Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thanksmass Part II

Hello everyone! I'm back, still sore from the car crash but hopefully getting better all the time!

Now Dear Readers, you might be wondering "Thanksmass, Part II"?! Well Yes! Since the Casablanca Club keeps growing our membership has now reached 112 members! (Gosh I can remember when there were only eight members and I had three blog followers too!) Since there are so many of us we had to split the event into two groups just so everyone could fit!
(See what I mean?!)

More than 52 friends turned out for the event (I stopped counting after 52!) It was a cozy gathering to say the least, but everyone fit in the house! I was so glad that bad weather didn't put a damper on this party and that everyone could see our vintage Christmas decorations.
(Our tree set up in celebration of friend Andrew.)
Most brought ornaments for the tree that symbolized something about him.
Some friends came early to help finish decorating and get things ready for the party!
(Friend Austin helping me put up lights.)
(Friend Alex helped put together these hors d'oeuvres!)
("Merry Thanksmass ya filthy animal!"- says friend Wes)
(Friends Brett and Lydia (on the far left)
Drove all the way from Colorado to be with us!
Soon all the guests had arrived and were merrily feasting. There was plenty of Pyrex, a tasty fruit punch in a cut glass bowl, and lots holiday treats!
Once most had a plate full we gathered in the living room, den, and kitchen for the entertainment portion of the evening...
First Terrace started us off with a Casablanca tradition...

Jennifer strummed us away to warmer weather on her ukulele...

Eric brought the party right back to scenic Lake Diversion on his guitar...

Master of Ceremonies Seigen spread the news that Santa was on his way...

Then Terrace and Jacob reminded us its cold outside...

The kitchen has never seen so much song and dance before, it could barely contain the talent! What wonderful friends we have, thank you all for preforming. It was great!

Next up on the evenings program was the great white elephant gift exchange!
Round and round the gifts went, 33 players in all. So many interesting presents and lots of stealing in the game, but all was in good fun! After the last of the presents had been unwrapped it was finally time for my FAVORITE part of the evening, the carols.

We packed into the living room and friend Joy helmed the piano, while I broke out the song books.

I just love it when we all come together (most of us being theatre or musically trained) and our voices blend. The sound fills the house with love, our joyous voices radiate through the walls out into the lake bay and carry for miles across the lake. As one friend said "The sound, it's almost like stumbling across a small country church in the midst of Christmas service, finding your way home with an absolute comforting feel of  calm."

But not all of our songs are church like and solemn!

It has been quite a year for all of us, high times and low, good times and bad. The wonderful thing about the members and friends of the Casablanca is that we are a family. We can count on one another and truly care for each other. As we enter the new year 2014 (1960) I am thankful of the many blessings and friendships bestowed upon our little house on a hill. I hope that each one of you reading have enjoyed the times we have presented to you and that you will continue to keep coming back to "Mick's" for the latest!

 Wishing you a happy New Year!


As an added bonus to our Thanksmass fun, we'd like to leave you with our Casablanca Christmas card. "Christmas Don't be Late"
 (Apologizes for the film quality!)
Patricia as- Dave
Alex as- Simon
Austin as- Theodore
Mick as- Alvin
Corabelle as- Corabelle
 Directed by Cindy G.
Special effects Matt P.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Last Friday.

Around 3:30P.M. I was in a head on collision caused by another driver (who was arrested for DWI). Airbags deployed, windows smashed, car totaled, and I walked away with only a few bruises and scrapes.  I was in the drivers seat of this minivan. The police on the scene said it was amazing the car hadn't rolled over, and that there was no explainable reason why the motor hadn't come through the cab and broken both my legs.

I trust in God, and I know that I have Angels watching out for me. There is no other way to explain it.

I am so very happy to be alive and to have walked away.

Praise be to God.


Friday, December 13, 2013

"EMERGENCY" Thanksmass 1959!

My goodness Readers, I NEVER thought I'd be bested by a Texas winter...

"Twas the days before Thanksmass,
and all was prepared.
The decorations were up, 
no expense had been spared!
But Then came the Ice
and the wind and the rain,
And Thanksmass 1959 would never be the same..."

Yes Readers, there ALMOST wasn't a Thanksmass! The massive hill at the lake had frozen over and was impassable, there for icing the Casablanca and all its vintage Christmas finery in the valley below...
 But after weather reports, a whirlwind afternoon trying to find a new venue for the party, and the generosity of my boss at the Wichita Theatre the day was saved!

