Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Maison de Mon Coeur (Home of My Heart)

I apologize, dear reader, for the delay of this post. I got over zealous in cleaning the bathroom last night and was, quite frankly, pooped! Pardon the pun.
A short sojourn to Savannah, GA
July 2009

I love the Atlantic Ocean. The grey, tempestuous waters are unruly even at the best of times. She's never the same sea twice. Spend a mere hour on her shores and you are guaranteed a thousand and one visions of a shifting tide, an ever changing beach.

In my humble opinion, one of the most fabulous shops in the known universe. The Paris Market and Brocante houses a menagerie of antique furniture, exquisite candles, soaps, old type setting letters, posters of ancient biology texts, and myriad other marvelous and quirky findings. Most, if not all from France, need I add?

This little fellow paused just long enough for me to take his photograph. Most of his brethren weren't nearly so kind.

On the North Beach of Tybee Island there's a rock out cropping that stretches at least fifty feet into the sea. Fishermen set up their rods around them, some even brave walking the barnacle crusted rocks to stand on the very tip to cast their lines. One year, Jon and I heard a huge commotion as we were ambling along. We rushed to the rocks and found a fisherman had landed a six foot shark! We got to watch him wrestle it to shore and then set the beast free.
Yep, that's me! The one with the beard is my husband. The wind was blowing so hard that day, the loose sand would wash across the compacted sand like an eerie fog out of a horror movie. Not to mention it wreaked havoc on my hair (and Jon's beard for that matter!)

The rustling symphony of sea oats played against a backdrop of pounding surf. Ahhh...sweet music to my ears.

The road goes ever on and on...

That's the Tybee Lighthouse. I climbed it once. I think I lost count on the stairs somewhere around 150...

That, ladies and gentlemen, would be my dream That's just a sampling of the gorgeous homes that pepper the landscape. If you're in the market for a lovely old home, look no further than Savannah, GA.

There's a quaint little market at the end of River Street that makes you feel as though you stumbled through a porthole and into a world bazaar. The courtyard was deserted except for these happy little pigeons, feasting greedily on bread thrown to them from the employee of a tour booth. We purchased frozen lemonade and perused the stalls, looking at bags like the ones I found in India, and moss covered wire garden animals!

This concludes our tour of Savannah, GA. I hope you have enjoyed your visit. We hope to see you again, real soon!

Au revoir!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stay Tuned...

...the trip to Savannah is on it's way!
I do hope it's worth the wait :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Cure for the Common Life

Sadly, I did not come up with this witty title. I could have titled this entry "Journey to the Center of Your Self", however I thought I'd leave the witticisms to a genius. Full credit goes to Max Lucado for that is the title of his book which I am now reading. The Cure for the Common Life is perhaps the best book I've ever read concerning finding your purpose in life and going after it with your whole heart. My calling and passion are two things I've been searching for since I was a little girl. Funny, but after reading this book, I've always known what I was born to do. I firmly believe we are wisest when we are children. Life has not yet gotten in the way.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is in need of some serious soul searching. Are you bored with your life? Are you sick and tired of the same old, humdrum monotony of every day? Pick this book up! It's full of practical advice as well as ways to establish what it is you were placed on this earth to do. Without a doubt in my mind, I know now what's expected of me in the time I've been given.

I know this post is short, but trust me: the book is worth the hoopla I'm giving it. Check it out. Give it a shot. Find your cure for the common life and begin living the life you were created to live.

Happy Trails!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Peachtrees and Cheese, If You Please

I do love a good adventure. And not just the "Oh my gosh, run for your lives!" type. I've forced myself to search my everyday existence for little adventures, you know, the ordinary kind that could easily slip through our blur of days. This Saturday was no exception. My husband had to rush to the city in order to rent a lens for his afternoon photo shoot. At the last minute, he asked if I wanted to go along. "Sure," says I. It was Saturday, after all, and I didn't want to be cooped up in the garage alone.

We dashed to the Jeep, super hero style, and took to the expressway, doing our best to beat the almighty clock that was tick-ticking away. We pulled into PPR one minute to close time (eleven fifty-nine am to be precise) and Jon slid in under the radar (whew!).

Now what? Lens in hand, we had until 2:30 to meander around the great wide city of Atlanta. It's not a place to which we venture often. We live only a half hour away and yet we tend to avoid it as if it was infested with spiders and overrun with bubonic plague! Why? It's not for hate of the city, but for loathing of the traffic. (For those of you who have never experienced Atlanta traffic, I offer you this and this for your viewing pleasure.)

We knew that traffic hell usually emerged only during weekdays (or after 3pm on weekends) so we decided to brave the city and take in a couple of our favorite sites. First stop: Sam Flax art supplies. If you are even remotely interested in picking up an artistic hobby, this is the place to go. It's wonderful! A warehouse full of brushes and palettes and ink and paper. Their prices are really good to and this is a plus when you carve your own stamps and one sheet of rubber costs around $30 normally! They also have a stationary section that sells the most delectable assortment of papers, note cards, invitations, announcements and wrapping paper you could ever hope to feast your eyes upon (excuse me while I wipe the drool from my paper obsessed mouth...).

