Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Home.


...was not where I intended to be this afternoon. I had planned to spend an hour or two at the shop catching up with folks before heading to my sister's to resume our weekly knitting (and wine) time.

But the weather reports were downright scary - we moved from tornado watch to tornado warning, with plenty of nasty rain, thunder and lightning thrown in. Karen and I rescheduled for tomorrow.

So home is where I'm staying. Holly is in my lap as I type this. but soon I'll be back on the sofa knitting. That's No Tails in the photo. I've started the first sleeve (yeah, I didn't come close to having this done "for Thanksgiving" but it's gonna be a shoe-in for Christmas :-)

And hey - how about those socks!? I started them on my flight to Madison back in July...and finished them yesterday. I'm glad I have a bit of cozy home to share with Sara (they'll be headed her way as soon as I can get to the post office). I thought it might've been nice to have a fire going in the background, but it's 60+ degrees outside right now and I think she'll appreciate that kind of warmth when she wears them!

And how about another successful NaBloPoMo?! Parts of me are in denial about tomorrow being December, but other parts of me are ready for November to be over!

Happy Wednesday!




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Holiday Lights.

The Botanical Garden's holiday light festival has been on my must-see list for several years (I was surprised this was "only" its sixth season...seems like I've been wanting to go for at least ten!) and yesterday, along with my mom and sister, I went.

We planned to get there when it opened at 5:00pm so we could see a little of the garden before it got dark (sunset here is about 5:30pm). And what with Atlanta traffic and all, we left my house at 2:45 and enjoyed a leisurely late lunch at a restaurant close to the garden entrance. All that planning paid off - we were there just before 5:00 and it was perfect.

The camellias were beautiful.

Early evening light is also flattering on faces!

I was struck by how well the garden has adapted to the changing seasons*. My favorite places are just as beautiful without all the green.



and of course the lights give them (and us!) plenty of opportunity to play!

The garden staff (some paid, some volunteer) were most obliging to take photos.

The woman who took this one commented on our mother daughter night out and how we should cherish the time; her mother passed away this fall. It's certainly not a great picture of us, but in the spirit of the evening, I'm including it!

That poinsettia tree was the centerpiece of a stunning indoor exhibit with orchids, paper whites and amaryllis

I'm not sure why I didn't take more photos (but I'm sure you get the idea)!

When we came back outside, it was full-on dark ... and the lights were definitely putting on the show.




It was a beautiful evening!

...and we woke up this morning to rain! our first since early October. So glad we visited yesterday... I have a feeling things won't look nearly as pretty today (those camellias!!!)

Off to get ready for another Tuesday with Charlie (and one last visit with my mom). Happy Tuesday!

*Here are the posts from my  May and September visits to give you an idea of late spring and summer.

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Few More from the Weekend.

Yep, I still have a few more photos to share! First, here are my favorites from Thursday.

We started with a champagne (apple cider) "Cheers!"

The girls did oblige me a re-creation of one of those 1998 photos.

Charlie (with help from his mama) made the place cards.

Our time around the table was decidedly more grown up eighteen years later.

...and finally...much later...Charlie got to help clean up.

Fast forward to Saturday and some post-game fun. My mom wanted "just one photo" of her with the two little boys. Turns out having two little boys doesn't make it any easier. Even when their dad tried his best to get them to smile.

I had about thirty out-takes in my camera roll, but none of them are as good as these two from Katie.


So now it's Monday. Sara is back in Madison. Marc is back at work. I'm glad my mom is still here and we have a little more fun planned before she goes home on Wednesday. 

Hoping you have something good to look forward to as well (besides NaBloPoMo ending on Wednesday :-).

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Timbered Choir | Fourth Sunday.

Finally will it not be enough,
after much living, after
much love, after much dying
of those you have loved,
to sit on the porch near sundown
with your eyes simply open,
watching the wind shape the clouds
into the shapes of clouds?

Even then you will remember
this history of love, shaped
in the shapes of flesh, everchanging
as the clouds that pass, the blessed
yearning of body for body,
unending light.
You will remember, watching
the clouds, the future of love.
- 1994, II (p. 177)

(This Sunday series is inspired by Wendell Berry's A Timbered Choir.)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Game Day.

