Posted in Countdown to Christmas

12/1/21 — Countdown to Christmas: Our Travel Tree & Georgia State Parks

Well before the pandemic, Robert and I had started exploring our state’s 48 State Parks and 16 Historic Sites. Georgia has an absolutely dizzying array of parks, from the North Georgia mountains, to the piedmont, on down to the coastal plain, where we live in Savannah.

After months waiting out the pandemic, and coming down with severe house-stir-craziness, we decided to venture out again … experimentally.

What a glorious time we had, getting reacquainted with or being introduced to our state’s natural splendors.

We would reserve a cabin for a Monday and stay several days before the weekend traffic arrived.

Oh, btw, here’s our nerdy state park magnet board …

Now that December is here, and we are on our Countdown to Christmas, Robert and I have put up our Travel Tree. What’s a Travel Tree, you ask? It’s a Christmas tree, with each ornament from one of our travels over the years.

For this new blog category, “Countdown to Christmas: Our Travel Tree & Georgia State Parks,” I plan to briefly highlight one aspect of a different Georgia State Park each day till the Big Day.

Starting with one of our favorite, Tugaloo State Park, way up in Northeast Georgia near Lavinia.

Perhaps our greatest joy about this park was our very own private dock down the hill from our cabin. The dock extended out onto beautiful Lake Hartwell on the South Carolina border.

And here’s an absolutely pitiful pic (thankfully dark) of me shivering in the morning cold with my coffee.

And here’s one of Robert, inexplicably taking a picture of my coffee.

State Park Happiness!

Joyful First Day of Countdown to You!

Posted in T-shirt Tuesday

T-Shirt Tuesday: “Ben’s”

One of our very favorite pub/bars here in Savannah is Ben’s Neighborhood Grill and Tap. Owners Nick and Heather have created a true neighborhood gathering spot with delicious food and a great offering of rotating craft beers. And it’s small enough to be cozy/friendly with lots of regulars.

Some months back, Robert and I were at Ben’s on a cool day, and I had not dressed warmly enough.

But nothing to fear. Ben’s had gotten in a new shipment of long sleeve of t-shirts. And I had to have one … right then.

Here it is …

Stay healthy. Go to Ben’s!

Posted in Humor

I Wanna Hyber from Cyber!

I’m sure you have NO CLUE, but it’s CYBER MONDAY!

Here’s a quick look at some of my obviously urgent emails from this morning …

Seriously? They’re hawking Mushrooms and Walking Sticks at incredible Cyber Monday “savings” today?!

I don’t know about you, but I’m just about ready to do some hybernating from all this cybernating.

Posted in Monday Moaning or Monday Marveling?

Monday Moaning or Monday Marveling?

GOING MARVELING

I admit that I’m often moaning on Monday morning, but this Monday morning I’m actually marveling.

Do you know about the concept of “marveling”? I didn’t until I discovered Methodist minister Fred Craddock and his book, Craddock Stories, in which he writes about his ancestors who would go out walking, often on Sunday afternoon, not to find anything in particular, but just to look for God‘s handiwork and beauty: a pretty flower, an interesting tree, a striking rock or a glorious cloud perhaps. anything that would produce a sense of wonder, appreciation or joy.

I LOVE that idea! It’s … marvelous.

Well, I went a-marveling last night (without exactly intending to) when I started pulling out Christmas decorations. I came across in the back of an old wardrobe, sort of Neal-in-Wonderland-ishly, these …

What do you mean you don’t know what you’re looking at?! They’re candle holders. Well they are now. They used to be the bases of two old wooden lamps that sat on the end tables on either side of the couch in my parents’ little house.

You can barely see them in this old pic …

My parents and one of the lamps around 1980

After my folks passed away a few years back, and I was going through all their things, deciding what to keep and what to throw away, I nearly tossed the old lamps. They had seen their better days.

But something made me pause, take the lampshades off, remove the wiring and toss the wooden bases into my back seat. And eventually into the back of my old wardrobe.

Now (voila!) they are born again as 2021 Christmas decor.

What light, joy and marvel my parents brought into my life and the world.

I invite you to go marveling! And please tell me what you find.

Posted in My Saturday Evening Post

My Saturday Evening Post: “An Artist and Her Pop-Up Work”

Thanksgiving afternoon, after The Big Meal, the lucky thirteen of us in my big ole modern family …

(Okay, okay, I know I posted this pic before.)

… sort of scattered throughout hostess daughter Amy’s sprawling house, the adults congregating in the den before the obligatory football games, while the children (ages 3-17) did who knows what.

At one point, nine-year-old Madison resurfaced: “I’m bored. Matthew (her twin) and Gabriel (her cousin) won’t stop playing video games.”

“Go outside for a while,” wise Nana suggested.

Checking on her a bit later, I saw a now-spirited Madison and a growing pile of sticks. She loves artsy endeavors—note her self-made turkey hat? … bandana?

And then a bit later (who knows how long, the tryptophan was working on me), Madison asked the adults to “Come see what I made!”

Those adults who were still conscious rambled outside to find … an outdoor pop-up art installation!

“A free-form, aesthetically pleasing amalgamation of found object natural elements representing both land and sea,” I immediately thought upon seeing the piece.

“Huh?!” Madison seemed to think in response, judging from her body posture.

Oops, a few last-minute touches …

As self-proclaimed artistic judge, I found the work dazzlingly daring yet delicate, detailed and deeply thoughtful, while being both dreamlike and dynamic!

“Huh?!” I even asked myself.

The artist was then joined by little sister/helper Isabelle (3) …

The Joy of Grandchildren and … Art!

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers 11/26/21

1. Robert and I enjoyed a big ole modern family Thanksgiving celebration with daughters Amy and Emily (and their fams) and ex-wife/great friend Donna.

And a pic that defines Awkward Family Photo …

I had just made some silly, jokey remark, and grandson Daniel was the only one who thought it was funny. He thought it was REALLY funny.

2. Cranberry sauce. More specifically, MY cranberry sauce. With allspice, brown sugar, fresh squeezed oj and zest.

3. My aging, sometimes achy and imperfect but wonderful body.

{No pic until said imperfect body is perfect. Do not expect body pics in the foreseeable future.}

4. Robert’s sometimes odd but always delicious soups (which he often makes up on the fly). This time, Baby Bok Choy and Shrimp.

5. The countdown to Christmas. We put up our Travel Tree last night, Thanksgiving night—a tradition. What’s a Travel Tree, you ask? It’s a Christmas tree, with each ornament from one of our travels. (More about the Travel Tree on my blog each day during December.)

Happy Last Weekend in November!

What are you thankful for this day?