Thursday, July 31, 2008

An Epiphany

Our last day at the beach has finally come. I know I don't have to tell anyone that the time spent together has been wonderful and extra special, but it has.

When I married at nineteen, DH and I were still attending Lipscomb, both working and trying to learn how to live together. DH had to drive one and a half hours to Pulaski to work right after he got out of school and would not be home until 11:30 pm. This went on for about a year and a half until he graduated early. Then he worked full days and that would be leaving early and not getting home until 9:15. And this was with zero days off.

The business in Pulaski was sold and they started up in Franklin and Nashville. Savannah came in 1991 and I KNOW John worked every day of our marriage for about 15 years. We would take a five day trip once a year and go visit my family for a couple days at holidays.

Savannah and I would go visit my parents and they would come see me. Leslie usually came up about once a month. DH worked hard so I could stay home with Sav and always encouraged me to go visit my family.

In between there the cancer came three times and life went on. That is life altering in itself and I won't even go there.

About 6 or 7 years ago, DH decided to take one day off a week. Then a few years ago 2 days. This was huge! There were plenty of times when I went home that people didn't know what my husband looked like.

Well, a year and a half ago, DH had an epiphany and said, "Is this it?" And he realized that Savannah only had three more years home and she would be leaving for college.

Our lives changed that day. We all spend more time together and value every day.

DH has said twice, when he was last down here and last night, "I'm in my happy place. Right now." I wanted to cry with love. I don't know how many of you are married to a workaholic or a former workaholic, but it does and can get better.

I am so thankful for the place we are now in our lives. It has been long and hard, with lots of hours away from each other, but I know all along that God has a plan for us. He is so loving and giving to us if we just love Him and are faithful.

I will have to say that all through our marriage, being faithful to the Lord's church has been our strength. Without the love of our church family, it would have been doubly hard. So I cannot stress enough how important your Spiritual life is.

There are alot of things I know that we would do differently now, but we have always had the love of both sides of the families and most importantly, the love for each other and I thank God every day for my darling husband John.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Beautiful Finish to a Day

We finished our Bruno's pizza, which is the best pizza down here and happened to see it was 7:15pm and there was a yell and we all hopped up and zoomed out to see the sunset.

Yesterday we went out and there wasn't much color because it was so hazy, but tonight it cleared enough for it to be glorious!!

Sometimes when there are some clouds, the sunset is more colorful because the sun shines around and through and over. Pinks, ambers, greys, blues, oranges, and golds. You could even see rain streaming down in the distant horizon.

We felt like we had really seen God tonight. The day had almost finished and I didn't really have anything to blog about. Just the Lowe's, barber shop, etc. kind of day. But what a finish!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Seen at the Seafood Store

"Frankly scallop, I don't give a clam."

Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover

My love affair with books started with my mom taking my sister and I to the library each week. At that time the library was fairly small because Peachtree City was a relatively new city. The library was located in the only main building. The library, city hall, the police station and the doctor's office were all in the same building. Our new church even met in the city hall every Sunday. Anyway, we each picked approximately six or seven books a piece and off course I had them all read by the end of the day.

Every week my sister and I got $1.50 a week for allowance. We would ride our bikes first to Hudson's supermarket, pick out a treat (usually either a big dill pickle, some sort of fake squeezable cheeze or a candy bar) and then ride our bikes over the bridge to the library. There we would spend hours in the air conditioned library and read and read.

We could only carry one or two books a piece in my wire basket, so we had to choose wisely.
I think I must have read almost every book in the children's section first, then I moved up to the young adult fiction. I read the books with the attractive covers and then when I felt like there wasn't much left to read, I checked out a book with a worn out cover. There was no book jacket, the cover boards were bumped and rubbed. I don't remember now the title of that first worn out book that I checked out and read, but I was blown away with how wonderful it was!

