#Weekend Coffee Share: There and Back Again

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~My theme for this month’s Nano Poblano challenge is Motion~

Hi!  Thanks so much for stopping by.  Sorry it’s so late – we just drove in from Birmingham, but I’m still glad to see you!  What may I offer you?  Maybe some coffee – I think I’ve got decaff – or maybe tea? Or I could offer a glass of wine or I have some sparkling raspberry lime water, if you’d like.

How was your Thanksgiving?  Did you visit family or have family over to your house or get to spend some time alone relaxing?

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The Fam

We had a lovely visit with my parents and family in Birmingham for three days.  Lots and lots of eating.  ::sigh:: Turkey and dressing (and the works) is my favorite food in the world and you’d thought I consumed enough to hold me ’til next year, but my Mom packed us up a bunch of left-overs, so I’ll be enjoying turkey and cranberry sauce sammies and green bean casserole for a few days more.

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Yay.

May I freshen your drink?  How about a slice of pumpkin pie or some of this cowboy bark?  It’s dark chocolate with toffee, pretzels, almonds and sea salt – highly addictive.  I’m going to be eating a lot more healthily as of next week – OMG, I have to.  I will also be getting my butt back in yoga on a regular basis.

It was really wonderful to see everyone and just detach for a few days.  The internet was a little spotty, so it was an awesome excuse to put down the laptop and just enjoy hanging out, watching movies, talking and helping out a little around the house:  David helped my Mom put up the tree and I actually voluntarily raked the front yard for my dad – I think it’s the first time I’ve ever picked up a rake when it wasn’t at gunpoint. 🙂

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Regardless, I needed the whole break pretty badly as next week is my last week at my current job and I know there’s a lot to do to transition my responsibilities to my team before I leave.

Let me top you off – this pot is fresh.

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to December this year.  I’ve got a little bit of a break before the new career kicks in and I’m hoping to spend a lot of quality time with friends, catching up and enjoying all the great seasonal happenings in Atlanta.  I’m planning a little ice skating and a trip to Snow Mountain, as well as making jewelry and cookies and I may try my hand at some homemade Baileys Irish Cream.

So, what’s on your agenda for the holidays?  Will you be staying at home or traveling this year?  Do you make any gifts or do you love to shop?

Are you sure you can’t stay for one more cup?  It was so nice to see you!  Hope we’re able to catch up again soon.  I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with so many great things to be grateful for and I’ll look forward to hanging out a little more in December.

Here’s hoping you have a fabulous week!

And thanks to Miss Emily’s Home for Full Grown Nerds for turning me on to Diane at Part-Time Monster’s #weekendcoffeeshare.  Please stop by her page to enjoy coffee and time with the rest of the crew!

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#Weekend Coffee Share: Survival is Sweet

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~My theme for this month’s Nano Poblano challenge is Motion~

Hey!  So good to see you again!  Thank you for dropping by!

I made it through this week.  That is cause for celebration.

Let’s grab a cup and head out to the front porch – the weather is finally lovely and fall-like and it’s so nice sitting out their on the porch swing.

You are catching me on the end of a crazy busy seven-ish days. Yesterday, I helped out a friend of mine, who is a private chef, produce a rehearsal dinner for 50+ people.  Today, my husband and I hosted a book club meeting for my women’s organization.

Yes, we are a wine club who likes to read.

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About 10  lovely ladies showed up for wine and snacks this afternoon to discuss our quarterly book selection, The Widow.  I thought the book was pretty good – the last few chapters were very suspenseful.  It’s not something I would have picked out on my own to read – most of our book group selections aren’t, so it’s nice to read a little out-0f-the-box every now and again.

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Of course, Jeeves our alligator butler, met them at the door with a book and a drink.

Otherwise, my work week was insane.  I had two full complex buyouts with super-complicated logistics which meant my life hinged on the organizers’ daily whims.  I am so very grateful that they are over and done.

Done and successful.  ::whew::  Actually, I can pour you another cup of coffee or you can join me in a shot of tequila if you’re interested.  (Just kidding, but tempting after this week.)

So please tell me about your week…what did you do?  Did you accomplish a lot or just find time to relax and enjoy the change in Season?  Are you writing for NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo or Nano Poblano?  If so, how’s that going?

Do be sure to stop by next week for coffee again: big announcements are coming!

And thanks to Miss Emily’s Home for Full Grown Nerds for turning me on to Diane at Part-Time Monster’s #weekendcoffeeshare.  Please stop by her page to enjoy coffee and time with the rest of the crew!

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#Weekend Coffee Share: So happy to finally catch up!

