I’ll celebrate you, Bam…

I debated about whether or not to post this deeply personal piece. Bam passed away on January 19th, and I chose to speak at her service. Public speaking is far from my forte, and I wasn’t certain that I could stop crying long enough to share. I managed to do it, between tears and sniffles. I want to share it with everyone because Bam meant the world to me.

I’ll celebrate you…

I’ll try not to cry today…because I want to tell you what Bam meant to me, and because I want to celebrate her and all of her special gifts.

Bam, I’ll celebrate you, smiling at the thought of your rose garden, those fragrant, vivid blossoms that you tended so lovingly. Not only did you have a green thumb, but you could create almost anything with your hands.

You made me Raggedy Ann dolls with a matching costume, a Hershey Kiss costume, and a dollhouse by hand, complete with working lights, cross stitch rug, and wallpaper.

I’ll celebrate you for driving me around on the HoJo seat in your pretty blue Cadillac.

I’ll celebrate you for singing the single saddest lullaby I’ve ever heard…Go Tell Aunt Tabby.

I’ll celebrate you, for piercing my ears, for picking me up each day from daycare so I didn’t have to take naps, for cutting up my Weyman’s chicken perfectly on Friday nights.

I’ll celebrate you for giving me a cross to wear since you thought I shouldn’t wait to inherit yours when you were gone.

I’ll celebrate you for teaching me how to love animals, especially poodles and cocker spaniels.

I’ll celebrate you for teaching me how to embroider, even if I swore I’d never do it again.

I’ll celebrate our beach trips to St. Simons, with Donnie, Mom, and Papa, where we lounged in the “kajuzzi” and ate pink starburst candies.

I’ll celebrate you for all of the inspiration and encouragement you have given me in support of my artistic endeavors.

I’ll celebrate you for giving me my first sewing machine when I was FINALLY patient enough to learn from you.

I’ll celebrate you and our obsessive love of quilting, for our many excursions to Little Quilts, Quilting by the Sea, Intown Quilters, and Discover Sewing.

I’ll celebrate you for our tea parties, both at home and at Tea Leaves & Thyme, where we dined on scones and Sugar Plum Fairy Tea.

I’ll celebrate you and all of the time we have spent together in my adult years and think how precious it is that we are best friends. You would laugh with me over silly websites, pop stars, and fashion…always far cooler than any other grandmother.

I’ll celebrate you, realizing that most people don’t get to know their grandparents very well, yet I was blessed with years together visiting the beauty shop, quilting, shopping and enjoying wonderful meals together.

I’ll celebrate you for teaching me that you are never too old to learn new things, to tackle big challenges, to use a dongle. You embraced technology better than most teenagers.

I’ll celebrate you and our beach memories, years spent having family time at Seagrove, driving down in caravans, gathering for meals, laughter and joy.

I’ll celebrate you for loving babies and children so much, for nurturing us all. You gave each of us special time and attention, making sure we all knew how much you love us.

I’ll celebrate you for how you could always keep a secret and never betray a confidence.

I’ll celebrate you for your sense of humor, your iron will, your wisdom, your ferocious loyalty, your brilliant mind, your glowing presence and your steadfast faith. If Bam ever made up her mind about something, you could consider it done.

I’ll celebrate you for loving Papa for 67 years. In my entire life, I can’t ever recall a cross word between the two of you, except maybe for when Papa would call you “Patsy”.

I’ll celebrate you for being such an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

I’ll celebrate you for giving us the greatest gift of all…each other. You and Papa built this wonderful family together. We will honor you and celebrate you by loving each other always. We celebrate you with our stories and fond memories. We celebrate you with our love.

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Posted in Bam, Beach, Family, friends, grandfather, grandmother, Mom, Quilt, Quilting, Seagrove, Summer, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Farewell and Fluff Off, 2017!

So, I’m trying to finish off 2017 with one final blog post for the year. I feel like everyone is straggling over the finish line like that poor world class speedwalker who endured explosive emissions on his final laps. Bam, Andy and I have all been to the ER this month. I’m thankful to report that we are all back home, recuperating. Tonight, I am nursing my very sweet boyfriend through the monstrous stomach virus that I recently endured. This bug has it all…nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, chills, body aches. My heart hurts for him and all the agony he’s experiencing. It took me a week to recover (and lots of Zofran, which I could only consume once I stopped hurling). He nursed me through everything and now I get to return that love. Our New Year’s Eve will be enjoyed vicariously through the FB and Instagram posts of others. While you raise a flute of champagne, we’ll toast with ice chips and Gatorade.

I’m hoping to post a lot more in 2018, to rededicate myself to something I love and have missed so much, sharing my musings with whoever enjoys it. I’m hitting a brick wall early tonight, but I wanted to say Happy New Year! May 2018 bring us all more love, peace, prosperity and good health!

