Friday, December 30, 2016

New Years Eve | An Anniversary

Carole and Kat's prompt was how we felt about New Year's Eve.  Based on other posters I think we all agree that when we were young we enjoyed the party-stay up all night styled NYE, but then as we get older we are very happy to stay in and probably going to bed early.  The above photo was taken at the Fairbanks House in Amelia Island [Fernandina Beach] FL.  The long weekend was a gift from my in-laws for our 25th anniversary which was in May.  It was a wonderful weekend, and we ate lots of amazing food.  It was totally blog worthy, but alas I am again late for that train.  This post isn't about our 25th anniversary, but rather our first date which was on New Year's Eve 1989!  I remember it like it was yesterday, we had prime rib at Houston's, and went to watch the peach drop at Underground Atlanta.  It was the first year of the peach drop, and the last time we went.  So on the one hand yes, I love NYE because it commemorates a special day.  However, I don't like NYE because Steve has worked every one since our first date; that's what happens when you are a police officer.  This year will be no different, but we are on the count down to retirement, so hopefully we can plan something really fun to commemorate what will be the 30th anniversary of our first date!  This year as in years past, there will be snacks and prosecco and I will do my best to stay up to see the new year roll in.  Since I have family in England and Australia, I try to watch the new year roll in from around the world.  I used to enjoy watching Dick Clark's Rocking New Year show, but since he's gone it's just not the same.  Hopefully Steve will be home in time to have a kiss and a celebratory drink, but with the Peach Bowl on Saturday, and the Falcons playing the Saints on Sunday-well let's just say downtown Atlanta is going to be a VERY interesting place this weekend.  I  Andrew will be home for a few more days, so we'll celebrate and watch football together.  I really want to savor this time together.  He got me a Clemson t-shirt for Christmas so I can show a little team spirit, although, quite honestly I don't know if I can watch this match up with Ohio State.  Thank goodness there will be plenty of knitting, and I'm looking forward to a 3 day weekend to celebrate, and also get ready for the new year.  Perhaps I'll get in gear and be more present on my blog than I have been this past year.  In the mean time, I'm wishing you all a very happy, prosperous and healthy new year.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekending| Solitude [almost]

This weekend presented an opportunity to get lots done, and also a chance to re-charge before the holidays are in full swing.  Saturday started with real breakfast for Steve and I and getting organized. It was a full day of errands and test driving a car-not sure if this is THE one, but it was a lot of fun to drive and despite the 46 degrees we drove it with the top down and the heat up!  The designing of convertibles now really keep the wind off, and no wind noise.  Of course, the Audi is a little more practical [if a convertible can actually be practical!] than this one I'm considering!  That evening we went to see the next play in the series at Stage Door Players-note to self-do not go to the 8pm show unless you get to have a nap. I started to doze on Steve's shoulder after intermission because it was getting past my bedtime, and it was not because the play was boring!

While I was zipping around town Steve got our tree and put lights on the balcony. [yea! lights outside].  On Sunday I pulled out a few things to have around the apartment, but most things are going back into the garage as we just don't have the space to go all out with decorations.

Steve had to work Sunday and meet up with someone afterwards, so he didn't get home until way late.  I was looking forward to a productive day, and it certainly was- I did some tidying up, laundry, made my shopping list for Christmas meals, addressed Christmas cards, got Monday night's dinner together, prepped my dishes for the office lunch [also known as the day Lydia gets to order everyone around] and my book club pot luck both of which are on Tuesday.  Clearly poor planning on my part as I set the day of the office lunch!  Sophie got a good brushing [which she didn't really enjoy], and then we took a nap since we had a 90 minute walk that morning!  I have to be ready for the last episode for this season of the Walking Dead [I know so holiday-y].  What I really loved about having the apartment to myself on Sunday was that I put on Pandora as soon as I got back from walking Sophie, and listened to Holiday music ALL DAY!  Yep, the TV didn't come on until around 5ish when I checked on the Falcons vs Rams game.  I didn't even log onto my Fantasy Football league to see how I was doing in the playoffs-well let's just say it's no competition when all but one of your top players had to be replaced with not so good players.  Only teams who are good should be in the playoffs [I know, this isn't real football, but still].  It was tranquil and refreshing day, I hope this energizes me to tackle the clearing out of the closet and other organizing I really need to do over the next couple weeks.  I have plans to leave work early on Thursday to finish my shopping, and if all goes well, when I get home I will be DONE-DONE.  I'll just need to get things wrapped, but that's not the hard part.  There is lots I'm looking forward to- including getting together with "the girls" on Sunday, lunch with my quilting friends, and Andrew coming home for a few weeks.  I'm glad I had Sunday to slow down a bit because I've got 4 kinds of cookies to make, a huge pan of stuffing and a "quiche" for Tuesday night's dinner, and work so no time for a nap!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Traditions-it's about the food [mostly]

