The Messengers/#Free48

Today was such a beautiful day I had the urge to get out and explore, take photos and just get lost in history.  At first I thought of a church tour but there are just too many here.  The Georgia skyline is literally dotted with steeples. So, I began checking historic churches, which led to historic buildings, then narrowing it down to nearby cities and finally I hit a winner.

 

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This visit was not about patriotism or politics but about my love of cemeteries.  There is so much history written on grave stones and in the case today, much more that was left unsaid on the unmarked stones of the soldiers who fell in the battles around the cemetery.  So many were never identified and lay in graves there, acknowledged in the only way humanly possible without the  modern science techniques we use today.

Another thing that I love to see when I visit a cemetery is the birds that live there, so often lighting on the head stones and posing there or squawking until I take a photo. Many indigenous peoples have beliefs that include birds being messengers from the Spirit world. I like to feel this is true.  If it is, then there were a lot of messages coming at me today.  Here are the best of the images I got while we walked around.

 

 

If you hold your finger on the bottom of the photo you may find a caption!

It was getting late, so we headed over to the second stop on our excursion.  This one should catch your eye, Dan. I think it was your kind of place.  😉

 

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I have more photos but not enough time to edit and put them in this post. I also feel this might be one of the best put together museums that I have ever visited.  It truly warrants its own post when I have the chance.  Meanwhile, here are a few of the highlights.  If you are ever in Kennesaw, and if you love trains or history, be sure to stop by.

 

 

Then we were hungry so headed in search of food. We found a new little place called The Nest and grabbed some cold beer and Barbecue.  I had mine in tacos.  I hope your Free48 was beautiful.  Got a busy week ahead so you may not hear from me for a bit.  Have a great week and stay cool, in all ways. 😎

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In Search Of Brilliance

It has been a practice of mine for quite some time now to seek out small miracles which can turn things around-a moment, a day or an event which otherwise seems bleak. The last few weeks have been very trying and painful for my family in many ways; and although I am not right there with them physically, my heart still aches and longs to turn things around and make life beautiful again for everyone, so thoughts and prayer must suffice in this moment.

I also had a birthday over the past #Free48. My ‘Birthday Buddy’, my son who shares the same birthday, was not here this year and that added to the prospect of a bleak celebration. But, as is always the case, Nature stepped up to the plate and presented me with some magnificent bits of brilliance to say, “Happy Birthday!”.

With well wishes from friends and phone calls from loved ones, including a birthday song from the grandkids, it was-as always-a special day.

This early gift from my sweet sister kicked things off!

 

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Thank you Omaha!

All I really cared about was getting outside to take some photos and having a nice meal somewhere that someone else cooked. 😉My dear hubby, as always, was a willing partner and smiled through it all-even the humidity. It really wasn’t too bad in the early part of Sunday. Here are some of my favorite things from our excursion.

 

 

 

 

 

Then I heard it. That familiar cry that sends me running like a crazed shopper on Black Friday. There is no mistaking a hawk’s screech. When we turned around there was a huge one flying low across the front of the property with its lunch in its claws. Seeing where it lit, I stealthily crept over to stand beneath the tree for some photos. I will spare you the gore (in this post) but it always amazes me to watch these birds methodically eat. He left nothing behind either, not a hair. We looked it up later to find this was a juvenile 😱 Broad Winged Hawk.

 

 

 

 

Please don’t tell Zippy! 🙊🙈He showed up to say Happy Birthday too!

 

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I got my dinner out at Yardhouse. Plus a free birthday dessert! So yummy.

 

 

 

 

And yesterday there were a few more surprises from friends at work. And hubby stepped with a few surprises he said he didn’t have time to get over the weekend with me hanging around. 😉 He’s so good to me.

 

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Publix Fudge Cake! Oh my….
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These are a few of my favorite things….
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This lady and I usually share a burrito like this on Fridays. This one was all mine! The flowers came from her beautiful yard!

 

This?

 

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A gift from my oldest. A hands free gadget for my crafts, like jewelry making. I think it looks like Doc Oc from Spiderman! 😀 I thought you’d like it, Dan!

Well, there it is. Brilliant Birthday. I hope everyone has a better than anticipated week. Ours begins with a no tolerance hands free cell phone law in place. Should be high revenues for the state of Georgia! 😏

Hugs! 💕

This was in my head when I woke up. Now it can be in yours too!

