One Year Later

The last time I wrote my blog about my meeting Paul McCartney experience, which my sister-in-law dubbed “The Happening,” I was sleep deprived because of the adrenaline and excitement of it all. Today, one year later, I am sleep deprived because I have a one-month-old baby! Things have definitely changed over the year, but what has NOT changed is my excitement and utter disbelief about everything that happened one year ago today.

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On August 14, 2013, after several attempts at other concerts over the years, I got called on stage at Paul McCartney’s concert in Regina, my hometown. I had made a sign asking Paul to autograph under my ‘Let it Be’ tattoo, saying that I would tattoo his signature on my wrist. It worked, and not only did he autograph my wrist, but he talked to me, gave me a hug and kiss, and thanked me for coming. I wrote all about it in WAY too much detail in the posts below this one, so I won’t get into the play-by-play again. What I WILL say is that it even though a year has passed, I am still just as grateful, amazed, and in shock as I was one year ago. It’ll always be the most extraordinary thing that has, and will, happen to me!

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Our local radio station, Newstalk CJME, contacted me to catch up with them about the events that happened following the concert. I had the opportunity to talk with them this week, and of course I have been reminiscing about meeting Paul even more so now that it is the anniversary, or “Pauliversary” as I cheesily dubbed it. The day after the concert, many news stations in the city contacted me. I discussed with them how incredible it was to meet my idol, and also how amazed I was by the love and excitement shown by complete strangers over the fact that I accomplished this dream! I am still in awe over the number of people who are SO excited to see the tattoo and hear about the story! Even a year later, I can’t believe that strangers recognize me! People I don’t even know will say, “You’re that girl from the Paul McCartney concert!” I have no idea how they know me, but it’s pretty awesome! Likewise, my dentist, doctor, receptionists, the bank teller, you name it – if they knew me before the concert, throughout the year when they have seen me, they have been so excited by what happened!

My doctor’s receptionist was SO excited to see me.  She was at the show and left this note on my chart.  My doctor laughed and gave it to me saying that, “She was pretty excited to let me know it was you!” haha!

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When I returned to school after the summer holidays last year, many of my students and their parents were congratulating me. My students were so cute – many brought to school the newspaper clippings from The Leader Post and seemed to think that I was a celebrity haha! It has been a blast!

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In February, when it was the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ rise to fame in America and their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, the radio station again contacted me, as they were compiling interviews regarding The Beatles’ enduring fame. I was one of the resident experts, so they interviewed me and asked for pictures of my memorabilia and tattoo. I felt like my Beatles knowledge and obsession finally paid off – someone was contacting me to talk for a segment about my passion! My friend said that I was stretching my 15 minutes of fame as far as I possibly could haha!

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During the interview this week, the interviewer asked me if my life has changed since the concert, and how so. One of the best things to happen because of meeting Paul McCartney is that I also met a bunch of amazing people in the process! After the concert, at 5am when I was too wired to sleep, I posted pictures on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Yay social media! Using the hashtag #paulmccartneytattoo, I found others who had had a similar experience! I had already met Dana, a fellow Saskatchewanian who had her arm signed in Toronto in 2010. We met before the show, and after the concert, we were able to get together and talk about our experiences. It was great to connect to someone who really understood it, and to keep in touch throughout this year! I had also previously met Corey, a girl I had been friends with on the Paul McCartney forums, and attended the concert in Orlando with her. Going to the show on my own, it was great to have a friend to share the experience! On Instagram, I found Jenna, the girl who was signed about a week before me at the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco. I had read about her on the forums before my concert, and I was excited for her, as the previous three shows I had attended on this tour did not include calling fans on stage. If she had done it, I had a chance! As luck would have it, we connected on Instagram and immediately hit it off. Soon after, I became friends with Beth, an amazing artist who won a contest on Paul’s site. He chose her art as the winning piece, and after I commented on her photo, we became friends. Both she and Jenna live in LA, and they too had become friends. From there, I had become friends with Caity and Heather, both of whom were living in London and were following me on Instagram as well. This fall, following Paul’s New album release, they actually met him at a CD signing! The five of us became friends on Facebook after realizing that we not only share a passion for Paul and The Beatles, but are around the same age and share a lot of other similarities. It has been SO much fun to not only talk about the Beatles (and not just the basics, but all of the little things that the hardcore fans love to discuss!), but to get to know each other so well! I’ve always been an ardent believer in the power of music to bring people together and create change. The reason that my husband and I first met was because a mutual friend knew we both loved The Beatles and introduced us to each other! I just love the fact that had it not have been for Paul and The Beatles, I wouldn’t have met this amazing group of girls! In fact, this past April, my husband and I took a trip to Palm Springs, as because I was 27 weeks pregnant, we wouldn’t be travelling much more for a long time. To my absolute surprise, Jenna and Beth arranged to drive to Palm Springs from LA and surprise me at a restaurant. I don’t think I have ever been so surprised in my life! It was such a wonderful afternoon hanging out, talking non-stop about our concert experiences, The Beatles, and our tips for how we will get Beth on stage for a signature of her own this tour. It was definitely the highlight of my trip, and I am forever grateful to Jenna, Beth, and my husband for pulling off such a great surprise!

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Jenna’s tattoo and my tattoo.  They’re like the ultimate friendship bracelets!
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We’re crossing our fingers that Beth will get called on stage soon!

In November, Paul had a contest on Instagram to promote his new album. I made a collage of the people I had met due to his music, who had also met him or had some sort of connection, and posted the photo. It includes friends from as near as Saskatchewan, and as far away as Australia and Brazil. Low and behold, my photo was chosen and posted on his Instagram and Facebook! I couldn’t believe it! Not only that, it got thousands of likes!

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 My picture, “regrammed” on Paul’s Instagram and Facebook accounts!

A year after the concert, I still feel SO grateful and humbled by this experience. I know that over the past 50 years, there have been, and still are, millions of people of all ages who have wanted to meet Paul McCartney, and very few have the opportunity. I was able to do so for one of the best minutes of my life, and it’s something that I will obviously never forget! Did he have to call me up on stage? No – most of the concerts during the tour didn’t include fans being brought on stage, and even at this show, there were several others who had signs. However, it meant the absolute world to me. Not only that, he was genuinely SO nice, just as I had always imagined. I was also pretty proud of myself for being so stubborn and trying to get on stage for years haha! After I posted the pictures on Instagram, so many girls have messaged me asking how I got on stage, could I share tips, what could they do, etc. Most professed how they were so envious and how lucky I was. I am forever grateful and feel that I was SO lucky…but I was also persistent! I thought that if it ever DID happen, my anxiety would cause me to faint on stage, being so close to my idol AND in front of 40 000 people! However, I remained conscious haha, and I think about that when I get anxious about other things in my life. Every time I look at my tattoo, I seriously think about that day and I get giddy all over again. A friend said that when upsetting things happen in my life, I can always look at the tattoo and know that I had that moment. This past year has been quite a rough one with health issues and a tough pregnancy, and there were many times that I followed that advice.  I’ve been unable to attend any of Paul’s shows this tour because they were too far to drive or fly to when I was pregnant (they were all around my due date) and now travelling with a newborn is out of the question.  I’m holding out hope that he’ll tour again next summer, though, and I will be right back at it again!

A year ago today, I was getting a tattoo at 2am, my friend Shawna by my side. Today, she’s coming over to visit my month-old baby Paisley and me. Instead of getting a tattoo tonight, I’ll most likely be feeding a little baby in a nursery with a Beatles theme. One day, I’ll take her to see Paul live, and she’ll love the experience as much as I have. I’ve been playing her the Beatles and Paul’s music since she was in the womb. She already loves his music – she has no choice! 

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A bit of the Beatles theme in Paisley’s nursery!

photo (2)Some of Paisley’s Beatles wardrobe!

One Sweet Dream Came True Today…Part Two

(Warning -I need to add some disclaimers.  This is an excessively detailed account of the craziest moment of my life.  It has honestly taken longer to write than some of my Master’s papers.  I planned to write about it in my journal and post the pictures on Facebook, but then my non-Facebook friends and family, and my Instagram friends all wanted to see the pictures, so this is the most convenient thing to do.  That being said, if you do not wish to read my every thought, just scroll through the pictures.  There are A LOT.  Hopefully this at least provides some entertainment to my insomniac friends, those up in the night with babies, and everyone procrastinating from working today. 😛  I had initially created this all as one post but then had to split it in to two posts because it was RIDICULOUSLY LONG.  Here’s Part One if you are interested.  It will provide some good context, as well as pictures of the previous McCartney concerts I attended.  I have told friends about my old Beatles-themed bedroom – I posted pictures of it here as well.

Disclaimer #2 – If you want to share this for some reason, feel free!  If you want to use any of my pictures from the concert, please just let me know and credit me.  Thanks!

Disclaimer #3 – I KNOW I sound like a ridiculous fangirl.  I KNOW Paul McCarrtney is over 40 years older than me.  Let’s just overlook that and understand that I’m a huge fan, okay?  :P)

August 14 – THE BIG DAY!  Even through I had just seen Paul McCartney play in Winnipeg two nights ago, THIS was the show I was really waiting for!  So many of my friends, family, and even my students were going, and I wanted them all to experience the best concert of their lives and understand why I travel to see Paul’s shows!  Not only that, I was FINALLY going to see Paul with my best friend, Shawna.

Meet Shawna.  She’s pretty much the best wingman in history for going through this crazy day with me.  We have been friends since we were three years old, and she, too, grew up with parents who were Beatles fans.  I can vividly recall sneaking her dad’s Beatles CDs without permission (sorry, Vic!), taping them onto cassettes so that I’d have a copy (early bootlegs?), and listening to Twist and Shout while playing cards in Shawna’s bedroom.  Good times!  Like me, Shawna also travelled with HER Dad to see Paul in concert, braving a snowstorm to drive eight hours to see the show.   She sent me pictures and video recordings of Paul singing “Yesterday” because I was so sad that I was unable to get the time off of work to join her.  It helped to ease the pain haha.   Because she’s a nurse and I’m a teacher, our schedules rarely mesh, but for this show, it worked.  (Fate!  Or, working lots of overtime on Shawna’s part. :P)  Thus, we splurged on the Soundcheck Package and third row seats.  A lot of budgeting and saving went on this year in my world haha.  Needless to say, we were beyond excited to experience Sir Paul TOGETHER, and in the third row at that!  Shawna came over to get ready.  I made us headbands out of some vintage flowers I had bought at a garage sale.

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Our signs were all set!  We planned to hold these during the concert…

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…and these during the soundcheck.

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We took obligatory before-the-show photos…
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…and “OMG IT’S FINALLY THE DAY!” photos!
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Shawna and I have had a LOT of good times over the past 27 years.  We do have fun when we’re apart, but when we are together, crazy things happen.  This would be THEE ULTIMATE example!