As usual I'm a bit late to the party.  Carole has had some great Think Write Thursday topics, so I think it's about time I did at least one post.  Favorite traditions.
Growing up the holidays never were about making the time special for us [my brother and I].  My parents split up when I was very young [4 years old], and I only have a few Christmas photos. Christmas break usually meant extended with my dad and brother.  I can't recall a single "thing" we did together except for when we visited my dad's parents, usually Christmas Day.  I didn't get to help decorate the tree because my older step-sister was "so much better at it", but I was sure good at taking it down- go figure.   I went to live with my dad and stepmother when I was about 10, and didn't see my mother for probably about 3 or so years.  I don't recall baking cookies for friends or neighbors, special programs at church, listening to Christmas music, and I don't think we even sent out cards.  We did visit with my dad's family, he had 3 sisters and 1 brother, so we'd all gather at my grandmother's house for a big dinner and a gift exchange.  It was a lot of fun seeing my cousins and the food was always good.  Having traditions is very important to me, and have come to include the baking of cookies [one year I made 17 different kinds] and sending out cards.  I've always cooked a big "English" dinner Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day included potato sausage and scrambled eggs for breakfast, and snacks/leftovers for the rest of the day, and opening gifts.  I'm still working on traditions that are more mine; the boys were rarely on board with anything I wanted to do, and honestly, it's not near as much fun doing everything solo.  This year I'm going to be adventurous and we're having a Feast of Seven Fishes for Christmas Eve-we'll start with "brunch" at my Mom's and work our way through some dishes I found on-line today. I'm following the advise I found to keep the dishes simple and small.  We'll see how it goes, and I'm hoping Andrew will put his culinary skills to use so we can pull this off!  We're sticking with the potato sausage and scrambled eggs, but Christmas Day dinner will be Beef Wellington [with a mushroom duxelles instead of a  pate.  My list includes a lot of ingredients, so now I've got to come up with a shopping list and a timeline for making all this happen.  One tradition that I haven't done in a while is riding around town looking at Christmas lights.  Now that we are in a different part of Atlanta, I'm hoping to do that this week with Sophie.  She loves to be in the car and I really love all the lights-so magical.  Maybe I'll get myself in gear and blog about this adventure-we'll see!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

TWT- Those Who Influence

I missed last week's prompt about an abandoned building, but there is one near us that I fear will be torn down soon rather than be restored.  I really wish it could be re-purposed somehow, but the link is here if you are interested.  However, I really wanted to weigh in on this week's prompt about a teacher that influenced us the most.  The photo is of my elementary school in Roswell, while much has changed-there is much that remains the same about the building.  It's still in use, but not as a regular school.  I think it is very cool that I went to the same school as my dad and his siblings. Roswell, GA was very small back then!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I have had a lot of teachers that had some influence on me, but I have to say was the librarian, Mrs. Lunsford, at Roswell Elementary probably has the biggest.  She fed my desire to read and learn by discovery.  She created the Thinking Cap Club when I was in the 2nd grade and we did lots of cool stuff around town.  I remember one of the local weather guys coming for a visit- Guy Sharp, and we also visited the home of former president Jimmy Carter's Aunt Sissy who lived just down the street from the school. Those were fun times indeed.  I look forward to hearing what others have to say about who influenced them.

Monday, September 26, 2016


My weekend began on Thursday afternoon, and I had lots of wonderful things planned.  After I picked Sophie up from the groomer, I headed home and took a quick nap before my sister in law Karen came by so we could go to the Georgia Tech vs Clemson game.  Let's just say that the company, food and margarita's at Escorpion was much better than the game itself!

