Sunday, August 17, 2008

Moving On.

You can now find me here. It's a small blog, sweet and simple. I hope you like it.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersein, Good Night

Over the past year or so, I have been blessed to communicate with some very special people. You! As I have written tales of things that have happened in my life, shared pictures of things I have created and stories of people I have met, you have been there to encourage me, lift me, comfort me, compliment me and be the lovely women that you are.
But, as they say, all good things must come to an end, and so Meandering Travels of Mindless Thoughts is saying goodbye for now. It may not be forever, it may come back in a new form. But for now, I am signing off, taking a break, sitting back and taking it easy. No, not really taking it easy. I will be doing those things that I have been putting off for writing.
So, thank you. Thank you for reading and laughing and taking the time out of your busy day to visit. I will miss that camaraderie that has developed between us.
Don't worry, I'll still be popping in to see what all of you have been up to, though! This doesn't mean I will stop reading your blogs. Nope, not one bit. How could I get through the day? But me writing takes thought and time and focus that I need to direct elsewhere.
Take care, be well. I will see you at the back fence, where we can chat for a bit now and then, and catch up on what you've been doing, observing and creating.

madrekarin is off for new adventures.

Friday, June 27, 2008

New Things, New Foods, New Life

This has been a week of change her at our house. On Wednesday, the very nice men from our local heating and air company came and installed a heat pump/air conditioner in the family room half of the house. What a difference it makes! No more loud, blowing window unit freezing the backs of our heads as we sit watching television. No more hot little corner for the computer. No more hot, stuffy kitchen and dining room. No more sweaty cook in said kitchen.
How on earth did I live without this amazing device in my attic for ten years?! The poor men who worked through the day yesterday have my utmost respect. There is nothing worse than a Georgia attic in the summertime, and to be stuck in one for nine hours would be more than I could bear. But they did it, and kept smiles on their faces and pleasant conversations all through the day. Only when they were nearly finished did I discover that they had not stopped for lunch. How could that be? You have to eat!
guilt washed over me as I began cooking dinner for my family. The smell of shrimp and garlic wafted up to the attic and I am certain they their stomachs were rumbling.
"Would you like to join us for dinner?"
"No, thank you, ma'am."
When they left, I gave them enough extra dollars to get a decent dinner for themselves. It was the least I could do.

On Tuesday evening, I decided to make myself a little treat from the rhubarb I bought on the ill-fated trip to the Farmer's Market. I chose to stew it with sugar and make something similar to applesauce. Rhubarb Sauce.
I started with this:

Then added this:

Then I decided to add some of this- the candied ginger made from the ginger slices I used for the ginger syrup. (I just had to write ginger waa-yyy too many times.)

And I ended up with this! Rhubarb sauce in my favorite, creamy Brown Cow yogurt. Doesn't that look delicious?

Now for the new life. My oldest son, Nathan, the quiet one, has joined THE ARMY!! And I am totally okay with that. He will do his Basic training in Fort Jackson, SC. Close enough so that we can go to his graduation. Then, he will be off to California for his AIT. He has chosen linguistics- learning either Portuguese (a language that is in demand and one he can read already), Italian or Japanese.

I am so excited for him. This will give him purpose, direction and the discipline that he needs, allow him to see places that he wants to see (and some he doesn't really want to- but hey, you have to take the good with the bad), the chance to make new friends and really discover who he is.

Yay, Nathan. We are very proud of you. You have Heavenly Father on your side and with Him, all things are possible. Now go, and live your life, and enjoy the things that come your way.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Chain of Unfortunate Events

