Monday, February 28, 2011

Atlanta day 10 ......

For some reason, Page and I both had a hard time getting to sleep last night. It is the first time it has happened like this since I've been here. Wonder if it was something we ate? Since Page was already planning to work from home and I still had some letters to write to round out my time for the month, I figured we would sleep a little late. That wasn't to be - my phone rang around 7:45ish and it was Darrell calling from home to let me know a dear friend had died a little earlier this morning. I knew as soon as I heard his voice what he was going to say. You have seen a similar picture of her on another entry in my blog that was taken the same day in the Autumn of 2009 when I had 10 of my favorite women for lunch. See the hand resting on her shoulder? Well she is a friend we lost this past August and I'm really getting tired of losing my special friends and loved ones. I called BigD and then Leah so she could be the one to tell Kurt then I started crying and before I knew it, Page was laying in bed behind me all wrapped around me crying a little too and Princess Miya kept walking back and forth and butting me because she felt distressed too. After a bit, I called some other old friends to let them know so they could let others know and then I was pretty much done. We were going to wash clothes today (and there are a lot of them) but we had to run some errands first so after lunch we took a break. I had noticed two little shops and Page decided today would be a good day to stop in one of them.They are in two older homes and one is called Love Street and specializes in garden and home and the other one is this one. It has the greatest "stuff" in the world. I had bought a new wallet at Target because Page kept complaining about my old one being so worn out. When I tried to put everything in it, it became obvious pretty quick that it wasn't going to work. So I found several here that I loved but they were way too expensive. Then my eyes found this little jewel.I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. It is made the way my Mom's old wallet was made except it is soft blue leather with pretty red cherries....and yep - one on the back. I put everything I need in it (with a few cards left over that fit into a small black ID pouch from the old wallet I can keep stashed in my purse) and I was set. Now for the best part - it was 50% off! Woo Hoo! I also bought Leah a little surprise for when I see her so I was feeling pretty good. We ran all our errands ending with stopping by the office to get change for the laundry. Long story short - the thunderstorms they were calling for came rolling in while we were working and we decided NAH - not going to do laundry today. When the first storm had rolled through this evening, we decided to run down the street for some Mexican. It wasn't as fancy as Lime but was delicious and less than half what we spent there so we were happy. Now we are home in our PJ's with Page still working on a training module for work and me getting my blog caught up. I'm waiting to hear what the arrangements are going to be for the Memorial and thinking of her and her beautiful large family constantly. She has touched so many lives and will be missed you Jeri.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Atlanta day 9 .....lazy Sunday

Well - I slept until 10am - wow - that felt so good. Miya was laying beside me looking at me when I woke up. She has been so sweet this trip. Even Sherry enjoyed her. :) I stayed real quiet so Page could get a little more sleep but started downloading more of her CD's. I have already downloaded tons of them and will be uploading them to my iPod later this week. I'm sure I will be deleting some of the songs I don't really like but for now, I'm just getting what I can uploaded. After breakfast, we got ready and went to our favorite boutique - Smyrna's Goodwill. I bought a few tops and Page bought a suit and a few other things. Page found me a beautiful skirt and nice dress but I didn't get them even though they fit. They are both lined and I'm sorry - I just get too hot for that much fabric on me. Then we drove to Target to pick up a few things including a big red Paula Deen soup pot for the Taco Soup we are having tonight. I bought a pretty scarf and wallet but will be taking the wallet back. It just isn't going to work. We then drove by a little house that Page had looked at several months ago. I love the location - crowded little neighborhood right across the tracks from the library. So cute. We were going to wash clothes but I think we have decided to put that off until tomorrow. She is working from home so we will have time to work it in. We ate a little combination of brie, prosciutto, cheddar, grapes, crackers, olives, garlic dill pickles - you get the picture -bits of pieces of the delicious morsels we picked up at Farmer's Market yesterday along with a glass of wine. We are both beat so I'm thinking an early evening after dinner.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Atlanta day 8......Douceur de France