The only game that's ever mattered is Georgia Tech vs. University of Georgia, played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I can't remember the last time I saw the game in person - which is fine - this game is best experienced at home. My family always gathers to watch the game
with Game Day food

and outfits (yes those are matching cowls ...and a post for another day!)

Sadly, the outcome of this game is usually way closer than we'd like (and ugh, it often ends up in favor of that other team). But our team won today. and I know my dad was smiling about that ... but mostly about the newest little guy to wear the lucky shirt.

Georgia Tech beat Georgia 28-27 today. They lost last year, but won the year before. So Charlie is 2 for 3 and Sam is 1 for 1... we're delighted!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Cheers | Spiced Pear Collins.

I had a different post planned for today, but my sister-in-law made this cocktail for our gathering this afternoon and I knew it was what I really needed to share. 

Because I'm guessing - like me - y'all have the ingredients in your post-Thanksgiving refrigerators. and you might - like me - be ready for something other than wine. and of course - it's Friday!

Here's the link to the recipe; Lydia said she followed it pretty much as written, except she used more pears for the purée.

Once we got home, I realized I only had one pear left, but plenty of applesauce, so I added that to make the cup (plus) of purée. I also used allspice and cloves for the simple syrup (because I had both and really...I'm not sure  when I'll use whole allspice?!) The simple syrup is still steeping, so I can't report on my changes, but I'm pretty sure these ingredients can stand a bit of "interpretation".

Happy Day After - and a huge Thank You, Lydia!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Throwback Thursday | These Two.

From Thanksgiving, 1998. I found the top photo earlier this week and thought about how nice it was going to be this year to have these two together again in the kitchen (with me!) Not that there's much cooking left to do - but I know we'll be gathered around the counter eating snacks ... and then of course cleaning up!

It wasn't until this morning, when I scanned that photo, that I realized the one below (previously shared here) was taken the same day.  These two clean up nicely don't they?

I love that we're together for this holiday weekend. I wonder if they'll let me recreate these two photos?!

Wishing you and yours a most wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Words in the Wild.


...belated birthday wishes from a friend who obviously gets me - and a perfect quick post to share with all of you today.

Happy Day-before-Thanksgiving Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tuesdays with Charlie | Another FO.

It was literally freezing here this morning ... way too cold for "just a sweater" - so today you get to see Charlie's new hat!

I finished the hat a few weeks ago and he's worn it before, but this was the first time I got to see it (on him). Katie told me he liked it, and (not that I doubted her but) I think he really does!

He put it on before we left the house and wore it non-stop

to wave to his mom (who was "in the phone")

to check out the big (weird) gold acorns

to watch the ice-skaters

to have a pre-story time snack

to make a funny face

...and finally, to listen to stories

Story time was our last stop before lunch and he was fine to take the hat off to eat. He did put it back on when we left. I'm not sure how he knows the front from the back but he manages pretty well to put the hat on by himself without a mirror. boys... go figure.

The hat is another winning pattern from Tanis Lavallee - the Frosted Alpine Hat. I knit this using leftovers from Charlie's Fly Away Blanket (hence the project name). I made a few minor modifications (all documented in my project notes) and probably none that important for a great outcome. The hat fits perfectly (and there's a bit of room at the top - I wouldn't be surprised if he can wear it next winter too) and the braids... ahhh....

We went back to Charlie's house for nap so Marmie could have some baby snuggles... gotta say - the nap time entertainment was first rate!

(how did little Sam get to be FOUR weeks old already??!!) 💙

Monday, November 21, 2016

Hello Monday.

My weekend looked a lot like this
which was wonderful (Saturday afternoon, my mom, sister and I met for lunch at a great new place downtown that specializes in football food and fun).

And then I stayed up way past my bedtime last night ... to finally finish rewatching season one of Gilmore Girls (21?!?!!! episodes - my how TV has changed...). yeah, there's no way I'm going to finish rewatching the entire seven seasons before Friday. at this point, I'm simply gonna skip to season seven and hope for the best.

And I set the knitting aside around episode 19 ... realizing there's really no way I'm going to finish No Tails for "Thanksgiving" either.

Dark early this morning, things still felt a little "no way". (yep, lists of lists :-)

But now, twelve hours later, I've made progress on those lists (except for radicchio, pearl onions and endive, which I know Charlie will love to get tomorrow at Whole Foods) and I even got to spend a little time with Sam.

Monday, you're definitely looking better!

Hoping your week didn't get off to a "no way" start - but if it did, hope it's looking better now!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Timbered Choir | Third Sunday.

Another Sunday morning comes
And I resume the standing Sabbath
Of the woods, where the finest blooms
Of time return, and where no path

Is worn but wears its makers out
At last, and disappears in leaves
Of fallen seasons. The tracked rut
Fills and levels; here nothing grieves

In the risen season. Past life
Lives in the living. Resurrection
Is in the way each maple leaf
Commemorates its kind, by connection

Outreaching understanding. What rises
Rises into comprehension
And beyond. Even falling raises
In praise of light. What is begun

Is unfinished. And so the mind 
That comes to rest among the bluebells
Comes to rest in motion, refined
By alteration. The bud swells, 

Opens, makes seed, falls, is well,
Being becoming what it is:
Miracle and parable
Exceeding thought, because it is

Immeasurable; the understander
Encloses understanding, thus
Darkens the light. We can stand under
No ray that is not dimmed by us.

The mind that comes to rest is tended
In ways that it cannot intend:
Is borne, preserved, and comprehended
By what it cannot comprehend.

Your Sabbath, Lord, thus keeps us by
Your will, not ours. And it is fit
Our only choice should be to die
Into that rest, or out of it.
- 1979, II (p. 6)

(This Sunday series is inspired by Wendell Berry's A Timbered Choir.)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday Skies.

...from this morning's run.



This was my first run in weeks... pausing along the way to take a few photos was a good thing!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Scenes from Yesterday.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes! The day was full of family, fun, laughter ... and of course cake!

I can't remember the last time I had the pleasure of making two wishes.
salted caramel cheesecake for lunch
fruit tart for dinner
Love all the greetings that came via text, email and phone, but real mail is still the best

as are real flowers

and squirmy toddler photos.

I think that lower left one is my favorite - Charlie discovered that the cushion at the back of the chair let him go "boing" 😉... and of course little Sam slept soundly through the entire thing.

It was a wonderful day and for once, I have the photos to prove it!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Throwback Thursday | Fifty!

I turned 50 four years ago and I had a most wonderful party to celebrate. Obviously four years ago I was not playing along with NaBloPoMo, because I never shared much about it here.

The party was November 16, the Friday before Thanksgiving back in 2012. My folks were already here for Thanksgiving - and everyone else in my family lived here then. Karen hosted, Katie helped and I know the rest of the girls pitched in with flowers and food. It was a completely lovely party and I had a ball.

Katie coordinated the decorations, which included birthday photos from years (and years!) ago. I think she and Karen coordinated the cocktails together - of course they did a fabulous job! (I have the best memories of gin, a spiced simple syrup, maybe a little lemon, and a little seltzer... and I still ask Katie to recreate it for me every November.)

Karen baked my cake - by request a brown sugar pound cake. It was delicious.

Here I am - much later - when I realized that the candles in the cake were the kind you couldn't blow out. (don't you love the looks on everyone's faces?!)
And my mom - just last night!! - admitted they'd been her idea ... Karen has taken the blame all these years :-)

...and a little later with the five of us "just family".

Katie and Rob were still planning their wedding (for May of the following year). And Sara was still in college ... in a city where it rarely snows :-) Who knew what changes our little family would see in the next four years?!

I feel very blessed to be spending my 54th birthday with many of these same people. My mom arrived yesterday and we'll be meeting up with my brother and sister-in-law for lunch. Then Katie has invited Mother and me for "birthday cocktails" - I cannot wait for my mom to meet little Sam and see how much Charlie has grown up since she last saw him (Memorial Day!)

Happy Birthday to me! and thank you for sharing in the celebration!