We got to the stadium and waited to get in to the soundcheck.  They let us in to Mosaic Stadium, where everything was set to go.  New seats have been added for Grey Cup, so the concert would be one of the biggest events to take place in Mosaic Stadium!  All told, over 40 000 people were in attendance!Image

That means that the concert’s population was larger than all but two cities in our province haha!  Image

We killed time by taking pictures (obviously!) and visiting with other fans.

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Our VIP passes!

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At around 5:00, the soundcheck finally began!  So exciting I can barely explain!  I talked about it a bit in the previous post, but people who do not know me might wonder why I’m such a Beatles fanatic (which I explain in that post).  Likewise, I mentioned how I’ve been a McCartney fan since I was young.  There are a TON of reasons why he is an amazing musician and person, but here are a few of my top reasons:

1.  He was, and is, incredibly hard-working and a total perfectionist.

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39936831803(…and he was super cute. 😉 )

2.  He taught himself to play many different instruments.  (John and George were self-taught on many instruments as well.)  On his first solo album, he played and recorded every instrument on the album rather than hiring a band.

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3.  His creativity is pretty much unmatched.  He challenged (and still challenges) himself constantly, and he has written in pretty much every genre imaginable.  Listen to the White Album, for example:  “Honey Pie,” (vaudevillian), “Helter Skelter” (heavy rock) “I Will” (ballad), “Ob-la-di Ob-la-da” (raggae-ish), “Rocky Raccoon” (country), “Back in the U. S. S. R” (rock), and “Mother Nature’s Son” (folk).  That’s on ONE album.  He’s also written classical compositions, including a full oratorio.

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4.  Also like Lennon, he was very interested in art, literature, and poetry from a young age.  He has done a lot of painting over the years, and has books of poetry published.  He was doing quite avant garde things in the sixties before anyone else.  I read an interview where he said that creatively, he feels like he is always inspired by everything around him, and that he “constantly has his antenna up for new ideas.”  I can COMPLETELY relate to that feeling.

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5.  Even from the early Beatle days, he was always so polite and well-spoken to the press and fans, despite how crazy the fans were and how idiotic the press often was.

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6.  He loves animals.
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(His dog Martha, of “Martha My Dear.)

7.  He has talked at length in his interviews and book about how close his family was when he was young, and he was/is such a family guy.
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He had the best marriage of any rock star, in my opinion.  Linda was a wonderful person.
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8.  When his old school in Liverpool was set to be closed, he funded it so that it would remain open and would be turned into the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.  He teaches the occasional class (CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE?!) and attends the graduation ceremony each year, apparently.

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9.  He has a great sense of humour:

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10.  He was a hipster before it was cool.  😛

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Okay, I’ll stop now.  Back to the sound check!

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The soundcheck is essentially a private concert for about 50 or so people.  I KNOW it’s crazy expensive, but honestly, there’s nothing I’d rather spend my money on than this and super-close seats at the concert, so it’s worth it to me.  It was worth it to Shawna, too:

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Just in her glory!  But seriously, how can you not be?!  And can we take a moment to recognize how completely suave Paul is in his Ray Bans?  I mean, seriously:

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It was really hot and humid, and Paul joked about the light being in all of our eyes for once, and not his (a statement I would truly understand when I was on stage).  He also said that the sound was great, so I was relieved because I know how crappy the sound usually is at our city’s arena, and I was hoping it would be better in the stadium.  He played an amazing set of songs.  I jotted them down on my phone later so that I wouldn’t forget them:

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Ram On!  Drive My Car!  Things We Said Today!  HONEY DON’T?!?  Are you kidding me?!  I have heard John sing it on the BBC Recordings back in the early Beatles days, but never Paul!  It was SO good!

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I didn’t want it to end – SO much fun!  Shawna, Dana, and I sang and danced the whole time!  I had met Dana the day before at the Hotel Sask.  She is from Saskatchewan, and she, too, got called up on stage once at a Toronto show.  Like me, she is a die-hard fan, and she has been to fifteen shows!  Thus, she understood the sign that I had made!  Speaking of which, during the soundcheck, one of the videographers came up and videoed me with my sign.  (Again, I explained the story behind the sign and why I made it in the previous post.  Basically, I’ve been a Beatles fan since I was little, wanted to meet Paul since forever, and wanted to get his autograph.  I decided that if I ever DID meet him, I would tattoo his autograph on so that I would always have it.  I NEVER DREAMED that the crazy plan would actually work!)  He told me to keep holding it up, and maybe I would get lucky.  At the end of the show, Paul read the signs and called up a lady who had a sign that read, “I’ve had PMS for 50 years – Paul McCartney Syndrome!”  He called her up on stage for a hug and a picture!  I was really happy for her, as she was obviously a fan for a LONG time, and I couldn’t believe how composed she was on stage.  I thought about how I would probably faint or cry!  She was completely ecstatic when she left the stage, and with that, the soundcheck was over.  Paul remained on stage to practise Mull of Kintyre with the city’s pipe band.  I tried to linger by the stage (again, big surprise), but we had to leave.  Oh well, the show would be soon!

We went upstairs to the box seats for the reception.  We were treated to an awesome vegetarian supper!

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And that is pretty much THEE WORST food picture I have ever taken, but believe me, it was much better than it looks here.  Cheese and asparagus stuffed pasta, stacked mushrooms with peppers and cheese, bruschetta, lentil salad, bean salad, wild rice, delicious bread – it was all very good.  This is where I must mention that one of the things I love most about Paul, apart from his music, is his passion for animal rights.  Remember this?
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I was in grade seven when I first saw this episode.  I WAS Lisa Simpson, completely having a crisis about loving animals, and not wanting to eat them (or dissect frogs in Science class, which I refused to do until I was told that they were killed humanly.  I’m sure that my teacher made that up so that I would obey…).  Also, the news had just exposed the ruthless seal clubbing tactics happening in Canada, to which I remember crying my eyes out while I watched the footage.  When I learned later about what Paul McCartney was doing to protest the clubbings, as well as what he and Linda had done (and he continues to do) for animal rights and vegetarianism, I had even more respect for him.  I felt that even if no one I knew personally was as upset about such causes as I was, at least someone as important as Paul McCartney was trying to do something about it.   I have followed his campaigns and have used a lot of the information to teach my own students about animal rights, and have done much with my students over the years to raise money and awareness for the Regina Humane Society, of which I am a member.  I have total respect for all that Paul has done for the animals of our world.

Okay, back to the show…

We watched the crowd piling in, and we marvelled at the many generations of people sitting together.  There were a lot of grandmas and grandpas, moms and dads, and children sitting together.  It was really heartwarming.  Paul’s music spans all generations.  Incidentally, my friend who is a police officer and who was working at the venue, said what a great crowd this was and how there was not one arrest or incident during the show.  Yay!

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We decided to head down to our seats at around 7:30.  We ran into some friends and my sister-in-law, Julie, in the concourse.  Up until this point, only Shawna, and my friends Sheldon and Danae, knew that I was taking the tattoo sign.  Even though I had taken signs like it to the other shows, the day before the Regina show, my husband was like, “That’s kind of…..weird.”  He doesn’t usually judge my crazy shenanigans, so when he DOES say something, I know I’ve crossed the crazy-line.  Thus, I didn’t tell him, my parents, or my friends about the sign.  However, Julie saw it in the concourse, which I will refer to later…

Waiting for a concert to begin is one of THEE BEST feelings in the world.  Seeing people of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, all there for the same reason – it’s just pretty amazing.  I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be the performer, knowing that all of these people spent their money to see you play.  I’ve read many interviews that Paul has completed, and when he has been asked why he still plays his hits after all these years, he said that people are spending their hard-earned money and giving their time to see him.  He knows that when HE goes to shows, he likes to hear the hits, and he wants to give his audience the same experience.  I’m always blown away by how much fun he seems to have performing songs that you KNOW he has played tens of thousands of times.  I have seen many of the classics in concert.  I’ve seen the Stones four times –  including this year at London’s Hyde Park – Bob Dylan, Elton John, Neil Young, Supertramp, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen – and they were all very good.  However, with Paul, I always get the sense that he really, truly cares about his fans enjoying the show, and is not simply concerned that HE has a good time.  He works FOR the audience.

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“Sitting in the stands at the sports arena, waiting for the show to begin….Red lights, green lights, strawberry wine, a good friend of mine, follows the stars….Venus and Mars are alright tonight…..”

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Earlier in the week, there was an article about four Regina guys who were going to be in the fifth row wearing authentic Sgt. Pepper costumes.  I was excited to see what they’d look like.  Apparently, so was everyone else – they were SWARMED by people wanting pictures!  Of course, I was one of them!  (Check them out on Facebook!)Image

Paul gave them a few shout outs during songs from Sgt. Pepper, and he even dedicated a song to them!  SO COOL!

SO MUCH ANTICIPATION!  The only thing to do at times like this – TAKE MORE PICTURES! 😛  Our seats were so close, on the aisle (room to dance haha), and quite close to centre stage!  Image
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Shawna and I both went to London this year at different times, and both managed to buy the same set of Beatles buttons, despite the fact that there was literally THOUSANDS of different pieces of Beatles merchandise in London! #twinsiesforlife

Around this time, something amazing happened…..the crowd of 40 000+ STARTED DOING THE WAVE!  I LOVE THE WAVE!  I never felt that Regina’s crowd would be lame, but I WAS afraid that they would be too polite.  I’ve been to arena shows here where everyone sits and claps politely, seemingly afraid to get too into the show or simply in awe of the performer.  I was worried that this could be the case.  However, Regina is home to the craziest, most supportive, BEST fans in the CFL, and we know how to party, so I should have known they’d be pretty wound up.  THEY.  WERE.  PUMPED!  The wave went around at least 1 times – maybe more!  I videoed part of it…but then stopped recording.  #fail.  Apparently, I was too overcome by the awesomeness.  However, someone did a much better job than I did and captured it here:

Shawna, swept up in the wave!
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Prior to Paul taking the stage, DJ Chris Holmes plays a set of remixed Beatles and McCartney songs.  I’d LOVE to buy the mix when/if it ever comes available, but a similar mix is available at the above link!  (Thanks, Dana!)  Simultaneously, the screens featured a running collage of photos and video of the Beatles, Paul, and his family.  I love watching it – it’s like a collage or a painting being created in front of you.  I wouldn’t doubt Paul painted and collaged the thing himself.  In Orlando, I took pictures of pretty much each aspect of it, but here are a couple from Regina:
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And then, just like that, Paul was on stage, the show was starting, and the crowd was GOING NUTS!  All I could think (other than OMG OMG OMG) was that everyone would FINALLY witness everything that I had pumped this show up to be for the past 11 years!  Shawna said she was so excited that she was shaking, and I said that I was feeling the same way.  I can’t even imagine what I would have done if it really was the 60’s and I was at a Beatles concert.  Mostly likely I would have fainted…or spontaneously combusted.

