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.