Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Business as usual, a bit of an adventure and home again

I gave myself a bit of an adventure on Saturday, 12-13-14, the last sequential date of this century.

- It was business as usual for a Saturday morning.  Friend Janice and I met at the park for our early morning walk and loved that the turtle along the way has been decorated for the holidays.  I've been feeling a little homesick - missing my late mom and dad, and was telling Janice that I hadn't been to Milledgeville, Georgia, where I grew up, since August 2012, when I was there for the house closing.  Friend Susan runs a shop called The Red Door - a lovely little antiques shop.  When I was leaving the park that morning, I thought, "If I call and Susan answers, saying she'll be there, I'll go."  She picked up the phone and said, "Lynn?"  So that was my sign.  :)

- So off I went, getting there around 2pm.  This is taken on West Hancock Street, under the awning of the Campus Theatre, where I spent many Saturdays watching double features.  The local university owns it now and uses the front of the house for a campus bookstore.  I pressed my nose against the glass - it was closed by the time I got there.  This is a nice image of small town America, I think.

- The Campus Theatre at night, taken by one of my sister's friends, who shared the photo.  Next on the agenda was visiting friend Susan at The Red Door..  When mom and dad were so ill, I was here almost every weekend, for several months and I loved going by and visiting with her.  She knows me so well - when I walked in, she said, "Have you been to the bakery yet?"  Of course I had.

-It was National Wreaths Across America day on Saturday, in which every fallen hero interred at a Veterans' Cemetery in the US has a wreath placed on their grave.  My father was a veteran of World War II and so he chose this place for his burial.  My mother is buried with him.  It was a peaceful few moments under a brilliant fall sky.

- Before leaving, I stopped by the garden center near our old family home and bought pansies.  I planted them in this planter on Sunday morning before leaving for church.  I'll think about my adventure in Milledgeville every time I look at them.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Family tradition, shiny and bright and old and new

- I have to say, after so many years of decorating very little for Christmas, I do enjoy my Christmas tree and decorations.  It was the dividing up of my parents' ornaments that did it - how could I not put a tree up?   I like my little tree sitting on the apple crate and the first thing I do when I get home in the evening is turn to tree lights on.

- This shiny wreath, made up of tiny packages, used to go to work with me and hang on my cubicle wall. (It came from Roses Dime Store in Milledgeville, Georgia, where I grew up.)  But now I decided its colors go nicely with the hanging quilt and pillows in my home office.  The quilt was made by my paternal grandmother and was one of several quilt "tops" (that had not been quilted.)  We found them in a cedar chest after she passed away in the late 80s and her sister (my great aunt) told me that the pattern of the unfinished one I chose was called "Step around the mountain."  Its smaller, unfinished size made it perfect for a wall hanging.  Since the quilt tops were in a cedar chest, they looked perfectly new.  My great aunt told me that the squares came from flour sacks and all the sisters worked on them - circa 1920, or so.

 - This was the only tree I ever used to put up, but I still like it.  The Christmas card holder on the right (looks like a toy soldier) always used to hold the cards sent to my parents.  And the Santa on the left came from another great aunt - this time from my mother's side of the family. 

Well represented family members here, plus traditions all my own.  This is the part of Christmas I love the most.  I hope you are having a good holiday season so far and that you are looking forward to the weekend as much as I am.  :) 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Pilgrimage, pumpkin wreath and naughty and nice

- Friend Barb G and I ventured out on a rainy Saturday morning to our annual pilgrimage to Madison, Georgia for the tour of homes.  This house wasn't on the tour, but I loved the back garden gate with its simple wreath.

- So often photos aren't allowed on the tour, but this homeowner graciously allowed this one of a pumpkin (or maybe it's a gourd) in a wreath.  This was her back porch.  I told her I would like to do something like that, too, next fall.

