Monday, December 11, 2017

December Daily-December 11-Decking the Halls

Who says living in an apartment can't be fun?!  These are some inflatables that someone has set up on their patio area.  So festive and cute!  There are several balconies [including ours] that are decorated with lights and wreaths.  One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is to ride through neighborhoods and look at the lights and decorations.  When Andrew was a baby sometimes the only way to get him to sleep was to drive him around.  It became a tradition during the holidays to drive the boys and my Mom around to see the lights.  It's been a while since I've taken an evening to look at the lights.  I hope to revive this tradition this year.  Probably won't be any photos since I'll be driving AND looking!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

December Daily- 9 & 10

Once the snow stopped on Saturday Steve, Sophie and I ventured to the park to check the sidewalks and roads.  Surprisingly most of our area was clear, or at least well on its way.  After lunch we went to the grocery store in the off change the roads became icy overnight which is what usually happens. At the park Steve took photos of my new hat Reindeer Games which I finished on Wednesday and immediately blocked.  I love it and am glad I'll get to enjoy it for this year~it is also warm and cozy.

 I think the snow makes the perfect backdrop for my hat photos!
 On Sunday morning when I was walking Sophie I came across these 2 cute snowmen that have managed to survive the warming temperatures.  The ice and snow are melting at a low, but steady rate.  There were some areas with ice, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.
 Today we gathered at Mary's for a cookie exchange and the baking of Lebukuehen.  So many goodies to enjoy this year~shortbread, 2 kinds of toffee, candy cane, pastry bon bons, cheddar cookies, French Christmas cookies, spritz, cranberry bars [maybe] and orange spice cookies.  So much homemade goodness.  I'm planning to put together a care package for Andrew to send later this week. 
The next few days are going to be crazy busy-preparing and executing the annual office pot luck, book club dinner, a trip to Acworth to take my Mom to an appointment, and gathering at Karen's for cocktails before going to the theatre to see White Christmas.  By the end of the week I should know who my new boss is going to be-the suspense!  The weekend will include brunch at the leasing office and Stage Door Players with Steve, Mary and Polly to see  Christmas at Sweet Apple followed by dinner-can't wait, but also must remember to take photos!  So much to look forward to with some wonderful people.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

December Daily-December 8th- Snow Day!

I have lived in the metro Atlanta area all my live and in my 49 years I have NEVER seen snow this early in December.  There have only been a couple times when we've had snow before January and that was in the early 2000's when we had snow in the middle of the month, and around 2010/2011-ish and we actually had a white Christmas!  The only other time we had what I'd consider crazy snow weather was March of 1993 when we had our blizzard-now that is something I won't ever forget.  Friday started as any other work day- there was a bit of wintery mix coming down, but nothing to worry about.  I got to my office just before 8, and once 2nd boss arrived around 9:30 he said it had been snowing where he lives which was just NW from the office.  That all changed within the hour as the rainy/frozen stuff had turned to snow.  It didn't take long for it to really started coming down and continued until late last night.  This morning when I took Sophie out to do her business as predicted the snow continued overnight, and was coming down while we were outside.  While it is lovely to look at I know when this stuff melts we're going to have a real mess on our hands; especially if the temperatures drop.  I had texted Andrew yesterday to see when he was going to get snow as I'm sure it'll be heading to the Maryland/DC area soon, but there was nothing yet.  We only have a handful of kids in our complex, but they made the most of the snow and I'm sure they will be back outside making more snow people.  As I type this post it is still coming down in a steady stream with big fat flakes.  Friday Steve kindly fulfilled my request for a fire, and because the wood we had was so dry it didn't take long for us to use it up.  It made the afternoon so cheerful and cozy along with a cup of hot apple cider with bourbon [as one does when you leave work early and it's snowing outside!.\ 

Here's some photos of our winter wonderland
So it begins-
 What it was like when I left the office at 1:15.

