Friday, November 26, 2010

Making a List, Checking It Twice

The tree is up and I've just finished a ton of early shopping.  There were lots of crazy shoppers (like me) out there at 4:30 am this morning.
 My son and I are headed to New York in the early morning to go see some Christmas displays!  I can't decide which I'm more excited about - the fact that my son is willing to travel with me, or seeing the holiday sights of New York!   

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving

I love this picture of my niece, Melanie as she takes time at her birthday party to make a wish.  

Today I'm wishing all of you dear readers a happy Thanksgiving as we take time to give thanks for all our many blessings.  

Sunday, November 21, 2010


My copy of French Essence finally arrived last week and I was so excited to get it.  What a gorgeous coffee table book.  Vicki included a chapter on collections and in it she reminds us that "one simple purchase can start a collection."  Reading and looking at the photographs of collections made me start thinking about some of my collections.  The first thought that came to mind is my collection of old primers that I've had for many years. These primers aren't just any old primers.  They're from a school in my hometown and are a part of civil rights history.

I'm from a town that didn't even exist until the late 1940's but in 1949 a very strong black woman by the name of Pearl Stephens donated some of her own land so that a school could be built for the black children living in the community.  Before that black children would have to gather in local churches for school lessons because they weren't allowed to attend the schools built for white children.  The primers in my collection are books from the early days of Pearl Stephens Elementary School and are very beautiful in their own way. Click on Pearl Stephens to read about the history of the school.  Finally, thanks to Pearl Stephens, the black community "had its first tax-supported school, furnished with secondhand books. . . ."
Maybe it's because I taught school at one point in my working life, but I think these books are a treasure.  
Obviously the books were used over and over by generations of children and as the original binding wore out, they were lovingly restored using whatever materials that might be available.  I love being able to open the cover of one of the books to find wallpaper with pricing information. 

Textbooks are now being replaced by Kindle-type readers so I guess all textbooks will become a thing of the past but for now I love the old worn out primers that carry with them a part of American history. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sur Les Tables de Stef


  Bougies boules rouges Ikea

I was all prepared to post on something totally different but when I was trying to catch up on some of my favorite blogs, I spotted Stef's latest table and just had to share.   If you've never seen her tablescapes, you need to set aside some time to see her work. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I Haven't Read it Yet

Just received Vicki's book and it's beautiful.  Didn't have much time to read last night but hope to read the book this weekend.

You might be thinking I'm referring to our blog friend, Vicki Archer and her new book, which I'm really looking forward to, but I'm writing about another new book. 
This week work was overwhelming to say the least and unfortunately I missed book club, known as The No-Guilt Book Club.  I'm a new member to the club (April 2010) but it is something that I really look forward to each month.  We are an eclectic mix of women, moderate to liberal, with artists, environmentalists, doctors, lawyers, religious leaders, business owners and representatives from the nonprofit sector. Our book club also represents a number of nationalities, generations and interests - we are diverse in every way with the exception of including men in our group.  This month our book was Your Brain at Work, and I was disappointed that I missed the gathering as well as the book discussion.  The discussions are always stimulating but as luck would have it, I did manage to have an interesting book experience nonetheless.

While riding the train to work early Thursday morning, I managed to find a vacant seat and squeezed in between a large group of travelers with luggage coming in from the airport.  Two of the women in the group were having a very interesting discussion about a new book that will be coming out soon.  I learned that the group on the train happened to be a number of university and medical experts specializing in disabilities who were here for a conference being held in Atlanta.  One of the women I spoke with had been asked to proof a book that is soon to come out, specifically making sure that the book would be accurate as it relates to disabilities.   

The book is called The Story of Beautiful Girl, by Rachel Simon and is said to be "a novel about disability and intertwining destinies that will get right under your skin and into your heart."  According to my new friends from the train ride, the book is fiction but is based on a true story.  Sadly the story of someone who was deaf but completely normal but was institutionalized because he couldn't communicate.  This individual was assigned the number 42, which became his name and the book tells his story.  My train rider friends added that the book has already triggered a movie deal which has already been finalized.

Speaking of movies.  My husband is going home to Beirut to see his family and will be gone for a month.   Yesterday he woke me up to say that he wanted to take me on a date to see Morning Glory.  What a sweet and happy movie!  

I've got one more ridiculously hectic week (headed to LA tomorrow) but then hope to slow down a bit and enjoy the season.  I'm ready to experience moments rather than feeling like I'm check-listing off the to-dos of the day.  Reflecting back over 2010, the months of June, August, October and November were nothing but a series of check-lists.  Time to do some living.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pecan Pie Day

Photo courtesy of Lane Southern Orchards, Ft. Valley, Georgia
Today was a pecan pie day though I didn't actually eat pecan pie.  Truthfully I didn't even see pecan pie, but it was still 
a pecan pie day.   

When I was growing up my favorite dessert was pecan pie.  We only had it once a year at Thanksgiving so I always looked forward to November.   When I was in second grade it just so happened that my elementary school had several large pecan trees on the grounds near where I waited for the school bus.  In October the pecans began to fall so while I waited for the bus I would pick up pecans.  My mother would get home from work and I would beg for a pecan pie.  She finally made a deal with me that if I could bring home enough pecans, crack and shell them, she would make a pie.   The next day the school bell rang and we were dismissed so I ran straight for the school yard to start picking up nuts.   It happened to be a cool and blustery day with overcast skies but no rain.  I won't ever forget it.  It was on that gray and windy day I was scrambling to fill my pockets with as many pecans as possible.  I wanted that pie.  Once home from school I squeezed a pair of the nuts together with all my might to crack one open in order to get to the nuts.  By the time my mother got home, my tiny hands had managed to shell enough pecans for a pie, plus some.   

So when the day is cloudy, windy and the temperatures start to fall like it was today, for me, it's just another pecan pie day.   Guess we'll be having pecan pie this week.