Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers — 5/22/15

MAY — an incredibly joyful month, don’t you think?

Five Reasons for Happy:

1.  An early morning walk along the McQueens-Tybee Island trail (between Savannah and Tybee Island–10 mins from my apartment).

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2.  Grandson Daniel in his end-of-year Who Am I? Research Biography presentation.  (He was Paul McCartney, btw.)

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(Okay. okay, maybe I helped him a little with the tri-board.)

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(He could only get such coolness from his grandfather.  Seriously.)

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The kids had to explain their research, poster-board-presentation-style, to the folks in attendance.

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They do that kinda stuff nowadays in 2nd Grade?!  Research?!  All I did in 2nd grade was spend a year of trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to stop crying for mama.

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3.  Being a judge for the 2015 Savannah Authors Anthology.  Such fun!

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(I want to be a judge … full time.  And get paid.  Exorbitantly.  Call me if you or yours need high-end judging.)

4.  Getting 2015 Beach Ready.

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5.  Seafood at Safe Harbor in Mayport, FL.  (After taking the ferry across the St. John’s River on the south end of Amelia Island.)

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Safe, Joyful Weekend ahead to you all!

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers (10/31/14)

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It’s All Hallow’s Eve!  (Wasn’t it just July 4th last week?)  And I am spookily happy.  Seriously.  Here’s why.

1.  Yesterday going to my grandtwins’ nursery school and carving a Jack O’ Lantern.  Here it is:

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Okay, that’s a lie.  I took that pic near my place in historic district Savannah.  Here’s the one I did:

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Sorry but that’s a lie as well.  (Is that a bat?)  Here’s mine:

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For more decades than I care to mention, my Jack O’Lanterns have looked EXACTLY the same.  But what fun with Matthew and Madison and their little classmates.

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2.  Speaking of pumpkins, here’s my dinner Wednesday night–Butternut Squash Soup in Pumpkin Bowls.

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Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Gourmet heaven.

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3.  The Savannah Film Festival this week, hosted by my SCAD–Savannah College of Art and Design.

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Such fun.

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What incredible films I saw, including a fascinating documentary about Summerville, GA artist Americana Howard Finster and a mesmerizing selection of short films from Ireland.

4.  Singing with James Brown in Augusts, GA.

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We’re belting out “Papa’s Got a Brand new Bag,” followed by “Make it Funky.”

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5.  The joy of holidays.

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Happy, Happy Halloween to you all!

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Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers — 9/19/14

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You know, if you really think about it, we have So Much to be thankful for.  (Btw, even though I’m an English prof, I’ve decided it’s okay to end a sentence with a preposition.)

Here’s my short list this week:

1.  Hosting a small gathering to celebrate my parents’ 70th (yes, 70th!) wedding anniversary.

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Harold Hulon (Tub) Saye and Geneva Mae Reavis were married on September 12, 1944.

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Cousin Jennie (below) helped me host the party at my parents’ little house (which, by the way, my father built himself).

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2.  Sleep.

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(Grandson Gabriel)

3.  Celebrating International Talk Like a Pirate Day today, Sept. 19.

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4.  Starting a new term at SCAD this week with fifty wonderful students from all over the world.

5.  Hearing this quote today at SCAD’s fall quarter Faculty Conference:  “Don’t just Talk about it–Be about it.”

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Be Happy This Last Weekend of Summer 2014!

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers — 9/11/14

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Summer is slipping away.  Can you believe that Sept 22 is the First Day of Fall?!  Would someone please tell Savannah’s daily temperatures that bit of info?

1.  Even though it caused a catch in my throat, seeing the pics my daughter Emily sent of the grandtwins yesterday morning — September 11.

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2.  Actually borrowing an egg from my next door neighbor.  (Is it okay to still do that?)

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(Of course she put the egg in a cute tiny bowl she found in Italy.)

I paid Vivian back with some Werther’s Originals–Chewy Caramels in the same bowl.  (Is that normal?)

3.  This green lion who (which?) lives nearby in Savannah’s historic district.

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4.  Taking four-year-old grandson Gabriel to his first-ever tennis lesson.

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Looking back at me, “Abu,” to make sure I’m watching.