Time in a Bottle

One of my favorite Jim Croce songs states, “If I could make days last forever. If words could make wishes come true, I’d save every day like a treasure and then-again-I would spend them with you.”

It is a blessing, in life, to have someone you feel this way about. In good and bad times, to realize you wouldn’t give up any days spent with them, but merely try to change the way some may have been miss spent.

Sometimes a day begins on a less than brilliant note but ends spectacularly. Those days are especially nice because I love surprises!

The #Free48 started out with a Friday fun afternoon at a new venue near the house. We thought #Baddaddysburgerbar was pretty cool, from the Badass Margaritas (of which they only allow 2 per person) to the wide variety of freshly styled burgers and hand cut fries. So good! The homemade chips were crispy and not greasy. We will definitely go back. There’s a whole menu to try!

 

(Touch any photo for the description)

 

 

Then there was Saturday…low key, projects, a bit of housework and cooking a weekend meal.

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I just had to work on jewelry projects
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Braised Pork chops, baked sweet potato, peas and Olive Oil Muffins.
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These muffins are so good! I found the recipe from David Lebovitz’s blog awhile back and saved the link. I finally dug in and gave it a whirl. Can you smell the orange?

Check out David’s recipe for Olive Oil Muffins

Sunday promised to be a beautiful day and we headed up to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to a small German influenced town called Helen. Here comes the disappointment moments….it was less than even underwhelming, mostly due to a sense of apathy among the vendors there. It seemed as though we had stepped back in time, but it was frozen somewhere in the 70’s along with all of their merchandise and venues. The buildings are quaint and stylish, and there is a cute little park as well; but it took us approximately 45 minutes to walk around and fear we had made the two hour drive for naught. Thankfully, we had to drive to the other side of town when we first arrived, making sure we parked in the best spot, and spotted a state and national park sign worthy of a second look.

We did stop in an ‘authentic’ German restaurant/bakery where we snagged a cream puff. What can I say? I have certainly made tastier treats. The pastry was dry and the cream was only whipped cream-and unsweetened at that. So disppointing.

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Authentic German styling
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Even a windmill!
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This little waterfall was in the patk
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We always enjoy a good pastry. Too bad it was mediocre.

So, quick as that, we headed to the far end of town and followed the brown park signs to Unicoi State Park and Anna Ruby Falls National Park. Hubby has a lifetime pass to all national parks so we ended up getting in totally free! Yippee!!

Talk about worth the wait. It was about a mile walk uphill to the falls and the view along the way was beautiful, cascading water at every turn. I knew the moment I saw this beauty that we were where we should be.

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I so wish I could live here. One of the best things was the way the air got cooler the higher we walked. At one point it felt like a blast of air conditioning wafted down the hillside.

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I loved these huge rock formations and hidden passageways.

Then we reached the top! It was so lovely. We have seen larger falls but this place has its own special charm.

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The view was breathtaking
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If only I could stay…
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That smile is genuine. Me and water and the woods make a happy trio!

Reluctantly, we headed back down the hill and made our way to the parking lot.

Our day was exhilarating. From expectant to disillusioned to thrilled.

 

 

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What’s not to love about this drive?

We had one more stop to make.

 

 

 

How is that for a #Free48?

As I said before…..

Lonesome/#NationalTrainDay

I want to express my sincerest apologies to all train enthusiasts out there. My yesterday got away from me with a mere nod to one of my blogging friend’s favorite events of the year! So, Dan. I am very sorry, sir. I am behind my times.

 

 

I was making merry in my way yesterday, getting things done and feeling happy; and that is sufficient unto itself, as is said. As I sit here in my room, listening to the train that rolls by several times a day, I am thankful for such small pleasures. It is a bit sad that they are apparently not allowed to blow the whistle while traveling through this area, but the low rumbling of the cars on the rails is still most comforting to me as I wonder where she has been and where she is headed.

I am posting just a few of my most recent train photos, although I have so many over the years and not the time to peruse my archives.

I can only think of one person who aptly expresses my emotions when I see, hear or step aboard a train. Have a listen to Hank’s rendition as you look at my little collection.

 

 

 

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This photo is cool because the man who took the photo said the train was pulling all engines and they were  all  running a once, making a thunderous sound. You can read about the city of Austell’s founder Alfred Austell, here.  