I am now realizing that this post is WAYYYYY too long, and I am only at the beginning of the concert.  I’m clearly the worst ever at being concise.  Thus, I’ll just post a sampling of my concert pictures and TRY to limit the captions to save you from having to read for a while!  I took a photo of pretty much every song, but here are a few for now.

“Eight Days a Week!”Image

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“All My Loving!”  I LOVE the Hard Day’s Night clips in the background!Image

Ahh John! ❤

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I love this one!

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Yes!

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Story time with Sir Paul.  He was talking about when, the Friday that the Sgt. Pepper album had come out, Jimi Hendrix was playing in England.  By the end of the weekend, he had learned “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and played it live in concert, as Paul was watching.  He said it was one of the ultimate tributes that he was paid.

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He talked about how wailing on the whammy bar threw Jimi’s guitar wildly out of tune, and how he asked Eric Clapton to come and tune his guitar for him.  Eric didn’t want to, tried to hide, and this was Paul’s impression:

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“Maybe I’m Amazed” – one of my favourite songs of the show, and one of my favourite songs of all-time.  I also love playing it on the piano.  We definitely held our signs high during this song!  Another reason why I love Paul – his relationship with Linda.  They were the best couple in rock history.  From the time they got together until Linda died, apparently they were only ever apart for a few days in almost thirty years.  Not only that, they endured a lot of flack when Paul taught Linda to play the keyboards and sing on his solo album and in Wings so that they would be able to tour together with the kids.  Just listen to “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “My Love,” or “No More Lonely Nights.”  Sigh.

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I love this one as well.  I wonder what he’s thinking.

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Paul telling the crowd the story behind “Blackbird.”

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Paul performing “Here Today” on the elevated stage, with the image of the moon and tree silhouetted behind him.  This is one of my favourite moments of the concert.  It’s extremely moving, and of course, I always get choked up.  Paul even gets kind of choked up sometimes when he performs this song, and rightly so.  If you weren’t at the show or were unaware, Paul wrote this song for John shortly after he died.  It’s a conversation that they never got to have.   I can’t imagine singing such an emotional song in front of 40 000 people.  I absolutely love what he says at the beginning of the song, and I videoed it in Winnipeg.  I had to film the screen because it was better quality than zooming in.  I didn’t film it here because the security guard was right beside me in the aisle.  Too risky, even for me. 😛

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Here’s my video from Winnipeg:

Back to something more upbeat, one of my FAVOURITE lesser-known Beatles songs, “Your Mother Should Know.”  I love the clips in the background from Magical Mystery Tour!

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“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.”  I could tell that Paul mixed up the lyrics, but seriously, who cares – he can do what he wants.  However, he called himself out on it and said, “Just today, I gave an interview to your radio station, and I said that this song is the hardest to perform live because the bass line goes one way and the lyrics go another.  I guess I proved that tonight!’ or something like that!  Totally down to earth!

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Another of my favourite moments, Paul’s tribute to George through “Something” on ukulele.  George loved playing the ukulele and he had a collection of them, so Paul learned Something and played it to him.  Just….so good.  SO GOOD.

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“Let it Be.”  Everyone held up their lights on their phones and ahhhhhh it was SO BEAUTIFUL!  Again, crying.  It was all too much with the song, and the lyrics, and the lights, and the organ, and the crowd, and just..everything.
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The crowd was honestly the best crowd I’ve ever experienced at a McCartney show, and I’m not just being biased because this is my hometown, I promise!  Paul thanked the crowd a lot, so I think he understood how appreciative we were that he chose to play our little city!  We were in our glory!

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“Live and Let Die!”  The fire and fireworks are so awesome when performed at a stadium!  The fire is SO HOT when you’re up front!

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Paul’s reaction haha.

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“Hey Jude,” PROBABLY my favourite performance, and in my top three favourite songs of all time.  I know it’s cliche to say that’s your favourite Beatles song, but ahhh it’s just so melodic and wonderful!  Plus, the story behind it, and how John thought it was about him, and how he persuaded Paul to keep the “the movement you need is on your shoulder” line in the song…it’s just the best.  Singing along with the “na na na na na na na”s with Paul McCartney – everything is pretty much right in the world during that moment!  Plus, Shawna and I got on the jumbo screen, so we were pretty stoked!

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Hey Jude, 1968.  I definitely recall fangirling over this video the first time (and, well, every time since) I saw it.  I remember my mom joining in on the “he was just the cutest” comments!

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The “end”…AKA still two more encores!  Shawna’s arm got in front of Abe.  Whoops!

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The triumphant return!  Yay Canada!  Yay Saskatchewan!  Yay Great Britain!

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Jump ahead to second encore…”Mull of Kintyre” is about to begin!  Wix is featured up front on the accordion!

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He is seriously THEE BEST percussionist and keyboardist!

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I took some pics of the band.  Brian, an amazing musician…

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Rusty, killing it on the guitar, and also awesome because he signed an autograph for a young girl (my former student) outside of the hotel.  Bonus points for Rusty.

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More of Brian.  Unfortunately, our view of the drummer, Abe, was obscured.  He’s SO GOOD and so much fun to watch!

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The Regina Pipe Band got to play on stage!  Yay!  I don’t even know any of them, yet I was so excited and proud of them!  I bet never in a million years did they think they’d be playing on stage with a Beatle!

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It was so good!

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Next was Yesterday, another one of my favourites.  Again, cue Shawna and I, all choked up.  I didn’t take any pictures because I took a video in Orlando, and I wanted to REALLY experience it live.  Shawna videoed it, though.  Next, Helter Skelter!

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It was JUST after I snapped this photo that I was asked the question that changed my life…”Do you still have that sign?”  I instantly recognized the man asking the question as the person who was working the stage as head of the venue security.  (Paul calls him Brian in the YouTube video when I’m on stage.)  He was the one who had brought the lady up on stage at the soundcheck.  I KNEW WHAT THIS MEANT.  I said, “…yes…” and he asked if I wanted to come with him.  I was flabbergasted.  I turned to Shawna, was like, “It’s happening!”, grabbed my Sharpie and sign, and it was ‘go-time’.  (I’m honestly getting butterflies just thinking about it!)  He told me that we had to run, and did I ever!  I will NEVER hear “Helter Skelter” without thinking of running through the aisles, following Brian, knowing that this was going to be ONE INSANE MOMENT if it happened (perfect song for that feeling!).  I remember saying, “Is this really going to happen?” and he said yes, and I replied something ridiculous (and true) like, “THIS IS MY GOAL IN LIFE!”  We got to the side of the stage, and he went through, then motioned me in past security.  It was really dark back there, and Brian had me follow him up the stairs.  The guy who was videoing my sign earlier said, “See, I TOLD you to keep holding it!  It worked!”  (Now side-note – Dana, who had been on stage in Toronto, was talking to Brian earlier in the day.  He said that Paul had seen my sign during the soundcheck [which makes me insanely giddy haha] and that I was most likely going to be called on stage during the show.  I am FOREVER GRATEFUL that Dana did NOT tell me this prior to the show.  I don’t think I could have done it.  I honestly would have fainted or had a panic attack.  She had learned at the soundcheck at the Toronto show that SHE was going to be going on stage during the show, and I have no idea how she made it through the concert knowing that!)

I stood backstage for about 20 seconds, and it was absolutely incredible watching the band perform from that close.  I was so mesmerized that I didn’t have a chance to be nervous.  I remember thinking how bright it was, and how hard it would be to play with all of the flashing lights, the crowd, and the floor that lit up.  At this point, it had probably been about two minutes from the time that Brian had gotten me out of my seat.  The thing that almost everyone has asked me is how I remained “so composed” on stage.  Honestly, as I said above, if I had had time to really think about what was going to happen, I would NOT have been composed.  Anyone who knows me knows that I get nervous very easily.  I mentioned fainting – I’m not exaggerating.  I’m a fainter.  I faint really easily.  I’m also a pretty emotional person.  If you’ve seen the YouTube clip of Kristen Bell talking about her sloth encounter with Ellen (which, if you have not seen, you need to watch ASAP), I HIGHLY relate when she says, “If I’m not between a 3 and a 7 on the emotional scale, I’m crying.  I’m crying if it’s too sad, or I’m crying if it’s too happy.  Always.”  That is me to a tee.  However, two things worked to my advantage:  1.  I had no time to think about what was happening.  2.  I had honestly visualized what I would say if this really DID happen.  (No joke – I had thought about this MANY times and what I would say, but I never thought it would be on stage.  I always thought I would see Paul at the Hotel Sask and ask him to sign my tattoo.)  However, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t nervous.  I was FREAKING OUT inside!  As annoying as this may be, I’m going to post a ton of screen caps of the YouTube video that Dana took, complete with my thoughts.  This isn’t because I think everyone is dying to hear about this, it’s because I NEVER WANT TO FORGET IT!  (Disclaimer #3 – all grammar/punctuation/formal writing skills are about to disappear from this post in 3…2…1……)

Luckily I showed Shawna how to work my camera before the concert, JUST IN CASE.  I also drew a line on my wrist where I wanted Paul to sign.  Everyone thinks that this is funny/crazy, but a fan’s gotta be prepared!  Shawna took the picture below (and I’m forever grateful to her for her photos, and to Dana for her video!).  Brian said to me, “He’s going to call you up, and then…you go!”  OMG!  AND THEN YOU GO!  GO ON STAGE IN FRONT OF 40 000+ PEOPLE AND MEET YOUR IDOL.  I can’t even explain!  PAUL MCCARTNEY.  SIR PAUL.  MACCA.  PAUL-THE-BEATLE.  One half of the best songwriting duo of all time.  The most successful musician of all time.  Someone whose music, melodies, lyrics, poetry, art, and creativity have inspired me for two and a half decades.  And here he is, calling ME on to the stage.  I am still in shock, to be honest.  From backstage, it felt like everything was in fast-forward.  I guess this is what happens when your adrenaline kicks in – your senses are heightened.  I can remember certain sights and thoughts so vividly.  Paul’s shirt looked blindingly white.  I could hear him say, “Earlier, a girl in the crowd had a sign asking me to sign her tattoo.  I’m curious as to what that’s about, so let’s bring her out,” or something to that effect.  That was my cue.  I remember thinking, “Wow, this really was planned.  He really must have seen my sign and chosen me,” haha.  Next, I remember walking towards Paul and thinking, “This is it!!!!!!!  It’s your dream!” and then awkwardly thinking, “…do I…hug him…..?  Can I touch him?  Is that against protocol?”  Before I could become (any more) awkward, Paul pulled me in for a hug, and I knew it was okay haha.  Was it EVER okay!
(Disclaimer #4 – This is all so fangirl / Teen Bop / Tigerbeat-ish.  I posted a picture of me on stage to my Instagram account.  Let me tell you, there is a huge, HUGE Beatles Fandom that exists on Instagram and Tumblr, and they’re about 90% teenage girls.  It probably appears pretty crazy to the average person that I’m freaking out about meeting someone who is 71.  I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW.  But to Beatles fans, it’s the pinnacle of being a fan.  One girl posted on my picture, “I am only 13, but you are now my role model for getting on stage.”  Lol awww, they get me, even if everyone else will think the following pictures and captions are crazy.  And that is a-okay. :P)

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I was like, “OH. MY. GOODNESS.  Paul McCartney is hugging me!  WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING?!?”