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Paris, Part Deux

Howdy everyone! Just to preface this…we were in Paris from October 6-14. I’m super slow these days with my posts, but determined to preserve as many memories as possible.

Here we are in front of Notre Dame. Truly a magnificent place! I know that I’m a bit jaded sometimes, but nothing can prepare you for the grandeur of this church.

Paris is such an utterly charming city. We were walking along a busy bridge and found this pianist parked over the river. During our week there, we saw a cellist, an opera singer, a jazz band, a guitarist and so many other street performers.

Danny and I both love Mexican food, but he thought it would be hard to find in Paris. My aunt and uncle recommended this cantina. It was fabulous and they made fantastic margaritas (or so I’m told…I can’t drink tequila.) Danny said they were amazing.

Danny submerged in the delicious margarita. Glub, glub.

I think this is when we wandered around Le Marais, but I’m not 100% certain. I just loved the birch tree trunks decorating this spot. Lots of cool boutiques and shops in this area.

The photographer at work…

We found a garden hidden among some apartment buildings.

Mark, Cyndi and me exploring Paris. Such a wonderful start to the trip!

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Notre Dame at night! Look at those Flying Buttresses!

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La Tour Eiffel in the distance…

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I occasionally love candid shots that are slightly silly. The auto timer makes that SO easy to accomplish!

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We saw a Parisian marathon! (Or maybe a 5K. Not sure.)

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I think this is the Musee D’Orsay. I really enjoyed this museum because it wasn’t too crowded and was well organized. It’s inside an old train station.

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Danny took some amazing gargoyles shots with his super zoom camera!

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We ate an afternoon snack in this lovely garden full of unusual plants. I want exotic palm trees in my backyard…

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Yet another shot of Notre Dame…

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I lit several candles during the service.

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L’Arc du Triomphe! We did not get to go inside this monument because it was late at night. What’s really cool about it, to me at least, is that it stands in the center of a very busy avenue, the Champs-Élysées, or Elysian Fields.

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We happened to venture out to the L’Arc du Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées right after a Paris St. Germaine match, obviously a victorious one. It was WILD! Chanting, honking, excited throngs, cars cruising the avenue slowly waving flags.

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We watched it for a bit and then wandered off down less crowded streets.

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Struck a pose with an F1 driver mannequin…

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Our evening ended with crepes at this very unusual eatery. I almost expected the band from the Star Wars cantina to come out.

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How charming…

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Ladies, I bring you…cucumbers. Just kidding, I have no clue about the context of this statue.

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I love how Paris has carefully preserved its artistic heritage…even these art nouveau metro signs.

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This building houses 30 artist studios, making me immediately want to revert to my art school days. Oh, to have studied in Paris!

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A far off view of Notre Dame surrounded by the city…

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The lounge inside the Museum of Modern Art. I wasn’t super fond of this place. The escalators alone caused me quite a panic.

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You can see me to the left, enjoying the reflecting pool and the view, from afar, rocking my Air Force Ones (purchased that day for their incredible cushioning support and comfort), jump suit and faux fuzzy satchel.

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This sort of reminded me of Howard Finster…

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Such an unusual installation! I was shocked that we could actually climb inside this art.

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Man in black contemplating colorful box…

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Box without contemplating man.

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Yeah, one of the exhibits had a dead mouse. C’est un pipe?

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Along the River Seine…such a lovely stoll…

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We took a cruise up and down the river late one night. It was so romantic and peaceful, a welcome respite from the otherwise bustling metropolis.

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I wanted to post a video of the Eiffel Tower sparkling, but I don’t have video on my blog anymore. Oh well…it’s gorgeous even when just lit up!

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Transported to another world…

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Our fascinating hotel, Vice Versa. It’s named and decorated themed for the seven deadly sins.

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La Tour Eiffel!!! It’s insanely massive! I refused to go up any of the elevators. My fear of heights is just too insurmountable. There’s not enough Xanax in the world.

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Another fantastic garden…I love those topiaries!

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I think this is Napoleon’s tomb. Forgive me if I forget. This was four or five days deep into our whirlwind trip.

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Heading up to Sacre Couer and Montmarte…

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An incredible guitarist performing on the steps…

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An artist in the market up on Montmarte.

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Perfect timing for a hilarious shot!

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I bought a stunning painting of a kitten for Bam here from this gentleman. We had to do some detective work a day or two later because I didn’t buy it when we took this photo. Live and learn.

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This photo is last, but in now way, least. This is me and my precious Aunt Cyndi. I love this gorgeous woman so dearly. She is delightful and so full of love. It was such a treasure to have her and my uncle Mark greet us in Paris (and her brother, Kenny)! It set the tone for the trip and made us feel at ease immediately. J’adore Paris!

