!!  We had already stored most and sent some out!!  This mess will be sorted out today!!  It's interesting to note that everything comes in water ... even this cardboard box has a water container at the bottom so everything stays fresh.
No I don't know the names of most, but these are pretty spectacular!!!  I worked from 9:30 to 5:30 before finishing the last box and heading out for the night.  The VERY nice guy in the parking lot let me sit on his chair and rest before the drive back through traffic!!
Cyndae had called and wanted to eat dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.  Who am I to disagree???  It took over an hour for me to find the place.  Since I couldn't find any parking, I drove back to the Elks and walked two blocks, coughing all the way.  Believe me, it was worth it!!  This humongous Galleria Mall has fountains, music and some of the most amazing shopping!!  No time to look however ... they have had a table for over an hour, waiting for me to find the place.  Simon the waiter was a sweetheart and waited on us hand and foot.  I mean really, this guy knows his business ... which got him a BIG tip!!  
The Bellagio Chicken over pesto pasta was the best thing I've eaten in two months!!  Yup ... better than my baklava!!  They even brought us extra sauce ... who's ever heard of that??  Half came home, along with a piece of dulche de leche cheesecake!!!  On the walk back, we cruised down the trolly car track to this magnificent chandelier hanging over the street.  Amazing!!!  If I'm not too tired tomorrow, I want to come back and get more pictures.
It's just so fun to get out of my drab little corner of the world and see the sights!!!  Not to mention spending time with friends and meeting new people from around the world!!  

It's going to get more hectic ... only two days left!!!  Are we going to finish all the flowers???  Will we have enough???

Monday, December 29, 2014

So HOW Do The Flowers Get On The Rose Parade Floats??

I'm about to show you!!!  First off, yes I do feel much better.  I didn't really think so until yesterday afternoon, but I just might live!!  I can even talk and the coughing is pretty much limited to an hour in the morning and a couple of hours at night.  That's improvement, right???

Bright and early we took off for the Phoenix Decorating float barns where we met Gretchen, who hooked us up with the Western Assets Group.  There are about seven floats in this one building including the American Armenian, Shriners Children's Hospital and the United Sikh Mission to name a few, along with 300 or more people!  Sort of organized chaos!!  There are several bosses on each float, who assign jobs based on whether you want to brave the heights or keep your feet on the ground.
Our first stop was the glue station.  Five gallon buckets of glue are poured into a cup, which you snag along with a paintbrush or two.  At the end of the day, you return the unused glue, along with your WASHED paintbrush.  No brush shall be returned unwashed!!
My first station was up this scaffold, atop the octopus arm, covering the two world globes.  This is the Western Assets float with a Wizard, several dragons, a sailing boat and the pink octopus.  The big white blob in the middle is one completed globe, now covered in a plastic bag.  
You paint on the glue, then hold a cardboard box full of crushed flower petals underneath, while you scoop up a bunch on a sponge and gently press to the glue.  Easy peasy, right?  On top of the globe, yes, but when you are laying on your side, half off the scaffolding, hanging on with your toes, reaching as far as possible to the other side, it gets kind of dicey!!  
Here's Katie doing the flower press dance with crushed strawflowers.  Some of the flowers applied to the floats need to be so tiny they are run through a blender, and applied with tweezers!! 
The first product I applied was coffee ... I'm pretty sure I inhaled enough to keep a buzz for half the day.  I've washed my hands five times so far and they STILL smell like coffee.  It may be permanent!!
From coffee, I moved to yellow strawflowers, bronze strawflowers and finally ground walnut hulls, most of which went down the front of my shirt while reaching overhead and I've got glue from one end to the other.  What can I say, it was fun!!!
It's pretty much a work-at-your-own-pace thing.  The dragons were covered in pistachio shells, brussel sprouts cut in half, along with nori, the seaweed from your sushi.  While we worked on all that, others cut the petals off more flowers, wired flowers, braided some material and shredded others.  There were lemons and limes cut in half and lots of whole cranberries.  The colors on these floats are all natural and pretty spectacular!
Split peas, whole peas, kidney beans, pepper corns ... all kinds of seeds and beans were also glued to the dragons to give them a rough, bumpy texture.  Here's a box of flower petals, similar to the ones I glued on the globes.
This sign says Thank A Million Teachers ... I don't remember the sponsor of the float, but the knight in shining armor is hard to miss.  Lots of pampas grass and silver leaf, shavings from bark, seeds and nuts are all used to make these floats come to life.  
It was funny ... many tour groups are taken through the buildings while we work ... all of which would run up to us and take a picture.  I'm not used to being the one photographed.  On the second story catwalk, better known as the peanut gallery, spectators are allowed to come in and see the progress ... all taking MORE pictures!!  
By now, the day has passed by and we are heading to the brush washing station.  This float is the only religious float allowed in the parade, because they have been in the parade from day one!!  This year they are building the Ark with the cutest animals you've ever seen!!  Be sure and look for it!
To the other side of us sits the Sikh Mission float.  They have taken enlarged pictures of their group and placed them on the sides of the float and are in the process of glueing on the flower petals.  This float is probably the closest to being completed.  There's not much time left!
With an achy back, tired feet, fingers that still stick together and smell like coffee, we called it a day and came back to the rigs.  I thought I would get some rest, but since one trailer finally moved out, I was able to move over to a better spot.  You know, put everything away, pull the slides in, etc etc, then set it all back up again!!  Wish I could use his plug-in, but it's the one with an open ground.  We do have the opportunity to move to the Lutheran Church in El Monte, where we would have the same 110 hookup, but decided to stay put.  Most of these people will move to the parade route and our power should improve.