Have you ever had a day where things go wrong and all you want to do is to climb into your comfy bed and hide under the covers? That was my day today.
It started out innocently enough- making breakfast, doing laundry, washing dishes. But then, I decided to leave the house. Not a good idea.
First stop, Goodwill with #1Son in tow. As I was looking in the skirt aisle I happened to see the woman who worked in the fabric department at WalMart many years ago. She was nearly an institution there, until her granddaughter was born and she retired to care for her.
I whispered "Hello. How are you?" across the skirts and we caught up on what had been happening in our lives in the past ten years. She remembered me bringing in my daughter and how Ainslie would sit on the cutting table as fabric was laid out and scissors slid through it. I told her that daughter was almost twenty now. "Time sure does go fast." was her reply. We chatted a bit more and with a "It was wonderful to see you." goodbye, I walked to housewares to see what treasures they might have. We met again. And again. And again.
It is one thing to have a sweet conversation with someone and quite another to have to keep fumbling for things to say as you bump into each other at every turn. Time to go.
I thought that Nathan and I would head to a few other thrift stores and then perhaps have a little lunch somewhere. I mentioned the restaurant at the State Farmer's Market and he countered with lunch at the DeKalb Farmer's Market. He won.
The entire way there I was planning what I would have for lunch. With an ever-so-colorful array of international foods, it is difficult to decide just what to eat.
I did a bit of shopping first, picking up fresh English peas, broccoli rabe, Brussel sprouts, some grass-fed ground beef and a lovely, plump roasting hen. (Don't tell the girls!)
We parked our cart and got into the line, ready to make our choices. I went down the salad side first. Onto my plate went spinach, spring greens, carrots, olives, cucumbers and thinly sliced Spanish onions. A few sunflower seeds sprinkled on the top for more crunch and my salad was ready for dressing. I chose blue cheese. Mistake. As I poured the dressing from its pitcher, great blobs of blue cheese fell out, followed by a mass of creamy liquid. Way too much. Oh, well. too late now.
I slipped across to the other side to see if they had lentil samosas. They did. Oh, yum.
You get a choice of lamb, beef, vegetable or lentil. I've not had the lamb, but the beef is good. The vegetable samosas consist of mashed potatoes filled with what look like yesterday's leftover veggies. They are not good. But the lentil is divine. Brown and green lentils, spiced with who-knows-what (but it's delicious) and enveloped in a crisply fried wrapping. Perhaps not the most healthy of things to eat, but heavenly nonetheless. As an afterthought, and with encouragement from Nathan, I ladled a bowlful of mushroom soup for myself.
Sliding my tray down the shiny metal bars of the food carts, the unthinkable happened. The corner of the tray caught up underneath the drink holder. I tried to maneuver it out and as I did, I overcompensated. The weight of the plate caused the tray to tip, which allowed the plate of blue cheese-drowned salad and the bowl of mushroom soup to fly through the air, with the greatest of ease.
I watched, helpless, as creamy broth and flecks of mushroom directed themselves towards the very bare legs of the man across from me. The salad spread itself on the floor, with dressing oozing around it like blood from a gunshot wound. I was horrified, embarrassed and unable to move.
At last gaining my senses, I offered the man my napkins to wipe the glop off of his legs, and bent down to begin cleaning up the mess that I had just made.
"No. Ma'am, no. They will clean it up." lilted across the register from the cashier, a pleasant Pakistani woman. She smiled at me and said it was okay. Not.
I looked at my tray and discovered that the lentil samosa was still there, snug in its paper bag.
I offered to pay for the lunch I had ruined, but was told it was not necessary. Accidents happen. I did pay for my samosa and Nathan's lunch and went to find a table where no one could see me.
I did my best to shrink away as I ate my lunch, which posed it's own set of problems. As I bit into it, lentils began to propel themselves out of the samosa, down my chin and onto my lap. Thank goodness my mother taught me to keep a napkin in my lap. It was there to catch the eighteen small, brown rounds of evilness.
I am not a big believer in karma, but there may, perhaps, be something to it. Maybe this was the result of me trying to dodge the WalMart fabric lady in the Goodwill. Maybe it was just a bad day. Who knows? But one thing is for sure-
I think I'll stay home tomorrow.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Finally, Pictures!

After nearly giving up entirely, I found that I could load each picture individually with success.
Still a bit frustrating though. But, now you can see the treasures that I found during the last week. There are more yet to come. :)

Two Spode platters found at the shop off Moreland Ave. in Atlanta. $22 for both. Now that's a deal!

My birthday present to me! A cherry necklace kit and beautiful blue and white glass rings from the French General. Oh, my, I am in love with these!

The sweetest little doll bed I purchased at Dawn's yard sale. Can you not see this trimmed out with a ticking mattress stuffed with wool, tiny pillows, soft linens and an itty-bitty quilt?
Be sure to come back an see what it looks like in a few weeks.

The little sewing kit, with beautiful, softly colored thread, even tinier sewing kits and a package of perfect English needles. Sewing heaven!