From then on I realized that the most bumped and beat up books were the best books at the library! "To Kill a Mockingbird" was one of those books. I truly learned the meaning ,"Don't judge a book by it's cover!" Isn't that true in all things in life? Grandparents ? Don't they have the best stories?

I still tend to pull the book off the shelf that is most love-worn. They are the best.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rain on a Tin Roof

Every time there is thunder, my dog Harvey gets scared and paws on my side of the bed until I pick him up, put him on our bed and cover him with a blanket. It never bothers his sibling Azalea and she continues to sleep just fine.

It's 3:00 am and Harvey has woken me up because of a thunderstorm, so I have had a hard time going back to sleep and have decided to come out here on the porch and listen to the rain and blog.

It sounds like camp out here with the rain hitting the leaves and the tree frogs singing. There is something peaceful about a good rain, isn't there? By late morning there probably will hardly be any sign that it was raining at all. Rain showers come quickly here and leave just as fast.

Just a couple more days with mom and dad here and DH will be coming to get us and it will be back to Tennessee. School will be starting and there will be a schedule to keep just about hourly.

But for now I am listening to rain on a tin roof, knowing all is at peace.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Confused with Politics?

I get so frustrated with what I see on the television in regards to political journalism. I get so confused and mad! But never fear, when I need something explained in a logical, straight to the point, from the horses mouth, Christian point of view, I go to my friend Kimberly's husbands blog,

Truman is always up on local happenings and usually goes right to the source if there is a question. He has some very excellent links on his site if you need a broader or generalized subject concerning politics.

So if you want to scream with what all that is happening right now and need some answers, now you know where to go for a trusted answer.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Okay, here is my crazy family. DH is practicing his swimming strokes in a concrete pool and my dad is hanging out working on getting some sun on his own beach.

It is so hot down here, they are probably seeing a mirage of water.

I will try to keep the diving to a minimum.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Sister's New Blog

My sister has a brand new blog! It's wonderful(of course)! Now you will see why I love her so much and love hanging with her!

Check it out!

Isn't that a precious title for a blog? To be able to sit with Les is a treasure!

Precious Moments with Parents/Grandparents

I am so thankful for the time I have had to spend with my parents here. It had been almost two months since I had seen them. Staying with them for extended time has been glorious. It has been great for Savannah too. I can remember the weeks I would go to Mississippi to spend with my grandparents.

The first time I got to drive by myself was with my granddad. I was probably 11 and my grandaddy told me to go get the pick-up truck. I stood there shocked, wondering if he was serious and he had to tell me again. I was SO excited. The three wheeler wouldn't start and he wanted me to pull him on it so he could pop the clutch to get it started. That is now one of my favorite memories, driving and seeing my granddaddy in the rear view mirror, just hoping I wouldn't jerk him off his seat.

Savannah is cooking, cleaning and playing with her Mimi. These are precious moments that she will cherish all her life.

This week my dad was telling me some stories about when he was in Korea during the war there...stories I had never heard before.

Treasure those moments with your loved ones.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The House at Riverton

Drama, intrigue, tragedy, history, secrecy, a love story and a 300 year old English country manor.

I have just finished a great summer read. While I was in London in June and we had a little time to spare at Victoria Station, we went looking for a decent copy of 'Pride and Prejudice' at a book store for Savannah. While there, I found a couple books on their best-seller list. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton was one of them.

Ninety-eight year old Grace decides to tell her life story and what a story it is. Upstairs/downstairs daily life, sisters, family, the aftershocks of WWI and many, many secrets.

It is a novel that reads like a mystery. Ms. Morton says it is "the haunting of the present by the past."

I wanted to fuss and get mad at some of these characters in many places and in the end I was sorry for it to end. This is a long book and I was up until around 1:30 am trying to finish it, but it is not one you need to rush through. These characters will be with you long past the last page. I will definitely be recommending this one to my book club. Check out Ms. Morton's website. A lovely storyteller.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lord of the Sea

"When I go to the sea to rest
my heart,

and listen to the movement of
the tide
taking away the old
and bringing in the new...