Friday morning I met Mary at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to see the Chihuily exhibit.  It was wonderful.  We spent almost 2 hours at the exhibit and then walked towards midtown Atlanta and enjoyed a delicious lunch and bottle of wine at Cafe Intermezzo-spinach/artichoke crepe and a hummus platter-so good!  I think we spent almost as much time at lunch as we did at the garden talking about everything from politics/religion [just a bit], recently read books, book club dilemmas, our Alaska trip next summer, knitting, etc.  I can't think of a better way to spend the day.
It's these times that remind me how blessed I am to have these wonderful women in my life.
I was thrilled to ride my bike both Saturday AND Sunday-I always start out wondering what in the world am I doing! However, when I'm done I feel sooooo good [and sweaty!].  I was also excited that I didn't have anything else on my calendar for Saturday.  That was my day to do some cooking and get ready for the next week.  I started The Japanese Lover by Isabelle Allende for book club, Still Life by Louise Penny [in my ears], and finished The Secret Place by Tana French.  I enjoyed the Tana French book, but wonder if the author's voice of teenage girls in 2014 is for real-it sounded a bit too 1980s for me.  Saturday also included ALOT of college football, and we actually watched some really good games.  I managed to finish the last square for my Kaffe Fassette Knit Along afghan!  Now I have to block and seam the afghan together ;-P.  I'm not putting any deadlines on myself for this one.

Sunday afternoon included a matinee at our local community theatre-Stage Door Players.  This was our third show, and the first as season ticket holders.  We saw an adaptation of Barefoot in the Park, and it was excellent.  The weekend wrapped up with professional food ball, snacks and then bbq tenderloin for dinner.  I'm still doing really well in Fantasy Football-can't wait to see the results after tonight's game.  Now to decide which train wreck to watch tonight- the debate or the Atlanta/Saints game.  I know I'll be starting with the season premiere of the Big Bang Theory, and I might have to retreat to the bedroom to continue reading another new book Blind Sight by Carol O'Connell.  This is one of mine and my boss's favorite authors and she doesn't have books published very often.  He's already finished it, so I'm dying to find out how this book ends!  Hope you had a wonderful weekend, and that your week is filled with lots of good stuff.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I'm ready for some Football

While it doesn't feel like fall [at least in Georgia], the sports calendar certainly says it is cause there is football at all levels now.  I'm in second place [Team Poodle Power] in the office Fantasy Football league.  There are only 2 of us girls in the league and Lindsay is in first place [ahead of me by 11 points].  I'm beginning to like this whole fantasy football thing!  Carole's prompt is about football food.  I can get into serious trouble with this one cause there are so many good options, but they aren't necessarily good for you!  Here's my list.

10:  Chili-red, white, vegetarian.  I like em all
 9.   Gumbo-I made a pot Sunday using this recipe and it's the best one yet.
 8.   Nachos-anyway you top them as long as there is some cheese I'm good.
 7.   Veggies and hummus or other bean dips.
 6.    Potato chips and dip-especially if they are both homemade.
 5.    Antipasti type platters and some good bread and apples.
 4.    Cold beer-not a food-but goes hand in hand with football.
 3.    Muffaletta sandwiches-mine usually don't have the mortadella or salami, but I love the olive salad combined with the bread and cheese.
 2.    Cupcakes and red wine-not necessarily together, but anytime is a good time for cupcakes and they are so handy if you are tailgating, and red wine is a must during the fall.
 1.    Nuts and Bolts-a snack mix that our family has enjoyed for years, it's really hard to resist. What's not to love about chex mix, peanuts, and pretzels with just a bit of seasoning?!

I know there will be some great favorites posted, maybe I'll get a new idea or 2

Thursday, September 8, 2016


I tried this last year, but only managed about half of the books.  This year I was so excited to finish all 25 right before Labor Day!  My primary criteria was to purchase as few books as possible and I only bought one.  I borrowed a couple from my mother in law, a bunch from the library, and I had a few on my bookshelf.    This is such a neat challenge I hope someone will do something similar next year not that Books on the Night Stand is no longer podcasting.  Here are my books-I included a little bit about them without doing a full fledge recap of the stories.

Young Adult Novel The Paul Street Boys-Ferenc Molnar just okay-this book is a Hungarian translation written during the early 1900s.  It was supposedly critically acclaimed, but I think something was lost in the translation or the time period.

Epistolary Novel The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society-Mary Ann Shaffer really enjoyed this book-such a fun bunch of characters

A Play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof-Tennessee Williams I think I need to actually see this to appreciate it.  I’ve never read anything by Tennessee Williams so I’m glad to add him to my list of authors.

That You Can Finish in One Sitting/Day Sula-Toni Morrison an interesting story, I really didn’t like Sula at the end of the story.

By or about a Celebrity Shop Girl- Steve Martin very good a fun read-who knew Steve Martin was so versatile!

A Newbery or Caldecott Winner-A Gathering of Days-A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-32 Joan Bloss-this was written in the format of journal entries by a girl in 1800s Massachusetts.  I’m a sucker for anything that is historical.

By an author whose last name begins with X, Y, or Z I am Malala-Malal Yousafzai true story about life as a girl in Afghanistan. Makes me appreciate that I live in America.

