Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lunch Break

... Nashville style.  :)

The Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center
(where words cannot express the magnificence, pictures can try...)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fast Horses and Comfy Cows

Main Gate
Today we visited Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.  It is one of those places that exudes magnificence.  Even today, when there was nothing going on, you could feel the energy flowing through the place.  We were able to tour the grounds... we saw some of the bidding windows, the paddocks, the grand stands, the winner's circle, and the track.  It was very very cool!  And we had a really nice tour guide who was very informative.  On any given day, tickets prices run about $3, but when it's time for the Kentucky Derby, tickets start at $80ish (for the cheap seats) and go up to roughly $68,000 (when all is said and done for) for the expensive ones.  I agree with him when he says that the comfort of his own home is the "best seat".  But then I think about being in the midst of it all... and I consider creating a savings fund just for a chance to go to the Derby one day.  Oh, and that would have to include purchasing a fancy-schmancy hat.  We checked out the Museum gift shop where they had some for sale and they ranged from $30 to $118.  So... it wouldn't be a cheap trip by any means, but it's something to put on the list.  :)

Under-the-track tunnel.
The hat I need...

A place to place bets. 


We had a really nice day today!  We got to see the friends and see some more of the sights.  After our jaunt to the 'Downs and dinner, Gary and I went out in search of ice cream - and it had to be something different!  Luckily, the ladies at the front desk have been so helpful and friendly that we knew they could point us in the right direction!  And they did!  We drove [some direction] for about 4 miles and came upon this outdoor mall area called Westpoint Village, to a place called the "Comfy Cow'.  It's an adorable local joint that makes homemade ice cream and desserts!  It was nice and bright, packed, and eclectically interesting and charming!  There were old-fashioned milk bottles hanging from the ceiling as light fixtures.  The three chalk boards behind the concert had a handwritten (in chalk) menu.  And the ice cream was amazing!!  I decided to get the Lemon Cream and Pistachio.  Gary had the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and we got Madre a Peachy Keen to-go.  Everything was great!  The prices were right too!  I've decided that we definitely need one of these in Marietta... it would fit right in on the square, or definitely in Woodstock!  And next time we come this way, we will stop in and try a new flavor.


The decor is adorable!  So "comfy"!

We've an early start tomorrow, and I'm off to sleep.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Bluegrass State

We are in Kentucky!  Visiting some of my mom's old family friends, and taking advantage of a Friday off, and a beautiful weekend! 

The clouds were fierce!

Kentucky state line.  :)

Hey!  Our first visit to a "Big Boy". 

Kentucky corn field.

Madre used to live here when she was younger.

Sunset over the Ohio river.

The 'Captain's Quarters' "Princess".
It's been a good day today!  The drive wasn't bad at all.  It was a pleasure to be going north, instead of south.  I feel like we are always driving to Florida, or somewhere south, and it's flat.  There's really nothing to look at besides the billboards.  But going north, there's mountains!  You literally get to drive those mountains that have been carved out for highways.  It was neat!  The scenery was new and  delightful, and we had sunshine and clouds the whole way!  And what can I say about Kentucky [Louisville in particular], except that it is absolutely amazing!  I am particularly taken by it, and could see myself living here some day.  It's like Georgia, but prettier.  :)  I love being this close to a river, and in the midst of all of these states.  We drove over to Indiana for a quick minute, considered going to Cincinnati, and talked about how close everything is.  The trees are magnificent!  I will try to snap some pictures of them tomorrow.  And there are all of these little areas that seem so familiar, but of course are completely new!  And even though it's just a weekend, I can't wait to explore!  There's this one street that reminds me of Midtown/Decatur/Virginia Highlands.  There are these eclectic shops and restaurants and bookstores that are begging to be "found".  Tomorrow we are spending time with the friends, and they are going to show us around.  I'm so excited!  I hope everyone out there had a great Friday, and has an amazing Saturday!  Toodles!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Garden Gloves

Rubberized dots on thick cloth.
Texture: "spotty"

Today I decided that it would be a good time to work in the garden.  It's not like I have anything else to do or prepare for the weekend... so what the hey right?  :)  Well, the garden has been looking sad-ish and rather defeated.  I think it's a mixture of super-extreme-hotness and weird spurts of rain, with lots of no-rain in the middle.  It's been rough on my little garden, but we have still had a lot of goodies!  Just today, I harvested a sungold cherry tomatoes, a good variety of medium sized 'red ones', some banana peppers, and a sweet pepper.  They're looking great, and I'm loving the little sungold cherry tomatoes!  Super tasty, and they're orange!! 