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Enchanté de Vous Rencontrer, Paris! Part One

Bonjour! As you may have guessed, this is all about our trip to Paris! I had dreamed of going to Paris my entire life, so to finally go, especially with someone I love, was incredible! (Danny took most of the photos, over 2,000, so I’m just featuring the ones I took on my cell phone. I apologize in advance for any jumps in chronology or omissions.)

I think we were in Newark here, waiting to depart. I’m glad that we were on a red eye flight. We got a good nights sleep before we landed. (Thank you, Dramamine!)

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We met my Aunt Cyndi and Uncle Mark, along with her brother, Kenny, on Saturday when we first arrived in Paris, and dined with them at a lovely café. (I don’t have these photos, so I’ll include them in later posts.) They also took us to a wonderful gelato shop and gave us a tour of the St. Germaine area late into the evening. Such a fantastic introduction to Paris!

The Musée D’Orsay was one of our first stops, on Sunday. I loved this museum since it featured dozens of works by impressionists such as Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh, etc.

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I love Monet’s “Le Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe” and how it spills over two canvases, with one horizontal and one vertical. That touch is so contemporary, despite the clothing being dated to that era.

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Les Dindons. For some reason, a painting by Monet of all these turkeys tickled the daylights out of me. I️ love saying it…LES DEEN-DON!

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We unwittingly wandered into Notre Dame during mass on our first full day touring Paris. The exterior is supremely impressive…

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But, OH, how it pales in comparison to the inside during mass…incense, candles, a hushed multitude, and a breathtaking choir ensemble.

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Regardless of faith, this hallowed space is profoundly moving. You are surrounded by centuries worth of history and devotion. I can scarcely begin to describe the majesty of Notre Dame. Utterly breathtaking and beyond sacred.

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I only wish I could post the video of Notre Dame as well. The choir was quite impressive too. 

I’ll be adding more Paris posts in the next few days. My trusty iPad is running a little slow these days, which complicates posting. Bon soir!

 

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Looking Kinda Fly…

I’m a little rusty with my blog, so I apologize for the photos being all out of order and for being months behind. It has been a super busy summer! I finally got to go on the annual Montana fly fishing trip in July! We stayed in a lovely cabin right on the banks of the Missouri River, in Cascade, Montana. Two very special family friends greeted us when we arrived, Kris and Nancy. They spend the week with us and organize the meals for everyone. I happily gained five pounds enjoying all the delicious food they lovingly prepared.

Pictured below: Rob and Bo…two of our three fishing guides extraordinaire! (Not pictured, Jeff) Bo is Kris’s son.

The view from the back deck…

Yes, there was some dancing…Mom and Kris getting down.

Susan and Steve joined us for this fabulous trip…

Mom and Me

Me and Becca getting misted at the falls…

A stunning lakeside view…

Mom traversing a log bridge…

This young buck visited the back yard several times…check out those antlers!

Dad enjoying the view in Big Sky country after a long day angling…

Hat. Check. Polarized specs. Check. Buff. Check.

Have you got your gear? I got gear. Rain gear. Check. Bug spray. Check. Binoculars. Check.

More gear! Net! Gloves! Expensive reel! Rubbery shoes!

Me and Becca enjoying the rushing water…can I have one for my backyard?

Breathtaking…

Mom and me…

Summers are brief in Montana, but WOW, are they ever gorgeous! These flowers were stunning!

I can’t recall which lake this is, but it was VERY windy and chilly…somewhere near the Road to the Sun.

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I love the Glacier Park mascot, Rocky. He’s riding a lightning bolt.

I need a t-shirt with Rocky all over it. I love, love, love him!

The view from the lodge was spectacular!

As you can see, the trip to Glacier was just for the girls. The fellas were out fishing that day.

How can I get my flowers to grow this big? Chicky-poo? Miracle Gro? Voodoo?

We got to ride through Browning and see folks gathering for the native festival.

Another fabulous meal courtesy of Kris, Nancy and Bo! Cedar plank salmon! Woohoo!

Our charming fishing lodge…

Bo, Kris and Nancy…what a pleasure to meet you. I hope we get to spend more time together next summer. You are treasures and tremendous blessings in our lives.

Susan, Me and Mom on the river cruise to the Gates of the Mountains…

My first fly-fishing trout catch ever! What a beauty!!!

Strictly catch and release…

Patrick going for a swim…the water is a little chilly but quite refreshing.

Scaring the fish away with a gun show…


Gene and Gene with their amazing kissing trout…

Our stag returns! 

Netting the catch after walking the dog…

Becca learning from Bo…

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A nice catch! 