With an Alliterative Title Love Letters Debbie Macomber- A typical Debbie Macomber novel with a happy ending.

Set during a War or Conflict All the Light That We Do Not See Anthony Doerr-loved this book-I was really hoping that some things would have turned out differently.

A Classic Mystery   Death in the Stocks-Georgette Heyer I think Agatha Christie is a much better author.  There was some dialogue that made the characters appear to be shallow and insipid.  Perhaps that is in keeping with the time period of the writing.  I might give this author another try as I’m a big fan of Dorothy Sayer and Agatha Christie maybe this one was a dud.

Told by a Child Narrator Lovely Bones-Alice Sebold Loved this-even though it is a sad story, I was captivated until the very end.  I wish the bad guy had been caught, but the icicle was pretty clever.

Set in Australia/Oceania Big Little Lies-Liane Morarity Liked this book better than The Husband’s Secret.  This was an audio book, and while it took me a bit to warm up to the sound of the narrator’s voice.  The narrator was one of the reasons why I didn’t like The Husband’s Secret it; however, she does a fantastic job of bringing the kids in this book to life.  I chuckled out loud lots of times.  I also think the overall plot of this book was better than The Husbands Secret

Free Square Tempting Fate-Jane Green another just okay, this book has a similar to plot Love Letters.  A much different ending from Love Letters which I didn’t find plausible.

About Art or An Artist The Painted Kiss-Elizabeth Hickey great book about an Austrian artist and some of his well-known paintings.  I plan to look into more books by this author.

Written by Two or More Authors Mycroft Holmes-Kareem ABudl-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse-this was another great book.  I have to say I kept visualizing Benedict Cumberbatch as Mycroft vs Sherlock.

That Spans Multiple Generations The Family Corleone-Edward Flaco and Mario Puzo this was pretty good.  Having been familiar with The Godfather, I sorta knew what was going to happen.  The alliances and loyalties were interesting to read.

Popular Psychology Girl Interrupted-Susanna Kaysen wow-I’m glad we know a lot more about mental health than we did back in the day.

Published the Year You Were Born A Small Town in Germany-John Le Carre-good spy book.  I’ve noticed a distinct writing style with books that were written 40+ year ago.  I really had to read this one to keep up with the players.

A Short Story Anthology Runaway-Alice Munro I’ve read Alice Munro before and I don’t quite get her short stories.

About an Epic Journey In the Heart of the Sea-Nathaniel Philbuck loved this, there were some grisly parts as it goes into detail about the whaling industry in the 18/19th century, but I learned a lot about the whale ship Essex.  I even looked up more details after I was finished.

Set in the Place Where you Live Peachtree Road-Anne River Siddons I loved reading about my hometown, the time line was a bit confusing because some of the landmarks mentioned were not in existence at the time of the character setting. 

Fiction set during a Plague In the Shadow of Blackbirds-Cat Winters this was pretty good and it was interesting to learn about the flu epidemic and some of the “cures”.

With a Day of the Week in the Title Tuesdays with Morrie-Mitch Albom-this was really good.  The character Morrie reminded me so much of PJ and the man he would have been.   This is a book I’d definitely re-read at some point.

 With a Number in the Title Station Eleven-Emily St. John Mandel-this was pretty good for a post-apocalyptic world plot.  I was afraid it would be too sci-fi-y, but it wasn’t I enjoyed reading how the survivors were able to rebuild the world.

By an Author Who Shares your First Name How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky Lydia Netzer this book was pretty hoakie, maybe it was just me.  Star crossed lovers, destiny, etc. or maybe the narrator’s voice just annoyed me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Weekend Fun

While the calendar says it's time to put up the white jeans and shoes the weather clearly hasn't gotten the message.  While we had a few days in the 80s it hasn't taken long for the temps to creep back up in the afternoon.  This long Labor Day weekend had a wonderful blend of fun and "must dos"

10.  Football-went to Fado's to see the Georgia Tech vs Boston College game with a local kick off time of 7:30 AM!
 9.  Steve and I finally put up all the artwork that we wanted at the apartment.  There are a few things we want to get reframed, and some things for the office., but for the most part is is done!
 8.  Organized some of the boys stuff-always good do to a little purging and organizing.
 7.  A bike ride-just one as I had other things to do this weekend, but it was great to get out on the road
 6.  A lovely day with Mary-church, lunch [smoke salmon pizza anyone?!], and the movies to see The Light Between Oceans.  So good!  The knitwear was so much fun to see-the period costuming was amazing.
 5.  Sewing- almost done with Tieman baby #2
 4.  Laundry-not fun, but you know something you have to do.
 3.  Reading, I finished The Paris Architect-such a good book, but it ended abruptly so I don't know how I feel about it.  This is a book that will be discussed at my local library so I'll be interested to hear what others have to say about the ending.
 2.  Enjoyed a low country boil on Friday night along with some banana pudding, and burgers on the grill.  Definitely a last blast of summer activity!
 1.  Took a class at the Apple Store-am getting more comfortable with my MacBook.  The Apple Store is such a cool place.