But anyways, I took some time to deconstruct.  I cleaned up the garden area, moved some of the bins over to the side of the deck to eventually plant flowers in, and removed all of the lids from underneath the bins.  There was disgusting stuff growing underneath... uck!  Lesson learned!


And now, I must get on with the rest of the evening.  I've shows to watch, invites to address and stamp, light packing to do, and I want to sleep.  Like now.  :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Cardboard Sea

"It's Only a Paper Moon"
Ella Fitzgerald

I never feel a thing is real
When I'm away from you
Out of your embrace
The world's a temporary parking place

Mmm, mm, mm, mm
A bubble for a minute
Mmm, mm, mm, mm
You smile, the bubble has a rainbow in it

Say, its only a paper moon
Sailing over a cardboard sea
But it wouldn't be make-believe
If you believed in me

Yes, it's only a canvas sky
Hanging over a muslin tree
But it wouldn't be make-believe
If you believed in me

Without your love
It's a honky-tonk parade
Without your love
It's a melody played in a penny arcade

It's a Barnum and Bailey world
Just as phony as it can be
But it wouldn't be make-believe
If you believed in me

Tuesday, July 26, 2011




“Each morning the day lies like a fresh shirt on our bed; this incomparably fine, incomparably tightly woven tissue of pure prediction fits us perfectly. The happiness of the next twenty-four hours depends on our ability, on waking, to pick it up.”

-Walter Benjamin

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rain Drops

I decided to do a "texture study" this week.  I'm taking a cue from my 'Intro to Art' class and am giving myself a momentary expanse of focus.  I am allowing myself the opportunity to explore a daily "inspiration" (as it were) instead of waiting until the last minute for it to come to me, sometimes in a fit of panic.  :)  I am challenging myself to be [more] aware of the textures around me, and will find inspiration in their differences, at least for this week.

That being said, the rain today was amazing!  Most days, I prefer the sun.  But there is something to be said about a hard morning rain.  And it was pouring!  I love it!  And then, it was okay that it was rainy and cloudy the rest of the day.  It was particularly gloomy, or sad.  It was refreshing and energetic!

::This is the sort of rain that I love!::

And as we were driving home, the rain drops on the hood of the car stood out.
And bam, there's the texture.  Shiny, wet, reflective.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Craving vampires.

Today has been nice and quiet...  and all loungey-like.  We've spent the afternoon and evening in front of the tv watching the Twilight series.  It's been good!  I crave this series, and particularly the music in the movies.  One of my favorite scenes is from 'Twilight' (the first one) when they are playing baseball, and Muse is in the background.  What with the song, the thunder, and the look on Jasper's face, the scene is fabulous!

"Supermassive Black Hole" will always be a favorite song, and will always remind me of that scene from now on.  :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lovely logo!

We went to lunch at this little modern-country Italian joint, down the street from Gary's work, called Figo.  Both of us had never been, but he'd heard rave reviews, and it's next to a Gigi's so it can't be bad.  ;)  And it wasn't!  The food was excellent, the atmosphere was welcoming, the staff were friendly and helpful, and prices weren't bad.
AND they had nicely logo'd mason jar glasses.  There's just something about a very simple logo with clean lines.  I like the modern font, the all-caps, and the box around it.  So satisfying!

 My first response to the glasses when they were brought to our table was, "I wonder where they get their glasses logo'd?".  lol.  And then I seriously spent a few seconds admiring the handiwork, and the logo itself.  One thing for sure is that I have come to appreciate a good logo, and a good placement of a logo.  And here, I was impressed.  I see enough logos on a daily basis that it is easy for them all to fade into the background, but working with them and beginning to appreciate them, is a skill that I am acquiring, in a manner of speaking.  And it is something that I actually really like doing.

Something tells me I missed my calling as a graphic designer...

Actually truth be told, I believe I could spend all day working on logos, and layouts, and designs!  At this moment, my dream job would be working at an invitation company setting up invitations and paper products for clients, and getting it done right.  I would learn all of the fonts, come up with some awesome layouts, and have a blast customizing paper products to match a client's taste and needs.  What was that?  Ah yes, I'm daydreaming about paper again...  :)  

And that makes me believe that it's not too late for me to pursue it!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


A charm bracelet from years ago.
It has representations of some of my favorite things, and has little accents of color all over.  I heart it (as apparent by the heart on it...).  One of my old friends from church had my sister and I over one night and let us rummage through her collection of beads and charms.  It was super fun, and one of my earliest memories of how a large stash of crafting supplies can be useful... lol.  From that point on, I'm sure I had notion that if I wanted to collect crafting supplies for the simple reason that one day I could rummage through them and share with others, then I could.  And so, I have.

