Monday, December 30, 2013

Wonderful surprise, in common and reflection

- It was so exciting to open my mailbox when I returned home on Saturday to find this package, all the way from Singapore!  Our lovely Betty from the So Shiok! blog (which seems to be down at the moment) sent me this as a Christmas surprise.  She had blogged about Cadbury's TimeOut bars and I said I didn't think we have those here.  I had completely forgotten about that - so what a nice surprise.  Plus there were some chopsticks!  As you can see - I had one of those bars and it was just as good as she said.

- So wonderful that multiple bloggers have the same taste in reading that I do.  Both Elephant's Child and Lee love Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, too, and both commented on my Wacissa River post from Friday about the book (and film) Cross Creek and her novel The Yearling.  Rawlings lived in nearby Alachua County, Florida.  When I worked at the county library in Milledgeville, Georgia during my high school years, the librarian, Mrs. Smith used to recommend The Yearling to anyone who was looking for something good to read.  It was her favorite book + she had a correspondence relationship with Ms. Rawlings.  Remarkable really.  I love both books and when I weeded out paperbacks when I got the new bookcase (preferring to just put mostly hardbacks on the shelves), I kept these four old, treasured books.

- I love the sparkle of the Christmas lights reflected in the print in the living room.  I'm sad to see the decorations come down, but come down, they must.  That print was given to me by my grandfather when I was a teenager.  He knew I loved artwork - not sure where it came from, but it is of (of all things) Washington's Second Inauguration.  I kept it in a trunk and finally had it framed about 25 years after he gave it to me.

No year end post for me this year - I actually just realized this is my last post for 2013!  :)  I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Settling in, identification and from far away

Photo from Wikipedia

- That is the Wacissa River in Jefferson County, Florida, where my sister and her family live.  It was wonderful to arrive on Christmas Eve and just settle in with the family in this beautiful place.

- Young Monroe knows who everyone is, when asked to point to each relative.  And it thrills my soul when he is asked where Aunt Lynn is and he points to me, since I don't get to be with him that often.

- Wee Mina, in Turkey, got to have "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" read to her by her Grandpa, via Skype.  A family tradition - he always reads it on Christmas Eve.  I think Mina's mom wanted to hear it, too.

I'm heading home tomorrow - it will be good to catch up on blogs.  I've only had sporadic computer time - probably a good thing to not be glued to the computer.  I hope you are having a wonderful weekend, so far!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to all!

- We all celebrate Christmas in our family and I love the different ways it can be wished.  Merry Christmas from all the nationalities represented from my family (I already said it in English):

Swedish (my older sister's husband's heritage):  God Jul
Turkish (niece, her husband and great niece in Turkey):  Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Scots Gaelic (my father's family heritage):  Nollaig Chridheil dhuibhv
Welsh (my mother's family heritage):  Nadolig Llawen

I can pronounce God Jul, but that's about it.  :)  I hope you are having a wonderful holiday!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Oblivious, traveling angels and warm spell

- A Saturday morning visit to the lovely antiques shop near the park where I walk with friends.  Walk, coffee, and then walking around this large shop.  Whiskers was oblivious to everyone who shopped around him and slept on.  One woman wasn't sure at first if he was real or not.

- Friend Laura has a booth in that shop at which she sells things mostly from her home.  Doing my part to support small business, I bought this Christmas ornament - a couple of hugging angels.  I texted Laura this photo and she said she was happy I have that - she bought it on St. Simons Island, Georgia, several years ago. 

- It rained all day on Sunday.  That's the sliding door open - it was just that warm - about 70 degrees.  The fern got to go out for a few days, but will come back in on Christmas Eve, when the temperature drops below freezing again.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Through the window, potential playmate and car repairs

- From the family gathering in late November, my great nephew spots something inside a toy store.  I love this photo that shows him wearing a shirt his mother bought for him when she was pregnant.  It was the first time he had worn it - she had just realized it fit.

- was a wee lass.  And we thought it was toys.  :)  His grandmother went inside and bought something for Christmas morning anyway.

