Friday, November 30, 2012

Bookshelves, out with the old and in with the new

- I admit - I feel a bit of wistfulness, looking at this photo.  These bookshelves were three sectional pieces I bought at a store called Storehouse years ago and my dad bolted them together for me.  They were inexpensive, but served a purpose.  But as you can see, they were bursting at the seams.

- There they are cleared out and looking a bit dingy.  My friend Robert took them and ended up giving them to his nephew, a busy college student who needed some shelves.

My late parents left me some money - most of which I have saved, but I set aside a little to spruce up my condo.  You already saw the laundry room cabinets.  I'm still very proud of those and LOVE the storage.  So I decided to replace the old bookshelves, and with a twinge, out they went and in came the new bookcase, custom made by my friend Shelley's husband, Ron.

- I was so alarmed when I came home that day and saw them.  Ron and a helper had loaded them in and said he'd be working on them all week.  Oh my - they seemed huge.  I kept trying not to look at them that evening and kept wishing I had the old ones back.

But then - when it was all said and done, they are wonderful and look as if they've always been there.  

- Those cabinets are already loaded up and I've enjoyed placing books and treasures in the shelves.  I've loaded up Goodwill with a lot of books I'd already read and about half the record albums.  (The other half are in one of those cabinets.)  And I finally have a place for that chiming clock from my parents' home.  It doesn't work, but I'll have it fixed.  All is good.

Thank you for indulging me in reading my saga of the book shelves and case.  :)  I hope you all have a lovely weekend.  Yay - it's Friday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bowl of deliciousness, new mama and a good thing

- This bowl of deliciousness was my dinner.  My sister asked if I had any special requests for Thanksgiving and I said, "brussel sprouts."  She replied, "But then you would be the only one eating them."  Sigh.  They don't know what they are missing.  I roasted them in my grandfather's cast iron skillet per the Simply Recipes blog.  Click here for the recipe.  I roasted them about five minutes longer than the recipe says to get that extra brown color.

- More from the weekend:  I ask my niece, Monroe's mother, what he will call her.  She says she actually hadn't thought about that and went over the possible choices.  She settles on "Mama" - "yes, that feels right."

- After a not so good day at work, a coworker reminds me to watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" as I am leaving.  I reply, "that's a Good Thing" automatically.  :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Legacy, the view and busy boy

- Camellia blossoms floating in water.  My sister gathered some for the buffet at her home on Thanksgiving day, from the hundreds in the camellia bushes in front of her house.  The bowl belonged to her late mother-in-law, who always used it the same way for holiday gatherings.

- The view from the back door.  The family enjoys this pool, but I love the view beyond it.  When my sister was lamenting that she has such a drive to civilization (grocery store, etc.), I pointed out what she gets to see every morning.

- My new great nephew on his awesome activity mat.  He seemed the most enthralled with the blue octopus hanging there.  He and I named the donkey lying on his lap Bo, because that will be easy to say.

When I left northern Florida on Saturday, it was so warm that I was wearing a t-shirt and flip flops, but changed to sneakers and hoodie when I stopped for a walkabout two hours north of there on the way home.  :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, view from the side porch and live oaks

- It began with a photo of my apple bowl and thinking how pretty it looks with the different colors.  Then I added a Thanksgiving card, sent by a friend in Huntsville, Alabama.  And of course, the Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers had to be in the picture.  :)  It turned into a Happy Thanksgiving photo.   It's our day of thanks in the US on Thursday and I love how this tradition has lived on over the years.

- The side porch at my cousin's home in Fayetteville, Georgia - all ready for the big day tomorrow.  My cousin Sam makes all of these arrangements and there will also be a magnificent one inside when he's done.  This is the first Thanksgiving in memory that I haven't spent with these cousins and will miss the hugs and laughter.

- But there will be hugs and laughter in abundance down here.  I'm heading to northern Florida to be with family.  Niece Amanda has to work on Friday, so we are having an "immediate family" Thanksgiving on the farm.  Pictured above - a "live oak" - so beautiful when the sun is shining through them.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Out of the cold, bright and warm and six degrees of separation

- My mother's geranium that I've had here since 2009.  That's one of its blooms there to the right above my blogroll.  I usually cut it back for the cold weather months after bringing it inside, but it is persisting in its blooming, so I think we'll wait on that a bit.

- The sunlight in my kitchen on a bright Sunday morning.

- Attending a gallery showing of an artist's beautiful work and discovering how small the world is once again when three guests are astounded to see each other there and discovering we all know each other from different places and lives.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Jewel tones, commute chat and lovely dinner

- This is what happens when one doesn't have a blog photo for the next morning - one takes a photo of her friend's two drinks.  :)  Just kidding - the one on the right is mine and I justify having an adult beverage on a weeknight because it has pomegranate juice in it.  Full of antioxidants and it looks like a sparkling jewel.

- The afternoon rush hour gives me time to have a long chat with friend Ginny, at home with health issues.  Our conversation lasts nearly the entire hour it takes me to get home from work.  And then I return friend Leisa's call - we often chat during our respective commute.  Neither of us has plans for dinner, so we meet in the middle and catch up.  That's not her in the photo above, she took a dive to the right as I snapped the picture with my phone.

- A turkey burger with goat cheese in the center and hand cut french fries.  Yum.  And still home before 8pm.  :)

I hope your weekend is full of friends, fun and laughter.  Have a lovely one!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday hybrid, circle, chance encounter, etc.

- Love this Thanksgiving hybrid turkey, snapped at a hybrid kind of food place, Hankook Taqueria (Korean food with a Mexican format) while waiting for my take-out lunch.