Fortunately the ride home was pretty easy, just slushy roads and not a lot of traffic.  I know there were a lot of people that had to deal with heavy traffic to get home.  It is times like this make me very thankful that we made the decision to move closer to our jobs.
 Sophie is completely indifferent to the snow except this morning because the area out front was 4-5" deep she couldn't figure out how to go like she normally does, so we had to go around back where it wasn't quite so deep.
 This is what it was like this morning when we went outside.
It should be noted that our area was predicted to get 1-3"-um yea Mr. Weatherman you were just a bit off on that one.  I hope everyone whether in Atlanta or other cold parts of the world are snug and warm.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

December Daily-December 7 -Full Schedule

My calendar is getting to be a bit of a mess with things to do, shopping lists, appointments, and other reminders in addition to the comings and goings that happen this time of year.  Thank goodness for coffee!  Despite all the business represented by my calendar, there is plenty of time scheduled in to be spent with family and friends.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

December Daily 5 & 6- Decking the Halls

There won't be twinkle lights inside our apartment this year, but the balcony looks nice all decked out.
Today my Mom had 2 doctor appointments.  When she saw the toy soldier guarding the entrance at the Wellstar Facility in East Cobb she was a bit smitten.  They both look good in red don't they!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December Daily-1,2,3, and 4

I'm trying to view this blog as a way to document memories since I don't do physical scrapbooks anymore.  I'm always taking photos, so it sorta makes sense to take this approach.  In prior years I've taken part in Ali Edwards December Daily, so I'm going to try to do so this year via the blog.  Here's what December 1-4 have looked like:

My Reindeer Games Hat, I've been wanting to knit this for a couple years and finally ordered the called for yarn and eventually located the beads at Michael's.  I'm enjoying it a lot, but found I had to get creative with the placement of the beads on the reindeer.  This has been my TV knitting as well.  I hope to have this completed by the weekend so I can wear it for the cooking baking/exchange on Sunday.

 Me trying to pick up Sophie-neither of us are amused!
A little elf at worked left me a box of chocolates, they look festive in the Waterford bowl that Andrew brought back from Ireland a couple years ago.

Our first Christmas card from my cousin Della in the UK.  It is a depiction of a scene from the village Princes Risborough where she has lived all her life.  We have visited a couple times and its a very charming place.  The lights are on the balcony, but this year there is no full size tree.  What we do have by way of trees will be in another post.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Sophie Girl

On December 4, 2011, we brought this little fur ball home.  After doing a lot of research [almost 2 years] I decided I wanted a standard poodle, and a friend from church and spoo owner [as they are referred to] told me about a local breeder who had puppies I was thrilled!  We drove out to Flowery Branch and I wanted to take ALL the puppies home with me!  Needless to say from day one she has been a delight.  She's quite bossy at times, has her quirks, but that's part of her charm.  She has a funny way of "talking" to me when I'm scratching/massage her ears.  She has started doing this "airplane" thing when I scratch her ears or neck where she tips her head in the direction of the scratching- so funny.  Here are some photos to document her/our journey.
 She totally adores Andrew-she has accepted the fact that she has to share him with Cocoa.
 Her first Christmas, and she still has the bell collar, I adjusted it when she first started wearing it.
 Her first official Christmas photo
 She loved laying on this table in our basement-we discovered it's because it was so cool.  This dog has her own heating system.
 Peeking around the corner
 She eventually fell off the couch!
 Hanging out in the pool at the dog park.

She really enjoyed digging in the back yard of our last house.  I can't wait for us to have a house again, this dog really enjoys exploring the outdoors.

This face-why I love her so-there is so much love in those eyes.
Am sure she has spotted a squirrel
I took this photo as our Christmas card in 2013.

Steve took this photo today-yes I am struggling to hold all 56 pounds of her.   Last week I managed to actually pick her up, but must have been holding her a different way.  We both look a lot different than we did 6 years ago.