The waves rush to shore
and somehow I feel a peace
settling deep within me
knowing He must be here,

Lord of the Sea."

-Nancy Veldman
Magnolia House
Grayton Beach, FL

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Notes from the Porch Swing

This morning we awoke to the yummy scent of Poppy's beignet's. Poppy has a standing tradition of making French donuts at least once a visit when we are all together. He uses the real Cafe du Monde mix from New Orleans and he has it down to a science.

DH's parents came down two days ago and they are enjoying the condo they are renting. We went over and visited with them for the afternoon. It's always fun to see how another person decorates their space and this one was different for a beach condo. They used the jungle theme. Elephants, monkeys, tiger prints, lots of brown accent walls and wrought iron. Mrs. C said she was going to have to spend a while to make sure they haven't left anything because of the darker colors and prints.

It is so very hot down here! It feels like you walk right into a sauna when you go out. You pretty much need to be in the water all the time.

DH leaves tomorrow and we have all had such a great time! He is going to leave us for a week and then come back giving us some more time with mom and dad. Sav is finishing up her required reading and is looking forward to seeing her friends at school, but not the schedule.

The pool has been dug and poured with concrete, but still has a long way to go. DH says maybe we can try to come back over labor day weekend and try it out.

Today we are all going to try to see the movie Mama Mia and hit the outlet mall. DH is creaming us all at Mexican dominoes and he is not being humble about winning. He's rubbing it in to much. So, I am off to try again to bring him down a little.

Monday, July 21, 2008

On Grayton Time

On Grayton time you...

Take walks on the beach at 10pm to see what the moon looks like.
Listen to the beach music
Go to Frosty bites for Creamsicle or Key Lime Pie flavors
Swing on the porch swing
Read and read and read
Hold hands with DH
Use lots and lots of sunscreen
Hit the outlet malls
Make homemade ice cream
Eat cut up peaches, watermelon and cantaloupe on the beach
Watch the fishing boats come
Go to movies finally
Hang out at the book stores and browse
Wear flip flops everywhere
Leave off using the hair dryer
Walk on cool white sand
Look for hermit crabs
Play your favorite music
Play Mexican dominoes
Picnic on the beach
See colorful umbrellas that you have to catch when they blow away
Lay in a beach chair and realize you are sitting on the edge of the world

Monday, July 14, 2008

Babe and the gentle Farmer

The other day I was flipping on the television and came across the movie "Babe."  It had been a long time since I had seen it and I had forgotten what a precious movie it is and one of my all time favorite movie scenes is in it.

The mean cat has told Babe that he is just being loved on so he can be fattened up and eaten and he has no hope. Babe is heartbroken and runs away.  The kind gentle giant farmer (James Cromwell?) finds Babe and the vet says he won't make it unless he eats.  The kind farmer tries to feed Babe in his arms with a bottle.  Babe doesn't start eating until the farmer starts singing this sweet, loving song.  

This little song just makes me cry with happiness.  It starts out sweet and Babe starts eating.  It builds in tempo and the gentle farmer gets up and starts to dance for him right there in his living room while Babe watches him from the sofa, happy and loved.

I think of my heavenly Father in the role of the gentle farmer, desolate when he has lost one of his own, and then the joy of bringing us home, feeding us and then dancing with joy!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Secret for Happiness

1. my God
2. my DH(dearest husband)
3. my child
4. my family & friends
5. my church

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Scents Galore!

I love, love, love perfumes, colognes, body butters, lotions, hand cremes and free samples!!!! I am always looking for that "signature" scent that is the perfect one for me.  My sister Leslie is the same.  It must be a genetic thing because Sav seems to have her favorites too. 

I thought I would list some of my favorites, some of Leslie's favorites and Sav's favorites.

