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 Change, T-shirt Tuesday

T-Shirt Tuesday: “Abu and Rbu”

Some fourteen years ago, when older daughter Amy announced that she was pregnant with our first grandchild, I was both ecstatic and a tad nervously hesitant. A grandfather?! Seriously?! At this stage in my life? Am I even old enough to be a grandfather … officially?!

The old blog post below explains (in excruciating detail) how I ended up being called “Abu” (Abuelo = Grandfather) by that first grandchild Daniel—and all the other ones who came later.

Younger daughter Emily is a whiz at making custom t-shirts, so she recently created these two for Robert and me. Grandson Daniel came up with the idea of calling Robert “Rbu” to go along with my “Abu,” making us a weirdly matching set.

The old Abu post …

And here are a few early pics of Daniel and me …

And Daniel today …

Yes, my favorite word is “Abu.”

Posted in Humor, Neal's Writing, New, Savannah Joy, The Joy and Wisdom of Children, Transition, Uncategorized, Where Happiness Finds You

The Bear and the Unicorn

For my recent suxteee-seckth birthday, I celebrated with my big ole’ modern family …

… at Savannah’s Tequila’s Town restaurant in Sandfly.

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(Seriously?  Can you believe they come hooting “Happy Bday” laden with tequila for the celebrant!  Even though I had my large head prepared for an oversized sombrero and some flan.)

Post-tequila I received some neat gifts, but perhaps my Favorites came from five-year-old grandtwins Madison (inappropriately pictured above next to the tequila) and Matthew. Their mom let them pick out their gifts for me.  Madison gave me a pink unicorn in a love mug …

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…while Matthew opted for a brown bear that actually smells like chocolate when you rub it vigorously!

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(Matthew is in an over-smiling-for-the-camera stage.)

Oh, they also each got me a large skein of yarn–yellow from Madison and green from Matthew.  Not that I knit (who has the patience for that?!), but because they like to unravel the yarn, make giant spiderwebs and throw it all over the furniture and each other.

Thus, inspired by the tequila, when I got home I opted for a quick photoshoot to document my suxteee-seckth.

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Moral of Story:  the strangest little gifts ofttimes make for the biggest shots of … Joy.

Posted in In Our Own Backyard, The Joy and Wisdom of Children

Rainbow Joy

Last evening I went to a fun but bittersweet farewell party for good buddy Ellie Covington (who is Texas-bound, Galveston).

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After a torrential downfall forced the party onto the carport, the late-stayers ventured out onto the dock by the marsh and saw this …

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(Do you see the second one to the right?)

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Of course, we all had to get a little silly.

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I quickly texted the pic to my fam and got this response from daughter Emily (mother of grandtwins Madison and Mathew) from the other side of Savannah:

“We can hold it too!”

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The joyful promise of a rainbow!

May the excitement and happiness of children be with us all, especially Ellie as she makes her move to the next successful stage of her life!

Posted in Holiday Joy

A Most Awesome Father’s Day & Night!

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I hope your Father’s Day (and night) 2015 has been a peaceful and joyful one.  Mine was/is.  Spent time with both daughters and all four grandies.  What a blessing to have them all in my Savannah.  My cards:

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And an incredible Facebook post by older daughter Amy:

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“Happy Father’s Day to my very hip and high impact dad!  I am blessed to have a dad who taught me to love without discrimination, to have joy in all circumstances, and who creates an environment of safety and acceptance where I am free to develop into my best and truest self.”

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What a Difficult and Unparalleled Joy Fatherhood is!

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Posted in Encouragement, Holiday Joy

Have You Counted Your Holiday Blessings? (Part One)

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Have you done so this holiday?  Blessings come in SO many forms and dressings.  I urge you to take a sheet of paper and number your joys.  Here is a sampling of mine:

1.  I had to miss my seven year-old grandson Daniel’s first piano recital earlier this week.  (I was SO frustrated.)  Tonight at my family’s early Christmas dinner, I walked in the door and daughter Amy had arranged for Daniel to dress back up in his Calvin Klein suit and play Jingle Bells (as he did at the recital).  It melted my heart.

 

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(Okay, I’m not sure about the sunglasses either.)

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(Absolute grandfather joy.)

Here’s Daniel at the actual recital:

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2.  The ability to smell Christmas.

3.  Enjoying the power of silly.

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4.  Hosting a Holiday and Hot Toddy Chili Party Saturday night.

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What fun!

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Good buddies Ellie, Jamie and Brennan.

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I read “A Cup of Christmas Tea” to the twenty-something guests–and asked them to think about a person important in their upbringing to toast at the end of the story.  I urge you to do the same.  Who encouraged you along your way?

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“Let’s raise a cup of Christmas cheer, to family and loved ones far and near.”

So take a few moments, and with Bing, count your blessings:

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5.  Tree shadows on a wall during a walk the other night.

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What are a few of your Holiday Blessings?  Come on, share a few.

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 Encouragement

A Few Things

A Few Things I’m Thankful For this warm Tuesday evening in Savannah:

**  Learning to make Watermelon Gazpacho soup.  So good!

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It took me FOREVER to dice the watermelon, cucumber, bell pepper, shallots, etc, but SO WORTH IT.  Yum.

I may just become a Food Network star.

**  Cannons

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**  Peel and eat shrimp

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** Cool backgrounds for pictures

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(Inside Fort Sumter in Charleston yesterday.)

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**  Spoiling the grandtwins with chocolate cupcakes.

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**  Selfies with my parents (90 and 87) and brother Danny.

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** Figs

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** Root Vegetable Roasts!

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** Speaking of vegetables, Vegetable-laden Bloody Mary’s

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So healthy!

** Being able to bend my body

** Fifty Shades

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** Clouds

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Happiest of Nights to you all!