Hope you enjoyed a long weekend, or at least a weekend that brought some joy to your day(s).

Friday, September 2, 2016

Five on Friday

1.  Still enjoying the balcony [Sophie is too, but she is pretty worn out from being at my office today]-I have gone from coffee to a glass of prosecco!

2.  Looking forward to a low country boil with Steve at Vino Venue tonight.  I know a few ladies I'd love to have join me here some time for wine tasting and perhaps to share a smoke salmon quesadilla!

3.  Over this long weekend there will be college football [maybe at Fado's at 7:00 am?!  GT vs BC] Definitely knitting, church [first time in a while], a quick lunch and a movie on Sunday.  I am hoping that The Light Between the Oceans in movie format is as good as the book.  I haven't even looked at the reviews.

4.  One special project that I hope to have finished this weekend.  Putting all of the cards, messages, etc for PJ into one special place.  My goal is to have all of the childhood/baby stuff for both boys consolidated and moved into the closet until our next move.

5.  Will be getting a hands on lesson for my new laptop tomorrow at the Apple store.

I'm pretty excited about what the weekend has in store for me-hope this Labor Day weekend finds you relaxing and not laboring.  I'm also hoping that we'll have a true break from the hot-hot weather.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Five on Friday

1.  Making great progress on my BINGO card.  I currently have 2 audio-books, 2 book-books and 1 e-book going. Still waiting on 2 more books from the library.  One of these is an e-book that I didn't finish.  I'm looking forward to doing a review of this when I'm done.  So many of these are new authors for me.

2.  Looking forward to birthday dinner tonight with Andrew and Steve at Carbonara Trattoria.  Brunch on Sunday at Ra Sushi, and gathering with my best girls for knitting and quilting before the end of the month.

3.  Andrew and I will be doing a food expedition tomorrow in the Buford Highway and Chamblee area.  I'm sure I'll be taking photos and Andrew will be sampling goodies and playing Pokemon-Go. It's the little things right?!

4.  Getting geared up to take on more responsibilities at work.  Nothing that is new to me, but has not been included in my job duties.

5.  Creating a list of projects that I want to complete over the Labor Day weekend, hoping it won't be all work and no play.  There are somethings I'd like to knock out before Thanksgiving.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Around here

Other than it being hot as all get out- there's been a lot of fun stuff
Sunday we had family over to celebrate Andrew heading off to Clemson University for graduate school.  So proud of him and know he's going to do great.  It will be strange having a child living out of state, but he won't be that far way.
Sophie and Andrew's dog Cocoa did great with all the extra people around.  Even Charlie seemed okay with them.  Sophie taking a snooze under the table.  She and Cocoa seem to be tolerating each other fairly well, but I think Sophie will be glad when Cocoa leaves with Andrew!
Hanging up artwork-we didn't do this at the last apartment, so I'm pleased that this is happening now. Makes it feel a bit more home-y AND we now have a table and chairs!
Having Andrew at home also means having his mess, and I am totally okay with this, and I have to admit some of that is mine too!  The other day we went for Happy Hour snacks and then I drove around so Andrew could play Pokemon-GO.  Believe it or not this was a lot of fun-kinda like a scavenger hunt.  I remember the boys playing with Pokemon cards when they younger.  It gave Andrew and I time together, and I also got to explore parts of Dunwoody-win-win in my book.
Finally got a Macbook!  This is the Pro, and boy do I have a learning curve!  I went back and forth about which MB would be the best for me, and I think I made the right decision.  I got input from a lot of MB users.  I am looking forward to taking a class or 2 at the local Apple store..
Sophie being Sophie-I think sometimes she wishes I wouldn't get up quite so early!