The ones I tend to wear in the day are:
Trish McEvoy-Blackberry & Vanilla Musk-very light (can spray lots)
Betsy Johnson (Jodie wears this one too)
Fresh-Sugar Lychee (can spray lots)
Jo Malone-White Jasmine & Mint (my friend Cleo introduced this line to me. Her sweet daughter buys her all kinds, like Pomegranate and Lime, Basil, Mandarine that Cleo always shared with us on the bus in Italy & the U.K.)

Love, but can't find anymore anywhere:
Decleor-Aromantic (I always got compliments on this, so I am using this one sparingly)

DH's favorites that I wear:  
Viktor & Rolf-Flower Bomb
(He has only told me once not to wear one again and thank heavens it was a sample! Bond No. 9-Riverside, too masculine)  

Favorites I found out about in Europe that you can find here now:
Blue Mediteraneo- Fico di Amalfi (Fig)
                                   Mandorlo di Sicilia (Almond), love this in the body oil too
                                  Arancia di Capri-(Orange)

Past signature scents: still wear occasionally
Fracas by Robert Piguet (very soft)
Popy Moreui- (bought at Nordstrom in San Francisco years ago) -my friend Jodie has made                                 this her signature scent and it smells fabulous on her! 

I bought these in New York and they were just right there (I guess because of all the smog and car fumes & etc..., but here they are a little strong. Wear these in winter with a very light spritz):
Tom Ford-Noir de Noir
Bond no. 9-Nuits de Noho- I absolutely LOVE this one! This whole line is incredible!

Other strong ones I like:
Prada Infusion D'Iris
Bond No. 9-Chinatown & The Scent of Peace (spritzed on top of each other)

Favorite Lotions/Creams:
Flower Bomb Voluptuous Body Cream
Annick Goutal-Eau d'Hadrien body creme
The Body Shop Body Butters-Strawberry, Satsuma, Mango and Grapeseed
L'Occitane-Amande (almond)
Caswell-Massey-Almond & Aloe Body Balm 

Savannah's favorites:                                             
Escada-Pacific Paradise                                                 
Clarins- par Amour Toujours                                      
Unforgivable Woman-Sean John                                 
Incanto-Salvatore Ferragamo                               
Escada-Moon Sparkle                                                       
Nina Ricci-Nina                                                

Leslie's (my sis) Favorites:
Bond No. 9- Hamptons- her #1
                      Chelsea Flowers
                      Andy Warhol, Union Square
                      West Side
                      The Scent of Peace
Roberto Verino
Miss Dior
Narcisso Rodriguez
Chanel Chance
...and lots more!

I told you I was crazy about the stuff! 
What's your favorite scent?

Friday, July 11, 2008

End of Week News

Savannah just finished a week of working at Elaine's art day camp.  She had an absolute blast! There were nine darling little girls between the ages of 3 and 9.  She says they all wanted to be in her lap at some point in time.  I am so proud of her!  She loved listening and watching Elaine teach them and she always came home thinking about what she could do to help for the next day. It's wonderful when Savannah has been able to apprentice under someone like Elaine who is so creative, talented and imaginative and has so much to teach and pass on to Savannah.  She said it brought back so many memories of her art classes as a child.  And she says it was fun!  It's a great lesson on working and doing what you love at the same time.  

Sunday after church we will head to the cottage at the beach for a visit.  After 20 years plus, mom and dad are putting in a swimming pool. We are so excited! Yes, we will still go swim in the ocean lots. DH just won't have to worry about sharks so much!  They say it should take about 6 weeks or so. With this heat, it won't come soon enough.  They are trying to decide what trees can stay and what trees have to go. That's the main reason one hasn't been put in before. The wind bent oaks are beautiful and only native to the area. I told them on the phone that I hope they can get all that worked out and all the big decisions done before we get there.  Mom chuckled. 

