Saturday, February 7, 2015

Venice Beach and the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Last weekend was a treat.  I was able to see the Pacific and walk among the stars. My son often tells me that I should have been born in a different era and sometimes I think he is right. Last weekend I enjoyed being able to enjoy so many memories from the past while enjoying the beauty of the present.

Love Judy Canova!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Courthouse

I love weddings don't get me wrong.  I love being able to go to the wedding celebrations of others.  I love all the dressing up, flowers, different types of religious services, music, pew markers and all the beautiful details that families put into planning weddings.  But growing up I never really imagined myself as a bride nor did I want to put myself through the stress of all the planning and I especially didn't want to have all eyes on me walking down the aisle.  A beautiful wedding dress, yes.  A big ceremony, no.

So when my husband asked me to marry him we were really happy about the idea of just eloping.  All of his family was in Lebanon so they wouldn't be present for the ceremony.  When my husband first moved to the U.S. he'd lived in Las Vegas and I really liked the idea of one of those Las Vegas wedding chapels (of course I'd never actually been there but I'd seen them on tv).  Well I don't have to tell you that I mentioned the idea to my mother and first of all she wasn't too excited about me getting married.  But when I mentioned eloping, well that sent her over the edge.  She didn't speak to me for about two weeks but then she called with a great idea - she would put together a very small wedding at her house, my dad agreed to build a small gazebo and would also officiate the ceremony (he was an ordained Baptist minister) so I would be able to have the small wedding at home that I'd been hoping for.

We'd set a wedding date but moved it by a few weeks to accommodate the plan.   My dad (and mom) were both still working full-time but my dad would get busy at night designing the structure, laying the concrete working in the dark to build the gazebo.  I had been shopping for a dress but there was nothing in my size on the racks so I scrambled to find a pattern and fabric.  Meanwhile invitations had to go out (we didn't have time to get them back from the printer) so I wrote out each invitation by hand.  Did I mention that I was a school teacher making less than $7000 at the time so I was on a shoestring budget? My mother had a connection to the floral wholesaler so I was able to get an amazing amount of flowers for just $200.  And I was thrilled when my sister-in-law and her girlfriend offered to help with all the flower arrangements, boutonniere and bouquets.  A family friend agreed to make our wedding cake as a gift and it was beautiful. A local funeral home loaned chairs, tables and table clothes for the reception.  Family friends offered to help with music, photography and more.

The week of the wedding, no one slept.  We were all working by day and by night trying to finish various wedding details but my poor dad was still getting the roof completed, the gazebo painted and roses planted by the day of the wedding.  The night before the wedding my dad, mom and sister were up working on a lot of unfinished details and then to make matters worse, it stormed.  The rain cleared mid-morning so we scrambled to get everything set up in time for the wedding. We were exhausted.

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago.  My mom was cleaning out a bookcase and called me to say she'd found something very surprising.  It appears that after my wedding my dad was supposed to have completed and signed our marriage license and then sent it back to the county courthouse.  It seems that in his exhausted state, he put the paperwork in a safe place and forgot to send the paperwork meaning my wedding was never officially filed with the county.

My kids have had a lot fun giving me a very hard time and at this point I'm not sure that a certificate really matters.  My dad loved a good laugh and this one would have had him laughing for sure. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Listerine ...Really?

This time of year my feet always need extra attention because of dry cracking heels and no matter what I do, it never seems to remedy the problem.  

When I was in India I found a very interesting handmade pottery pumice that has been wonderful to help with foot maintenance.  Yes, that handmade clay item is an amazing pumice (the flowers are just to make the photos a bit more decorative).  It might not be pretty but it really helps.

Tonight I read that soaking your feet in Listerine works wonders.  Have you tried this remedy?  I'm all for easy home remedies and if you've tried this one I would love to hear about your results.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Today We Walk #JeSuisCharlie #Atlanta

Today I'm very proud to join with the faculty, staff and members of the board of the Alliance Fran├žaise d'Atlanta as we walk together silently to show our support for the victims of the massacres and their families.  One of our board members, Maria Saporta, has provided details on the Atlanta walk on her publication website. Please join us if you live in the Atlanta area.  

