Aug 28, 2011

Oops!...I forgot to tell you all that I was leaving town....

Hello again...I was in such a hurry before I left that I didn't inform you that I would be away from my magic typewriter for a while. I went to visit my family in the ChicagoLand  suburbs. My nephew Walter was leaving for Cornell University and I stayed with my sister's children and my Mother came to Jill's house to keep me company. Did you catch that sentence " Walter...Cornell?" Pretty impressive, huh? Now you will all think that I am a smarty-pants like Walt.

Here is Walter and his Dad Marty packing up the van. I did not take too many snapshots as this was a hectic and private affair. If any of you have sent any children off to school, you might get a kick out of this.

He will soon be strumming the Cornell Fight Song...High above Cayuga's waters.

This is my little sister Jill...Maybe she will practice and perform a duet with Walt. This is a difficult moment for Mothers...can you see the exhaustion, fear, sadness and most of all pride?

If you knew my sister...this would be a familiar sight. No, the snapshot is not out of focus...she just moves at warp speed. Have I mentioned that she has four children and tends to my Mother's needs?

This my Mother, Gloria. She was born in New York City but they moved to the Chicago area when she was a little girl. We took a sentimental journey past the house that she lived in for five years when she was ten years old. She regales me with her stories of how she rode up and down  the streets here in Clarendon Hills on her bicycle making mischief. She still makes mischief...just not on a bike.

We lunched at my brother's house one afternoon...This is Darlene, our hostess and my favorite sister-in-law. I moved away from Home in 1972...and we have never lived near any of my family I can't begin to describe how meaningful it is for me to sit at a table surrounded by my family. We all love to laugh and have silly fun. Jamie....she is my other sister, sadly she wasn't with us this trip...we missed you. Jill, Marty and Walt made their exit, I will also. Thank you for joining me on my happy visit. As you can see, I love my family very much. I will introduce you to my sons and husband shortly. They are more interesting than hopefully it will be a sparky blog.

Have giggling with your family fun,   Jody, Gloria's grateful daughter

Aug 16, 2011

More Monkey Doodles...

Hello...As I mentioned in a previous blog...I seem to have inflicted great discomfort amongst the monkeys here in FunTown. I highlighted several of the monkeys , but not all...oohhh. big mistake. I am going to correct my error and give some of the others some face time. This is Toots...he likes to get the party started and play all night long. He has a great sense of rhythm and he has a lovely singing voice also.
This is Miss Margaret and Sister you might be able to surmise Miss Margaret is quite sophisticated, especially compared to poor Sally. I overheard Miss Margaret boasting of the glamorous evening she had the night before at the Chimpendale Debutante Ball. Poor Sally stayed home to babysit her cousins...but she loves to hear of Miss Margaret's escapades. She is so kind.

These are the Zippy Brothers. They are now retired from the Vaudeville circuit. They still love to do the Shuffle-Ball-Change. They all have a touch of arthritis after all of the years on the road and ill fitting tap shoes. I must admit they still have that spark that made them famous years ago.

Here is Bingo Boy. He is a husky fellow. Strong as can be...but he is such a softee. He cries every time he sees the movie "Love Story"...his favorite. I often find him in front of the T.V. with a bowl of popcorn and a box of Kleenex.

Lastly...the Rough-Riders. They are all saddled up and on alert for a rodeo. These fellows are dare-devils and adventure seekers. We love to hear their tales of Cowboys and Indians and damsels in distress. they never disappoint.

You may remember this frisky couple from my earlier post...

I think they were up to a little "Monkey Business."

Have silly "All's well in FunTown once more" fun,   Jody, the peacemaker

Aug 10, 2011

Please, do come in...and make yourself comfortable....

Hello... I am humbly writing this I am not one to boast...but I am so proud and honored to be in this Autumn Issue of "Where Women Create" and if that was not enough I am placed amongst so many talented and successful artists. It was a sunny day indeed when my dear friend Jen O'Connor, of EarthAngels, introduced me to Jo Packham years ago at Jen's Spring Fling. At the time, Jen knew that I wanted to publish a book that I was working on and she generously matched us up, as Jo is a book publisher. So Jo and I became friends and in the interim she began her magazine. Between our busy schedules, time passed...and then one happy morning Jo and Dana Waldon, the snappy photographer, rang my doorbell.

So, I would like you to come join me and I will show you some other angles of my sewing room...The FunTown Factory. My that sounds like I have employees....big's just me and my dog, Pip-Squeak...thank goodness, as there is no room for anyone else. Think "cozy" instead of tiny. These shelves are filled with the characters from my book about FunTown. They patiently wait as I work on other projects. I can hear them begging me to "get this show on the road" my Mother would say. They want to jump into some colorful pages and tell their story.

Reminders to chuckle often..."Chuckle" ...such a goofy word.

I can find an excuse to buy anything...see how utilitarian fun little objects can become? While antique shopping I can always rationalize any purchase.

I have had so much delight finding these silly things. It seems that most of my treasures are found when I am with my fun friends while out of town.

I needed all of of these sewing notions...after's a business expense....

So much to tuck away...tiny buttons, ribbons and over-all doo-dads.