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He said hello, I said hello back as if it was all just a casual conversation, (all the while, DYING INSIDE), and he asked my name.

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He asked where I was from, and I said, “Regina!”  He said, “Regina!”  Incidentally, I saw that a message board had posted about me getting on stage, and they had as the title, “A girl from China?? (a blonde???) gets on stage at McCartney concert”  Hahaha!  I told them it’s a far cry from China here.

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The crowd cheered, and then I was suddenly PUMPED.  I thought for a second that everyone would think that I was SO CRAZY AND WEIRD for doing this (as they should), but when they cheered, I was excited!  My hometown crowd!  I even went, “Wooooooo!”  in the mic hahaha.  About 1/2 hour before this moment, Shawna was chastising me for screaming and “woooing” so much.  Here I go and do it on the stage haha.

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One of the things that I remember the most vividly is thinking how true it is when musicians say how bright it is on stage.  When I said, “Regina,” I looked out at the crowd, and it was a gigantic fish-eye view of LIGHT, and a massive, blur of a crowd.

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 Next, Paul was like, “Okay, Regina Chelsi!”  Someone has to teach me how to make an audio file out of this clip.  New ringtone?  😛

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If you look close enough, you can see cartoon hearts coming out of my eyes.

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I can’t get over that I just NONCHALANTLY have my arm around him.  Is this my life?  I mean, really.

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Paul:  “Okay, so where do you want me to sign this thing?”

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Me:  I’ve got a tattoo already…

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Paul:  “She’s got a little tattoo…”  (Rik – check it out – he’s totally examining your previous work on my tattoo!)

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Me:  So if you could sign it, I’m going to tattoo your signature on.  (In my head, I imagined I would say that I wanted him to sign my LET IT BE tattoo, under his lyrics.  That didn’t play out lol.  Oh well.)  People cheered, which I’m still surprised by.  I figured they’d be like, “……WTF…….???  This girl is nuts.  I’m going to get a beer.”

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Paul:  “I’ll tell you what…doesn’t it hurt getting a tattoo right there?”  He had a pretty good grip on my arm haha!

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I feel like I COMPLETELY blanked at this moment, though you can’t tell on the video.  I was just surprised that he’d ask that, since it’s such a tiny tattoo!  I remember thinking, “THINK OF SOMETHING TO SAY!!!  TALK!!!”

Me: “Noooo, not as much as I thought.”

Paul: “She’s tough!”  (Lol if you know me, you know that I’m the weakest, least-athletic person in Canada, so this is hilarious!)

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let’s see if we can do this!”

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HAHAHAHA l’m motioning Brian to bring the pen!  I don’t know why I find this so funny.  I think it’s because I HAD my own pen, and Brian kept it in lieu of a thick Sharpie (thank goodness.  It worked much better.  As I was running to the stage, I was scribbling with it on my other hand to make sure it would still work!).  But in my mind, I was like, “Crap!  He’s going to think I didn’t bring a pen!  Get that pen over here!”

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Paul:  “You got a pen, Brian?”

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Paul’s left handed, this is on my right wrist, and it’s facing me, so we had to get into position haha.

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You can’t hear it on the video, but you can see Paul talking and me laughing.  He said, “We’re going to have to spoon to get this right.”  I almost said, “Take your time,” and then I didn’t!  I wish I would have!!!  I was too in disbelief!

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This took over 10 seconds to do, which doesn’t seem like that long, but I am so grateful that Paul took his time: 1.  FOR OBVIOUS REASONS   2.  He could have just scribbled his name, but he wrote it really nicely and artistically.  He made sure that it didn’t touch the Let it Be tattoo above it, either.

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He also drew a heart under it!  I remember thinking, “YESSSSSSS!  I couldn’t have even ASKED for that – it’s so perfect!”

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My life is peaking right here.  It was 10 seconds of me thinking, “Whoa, so that’s what his autograph looks like / I’m spooning with Paul McCartney / there are 40 000 people in front of me / Regina is the best / people are cheering / awww a heart! / I’m spooning with Paul McCartney.”

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He finished, looked at me, and said, “Okay!”

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And THAT is my look of pure admiration and gratitude.

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I remember thinking, “I don’t care, I’m hugging him right now!”

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Me:  “Thank you SOOOOOOO much!”  And then I hugged him super tight.  I laughed out loud when I watched the video for the first time because I gave him the biggest hug ever.

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And thennnnnn, the best part of all….

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...he gave me a kiss on the cheek.  FOR REAL.  (His lips were very soft lol.  That is also FOR REAL.)

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Lol at my grip on that sign.

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Also, so many people have laughed and joked about how I patted him on the back.  Lol I don’t even know.

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My friend Sheldon was like, “Geez, you tried to make that hug last as long as possible, didn’t you??”  You can’t hear it, but I was talking to him, and that’s why.  Honest.  I was thinking, “TELL HIM HOW MUCH THIS MEANS TO YOU!!!”

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Some people say that it’s not good to meet your hero because sometimes, your image of the person gets tarnished.  I always imagined Paul to be someone who would be kind to his fans.  He’s been in the spotlight for pretty much 50 years straight, and you NEVER hear of him being rude to his fans or not having time for them.  I always imagined he’d be genuinely nice if I DID get to meet him, and I can honestly say that that was true.

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I said, at this point, “This is the best moment of my life.  I can’t tell you how much this means to me.”  (Incidentally, I remember thinking, “Oh no, what if that got on the mic, and my husband hears, and he thinks that our wedding day wasn’t the best moment of my life???”  Hahaha!  I told him that later, and he was like, “Oh, I know that meeting Paul was the best moment for you!”  Haha.  That, and my engagement.  My two best moments involved Pauls.)

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After I told Paul that this was the best moment of my life, he was so genuine and kind, saying, “Oh, that’s so kind, thank you, thank you!”

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He patted me on the back, and then said, “Thank you Chelsi!” in the mic, and everyone cheered.  Ahhhhh I love you Regina!

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I said, “Thank YOU!”  lol!

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The other thing that I imagined wanting to say to Paul if I did somehow meet him, was to thank him for coming to Regina.  I am sooooooo grateful that he chose to play here, of all Canadian cities.  Our city is very small, and he could have quite easily chosen somewhere else.  I wanted him to know that I, and many others, were thankful that he came HERE.

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So, I looked at him and said, “Thank you for coming to Regina!”  I didn’t know that this was heard on the mic until after the show, people in the venue, parking lot, and the next day thanked ME for thanking him.  (How Canadian of us all haha.)  I’m glad that others heard and I could say that on behalf of his Regina fans.  He thanked me, for thanking him haha.

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So that was that – I don’t even remember walking off of the stage!

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But apparently, I was beaming.  😀

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And apparently, I glanced back for one last look!

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He said, “Okay!” and motioned to me, and then it was back to the show!

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I then did a few seconds of an interview with the videographer who initially talked to me about my sign.  He asked me how long I’ve been a fan, and I told him how many shows I had been to and where.  I gushed about this being the best day ever.  Other than that, I don’t remember what I said.  I don’t know what that was for – perhaps the website?  The band was playing “The End,” and Brian led me back to my seat.  All the while, I was in shock and told him that I couldn’t believe that that happened.  I then gave him a huge hug, and he laughed.  I looked at Shawna, she looked at me, and we were screaming, jumping up and down, and she yelled a whole lot of expletives, in true Shawna form!  I think the first thing I said, was, “HE KISSED ME!  ON THE CHEEK!”  Shawna was laughing and yelling, “I know!  I saw!”

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And with that, the song was done, and so was the concert.  CONFETTI EVERYWHERE!  I’m still finding it in my purse!  I was just standing with my arms up at this moment, cheering, beaming.  WHAT.  A.  NIGHT.

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The show ended, and people swarmed me.  Someone from The Leader Post pretty much immediately took my name and number.  Everyone in my section was snapping pictures and grabbing my wrist lol!  (I definitely would have been doing the same if it was someone in my section who had been on stage!)  I stopped and was like, “Shawna – take a picture of this moment!”  This, and the picture Paul took after we got engaged, depict my “post-amazing-event-I-am-completely-ecstatic” face.  (You can still see the line that I drew for him to sign on, which he did very well!  :P)

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My friend Greg took this picture of me and posted it on Facebook with the caption, “I know her!”  Almost immediately, I received loads of Facebook notifications, and a ton of texts from people at the show.  Greg captured the moment where I was motioning Brian over lol.  :S  My friends who were not at the show said they were in disbelief when they saw this picture haha!  A few said that they had heard that a girl got called up on stage and was going to tattoo Paul McCartney’s name on her wrist…and they knew it would be me.  Haha I don’t know if that is a good thing or a crazy thing!

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I was blown away by how many people wanted to take pictures with me.  I reunited with the guys in the Pepper uniforms and wanted to congratulate them for getting shout outs from Macca!

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Next, I knew that I needed to phone my brother, Michael.  Michael is pretty extensively tattooed.  He designs his tattoos, and Rik Biehler, his tattoo artist/friend has done all of his tattoos.  I phoned Michael and was pretty much screaming.  I don’t know how he even understood me!  I told him what happened (I had mentioned to him before that I wanted to do this) and asked if there was any way that he could text or call Rik to get me in tomorrow.  Rik’s a great tattoo artist, and he’s booked solid.  The wait is about a month or so, and I didn’t want to go to some sketchy tattoo parlour.  As I was trying to tell Michael the story, I kept having to put him on hold to take pictures with people haha!  It was so crazy!

A couple of minutes later, Michael phoned back.  He was like, “Rik can do it tonight.  He knows that this is a tattoo emergency, and he’ll be at the shop right away if you can meet him.”  Tattoo emergency!!!  Haha it definitely was!  Rik explained later that HE once got called on stage at a 4 Non Blondes concert.  He’s a HUUUUGE Linda Perry fan, and she saw his tattoos dedicated to her, and signed his arm.  He couldn’t get it tattooed that night, and it RUBBED OFF by the morning.  I honestly cannot even imagine.  He didn’t want that to happen to me, so at 12:30am, with his car boxed in due to people at the concert parking improperly, he WALKED to his shop (D’Nile Tattooz – best tattoo parlour in town!) to meet us!  All the way out of the stadium, people were calling my name, cheering, taking pictures…it was crazy!  I couldn’t believe that people were excited about this!

We finally got to the car, Shawna navigated, and I really should not have been driving because I was just in shock!  I kept saying, “WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING?!?  IS THIS REAL LIFE???”  and Shawna kept hitting me and saying, “OMG!  OMG!”