- And I had car trouble yesterday - not that that is a good thing, but just how everything fell into place.  I was going to do some final Christmas shopping at Atlantic Station (near my office) after work, but felt weary at the thought of all one has to do to get inside there (paid parking, etc.)  So I headed home and heard something in my car that didn't seem quite right.  As I am wont to do, I hoped it would go away.  Thoughts to myself:  "I don't hear that anymore, it must have gone away.  Good.  Well - shoot, there it is again."  (Just as I was about to turn into my street.)

I've had the same mechanic for 23 years and have sent a multitude of friends there for the like-a-small-town-experience I have with Chris (who works alone.)  He was likely not going to be in his shop at 5:30pm, but he was!  He was just closing up, but agreed to have a look at my car.  Indeed - it needed attention that requires parts, so he ordered them online for installation this morning.  And he took me home.  He waved off my thanks with "This has gotten me out of Christmas shopping."  What a nice man.

I hope many good things happen to you this weekend.  Have a great one!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Serendipity, a new home and just right

Last February, my sister Jo came to visit and met my friend Laura.  A discussion ensued about antiques.  Laura has an antiques booth and Jo had some family heirlooms from her husband's family that she and her husband agreed really didn't fit in with their home anymore.  One thing lead to another, and thanks to Laura and her husband Bob, a settee, two chairs and a clock have come to reside in Barrington Hall, a beautiful old home in Roswell, Georgia, that is open to the public.  Bob is the manager of the house.  Here is Barrington Hall (photo from City of Roswell website.)  All other photos by me. Click to enlarge.

- I was invited to a wonderful staff party at Barrington Hall a couple of weeks ago - mainly so I could see the settee and clock in place.  The chairs are waiting in the wings for their debut. 

- The settee looks so pretty there in the main hallway.  Now waiting guests have a place to sit.  Interesting note about the floor:  it is painted on some sort of material that can be rolled up.  The old wood floors are still underneath.

- The clock's new home is on the mantel in the master bedroom.  Bob pointed out that the column detailing on the side of the clock matches the detailing on the bureau (there on the right.)  Portraits of the original owners are on the mantel also - this was their bedroom.

- It was so wonderful to see these pieces in place - so familiar to me already.  And they looked as if they had always been there.  The party was a big bonus - and because it was a warmish December night, Laura and I sat out on that beautiful porch and had some nibbles.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A treasure, there's no place like home and tradition

- It was a cold and rainy day on Saturday, so most of the day was spent decorating the Christmas tree.  I had to move it over this year so the fern could have its spot in front of the back door (the fern is in for a few days because of freezing temps at night).  The cardboard Santa under the tree was a gift from my kindergarten teacher when I was 5 years old.  A treasure!

- A new treasure - a Dorothy's Red Shoe ornament, purchased in September at the gift shop in the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, DC.  An American treasure, the red shoes Judy Garland wore in the film, The Wizard of Oz, are showcased in an exhibit there. 

- The tiny tree in the pass-through from the kitchen to the dining room.  For years it was the only tree I put up, until I realized how much I loved all my packed away ornaments.  Hence the bigger tree in the living room.  I'm a two-tree gal now.  :)  The Santa on the left belonged to my Great Aunt Grace and was always under her tree.

Other highlights from the weekend:  ringing the bell for the Salvation Army at the mall on Saturday night with the annual tradition of Mexican food after.  And discovering friend Leisa at Home Goods doing a bit of Christmas shopping on Sunday.  It was fun having an impromptu shopping partner for an hour or so. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

A lovely sky, all lit up and in the air

- Walking in the park near my office after work on Wednesday for the first time in weeks.*  I've missed it.  And, no surprise, the leaves are mostly gone.  Toward the end of my walk, I got to see this lovely sky as the sun was setting.  You can just see a little reflection of the sunset in the creek to the right.

- I got to my car in the nick of time, just before it got completely dark.  I loved seeing this lit up house on the hill as I stretched.  And there were more beautiful Christmas lights to see as I made my way home.

- Opting for bakery cookies to take to my circle meeting last night - Lemon Shortbread cookies and they were a hit.  A business who makes it their business to supply cakes and treats has moved across the street from the printing company.  It's a beautiful thing to smell the scent of cakes baking in the air every time I come or go from work.