 

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I will hopefully be posting separately for Mother’s Day. Meanwhile, I have fun plans for the day with one of my sons. I hope all of you find a way to honor the mother influences in your lives, both within and without.

Happy #Free48!

 

No Cherries/#Free48

Well, it turned out to be a productive and fine #Free48 with some good food, a mini adventure, a new business prospect and even tequila shots! Rather than explain it all in boring narrative, why don’t I just share some photos with you? For details, hold your finger on the photo or tap for captions.

After driving around the parking garage for thirty minutes at Ponce City Market I was ready to throw in the towel when suddenly a spot opened up and we were in! Sadly, the market was so crowded that we headed right out to get onto the BeltLine…..buuuut….we couldn’t. There was a wine festival going on at the entrance and we didn’t want to attend. It was crazy. We went back inside the market to find a beer and maybe a bite of food but there was just so much chaos. We agreed to head home and grab something closer to our neck of the woods. The drive was very cool though, allowing me to get some more shots of the city. There is some fantastically original grafitti around Atlanta. These are just a couple of the random murals I saw during our drive.

We agreed on Zama Mexican, one of our favorite local spots and were both ready for a cold one and some food!

I couldn’t resist giving a “tickle” to one of the restaurant’s door sentries. I liked his necklace!

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I will someday write about my nightmares  dreams last night but right now they are too fresh.  No more Heradura shots for Cheryl. Have you ever been attacked by a spider riding a cricket!? 😱

Today hubby firmed up the details for our spot in the antique store. Now I am praying my jewelry is recieved well and that the things we put there wll sell. There is a festival coming up in two weeks. Wish me luck! I have been working pretty much non stop getting things ready.

What do you think of the collection? These aren’t all the best possible shots but you can get the idea what I will be presenting. And I am still working.

And the cherry on top of it all? I made homemade strawberry ice cream. It turned out so delicious. But, sadly, there were only strawberries to go on top. 🙊And drizzled chocolate. And whipped cream! The best part about being the cook? I get to scrape the Cuisinart freezer bucket. What a preview.

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Let’s get out there and make it a great week. Remember, we can all use a little help from our friends, no matter how little they seem.

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Running Late With Free 48

I guess that must mean it has been a good 48 hours!  Plus.  Well, it has.  Although the weather has kept us tap dancing between sun/no sun and the occasional misting rain, we managed to get out for a few mini adventures. I didn’t want to leave the fun behind without sharing it with you, my good friends.  I hope wherever you are, you are finally feeling the gentle nudge of Spring and have been able to get out for a bit of fun and some sunshine.  For many of you I hope that sun does a dandy job of melting ice and snow!

 

On good weeks my Free 48 starts on Friday afternoon and last week was no exception.  We normally like to do something fun then since many people are still at work and there is less crowding as well as traffic.  It was on my Free 48 wish list to see the new hit film Ready Player One. This film is based on the best selling book by Ernest Cline.  It is a great film for both young and old, especially if you left part of your heart or your boogie shoes in the 80’s.  Filled with pop culture references and based on the best loved video games of that era, this movie is action packed and good for the entire family.  I am currently reading his second book Armada. I knew it would be action packed so suggested we go for the 3D theater which I never do normally and we did not regret it.  The AMC venue had full reclining seats with completely separated aisles.  That translates to ‘better-than-at-home comfort and no one to kick our seats.  They were motorized and the temperature and volume were absolutely perfect too.  I would recommend it to anyone.  An extra bonus was that the entire film was in 3D so no taking the glasses off and on.

 

 

That was just the beginning.  We knew we were hungry but our first stop at Copeland’s was a bust.  When we asked to sit in the bar they put us at the table right by the steps in the direct path of all traffic.  There were other tables open but still they sat us there.  After a few minutes we got up and left.  Know what they said over our shoulders?  “Thank you for coming in!”  WTH? New age service….

So we headed to The Battery where we were ignored or treated with ho hum attitude in three more restaurants before going into the newly opened Punch Bowl Social.  The venue is pretty incredible and the ideas behind what the owner is doing are noble.  There are three bars, all kinds of fun stuff including a mini bowling alley, pool tables, fooseball, ping pong, and giant scrabble.  There is a nice patio upstairs as well.  BUT….the prices were ridiculous and the food fell short in a few ways.  They are trying some eclectic and healthy selections but the portions were too small for the money.  My Old Fashioned was awesome but hubby’s drinks were not worth the extra money and the beer selection was limited although they did have some local craft brews.  I can’t say it will be a regular hang like Wahlburgers has become.  Well…see for yourself.