Busy, busy day today. First we went to a wonderful French Bakery for breakfast-both opting for an omelet and wonderful croissant with homemade strawberry preserves.They have paved the parking lot since I was here last but left the beautiful, huge tree in the middle. The coffee, omelet and croissant w/preserves were wonderful as usual. We bought me and Bentley a chocolate croissant to go for later and headed back to the apartment to meet Sherry.I already knew Sherry would do the driving - she is a lot like me in that she likes to be in control. I did great going to the Farmer's Market because we went through several down towns and it was so cool. I love looking at the hustle and bustle of busy down towns - especially on a beautiful day like we had today.I was ill-prepared for this particular Farmer's Market - it turns out it is inside a huge building and is international. Oh man - I almost went crazy but tried to control myself. BigD would have loved looking at the seafood alone. Kurt and Leah would have loved all the international brands as much as Page and I. We filled our cart up and checked out. It is almost overwhelming with the people and carts but we were all happy with what we bought. Then we went by for a quick walk-through of one of their favorite antique malls.Man - I wish I had more time but we kept reminding ourselves we had food in the car that needed to be refrigerated. I did make a few small purchases. I bought Page a beautiful pair of hand-made earrings with different shades of blue (blue is her favorite color) that she liked a lot. I also bought some napkins for any future party I may have.We started back home on the highway but soon came to a dead stop.  We were able to get off pretty quick and again come a back way. We dressed and got ready for a movie and dinner with Bentley who drove up from his home about 45 minutes South of us. It was really good to see him looking so healthy. We went to see Unknown with Liam Neeson - I told them I think I watch to many crime shows because I figured it out pretty quick but it was still suspenseful and good. I like Liam Neeson  and he did a great acting job in this movie. We all shared a big popcorn and had a soda to hold us until dinner at Jim & Nicks Barbecue which is located right beside Page's apartment complex.Page and I had a big salad with pulled pork and a dressing of choice. The little cheese corn muffins are really good. Bentley had the pork, cole slaw and brunswick stew. It turns out there are quite a few of these around - including one in Charlotte, NC.After dinner, we all came back to the apartment to visit for a bit. Bentley loved the car and said the back seat was comfortable. Page and I are tired ---good night.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Atlanta day 7......Sips and Strokes...

Okay - I guess I'm still guilty of coloring "outside" the lines. Page booked me, her and her sweet friend from work to paint a picture at Sips N Strokes. It took a while to get there but at least we weren't the last to arrive. This is what it looked like when we walked in-long narrow tables loaded with blank canvases on easels, two brushes, a pencil, a cup of water and a tiny little stool to sit on. Jan was already there and had saved a place for us. We couldn't believe how many people were in the big room. We were also surprised that the canvas was blank - for some reason we all thought the basic shapes would be drawn on the canvas. Uh Oh...I guess that means they really want us to paint???? Yep - guess so.As you can see, we had our wine, cheese, crackers and fruit. We also made a few sandwiches in case we got hungrier.So we were sipping but it was almost time to start stroking. This is the picture we were supposed to paint - yeah - right! If you can't make it out, it is a saxophone with notes coming out of it. Uh Huh. So - our instructor put a blank canvas on the stage and told us the use the pencil to draw something that looked like what she was drawing. I already knew I was in trouble. And then she said to paint the right side yellow so I'm painting over what I've drawn already when I hear her say - "be careful to paint around what you have drawn.Even sadder was the fact that Page and Jan both noticed mine about the time we heard the lady say - don't draw over what you have already drawn. LOLOLOL. Okay - it's acrylic mixed with water - how hard can it be to fix? It was SO HOT in that room they finally had to open the back door but not before Page and I both ended up leaving to sit in the car for a bit.The music was great with the whole room singing from time to time and everyone was laughing and having a great time. Jan decided to call hers Mom, Dad and the little red boy who looks just like Dad.Page decided she wasn't going to name hers and signed it with just her first initial.I just decided to laugh every time I look at mine and so far - that is what I've been doing. I personally think mine looks like an exotic fish? Oh well - they told us to express ourselves so there you are. Overall -we were all glad we went, enjoyed looking at the results of those who have been coming for awhile and seeing how good they have gotten.So would we do it again? Yeah - we all agreed we probably would. Especially if we were bringing someone new.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Atlanta day 6........