Today I'll take my "real" camera and see if I can get some more "detail" images.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

There Are Just NO Words!!!

No words at all that can describe the last two days, other than UGH and OH NO!!!  I'm not very good at being sick.  I get grouchy easily!!  So I'm taking my pills like the good doctor ordered, and my head opens up like a floodgate.  The bad news is while that makes the head better, the throat is now almost as sore as my ribs are from coughing.  I lost my voice immediately ... but I felt better ... kind of anyway.  In fact, after laying around the house for an entire day, I thought I felt good enough to make the trip to Glendale.  Silly me ........

I waited for the light to go out before cranking it up ... it was 36 degrees ... and started the engine to be greeted with a huge CHECK ENGINE!!! warning light.  NO .. NOOOOO!  There are no words to express the trash that came out of my mouth.  The heck with it ... I'm hitting the road.  I headed North first to find fuel at a nice $2.90 a gallon (at which time the check engine light went out) and took off into the sunrise.  Why the sunrise you ask?  Because my coughing kept me up half the night until I took an allergy pill to counteract the flood of drainage.  Still awake by 4:00 am, I just got up, finished packing the rig, threw the dogs in and hit the road.
It was actually a fairly nice drive, made MUCH better by the fact that the State of California has FINALLY finished most of the roadwork.  As I came up to the Grapevine I saw the sign warning of high winds.  Yikes ... I forgot to check the wind advisory, but I'm committed to completing this trip so I can rest at the other end.  Hahahahahha
Castaic Lake was spectacular as the morning sun hit the water, as you can see between the white stripes from the still weeping roof.  I cruised along grossly unaware of what was to come.  Traffic was fairly light and I drove right to the front gate.  How cool was THAT!!!
I passed the first driveway and pulled in the narrow second one.  Hey ... they only have four spaces and there are SIX rigs parked here.  What's up with THAT???  We not only made reservations over two months ago, we checked back TWICE and they said they were waiting for us.  Really, you shouldn't cross a cranky sick old lady!!  I made it pretty clear I wasn't the least bit happy, and when he told me two of these rigs had been here over three weeks, I almost lost it!!  So where would you like us to park, cuz we're NOT leaving.  Really, he tried his very best and was as nice as pie, but that didn't count for much ... especially when I found out ALL of these only have 110 plugs.  I know, but would someone PLEASE explain to the Bartenders what a 30 amp service is??  