Other happenings include making serious progress on my BINGO card.  I have just a few more squares to finish, and I'm going to give myself through September to get everything read.  I have been making full use of the App Overdrive-where has this thing been?!  Looking forward to brunch at Ra where Paula works on Sunday, then birthday knitting next weekend and meeting up with my quilting girls the next week.  Making plans for projects and goals for the fall-hopefully there will be a weekend get away before the holidays come along!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Be Like Morrie

I just finished listening to Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.  It was read by the author and had some out takes at the end of his interviews with Morrie.  I had heard about this book, but am just now getting around to reading it.  I picked this book because it was one of my BINGO summer reading squares, and I could get the audio book from the library.  Honestly,  I have to say it was life changing for me.  I literally was weeping during the last 30 minutes of this book; which is fine unless you are riding your bike on the road!  However, I digress, what my biggest take away from this book was that the views of Morrie resonated those of PJ and his outlook on life.  I felt like I was able to connect to the old man that PJ won't have the opportunity to become.  I learned so much about the college age PJ upon his death, at his funeral and afterwards.    There were many who spoke of his impact on them whether it was loaning someone his car, giving them a place to stay, visiting a professor after he had surgery, being helpful with a smile on his face, and many other acts of kindness.  One lady at church commented a few weeks after PJ passed away that she was carrying stuff from her car to the fellowship hall at church and PJ ran up to help her.  He went to school with her son, so of course, he asked about Spencer, her family and herself.  This brought both tears and a smile to my face. Like Morrie, PJ believed in investing in people and relationships. I don't think it is happenstance that this book came onto my radar right now.  I'll even go so far as to say that it is helping me with the grieving process.  I anticipate that I will re-listen to this book at some point-maybe even a couple times.
I've included this picture as it was the last photo I took of PJ [center].  This was taken on Sunday 11/15 [3 days before he died], he had gone to our church and spent the day catching up with people and giving hugs.  I guess that was his way of saying good bye.  Later that afternoon we met up to enjoy football, food and beer and then PJ came over to our apartment for dinner and more hanging out.  How I wish I was in this photo as well, and that when he left that evening I would have hugged him even tighter.  I'm pretty sure that PJ read Tuesdays with Morrie, and I think he would agree that if we could be more like Morrie this world would be a much better place.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cooling off

Carole's prompt comes on a day when our outside thermometer reads 100 degrees!  It can be really hard to stay coo, and I don't remember feeling the heat as a kid like I do now.
10. Drink something refreshing-beer, light white wine, water with fruit or cucumber, but be careful about too much alcohol!
9.  Keep the blinds closed during the heat of the day-makes such a difference inside.
8.  Schedule your outside time before the heat sets in..  It's important to still get outside, but you never want to over do it.
6.  Go see a movie-it's always cool and comfy inside a theater.
5.  Eat salads with lots of cucumber and tomatoes
4.  Plan a vacation somewhere cooler than where you are currently at
3. Go to the pool, or lake if those are options.
2. Sleep on a screened porch-also if that is an option.
1. Have some ice cream!

"The" Tour

For the past 4 years we have actively watched the Tour de France and I have to say I don't know if I'm any closer to understanding this sport.  The TdF has been a recognized competition since 1903, and is steeped in tradition.  A couple years ago ESPN featured a  30 for 30 Slaying the Badger.  I was so transfixed I watched this TWICE!  Not only does this race require extraordinary physical endurance, but the mentality component-goodness.  This is a team sport, but one where you want the best player on the team to win, and it's your job to help make that happen-huh?!  Wouldn't that be like only throwing the football, or kicking the soccer ball to only one person to score-ALWAYS?  Another thing, the winner of the overall race is known or called before the last stage, and even that days stage has a winner, so there are 21 possible wins during the race, and an overall winner.  Hence it's sorta like NASCAR where you have points that determine your position.  Also, this happened in 2014 when the race started in England, and Mark Cavendish didn't even complete the first stage before he was out.  I thought this move was pure arrogant on his part, but there are those who disagree with me, mostly men, so go figure!  The photo above is of Chris Froome having his champagne toast as the winner at the BEGINNING of the stage.  I'm all about champagne toast, but shouldn't we get a little closer to the finish line first.  I think what draws me to this annual event is that as a cyclist, I can appreciate how difficult this race is physically and the difficulty of the course.  You can't beat the spectacular country side either.  Seeing this race in person is on mine and Steve's bucket list, and to see it wrap up in Paris would be the pièce de résistance!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Georgia on my Mind

Carole's prompt this week sent me on a bit of a scavenger hunt which was fun.   Here's a list of songs that either mention or are about where I live.

10.  The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia-Sung by lots of different people, but Vickie Lawrence was the first to record it.

9.  It's a Rainy Night in Georgia-sung by Brook Benton

8.  Midnight Train to Georgia-sung by Gladys Night & the Pips

7. Chattahoochee-sung by Alan Jackson [the Chattahoochee River is a natural boundary between City of Atlanta and Cobb County.  Affectionately referred to by natives as The 'hooch or The River.