Whew - finally getting caught up. Everything we have been doing was starting to run together so I had to just sit down and get it in writing before I lose it in those nether regions of my poor old brain. It was a pretty slow day today overall. After checking my emails, FB and getting caught up on some of the blogs I read, I headed out to the Post Office to get stamps, stopped by Goodwill and picked up a few back scratchers for Page. I just took a quick looky, looky, before coming back by PUBLIX to pick up some "stuff" we need for the next few days and decided it was time to sit down and get my blog updated. I forgot to mention that BigD called to say he and Steve had gone to the coast. I guess he just missed me so much - yeah - right. Anyway, he called tonight to say they went fishing and were getting ready to fry some fish. He fixed his famous seafood soup last night - YUM. I think he is going back home tomorrow - we'll see. I would have a hard time going home from the coast right now.....I stopped at the little mailbox area to mail the letters I've done so far and took a few pictures of the signs of Spring being in the air in Page's complex.I love the pink blossoms on this tree. Along with the daffodils I saw in one area - it all sings of Spring Time! Page has been SO excited ALL day since she found out the couple below her who both smoked like freight trains moved this past weekend. She has spent a fortune on expensive air filters and scented candles and now they are finally gone. Whew....what is that? Fresh Air!!!!I also wanted to share one of the sweetest things ever. Lisa Jordan of had a big button give-away recently and I wrote in why I would like to have them for my Page. Lisa came to my blog and asked me to email her my email address. When I did, she told me she was moved by my story and that even though I didn't win the bag of buttons she was giving away, she was sending me a bag to give my Page. I was SO touched by her thoughtfulness and so was Page when I gave them to her. The ones in the blue box are the few I have managed to save her over the years. I'm keeping the little button flower w/felt that Lisa made for the gift tag for myself. I'm going to make a pin out of it to wear on coats and sweaters. She is just one of the many talented young women whose blogs I try to keep up with. I am in constant awe of their many talents. If you read my blog - look at theirs too and then go to their sites on Esty to see the many wonderful things you can buy. Leah called tonight - she was confused because a card Kurt sent Page over a week ago came back and she was wondering why. We checked the address and it was correct so we can't understand it. She also sent me a picture of Miya's brother Hiro.It was sent through my phone with the caption of: "Now that I'm all clean, does anyone else need a bath?" She also sent me a picture to celebrate her car on the verge of flipping over to the 200,000 mile mark. I hope hers gives them many, many more miles. I'm positive my Avalon will keep on going for at least 100,000 more miles for someone. I still miss her but as Page said - I need to appreciate the new car I have now and stop whining. I really do appreciate my new car - still getting used to it but love it so far. So we just ate some homemade guacamole and I had some Kendall Jackson and Page had Vodka with cranberry juice and I am caught up!!!! Now I'm going to sign off to spend time with my baby girl and watch a movie together.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Atlanta day 5.......

Another glorious day in Atlanta - bright and warm sunshine every day so far. I have been sleeping pretty good since I've been here. I brought a John Grisham book of short stories about Ford County to read at night before I go to sleep and it is working so far. It helps that Page has to get to sleep at a decent hour so she can get to work on time. She has been having a good week so far this week which makes me feel good too. She has been working such long, hard, hours for so long I was beginning to wonder if there was any relief in sight. I met Page at her favorite Thai restaurant tonight. It is close to where she works and her dry cleaners. I left a little early to make sure I could find it and was surprised at how easy it was. I had gone on-line and read some reviews which were mixed but prepared me for what I found when I arrived. Yep - it is located in a small strip mall! As I parked to wait for Page, I backed into a space up a hill and I put my parking brakes on. I immediately called Rie back home to tell her some exciting news about my new car. I don't know why and it only happened with my Avalon, but I would constantly get out of the car after turning it off and forget to put it in Park. I know - how dangerous is that? I would get in the car the next morning and really freak out knowing I had forgotten one more time. So I wanted to tell Rie that my new car was beeping frantically to tell me my car was NOT in PARK! She and I both loved it because she has done the same thing before. Thank goodness my driveway is flat but still -it is dangerous. One more thing to like about my new car. :) Back to Siam Square - when we walked in - a young man said Hey "Page" and she said - "Hey Billy". Guess it would be safe to say she is a regular. She said many a late evening she has come in, sat at the bar to eat and he would say - "you work too hard" and "you work too late". I knew I would like him. He kept our glasses filled with wonderful cucumber water (so fresh tasting)and we got to talk a bit because we were the early diners - well before the dinner crowd. When she told him I was her Mother, he was so kind and made sure to give us a lot of attention. It turns out Page's old boss loved this place too so they get to know her co-workers pretty well too.The inside of this restaurant is lovely - great colors, unique ironwork with candles and flowers, subtle and very classy looking. I had emailed several friends to give me hints about what I should order - I've only had Thai food a few times and always with someone who knows what to order. It turns out Page knew exactly what to order for me and it was delicious.Then Billy brought us a special treat and we were both going --- Ooooohhhh - that is so sweet. You could tell it pleased him that it pleased us so much. We left my car and headed over to TJ's to have our manicure and pedicure. We were the last customers of the day so we felt pretty special. Neither one of us got our nails polished so it didn't take too long but we did pay extra to have the callus be gone treatment and it was worth every penny. My heels feel SO much better. After picking up my car we decided to make it an early night. Good night.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Atlanta day 4........

