{ lucky me }

I got the cutest little greeting card in my inbox this morning. Talk about a lucky grammy. We feel so lucky to have this baby girl (and our other grandkids), and nothing makes me happier than to see my kids excelling at parenting their kids. What I love about this little girl's mom and dad is that they enjoy every single thing about caring for this baby. They waited so long and now they get their chance to do it all - including dressing their little girl in green and making a St. Patricks Day e-card to send to everyone. Thanks Suz and Winston - made my day!
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- easy invite -

I'm singing the wonders of modern technology!

One and one half hours from beginning (typing words) to end (stuffing the envelopes).

I created this invitation for my dad's 85th birthday party which is next weekend. I used the Walmart website using a pre-made template. Luckily I had the perfect photo of my dad at Bear Lake stored on Picasa which was easily imported to the template. I sent the one-hour photo job to the Walmart photo center. Read a couple of emails and checked Facebook, then hopped in my car (well, I didn't hop since I'm still not exactly hopping but that's another story). I arrived at Walmart about the time the photo cards were finished.

The quality is great, the large 5x7 size looks really good, and you can't beat 64 cents per invitation including envelopes. Best of all, I got the job done.


Children of the Wave

Today we're remembering the earthquake in Japan one year ago. We were there - Scott, Mike, and I - visiting my brother and his family. The memories are vivid, and yet, also, cloudy, as if it were all a dream. Or rather, a nightmare.

As I've read endless tributes, essays, and articles, and watched news stores and videos about the one-year anniversary, this one stands out as the most heart wrenching and yet honest report of what happened and what has happened since. It's a BBC Documentary with children as narrators. It's well worth the hour.

I've been reading a blog written by an American woman living in Japan with her husband's Japanese family. She wrote something that brought clarity for me of the reasons for the exhaustive, continual searching for bodies by family members that you'll see in the video. The explanation:

"Buddhists believe that these souls are trapped, still bound to the physical world and unable to begin the journey to Paradise. They remain in this state until their bodies are discovered, their bones are cremated, and the ashes laid to rest in an urn in the family grave, which is the gateway into the spirit world."


- fields of daffodils -

If I had a free weekend and enough sky miles to get to Atlanta, I'd go there asap and drive an hour north to this magnificent place called Gibbs Gardens. I read about it in Southern Living magazine, and I'm fascinated by the story of one man's life's work. He has worked on this garden venue for years and years, and on March 1st, it opened to the public. Imagine planting over three million daffodils. What an amazing story! Plus thousands of other features that he planted and built. Here's the scoop:

*Forty-year Dream Comes True*

Jim Gibbs, the owner, designer and developer of Gibbs Gardens, is the founder of Gibbs Landscape Co., one of the largest, oldest and most successful landscaping firms in Atlanta.

Jim Gibbs traveled for 15 years covering the nation and the world viewing gardens of every style and decided that he wanted to design and build a world class garden. He spent six years looking for a suitable site with a strong source of water and beautiful mature trees covering a rolling topography. It was truly "a dream come true" when he found the most beautiful site in the nation to construct the garden. The property is 292 acres and the house and gardens include 220 acres, making it one of the nation's largest residential estate gardens.

“I’ve dreamed of creating a world–class garden in the Atlanta area for more than 40 years,” says Gibbs. “After spending six years finding just the right property and another 30 plus years designing and developing Gibbs Gardens, that dream is about to come true. Gibbs Gardens will open to the public on March 1, 2012.

Visitors to Gibbs Gardens will be amazed by the diversity and breadth of its 16 artistically designed garden venues and dazzled by the four feature gardens:

1. Daffodil Gardens, 60 varieties of daffodils sweep across more than 50 hillside acres under a canopy of flowering dogwoods and cherry blossoms.

2. Japanese Gardens, at more than 40 acres is the largest in the nation.

3. Monet Waterlily Gardens, featuring 140 varieties of unique lilies and a replica of the bridge in Monet’s Garden at Giverny (outside Paris).

4. Arbor Crest Manor House Gardens, located on the highest ridge in northeast Cherokee County, where seven flowering terraces flow seamlessly down 150 feet of elevation from Arbor Crest Manor House to the Valley Gardens.


:: book club decor ::

I was looking at a Pottery Barn catalog today and noticed that they had decorated with books in all the rooms they pictured. That reminded me that I had forgotten to post my pictures of Sew & Sews book night at my house. I went kind of crazy for the event by decorating my living room area with books.
I dragged most of the books from our study and bedroom so I could fill every surface with books. Scott has always been quite a book collector and once he owns a book is stubborn about giving it up. So we have more books than we'll ever be able to read.
The shelf above the fireplace was the perfect place to line up Scott's collection of Great Books of the Western World. He started collecting them when the kids were young, and we just kept getting a book per month for several years. There were a few books that somehow didn't come in the set, and so he hunted used bookstores to find the final books. You can see in the center of the row that there are three or four books that don't match the others. Of all of the books, I have only read one. And parts of a couple of others. And I was an English major!
It was late afternoon when I was taking these pictures and the light in the room was incredible. I wish I knew how to use the camera for this kind of light. It was one of those sunny, warm January days that made our winter so enjoyable.
This is a stack of good history books and biographies. I want to read all of them - I've started several.
These books are some that Scott bought when he lived with his family in England when he was in high school. I love that they're blue and look great in the room, so decided to keep them out for awhile.
Two of my all-time favorite books that are pretty too: An Unspoken Hunger by Terry Tempest Williams and Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelen.
I stacked up our large atlases and coffee tables books on...the coffee table. On the corners I put a my favorite books from the last few years - including all of Julia Cameron's books about creativity and writing.
Marilyn and Kristen - fellow readers.
The girls in the kitchen were enjoying refreshments, fresh tulips, AND a row of Scott's leatherbound books about the history of Ophthalmology.
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{ go-to blog }

Sometimes when I want to waste time with a little mindless blog looking that isn't personal blogs and isn't Martha-type blogs, but is still fun stuff to look at, I drop by the Fossil blog.  To get there, go to fossil.com and click on blog at the bottom of the webpage. The blog is a fun mix of fashion, music, and lifestyle and seems to be written by various staffers at Fossil.
I found a few things I like for spring - like these wonderfully-colored jeans. This green really is and has always been one of my favorite colors. After watching the Target ad for the last month, I think we all want to wear more color.
The jeans trenchcoat - at first I liked it then as I thought about the eighties and all the denim stuff we wore, I'm not so sure. But it does look like spring which is a good thing, right?
I love gray and I love bags and I love gray and brown and orange and if I can talk myself into spending $98 for a casual bag, I'll buy it! It's more a bag for late summer/fall though. Or early spring?
These stretchy bracelets are cute and I love stretchy bracelets because I don't have the patience to strap on a bunch of bracelets in the morning. And the big watch...love it too.
Cute outfit and I just have to add here at the end of this post that I had a tummy tuck on Monday, and there, I said it. I wrote my previous blog post on the weekend about fear and I couldn't wait to get back on the computer to add another post...because I hate blogs or Facebook posts that have cryptic hidden messages in them so that the readers then have to comment, "What are you afraid of?" or whatever. I don't want to not talk about this big thing in my life, so I decided just to say it out loud...although burying it at the end of a Fossil photo spread helps soften it for me lol. It's not a big secret and it's no big deal that I have to whisper about. I had major surgery on Monday, I came home on Tuesday, and here it is Friday and I'm on my computer...though my words are a bit fuzzy probably. and I'm ready to be done and go hit the recliner. I'm doing well and will write more later.