Life has certainly been interesting with her in our family these last 6 years.  I hope we have many many more!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017- Room for One More

I intended to post this sooner, but it's been a little busy around here.  Nonetheless I wanted to document our holiday.  Initially our Thanksgiving day plans were to take lunch to my Mom's which consisted of a tweaked version of Presbyterian chicken, roasted Brussels Sprouts, homemade cranberry sauce and apple crisp.  At home for dinner the 3 of us we were going to have a turkey breast and the sides already mentioned, and the inclusion of a pecan pie.  Andrew asked a week or so before Thanksgiving if we had room for one more for Thanksgiving dinner.  Of course we did!  When the boys were little they had lots of sleepovers and play dates and that continued through college.  It was not unusual for us to have 2 sometimes 3 extra people at a meal and we always managed to feed everyone.  Andrew met a girl [yes I know A GIRL] at the dog park over the summer.  Carrie is from Ohio, and because of her work schedule would not be able to go home for Thanksgiving.  I thought is was very kind of Andrew to want to include her in our Thanksgiving plans as unfancy as they were.  However, that did mean that we needed an actual turkey, and because of our whirlwind trip to Maryland/DC we had to buy the turkey on the way home so that it would be thawed in time for Andrew to brine.  Andrew ended up doing most of the cooking and of course it was delicious.  He did the turkey, gravy, green beans, pecan pie and sweet potatoes.  My contribution was the Brussels Sprouts, mashed potatoes, wine and clean up.
I tried to get better photos of our guest and food, but with the time change and limited light in our apartment this is the best I could do.  Carrie was a lovely addition to our table, she likes sports, food, and dogs.  She was even willing to take home some leftovers!

Friday morning I did what one should be doing after a "big" meal.  I had the fitness center to myself and went the distance on the elliptical.  Saturday morning I opted for the treadmill, and again had the fitness center to myself. 
Friday afternoon featured a real Smackdown, as friends included us in their annual Black Friday pub crawl.  This year was wresting themed, and boy did we have fun.  We were all assigned a wrestler to channel and I was Andre the Giant, and if you know anything about him and me we are complete opposites-I'm sure that was intentional.  There was sumo wresting or rock 'em sock 'em robots.  A drinking game and an interview with Roddy Piper in Piper's pit.  I love getting together with Kay and Steve because they are so much fun to be around.  Their bungalow is in a development in Roswell where my Dad's high school used to be and right behind me-literally less than 50 yards are the apartments I grew up in, but have not been changed to a multi-housing/use development.
This is Steve getting suited up for Sumo wresting-it is not an easy task getting into, and out of this contraption.
Our pub crawl began with a walk towards the Canton St area in what I call Old Roswell.  There is  new brewery called Variant, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I hope to have a chance to come here again to try a few more beers.  There was another game of matching wrestler pictures with their names.  I got 14 of the 16, and had I been really paying attention I would have got them all right.  Not sure what that says about me, but there you go!  We continued on for dinner at Swallow at the Hollow for BBQ-so good!

Finally our last stop was for a nightcap at Lucky's.  My beer choice seemed appropriate with me being southern and Thanksgiving typically includes pecan pie!  We headed back to Kay and Steve's via the cemetery, and I said hello to my peeps-cause I'm weird like that. .
Saturday morning included tailgating and the annual GT v UGA game.  Since the game was at GT this year and we had GT season tickets we went.  As Forrest Gump would say- "that's all I have to say about that"!  At least we got to hang out with our friends Steve and Julie.
Sunday included a bike ride and then we met up with the family for lunch at another spot in Roswell Mac McGee's to have lunch together before Andrew headed north [4:45 am on Monday!].  Mary posted a photo here.  I love coming to this area of Roswell since I spent a lot of time here as a kids as did generations of my dad's family before me.  Once home we got Andrew packed and ready to head out first thing Monday morning.  You can probably guess it took me a couple days to recover from all this activity, but I have some lovely memories and that's what really matters.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Three Things on Thursday| Random

Last night I went to a book talk/signing with Deb Perelman aka Smitten Kitchen.  I've been following her on Instagram and reading her blog for a while.  I have her first cookbook which I have really enjoyed.  So my Three on Thursday includes

1. Cookbooks-I got one for myself and Andrew, and I also got her first book signed.  Here's to trying new recipes.

2.  Currently my office is crazy busy with my boss retiring, the process of hiring a new director and our training coordinator retiring.  So the first of two retirement parties have been held, the one I have on the 12th will be much more involved as it is also our annual holiday lunch.  This event is usually attended by over 100 people and includes coordinating a pot luck style meal.

