Tag Archives: chicago

sweet

Sweet Sounds with Little Miss Ann

Sweet as sweet can be! This collection called Keep On, by Little Miss Ann, is just downright adorable! We feel like we’re sitting right there with Ann and Amy D. in a circle with instruments and snapping fingers, just like in music class! Their voices are friendly, loving, and happy, creating a beautiful experience for children and their families. We especially love Where is Thumbkin? and it’s unique arrangement of verses and bridges. But the one that caught my heart for sure is L.O.V.E., a catchy, harmonious tune that reminds us of all the wonderful ways we can love each other! Certainly an excellent reminder, no matter who you are.

And you know what else? They’re from Chicago so they’ve got to be good people!

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Keep On is available TODAY on Amazon and iTunes. Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for our complimentary copy in exchange for this review.

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More from Sugar Mountain PR:

“Chicago, February 1 ~ Little Miss Ann has enjoyed national acclaim and a fervent following for her upbeat, down-to-earth and interactive folksy music. Her fifth album of hopeful and happy songs, Keep On, is the result of a collaboration with children’s music newcomer Amy D. Keep On will be available from various music retailers and from littlemissann.com on February 17.

Recorded in the Hudson Valley of New York with Grammy-winning producer Dean Jones, Keep On ranges in musical styles. Grownups will appreciate the 50’s doo-wop sounding song, “L.O.V.E.,” the Andrew Bird-meets-Liz Phair ode to Chicago “The 606,” as well as re-imagined traditional favorites like the Johnny Cash-esque “Where Is Thumbkin?” and a spirited Calypso song that originated in Jamaica called “Hill and Gully Rider.” There’s even a springy-swingy rendition of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” blending sweet harmonies, mandolin, and a toy piano. As Jones says, “These two complement each other perfectly. If it sounds like we were having fun it’s because we were. These songs come straight from the heart!”

Guest artists include Latin Grammy winner 123 Andrés and Tim Sutton from Ratboy Jr.

New to the independent family music scene and originally hailing from Nashville, Amy D sings and plays violin, mandolin, melodica, and piano. After meeting at a kids’ music class in Chicago, Ann and Amy discovered that they had many things in common, musically and culturally.  Amy D joined Little Miss Ann’s band in 2015, and the musical connection led to the process of writing and recording the songs of Keep On. Ann and Amy provide a fresh take on the tradition of sing-along, call-and-response style of trailblazers like Chicago-based Ella Jenkins, Raffi, Elizabeth Mitchell, and other enduring artists of the genre. 

Indeed, the songs grew out of both artists’ experiences in working with families: Ann in education (including Chicago’s historic Old Town School of Folk Music) and Amy in social work. Their common Filipino backgrounds inspired two of their original songs: “Ube,” about a cherished Filipino staple, the purple yam, and “The Senses Song,” which mentions halo-halo and lychee, sweet treats from Filipino cuisine. Other songs on the album, like “The 606,” are firmly rooted in Chicago’s vibrant scene.

See the Little Miss Ann Band, featuring Amy D,
in concert on February 26 at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago!

Little Miss Ann will also perform a show with Suzi Shelton at Jalopy in Brooklyn, NY, on March 26.” 

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Photos Help Tell the Story

Photos Help Tell the Story…

When I was little, my father almost always had a camera in his hand. And I was almost always more than willing to pose on the other side of the lens. Since then, photos have been a large part of my life.

There are a handful of photos in my upcoming book, In So Many Words, due for release on Friday November 4th. Special people, sentimental items, and one sacred space all help me tell my story. The people are still around but a few of the things are gone. While this makes me a bit sad, the photos preserve the warmth in my heart.

In So Many Words will be available on Amazon and on my new site, Shanti Mom for One, on Friday November 4th. For now, please visit my YouTube channel for an inside look from my Kula and me.

Namaste.

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About age 2 at Gramma’s house.
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About age 2-3 on Christmas Day at home in Chicago. Only the years are gone from this.

