Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lime Avenue: Bixby Knolls' Best!

I am a very lucky girl to live in District 8 of Long Beach, the lovely Bixby Knolls community, and to have such fabulous neighbors. My neighbors have helped me find my dog when it got out, hold my child when a van came crashing into my kitchen on a rainy day so I could call 911 and calm down, and the latest good deed my wonderful community did was to plant 20 lovely Chinese Elm trees on my street. 

My neighbor and friend Melissa and I had a plan: I would write to our Councilwoman Rae Gabelich and simply ask for trees to be planted on our street to help beautify it, and because we are so close to Atlantic Ave (where it's all happening, especially on First Fridays each month -- so I'm not complaining), which causes a lot of cars to park on our street due to overflow. So to give our little block of Lime Avenue a "boost" in spirit and beauty, I wrote to Councilwoman Gabelich and she responded YES! After several more communications between myself, Melissa and our current Councilwoman, we set the plan into motion.

Petition was signed, names were written down, volunteers were lined up; a date was set, Melissa and I went to OSH to buy the mulch, and VOILA! We now have a lovely, tree-lined street. This not only helps with shade, privacy, aesthetics, but it also increases property value by up to 15%!

A special shout-out to our volunteers for all their hard work, for Councilwoman Rae Gabelich, who is completing her final term, for Rose in the Councilwoman's office, for Jerry Rowland, city arborist, for John Royce, who is President of the Cal Heights Neighborhood Association and a tree "expert" and to my friend Melissa Von Leffern for instigating this whole thing, down to the two of us watering all the trees on our street last night! It's been a joy and will continue to be one as we watch our baby trees rise above and grow great heights, much like the character of our neighbors on Lime Avenue in Bixby Knolls! Next on the list: Neighborhood Watch!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A New Year to Grow By

I can hardly wait as this Baby New Year grows into a toddler (hopefully without the tantrums!), then a young child (full of wonder and curiosity), then a teenager (out to conquer the world), a college student (ready to attempt being responsible in new ways, and find new goals and challenges), and finally, an adult who can sit back, kick up her feet and say, "I did it, and it was fun!" whilst listening to lovely holiday music, with the scent of cinnamon and pine and cocoa enveloping her. That sounds like a rewarding year, doesn't it? And it's beginning to unfold. I can feel it. I hope I am right about it.

Last year, the new adult in me who had learned new lessons, achieved new goals, made some new mistakes and mostly accepted herself more, winded down with the comfort of loved ones, filled with much gratitude... yet it was bittersweet. Literally two weeks before Christmas (my favorite holiday) I lost a dear friend who was and will always be very important to me and have a special place in my heart. His name is Logan Fleming, and he is the subject of my upcoming memoir (THE DAY THE STARS STOOD STILL: A Memoir about Logan Fleming, the Former Top Wax Artist of Movieland Wax Museum). This book will be published in 2012, exact date TBD (but soon!).

I am just sad that Logan will not be able to join us at the book launch party (date and venue TBD) and hold that first finished, freshly printed and published copy of his career memoir in his tired-yet-talented hands. Hands that had touched hundreds of the most famous celebrities of all time while measuring them for their wax likenesses; the hands which I had shaken many times, before our handshakes turned into true hugs of friendship. I do feel blessed that he was able to see an unfinished copy of the book with the cover very much as it will be in the final version, a copy which he will forever be holding in his hands and was so very proud of. I want to do everything possible to make Logan's book a success. It's very important to me to honor Logan in this way, and I'm going to work hard at it, praying it really catches attention and gets some decent reviews. I'm not a super-experienced, prolific or famous author and I cannot promise excellent reviews, but just finishing the book and getting a publisher makes me feel like a winner with good reviews. So in the end, I really just want to focus on the PR side of getting Logan's book out there for the world to read so they can get to know Logan just a little bit, and see what a clever, determined, kind, funny and talented man he was. I'm proud he chose ME to write his memoir. I'll be forever grateful. Rest in Peace, my dear friend Logan.