Merry Christmas…from the elevator…


Merry Christmas, Everyone! Regardless of what you celebrate, I love that this time of year, we can celebrate the people we love and share our joy! To all my family and friends, know that I love you, I appreciate you, I’m thankful for you. This year has been full of scary medical problems, but the love and support we received carried us through the hard times. 

Our family gathering last Sunday was wonderful, albeit fraught with peril during the preparation phase. Mom and Dad’s Christmas tree was still sitting outside on Sunday morning, an eight foot tall, full-bodied, live monster. The house was hopping like a stomped ant hill. Dogs running pell mell. Chex Mix flying around. Anarchy. 

Mom–ordering pizzas and prepping the kitchen with snacks, etc. 

Beth–driving to the store and running errands for Mom. 

Dad–full steroid mode, blowing leaves, barking orders.

Bo–following the general’s orders. 

The tree was moved to the corner of the main living room. Dad took my brother up to the attic to get the ornaments. While Bo was rummaging through the attic, Dad decided to load the cart up with items from my mother’s studio (the attic stairs come down into the hallway leading to the studio), but the attic stairs were IN HIS WAY. He pushes the stairs back up to the ceiling, trapping my brother in the attic. Dad wheels into the elevator, hits a button…and gets trapped between the second and first floor. He calls Mom from the elevator and tells her to get the key to manually release the elevator. Mom isn’t tall enough to reach the key atop the sill. Bo, my brother, IS able to, BUT, he’s trapped in the attic (insert R. Kelly song here). Mom can’t open the attic stairs because she’s not tall enough to reach the ring to pull it down, even with the pull stick. So, now Dad is trapped in the elevator and Bo is trapped in the attic. Mom can’t help either one of them. 

I am still not really certain how they were freed, but Dad and Bo were both running around again when I arrived a few hours later. Somehow, the tree was fully decorated, garland haphazardly draped. Mom and Beth erected the twins’ Christmas gift, an adorable teepee, and decorated it with a faux fur rug and soft stuffed animal pillows. I heard the entire story when I arrived with Bam and Papa, then spent several minutes giggling, especially while army-crawling under the tree to adjust the tree skirt. 

The Brooks/Cox/Saxby families noshed on New York Pizza Exchange Pizza (and Mellow Mushroom), various nibbles, and swigged delicious wine, Scotch and cocktails. And just so you know…no one else got trapped on the elevator. 

Enjoy the happy photos and have a FABULOUS NEW YEAR!!! 

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Long overdue photo post…because, why not?

Howdy, y’all! Lots going on, so I haven’t had much time to post. Dad and I planted probably 10-15 flats of violas and dusty millers in the backyard near the fountain, in window boxes and in pots around the front of the house. We had such a good time jamming out to music…The Eagles, Jackson Browne, Otis Redding, U2. This photo was taken not long before a swarm of yellow jackets decided to, well, swarm. I’m mildly allergic so I had to quit for the day.

A gorgeous sunset view from Piedmont Park…

Silly Biscuit!

My most recent quilt project is progressing nicely despite a rather confusing pattern. I love the mustang fabric from Cotton + Steel.

Dad and I had such a great time planting flowers the first day. Gorgeous weather for gardening!

Patrick came home for Papa’s 85th birthday party! Handsome young man!

Biscuit getting love from Auntie Coco! (Yes, Skyler is there somewhere. Licking the floor, or the sofa.)

Mom and I snuck off to Nordstrom for some early holiday shopping…

Curtis looking like a little man!

McKayla is full of girly mischief…

I carved the heck outta that bird!

The two greatest Thanksgiving chefs EVER!!!

Skyler found a leftover birthday cake milkshake in the backyard. My little billy goat…

My brother got engaged to this gorgeous young lady, Becca! We are so thrilled that we met her parents and sister, and that our families will be connected by this adorable couple! Congratulations and best wishes for a lifetime of love and happiness!

