Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year From Positano!

I'm trying to figure out what the new year will be like if one starts the year with pasta and Lemoncello instead of black eyed peas and greens! Guess we will try it out and see. Wish I could figure out how to post photos on my iPad but I guess those will have to wait until we get home. Here's to peace, love, joy, good health and prosperity.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Music, Movies and Memories - Mimi Naja & Parker Smith

 We started the holiday off with a great night of music at The Five Spot in Atlanta.   Mimi Naja (of Fruition String Band) and her good friend Parker Smith put on a late night show on the eve of the eve. 

Members of Mimi's Girlband from Junior High
Here are 3 of the same girls in 2000. 
Wits End 2000

Alicia is a true friend.  Still up at midnight waiting for the show to begin
Once the music started, the dancing began
Sweet Hannah
Christmas eve for our family has always included a movie along with a trip to Waffle House and this year we decided to see Hugo.

  I loved the film and especially enjoyed seeing it in 3-D.   A beautiful movie and a wonderful story too.  

We do things by vote in our family and this year rather than eating Christmas dinner at home and preparing our usual feast of lobster we decided to go to the Melting Pot.  I'd gotten an email from them saying they would be open on Christmas with very limited seating and we got a spot.  We had so much fun dining out and enjoying fondu.  
Now we are off to pick up the grandgirls to start our holiday.  
My husband added photos instead of gift tags to the presents this year
Tomorrow we leave for our overseas adventure and I'll post pictures when I can. 
Keeping the holiday spirit, 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Atlanta History Center, Atlanta Botanical Garden & St. Regis

In some ways it feels like I've had no time for holiday festivities but truthfully I have managed to squeeze in a couple of events that have been lots of fun.
 The Holiday Spirit (or the Ghost from Christmas Past), event at the Atlanta History Center was a great event!   Last week my husband and I took the candlelight tour of the Smith House.   
As the tour began we ran up on some Confederate soldiers training a new recruit.  The Ghost of Christmas Past took us back to 1861, the first year of the Civil War.
Photos weren't allowed on the tour but we had the good fortune of meeting the local blacksmith, Mrs. Smith and Maude, our favorite character, who was a slave on the Smith Farm.  Maude gave an outstanding performance. 
The Atlanta History Center sits in the shadow of the St. Regis Hotel so after our tour we decided to visit the hotel.  In the lobby of the hotel sits a gingerbread house.  
Can you see my husband in the window?
The house is made from 900 eggs, 450 pounds of sugar, 30 pounds of spices and over 11,000 pieces of candy.  You can smell the gingerbread when you walk in the hotel. 
The 12 Days of Christmas cocktail menu had a little something for everyone on it.   My drink was something apple flavored.
Last night in spite of the rain, which was heavy at times, our family took the evening holiday lights tour at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
I loved watching my son and daughter head out to enjoy the lights and I managed to capture several pics of them during the tour.  I especially love this one beside the Chihuly fountain. 
And this one by the poinsettia tree. 
While we were in the flower garden there was a marriage proposal!  I was busy taking photos so I missed the "down on the knee" moment but we all heard the squealing.  

 And we were all mesmerized by this sound and light show.

A fun night for all...even the plants.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Very Special Gift

This week, unexpectedly, I received a very special gift and it will be one that I treasure all my days. 
Let me give you a little background.  About eight years ago I started a "recycle your holiday cards" campaign at work and began collecting cards after the holidays.   The first year I started collecting cards, St. Jude's Ranch for Children's Recycled Card Program was the perfect solution for a way to recycle thousands of Christmas cards a perfect way to help support a great cause.   When the next year rolled around I was ready to repeat the process but sadly there was a post on the St. Jude's Ranch website stating they had too many contributions from the previous year and would not be able to accept cards.   So I asked around within our firm and found an employee who leads craft activities at nursing homes in the Charlotte, N.C. area and she agreed to accept the card contributions.   She was overwhelmed with the number of cards collected so she asked we not send her cards again.  

It was a bit frustrating and I was getting a bit desperate for a solution.  Then Marci called me.   At the time Marci was a secretary in our firm though she is now retired (lucky Marci)!   Marci told me she could use as many cards as I could collect and thus began my friendship and admiration of Marci and her work in the community.
You might be wondering what Marci could do with thousands of Christmas cards so I'm sharing a small sampling of one of the card baskets she made for me a few years ago. For a couple of decades, Marci has been teaching anyone willing to learn card crafting the art of recycling cards.  Almost all of the items Marci makes are gifts for shut-ins, nursing home residents or hospital patients.  I add almost because this week Marci gave me a treasure - a card montage.   
The montage I received was made to be a tray though I've hung it on the mantel (along with some of my Holt Howard pieces).
Marci even built the frame around the final piece.  Every small scene is made up of tiny cuttings from Christmas cards. 

It took more than a week of cutting and piecing to create it and every time I look at it I see something new and magical. 
 I don't know how to say thanks Marci.  It is beautiful.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Enjoying the Season Middle Georgia Style

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here but we haven't had too much time to enjoy very many seasonal festivities.   But last weekend my husband and I took a day to go visit my mom and take her on a holiday outing.  

Early Saturday morning we headed down to pick up my mom and traveled to Perry, Georgia.  It happens to be the place where I was born (click here to see the house which served as a clinic and birthing center) and it's also the home of the famous New Perry Hotel
The hotel has recently reopened and is under new management so it was fun to explore this middle Georgia landmark.
The hotel was holding a gingerbread house event and we had such a great time decorating our houses.  

And even enjoyed a visit with Santa before lunch and heading off to Lane.  
Now if you have never traveled I-75 to Florida and stopped by Lane you've missed out on THE BEST peach ice cream, pecan treats and a taste of the south.  As a young girl we went to the packing sheds which operated 24-hours a day during peach season but things at Lane's have changed over the years.    
Lane Southern Orchards is a few miles off the interstate and driving over we saw cotton fields.   In some ways it looked like snow was  on the ground giving the farmland a touch of seasonal decoration.
 Then we passed the beautiful pecan groves.  So peaceful and stately.
At Lane's you will always discover fresh cinnamon pecans on the menu.

 And a store full of peach and pecan goods, including pickled peaches.  Yum!!!

 I'm hoping this week slows down so that we can spend more time enjoying the season.  
Have your holiday celebrations gotten underway?