My grandgirls were extremely lucky to have been able to spend a few years living in Europe and during their years they made several trips to Paris. 
 If you ask my youngest granddaughter to tell you about her favorite vacation spot she will quickly tell you about Paris.  She loves it. And my guess is that most of you reading this blog who've had the chance to visit the city feel much the same.  
This afternoon I will be walking as an ambassador for AF and I will also be walking for my granddaughter.  Peace, love, tolerance and kindness.  Let's not just share it, let's stand up for it. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year. Let's Travel!

We are back from the holidays and what a special holiday celebration we celebrated.  Most of our family traveled to Portland, Oregon to spend the New Year with my daughter and we had such a wonderful time with 5 days of sunshine and wonderful memories.  We didn't have much time for quiet contemplation or reflection to be able to make many resolutions but on the flight back home I did decide on one thing - before one vacation ends, start making plans for the next vacation!  And I think this is one resolution I won't have any trouble adhering to and in fact  I've got one trip exciting trip booked and another trip idea simmering in head!
2014 was a wonderful year, hard, but wonderful.  My son and his family moved to Georgia after living in Europe for 4 years.  It has been life-changing to have my granddaughters just two hours away.  During the past year I faced new challenges in being able to juggle all that needed to be done at any given time but I came out at the end of the year having learned and grown in the process. The juggling challenges resulted in lots of personal and professional growth.  
The most exciting part of my year was travel. Being able to see the Taj Mahal, tour Rajasthan, visit San Miguel and the south of France was significant.  My travel bucket list is long and I was thrilled to be able to fit these trips into a really busy year and I'm looking forward to more exciting adventures in the new year.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Make a Joyful Noise at the High Museum

Yesterday I headed over to the High Museum to see Cezanne and the Modern Masterpieces exhibit on my lunch hour (not enough time, really) so that I could see the exhibit before it ends. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful museum here in Atlanta and I'm even luckier that my office is just a block away.  The exhibit was fantastic and I have to say that I really loved seeing the work of Cezanne, Van Gogh, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec and others displayed so close together.  It was really interesting to be able to go back and forth between the various works to look at the differences in brush strokes, colors and techniques.  

But the biggest surprise for me was the Make a Joyful Noise exhibit. I didn't know anything about the exhibit and it was truly a joy to hear the music and see these incredible music manuscripts and marble panels.  I can't imagine how long it must have taken to create the massive manuscripts.  The posting from the exhibit explained that the books were made large so they could be held up for church-goers to be able to read the music but when not in use they were to be part of the magnificence of the renaissance church. 

The exhibition leaves Atlanta on January 11 so enjoy it while you can. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas With the First Lady of Georgia

Today we had such a special morning.

Each year the Georgia Governor's Mansion is decorated for the holidays and open for tours and this year the theme of the Governor's Mansion Christmas is "With a Servant's Heart." The house and Christmas trees in the house are focused on celebrating service and volunteerism. Now if you know anything about me, you know this struck a chord with me.  Each of the rooms on the tour were decorated with a theme and focused on topics such as health, human services, the arts, literacy, the environment, wild life and of course, United Way was featured front and center.  It was because of United Way that I received an invitation to come to the Governor's Mansion for a closed tour along visit a with the First Lady.  Wow, what a special way to celebrate the season.

I just loved these rockers that seemed to be waiting for the Governor and the First Lady to take some time to sit and simply enjoy the day.  

While I was posing for a photo with the First Lady I didn't realize at first that the Governor had joined his wife and was standing right behind me.  Thank goodness my son said something!  It was quite a surprise and yet such an honor to be in such good company early on a Saturday morning. We are so lucky to have such good people in state leadership.  I was both honored and humbled to have been invited for this special tour and even happier that my family was included to be a part of the event.
While touring the house there were so many details to be enjoyed.  Everywhere you looked there were bits of Georgia history, culture or environment and there seemed to be a story behind nearly every little detail.  The china used in the dining room tablescape was hand-painted and every piece was different, representing different Georgia wildflowers.  The silver pieces in the dining room too represented so many facets of Georgia and was I understood that many of the pieces had once been on a ship by the name of Georgia.  

But the real focus throughout the house was volunteering. (Yay for volunteering!)

And be still my heart when anything to do with ballet is in the room. Don't you love these tree "skirts"?

And then there were simply moments of Georgia pure and simple. 

Yes, that is a copy of Gone With the Wind. 

I love the dried hydrangeas used here.

Having been a librarian for many years it was great to see the Library Association and a focus on literacy!
Merry Christmas from Georgia!