Rik was already at his shop and was all set up when we got there.  Rik is THEE COOLEST guy.  Not only is he a great tattoo artist, but he’s a great artist as well.  He currently has work in the Calgary Art Gallery!  People were asking me if I was worried that the signature would get messed up when it was tattooed, but I didn’t even think of that.  I trusted Rik completely!

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We put on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, and Rik got to work.  He took a bunch of pictures, tattooed the outline of the signature, and then printed out the pictures.  Normally, a tattoo of this size would take 15-20 minutes.  Rik took about an hour so that it would be perfect.  Shawna, being the best wingman ever, documented it all.

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People always ask me if it hurt.  I think I was too jacked up on adrenaline and high on life to even notice.  I know that it hurt more than my Let it Be tattoo, but not that much, and quite honestly, I couldn’t have cared how much it hurt.  I just wanted to make sure it would be permanent.

After he was done, all three of us examined it really closely to make sure it was perfect, and IT WAS.  Shawna and Rik celebrated with shots of Jaegermeister.  I had water haha.  I did NOT need anything else!

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I am FOREVER INDEBTED to my brother and Rik for making this happen!!!  My mom said her friend said people were asking, “Oh, did she REALLY get it tattooed that night, or was it actually the next day?”  It was DEFINITELY right after the concert.  We got there at 12:30am and left at 1:40am.  Rik’s shirt is fitting.  He received a lot of press the next day, and RIGHTLY SO!

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What do you do after getting a tattoo at 1:00am on a weeknight?  Go to O’Hanlon’s and celebrate!  It only seemed fitting!  I mentioned my sister-in-law Julie earlier on, and how she and my friend Brittany saw my sign in the concourse and knew my plan.  When Paul gave my sign a shout-out, Julie texted me, sharing in my excitement.  When he said he was going to bring out the girl with the tattoo, Julie said she was screaming, “That’s Chelsi!  That’s Chelsi!” and everyone around her looked.  She said she cried when I actually got on stage haha!  Awwww!  My mom and dad were also in the audience, and my mom said that she was in total shock that that was me on stage.  She said she, too, cried, because she knew how long I had been a fan!  My husband said that he stood there with his jaw hanging open for about ten seconds and couldn’t believe that it was me on stage!  I would have paid to have seen that!

I walked into O’Hanlon’s (my favourite bar/pub in the city!), and people clapped!  People I don’t know were calling me by name (still so bizarre!) and wanting pictures!  We finally got a seat, and I regaled Julie, Brittany, and Emily with the story of how it all went down.  Julie said, “Now I get it.  Now I get why you have gone to so many of his shows.  I was smitten, too!”  I was SO HAPPY to hear that!

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We stayed at O’Hans until it closed.  Shawna and I went back to my place, uttered, “I can’t believe that happened!” about twenty more times, and then called it a night.  I am absolutely, ETERNALLY GRATEFUL to Shawna for not only documenting all of this, but for going along with my crazy shenanigans as she ALWAYS has, and being so genuinely excited for me when things worked out.  Best friends for life!

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3am – last picture of the night!

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This summer, my husband Paul and I were in London when Andy Murray won Wimbledon.  Murray told the press that he didn’t want to go to bed in case he woke up and it was all a dream.  That’s EXACTLY how I felt.  If I didn’t have the tattoo on my wrist, I would have thought that I had imagined it all.  I went on Facebook because there was no way that I would ever sleep, even if I tried.  (Clearly I needed to be sedated by this point.)  I chose a couple of the pictures Shawna had taken, and posted them.  Little did I know that they would be shared literally hundreds of times, used on the news, and in articles all over the net in the morning!

I finally went to bed at 5am, and was up at 7am for an interview with Newstalk 980 CJME.  Paul had been sleeping when I got home, so I was SO excited to tell him all about it!  He left for work, and I did the interview.  I was so in a daze that I think I just rambled the entire time.  I had also been contacted by pretty much every news outlet in our city, despite having an unlisted phone number.  I was REALLY torn as to what to do.  I was (and still am) paranoid about people being like, “Stop talking about this already!”  I didn’t do this for publicity.  I HATE HATE HATE seeing myself on video.  Thus, I chose each of the first forms of media to contact me – one radio, one newspaper, one TV, and an afternoon radio program that I listen to and which also wanted to feature Rik.   The day was insanely busy.  After the CJME interview, I got ready and painted my nails lol, and frantically cleaned the house because CBC was coming to film!  I then did an interview on the phone with The Leader Post, and their photographer came and took pictures.  Next, CBC journalist Tory Gillis interviewed me, and we had a great time chatting and she completely put me at ease for the TV interview!  These were all very positive experiences, despite how nervous I was!  (I’ll post links to the articles at the end.)

Following the interviews, I rushed to the Hotel Sask to meet Dana.  She and I wanted to see if Paul and his band were checking out of the hotel so that we could both show him that we actually got the tattoos of his signature.  They had already left – boo.  I did tweet a picture of my tattoo to Paul, so I’m hoping that he actually saw it (slim chance, I’m sure!).  Dana and I went to Atlantis for a drink.  It was REALLY awesome to talk to someone who had had a similar experience!  We rehashed our adventures and relived it all, and also discussed the Facebook Page that she created a few years ago for the city that is still going strong!  It’s great meeting new friends at concerts, especially under circumstances such as this!

Following that much needed breather and a visit with my parents to show them the tattoo, I went to the CBC radio station.  I am a diehard CBC radio listener, so this was very cool.  I was nervous about the other interviews, but I was excited to meet Craig Lederhouse of the Afternoon Edition and to do this interview with him and Rik.  It was really fun, and very natural.  I also learned that Rik was having as crazy of a day as I was, and that he had been interviewed by a few places and was featured on tattoo.com!

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I finally had a chance to sit down around 10pm, and I had all intentions of checking all of these emails and Facebook notifications…

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…but after that crazy day, two hours of sleep, a super busy day before, and only a couple of hours of sleep the day after the Winnipeg show, I COMPLETELY crashed and woke up 11 hours later lol!  I think that’s a new record for me.

The following day, The Leader Post article came out…and I was on the front page!  Hahaha INSANE!

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It was the most bizarre thing to see articles about myself.  My friends were sending me articles from everywhere – The Vancouver Sun, Hamilton, Winnipeg, some celebrity gossip website (?!?!?), REDDIT even!  The radio stations had posts about it on their Facebook pages, as did some of the McCartney pages that I follow.  I was shocked!  However, what I was most surprising was how absolutely and genuinely excited people were by this event and story.  I have had countless strangers over the past week who have recognized me on the street and congratulated me.  My family, friends, coworkers, friends of friends – they’ve all written and said the kindest, most awesome things to me about how excited they were for me.  I cannot get over the enthusiasm people have shared with me, but I’m actually not that surprised because this is one of the things that I love most about Regina.  People are quick to help each other in times of need, but they are also such great cheerleaders when things are positive!  We share in each other’s joy and excitement, and that is definitely what I have experienced this past week.  I am forever grateful to everyone for being so awesome throughout this whole experience.  What initially was a “kind of weird,” pretty ludicrous idea, turned out to be something that people actually think is cool!  I guess that is what is most surprising to me!

So here it is, the tattoo today.  I love that I will have this with me until the day I die.  Rather than an autograph in my scrapbook, or framed on a wall, the memory of this night will literally be a part of me forever.  Just as I had “Let it Be” tattooed so that I could see it and use it as a reminder whenever I was upset or anxious, I now will look at the signature and if I’m having a bad day, it will definitely cheer me up.  Someone said that one day, I will show my future children, tell them the story, and explain to them who Paul McCartney is.  I don’t think that that explanation will be necessary.  I think that, just as we know who Beethoven and Mozart are, people will always know who McCartney and The Beatles are.  This has been the most unbelievable, amazing, unreal experience of my life, and I am eternally grateful for the experience.

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Wow.  Was that ever the longest post in history.  I feel that I need to buy prizes and hand them out to people who actually read ALL THE WAY THROUGH.  Let me know if you did (here, on Facebook, or by email), not so that I get comments, but so that I can congratulate and thank you lol!  Below is the YouTube video and some of the interviews and articles in case you didn’t get a chance to see them.  In the meantime, I’m off to start saving up for the European leg of the tour…. 😉

One last thing…
Someone sent this to me as a joke last year and I just found it as I was going through my pictures.  I proved them wrong, I guess!
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(You can follow me on Instagram at gobeil_soleil or email me at chelsi.gobeil@gmail.com )

  (Another angle – you can see the kiss on the cheek better lol. 😉  Thank you, Pat!)

CBC News with Tory Gillis

CBC Afternoon Edition with Craig Lederhouse

Newstalk 980 CJME Interview

Regina Leader Post article

CJME.com Article (This, and the Leader Post article, were used by papers in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Hamilton, a celebrity website, and the MSN Canada homepage!)

Another Leader Post article referring to the experience.

One Sweet Dream, Came True, Today…Part One

This time last week, I was packing and baking muffins to take on our road trip to Winnipeg, excitedly counting down the hours until Paul McCartney’s concert.  If you would have told me that within a week I would be on stage in front of more than 40 000 people with Paul McCartney; get a hug, kiss, and autograph on my wrist from him; get a tattoo at 1:00am on a weeknight; do multiple interviews with the media in the city; be on the front page of The Leader Post, and most of all, have so many friends, family, and STRANGERS be so excited FOR me, I would have NEVER, EVER believed you!  Yet, here we are…

I intended to write about this amazing, surreal week in my journal, but I think that by blogging it, it will be easier to share with friends and family who are not on Facebook.  That, and I will spare my husband from having to hear me tell the story to everyone haha.  (Note – I WILL tell the story still if you’d like!  I definitely enjoy talking about it! :P)  Be warned – this will get long.  I will TRY to keep it concise, but I can pretty much guarantee that it’s going to be detailed, overly-giddy, fangirl-y, and probably pretty “stream of consciousness” style.  For the “too long, didn’t read” crowd, just scroll through the pictures. 😛

The best way to set the scene for this whole crazy experience is with a little bit of context.  I’m pretty passionate about a lot of things – music, art, anything vintage, mid-century modern design, making jewellery, animal rights, and going to concerts and music festivals.  However, one of my biggest passions is The Beatles!  I have been a Beatles fan since I was very young.  I started playing the organ when I was five-years-old, and any kid who grew up in the 80’s taking organ lessons knows that you honed your skills on the Kawaii books.  These books contained many simplified Beatles songs.  Whenever I was assigned a new song to practise, my parents, being awesome, would play the original recording for me so that I could hear it.  I distinctly remember hearing “Hey Jude” and “Michelle,” and loving them.  Shortly after that, my mom and grandma showed me a recording of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show.  My mom had a little Paul McCartney figurine from her fan-girl days, and she showed me how his head bobbed, just like Paul’s did on stage.  I was hooked.  I played my parents’ Beatles / post-Beatles-solo-projects records, watched A Hard Day’s Night and Yellow Submarine, and when the Anthology came out in the 90’s, I watched the mini-series as it was aired every night.  In high school, I had a plethora of obsessions, as any teen girl does – Leonardo DiCaprio, The Backstreet Boys, Prince William – but I always loved The Beatles.  Case in point – my bedroom (after its Leonardo DiCaprio poster phase):

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I painstakingly stenciled and drew that border, and then painted it with poster paint because I couldn’t afford anything better.  It took about 3 days and 4 coats of paint.  Worth it.  It’s still there – I wouldn’t let my parents paint over it after I moved out! 😛
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So what was/is it about The Beatles that I love so much?  I don’t think I can even properly get into it in this post because then this will be WAYYY too long.  I’ll save the comprehensive description for another time.  To keep it (relatively) short, they were the most creative, hard-working, risk-taking, forward-thinking band of all time.  They gave it THEIR ALL for years before they even made it big, playing 8 hour sets 7 days a week, constantly writing, and striving to set themselves apart from everyone else.