 

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My Kula. Kate, Donna, Mary, MaryAnne. Still alive and kickin’ like you wouldn’t believe!
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Various stages of my writing journey and my publisher, Jamar.
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My sacred space, Ocean Yoga Center. One of the things that is no longer there.
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Some things that helped me tell my story. The fertility drugs and syringes are LONG gone, thankfully! The baby clothes, used and gone. The others still remain.
flashback

Flashback Friday: How cute was I?

Flashback Friday…

It’s Christmas in 1970 in a small Chicago suburb.

I am three years old, the youngest of five, and I am in heaven.

I get pretty nostalgic around Christmas. It has always been a very important and exciting time of year for our family. This year, my husband, daughter, and I will travel back to my roots in Illinois. Perhaps my daughter will see snow for the first time. Most of my family will be together and that’s what is most important.

Simply can’t wait! Merry Christmas!

lib green dress
Looking extremely cool in the jumper my mom made for me.
lib green dress on bear
Excited about my new…bear?
lib with present
Mine!
beverly living room
Geez! I sure hope we were charitable as well!
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Always willing to smile for the camera.
the 70's

Christmas in the 70’s

My father made this amazing sign in the early 70’s in a little Chicago suburb called Beverly, when I was about 3 years old. It now hangs at my brother’s house in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. All five kids loved the sign when we were little but then were embarrassed by it in our teen years. Things have come full circle and now, as adults with little and big kids, we adore it once again.

the 70's
Beverly, Suburb of Chicago, Early 1970’s
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Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 2015

I asked my father to remind me of the facts behind the making and display of this sign and true to his character, he sent a dissertation:

The sign was created by me and only me in the basement of our home on the south side of Chicago.  I’m not sure of the exact year but it would have been in the very early 70’s.  I wanted something to hang on the front of the house that captured my strong positive feelings about the season but also projected some irreverence, a sense of humor, and some respect for the 60’s that put words and phrases like this into popular use.
I probably asked for some advice from Mr. Michaels, owner of the hardware store on 103rd Street.  He was never too busy to stop and explain things to the young, clueless 
homeowners of the time. 
Anyway, supplies were purchased including plain canvas (sail cloth), paint and the rope to hang it or me if it didn’t come to fruition.  I remember a decision to buy plastic rope for durability.  The sign was to be a big one – about 25′ by 4′.
After that it was just a matter of finding the time to work on it.  The canvas was spread onto the basement floor, measurements were taken for the size and placements of the letters and figures, pencil lines were drawn and, over the course of several weeks, the message was painted.
Never before nor since have I been so patient with a project of this type.  I followed the old adage, “measure once, cut twice, measure twice, cut once”, which kept running through my head substituting the word “paint” for “cut”.  I remember the tension from the worry about a mistake that would have ruined the canvas and probably the project.
The last step was to sew ropes into a hem on the top and bottom of the sign.  Mom taught me to use her sewing machine which also was not used by me “before nor since”.
Hanging the sign on the house carried challenges of its own.  The idea was to spread the sign across the front of our second floor and tie the ends of the rope to hardware on the side windows.  The sign was heavy and neither Mom or me were ladder friendly. 
It took several tries and in the end, one of us would  lean out one front window holding one end of the sign and throw the end of the rope around the corner so that the other of us could catch it and tie it to the side window.  Adjustments where then made by hanging out of one window or another with a broom handle.  Our proficiency with this barbaric approach improved over the years.
The family and the neighborhood loved the sign during the several years until we moved in 1974.  The sign was then preserved in a simple plastic bag – and more or less forgotten.  We never again had a house, grounds or neighborhood that seemed appropriate for the sign ……until:
One day our Son (who, when the sign was created would have been 5) asked about the sign saying he was thinking about displaying it.  To the amazement of all, the sign remained in excellent condition notwithstanding its burial for all these years, deep in a mountain of stored items.  The sign is now displayed at his home and thereby proves that intelligence increases through the generations.  Our Son’s home also has a second floor with windows.  But, the sign hangs magnificently, 6 feet from the ground, between two trees in the front yard.
football

Football 101

My daughter’s interpretation of football:

Emma: Why won’t they (Denver Broncos) let the Bears win?
Me: Because they want to win, too.
Emma: Well, that’s just rude.

 

I adore this kid.
football
Winter 2012, about 9 months old

football