My new screen door. For where? I don't know yet. But I promise it will be put to good use. Behind the door you can see the huge roll of grape vine. It looks like a big nest sitting on my porch.

Most of the linens and aprons from Dawn. Today was the perfect day to wash and hang them on the line, giving the sun every chance to whiten the whites and the breeze to soften the lot of them. I just love how they look hanging there, blowing slightly back and forth and making my back yard a most colorful spot.
Thank you so much, Dawn, for stuffing things into my hands, showing me your lovely craft room and being such a good friend. I could have stayed longer and bought more, but mostly I would have loved to just sit and chat. We must do that one day.

What a Week!

Both of my brothers were in town this past week and we had such a good time. I love when family comes to visit. Even Clark, the brother in the middle of the picture. Is there any doubt as to why he is still single? I don't think so.

This is a picture of my parents, my son, JA, the aforementioned Clark, my brother Donald and his wife Lynne and daughter Lizzie. (They could only be here for a few days, so we tried to cram in a much fun as we could in a short period of time.)
Saturday, my mom, Clark and I hit Scott's antique market. I found a few things; a lovely, soft piece of hand spun linen, a few watch faces, and a tiny little copper tea kettle that turned out to have been made from a penny. We ate lunch there, which I would not recommend. It is very expensive. I wish we had packed a lunch and ate in the truck because then I would have had more money for stuff!
The rest of the week sped by so fast it is a bit of a blur. One day we went thrifting, finding a place off of Moreland Ave. that we had never been in before. It was....interesting to say the least. But, we did find a few things, so it was not a total loss.
Thursday, the day D and family had to leave, we spent at home playing marbles on the board my grandmother made, chatting and wishing that 7:00 pm would not arrive. But it did, and they are now home and I miss having them here. Lots.
Clark did not have to leave until this morning, so we were back to running about. Friday was a trip to the High Museum to see the Houdon sculpture and the Civil Rights exhibits. The sculptures were extraordinary. Superbly executed, life-like images of George Washington, Voltaire, Ben Franklin, Houdon's own wife and daughter and more.
The Civil Rights exhibit is mesmerizing, sad and riveting all at once. Photographs detail the anger and rage that surrounded that period of time. You cannot leave there without feeling deep emotion. I would recommend it to anyone who lives here in Georgia or will be visiting here this summer.
Lunch at Eat's on Ponce de Leon proved a hit. A small hole-in-the-wall, they serve up tasty pastas and chicken and have the friendliest staff you'll ever find. Go! Go and have their jerk chicken or linguine with olive oil and garlic, mushrooms and peppers. Mmmmmmm.
Saturday morning, through closely spaced rain drops, we drove south to Dawn's house for her yard sale. Brave girl- she put it on despite the weather and there were many bargains to be found. I purchased 7 bags of linens and fabric, an old screen door, a few aprons, a little sewing kit, a roll of grapevine and a sweet doll bed. Because Blogger has been being a bit difficult, I will have to post the pictures later. It only let me upload this one photo.
If you read her blog, you know that even though it was pouring down rain most of the morning, her yard sale was a huge success!! It was worth all of that hard work! :)
A quick trip home to drop off our goodies and we were off again, this time to pick up my #1Son and head to the Michael C. Carlos Museum for the Lost Kingdoms of the Nile exhibit and lunch at The Earl in East Atlanta. It was a long day and by the time we got home, we were all exhausted.
And so, to quote Edward R. Morrow, "that is the week that was." Fun, fast, full, fatiguing.
And I would do it all over again.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Half a Century

This was the Time magazine cover on June 16, 1958, the day I was born. See that dress form in the top left corner? That would look so cool in my house. Yes, a vintage dress form would be lovely.

Vintage. I love that word. It evokes a feeling of comfort, it draws memories, it make us nostalgic for a sweeter, simpler time. Finding a vintage object means that someone cared enough to keep it, care for it and preserve it.
If you come to my house today, you will find a living, breathing vintage object- me!
You won't find me looking like Jean Thorn, the woman on the cover above. No, I'll be mucking-out the hen house, weeding the garden, hanging laundry and sprucing up the house for guests tonight, keeping those vintage traditions of long ago.
So, Happy Birthday, Vintage Me. I think fifty is going to be a very good age to be.