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Individually, they were all intelligent, incredibly witty and funny, fashionable, SO creative, and let’s not forget, downright good-looking!
(Edit – My husband laughed out loud AT me and was like, “Ringo was NOT good looking!”  So harsh!  I said I’d prove him wrong:

tumblr_mfnjg80vjo1r9ijuzo1_250 Ringo He had a quirky cuteness, you have to admit! 😉 )

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Musically, there will never be another songwriting duo as amazing as Lennon and McCartney.

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They broke every barrier and record, and constantly pushed themselves creatively.

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Much of what we have musically today, The Beatles created the prototype.  Music videos, lyrics printed on album covers, albums of songs written solely by the band themselves, the use of instruments from other countries, feedback, tape loops, backwards recordings, playing outdoor stadiums, concept albums – they were the first to successfully do it all!

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Not only that, they played over 2500 concerts, sometimes performing in two different cities ON THE SAME DAY, incited a MANIA, shot movies, wrote books, released multiple albums A YEAR, filmed promo videos, and completed endless interviews and appearances, all in less than a decade.

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No one will ever do anything like that again.  Plus, their music is just SO AMAZING.  The melodies, lyrics, content – it’s just unbeatable.

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There are entire university COURSES devoted to The Beatles and their music.  I really could go on and on.

John and Paul have always been equally my favourite Beatles.  I intend to blog about “Why I Love John Lennon” on a different day, so I will devote this to “Why I Love Paul McCartney.”

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If John were still alive, I would be following his tours around just as vigilantly.

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His signature would be tattooed on my other wrist.

Alright.  It’s 2002. I’m 19 years old.  Paul announces his “On the Run” tour.  I am ABSOLUTELY DYING to go.  I plan to try to drive to the closest stop, St. Paul, Minnesota, butI know that my unreliable vehicle WILL NOT make it the 1050km drive.  Thus, I make a proposition to my family:

photo (7) (OMG that Ticketmaster “service charge” – ridiculous!)

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(I was desperate enough to try to get my fifteen-year-old non-Beatles-fan brother to join me.  Because THAT would have been a fun trip. *sarcasm*)

After weeks of begging, my dad gives in, and I work a minimum wage job for the rest of the summer to pay off this trip.  SO WORTH IT.

Me waiting around outside of the venue (big surprise!), by the crew trucks, sporting my homemade Beatles purse haha.  I did see Paul drive into the stadium, and he waved to the crowd.  I was pretty excited!

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The concert WAS AMAZING.  You know those Beatlemania videos of the girls just losing their minds?  I was one of them.  I was so excited that I cried.  I cried during “Yesterday,” I cried during “Here Today,” and I cried on the plane ride home because the concert was over haha.  I also wrote NINETEEN PAGES in my journal about the concert.  I devoted half of my concert scrapbook that year to this concert alone.

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Cut to 2009.  I’m a teacher now, and that means I have summer off, and ONE DAY per year as a personal day.  Thus, unless a concert falls on a weekend or in the summer, or is in driving distance, I can’t travel.  This KILLS me.  However, this year, I luck out, and Paul is playing Coachella, and Coachella is during my Easter break.  I also luck out to be dating someone who is in a band and who is a huge music / concert / festival fan, and a Beatles fan at that!  (Of course I married him!  What a catch! :P)  Coincidentally, his name is Paul.  We travel to Indio, stay at someone’s place whom we found on Craigslist, and enjoy the best festival experience we’ve had so far!

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(He played “A Day in the Life” and “Give Peace a Chance. ” It.  Was.  AWESOME.)

2011 – A week before my WEDDING DAY, I fly to Montreal by myself.  (One of my best friends, Sheldon, was living there at the time, so I got to visit him as well.)  I think everyone thought I was crazy, but it was the only date of the tour that worked for me and I was NOT missing out!  I splurged and got the Front Row Ticket package, complete with soundcheck.  Up until that point, it was the best concert of my life.

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I made this sign, and Paul pointed at it, winked, and gave me a thumbs up.  I also got the set list AND one of Paul’s guitar picks.  Then I got married a week later.  Two of the best events of my life, in one week!

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This girl got called up on stage, and rightly so.  She came from Japan, AND it was her birthday?  That trumps all!

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Her tattoo signature was slightly more risque than mine haha.

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2013 – Paul’s “Out There” tour is being announced, one date at a time.  EVERY date announced is during the week, and I only have that one personal day!  Finally, Orlando is on May Long Weekend, and there are TWO shows!  I promptly buy two tickets and decide to take my dad as a thank you for taking me a decade ago!

Show #1:
In the cheap seats, we still had a really great view.  I was really grateful to see the opening show of the tour, and Paul and the band were on top of their game!  My dad enjoyed the show, and told my mom that I “looked like one of those bobble head chihuahuas.”  Thanks, Dad. 😛

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Show #2:
Again, I splurged on the Soundcheck package.  I’m sorry, I know these tickets are expensive, but I’m a thrifty person, and there’s nothing I’d rather spend my money on than concerts and travelling.  When it’s a concert of THIS magnitude, it’s a no-brainer for me!  I went to the soundcheck and concert by myself, but I met some really awesome people, one of whom, Corey, I stayed friends with since the show.

Paul playing “Ram On” during the soundcheck.
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I made this sign (and didn’t tell anyone back home because they’d think I was CRAZY), and took it to Orlando.  No one got called up at either show, or the soundcheck.  Oh well – the show was BRILLIANT and coincidentally, Corey and I had seats almost right beside each other in the 3rd row.  It was a great night, AND I got the set list again!

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I took a ton of pictures, but this is already too long…so here’s just one.

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Setlist!  Woot woot!
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And yes, that is the same dress that I wore to the Regina show.  I wore it in Regina because I said even BEFORE the show that it is my “lucky dress.”  Good things happen when I wear it…boy, do they ever!

Shortly after I bought the Orlando tickets, my husband and I were driving to Juno Fest to watch some concerts.  I happened to look up at the electronic billboard on Albert Street, and low and behold, it had a teaser image for the Out There tour, with a Regina date.  I honestly screamed, and made Paul pull over, just to make sure it was real.  I then texted, tweeted, Facebooked, Instagrammed, and used every other social media outlet possible to get the message out!  The concert announcement happened the next day, and I lost my mind.  REGINA!  The little city on the prairies would witness PAUL MCCARTNEY!!!  Tickets went on sale, and I bought some for the Winnipeg show, 6 hours away, and the Regina show!

As if I didn’t have enough to look forward to, my husband and I booked our honeymoon that we weren’t able to take previously since he was studying and I was completing my Masters.  In July, we went to England, and of COURSE stopped for three days in Liverpool!  We toured every Beatle-y thing you can think of, and it was one of the highlights of the trip!  I took, literally, 1500 pictures during our stay in England, but here are a couple of Beatles-related ones!

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Abbey Road!  (We went twice.  I walked it in bare feet a la McCartney the first time.  It is INSANELY BUSY there and people are constantly almost getting hit by cars lol.)

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Abbey Road Studios!

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I signed my name on the wall and drew my Let it Be tattoo.

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Mathew Street, home of The Cavern Club and where the Beatles used to hang out.

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The original entrance to The Cavern.

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We hung out at The Cavern both nights that we were in Liverpool.  It was SO much fun!

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Self-explanatory!Image

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I honestly got choked up.  I’ll talk about this experience when I do my Ode to John post.

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Eleanor Rigby’s grave.

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At The Casbah Club, where the Beatles got their first gigs.  Pete Best’s brother was our tour guide.

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The Casbah Club.  John Lennon helped paint that roof, and carved his name into it.

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The Beatles’ houses.  I toured inside of John and Paul’s.  (People still live inside of George and Ringo’s houses, which is crazy.)  The guides take your bags so you can’t take even a purse or phone inside, so no pictures of that, unfortunately.  Being inside of John and Paul’s bedrooms, though – pretty unbelievable.  We saw and did so much more, but this post is already far too long AND I HAVEN’T EVEN GOTTEN TO THE CONCERT YET!  I feel like this needs an intermission or something!

August 12, 2013:  Paul and I drive to Winnipeg for the concert!  Our seats are on the field for this show.   Like both Orlando shows, no one gets called on stage.  From what I’ve heard, only a few people were called up on stage during the Out There tour.
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Paul sounded SO good, and I was extremely excited for Regina to take in the show in two days!

We got up early, drove home, and I went to the Hotel Sask to see if I could catch a glimpse of Paul arriving.  I still really wanted to get an autograph under my Let it Be tattoo so that I could tattoo it on as well, and because no one had been called up at the Winnipeg show either, I thought that this would be my best chance.  A crowd of people and I saw the band arrive, but Paul’s driver took him to the other entrance, so we missed him.  Rusty, the guitarist, stopped and signed one autograph, and it was for one of my former students, Kaylyn!

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After that, I went home to make my signs for the concert and prepare for the Regina show…which you can find, in all its detail, here!

I Covet My Couch

I am loooonnnngggg overdue to post about two things – our kitchen and our living room renovations.  I have a whole post planned, but I’m right in the middle of reports cards and Master’s class papers.  Thus, this will be brief for now.

I have searched for YEARS for a vintage sectional.  I have seen a few, but never in the right colour, or never in good condition.  Two months ago, I found one for sale online.  The owner lived not too far from me, and he was a collector of mid century modern furniture. (Believe me, it is rare if people have even heard of MCM in my city!)  Having to move, he was selling many of his pieces.  He made me BLINDLY BID ON this couch against someone else, but I ended up getting it for what I feel is a pretty great price.  It still has the original Sears tags attached!  The colour is amazing, and it fits into the open space of our living room perfectly!  I also ended up buying a lamp that matched.  So, this is the room in progress.  I am currently looking for an off-white shag area rug, and then will move my vintage coffee table to that room.  So far…

I found some vintage advertisements of a similar Sears couch.  Unfortunately they are the smallest images ever.:

 

The dining room is almost complete…

Once I am finished my report cards and papers, I’ll have more time for decorating, DIYs, and blogging!