* It's been raining so much that I've been exercising with Leslie Sansone at home, but still love my walks outside.

And here's another beautiful thing - it's Friday!  I hope this weekend is filled with beauty and delight for you, my friends.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The weather outside, hometown pic and cheerfully smiling

Three images that have been hanging out on my computer desktop.  This seems like a good day to post them.  I will call this Random Photo Wednesday.  :)

- This cartoon was drawn by a weatherman, Mike Francis, on Atlanta's TV channel 11, and posted on facebook.  It's exactly that the weather is like.  Last Friday, temps were in the 70s, and I was walking around with no coat.  It dropped 30 degrees during the night and on Saturday I had to bundle up.  It's 29 degrees this morning, but might be shorts weather again tomorrow.  Go figure.  :)

- My hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia, ca. 1921.  The train used to go right through that main street of town.  And you can still see signs of those tracks in the street.  The business pictured there, J.C. Grant & Co., is the oldest business still existing in Milledgeville and is still in that same location.  (But looks very different now.)  Click to enlarge.

- This smiling lady was my great grandmother.  She was posing for the camera while picking tomatoes.  I want to have this one enlarged and framed, I just haven't done it yet.  I like to think of her smiling down from the family photo wall in my home office.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Good things happened: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

- Friend Barb and I did our annual tour of homes weekend, beginning with Friday night at the Decatur, Georgia Candlelight Tour of Homes.  This was the home of a couple whose home won a national restoration award.  It really was that astounding.  I loved the lit up reindeer beside the pool the most though - sometimes the simple things are the best.  Click to enlarge. 

- On Saturday, loved this greenery display on the porch swing at the "Mad House" on the tour of homes in Madison, Georgia. 

- And Sunday night, my church's annual Lessons and Carols service.  The women of our church made these Chrismon decorations in the '60s and '70s.  They (we) still make one every year to give out to the children on Christmas eve.  There was a cookie reception after (bonus!)

This is my 1300th post.  How about that?

Friday, December 6, 2013

A spot of sun, legacy and flattered to be asked

- The pansies at my front door, in happier times.  :)  It has rained all week, so I like looking at this spot of sun.  I had planned to buy bedding pansies for pots at the garden center, but then saw this pot of pansies in the plastic pot you see there.  Even though it is plastic, it still looks pretty on the blue ceramic dish, I think.

- Making my bed, which makes me think of my mother every time.  She always said, "It just feels better to get in it at bedtime when the bed is smoothly made."  She's right and I think about that every time I make it.

- Helping my sister get out of a sticky situation by giving her three things she could say:  one very direct, one extremely direct and one that skirts the issue by giving another alternative.  I am flattered to be asked for help.  :)

I hope you have a good weekend!  I'm so happy it's here!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A good dog, taking time and a good catch-up

- Somehow his dog got between him and his truck.  My beloved great nephew and his beloved dog Hank (who I also like very much.)  I told Hank's dad that I like how I am always cheerfully greeted by Hank even when I just saw him five minutes before.

- A customer of the printing company needs a favor - some un-printed "very nice" paper fast.  I hand it over - free of charge, and he takes the time to ask me about my holiday, even though he is in a blazing hurry.

- Seeing friends from my old corporate job at a funeral visitation.  A sad occasion, but I love how so many turned out to support a very nice woman at the service for her partner.  It turned into a mini-reunion, with oohs and ahs over how many grandchildren, a new baby, and those of us who are childless - what we've been doing.  A good catch-up.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Home with the family, the day after and Small Business Saturday

- Pete the cat, looking around warily to make sure great nephew Monroe, a busy toddler, wasn't on the way.

- Beautiful downtown Thomasville, Georgia on "Black Friday."  I loved the subtle ornaments hung in the trees.  Click to enlarge.

- These little library boxes were in front of several businesses.  You may take a book or leave a book (or both.)  So nice.  This one was in front of Sweet Grass Dairy, who invited all to come in and "Recharge with CHEESE!" on Small Business Saturday.* We did.  :)  A lovely holiday.

* Small Business Saturday - a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities.