Thursday, October 25, 2012

"if heaven ain't alot like dixie..."

We had a wonderful time in Alabama.

Mornings were spent
watching the sun rise

and enjoying coffee on the dock.

Days were filled with
sun and sand,

empty beaches,

clear water,

 feathered friends,


and family.

Nights were spent
fishing down at the dock,

and reveling in quiet peace
under the stars.

The only things that could have made this break more perfect -
would've been
more time
 and one less 
   broken arm...

*quote from Hank Williams Jr.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

gulf shores

Last week,
the kids had a couple of days off 
for fall break.

We debated 
what to do 
where to go.
We considered going to
"the happiest place on earth,"
but it tends to be
"the most expensive place on earth."
We looked into all the 
"last minute"
on the internet,
but just couldn't find anything
that made sense
with our time constraints.

And then
I remembered...
While living in New York,
I vowed that if I was ever back in Georgia,
I would take full advantage of being so close
to the Gulf.

We loaded up and left for one of our favorite places 
in the world,
Gulf Shores, Alabama.

When we arrived late Thursday afternoon,
we found
the view from the back of Grandmother's Beach House, 
 to be just as beautiful as 
the Gulf 
across the street.

The kids scampered down to the bay
to see what they could find

and it didn't take long until the kayaks
were out.

As the sun began to set,

we got dressed and headed for dinner
at Lulu's -
an enormous local restaurant 
owned by Jimmy Buffet's sister.
The kids were thrilled to see something new -
 the "Mountain of Youth,"
a four story climbing aparatus.

After dinner,
we agreed to let Lyons and CC
the mountain.
Having no fear,
both kids quickly ascended.

At dizzying heights,
they bravely navigated
the ropes course.

I could barely watch,
but was glad they were having fun!

It was clear,
we were
where we needed to be.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

looking good, feeling better

my friend 
invited me to 
Look Good, Feel Better.
It is a program
administered by the
American Cancer Society
designed for women
who have been diagnosed with cancer.

When starting treatment,
oncologists recommend throwing away old makeup 
because it harbors bacteria.
This program provides a kit filled with new makeup
and personal care products,
along with instructions on how to apply the products,
how to choose and care for wigs,
and directions on how to use head coverings such as scarves.

At the beginning of the class,
everyone went around the room
and introduced themselves.
All kinds of women,
from all walks of life.
Cancer had made no distinction 
between race, socioeconomic status, or age.
The one thing 
these women had in common,
was a terrible phone call.
A diagnosis
that changed their lives.

I was moved by each and every story.
The beautiful truck driver - 
so proud of her son in college.
The quiet woman
whose young daughter came with her.
The elderly lady  
who loves working in her garden.
The gregarious city employee -
my age or younger.

So close to tears,
that all changed
as we commenced putting on makeup
and drawing on eyebrows.
Who knew what a difference
eyebrows make?!
These women were laughing
and strong.
And as they began looking better,
they began to feel

Even with all of my nervousness,
I loved it.
I'm going back.
Each and Every Month.
The only part I didn't like
was leaving.
And wondering:
What happens to these women
after today?
How do I let them go
and not know
their progress?
In two hours,
they had impacted my life.

I wonder how they're doing today...

Friday, October 12, 2012

just another day

Last Friday night,
we had plans for a 
casual dinner with friends
when John said,
"Let's run by Wolffer.
The Hamptons International Film Festival
is holding an event there tonight."
He wanted to check on things
and make sure all was well.

Once there,
we had a blast 

looking for Trudie Styler,

Brendan J. O'Reilly

and sipping 
Wolffer wine.

We were pleasantly
when we found our pics
on several websites

There is
a boring day

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

the king and i

Last Wednesday,
I flew to New York
where John and I
had dinner with 
T.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf,
Queen Silvia,
 H.R. H. Princess Madeleine
of Sweden.

We attended the
Chamber of Commerce
Farm to Fork

I have been to many events in the city,
but never a black tie event
and certainly,
never with royalty.

(I tried every editor around and frustratingly,
cannot remove the red-eye.)

I'm sure we looked 
a little lost
as we navigated the entrance 
to the
Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
And it was surreal 
to walk the red carpet 
behind the rope
and be photographed.
We tried to pretend 
that we knew
what we were doing!