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…

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The Wild Monkey Rumpus and other Halloween Shenanigans…

Yeah, yeah, yeah…I’m really late posting this. I have been slightly busy. Halloween is possibly my favorite holiday. On to the photos!

Danny and the Japanese Selfie Swan (lookup the video on YouTube–it’s priceless!) or Duck Dick. Whatever you wanna call it. So.Many. Innuendos. LOL.

Carrie (OG Sissy Space version, NOT CGM version) and the Selfie Swan

Carrie and Dark Shadows’ Barnabas Collins

How much fake blood did this take? One pint of stage blood initially. Three pints of acrylic paint. Two cans of spray blood. Four vials of wet dry blood. I’m a walking crime scene. 

Prince, Carrie and Vanity (what do we have in common? only one name each)

Orange flavored cake cupcakes with neon icing and tons of sprinkles!

SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM! Macho Man Randy Savage

Ready for Round Two! Suzy Bishop and Sam Shakusky running away to a wild monkey rumpus…

I don’t know who this lady was but she is so elegant…possibly a SUPREME. 

Kitten in fishing creel. Check. Binoculars. Check. Saddle shoes and lace top knee socks. Check. 

Oh, and blue eyeshadow, because Suzy is twelve. 

Precious capuchin monkey, not in costume. Loves grapes. 

Miss Veronica! OMG! In love with this gorgeous baby supermodel! 

Melody make Curtis and McKayla these adorable Little Red Riding Hood and Big Bad Wolf costumes herself! 

MY, what BIG eyes YOU have!

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Those Pesky Horsemen

Well, folks, the Strife and Pestilence Tour of 2016 continues. I’m trying to maintain a sense of humor about it, but sweet fancy Moses…it’s not easy. Patrick battled pneumonia in April, underwent extensive testing for neurological problems, and has more recently been fighting recurring severe tonsillitis. Bam had a pacemaker put in and got steroid-induced diabetes (yes, that’s a thing). Papa survived a massive heart attack and grueling rehab. Dad is struggling with wildly fluctuating blood pressure, some bizarre form of sarcoidosis that his pulmonologist and doctor buddies have never seen before, and an auto immune skin condition that scorches his body from within. It’s a war on all fronts. 

I also have a nasal polyp, but that’s like a stubbed toe by comparison. I just keep praying for good health for my son, my parents, my grandparents, my whole family and friends circle. All the other BS in the world falls away and becomes utterly trivial when illness strikes your loved ones. So, if I seem at all distracted or scattered lately, this is why. 

We just got great news about Patrick! He does indeed have strep throat, causing his intense pain, swelling and other symptoms. He’s being treated with steroids and penicillin. On top of that, we scored an appointment with an amazing ENT, Dr. Rollins, tomorrow, which is a tremendous miracle because I usually wait weeks or months to see him. I’m not going so far as to be optimistic, but I’m relieved that we know what Patrick has and how to cure it. Plus, we can start planning the tonsil removal. 

Horses corralled! 

(I think this is how Patrick’s throat felt…it certainly looked a lot like this!)

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Staying busy-ish…

Hi there! I’m trying to get back into my writing habit. Now that my son has returned to college, I have kept super busy with various activities and projects. Lots of sand volleyball, movies, quilting, needlepoint, and home improvement (Well, by that, I mean cleaning out the garage and hanging pictures. I am the anti-handyman. No kidding, I have giant holes in my walls from attempting to install drywall screws. Urgh.) 

I’m working on a quilt using Cotton & Steel fabrics. I love this line, all of it. The fabrics have infinite color options and the cutest patterns AND metallic details. The quilt pattern is very odd, since it’s not just blocks. There are all sorts of little bits, so I’m not sure how it will come together.

I’m also working on a needlepoint eyeglass case for a dear friend. I chose the parrot case below. I’m doing the parrot in sumptuous velvety thread, which should pop off the canvas. The colors are jewel-toned. I think I’m also going to attach Austrian crystals on the crown. 