To make it even better, I had to back OUT that narrow driveway into a five lane traffic-filled road, continue to back about 700 feet while cars honked and drivers yelled things at me ... until a nice policeman came along and said to just keep going ... at which time I backed INTO the second narrow gate to my parking spot here.  Let me tell you how fun it is to do all that backing with three people trying to direct you, absolutely NONE of which can be seen in any of my mirrors or rear view camera!!  How is that even possible????  Even the policeman was impressed!!  Chalk one up for Nancy!!!  There are now EIGHT rigs where there should be four.  I could have plugged into a line about 40 feet to the left of this picture ... but it had an open ground.  I ended up attaching my 30 foot extension cord to my fully extended 50 amp cord to a 50 foot 110 cord and barely reached the plug at the very far end by the gate where that tiny white car is parked.  Those far orange cones are mine.  LOL
There are three rigs on the left,  Joe and Cyndae (my friends) clear back by the gate about 3 feet from a Montana 5th wheel (totally blocking their satellite) and me, two feet from their front hitch with my slide six inches from the front of their truck.  Hope they don't plan on going anywhere soon.  They mentioned they would be moving to the parade route January 1 for a better view.  Oh I said ... I'm not leaving until January 3.  They weren't the least bit concerned, even after we explained about the reservations.   There are two more rigs parked to the right of me up against a concrete wall.  
After spending two hours trying to get connected to some kind of electricity, to add insult to injury, I dumped half a box of couscous on the floor ... after I dropped the meatballs on the floor, one of which Jessie scarfed up before I could stop her.  

It was 6:30 and I just wanted to go to bed.  I know that's unreasonably early, but no jokes from the peanut gallery  ..... I'm sick and exhausted!!  That's when Barbara called to tell me that the temperature was expected to be 28 degrees.  Wow!!  There are no words.  So that would be okay, because I have a new quartz heater ... except it won't run on 110.  Sigh ... I can't win for losing.  Barbara and Tom, by the way, are parked at the Elks in Burbank, where they too had a reservation.   The Elks will move the guy parked in Tom's spot (with 30 amp) because he doesn't HAVE a reservation.   Too bad there are no rules and regulations here ... on the other hand, that means I can run my generator whenever I want!!! 

So if you are ever going through Glendale, just stop in and stay as long as you like ... 2-3 months is totally acceptable they said.  Today Cyndae, Katy and I are going to drive over to the float barns and help out for a couple of hours before returning for a long nap!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Except that person who left all their germy germs on the Walmart shopping cart.  Going into day 5 of the black plague, I'm starting to worry considerably ... maybe I won't make the glue-fest in Pasadena after all.  This was the extent of my Christmas decorations.  I just couldn't get up the energy for an entire tree!!
I felt so terrible that by 8:30 on CHRISTMAS morning, I had driven myself to Emanuel Medical Center Emergency Room.  Thankfully traffic was light and the Highway Patrol out in force!  I figured this was going to be an all day deal and I was prepared to sleep on their couches.  They checked me in VERY fast ... they actually have to admit you to the hospital.  I must have looked REALLY bad ... you would too if you hadn't fixed MY hair in four days ... because within 15 minutes they called my name to Triage.  Wow!!  That was fast!!  I thanked everyone profusely for spending their Christmas with a bunch of sickies ... and I think they were rather surprised!!!  The entire process took 45 minutes to tell me severe sinusitis-bronchitis ... the best of all worlds to receive for Christmas!!  Unfortunately, they can issue no meds ... so off I slogged to a pharmacy store near me!!

Guess what??  They are all closed!!!  Oh sure, CVS was open, but the Pharmacy closed!!  Please God, I need these meds VERY badly and I really have been a good girl!!  The fourth one I stopped at was Walgreens and EUREKA!!! they were open.  More thank you's for being open when I needed you so much!!  So here's my Christmas present to myself!!  $108.00 worth of drugs, big as horse pills.  Even when I break them in half, I have a hard time swallowing these honkers!!!
And so I have been parked on the couch in front of this mess for the entire day!!  UGH!!  At least I can blow my nose, but the head pain persists.  Please Santa ... just make me well for the next two months ... I promise I'll be a good girl!!  My Christmas rice was delicious ... all four bowls of it.  No, I haven't lost a pound!!  Mac N Cheese would have been better, but I didn't have the stamina to cook!
Lift-off is still Saturday .... well maybe, or maybe not ... who knows.  I'm just hoping Santa will make just ONE more trip to my house this Christmas and make me well!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Day FOUR and it's CHRISTMAS EVE!!!

Sorry friends, still sick ..... I've literally spent four days on the couch without the expected results.  In a fit of craziness from the head pain yesterday, I took a vicodin.  Not exactly your normal cold remedy, but it stopped the headache from sinus pressure.  I tried Baklava as a remedy, but that didn't work so well.  To make it worse, I couldn't even TASTE it.  I did get outside long enough to pour some bleach into a hose and fill my water tank.  In between emptying and refilling, I was back on the couch.