- Sitting around a table with my "circle" friends at church and thinking how dear they all are to me.  We sign cards for Janet's son, in Afghanistan for a third time, passing the cards around the table.  She includes cards for each soldier in his Army unit, too.  I am thankful for their service.

- Leaving the church 8:30, having had no dinner yet, and thinking I will at least get home in time to see who was eliminated on "Dancing with the Stars" (a guilty pleasure.)  But I pop into the grocery store  to quickly pick up something to nibble plus one Thanksgiving ingredient that tends to sell out.  The store is virtually empty, the cashiers idly chatting with each other.  A woman is perusing the greeting cards when I pass and looks up.  We burst out laughing - it's my dear friend Barbara G. - we have a 30 minute catch up in the store.  Totally worth missing my show.  :)

- A man stocking vegetables smiles when I ask him where the French Fried Onion Rings in a can are and walks me to them.  You have to have those for Green Bean Casserole - it's the Southern way.

- This last one is for Joe.  Of course I thought ahead and recorded Dancing with the Stars.  As I eat my frozen ravioli dinner, I watch and there is Joe's Kylie Minogue, as a singing guest.  She sings "The Locomotion" while dancers swirled around her.  I catch her in an awkward pose, but it's the thought that counts.

Monday, November 12, 2012

We give thanks, there was good chatting, too, and nap

- The annual pre-Thanksgiving cornucopia at my church.  The fruits and vegetables are donated to local food co-ops.

- A burger cooked on a charcoal grill at the neighborhood picnic on a warmish November Sunday.  Not to mention baked artichoke dip.  And crunchy potato chips!  Plus Diet Coke flavored with lime.  And my secret recipe brownies, warm from the oven, were a hit.  :)  Yum.

- Late afternoon reading in my favorite spot - the blue upholstered chair in my bedroom.  And being lulled to a drowsy sitting up nap by the quiet, plus the distant sound of the clothes dryer rumbling.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bluejacket, blowing in the wind and returning

- This is a page from The Bluejacket's Manual issued by the US Navy in 1944 to my dad, who was newly off to war.  When we were going through his things, we found the manual and I brought it home.  The page above is for instructions in marching, which I guess he learned in boot camp.  I noticed a couple of pieces of paper stuck in it.  One is some sort of ticket and the other is a pass to a cafe and restaurant at 377 Si-Tzang Road, in Taiwan (formerly known as Formosa.)  A little end of the war fun, looks like, with "genuine drinks, excellent foods, good music and lovely hostesses."

- My older sister wondered out loud once where we got our curly hair from (dad had close cropped hair when we were kids and then he lost it.)  I think we can see that wave in the photo above.  Dad said the photographer taped the collar of his midi top to the back of his cap, so it would look as if it was blowing in the ocean wind.  I have that top and his cap in my cedar chest.

- One of two ships (minesweepers) he was on board during World War II.  I have a project that I'm working on with Mina's father (who works in diplomatic relations in Washington, DC) to return a Japanese soldier's photo album that Dad brought home from the war.  Something he found, he said - the details of that are sketchy.  But we want the soldier's family to have it, if they can be found.  There is a name and address inside.  Dad wanted that, too, so I vow to fulfill that wish.

Happy weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Building memories, embracing technology and taking care

- When her grandmother asked her what she was doing, she said, "Building memories."  My great niece Mina will be three years old in January.

- Loving that my sister has embraced the iPhone we talked her into buying when she was down south this summer, especially when it results in text messages with photos like this.

- She sent another of Mina's mom sick on the couch with Mina tucking dolls around her for comfort.  Such a fun baby child.  So hard to believe I'm a great aunt still and that Mina is growing up so quickly.  :)  Can you tell I love her?

Monday, November 5, 2012

The swing's calling, view from the cook shed and Lucky

- Back to Standard Time and the morning was beautiful at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.  The back porch of an antique shop in Lilburn, Georgia after my walk in the nearby park.  The sign on the white framed chalkboard says, "Wherever you go, always bring your own sunshine..."  "The swing's calling!  Come sit awhile."

Photo by JMM

- Late Friday afternoon, I settled down on the back porch to talk to my sister in northern Florida, as we so often do on that day.  She answered and said, "Could I call you right back?  I want to snap this picture of the pasture with my phone."  Of course she could (and this is it above).  She and her husband are keeping their "granddog" Lucky while my niece is out of town.  Lucky is blind now and must be walked on a leash.  This has enabled my sister to stroll around the farm and witness the light shining through the Live Oaks.  She also loves looking up at the stars at night when they do their pre-bedtime walk.

Photo by ALM

- Lucky was living in a foster home with one of my niece's friends when my niece met him.  He had belonged to a woman with a terminal illness and she wanted him to have a good home.  My niece adopted him and he has become a beloved member of our family.  He's Lucky indeed.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Budding poet, he cleaned up and true friendship

- This is a friend's daughter's broken retainer and the poem she wrote about it.  The reason for the poem is the best part and a good thing:  her orthodontist (my Saturday morning walking partner, Janice) had the young patient write about the experience.  That way her parents could get a credit/reduction on the first replacement.  Love that.

- Instead of saying "trick or treat!" when I opened the door, the one child who came by, said "Happy Halloween!" in a rousing voice.  

- Four childless adults have a book club discussion that leads to a discussion about our long friendship.  I tell them they are the kind of friends I feel I could call in the middle of the night if needed and hope they feel the same. And they do.  

Ah - the weekend!  How I love you so.  :)  I hope good things happen to you all weekend, my friends!