~My theme for this month’s Nano Poblano challenge is Motion~

So please sit down and let me pour you a cup of something warm, since it’s a little chilly this morning.  We’ve got a great Sumatran dark roast, there’s green tea or chamomile and if you give me a sec, we can probably whip up some hot chocolate or spiced cider.

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Ummm…spoke too soon.  Ix-nay on the spiced cider-ay,  and unfortunately, Pumpkin Lattes are a bit outside my skill set. There is some hot chocolate, though if you like.

 

I’m sorry it’s been so long since we’ve had coffee together.  I do think about you, every Sunday, and wish I had a moment to invite you over to catch up, but it’s been crazy nuts in my world for some time now.  I’m not complaining, mind you – it’s all good stuff.  All things to be grateful for!

 

I am particularly grateful for our recent trip to Florida.  OMG, I needed a break and beach time so much, as did my husband.
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We spent eight amazing, relaxing days at Rosemary Beach, cooking, biking, sailing, soaking up sunrises and sunsets and just being happy.
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I so did not want to go back to work on Tuesday!  Don’t you hate it when you come back from vacation and immediately need a vacation from the consequences of vacation!

 

I did get new glasses (and contacts) this week.  What do you think?
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I am super thankful for good vision insurance, because the final bill came to more than I paid for my first car.   Grrrrr.  Well, at least I’ll be seeing clearly for a while.
Every little bit helps.

 

Would you like a little more coffee?  I know it’s my third cup, but I’m enjoying it being Sunday and not worrying about agendas or too much caffeine being bad for me.

 

We’re down in Augusta this weekend, visiting my Mother-in-Law, Linda.  We needed to get her pool covered for the winter and David had some work he wanted to do in the yard.
We had time to take the canoe out on the lake yesterday for a while after we finished with the yard.
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Such a gorgeous day.  And a pretty lake, although it’s a little snakey around the edges.

 

Today, we’re headed back to Atlanta.  ::sigh::I’ve got a full plate for next week with two giant events at work – the kind I will have to come in early and stay very late for, the monthly luncheon for my professional women’s organization is on Wednesday; plus I’ve to take my car in for a diagnostic check (damn engine light keeps coming on!) and next weekend I’m hosting our quarterly book club meeting at the house. Our book is The Widow, which I haven’t read yet, but plan to on our drive back home this afternoon.  Oh, and I need to figure out a menu for that and do some paperwork for my Scottish heritage group and laundry and shopping…it never stops, does it?

 

So what have you been up to?  Are you taking part in NaBloPoMo or Nano Poblano?  I’m doing both, even though I’m sure I’ll be taking liberties with photo posts and quick check ins…I mostly love Nano Poblano so much for the community here and I always roll out of a November of daily posting with the honorable intentions of posting more and reading more and commenting more because I love that feeling of connectivity and family…and then life jumps in and scatters me every which way and I fade away until April, when I try A-to-Z (and typically stumble and fall out half way…)

 

Maybe this year.  One of the changes I’m hoping for is to have a little more control of my day and my schedule.

 

Aw, anyhow I hate that you have to go – I know I chattered your ears off.  And that’s what coffee does to me.
Let me grab your sweater for you and let’s promise to catch up again next Sunday, okay?
I hope you have an amazing week!
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And thanks to Miss Emily’s Home for Full Grown Nerds for turning me on to Diane at Part-Time Monster’s #weekendcoffeeshare.  Please stop by her page to enjoy coffee and time with the rest of the crew!

#Weekend coffee share: Saturday, February 6

#WeekendCoffeeShare was created by Part Time Monster. I’m so happy to participate again! I made an extra pot and I hope you’ll join me.

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If we were having coffee, the first thing I’d so is introduce you to my Mother-in-Law, Linda, because we’re visiting her in Augusta and I’m sure she’d want to join in! (It’s also her coffee.)

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My lovely “mom”-in-law, Linda!

It’s always such a nice getaway – not only do I enjoy her company and spending time with family, but there’s the accompanying “perk” that I’m not at home, facing a weekend “Gotta Get this Crap Done” list of house/car/clothing cleaning, repairs, bills, budgeting and other nasty-but-necessary aspects of growed-up life.

Being here, far from the visual reminders of domestic responsibility, means that I can read, blog, read other blogs, work on my website, take on-line classes, create a photo book for our recent Burns Supper celebration and otherwise indulge myself in the “me” time I can rarely schedule when I’m at home.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask what you’ve been watching on TV (should you watch TV) because I’ve been recently obsessed with Broadchurch.