I swooned over the dresses
during the cocktail hour.

This was my favorite dress
of the night.
It was just different,

SACC Facebook page

The protocol for royalty
was fascinating.  
We were advised of many requirements
in an e-mail prior to the event.
For example,
 there were to be no photographs of the 
Royal Family,
unless they were on stage.

The Royal Table

Everyone rose as the 
Royal Family 
and we were not seated again
until they were seated.

And so on.

I thought 
Princess Madeleine 
was simply stunning.

John and I were delighted 
with the group at our table.
The owners of
were gregarious
we fell in love with 
Tony Award winner,
Nelle Nugent.

The evening's entertainment
was provided by the
Broadway Green Alliance.
Two consummate performers
from Wicked sang,
"For Good."
The performance was moving because of their
ethereal voices,
but even more so
as I thought of the recent loss of my friend.
I couldn't stop the tears that sneaked
down my cheeks.

SACC Facebook page

It was a magical evening
filled with

What more could a girl want?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

wild at heart

I recently began reading 
an amazing book
Wild at Heart
John Eldredge.

It is a Christian book
about boys and men
and their inherent desire
to be warriors.

Or more accurately,
it discusses
authentic masculinity
"defined in the image of a passionate God."

The book's description says all boys have:
 "big dreams,  dreams of being the hero, of beating the bad guys, of doing daring feats and rescuing the damsel in distress."

It is a wonderful book
and my only regret 
is that I didn't read it 10 years ago.
I think I would have had a better understanding
of my son
when he was more obviously
wild at heart.

I was so excited about the book,
I began to share what I had learned
 with my husband.
I felt that Lyons needed to 
conquer something
 (besides video games).
So with that encouragement,
John made reservations to go
White Water rafting.

We didn't tell Lyons 
because we knew he'd come up with: 
"100 Reasons Not to Go White Water Rafting."

In fact,
on the winding mountain roads of North Georgia,
as their destination became clear,
Lyons lamented that there were 
three things he didn't want to do that day
~ one of which was rafting.

It didn't help that it 
was the first chilly day 
of fall.

They entered the boat with
much trepidation.

The air was cold.
The water colder.
The rapids sinister.

as you can clearly see,
he loved every minute!

My warrior,
my boy,
who conquered
the river.

Monday, October 1, 2012 goes on

Since C desperately needed fall clothes,
we made plans to spend a day in Atlanta
last weekend.

I had visions of a 
ladies lunch
shopping at Lenox.
I also thought
we could view the
Titanic Exhibit
Atlantic Station.

my girl had different plans.
she wanted
chicken and dumplings
Cracker Barrel.
Not my idea of a ladies lunch.
It also left me longing for my Granny,
and wishing C
could've had her homemade
chicken and dumplings.

The shopping she was most excited about
was this shirt:

Yes, she plans to marry Harry from One Direction.
(I don't think he knows.)

It was a gorgeous Atlanta day,
blue skies and warm weather,
with just a hint of fall in the air.

C fell in love with 
Atlantic Station.

She said it reminded her of
The Grove
in L.A.

It did me too,
a little.

C wanted to see the 
Bodies Exhibit.

It was kind of creepy,
but interesting.
The part that I found the most moving,
was actually seeing
a tumor in breast tissue.
To come face to face
with the culprit that has stolen 
so many lives,
was unfathomable.

we saw the Titanic Exhibit.

I have always loved learning about the Titanic
and must have read
A Night to Remember 
a hundred times.
I find
the heroism
and dignity
on that fateful night,
crossed with 
the history
and tragedy,
to be such a compelling story.
It was remarkable to see
items belonging to the passengers
on display - 
cups, books, socks, jewelry, perfume bottles
and so much more.

When we entered,
we were given boarding passes
with actual passenger's names,
what class we were traveling in,
where we were from,
who we were traveling with,
and where we were going.
C and I knew our chances weren't very good
because we were both mothers traveling in third class
with our children.
At the end of the exhibit,
we were able to scan the wall
to determine our fate.
Our names and our children's were on the perished list.
It brought heartbreaking humanity to the legend.

we stopped at 
Rosa Mexicano,

sat outside,

and devoured some killer

All in all,
it was a perfect day
spent with
one of the people
I love most
in this world.