3.  I got this photo from my cousin's daughter this morning-aren't they cute!  I plan to make them some very quirky hats for their first birthday.  I know their Mum will totally appreciate them.
I fully plan to blog about our Thanksgiving happenings-it was a very busy week with getting Andrew ready for his move and spending time with family.  Is it January yet-I don't know if I have the energy!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

There and Back in a Flash

On Wednesday Andrew had a job offer, by Friday afternoon we had the Tahoe packed and were booking a room in Arlington, VA, so we could find an apartment in the DC/Maryland area.   Before bedtime I had just enough time to download a book on Overdrive and Audible.  We headed out at 4:45 AM on Saturday-Andrew at the wheel, Sophie in the middle seat and Cocoa right next to me.  I had to wait a while for it to be light enough to knit, so in the meantime I read Louise Penny's Bury Your Dead.  I somehow managed to skip #3, but this one is proving to be just as good as the others.  Eventually I was able to knit on the 2nd sock of a pair of plain vanilla socks, and listening to Bear Town.  Let's just say it's a very looonng drive from Atlanta to Arlington, VA.

 Finally dawn is breaking
 Yes, this was me and Cocoa on the way up and back home!  This dog likes to cuddle!  Sophie didn't complain since she had the whole middle seat to herself.
 The Shenandoah Valley is soo pretty.  I've never spent much time in Virginia-I really need to change that!

 A quick break at the welcome center-Sophie was so intent on keeping an eye on Andrew.  She knew something was upon Thursday, but she wasn't quite sure.
 11 hours later and we finally made it to Arlington, and to the storage unit where we dropped off about a good # of boxes.

 We headed out on Sunday around 8ish-not a great photo, but they all can't be right?!

 Sophie's first ride in an elevator-yea-she'd be totally okay if she doesn't do this again!
 Since the first property we wanted to look at didn't open until 12, we decided to take the dogs to the dog park, they really enjoyed having a chance to run around.  We explored Chevy Chase which was an area Andrew was considering, and while it is very nice, the housing is a little expensive and there wasn't a grocery store in sight!
 Sophie and Cocoa by the time we got to the 2nd apartment!  These two actually did really well considering how we upended their schedule.
 The 4th apartment was our favorite, and we're waiting for approval of the application  Such a nice kitchen and the counter across from the sink has a partial wall and cabinets above and below!  I so loved this place.
 The living "room"
The bedroom area-love that it is separate, but not completely closed off-the whole place seems to get plenty of light.  There is a huge closet in this area too.
 The bathroom-also with plenty of storage space.  Another thing we liked about this building was how very dog friendly it is; they even let the dogs swim in the pool right before they drain it for the season, and have a dog costume party at Halloween!  They also support the local food bank and Toys for Tots.  The Metro, Safeway [for groceries] and plenty of ethnic/unique restaurants are all within a couple blocks from the building.
 We quickly dashed around metro DC.

While it seemed really late we were back at the hotel by 6-ish.  We got salads from a restaurant close by the hotel, and I kitchenered the toes of the socks and can now call them-DONE!

I spent a little time getting caught up on some blog reading before turning in for the day.  Monday morning dawned with the local news showing the implosion of the Georgia Dome-I found this so funny.

We had breakfast and then packed up the car and heading south hoping to make a stop at another dog park, but there was no parking.  Instead we hit the interstate for the long ride home.  I managed to get all the way to the foot of another 2nd sock from a pair that Mary gave me last year to finish.  I started this 2nd sock at least 8 times before I felt like I had it right.  I'm pretty sure I'll get this finished by the weekend, and that'll leave me to complete a 2nd mitten and finish a baby sweater.  Empty needles is what I want before the end of the year.  I'm hoping that soon I can swatch for Taproot so I can have this for my plane/travel knitting for a trip I have in early January to Las Vegas-guaranteed a lot of knitting time!
By 5:00 we were at the midway point.  We pulled into Dunwoody at 10:00 and I was so tired.  I headed straight to bed so I could be at work on Tuesday.  It's going to be different having Andrew so far away, but I'm looking forward to being able to visit and see the sights in DC.  It's been a long time since the last visit when both boys were very little. I'm also looking forward to trying some of the restaurants too.
Here's to baby birds flying the nest!