Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gideon and the Summer House

Dear Giddy is the ultimate house dog. Despite his size and herding bloodline, the guy is quite content to chill-ax around Chateau Gahan. In the cooler weather he's always up for a brisk walk, but with the humid oppression of an Atlanta summer here before the calendar turns its page to June 1, he's happy as can be in the AC. Outside sessions of lying in the grass or on the back patio are at a minimum, relegated to mornings before the sun comes out or evenings when she's gone down.

And there's nothing like driving up to Chateau Gahan at the end of a workday . . . Gideon waiting for me at the front door and Harleigh's beach towel and bathing suit (staples in a camp day) drying on the front bench. 

I love the top left picture. Sometimes when he's tuckered out but so afraid he's going to miss something, he half falls asleep with his head up. (The black you see on his left eye isn't an eyeball but a black spot underneath his eye.) And I love that he usually tucks a front leg underneath when he's lying down.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dull, and makin' no apologies

If a holiday weekend doesn't hold beach or lake fantasies, then let it be all about what feels good at home . . .  sleeping in and laying in bed talking with my girl, making a pot of coffee and sipping on cups until 11:00AM, knowing nothing is ahead and pressing . . . simply . . .being. Aside from taking the car in for major work yesterday, it was all about home.

On Friday night I stoked up the chiminea; watching a roaring fire — and I do make a mean fire — whether in my chiminea or in the living room fireplace is about as good as it gets. And as I said on the Instragram caption, the evening would not have been complete without Gideon at my side. My trusty sidekick. The Ethel to my Lucy. The Mrs. Beasley to my Buffy. The Lassie to my Timmy (although I don't know if dear Giddy would know how to save me if I fell down a well).

This morning as we get ready for churches (I go to one and Harleigh goes to another), the house is rockin' to One Direction What Makes You Beautiful (the Gahan Girls love their boy bands).

Co-workers often give me empty tins and jars, knowing that I can use them in my craft room arsenal. Here is an empty Chambord liqueur bottle which is getting decorated to be a perfume bottle and added to the dress-up items from Harleigh's little girl days. One day, if I have a granddaughter, Marmie's place is gonna be THE place to come for dressing up.  The other two photographs are clues to the girlie being home for the summer . . . a camp bookbag forever at the front door (and shoes everywhere, eeegads the shoes), drink glasses and the remote left on the coffee table, all good things.

The American flag is out, and Gideon stands guard at the front door (can ya see the drool-drip on the storm door?? Let's add housecleaning to the to-do list this weekend). Oh, and the girlie is notorious for using blankets everywhere she sits, and they never seem to make it back to the blanket baskets, which Gideon is quite happy about (there's nothing like sleeping on anything that smells like the two girls he loves most in the world).

I'm afraid this is about as exciting as things will get this long, holiday weekend. And that's fine by me.

Friday, May 25, 2012

High Octane

My workplace, Unboundary, hosted a Creative Mornings, a monthly breakfast lecture series that is currently happening in 29 cities worldwide. Tod Martin, our president and chief executive, was the featured speaker for the Atlanta chapter's program this morning. Coffee was provided by Octane (quite the amped up cup of java compared to my usual Maxwell House brew at home), and the pastries, provided by The Little Tart Bakeshop, were a treat. I had a bacon and cheese scone, with a kick of cayenne seasoning, which was like eating a cheese omelette and bacon breakfast in a pastry. Have a looksie at some of their treats below.

Our office closes at noon today, although a small team of us has work that will keep us here a bit longer. Harleigh and Kasey have camp training today and then head directly to a graduation south of the city (dang, traffic ain't gonna be in their favor what with all the holiday congestion). They wrap up training tomorrow, she babysits tomorrow night, and will be in Monroe with Kasey's family on Memorial Day (I was invited but chose to stay at Chateau Gahan where I hope to get some much overdue yard work done).

Staving off a tinge of depression, hoping that dabbling in some craft projects, putting out my American flag, building a fire tonite in my chiminea, reading and gardening will cure. Dawn E. Girl, make the best of this time off; it's too precious to feel regretful about come Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Madison and Shelby's Graduation Party

I've known Madison for probably 14 years. Her mom and I have worked together for that long, and so Madison and Harleigh have grown up together. When Julie asked me if I'd consider helping out for the open house that Madison and her best friend, Shelby, were hosting post-graduation, I was honored to help. I organized the kick-off meeting, but beyond that, was on the sidelines. Madison's stepmom, Mara, was the champion of the party planning committee, with everything from custom-wrapped chocolates to tulle ribbons and bunting adorning decks and fences. I offered to do a photo booth which everyone enjoyed, and which gave me the chance to interact with everyone easily (considering I knew hardly anyone there). The girls were fantastic hostesses, the kids all had a blast, and we parents enjoyed a hot shower and cool sheets more than we had in a long time!

Mara has one of those killer embroidery machines. 
She made the two moms these fun aprons and for the girls, high school alma mater pillows 
which people signed.
Madison and her mom, Julie, are on the right.

Corn hole was a big hit. Mara made the bean bags. How cute are they!!!!

My bird cages always come in handy for events. 
Here they corralled envelope gifts as well as sentiment cards that the guests filled out.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

So this is what a Saturday should feel like!