6.  Georgia on my Mind- by Ray Charles

5.  Devil Went Down to Georgia-Charlie Daniels Band-got to see him perform this live at the Grande Ole Opry several years ago.

6. Doraville- Atlanta Rhythm Section-I often wonder if this group is still around.

5.  Love Shack-B-52's

4.  O Atlanta-Allison Krauss

3.  Sitting on the Dock of the Bay-Otis Redding

2. Going to Georgia -The Mountain Goats- never heard this song, but who can resist a group called The Mountain Goats.

1.  The Moon over Georgia-Shenandoah

Monday, July 18, 2016


This weekend we went to Statesboro to scatter some of PJ's ashes. We've put it off for a while, and it was just time.  I haven't posted anything about PJ's passing on the blog, but Mary did a great job here and here. Eight months later and it is still very difficult.   Since Andrew will be leaving Statesboro soon, and heading to Clemson for graduate school it seemed an appropriate time.  PJ's girlfriend joined us and there were lots of memories and tears shared.  I took a few photos knowing this would probably be the last time we are in the area.  One place we visited was where PJ started Brainiacs Studios.  He dreamed of bringing creative minds and talent together.  We found out at his funeral that he also provided shelter to many people with no place to go.  This place was so peaceful, and I understand why PJ loved it here.
We headed to the campus of Georgia Southern University where PJ earned degrees in International Trade and French.  Where this tree is located is an area known as sweetheart circle-supposedly it looks like a heart from the sky.  I thought this oak tree was a good place to leave a little of PJ behind.  We also headed over to the foreign language department.  Charlotte commented that the whole campus was PJ's favorite place to be, and it was hard to pick just one or two that were special..
While Saturday was pretty draining emotionally and physically-over 8 hours in the car and it was sooooo hot.  We always joked that Statesboro hot was way different than any other hot.
On a different note Sunday was pretty jam packed with stuff- laundry, cooking, a fresh pedicure-manicure and getting caught up with general stuff.  I got out early on Sunday for a bike ride.  I'm managing about 16 miles on city streets in about 90 minutes.  My goal is to do that in about an hour by fall-we'll see.  This is one of my stops-yes that is the I-285 bypass, and yes I may just be a bit crazy!  This kind of cycling certainly keeps me on my toes-and alert!
 I worked on  my blocks on the go for quilts on the grow-the new hexagon, and I am trying to get caught up on these.  I meet up with Brenda and Joyce in a couple weeks.  There are sooo many steps, and it's all hand stitched!
There was also long walks with Sophie along Dunwoody Trail.  This is one of the things we love most about living in this area-so far anyway.
The trip to Statesboro gave me a lot of knitting time too.  I'm about 1/2 finished with a baby blanket for a co-worker's new baby.  I even managed to make some headway on my summer BINGO reading too.  I am looking forward to a couple weekends that are dedicated to bikes rides [both dyas], knitting, reading, dinner out with friends, and a show at our local theater.  Hope your weekend was everything you wanted.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Celebrating America

Carole's prompt was a recap of what we did/do on the 4th of July.  The last 10 years I've walked/ran the Peachtree Road Race, but this year my number got lost in the mail, as did the replacement so I had to sit this one out.  The day was not a total loss though, so some of the things I did this weekend . . .

10.  Watched a parade-the first one for Sophie, and she did great with the marching bands and all the people.  It was really hot, so I'm glad I had extra water on hand.
 9.  Knit-yes there was plenty of knitting.  Trying to get caught up on some WIPs
 8.  Eat-while we didn't have anything on the grill but we had some shrimp and fresh veggies.
 7.  Quilting-I made some progress on my hexagons on the grow project.
 6.  Read-made progress on both In the Shadow of Blackbirds on the i-Pad and All the Light that We Cannot See (audiobook)
 5.  Dinner with Karen and Ron and some beer margaritas!
 4.  Walks-lots with Sophie
 3.  Bike rides-outdoors twice and once at the fitness center
 2.  Re-did the plant container on our balcony, and Steve bought hanging baskets.  Looks real homey!
 1. Watched the UEFA Euro soccer and the Tour de France.

The last couple years our 4th of July has been very nondescript since we live in an apartment complex rather than a traditional neighborhood where there was always someone cooking out and doing fireworks.  Sometimes I miss this, and then sometimes I don't.  Also, Steve has had to work 12 hour shifts with a very early roll call (4am), so yea-it was a good long weekend nonetheless.