With the help of Patricia, Missouri Michael, Terrace, and class three nuclear meltdown very little panic on my part, the event went on!  Just by luck I happened to have my second six foot aluminum Christmas tree at home, along with the color wheel!  So with that as the starting staple of "Emergency Thanksmass" we were off!
(All of my tablecloths and Grandmothers dishes were frozen in at the lake!)
Again, just by luck I had the glasses and cutlery with me so all we had to buy was three turquoise table cloths and some nice red plates our "emergency table" looked really great!
Once everyone arrived, we sat down to grace and had dinner, only slightly later than originally planned.
 (Master of Ceremonies, Seigen W.)
After dinner, our wonderful "MC" of the evening Seigen, kick things off with the help of Miss Casablanca 1959 Terrace Althouse. Keeping with Casablanca tradition, Miss Casablanca sang "Have yourself a merry little Christmas"!

(Terrace & Melissa "Sisters")

Next up, and one of my favorite parts of Thanksmass was Melissa and Terrace's newly altered rendition of "The Thanksmass Song"!

THEN we were visited by a celebrity, yes our VERY FIRST Casablanca Celeb! The Wichtia Theatre was hosting a production of "The Nutcracker" and as it turned out So You Think You Can Dance star Hampton Williams had discovered our vintage gathering!
He and Darlesha joined us for Thanksmass dinner and then delighted us with an impromptu dance!

(Hampton is known for his unique dancing style, and is nicknamed the Exorcist!)

Isn't that just amazing?! After the dance, we broke for intermission and readied our self's for a game of White Elephant.
Round and Round gifts went, snatching and stealing! It was a lot of fun!
Once everything wrapped had been stripped clean, we resumed the evenings entertainments!
Seigen serenaded us with happy thoughts of a Merry Christmas...

Kelcie captivated us all with her "New Age, New York" telling of  "Twas the night before Christmas"!

At long last Emily entranced us all with her performance "O Holy Night"!

Simply Stunning! Encore!

So much talent and warm feelings too!

 (Little Miss Emma, our newest and youngest 
"Official Member"of the Casablanca!)
Then came the moment we'd all been waiting for, it was time to usher in the New Year!

It was a wonderful evening, with wonderful friends and company! Although Thanksmass wasn't quite the same not being at the Casablanca, the Holiday is about friendship, being thankful for our time with one another, and of course keeping vintage goodness alive!  I was so glad our friends could gather from near and far away (Melissa drove in from New Mexico, and Michael braved the winter storm and drove down from Missouri.

Our wonderful friends surprised us with all kinds of gifts, it was totally unexpected and great!
(Friend Jennifer gifted us a JFK memorial record (foreshadowing), a cloth calendar from our new year 1960! Along with a gilded plate! Thanks Jenn!
Patricia gave me seasons four and five of Mad Men, along with "The Name Game" 45 by Shirley Ellis! (I've been hooked on the song since hearing it on "American Horror Story"!!! Thanks Dear!
Dear Friend Melissa gave me the wonderfully retro Christmas cards, I just LOVE them!
Friend Cheryl had this wonderful letter holder monogrammed "Casablanca" for us! Perfect for holding the vintage Christmas cards!
Missouri Michael brought us this fantastic console HiFi for the new living room. Just look at those
 tapered legs!
Michael also surprised me with a gift he had been trying to find for two years! I collect all kind of "O-mat" kitchen tools, and the last one I needed was the "Jar-O-Mat" a wall mount jar opener. I've never seen one in the wild, but Michael hunted one down and presented it to me for Thanksmass!
What an awesome, thoughtful gift! I can't wait to get it mounted and try it out! Thank you so much Michael!!

Not quite a present, but  definitely worth presenting, Mrs. (Mama) Duncan had her hair done up just for the occasion! A style right out of 1959!It looked so great!

The Nobles presented us with Vintage Christmas lights and a new lantern for the temporary bathroom!

Friend Jordan surprised me with autographed pictures from Dame Maggie Smith! (This has been a long running joke between us, and Jordan sent away the pictures and inscriptions and got Dame Smith to sign them!!!) The mere fact that WORLD RENOWNED FILM ACTRESS MAGGIE SMITH has written the words "To The Casablanca" makes me absolutely giddy! Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU JORDAN! I plan to hang these up in the den!

I think it is safe to say that everyone had a wonderful time!
I hope that we have better weather for our upcoming Christmas party "Thanksmass Part II" on the 22nd!
Wishing all of you a Merry Thanksmass and a happy 1960!