Trout bandit 

Trout bandits…

Dad hauled in a beauty! 

Gene and Gene 

Like I said, the photos are all over the place, but they capture a small slice of our Montana experience. Big Sky Country is a wild, overwhelming paradise, full of so much rugged beauty. 

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Puppeh On The Go

Now that Biscuit is an only dog again, I try to take him everywhere with me so he’s not lonely. He enjoys bike rides on the belt line (check out his new wheels!), road trips all over and rapt attention from children and adults alike.

Snoozing on the sofa…

Closer…

And closer…

Biscuit over the Beltline

On his way to a softball tournament…

Biscuit giving his new best buddy some kisses…

Nap time after a long day entertaining kids…

He is…THE MOST INTERESTING DOG IN THE WORLD…lol.

Or perhaps just the snooziest puppeh ever…

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Earthquakes, Weddings and Other Epic Events

Hi there! I apologize for my long absence. This summer is flying by at breakneck speed! My brother, my cousin and my best friend are ALL getting married in the next two months (not to each other). Weddings are now accompanied by a flurry of themed showers, bachelorette and bachelor parties, engagement parties, brunches, lunches, meet n’ greets, hootenannies and other festivities. I can’t possibly review all of them, but I will say this…my brother is marrying the sweetest, most bubbly, glowing, brilliant, wonderful girl. They are lucky to have each other. She invited me on her bachelorette party, which meant the world to me. I got to know her better (and her friends). We partied in a pirates saloon, sweated buckets doing beachside yoga, and enjoyed the finest dining in Amelia (where I ate three baskets of truffle fries. THREE). 

In my family, there is a saying…something mumbled about “Cox Luck”. I’ll get back to that soon. Anyway, I finally got to go to Montana for the fly fishing excursion. My dad and brother have been going since 2000, and it was boys only until 2016, when my mom and a couple other ladies were also invited. Getting to Cascade, Montana is no easy trek. We flew to Salt Lake City for a few hours en masse, then boarded another flight to Great Falls. After landing there, we drove another hour to reach the fishing lodge. Our caretakers, Kris and Nancy, had prepared a fantastic meal; one that we all scarfed down, sending us to bed early (11pm MTN, 1 am EST). I had just fallen asleep in the upstairs bedroom when a long dormant fault line decided to stir. A 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit Lincoln…the quake was felt as far as Washington state and Vancouver. I waited 17 years to go to Montana. They haven’t had a quake there in 40-50 years. I might post my thoughts about the quake someday, but for now, I will just say that I was quite traumatized. The silver lining was a very memorable trip with my family and loads of lovely fish. I caught 8 or 9 the first day! I loved that it was strictly catch and release. Our guides, Bo, Rob and Jeff, did a great job teaching the ladies (Me, Mom, Becca and Susan) the rods. I’m truly grateful that Dad invited the girls on the trip. It was a priceless window into the shared love for the stunning scenery, the skill, knowledge and prowess required to be a proper angler, and the camaraderie found in those wild places. I really hope we get invited back again, because it expanded our family and I can’t wait to see them again. Plus, we all love to drink, dance and sing.

 

My brain has been in full panic mode since Montana, not just because of lingering PTSD. There are lots of amazing things about to happen and it’s nearly overwhelming in terms of sheer joy. I leave on Saturday for a trip to Canada with Patrick and Danny. We plan to do some exploring in Toronto. When I get home, it’s time for more wedding events…another shower and a bachelorette party! Woohoo! Danny and I have started looking for a place to rent, which is super exciting, but also daunting, because Atlanta is now a hotbed of new construction, more demand than supply and higher living costs. We have also planned a trip to Paris in October. I have always dreamed of going to Paris with someone I love. It delights me that Danny and I will share this together. In what little spare time I have left each day, I have finished another baby quilt, painted a few needlepoint canvases for my Etsy site, started painting again, gone biking lots with Danny, played a little volleyball (not enough though…I’ll be hitting it hard in August to get lean again), and watched a few great movies (I’ll definitely make recommendations). 

Here are the two movies that really blew me away this past weekend: Lion, starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, and Baby Driver, starring Ansel Elgort and Lily James. I wept after watching Lion. It is SUCH an uplifting, powerful film. I’m not a huge fan of Rooney Mara (she always seems so remote and cold), but Dev and Nicole, wow. It’s a true story too. Baby Driver is so much fun to watch. The soundtrack is fantastic! Atlanta natives will love that the entire movie was shot in the ATL. It’s a little distracting at times though, and I’ll argue right now that there is no way possible, short of having a rocket attached to the car, that the robbers could get from the Perimeter Mall area to midtown as quickly as they do. Shenanigans! LOL. 

I’m trying to get back into my healthy blog pattern, so expect more posts coming soon…

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