Monday, June 27, 2016


It feels like we are finally settled into our new apartment.  There are a couple boxes that are not unpacked, but we'll get to them soon enough.  Last week we cleared out one storage unit and transferred another one closer to our new place.  We have moved the antique secretary my in-laws gave to us in the dining area, and now we need to find a table and set of chairs so we can eat dinner like grown ups!  We have visited a couple stores, but need to keep looking, perhaps after the 4th of July holiday we'll settle on something.  The weekend was not all work and no play, and I enjoyed getting together with my Dixie Star friends at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel-we hang out in the lobby doing paper piecing-our current project is the Hexagon-Blocks on the Go-Quilts on the Grow by Katja Marek, and we are all using Joyce's invention the lap app.  So much fun getting caught up with Joyce and Brenda, but wish Kathy would have been able to join us.  We ate lunch at a restaurant attached to the hotel, and I had a wonderful Caesar salad with white anchovies-so delicious and not what I expected.
 There was some finishing, project pages are updated-a pair of socks and 2 sweaters.  I also got my knitting tote organized, and working towards getting the rest of the WIPs completed before September-that's my goal.  I've already started thinking about what I'll knit this fall from stash yarn.
 Sunday was a bike ride-I LOVE the bike lanes in our new 'hood.  I rode 11 miles in about an hour, but they were good vigorous miles. I rode both on the road and in the park nearby.  It's so awesome to be able to start a bike ride from home, and not driving to a place to begin the bike ride.  Looking forward to more weekend rides.
There was lots of cooking to get ready for the work week. Roasted lots of vegges, did some chopping, and other prepping.  The zucchini to the back was given to Joyce, and the one in the front became zucchini fritters, and was roasted with onion, garlic, and carrots.  By the end of the day the cherries were pitted, the tomatoes roasted, and the pepper sliced.
There was also some frogging-ugh-just couldn't get Equinox to work for me-maybe I'll try it another time.
Hope your weekend was not all work and no play.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Knitting Lesson(s)

Here's a Throw Back Thursday for ya--- 25 years back-summer of 1991-goodness my hair 0.o.  Me and my sister in law Mary at my in-laws patio home in Blue Water Bay, Florida.  We are both working on sweaters for the newest granddaughter-Jillian.  Mary is pregnant with Sara, and I am newly married into the family.  We also did a road trip to Grove Hill, AL that summer.  This was my very first knitting project, and Mary was so patient with helping me with the whole casting-on thing.  My knitting has definitely come a looooong way since then.  I never gave Jillian the baby sweater, it was truly horrendous, but I did hold onto it for a long time.  Now that we've moved-umm a few times, I'm wishing I still had it.  I'm so thankful for these [and the continued] lessons I've received.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Carole's prompt about what to do while listening to an audio book is an easy list to compile, but I'm also hoping to get inspired by others suggest.  My reading plans this summer include more audio and e books, and so doable thanks in part to my discovery of the Overdrive app.

10. Cook dinner or prepare lunch for the next day [photo above]
 9.  Knit!
 8.  Walk the dog
 7.  Fold/do laundry
 6.  Driving-commuting, running errands
 5.  Cutting fabric-which could include sewing-may have to turn the volume up if the sewing machine is going!
 4.  Taking a bubble bath-be careful where you put the device!
 3.  Getting a manicure/pedicure
 2.  Eating lunch/dinner if you are on your own
 1. Grocery shopping

Head over to Carole's blog for more inspiration.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pass the clicker

Have wanted to get back into blogging for a while, and this week's topic is easy AND I remembered!  So here's my list of movies that I have to watch if I catch it while channel surfing, and in no special order

10.  Animal House-yea, really don't ask-drunken frat boys
 9.  Urban Cowboy-anything John Travolta
 8.  Saturday Night Live-um yea-I'm a disco freak
 7.  Rocky-first movie I remember seeing at the movie theater-yo Adrian
 6.  The Godfather-what is it about this movie-a don't miss
 5.  Ferris Beuller's Day Off-defined my high school years
 4.  Beverly Hills Cop-a young Eddie Murphy-love the music in this one-more high school days
 3.  Dirty Harry& Sudden Impact-Clint Eastwood-any more questions?!
 2.  The Natural- and a REQUIREMENT in our family if you claim to be a baseball fan.
 1.  Tombstone-yea-I'll be your huckleberry

There are so many movies out there sometimes it's really hard to just pick a few.  Thank you Carole for a fun topic.

**The photo has NOTHING to do with the list of movies-just a glimpse of the traffic I DON'T have to sit through-just me and Sophie taking our evening walk.