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5.  And speaking of Gabriel, when I picked him and brother Daniel (7) up from school yesterday, G told us that he made a BIG picture of Batman in pre-K art class.  When we got to his house, of course we hung it in the dining room.

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After a few minutes, big brother Daniel, after pointing out that Gabriel had spelled Batman with an M (Matman), said to me, “Matman sure looks like a monkey to me.”

Gabriel screamed, “IT’S BATMAN!”

Happy Friday Folks!

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers — 8/15/14

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I love these lazy, hazy crazy days of summer!  Here’s Nat King Cole singing about them.  Listen as you read the Happy Bringers:

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1.  Friendly dogs coming up to me as I sit and read in Washington Square — “my square” here in Savannah’s historic district.

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2.  Going to the Meet Your Classmates and Teachers Social at Grandson Gabriel’s Pre-K class at Savannah Country Day.

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(My grandies call me Abu.  Read why here.)

3.  Making up a cool recipe the other night — Sautéed Collards with Red Beets and Onions.

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4.  The (frequent) sight and sound and smell of late afternoon heavy rain in Savannah.

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(Outside my living room window.)

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5.  The sheer joy of being enthusiastic.

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Here a wonderful article about that very subject:

Enthusiasm is the Key to Happiness

Have a gloriously enthusiastic weekend ahead!

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Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers — 1/31/14

1.  Happy Chinese New Year 2014!  The Year of the Horse.  (The new year starts today, Jan. 31!)

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2.  Speaking of celebrations, as some of you know, the #%*! birthday of Yours Truly occurred earlier this month.  What you don’t know is that, for some reason (which I should probably discuss with my therapist), I HATE being sung Happy Birthday to at restaurants.  It just SO embarrasses me.  I turn beet red.  So when daughter Amy suggested La Parrilla for my family bday celebratory meal, I IMMEDIATELY said, “NO!” (probably too loudly) because of the huge sombrero …

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… which must be worn as ALL the staff gathers round and screamingly sings, “Feliz Cumpleaños a ti!”  I quickly chose another restaurant where I knew they did not serenade patrons.

And my %+&! bday passed by without the public festive vocalization.

Tonight after the gym, I went to La Parrilla for chimichanga.  Feeling brazen, I ordered a mojito.  And as required by restaurant rules (as opposed to simply glancing at my graying hair), the friendly, delightful waitress Kimberly asked to see my ID.  I smiled and showed her my driver’s license, to which she seemingly sincerely and joyfully replied, “Oh!  Happy late birthday!”  I thanked her and went back to seeing how much salsa I could get on one tortilla chip.

A delicious meal later, I heard clapping hands, MANY thunder-clapping hands, and looked up to see a sea of La Parrilla employees–waiters and waitresses, the hostesses, the bartender, the manager, cooks, dishwashers, janitors, the owner, the business partners, the accountants, the CEO, the CFO, most of the diners (okay maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but not much) –walking (skipping?) from the other side of the restaurant.  I thought to myself, “Whew, gosh, somebody’s in for it!” but smiled and pretended to join the revelry as the loud little army marched forward.  I looked around to see who looked bithdayish.  I spotted a chubby man with long dreads, eating a tamale but looking up and grinning at the clappers.  “This is kinda fun,” I thought, ready even to clap and sing a tiny bit.  The guy looked so happy.

But then, the musical marauders didn’t turn toward tamale’s table.  They stopped at mine!  Total confusion.  But then it happened.  The big sombrero

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… gingerly landed on my head (placed there by the CEO, I think).  And louder than loud: “Feliz Cumpleaños a ti!” over and over.

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But to my utter amazement (and probably because I wasn’t expecting it and it happened so quickly) I found myself actually ENJOYING the impromptu celebration.

So when the crowd left my table (looking winded and exhausted), but while tamale was still gazing (a little envious, I think), I threw the sombrero down on the floor and expertly performed the traditional Mexican Hat Dance.

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That showed them.  And I thought it was a good way to thank Kimberly, as I sat back down to enjoy my complimentary sugary sopapillas.

3.  Another great winter soup, made with (among other things) beet stems and beet greens

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4.  Fun time with grandtwin Matthew.