 

I’m a huge Dr. Who Fan and love David Tennant’s Doctor, but this Tennant is a dark and flawed character, driven by pain and failure – very different from his charming and powerful Time Lord. A mesmerizing plot and really detailed and wonderful character development, added to the gorgeous scenery of coastal Dorset, kept me riveted through Seasons 1 and 2.

“And because you watched Broadchurch,” Netflix admonished me (after the final credits rolled on the last chair-gripping episode) “Look at all these British TV shows I’m going to suck you into!”

So far, they’ve succeeded with The Bletchley Circle, which I got half-way through last night.  However, this time, I swear I’m going to ration myself and not serial watch it all this weekend. Does that happen to you?

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If we were having coffee, I’d ask you to grab your cup and come to the kitchen.  Linda just made pancakes!  Would you like some with blueberries or without?  There’s butter and maple syrup – help yourself.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we had an amazing time at our Burns Supper celebration last week and I’m looking forward both to blogging about it and to making another photo book for all the guests, like I did a few years ago. We’ve got so many awesome pictures and happy memories, it’s nice to gather them all in one place.

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Which reminds me, while I’m not on an agenda, I guess I kinda am!  I need to get working on my book, and I’m feeling fairly inspired, so I’ll thank you for stopping by, remind you to schedule us again for next week and wish you a wonderful weekend full of all the things that make you happy!

I’d also like to thank Nerd in the Brain – I’ve enjoyed her “If We Were Having Coffee” posts so much, it inspired me to brew up a pot and join you all here at #WeekendCoffeeShare.

Weekend Coffee Share: Sunday January 3, 2016

#WeekendCoffeeShare was created by Part Time Monster. I’m so happy to participate again!  I made an extra pot and I hope you’ll join me.

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Actually, I feel pretty rotten that I haven’t been able to make time to grab a cup with you and fill you in on everything that’s been going on!  December’s a rough time in the event/hotel/restaurant business and it took everything I had to get my work done and squeeze in vital moments with my family and close friends.

I had a lot of grandiose plans this year: ice-skating, holiday parties, a fabulous anniversary celebration with my husband and trips to Birmingham for Christmas and New Years to visit my family, as well as giving the loft a serious cleaning, signing up for some on-line classes and cleaning out my closets and make donations to Dress for Success and local clothing drives.

Would you like another cup?  I am so addicted to this Sumatran Roast. And how about a Christmas cookie?  Please, take two. These are my husband’s absolute favorites.

Typical for me, I had a lot more plans than I had actual time, but I am more than content with all the lovely things we did get to do and most importantly of all, the happy and relaxing six or seven (alas, non-contiguous) days we spent with my family in Birmingham.

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One of the biggest highlights of our holiday was attending the Dahlonega Christmas parade, in the North Georgia mountains.  Our friends Sam and Betty participate in the parade every year with their four enormous Huskies pulling a dogsled filled with gifts.  It was our first time to see the event (although not our first visit to Dahlonega) and we enjoyed the simple charms of the small town: families and neighbors sharing holiday joy amid the festive lights and decor, the beautiful mountains and crisp wintry air.

My last day of work was the 21st, with two whole weeks off!  I’ve never in my life had a vacation that long and I was so incredibly thrilled to finally have some “me” time (and “we” time with my husband.)

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John Driskell Hopkins and the Atlanta Pops Orchestra

David and celebrated our 3-year anniversary a day early (the 21st instead of the 22nd) at a friend’s holiday CD release party and performance with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra.  The music was incredible, we had a nice dinner at the venue, Venkmans, but the best part was catching up with old buddies from my days in the Atlanta bar and music scene.

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David’s Mom, Linda, came up on the 23rd from her home in Augusta, and spent the night so we could get an early start for our drive to Birmingham the next day.  It’s not a bad trip, about 2 and 1/2 hours, but the first part was through a torrential rainstorm.  Thankfully, it cleared up after about 50 miles and we had blue skies and an easy drive the rest of the way.

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Being home in Birmingham was wonderful.  My 91-year old grandmother, Jessie, is visiting this month from Oklahoma, so we had the full family gathered at my parent’s home.  It was awesome playing Santa Claus, wrapping gifts and enjoying a delicious Christmas Eve dinner my husband cooked for us all.  Christmas day brought my sister, her husband and my niece over, along with my foster sister Wendy and her daughter Alexis.  We had another huge dinner, exchanged gifts, watched classic Christmas movies and just enjoyed being with each other.

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Christmas Eve Crazy Hat Party. This is one of my husband’s family traditions we’ve newly incorporated into our combined family. Unfortunately, we’ve only turkey and Santa hats, so there’s not a lot of variety at this time. We’re working on it.

Yay! Christmas!

Yay! Christmas!