This is my FunTown phone...if only I had a secretary...maybe one of my old teddy bears could answer the phone...after all they have all attended Charm School here in town.

Within easy reach...I have little hiding places everywhere.This can be quite challenging if the nook or cranny is not labeled.

Well...I fear that I am boring, off we go, as there are lots of parties to attend.

I want to send a big "Merci Beaucoup" to Jo Packham, Dana Waldon, the friendly editorial staff at Where Women Create and most of all...thank you Jen O'Connor for being a champion of me and all of  the ladies with the dancing fingers. I curtsy to all of you...Let me not forget all of the friends I have made along the way who have sparked me to keep going. THANKS to ALL of YOU!

Have "Join the parade and wave to all of the passers-by as they are all so nice" fun,  Jody, the waver

If anyone is interested in a signed copy, just let me know...write to me...the copy is $15.00 and $3.00 shipping in the U.S....They should be available at  Earth Angels or at larger magazine outlets,  Michaels and Jo-Anne's.

Oh...and thank you for time I will provide baked goods...

Aug 7, 2011

My Japanese Adventure...Part Two...

Hello...It has been a week and I am starting to get back to normal...whatever that means. As I return to being just Jody once again, I am going to remind myself of my royal treatment from my friends in Japan. Above are some of my Kokeshi Dolls. Japanese wooden folk art dolls. They are as charming to me as the the culture they represent.

This was a tasty lunch I had one of the first days. It is a "Japanese White Peach Parfait." It seemed like a fitting choice considering I hail from the "Peach State." This was such a delight...served in such an artistic tasted as good as it looks. The white peach is a seasonal delicacy. I recommend it highly.

The people in Japan are conserving their energy right this billboard was from a men's clothing store...a reminder of the move to eliminate suit-coats as the air conditioning is being lowered.

These are my hosts and good friends...from left...Katsura Yamada, Katsumi Mori. Mr. Matsubara, Takehito Morii and Ami Kawai. They graciously took me to this barbecue restaurant. One of my favorite all time meals. Takehito and Katsumi did the grilling right at our table. Beef, chicken, shrimp, shitake mushrooms, vegetables and probably more as I lost track. Fresh crisp local vegetables and cold beer. A perfect ending to a perfect day. I am ashamed to admit that I used a goal is to master chopsticks for the next visit.

This is the Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku...this is where I did my signing. A beautiful in Japan is pleasant experience...the artful displays and the courteous service is outstanding.

This little girl and her baby sister enchanted me...there was a little brother also. They came to my table to visit. She was learning the English language, so we had a lovely chat.

My good friend, Mari, from Nagoya. Her daughter Ayu couldn't attend. I met them years ago and I was so pleased that Mari came to Tokyo to see me.

This is Izumi and her kind husband. My heart filled with joy as it was a heartfelt reunion.

Takehito made this cute little "Sunny-Side-Up" pair while he was helping me translate...he looked at my flower girls and he saw fried this is the happy outcome. Aren't they cute? He is going to make one with a pocket with a slice of  toast popping out. Very clever. He studied art in California when he was a college student.

Another memorable restaurant...see how lucky I am.

This was my display at the "Bear! Bear! Bear!" shop on the sixth floor of the Isetan Store.

After departing Japan and spending many, many hours on the jetliner...look at what I saw when I looked out my window. Dorothy was right "There is no place like home and nothing better than a pair of sparkly red dancing shoes!"

Have "Is it only August? fun,   Jody, the American lady with a fork

Sayonara Japan!

Aug 4, 2011

Yoo-Hoo...I am home!

Hello...I am back in Funtown with pockets full of happy Japanese memories. Don't expect any sparky sentences as I am very tired from our journey...but a "good" tired as I had a magical visit with my friends in Japan. This photo is of a display umbrella hanging upside down in the children's department at the Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku...the store where I had my signing event. The whole ceiling was full of these charming children A sight to see, for sure.

First...let me introduce you to this handsome gentleman...Takehito good friend. I met him many years ago at Linda Mullin's Teddy Bear show in SanDiego. He represents the Canal Company...a very important  business that has 14 bear stores in generous hosts. We have become very close over the years. I call him Prince Charming as he always takes such good care of me and my toys. I follow him around like a puppy dog while I am in Japan, for fear of getting far he hasn't lost me yet. This was my fifth visit to honor indeed and I am very grateful.

As I told you...I was going to give two classes. I have never done this before and I was quite nervous...between my jet-lag and my ignorance of the Japanese language...I did not want to disappoint anyone. I shouldn't have worried as my "students" were so kind and talented also.

This was the graduating class of the morning lesson. Didn't they do a good job? I was so proud of each of them...
This is old and loyal friend... she signed up for both lessons...a good friend indeed...and talented also.
My afternoon students...also talented and very much fun to sew with. I was truly amazed at how well everyone did with their poseys...

I am going to leave you with these many smiling and happy faces. In a few days I will tell you more of my there are many to share. For now...I want to say Arigato to all of my special friends who were so kind and supportive of me while I stumbled my way around Tokyo.

Have silly "Back in the U-S-S-A" fun,  Jody-San, the happy tourist
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