 

 

 

That wrapped up our regular week.  Sleeping in Saturday morning was nice since we knew it was due to rain and be cold all day. I planned to do some jewelry work and we did get out to Michael’s for some supplies.  Oh. And I made some gnarly waffles for our brunch.  😊

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Waffles and bacon……
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New piece
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My most recent collection

 

On to Sunday.  I really wanted an outing but the destination I hoped for was closed today so we headed back up to the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park. We didn’t get to hike and there were so many people but I did get out in the old section we visited before to get a few shots.  The area is so amazing.  We enjoyed the drive as well.  After that we treated ourselves to dinner at the Marietta Diner.  It is always such an experience.  Good food for the money and seriously great service.  The dessert deserves a restaurant all its own….

 

 

 

What’s left?  My dear lovelies in the yard are knocking themselves out in spite of the chill. The Rhododendron is on fire with color.  And I will leave you with these.  I hope everyone had a peaceful weekend and that your week is brilliant.  Hang in there guys….

 

 

Oh Marietta!/Free 48

I wasn’t sure I would squeak this out but with the Academy Awards booming in the background, I am bound and determined to share my 2nd installment of my new theme #Free48, my weekend tribute to those hours which are afforded to me that belong to me. Sometimes they are quiet, sometimes busy, manic, lazy or productive. But, since  I am the conductor of my 48 hour train, I vow to attempt a new journey each time it pulls away from the station.

 

This 48 started out lazy on Saturday morning, sleeping in and doing my morning reading. After watching the birds enjoying the gorgeous day, we decided to head out in search of junktique and thrift stores, with an eye peeled for something to hang over the new bed. Our online search pointed us in the direction of Marietta, so we dressed appropriately for the suddenly chilly temps and headed out. What a beautiful ride!

 

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I can only imagine the beauty once Spring actually springs! Of course we had to take a slight detour on our way to the antique village….cuz we couldn’t miss out on seeing….

 

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The BIG CHICKEN This iconic bird is a landmark, legendary as one of the oldest Kentucky Fried Chicken stores in Georgia, although it started out as Johny Reb’s Chick, Chuck and Shake restaurant. It is pretty impressive and the beak and eyes are motorized, the beak opening and closing and the eyes rolling. And I thought the giant bucket was pretty special when I was a kid. 😏

During our U-Turn we spotted a promising looking thrift store, Value Village, so decided to hop out for a quick look around. An hour or so later……

 

 

 

 

Grand total? $59! Hooray for detours and side trips. I love recycling! Makes me so glad for all those bags of clothes I have donated over the years. It all comes back in the end. 😊 Next stop….The Antique Village!

 

 

 

 

We did pick up a few treasures here, but I didn’t  really find what I was searching for. Maybe at the next one.  So….three hours later and my stomach was screaming at me.

Where else could we go but to another icon in Marietta, famous for its great home cooking and for being featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives-Marietta Diner ! What a grand place. We were not disappointed. This restaurant serves up thousands of faithful and new patrons daily and the staff really know how to provide a great experience. It has a bustling diner feel but elegantly chic at the same time with professional and friendly servers and better than quick food arrival. Everything is made to order and tastes like someone’s Mom made it. 😉 With love.

Click on the link above for the full history of this NY family’s successful history of restaurant greatness and the different restaurant venues they have added over the years in Atlanta. What follows is a pictorial of our own adventure there; and I can only say I hope there are enough Free 48 weekends to make our way through the entire, extensive menu. 😱

 

 

 

 

And then there was the complimentary beer from the owner…just because!

Thank you #Marietta Diner for such a wonderful meal and experience.

 

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Oh…who could pass this up?! We got ours to go.

 

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Hubby’s treat was a luscious Lemon Meringue pie slice. Me…must be chocolate and there were many options. Of course I chose the Death By Chocolate Cake which was so large a sluce it is lingering on. So far I have had three desserts out of it. And there is still a bit left for breakfast. 🙊

Now we are settled in watching the Academy Awards. I hope your weekend has been all you hoped for or needed; and I hope you had a bit of this in it as well..

 

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And here’s to a grand week ahead!

 

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