One more vicodn  gt  me  thr  th  nght,  bt  nw  th  voic  is  gne.


Monday, December 22, 2014

UGH ... I got the crud!!!

I'm sick as a dog!!  Don't know where that saying came from, but I'm sick, that's for sure.  It's so disappointing to be healthy for so long ... 3 years it's been, maybe 4 ... and to catch the crud from someone else who should have stayed home ... right before Christmas!!!

My throat's on fire and I'm sure my head is going to explode.  My teeth ache!!!  I have no energy whatsoever and plan on spending the day on the couch.  Around my house, that's not very relaxing, what with the dogs and all, but it's my only choice.  I'm putting honey and lemon in my coffee since I don't have any tea ... but it's hard to swallow so I doubt I'll get much down.  Benedryl is my friend!!  For everyone who has had it, my condolences.  This stuff sucks!!  The timing just couldn't be worse!!

My red shouldered hawk buddy was again perched on my fence, a little closer this time.  As soon as I (quietly as possible) opened the back door, he turned to see what the click was.  Isn't he a beauty???
I just LOVE these guys!!  As soon as he sees movement in the grass, he dive bombs and picks up a snack.  Too fun ... but I feel crappy, so it was back to the couch for me!!
Then I remembered I had promised MORE cinnamon rolls for Christmas, so I whipped out a quick batch while I was still feeling alive and stashed them in the freezer.  That's it ... I'm done .....
I'll be on the couch if you need anything!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fading Fast!!

Sneeze, sneeze, sneeze ... sniff!!  I'm fading fast ... think I caught a cold, for the first time in three years.  It was a good run, but that bug is always inevitable!!  Too many trips to Walmart me thinks!!

I spent yesterday cutting out another quilt.  I would like to say that the pattern named "3-6-9" is a VERY bad pattern.  It's looks really nice, but if you are only making a lap size quilt, it is terribly WASTEFUL!!!  It called for 18 fat quarters, all of which I cut up before reading the section about all the leftover fabric.  I could easily make another quilt ... and probably will at some point, but really, THIS is irritating!!  Especially when I'm such a penny pincher!!  Well in certain cases, anyway!!!

I stopped in at Walmart for a few more groceries.  I found a cookbook for runners that has many great sounding recipes WITHOUT all the carbs and fat.  Plus I needed some ingredients for Christmas Moose Munch!!!  Not for ME ... it's a Christmas gift!!!  By the door on the way in, sits a member of either the Police Department or the Fire Department.  They are collecting toys to give away to the kids in our area ... right up my alley!!!

I'm sure most of you have confronted this issue before, with grandkids and all, but I don't normally buy toys.  As I cruised up and down the aisles, I was surprised at the prices!!  I'm in Walmart, right???  To make matters even worse, the toys were SOOOO cheaply made and I'm guessing 100% came from China.  What a disappointment!!  I was also surprised that an entire row had to do with shoot-em-up weapons of total destruction!!  There were ten guns to every one baby doll or hot wheels car.

Huge price signs posted overhead, totally misled you into thinking THAT was the price of the item under it.  Not the case.  I declined to purchase two of the items due to their price at the checkout stand.  $200 bought 10 items.  I went through those rows four times each, thinking surely there was something else that showed a little better quality ... something that would last more than 8 hours of play time, but found nothing.  Monday morning, anyone wishing toys must go to the Police Station and fill out an application, providing a valid California I.D.  After a quick check and approval, they are taken down the aisles of tables to the section fitting their age and gender.  Too bad, because even though I'm a girl, I would REALLY like to fly that little helicopter!!!

I would have felt better this morning, were it not for my neighbor's LOUD party in his garage and driveway, right next to my bedroom side of the house.  Who has a party in the GARAGE???  Loud music and louder voices, kept me up most of the night, so I'm grabbing a blanket and sitting on the couch like a bump on a log!!!  Four days til Christmas ... do you have your holiday shopping done???

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hit or Miss!!

Having spent such a late night with Elvis, I didn't do much yesterday.  Rain kept me in the house, even though running was on my to-do list.  