After exercising considerable restraint and leaving Sam Flax empty handed (cue weeping violin), we decided it would be way more fun to visit our favorite cheese shop than go home. I mean, who'd pass on a shop that lets you taste as many different cheeses as they can carry? Tucked in a shopping center on Peachtree Road, Savor Gourmet is a gorgeous haven for the foodie, harboring everything from $50 bottles of balsamic vinegar to little jars of canapes, pink sea salt with edible gold (I'm serious) to Alton Brown's latest gear guide (or trip-tastic travelogue!). The cheese selection may not be as awe inspiring as the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day, but their modest selection is varied and yummy and as go-broke-worthy as a $5 sale at Barnes and Nobel. As tempting as it was, we passed on the pound of cheese in favor of our weekend away (which, by the way, will become lovely fodder for a post next week!). We did, however, discover a tasty little beauty that harbored the flavors of both cayenne pepper and cocoa. That will most definitely be on my shopping list for next visit.

We ended our visit with lunch at their amazing bistro. Their sandwiches are made with fresh ingredients, imported from various states and European countries. They are all named after said European countries (and the occasional dictator...) and they are out of this world. My favorite? The Paris on Ciabatta: ham, Gruyere, little sour pickles and fresh butter from Normandy. Can't say no to Gruyere and French butter! Jon had the Milan: sun dried tomatoes, prosciutto, pesto and arugula on Ciabatta. I tasted it, for research purposes of course, and can say it was almost as good as the Paris!

I don't wander to the city that often, but I enjoy those times that I do. It's different and vibrant and exciting. There's always something going on and there are lovely little shops (like those visited above) to explore. I look forward to my next foray into the big city. Who knows what we'll discover. More cheese? A chocolatier? Ooooh, let the hunt begin!


Friday, July 10, 2009

Adventures in House Sitting Part 2

No, we're not back at my mother's house (though I'm sure she wishes she was back on Hilton Head!) This week, we've been tending house and four legged children for my brother-in-law and his fabulous wife (he's fabulous too, but it's more of a kick to hear her reaction to said compliment :)

Sadly, no pictures to be posted yet as I can't find my camera! Devastating, I know. It's around there somewhere. Of course, Tallulah could have confiscated it and hidden it away with her collection of other random items: socks, mismatched shoes, underwear.... This is the first clepto-dog I've ever met! The other day, I found one of my sandals and one of Jon's sandals half way inside her carrier. Cocking her furry little head up at me as if to ask, "what's wrong with that?" I certainly couldn't scold her. Well, ok, so I did, but not terribly so!

I'm not a little dog person. I grew up with Irish Setters and Labs. The smallest animal I've ever owned is an 18 pound cat that now resides with my mother. To move her would be terrifying. She doesn't like change and to this day, she doesn't know she's a cat. It would kill her to find out after 14 years she's not the Queen of the World! Sudden cardiac arrest to be sure.

Tallulah and Phyllis (or Lulu and Philly as we have so endearingly dubbed them) have been a riot! They are constantly underfoot, love to leap at table's height during all means, and yap incessantly at the slightest noise. Philly is the big sister (a gazelle-like cross between a miniature pinscher and a dachshund) and remains the calmer of the two. She is my reading buddy, hopping up onto the couch whenever I curl up with a hardcover and nuzzles her way into my lap. She's a burrower, something my husband tells me most little dogs are. If there's a blanket, stack of dirty clothes, or pillow laying about, she'll wedge her way underneath and burrow until she's in the most comfortable position. Oh, and she sleeps in the bed. With us. VERY funny! She makes it a point to curl up right underneath my pillow. Thus, I move her, shifting her to a spot between myself and Jon. Once we're under covers, she burrows down to our feet. I'll wake up in the middle of the night with her in the crook of my elbow! This morning, her nose was resting on my shoulder. I must admit, it warmed my heart.

Lulu is the baby. She's a shi-tzu and she knows it. She flounces, spins in circles, and yaps like the various squeaky toys that litter the living area. She's still a puppy, bless her, so she's still learning the fine art of house breaking. We've learned that her spinning in circles means many things, depending on how tight the circle. A wide circle means, "I'm happy you're here! Let's see if I can trip you!" A small circle means, "Woah! Over drive! I'm trying to see around the massive amounts of hair I won't let the humans trim from my eyes!" A swift, tight circle means poo is coming. O yes. It's on the move. If you let her get to tight circle number two, number two is what you'll get! We're convinced she still hasn't quite figured out her body and turning is her way of saying, "What on earth is going on back there?!? Someone help me!!! that all? Human...clean that up!"

All in all, it's been a pleasant experience. They live on a relatively quiet street and it's dark at night which makes for good sleeping. I say quiet. I mean quiet until the two boxers next door start barking which, in turn, causes Lulu and Philly to bark, which causes us to ask them to stop barking. Ah...the joys of surrogate parenthood!

Happy weekend!