We have been having some of the best speakers at our church summer series on Wednesday nights.  I will have to say I think the second speaker was the best and was outstanding!! Oh, did I mention it was my DH (darling husband)?  I think he worked on it for 6 months.  And you could tell that he had put a lot of time, thought and preparation.  He sure was happy when he finished and it was over too!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Holly and Casper

DH, Sav, DH's parents and I all went to Kentucky to watch Savannah's best friend's little sister compete in a Saddlebred horse show.  This is Holly's new horse Casper and he is GORGEOUS! This was Holly's first time showing him and she took 1st place!  We were so proud of her and it was so beautiful to watch her confidence with him.  I believe they are going to go a long way together.  She and her sister Amy have already each earned a spot in the Grand Championship in August.  Way to go girls!  

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Beach Music

Wow! What a read Beach Music has been! It is over 700 pages long and is quite a long summer read.

The first three chapters take place in Italy, so it was a beautiful beginning.  Pat Conroy writes lyrically and it was a joy reading as he described the sights, smells and tastes wherever he is.  

Beach music is the sound that the ocean makes that we love to listen to.  I love that!

I liked reading the book, but I was really not in a place in my life where I could fully enjoy it like I might at another time.  There are certain times that I can appreciate someone writing about an incredibly disfunctional family with a capital "D", and this summer is not one of them. I felt like I was reading about lots of people I know, have known and loved.  This I believe is where his talent lies.    

Mr. Conroy definitely knows how to write about the South and I hope he continues to write more books.  I was exhausted by the time I finished this one.  Back to my cozy mysteries for me!


Friday, July 4, 2008

More Pictures from Clare's

                                  The Boston subway, on the way to the museum
                                           Clare's beautiful home
                                            Clare's delicious salad
                        The whole gang in Clare's bed for movie night and lots of silliness!
                                            Elaines beautiful artwork 

Monhegan Fairy Houses

                                 Building our Fairy House
                            Shell lamp posts, fairy swings, pinecone trails, even a cemetery
                                                              Lobster fishing galore
                                                         Glorious Views

Beautiful, Peaceful Monhegan Isand

               On our way to Monhegan, poor Elaine and Clare were a little woozy.

                                                        Beautiful Sunsets
                                                                     Lupines growing wild
                                                           Trail to Lobster Cove

The Isle of Shoals and Celia Thaxter's Garden

                             On the ferry for the 8 mile trip to Appledore Island
                                            Celia Thaxter's Island Garden

Lunch at Pickety Place in Mason, New Hampshire

The whole group at Pickety Place for lunch. Beautiful luncheon plates served with herbs and edible flowers.
                                                   The menu for the month of June
                                             The big bad wolf in Grandma's bed
                         Lot's of 'Little Red Riding Hood' memorabilia
                                   Beautiful gardens, with rows of lavender!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Re-reading A Favorite Series

This week along with reading my book group book Beach Music, I am re-reading a favorite historical mystery series.  I finished Crocodile on the Sandbank, and have started Curse of the Pharaoh's. They are the first couple of approximately eighteen Amelia Peabody mysteries. I am not sure how I found this series, but they are my all time favorite historical mystery series!  Barbara Mertz writes as Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels.  Barbara Michaels writes more of the contemporary mysteries. 

My friend Jodie and I have devoured these books through the years and have decided to collect them all.  Jodie only collects a certain few authors, so it shows how much she loves them too.

Amelia Peabody is the heroine we all want to be.  She is very intelligent and independently wealthy and travelling the world after her father passes when she meets her equal in Radcliffe Emerson.  Radcliffe and his brother Walter are archaeologists excavating in Egypt.  Amelia and Emerson marry and soon have a son named Ramses.  He is as intelligent as his parents and many adventures ensue as they continue to do what they love.

I can't recommend these mysteries enough! Amelia makes me laugh and I come away having learned about the period and Egyptian history.

Jodie and I love trying to figure out who would be great playing Amelia and Emerson on screen.  We have a hard time giving the honor to anyone because they are so special to us! So please keep writing Ms. Mertz!