I definitely wanted to finish this quilt before heading South.  It's my favorite, so I wanted to do it right.  My finishing skills were suspect, so an hour of sitting at the computer watching a You-Tube session on binding was the first thing to get scratched off.  About four hours later, with three new LARGE holes in my fingers on the sewing hand, not to mention six holes in the cuticle on the left hand from pushing the needle too far, I completed the binding ... and thus the quilt.  THIS is a HIT!!  I love this quilt!!  In fact, when it was being quilted professionally, several ladies tried to buy it.  Maybe I can make another ... so I checked the Alaskan website to find the material had been discontinued.  They did have this exact quilt for sale however ... for $425.00.  Holey moley!!!  I just made a work of art ... better take out some insurance on this baby!!!
Anyone care to bet whether dinner was a hit or miss???  With my cooking history, I usually expect a miss ... that way I'm REALLY happy when it's a hit!!  While all the sewing was going on, I desperately needed more room in the freezer, so out came a turkey breast for smoking.  That however, is rather labor intensive for one lousy turkey breast, even if it is an 7 pounder.  Better to heat up the oven ... not cheaper mind you, just easier.  In a quick 2-1/2 hours I had another turkey dinner all to myself!!  This one turned out a hit also!!  Yikes!!  I think that's three in a row!!!  Course most of it went back in the freezer, but at least they are smaller bags!!
It's getting to be crunch day for packing the rig, so I'll be hard at it again, traipsing back and forth in the rain getting clothes packed.  It's time to pack up the freezer, which I'm always reluctant to do.  I'm afraid the power will go off and I won't know it.  My solution is to put a small light in the rig window and leave it turned on.  That way, any time I look out the window, I'll know that the electricity is still on and the freezer cold.  I'm very excited ... it's getting close to lift-off day!!!

Friday, December 19, 2014


And looking quite nice, I might add, for being 79 years old and dead!!!  Last October while still on the road with the Westerfields, Barbara mentioned there was a rumor the "real" Elvis Presley would be in Fresno for a concert.  I got pretty excited at THAT news ... I've heard of him showing up in all kinds of places, but Fresno???  It can't be true ... but we took a chance and ordered two tables at the Country Club.  Sure enough, that Elvis sighting was legit!!
He wowed the crowd singing some of his best Christmas songs while the ladies swooned!!  Better be careful Elvis ... some of these ladies might just have a heart attack with all the shimmying and hip shaking ... which he did VERY well!!!
Can you imagine being in a room full of giggling "old" ladies??  We were all in our teenage years when Elvis was performing on stage, so this brought back a lot of memories.  I have to say the men enjoyed the show just as much however!!
He just doesn't seem to age a bit!!  I want some of whatever vitamins he's taking!!!
This is Jeremy "Elvis" Pearce, one of the best Elvis impersonators on the planet!  I knew about the costumes he's purchased at Graceland (you can see some of them in my previous blog when we visited there in September) ... but I wasn't expecting to EVER hear that voice again.  Let me tell you, if you close your eyes, you can't tell the difference.  
He played the entire packed crowd, going to every table, giving out scarves and kisses to the birthday girls and one guy whose wife got the kiss.  These two seated here are Jamie, Barbara's grand-daughter and her best friend Katie.  Katie, being only 18, had heard the name Elvis, but had no idea who he was.  When he came around and sang to them, they giggled like teeny-boppers!!  When she googled some early Elvis images on her phone, she commented "WOW"!!
In the middle of the singing, there was a short break to see who won the raffle prizes ... all Elvis related.  Barbara's Mom won the sexiest prize of all ... an Elvis blanket and a bottle of Elvis wine.  How cool is that for a 94 year old????
We saw this Jailhouse Rock wine at Graceland ... should have picked up a bottle or two!!
A few more songs, and sadly our time with Elvis was ending.  He had to get back on the road so he would be seen in a gas station in Timbuctoo or in Bar Harbor Maine eating a lobster roll!!
But FIRST ... we all got to stand in line and have our picture taken!!
It's good to be ELVIS!!!  Especially when two young gorgeous women are kissing each cheek!!
For those on my Christmas card list ... don't look at this last image.  It's my 2015 Christmas card!!
Jeremy plays up and down the Central Valley at many different venues.  I promise if you see his show, you won't be disappointed.  He's as close to the real thing as it gets.  Better make your reservations early however .... his shows sell out quickly!!!  Oh I forgot to mention, a buffet dinner was included in this show for $25 and the food was excellent ... as was the carrot cake!!!

ELVIS HAS NOW LEFT THE BUILDING!!!  Hopefully to be seen at a restaurant or gas station near you!!!