Another lovely day in Atlanta...stayed in today and worked on the computer. Had Shen's study over Skype. I think we are both happy we are able to do this. I'm met Page at the Community Center to attend a WW meeting after she got off work . This is the first meeting I've been to in a very long time. I was hoping to not only get the new material but also the little calculator you have to have for the new program but they are out of them. The leader is very good and I enjoyed the meeting. I've been trying to make better choices but I know I need to do more than that. Page has three library cards for this area so far. She loves to read as much as I do and she also uses the library to get movies from. She had me pick out a few to watch when she isn't home but to be honest, this week I've been pretty busy while she was at work. Next week will be better because there are 5 weeks in the month. I do love thislibrary though. It is in the same traffic circle as the community center so we just walked over there after the WW meeting and returned a James Patterson book on tape we listened to on the way home. We had dinner tonight at a new upscale Mexican restaurant in a gorgeous shopping area that isn't too far from where Page lives. Page mistakenly read that their special for Tuesday was $5 Margaritas but we found out that special is normally on Wednesday. We decided to go ahead and have dinner and weren't disappointed. I had a grilled Tuna on top of lovely mixed greens and an unusual dressing. Page had the tripleTacos - three different kinds of fillings - she loved them all. There were giant Lime slices laying around every where and some nice artwork on the walls. We sat in a very unusual booth - very tall back with red upholstery and angled so that we could watch people walk by outside but only those who walked into the restaurant could actually see us. It would be a very romantic table for a young couple.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Atlanta day 3.......

Well here we are at Monday - I put together a letter I want to use while I'm here and called Mike to have him critique it for me. He thought it was great. I know I'm driving Page crazy because I'm surrounded by stuff in this cute little apartment but I try to get it cleaned up before she gets home. The weather is gorgeous here - 73 degrees today. Mike said it was still 39 degrees there right before lunch. I decided to take a break and go to the Post Office. I thought I remembered where it was but this time I also have a GPS so I'm feeling pretty confident. Got to the Post Office and guess what? It's President's Day! There were 5 of us walking toward the door and one of them realized right away that it was closed and why. As I got in my car, I realized I had forgotten to get the remote that opens the gate to Page's community. After trying to call her several times I decided she was either in a meeting or maybe at lunch. So I decided to meander a little bit to see if I could still remember where things are. I found the coffee shop I liked so much and decided to go ahead and eat myself.I like everything about this little coffee shop - including the artwork on the walls, the unique furnitureand seating arrangements. Add to that their delicious coffee and home made chicken salad in a fresh, flaky croissant and all I can say is ahhhhhh.
This croissant was absolutely the freshest one I've ever had - even the ones I had in Paris! Page called me back and helped me get back in the complex so I could get the chicken soup in the crock pot. The soup was done by the time Page got home and we had nice quiet evening at home.