Despite the fact that I had to get up at 7AM to be at the Honda place by 8AM to have some recall of headlights fixed (oh, and they told me I needed timing belt, water pump, blah, blah, blah, to the tune of $1,500 — I left with the list of "needs" in hand and will deal with later; today, after all, is going to be a real Saturday), the day was perfect. After Harleigh and I did grocery shopping and found a dress for her for an upcoming wedding, we came home to do nothing but hang out. Solitaire on our iPhones (don't even get me started how much of an addict I've become with this newly added app), me reading The Hunger Games, her onto the second book in the series, cooking (I made poppy seed chicken and a new recipe for chicken manicotti), and lots of Gideon snuggle time. Kasey came back from camp training and I fixed him dinner (thumbs up on both recipes), the two headed to Stone Mountain for fireworks with his family and church youth group, and me . . . working on some last-minute things for Madison's graduation party tomorrow (a co-worker's daughter graduation from high school, and I'm helping with the set-up and shooting for the photo booth).

Yesterday, I took Laura to Hall's Wholesale Florist, where I have a membership. She was doing a wedding bouquet for her best friend's wedding today. Gosh, I love that place; the customer service makes me giddy. I helped her make the bridal bouquet, two corsages, and two boutonnieres. Laura's choice of flowers was dreamy. And I brought a wealth of ribbon and baubles to decorate the stems. Florists must be the happiest people on earth.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Recap

We girls in the family went for months with no plans for Mother's Day, thinking that Mom and Dad would be out of town for the weekend. But when I discovered that it was the weekend AFTER Mother's Day that they'd be gone, I got into planning mode, not an easy feat when I was to be out of town Thursday, Friday and half of Saturday getting Harleigh moved from one place to another. And so I pared down the soiree to an afternoon of grazing on hors d'oeuvres.

I made a cold Shrimp Dip (with tortilla scoops), a hot Vidalia onion dip (with Triscuits), hot spinach dip (with water crackers), and bacon and water chestnut wraps. Mom brought Swedish meatballs and a cheese and cracker assortment. We had lots of wine, and made a blender drink called Skip & Go Naked (vodka, beer and frozen pink lemonade concentrate). It was all very casual and easy.  I picked up flowers from Trader Joe's. And the night before, I went through old photos and had a platter of them on the coffee table for my mom to go through and enjoy.

Harleigh is home for the summer! She got her grades on Saturday and got a 4.0 for the semester. So proud of her. The girl has learned the fine art of balance, handling school work and all of her church, campus ministry and social commitments with ease and joy. Her boyfriend, Kasey, interviewed for a counselor position at Camp All-American (where Harleigh will be working this summer as a core leader), and we found out on Saturday that he got the job! And then learned yesterday that they found him a host home (as an out-of-town employee, Perimeter Church is responsible for making living arrangements for the summer), and he'll be living around the corner from us. Looking forward to the next three months!!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Anticipating Mother's Day

What better way to celebrate Mother's Day than by bringing my girl home from college. The end of sophomore year!?!?!? College has definitely gone by faster than high school. Chapter 2 of my life (the second 50 years; I'm aiming to reach the 100 mark :-) is moving at Nascar speed.

The U-Haul gets picked up bright and early tomorrow morning, and all of her belongings get moved (thanks to hungry college boys who will gladly trade manpower for a meal) from her current townhouse to new digs. Then she's home for the summer, hitting the ground running, come Monday, with job training for the summer camp where she'll be working.

Since Gideon will be boarded for the next two days, he left me an early Mother's Day gift (this is what kind-hearted dog walkers do; thanks, Toby!). A magnetic picture frame. That Gideon. . .

Sunday, May 6, 2012


This weekend was a sweet flow of doings. There were errands to run, none of them too pressing or daunting, a big moon to savor on Saturday night, a full 9:00AM-3:00PM day of church (from confirmation interviews, to welcoming new members in service, to a potluck lunch — tried a Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe in the crockpot; a keeper — to a visioning workshop), then home on Sunday afternoon to clean, do laundry and catch up on paperwork.  This is my last weekend before Harleigh comes home. As much as I love my girl, things will be different when she comes home. A new routine to get used to, a house full of two people and a revolving door of friends instead of just one and a dog, more attention to the mommy role (meals, cleaning, time together). I'm looking forward to all the excitement, the camp stories she'll come home with every day, seeing her face.

I head out late this week to Statesboro to get her moved out of her townhouse and into the house she'll be sharing with two new roommates. I've rented a U-Haul and am not looking forward to the move itself. Will be glad to get that over with.

Here are some images around Chateau Gahan in all of her peaceful beauty.

This little fan is one of several I got at Hobby Lobby. Battery-operated and a lifesaver when in this summer heat I'm having a hot flash.  In the picture on the right you'll see a sombrero I tried to put on Gideon to take his picture for a Cinco de Mayo post; he'd have nothing to do with it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sears Christmas Catalog

Have you ever priced Sears Christmas Catalogs from the 1960s? On Ebay they're super expensive. But I'd always thought it be a neat thing to own. I remember as a little girl, the catalog arriving in the mail, and my sister and I poring over every toy page. And our Santa list was made.

I found this great website called Wish Book and you can view those Christmas Catalogs online, page by glorious page.

Here are two toys that I remember loving. This car dashboard was a toy all the grandchildren enjoyed whenever we visited. I recall the living room chair that I used to sit in, the dashboard straddling the cushioned arms. Gosh I loved that car. Changing gears, pretending I was a mom with kids in the backseat, loving the clicking sound the windshield wipers made, I may have even had a candy cigarette between two fingers, pretending to flick the ashes out the "side window."

And the Barbies. Good gosh, the Barbies. My sister and I gave away every stitch of Barbie we ever owned, dumb I know. The camper, the furniture, the clothes, all the little dishware.  I had this cardboard kitchen. Just seeing it takes me back.

If you get a chance, go through some of the Christmas Catalogs on the website I referenced above. I was amazed at how many toys and clothes I saw that we had gotten from Santa. Such a treat.

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