Autumn Party Time!

Gahhhh it has been so long!  I have so many photos to upload and ideas for blog posts, but my Master’s class and my job are eating up all of my time!  Thus, this will be a pretty full post!

We recently had Paul’s Fellowship party to celebrate his FSA designation.  Not only was it great to celebrate this huge accomplishment, but it meant that I could try out some new Pinterest recipes to justify the amount of time I spend procrastinating by using Pinterest!  Here’s a look at the party spread and a few pretty vintage dishes!  (Again, I have a blog entry planned devoted to dish collection!  Stay tuned!)

My vintage pink and milk glass chip and dip.  

One of my favourite treats, antipasto.

Cream cheese with sweet chili jelly.

Boursin Herb and Garlic cheese spread with cranberry and date crisps from Costco.  SUCH a good flavour combination!

A Pinterest find – autumn caramel corn mix!

These things are amazing!  Malted Pumpkin Pie bites from Bulk Barn!

Okay, so this photo does not do it justice, but this dip is A-MAZ-ING and SO easy to make!  Who remembers Dunkaroos?  If you’re a child of the 90’s, I’m sure you do.  This IS homemade Dunkaroos!  I found the recipe online, but I cut it in half because it made a huge portion.  Buy a confetti cake mix.  Mix 2 cups of the dry cake mix with 1 cup of plain yogurt (I made it a bit healthier by using fat-free) and 1/2 cup Cool Whip (again, I used reduced calorie and it worked perfectly).  Make it 4-5 hours ahead of time and chill.  The recipe called for animal crackers, but I found teddy bears at Bulk Barn so it was more “Dunkaroosish”.  This was seriously the hit of the party!

SO GOOD.

These were the other hit.  I always make these, and they are the perfect combination of sweet and salty!

Unwrap your Hersheys Hugs.  This is tedious work.  You can employ your mom to help haha.  (Thanks, Mom!)

Place the hugs on top of the pretzels, OCD style if you’re as anal as I am.

Place in the oven at 350 degrees for three minutes, BUT NO LONGER!  Quickly place a candy corn (or Reese’s Pieces, M&M, Smarty, etc.) onto each hug.  Let cool for about 20 minutes, then place in the freezer to set.  These are VERY ADDICTING!

Another amazing Pinterest find – Nutella fruit dip!  It takes like fondue, without heating the chocolate!  Again, super simple, and somewhat healthy.

Veggies and homemade dip using Epicure spices.

We are hummus experts around here, and Sabre has the best spicy hummus.  Behind that is PC brand Mango Salsa, Onion Epicure dip, and Asiago and Artichoke PC Brand dip.

 This is my absolute favourite vintage chip and dip.  As if that isn’t the most perfect design and colour?  Plus, it is filled with my mom’s homemade salsa.  Even better!

 Meat tray made by my mom!

The spread!

The drink table, minus the booze.

Ready to party!

Lucy, also ready for a night of being spoiled by the guests!  It was such a fun night!

A couple more nom noms…
These pumpkin muffins are amazing.  This is my mom’s family recipe, and it ALWAYS works!

Pumpkin Muffins
(Makes a large batch of 3 – 3 1/2 dozen)

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
1 14 oz. can  (1 3/4 cups) pumpkin (I used a can of pumpkin pie filling and these were even better!)
3 cups flour
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups raisins (optional)

In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin.  Mix together dry ingredients, add to mixture and blend until smooth.  Fold in raisins.  Fill greased muffin pans 2/3 full.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

I took them to share with my students.  We had a class breakfast for Thanksgiving, and everyone brought cut up fruit to contribute to our fruit salad.  It was amazing!  Plus, some very awesome parents and grandparents sent homemade baking as well!  There was so much food that we also had it for lunch!


Follow Me on Pinterest if you would like more recipes!

Follow @gobeil_soleil on Instagram!

Happy Autumn, everyone!

Backyard Bliss

It has been FAR TOO LONG since I’ve last posted!  I finished my Spring class, finished the teaching year, immediately started my summer class, went to Toronto, and have returned home to re-establish my social life!  I also STILL need to unpack.  However, the weather has been beautiful, so I have spent as much time outside as possible.  Thus, my house is still in shambles, but my yard is coming along nicely!
(I originally wrote that in a DRAFT for this post on July 31.  Life got in the way of finishing and posting this!)

I really love flowers, and the fact that our growing season is MAX four months, I have to pack in as much as possible in that little time!  I grew up gardening, as my mom is an amazing gardener (check out her interview in our paper this week!  ) and her mom had a beautiful “English Country” garden.  I like to keep up the tradition.  Thus, I take a ton of pictures of my plants, and rather than post them all on Facebook and bore everyone, I’ll post them on here and bore everyone in the blogosphere! ;P

Welcome!

I love the yellow doors.  They were like that when we moved in.

The petunias are growing SO well.

They’re larger than this now, and like a bush!

Our backyard.  We don’t have a fence, so we can use the field and creek behind us as part of our yard.  It has been AMAZING moving from a tiny yard to what feels like a place out in the country or at the lake.  The sweet smell of the air is amazing.

Unfortunately, a wind storm did a number on the tree at the left, and after breaking in two places, it had to be cut down.  The yard is a lot sunnier now, but less private.

We have this beautiful apple tree.  The city had to trench a line in our yard and cut off a branch, and then dug up part of the yard.  They still haven’t returned to fix it up, unfortunately.

Our vintage bird house, filled to the brim with nests, amid the lilac bushes.

I have a ton of beautiful perennials that I’ve inherited with this house!

When I was little, we had roses like this.  My best friend and I used to take the fallen petals, put them in water in film canisters, and leave them outside in the heat.  That was our “perfume” and it actually smelled really nice!  When these were in bloom, the yard smelled like our perfume.

The rabbits destroyed this lily, along with a ton of other plants. 😦

When Paul’s little cousin Paige passed away this spring, close friends and family were each given a bleeding heart to plant in her remembrance.  This little plant survived the rabbits, being transplanted when the city ripped up the yard, and it is still growing.  I think of Paige every time I see it.

The “secret garden” area!

Peonies are one of my all-time favourites.

Representing Saskatchewan!

English Lavender that survived my transplanting of it.

This was my favourite discovery.  I had no idea that these bushes were raspberry bushes.  They were planted between mine and my neighbours’ yards, and all of a sudden, I noticed the berries hanging into my yard!  I got a few bowls full over the course of the month, and they are SO good!

Our apple tree is providing quite the crop this year!  These are bruised, as I picked them all up after a windy day, but they’ll be turned into pies!  They’re really delicious!

I got a few strawberries, even after the rabbits ate the plants.

They also ate my ENTIRE garden, but somehow, one bean plant survived, and grew ONE lone bean.  It was tasty, at least!

The back patio.

Lucy, lounging in the sun.

Wild lilies.

Apparently you can eat nasturtium leaves???  One of the city workers yesterday said they’re delicious and was eating them!  

I love how zinnias have flowers inside of their centres.

Love my gerbers.

Our bedroom has a little balcony, and I filled the window boxes full of petunias, allysum, zinnias, and marigolds.

Double rainbow all the way across the sky!!!  What does it all MEAN?!?
(Please tell me that you’ve seen the YouTube of this.  If not, make sure to watch!)

Last night, a beaver decided to take down our tree lol!  In the course of 6 hours, it cut it right down.  We had to call the city AGAIN to come and remove another tree.  My money is on the beaver clearing it out of our yard before the city gets to it!

Lucy assesses the damage.

Well, that’s it, the tour of the yard.  Thanks for dropping by! 😉

A Few New Treasures

I’ve been dying to update my blog and write something creative rather than writing papers or report card comments.  However, it has been an insanely stressful month since I last posted.  Our buyers backed out of buying our house on possession day.  It turns out that their “broker” cousin and “lender” friend did not set up the deal properly, and they did not have the finances that they thought.  After a gong show of dealing with them trying to get us to lower the price after conditions were lifted, hiring a realtor friend who was trying to get us to sell the house to them again, and finally washing our hands of them (but keeping their deposit, thankfully), we’ve relisted the house.  Now we’re dealing with so many showings, and so many people who are not pre-approved for what we are asking, and listening to their sob stories on why they can’t afford our house.  No, we will not sell it to you for $40 000 cheaper than we are asking!  Gahhh so frustrating!  On top of that, I’m taking an intensive Master’s class in the evenings, dealing with report cards and end of the year things in my classroom, trying to get my foot to heal properly, and going to physio every second day.  My cousin is really sick in the hospital, and I’m always thinking about her.  Worst of all, however, my husband’s 9 year old cousin passed away from terminal cancer two weeks ago.  Nothing has been as bad as that.  It has just been a really stressful month, and thus, I have barely done any unpacking.

This weekend, however, I took a break, planted some flowers, and went garage saling with my mom.  I found a few fabulous items:

I’m forever drawn to aqua / mint / sea-foam / turquoise things…and owls.

They match this ashtray perfectly, which was a housewarming gift from Sandy.  I’ll be using it as a candy dish, or something other than an ashtray lol.

This pretty platter I plan to display in my living room when I finally get it set up.

Love the mid-century motif.

Some 60’s craft organizers.  Best pencil box ever!

I am IN LOVE with this thing!  I recently found one of my new favourite blogs – Oh So Lovely Vintage.  It’s pretty much everything I love, all in one blog.  DIY vintage-inspired crafts, MCM home decor, vintage fashion, Pyrex, melmac, Mad Men, 60’s colour palettes, cool fonts, pretty photos!  Best of all, the girls who run the site are Canadian (from our neighbouring province of Manitoba, to boot!) and they have their own vintage shop!  The next time we’re travelling to Winnipeg, their store will be my first stop!  Anyway, a few weeks ago, they posted some fab pictures of turquoise decor, and this organizer was among the featured pictures!  I checked the link to the etsy site, and it was sold.  Low and behold, I found this one at an estate sale this weekend!

I’ve been collecting enamel flower pins for a while, and although I SHOULD be using them to make jewellery, I can’t part with them!  I have an idea on how I’m going to use them, though, so stay tuned!  In the meantime, some of my pieces that are still available are on my site.

At least the dining room is coming along.  I just need to fix the credenza doors that fell out during the move and re-organize the shelf items.

Hopefully next time I post, I won’t begin with a paragraph-long rant!

And We’re In!

The past week has been CRAZY!  We moved into the new house on Saturday…

It went really smoothly, and by the evening, we had actually unpacked quite a bit of stuff!  However, I have a good deal left to unpack still.