Introducing…the Grey Goose! My BMW was put out to pasture after multiple oil leaks and strut damage rendered the car too expensive to fix (just wasn’t worth it). I needed a great road trip car since I travel back and forth to Nashville.  Enter the Honda Accord Touring Sedan, fully loaded with every conceivable bell, whistle and sensor. It also has lovely 19″ wheels and striking rims. I chose the gunmetal grey since it has some sparkle (the black was flat, meh). The interior is grey on grey leather with smoky grey wood paneling. It has some zip with a V6 engine and 285 ponies. 

Another UFO has touched down! I finally finished these kookaburras (from Saffron Craig) for the twins. I added a pocket in the base of both filled with lizard litter to give them some heft and stand them upright. I thought the bright yellow polka dot grosgrain ribbon really complemented the fabric design nicely!

These are the twins! Curtis and McKayla! He loves his little knit tiger and she loves dancing to music! I fell in love with these sweeties! They are beyond delightful. Love them so much!

Look at those faces!!! McKayla has earrings and a bracelet! So sweet! I love Curtis’ little John-John (I think that’s what it’s called). 

I’ll have more to post soon! 

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Sophomore Streak

(Posted a couple of days late…) So, I’m in Franklin, bringing Patrick back to Belmont. We stayed with wonderful family friends and moved him into the dorm late this afternoon (Such a good idea! We missed the big crowds!). This is a vital year for Patrick…I’m hoping he’ll get busy with tons of new and exciting endeavors. Emily is attending Belmont too now! It’s her freshman year. I know she is going to encourage him a lot. 

He’s living in a great apartment this year with three other guys. It looks brand new and is completely furnished with the necessities. He’s thrilled to have his own room. It was really difficult freshman year not having any privacy, living with a roommate. He wanted to get things settled himself, so after a super quick move-in, I left to have dinner with our hosts. 

I thought it would be easier this year to leave him at school. I’m not overwhelmed with sadness, but I don’t look forward to a quiet house and loneliness. Even though he wasn’t around much this summer, knowing he would come home occasionally was a comfort. We’d watch movies, eat dinner together or hunt Pokemon. Sometimes, we’d just have good talks. 

Oh well, I know he is excited to be back at school and learning so much. I can’t wait to see how the semester goes! I think he is going to kick ass! 

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Not In This Lifetime M*th*rFluffer!

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Last week, I went to see Guns N Roses at  the Georgia Dome. I wasn’t sure what to expect…once upon time, they were not well known for being on stage promptly, or staying on stage. Tantrums and egos used to reign supreme. After passing the thorough security check (I did not know that clear bags had become a requirement for ladies), we entered Valhalla. The Cult was opening. Their seasoned set was impressive and kicked off the show with the perfect rock vibe.

Promptly at 9 pm, the video screens flipped over to the GNR logo, complete with gunshot sounds as they spun around. The lights dimmed, and the crowd howled. I can’t remember what they played first, mostly newer stuff I think, but Axl delivered absolutely blistering vocals, better than anything you could ever imagine. Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Slash were in equally rare form. Some folks may have been complaining that it wasn’t the “original” band lineup–that didn’t matter AT ALL. Their musical virtuosity was enthralling and relentless. The band never took a long break, preferring to have solos or duets to bridge in the gaps. Towards the end of the show, they broke into breathtaking instrumental covers of Layla and Wish You Were Here.

They have graduated to the status of consummate rock gods, elder statesmen, flawless performers. My favorite song of the night was definitely “November Rain”. Axl played the piano with such virtuosity and passion. It’s shame that hype and egos once overshadowed the tremendous talents of these artists, but I’m so glad to have experienced their artistry at its well-matured peak.

(Side note: I had one of these pink Sharp stereo cassette players back in the day…about the time when Appetite for Destruction was popular. I learned how to waltz to Sweet Child O’ Mine.)

 

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