- Barb and I agreed that we wouldn't do Christmas gifts for each other, but I found this necklace wrapped for me later.  She said it was so me, that she just had to get it for me.  :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Family tradition, all lit up and Bonne Nuit

- I loved the ingenuity behind putting this old wooden ladder over that beautifully decorated tree at my favorite antiques shop.  The sign behind it "Twas the night before Christmas" makes me think of my older sister's family tradition on Christmas Eve:  her husband lines the kids up on the sofa and reads that book to them.  They all cheerfully shout out the last four words of each line along with him.  "Not a creature was stirring, NOT EVEN A MOUSE!"  They're all in their 30s now, but still maintain that tradition.  Last year, when niece Carla stayed home in Turkey for the Christmas holidays, she arranged to be there so she and great niece Mina could be with them via Skype for the annual reading and shouting out. 

- Mina, almost five years old, loves to dress up in fairy costumes (much to her mother's chagrin.)  I'll bet she would love this lighted dress.

- I like the thought of this "Bonne Nuit" tree for the corner of a bedroom.  It would be lovely for this to be the last thing to see at night before slumber.  I have the day off today, so will be pulling out all of my Christmas decorations.  Can't wait!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

No hunting zone, Live Oaks and soothing

- Thanksgiving at my sister and brother-in-law's farm in northern Florida.  They provide sanctuary for the deer that wander (and frolic) through the fields down below (although they condone hunting, they don't want deer hunted on their property.)  I walked out and stood still one morning waiting for the deer, so I could photograph them from afar, but they waited until I was inside the house before emerging.  :) 

- A Live Oak tree, dripping with Spanish Moss.  The shadows they make are lovely, I think.

- Great nephew Monroe had a willing playmate in an older young lady, Chloe, who was visiting for the morning.  My sis provided sidewalk chalk and they chalked away (mostly Chloe) - I liked the sun drawing the best. When Chloe had a bit of a traumatic scrape with the driveway later, niece Amanda quietly read her a book - Mother Goose stories.  Just after "Little Miss Muffet", I asked Chloe what did she think "curds and whey" are?  "Some kind of cereal," she replied, thoughtfully.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Serendipitous, good things and more good things

- A favorite photo - taken a few years ago, in November, from the side of a road that borders Chastain Park in Atlanta.  For the life of me, I can't remember where I turned that day so that I found this spot.  I was on a work errand and was turning around here.  Truly serendipitous, I guess!  I would like to be sitting here with you - having a chat about that view, watching the geese fly south, as I'm seeing so often the last several days.  I was thinking the other day about the friends who visit my blog and how grateful I am for your visits and friendship.

- "Good things happen when you meet strangers." - Yo Yo Ma

- "Be true to the game, because the game will be true to you.  If you try to shortcut the game, then the game will shortcut you.  If you put forth the effort, good things will be bestowed upon you.  That's truly about the game, and in some ways that's about life, too." - Michael Jordan

Yo Yo Ma (one of my favorite musicians) and Michael Jordan - they have something in common, those two, with the good things quotes.  I hope you are having a good week and that you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mr. and Mrs. Pilgrim, Sunday morning grits and just heavenly

- My Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers stay in the kitchen cabinet where the plates and bowls are housed, all year, except in November.  I like how they peek out at me when they are in the cabinet, but even more when they are on top of the microwave in the kitchen.  They make me smile every time I look at them.  And the lady Pilgrim gets to be the pepper shaker!

- No one will ever want me to be a food stylist, I guess.  :)  The Sunday morning hominy grits when they were almost ready.  This batch was perfect - with just the right amount of thickness. 

- Friend Barb gave me two bars of this soap about 10 years ago, when I admired the scent of it in a shop.  French soap from Provence in my kitchen.  Just heavenly.  The first bar lasted all this time and was down to a sliver, so I dug out this one.  It's almost too pretty to use.

Things in my kitchen that make me happy.  :)  It's almost Thanksgiving here in the US, so out came the Pilgrims!  Happy Tuesday!