Where “Satchmo” Lives

I have to admit I’ve been in a slump these days – well not a real slump – but just pretty much taking my time, not being rushed or putting myself on time frames.  I’ve been watching The Ken Burns Jazz Series. It’s featured on Netflix and if you get the chance to watch it – I highly recommend it.  As I watched, I reflected back when I had the opportunity to tour the home of Louis Armstrong.  The excitement mixed with anticipation made me feel like “gitty-little” girl waiting to open a present.  I was just completely overwhelmed with joy as we rode to Corona,Queens, NY.  Louis Armstrong was my first introduction to Jazz and I love his music and here I am.. en route to his home.  We pulled up to the two story brick frame and I felt a tingling sensation all the while thinking – “WOW” – (hindsight is 20/20 – I wish I had started my blog back then.. I’d have pictures galore to show you..)  But since I didn’t,  I’m sharing some pictures I pulled from various websites to give you a glimpse of what I saw.

This is Louis Armstrong’s humble abode;

The living room was so finely decorated with embossed wallpaper and trinkets purchased from all over the world where he traveled (I love the artwork!!)

The kitchen equally beautiful, was state of the art for that time period.  I fell in love with the blue enamel kitchen

Take a look at this stunning bathroom.  The ceiling and walls were all mirrored and graced with solid brass fixtures and marble tiles.  This bath was befitting for the king of jazz and one of Louis’s favorite rooms.

The office is where Louis comes alive.  As you enter you’ll hear a recording of his voice in the air.. having conversations.  It was almost as if he was there.  The door you see here leads to the balcony where Louis would go out and serenade the neighborhood… (could you  imagine how awesome that must have been!!) 

The master bedroom, simply exquisite and tastefully decorated with embossed wallpaper and matching blinds

The master bedroom closet was very spacious and uniquely designed.

And this is the adjoining master bath

The garage was converted into a museum and gift shop where you’ll find all his clippings, albums, writings, and Louis’s collectibles.

The King’s prized trumpet rests in it’s case.

Now they offer summer jazz concerts inside his Japenese inspired garden

I never had the opportunity to see him play live in concert, but after taking this tour, I felt that I had connected with the man who revolutionized the beautiful music of “Jazz”.  Leaving the home with eyes moist of joy, my soul had been satisfied.

I hope you enjoyed the quick tour of the lovely home Lucille created for her and Louis.  With the joys, laughter and wonderful music, this is the place where they lived until death did they part.

If you ever have the chance to visit New York, by all means, head over to Corona and take the tour because there’s so much more to see.   You can read more about the house on the museum’s website here and booking a tour here.  Louis Armstrong may be gone, but he’ll never be forgotten.  His legacy of wonderful music was an inspiration to many and will always live.

“He inspired thousands of trumpets, inspired countless vocations, enchanted millions of friends, who quite simply, listend.  For me, he’s the epitome of the kind of American who goes beyond the rules, a truly good and original man”  – Duke Ellington

That Little Basket!

I was a kid watching Abbott & Costello, when I first Ella Fitzgerald sing this song.  Today, as I listened to her sing this kiddie, joyful song of her little yellow basket, it brought me to post about these once used tobacco baskets.  The tobacco basket was used until about 1980, to display tobacco taken to market. The crop is grown throughout North Carolina, primarily on family farms. According to the NC Dept. of Agriculture, North Carolina farmers today produce approximately 2/3 of the US crop of flue-cured tobacco.

After sorting and grading, the leaves were tied into “hands.” A hand of tobacco weighed about 1 pound if made of tips or lugs and about 2 – 3 pounds if made from cutters. A hand of tobacco is a group of leaves tied together at the stem end. The end is wrapped in another cured leaf.


The hands were then laid in the tobacco basket in a circle with the stem ends pointing to the outside. The baskets were then loaded and taken to the tobacco warehouse where they were sold at auction.  Today these baskets are used for more decorative purposes.

Placed neatly behind this lamp – it makes for the perfect backdrop


Very creative way to display the modern deerhead


The entryway was accented with the basket above the table flanked with candleholders


Here it makes for excellent wall art in this bedroom


A wreath made of cotton is attached to the tobacco basket and hung on the outside of the home


When placed behind the mirror, it gives the mirror more eye appeal


and the perfect accent for a country kitchen


Tobacco baskets are old and some are even broken, but they still offer an array of ways to decorate with them.  They may not be the type of basket Ella sings about but, it’s the basket I chose to write about.  However, if I found Ella’s basket I’d like to give her this and say “Thank You” for making a beautiful music.




Quick Shrimp Quesadillas

Yum How many of you love quesadillas!! I know.. me,me,me,me,meeee!!  Every time I make these, I literally have to keep them in the oven, because if they’re seen, all I hear is “let me grab one”  chuckles..  These are simply … Continue reading

Deviled Eggs

Who doesn’t like the classic deviled eggs??  Just thought I’d share my recipe for this long time favorite.  Deviled eggs are always an easy tasteful finger food to serve.  There are all kinds of recipes out there, so here’s one more to add to the list.

devil eggs3

6 hard-boiled eggs – peeled     1/4 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise    1 1/2 tblspn Ken’s Creamy Caesar salad dressing    1 tblspn spicy brown mustard    1/2 tblspn sweet relish  1/4 tspn Tableblend Ms. Dash  1/8 tspn garlic salt  light sprinkle of onion powder  3 dashes hot pepper sauce   light sprinkle of black pepper  1/8 tspn paprika

Slice eggs and remove yolk in a small mixing bowl.  With a fork, smooth egg yolks and add remaining ingredients.  Stir to a creamy consistency.  If needed, add a bit more mayonnaise and salad dressing to make creamier.  Even though I’m sharing this recipe, I always vary the measurements by taste.  I take little tastes to which ingredient is a bit more needed.   Using a small spoon, scoop mixture and put inside the cavity of each egg.  Lightly sprinkle top with paprika and refrigerate until ready to serve.



Pattern Cut

I really appreciate you following along with me on this slow process.  After cleaning the excess cotton attached to the fabric, it was time to lay the fabric and cut the pattern.  That was easy enough for me.. (given I still have a problem cutting a straight line).   I had plans to start the year totally organized making plans, setting goals.. but the truth is.. I can’t devote every Friday to this project, so I pushed it back to every other.  But.. good news is ..  she assured me we should be finished with the chair in about 3 more classes..( I was like WOW!!)..



You’re getting a glimpse of the fabric.. (I hope you like it… )

I left there with a bit  more enthusiasm and with another baby step toward an accomplishment.  Linda is an excellent teacher… her patience and understanding is really terrific.  She even handed me my first upholstery book, the staple gun she started with, staples, and guide sheet..

I’ve got studying to do.. and this is about to get real interesting (to me)… For now… Tah-tah!