We went back to Atlanta for a few days between Christmas and New Years and I actually did do a lot of cleaning and donated a bunch of clothes to a local charity.  I planned to do much more, but honestly, I was happy just to do a thorough mop and vacuum, dust everything and clean all the counters, the fridge and the bathrooms.  Oh, and I signed up for my on-line classes (more about that to come.)

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New Year’s Eve brought us back to Birmingham to celebrate with the family. My Dad’s recovering from shoulder surgery so we needed to keep things a little chill for him.  We planned a big, swanky dinner at my folk’s house, with hors d’oeuvres, an Italian-themed dinner, champagne and sparklers for midnight!

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Oops, I should have warned you that too much caffeine makes me wildly chatty.  I hope I haven’t “talked your ears off!”  Hmmmm. Maybe I should switch back to water.  🙂
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It was a memorable, magical holiday – everything I hoped for – and I’m so grateful I got to experience and share it!

Your turn!  How were your holidays?  I truly hope you have lots of love and wonderful memories from your celebrations and I’d love to hear about them.

(Ok, just one more cup of coffee – let me top yours off, too – so I can toast to a happy New Year with you!)

Here’s to 2016 being filled with love, blessings, prosperity, happy surprises and being the best year yet for all of us!

I’d also like to thank Nerd in the Brain – I’ve enjoyed her “If We Were Having Coffee” posts so much, it inspired me to brew up a pot and join you all! I hope you have a wonderful week!

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Sunday November 15, 2015.

#WeekendCoffeeShare was created by Part Time Monster. I’ve always wanted to participate, so this morning, I made an extra pot and I hope you’ll join me.

If we were having coffee…

I would tell you that we are spending the weekend in Augusta, visiting David’s Mom. We haven’t been here in a couple of months, due to my insane debilitating ruthless super-busy work schedule, so the first thing my husband did was tackle the yard, which is huge and needed a lot of attention. I threw on some old shoes and helped him as much as I could, dragging away ivy clippings and the crepe “murder” limbs from his pruning and loading them up in a cart to dump in the woods.  He was happy for the help – I’m not normally much of a “yard-work” kinda girl.

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I would tell you how nice it was to see David’s family. His sister Debbie and her husband are visiting from California and we had an “early Thanksgiving-inspired” dinner together last night.  Southern-style holiday food (roasted turkey, cornbread dressing and gravy, potatoes and cranberry sauce) is my favorite food in the world and I could eat it for days.

After dinner, we watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for the umpteenth million time, as it’s a Thanksgiving tradition in both our families.  My sister will cry “traitor!,” but I’m really okay about not seeing it again until next year.

Very little chance of that happening, though.  ::sigh::

If we were having coffee….

I would tell you that Friday night we watched CNN’s coverage of the horror as it transpired in Paris, just as I’m sure you did.  My heart breaks for all of those who lost loved ones, and I’m more frightened than ever of what our world is becoming.  The only solace is the outpouring of love and support being shown world-wide.  Maybe we’re not as jaded and cynical and self-centered as I sometimes despair – perhaps there’s enough light in us as a people to drown out this darkness and evil.  I would tell you that I’m sending prayers, good energy, positive thoughts (the intentions are the same whatever you prefer to call it) towards the healing of those affected by this tragedy.

Wait, I’m so sorry…may I pour you another cup? 

If we were having coffee…

I would tell you I’m starting to get excited about the upcoming holidays.  I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving and I’ll get to take off for a few days then and probably a whole week at Christmas.

I love this time of year, with so many opportunities to celebrate with the people you love.  (And parties, dressing up, ice-skating, delicious food, twinkly lights and decorations make it even better!)

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that I’m feeling very lucky to have made it half-way through NaBloPoMo/Nanopoblano.  I’m a little disappointed with myself – I haven’t written as much or as well as I feel I did last year.  I just don’t have many words right now…maybe it’s just the mental beating I’m taking at work or maybe I just haven’t found my sea legs yet.  I have really enjoyed the writing challenges over at Yeah Write – I haven’t done much “creative writing,” and the microstory challenge is proving to be so much fun: crafting a story in only 42 words.  It delights the wordsmith in me, changing and exchanging adverbs and adjectives, polishing, refining – there are so many words in the English language, but there is truly a “right” word for exactly what you are trying to say. It’s tremendously exciting to hone a tiny amount of language into a larger “story.”

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If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you how lovely it’s been hanging out with you and how much I would look forward to you joining me next week.  Are you sure you won’t take some pumpkin bread “to go?”

I’d also like to thank Nerd in the Brain – I’ve enjoyed her “if we were having coffee” posts so much, it inspired me to brew up a pot and join you all!  I hope you have a wonderful week!