Sunday, February 20, 2011 2

After Page and I took a walk around the complex (with me huffing and puffing) we showered and went grocery shopping at one of my favorite grocery stores in the world - PUBLIX. No - we don't have this chain where a I live so I really enjoy shopping when I'm here. We picked up a few things to get the week started. Later Raf picked us up for dinner. With his French speaking GPS - we found our way downtown to Little Five Points to eat at this lovely restaurant called Front Page News Food. I bought me and Page a bottle of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay to share and we feasted on New Orleans style cuisine.The setting was lovely - with a nice fountain near where we were sitting. I noticed several really nice older homes in the neighborhood that had been restored with some of them being used as commercial property.Raf is such a nice young man and he and Page have become good friends over the years. They always try to do things together when he is here from the home office in Belgium. He agreed to take us to the airport to pick Page's car up so she would have transportation to work the next day. It turns out we went the wrong way and the little French GPS was talking up a storm for a while there. We finally got to her car and raced to the nearest exit to find a clean rest room. We have both been trying to follow Pam's advice to "hydrate" as much as possible - especially if you drink wine, beer or any other alcoholic drink. After we got home Page decided to pull her nice tall queen size air mattress out since I'll be here longer than a few nights. Miya has been very curious about this.....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Atlanta - day 1

Page and I drove my new car to Atlanta today. Princess Miya did so good in her carrier sitting in the back seat. I wasn't sure how she would do since I usually put her carrier on the front seat beside me so I can stick my fingers in her cage when she cries a little. Page did a good job of keeping an eye on her and keeping her calm from her seat in the front. The car drove like a dream - did notice my gas milage wasn't very good at all but when I mentioned it to BigD - he said - that's okay. I made the best time I've ever made this time. Page got a shower after which her friend Raf (from Beligium) came over and picked her up for dinner. They went to Carrabba's and Page brought me a plate back. I just wanted to take a shower and crash. The excitement for the day was Miya getting out of Page's apartment when we first got here and my heart almost stopped beating. I screamed her name which panicked her and made it possible for me to grab her before she got down the steps. Of course Page than had to remind me that she lives in an apartment! shhhhhh Note to self - right wrist is not getting better - make appointment to see what is going on when I get home.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Steaks, taters, and cousins getting caught up....

Page flew into town Wednesday evening and it was so good to see her. She had a busy day at work on Thursday after which she went out to eat with a co-worker who had recently moved to our area from their Rochester, NY location. They had fun getting caught up and then she insisted on not only bringing Page home but coming in the meet me! Yikes! So she saw me in my old PJ's and we made our way back to Page's room where we laughed and talked about everything. Page had tons of training all day on Friday so was beat when I picked her up but she was more than ready to go down to GG's for dinner with her, FarMor, Pam, Leif and their three girls .It was so nice having time to visit with FarMor - she is such a dear sweet lady who loved my Mama to pieces. Mama used to catch a ride to work at the factory with her from time to time and they always looked forward to their times together. Her son is one of the sweetest young men in the world. It's funny because Page and Pam are cousins and the girls are Page's second cousins. GG is 15 years older than BigD and got married young which means her two oldest children are older than BigD's youngest brother who was a late in life surprise for Dwight's Mom and Dad. I first met GG through her oldest daughter and she later became my sister-in-law. I treasure all the times I've had with her and her late hubby. I've mentioned on here how sad Leah has always been sorry that she never knew my Mom or GG's hubby -David - who died not long after Kurt and Leah became serious about each other. She saw him in passing one time and wasn't able to make it down for their 50th wedding anniversary party. He died very soon after that party - we all miss him - especially GG.BigD did a great job on the steaks, bleu cheese dressing and delicious taters, green peppers and onions. Everyone totally enjoyed the food and each other's company. Page enjoyed getting caught up with not only Pam but her three beautiful daughters. They all sat at the "kids" table together. We found out the oldest daughter is going to be living with GG for a while which makes us all feel good. It will not only help her save some money so she can finish the program she is in but will be company for GG. Randi seems to be very happy as a newlywed - and of course Marcy is doing great at school. The night was gorgeous, the moon was full (and impossible to get a decent picture of) as well as all our tummies. We made it an early evening since Page and I were going to get on the road the next morning for ATLANTA!!!!