Exploring and Encouraging a Healthy Life Marked with Joy

Archive for June, 2012

Tybee Partee

Last night I went to the beautiful Tybee Island oceanfront home of Helen Downing for a church party.  Actually it was a party for members of the church choir (which I am not a part of) (for good reason) (seems that every song I try to sing ends up sounding like ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”), but anyway I somehow finagled my way in without the law being involved in any way whatsoever.  I am really getting pretty good at this pretending-to-be-a-famous-blogger-as-a-strategy-to-get-free-food-and-sundries thing.

The meal, highlighted by incredible cooked-on-the-spot crab cakes and watermelon-feta salad, so overwhelmed me that I forgot all about taking pictures till I was foundered from gorging and stumbled down to the beach–just as the sun started to set.

(Okay, be honest, which looks bigger–my butt or my head?)

Along my beach walk, I met these girls–Celine, Abigail and Cici–from Charlottesville, VA.  Abby was playing a little guitar.  I thought that was blog-worthy.

The sun was just so beautiful that I decided to take it home.

Goodnight, Sun.

There’s Aways a Window

Really, there is.


Five Friday Happy Bringers (6/29/12)

Friday!  Here are five wonderful adders to my happiness   (Is “adder” a word?)  (Well, in the way I’m using it, I mean?)  (Because “adder” is a type of poisonous snake.)  (Yuk!)  (Or something non-understandable having to do with computer circuits and addition.)

1Being okay with not knowing whether some words I use are actually words.  Because since I have reached a certain age, I don’t care about such correctness so much.  I’m trying to embrace my “is-ness,” you know?

2Seeing the sun rise over the ocean on Amelia Island Thursday morning.

(Okay maybe I went straight back to bed afterwards.  But I did leave the doors open so I could hear the surf.)

3.  Earlier in the week, I visited my parents in the small North Georgia town of Ball Ground (where I grew up).  Tuesday morning, as is our tradition when I’m home, we made our way to Hardees for coffee and breakfast biscuits (sausage and egg for me, in case you’re wondering).

Well, as luck would have it, when we were handed our coffee cups (by a talkative caramel-colored lady who made the biscuits earlier and who was leaving for Puerto Rico the next morning–I’m a good listener/eavesdropper) and went to the urn (cool word) to pour our brew, the huge container was empty.  [That sentence is “weigh” too long, but I don’t feel like revising it right now.  There’s a severe heat warning in the Eastern U.S. and I really need to take a cool nap ASAP.]

Back to the coffee urn–since it was still nearly dawn (7:30 ish!) and I was only half conscious, I kept pushing that little handle/lever thingy up and down (in maniacal poking-the-elevator-button-to-make-it-come-faster style) hoping to force some joe into my two-dropsful cup.

My mom, 85, who broke her leg a couple of months ago and struggles with walking, relying on a walker, which we fold up and put in the trunk of the car, had already found a table near a group of extremely LOUD senior citizens and waited semi-patiently for her coffee.  Seeing me struggling foolishly with the urn spout, she yelled at a shocking volume over the partying old folks, “Neal it’s empty!  Can’t you see that?  Tell your daddy to get that pretty black girl to get us some from behind the counter.  We know her.  Are you sure you don’t want the breakfast platter?”

But my father, 89 in November and an extremely efficient doer-of-things, had other plans.  While I was staring, openmouthed, at a hauntingly beautiful, ancient and tiny, bird-like, blue-haired lady wearing an oversized Lady Gaga t-shirt cinched at the waist with one of those orange plastic rings, my dad picked up the large, empty urn from the beverage area and carried it slowly, shakily and singlehandedly to the counter.  “There you go,” he said to Caramel, who laughed a good-natured “Oh my!” and said we would have coffee in no time.  And we did.

4.  Sea oats.

5.  The incredible fragrance of jasmine growing on trellisses.  Find some and smell it deeply.

These fragrantly beautiful vines were growing in abundance in my parents’ side yard.

Have a spectacular last weekend in June!

A.M. Love

Good Thursday Morning!



I found myself behind this guy, waiting for the elevator.


Oh, the People You Meet at the Savannah Asian Festival!

Yesterday I attended the 2012 Savannah Asian Festival at the Civic Center.  What a fun experience.

(Isn’t this a beautiful picture?  Uh, the one below, not above.  Well, unless you want to say that the one above is also beautiful and be rewarded with, I don’t know, valuable prizes or something.)
I sort of borrowed/stole the above pic from the Facebook page of the beautiful Tuquyen Mach, reporter extraordinaire with WSAV here in Savannah and emcee for this year’s festival (as she was last year).

Profile Picture

Here I am cornering the very gracious Tuguyen before she headed back onstage to announce the next festival act.

I love the great attendance at the various festivals held in Savannah.  Everyone knows about our city’s St. Patrick’s Day and the Savannah Music Festival, both held each spring, but other events, such as the Irish Festival and this one, also bring out hordes of folks.  The civic center was packed.

Hello!  Hello!  These golden waving cats are bestowing good luck on all passersby.  I stood there an hour.

I met some of THE MOST fascinating people.  Here I am with Tae Kwon Do Grand Master Jong H. Lee.

And here’s upbeat, helpful Oscar demonstrating his expertise with sais (traditional Okinawan martial arts weapons).

And look at this beautiful Thai princess.  I think I was more impressed with her, than she with me.  Without land and fortune (only blog fame), she refused to accept my proposal of marriage.  Why didn’t I dress better?!

I met some very friendly folks from Crimson Art Henna, based out of Athens, GA.  (Henna is an ancient art in which an organic paste is applied to the skin, leaving a reddish-brown stain that lasts from one to three weeks.   www.CrimsonArt.com)

I ended up eating a WONDERFUL lunch of delicious rice noodles and savory beefsteak with onions from these ladies.

(For some reason, I think they got the distinct impression that I am famous.  I MUST stop introducing myself with, “Hello, you look great!  Care to have your picture taken with me?  I’m a world famous blogger.  No telling how many people around the planet will see this post!  Now move to the left a little.)

I loved this festival and all these folks.

I got lost only once.

One of the high points for me was the performance of the Matsuriza Taiko Drummers.  Here’s a tiny bit of it–when I joined in.

Okay, okay maybe not my finest video work to date, but you get the “sound” idea.

Here’s to you the bamboo of good fortune.  May all blessings come your way!

Amazing festival!  Go to 2013’s event.  As a matter of fact, let’s all go together.

My only regret about this terrific event is that I didn’t get to hop up onstage and perform like I did at the Irish Festival.  Oh well, as the Braves say, there’s always next year.

Take Me Out …

Greetings from tonight’s Savannah Sand Gnats home game against the Augusta Green Jackets.



Nate the Gnat, Neal the World Famous Blogger and Little Sports Fan KJ caught in the middle.


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