Saturday, April 25, 2015

Best Lemon Pound Cake Ever

Woah.  I should've taken a picture of it.  I made it from a random lemon and tub of ricotta I just happened to have for an impromptu tea time.  Yum.  I'll be making this recipe again!  It was so moist and just lemony enough.  Here's the link to the recipe.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Greens and Oranges Scrappy Quilt

Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.  --Mark Twain

I wanted to throw out a quick update on this scrappy quilt top I started this weekend!  I have so many awesome quilt scraps.  I'd rather make something pretty with them than have boxes of fabric landfill.  Cheers to the scraps.

Pretty messes.  Salvage.  Salvation.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Atlanta's Dogwood Festival

“With enough courage, you can do without a reputation.” 
― Margaret Mitchell
In Spring, Atlanta is covered in pollen.  Cars actually turn yellow, and so do lungs.  It's painful for the allergy sufferers.  For sure.  But with the bad comes the good.  There are flowers everywhere.  The gardenias, tulips, azaleas, peach trees, magnolias, daffodils, and . . . dogwoods are in bloom.   With the dogwoods come the annual Dogwood Festival.

The only bummer from the day is not knowing the Margaret Mitchell Museum was FREE all day!  Next year, Mags.  Next year.

J and I hopped a train down to Piedmont Park to check it out.  It was cloudy, but there was still a good turnout.  No pics of all the art, but here are some of J's action shots of the dog show.

Literary sass.  Sweet dogs.  Flying day.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Charleston Memories & Ideas for Next Time

I was digging through some old photos tonight, and I found these photos from a Charleston trip a few years ago.  It inspired me to make a fantasy road trip plan that I thought I'd share with you.  Maybe I can use it sometime this Fall.  :)

Saturday:  Get in the car early and drive to Charleston.  Check in, have an ice cream cone, cruise the shops, and take the dolphin cruise.

Sunday:  Have brunch, sit on the beach, take Ed's (or his associate's) walking tour, head home.

Economy Car Fuel Both Ways @ $45
Splurge at The Battery Carriage House Inn @ about $300 OR Economy at $100
Beach Time = FREE
Browsing Shops = FREE
Check out The Orange Spot, best coffee shop in Charleston
Lunch and Dinner @ 100ish
Ed Grimball's Walking Tour @ about 35 each
Adventure Harbor Sunset Dolphin Cruise @ $55 each

Economy Overnight Weekend: about $425
Extra Splurgy Overnight Weekend:  about $625

History. Palmetto Bugs.  Trips.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
--Benjamin Franklin
It's another gorgeous sunny Spring Break day in Atlanta, and I want to quilt!  My mom is a wonderful seamstress, and I -- I just mess around.  Here's a Seuss and a Georgia Tech baby quilt I made for friends and their new babies.

Let's see what I come up with today!  :)

Fabrics.  Colors.  Art.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Jetsons House

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. --Mark Twain
When I went on the hunt to buy my first house about two years ago, I imagined it might work like buying shoes:  pick it out, decide to buy it, pay for it, and move in.

I put in five offers--including one that fell through after I had the house inspected--before I found this place.
In my dreams, I live in a Craftsman something like this:

But since life has landed me in my midcentury modern place, I've embraced it!  The best places in Atlanta to find midcentury pieces are Highland Row Antiques and Kudzu and Company.  I haven't collected anything yet (maintenance on a house is no small expense), but I have dreams!

Here are some of my favorite:

Retro Dreams.  Midmod.  Elroy.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hometown Atlanta

A few months ago, some friends of mine from out of town had a layover in the Atlanta Airport.  They asked an airport employee for some suggestions of sites to see on a limited agenda.  The airport employee told them to take MARTA, our public transportation "train" to  . . .

Lenox Mall.

Lenox Mall.

Lenox Mall is a ritzy mall famous for handbags and timepieces, but it's a mall just like any other.

I said, "Why the heck didn't you call me?"

The best thing about Atlanta, for visitors, is that it's more than just one tightly-clustered city center, it's a collection of a hundred neighborhoods.  Each neighborhood has its own personality, downtown, and vibe.

One of my favorites is Woodstock, about 30-minutes northwest of the city.  It's built around the railroad tracks.
I met my mom near there for lunch today, so I grabbed a few photos.
It's artsy.
It's got great local restaurants.

... and then there's the legendary town turkey.  Sadly, Bob was killed in traffic after becoming the town pet--often racing cars in the downtown 25 MPH zone.

Spring Break.  Mom lunches.  Love.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter on the Beach and Beaufort

Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him, everything else thrown in. --C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
A few days ago, I got a wild notion that I wanted to spend Easter morning on the beach, so J and I set out at 3AM to make it to Hilton Head Island by the 7AM sunrise service.  Only, with bathroom and fuel stops, we made it about 8:00.

After a nap on the breezy 65-degree morning beach, some people-with-dogs and morning-jogger watching, we walked around to see the sights and enjoy the local brew at Java Joes.

On the way home, we detoured to Beafort, South Carolina, and J showed me his old stomping grounds.  What a cool waterfront downtown!  It has historical buildings, a creative play area with a giant ship jungle gym, and a collection of art galleries and places to eat.  I wish we could've stayed longer.  Because it was Easter, a lot of the shops were closed, but the park was packed.

Beaufort.  Beautiful.  Tides.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Goodbye, Vintage Swingline

If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.  --Mark Twain

As a teacher, I've been through some staplers.  Usually, a stapler lasts about six months in the hands of hundreds of 14 year-olds.

Enter: the vintage Swingline.

It was mint condition when I ordered it on Ebay.  I imagined it sitting on the desk of some 1980s shoulder-padded business executive and stapling lots of glamorous contracts.  Yesterday, a student reloaded staples, and Swingline bit his last stack.

The spring that holds the staples in place is missing.

I should have expected this to happen, but something in me wanted this stapler to live forever.  I guess a stapler losing his life is the perfect kind of drama to punctuate the Friday before Spring Break in a middle school.

Office Supplies.  Classroom.  Spring Break.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Midnight Lunch? Launch!

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”  --Mark Twain

Hey there,

It's just about two-in-the-morning in Atlanta.  Just a few hours ago, I decided tonight was the night to launch a blog.  Midnight on a Wednesday.  When else?

I want to share one of my favorite journals with you.

The journal pictured below is a book I've been filling with odds and ends since 2007.  The cover shows a an elaborate monogram of the Greek "chi" and "rho" the first two letters of "Christ" in Greek.  It's from the Book of Kells, which is a Gospel text copied by Celtic monks from the 6th to 9th century.  

I love it because it's astounding to me to imagine monks with simple inks (not even exotic purples or blues) spending lifetimes copying and contemplating the Gospel.  To spend even an hour handcopying anything in 2015 is unheard of.  What could possibly be worth filling all of those pages ... with inks, words, minutes, and hours, and   l  i  v  e  s ?  

And in the trunk in the living room filled with journals and in the print here, how will I fill mine?

beautiful journal

We're going to find out!  C'mon.  :)  

Drama.  Stories.  Once Upon a Time, there was a girl.