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5.  Making it through the South’s winter storm.

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Grab joy this weekend.  It’s there for the taking!

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers (7/19/13)

Here are five things I’m happy about this warm July Friday in South Georgia.

1.  My newfound love of KALE–here sautéed with onions and garlic.

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How else can you eat it?  Anybody know?

2.  Six-year-old Grandson Daniel pretending to be part of an Office Depot sales associates meeting yesterday.  (He got bored when his mother and I were doing some shopping.)  (And he has his grandfather’s sense of humor.)  (I thought it was a lot funnier than the Office Depot folks did.)

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Right after I took that picture, Daniel asked me if we could go look at speaker eggs.  Huh?  What?  I’d never heard of such a thing.

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How does a kid know about such devices?!  When I asked him, he said that EVERYBODY knows about speaker eggs.  I couldn’t decide if I was proud of him or wanted to spank him.  A little while later, when he asked, “Abu, how old will you be when I’m twenty?” I knew I wanted to spank him.

3.  Eating dinner in a balcony.

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(At Sage.  Historic District Savannah.)

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4.  Lying down in your bed at night, putting your head on your pillow, and going to sleep.

5.  Savannah Clouds.

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Look up at the clouds this weekend!

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers (6/14/13)

I’m Hot but Happy.  98 degrees yesterday here in Savannah (heat index way over 100); 95 today.  Whew.  But unless I’m having heat tremors, here’s what I’m happy about today.

1.  Seeing Love listed as an ingredient on a product label.

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But kale?  KALE??  Seriously?

2.  The surprising, intricate beauty of looking up in Savannah.

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3.  My good buddy Riboclavin

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… without a thermometer.  Okay, so maybe he doesn’t seem to be enjoying his food 100%, but still, he’s sitting in the sun, getting a vitamin D boost.

4.  As some of you know, my grandkids call me “Abu” (Cuban/Hispanic shortened version of grandfather) because I thought “grandfather,” etc sounded entirely too paternally old.  Well, six-year-old Daniel and three-year-old Gabriel are WILD over Skylanders.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, DO NOT try to figure it out.  It’s far too complicated.  But the Skylander franchise is basically taking over the world, of kids.  Anyway, I recently told D and G that a brand new, exciting Skylander figure had just come available on the market, AbuForce!

The three-year old bought it for minute until the six-year-old exclaimed, “No way, Abu.  You’re joking again.”

“I am not,” I lied.  (Why does that trait come so easily to me?)

“Prove it, then,” smart-mouth Daniel challenged.

“Okay I will,” I responded, having no clue how to do so, or even what I meant.

“When?” he asked, a little smart-mouthier.

“Tomorrow,” I easily answered.

Sometimes, angels come your way.  I told my friend Robert about my dilemma.  He laughed and said he might be able to help.  It seems the U.S miltary has a program called Huggs-to-Go, providing dolls for children of service men and women deployed.  The figures have a place at the face for pictures of dad or mom, etc.  Since Robert is retired Army and currently works at Hunter Army Airfield, he somehow managed to get me two of the dolls.

I presented the AbuForce figures to Daniel and Gabriel the next day.  Both, in shock that there really was an AbuForce, melted my heart with their excitement over my little joke.

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And the following day, they brought unparalleled joy to my heart when they both told me that they slept with AbuForce.

5.  Beautiful paths to walk down.

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Look for some joy this weekend.  You’ll find it.

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers (5/17/13)

Happy happy, bo-bappy.  Banana fanna, fo fappy. Fe fi mo mappy.  Happy!   (Did I do that right?  I’ve spent about 45 minutes, trying it out with every relative’s name I can think of.  I keep messing up.)

Friday.  Happy  Here’s Five:

1.  A little bundle of joy.

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(Grandtwin Madison)

2.  This funny ad about rum.

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“When you hurry through life, you just get to the end faster.”

3.  Corn bread.  Here’s some I made to go with cabbage and sausage the other night.

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4.  This great quote about talking your JOY.

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5.  Grandtwin Matthew feeding Tyler.

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May your weekend overflow with joy talk and joy walk.