:) charming

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Southern Cooked Dinner


Oven-baked Chicken
Homemade Creamed Corn
Fried Okra
'Crock Pot' Snap Peas
Southern Cornbread
Sliced (garden grown) tomato

Mmmmm!  Fried okra
Slow cooked snap peas.

Chicken, Corn, Okra
We ate high on the hog tonight!  What started as this weekend's impulse buy and yesterday's evening project, turned in to a day of cooking for my mom, and an amazing dinner!  Talk about good-ole-southern-cooking!  The okra was the best I've ever had, and everything was soooo yummy!  And it was great to sit at the table and hear her reminisce about childhood, cooking, and cornbread.  I remember watching my great-grandparents sit at a table and eat a bowl of cornbread and buttermilk.  As a kid, I was pretty put-off.  As an adult, I'd be willing to try it (maybe) as long as it was mom's cornbread... and I didn't have to smell the buttermilk.  :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Shucking, Snapping, and Slicing

Tonight, mi madre and I deconstructed those lovely vegetables from the vegetable stand we got this weekend.  We sat around the table (we were going to sit outside, but it started raining), and de-strung and snapped the peas.  Then we got around the sink and shucked the corn - putting the silks into the garbage bowl and not down the sink.  Then I rinsed and chopped the okra, while madre got the corn and peas simmering.  Note: okra is super-duper slimy, it's weird.  Love the stuff, don't get me wrong, but I guess I've never had to deal with it fresh before.  I'm not gonna lie, it's a bit reminiscent of aliens coming out of their pods or something of that sort... and that's even after they are rinsed.  Eeep!  But  at least they are super yummy and good fun to eat.  Oh, and if you want to chomp on something really good, try pickled okra!  Now that's good stuff!  You get the bitter pickle flavor, with the fuzzy okra outside and little seed bits on the inside.

Snap pea strings and bits.

::snapped:: snap peas

(in the act)

Shucking of the corns.

::sliced:: okra.  Can you see the slime?  :p
It was good, and it was nice to sit and do this with my mom!  I know that I remember snapping peas with my Granny and sister on the screen back porch during the summer.  And she has memories of her and her sister doing the same.  So that connection is there.  And maybe one day, she will teach our kids how to de-string and snap peas too!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Birthday Treat

My sister, the gourmet chocolatier, made Gary some homemade peanut-butter cups for his birthday.  And to make it extra special (because she knows how much he loves bacon and chocolate), she added bacon to half of the bunch!  And they were amazing!  Laura, I'm thinking this may be your calling!!  :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Busy Saturday

Today has been super, duper busy!  We started it bright and early, well in the rain, and headed to Kennestone for the "Matters of the Heart" class that we were attending.  It's all about dealing with the emotional side of heart events, and it was really nice to be able to hear from others, and connect with others under the large umbrella of persons who had had a "heart event".  It was a good thing for Mom, and it helped her to get a chance to talk to others.  It was a nice class, and we spent the majority of the time going around the room and talking about what had happened that led them there.  It's humbling and striking - and things like this tend to bring you back to reality.  You really get a chance to realize that everyone in the world is dealing with something.  All in all, it was a good thing indeed!

For lunch, mi madre took Gary and I to this place in Sandy Springs called Nori Nori.  It's this amazing Japanese buffet that features sushi, traditional soups and salads, and the prettiest desserts I've ever seen!  The food was amazing, and it was packed, even for our late lunch!  It was a bit pricey, but completely worth it, and Gary loved it!  It was a perfect place for his birthday meal!

After lunch, we stopped at this road-side stand to grab some fresh veggies and fruits.  There is nothing better, let me tell ya!  The lady running it was super nice, and was willing to offer some suggestions about how to cook the snap peas we bought... those brought back some memories for my mom.  She and her sister used to sit around a bowl stringing and snapping those peas all afternoon from the sound of it.  Sounds like good times to me, and I'm looking forward to doing it!  We also got some sweet corn, some okra, a grapefruit, a champagne mango, some strawberries, and a basket.  Not bad!

And now, we are headed to the drive-in!  We were trying to decided between seeing Harry Potter at the theater, and Bridesmaids at the Fox.  lol.  So we are compromising and seeing Harry Potter at the drive-in with the possiblity of seeing the Green Lantern after!  (Gotta love double-features!)  :)