Literally, not just figuratively, but LITERALLY a few minutes before we left the old house, the buyers phoned us with some “problems.”  After a week of sketchy business, things are really stressful with them apparently not being able to “afford” the house, despite all the paperwork being signed.  I won’t get into details, as I’m hoping that on their possession date, this Tuesday, they can work things out and then I can explain the details of what happened.  Fingers crossed…

I started my class on Tuesday.  This has been my life since then:

The class is twice a week, 3 hours each class, for five weeks, and it is pretty intensive.  I’ve already read five chapters and written a response paper for each chapter.  However, the class is excellent and I’m really enjoying it!

We’re in the process of re-doing the kitchen in the new house! Paul’s dad is painting the cabinets, new countertops will be installed soon, and we’ve picked paint and hardware!

The rain has finally stopped, and Lucy and I have been able to enjoy the sunroom!

The flowers are beginning to bloom!  🙂

Our backyard backs a park and creek.  It’s like living out on a farm, as there is nothing behind us!  I’ll be exploring as soon as I get my cast off!

Today I decided to take a break from school work / unpacking / organizing for a few hours to spend some pre-Mother’s Day quality time with my mom.  We had an awesome morning and afternoon and hit up a few morning garage sales.  I scored some great finds…

I’ve been looking for a good Mid Century Mod magazine rack.  I’ve come across a few, but never quite right.  This one was perfect!

Haha – you don’t have to tell ME twice!  (And yes, I got a better deal on it than $20!)

Vintage enamel jewellery that I will be using for future jewellery-making projects!

These flowers make me so happy!

New Pyrex – the whole set for $15!  Yay!

25 cents?  Yes please!

My favourite finds of the day…

I got all three of these for $3!  The large white one is perfect – I love the distressed paint, and it has a nice place in the sunroom.  The other two, as much as I love the vintage look, will need to be painted, as simply sitting in them caused a bunch of the paint to flake off!

Lastly, a new magazine!  Sandy – check this out!!!  I’m not allowing myself to even look at it until I finish my reading for class tomorrow.  It’ll be good motivation.

Hopefully next time I post, the debacle with the old house and the buyers will be over.  Until then, have a very happy Mother’s Day!

Hello, Goodbye

As of an hour ago, we have packed almost everything that we can before moving out on Saturday.  I know that I have not posted all of the rooms that I planned to post before moving, but I’ll get there eventually.  As for now, I’ll post our entrances, as a sort of “hello / goodbye”.  It’s an end of an era in this house, and the beginning of a new one in our next house.  I know that I will cry leaving this house, but we do have possession of it until the 15th, and because we’ll be cleaning it all out, I’ll do my final goodbyes then.

Come on in!

One of my favourite items of furniture, this little turquoise 50’s table.  It’s so cute and happy!

The atomic lamp was also one of my best finds.


I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ll miss about this house, and what I’ll love about the new place.  Since I work best with lists, I think it’s about time to make one.

What I’ll Miss…

– the character and history of this house
– the memories here
– the claw foot tub
– the crystal doorknobs
– the piano windows
– the coziness
– how it smells like my grandma’s porch in our front entrance on occasion
– the huge windows in the basement and how bright it is down there
– the neighbourhood with its huge trees and unique homes
– some of the neighbours (emphasis on SOME)
– being so near Wascana Park
– my “pet” squirrels haha
– our brand new deck
– the morning sun and eating breakfast on the deck
– the evening shade and eating supper out there
– the insanely quiet street
– the crown moldings
– how I decorated everything “just so”
– the arched doorway
– the tree that flowers pink every spring
– the perennial garden

What I Will Not Miss
– living in an area prone to flooding
– the master bedroom off of the kitchen
– the fact that pretty much only our bed fits in the tiny master bedroom
– parallel parking almost every day on our street!
– neighbours who are anal about where I park
– having NOT ONE plug in in the bathroom, and having to do my hair on my bedroom floor
– ZERO storage / cupboards / closets in the bathroom
– almost no storage in the basement
– the wasps that build a nest under our front porch EVERY YEAR
– dealing with the bottle neck of traffic on Arcola Ave. and having to turn left there every day before and after work.
– our sketchy mail service
– cats fighting in the alley lol.
– our super draft pantry
– Very little counter space in the kitchen
– A new oven that cooks everything way too hot
– The alarm is at the back door, making it a race to set it and get out the front door each morning.

What I’m Looking Forward To…
– HAVING A GARAGE!
– HAVING A DISHWASHER!
– HAVING A BATHROOM WITH PLUG INS!  (Having three bathrooms and an en suite!)
– STORAGE!!!  Our new house is three times the size of our old one.  (I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, and I hope that I don’t.  I bought my old house when the market was quite poor.  Within five years, it sky-rocketed, and I sold the house, without a realtor, for over double what I paid.  With our savings, we were able to put 50% down on our new house.)
– Our backyard backs green space and a creek, so nothing will be built out there.  There is so much nature!  Each time we go to the house, we see rabbits, squirrels, and birds in the yard, and I haven’t even been down to the creek yet!
– There are tons of walking trails around the house.
– WE HAVE A GARDEN!
– There is a farmer’s market all summer two blocks from the house
– There is a horseshoe pit in the yard!
– We have a hottub that is incredibly efficient so it won’t be expensive!
– The house has a sunroom!
– We have more than just a super tiny area of counter space, so we can cook and not bump into each other!
– It is SO BRIGHT in the house because of all of the windows
– The master bedroom has a balcony off of it!
– I will FINALLY have a craft room!

Well, on that note, we can leave out the back entrance…
Mom made those curtains for me.  They’re staying with the house for the new owners to enjoy.  The bell on the door is for our pup to ring when she needs to go out. 🙂

A vintage-inspired stand from Winners.

Some of my art…

A very mod mirror…

My vintage dogs that were in my room as a baby.  (Sorry for the bad quality photo!)

The pink tree, and my favourite old Tracker…

The back deck…

Well, goodbye old house.  It’s the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.

Garage Sale Season A Go-Go!

It has been an exciting week!  We officially sold our house, and it sold in only two days with a couple of offers!  The conditions are all lifted, and the final papers have been signed.  We also get possession of the new house on Friday.  We have our house until May 15, so it will be a crazy few weeks!

I spent much of the day packing, apart from a BBQ tonight, and a fabulous morning with one of my best friends, Sandy.  Today marked the beginning of something that we look forward to during THE ENTIRE FALL AND WINTER…garage sale season!!!

Sandy and I met at work only four years ago, but honestly, we must have known each other in a past life.  We joke about how we’re old ladies at heart, as our favourite past times include garage saling, crafting using vintage things, restoring antiques, baking, knitting, scrapbooking, watching Matlock, etc. (Joking on the last one!)  We both have the same affinity for everything vintage, but our styles are slightly different enough so that we usually don’t end up wanting the same items.  I’m more mid-century modern, and she’s more early century cottage/prairie.  It works well for us both, especially because we know each other’s styles so well.  Today, we hit up a few garage sales, estate sales, and a church sale.  Let me just say, it was an epic start to the season!

Three exciting things have happened since the last garage sale in the dog days of summer 2011:

1.  Sandy bought a house.  She now has room to buy more things and decorate her home.

2.  I bought a new house.  I too have reason and room for new finds.

3.  I bought a new vehicle that fits SO MANY MORE CHAIRS in the back than the Tracker did!  🙂

This was our most epic day two years ago, with my Tracker packed as full as possible:

This was today, in the new vehicle.  The amount of room is going to be dangerous this summer…

My week has been as follows…
– Purge the house of everything that I don’t need while packing.
– Pack all the other things.
– Sell some of the purged things online.
– Use the profits to buy more things.
– Pack those things.
It’s a bad cycle.  I was worried Paul would shake his head in disgrace, so I did what I usually do when garage saling, and bought him a pie that some sweet old ladies were selling at the church sale.  He refers to this practice as “The Distraction Pie.”  It’s win-win for both of us.

I also picked up a chain necklace to make more of these bracelets, as well as the most fabulous clutch.  50 cents – score!  Unfortunately, the picture did not save for some reason, and the purse is already packed.  You’ll have to imagine it – it’s large, bright red leather, envelope style, with a cute red bow.  Very 60’s.

Next, we headed to a garage sale with strict “no early birds!!!” instructions.  We got there in time for some of our best finds ever.  I collect Jadeite, and just as the lady setting up pulled out a box to put on the table, Sandy saw some Jadeite mugs.  She motioned to me to look, and I lost my mind – the box was full!  I asked the lady what she wanted for them.  The cheapest I ever got one for was $12 – they are usually at least $25.  She said, get this…25 CENTS.  A lady was going to take them, and I yelled, “I’ll take the whole box!”  I seriously become a different person at garage sales and concerts – manners are not the highest priority.  Holy crap, most insane deal ever!

I also gave some to Sandy, and still have these left.  Not only that, they’re all Fire King, and there was one of the older style ones in the box.  I only have one of those, so now I have a pair!

I post on Facebook when I make a new blog entry.  I am well-aware that the majority of my friends who might actually read this are thinking I’m crazy for being so excited over mugs.  Hopefully if you collect vintage things you understand! 🙂

I found a few other neat items…
Mid century furniture on a plate?  Too much!

The lady working the garage sale was all about getting rid of things and giving good deals.  The man was all about preaching about how much everything was worth, how big of collectors items everything was, and over-charging for everything.  If that was the case, he should be selling them to an antique store, and not to the public.  I had already paid only $1 for this piece when he informed me that it was a collector’s item.  I’m glad I had already paid because I think he would have charged me far more than that.

This must have been part of a rotary dial phone.  I’ll make it in to something!

Apple green fawns?  Yes please!

I have a penchant for old paint-by-number pictures.

This was one of my best finds of the day – vintage plastic tile samples.  I’m assuming they’re from the 50’s or early 60’s.  I’m excited to have found these because I want to paint my house in these tones, and I can take these to find matching paint swatches!


Next, we stopped an outdoor garage sale, in 4 degree temps.  We spotted something fantastic – a vintage turquoise and chrome breadbox.  Remember how I said that we usually have slightly different enough tastes not to want the same object?  Well, while I was figuring out how we could buy the breadbox and take turns using it each month (it could work!) someone ALMOST bought it.  I quickly grabbed it for us, thank goodness.  Sandy decided it was too shiny and bright for her kitchen colours, but I think she just knew how badly I loved it.  I think I owe her the next 20 great finds!

Next – on to an estate sale.  We both bought some amazing things, such as Sandy’s fabulous vintage turquoise ironing board, and my chair…

I am IN LOVE with this chair!  It just needs a good cleaning, but otherwise it is perfect!  Plus, it was only $15!

I also bought this super cute kitschy poodle.  It goes well with the other ones in my bathroom.  The pink suitcase is from the first garage sale.  It’s lined with houndstooth print. 🙂

I also got these boxes of lovely 70’s cards.  I’m going to make them into some kind of craft.  The notebook is from the first garage sale.

What a fantastic start to the season!  I’m anticipating everything Sandy is going to make with her garage sale finds.  You should check out her blog – you won’t be disappointed!