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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Barry Manilow Concert

A few years ago, my friend Teresa and I had tickets to go see Barry Manilow at Chastain Amphitheater.  But the day of the show - hours before the show, actually - he canceled.

No reason was given but the radio station was saying that he canceled because he didn't like the venue (outdoor, hot, small dressing room).  I don't know if all that was true but I was so disappointed and especially disappointed because we didn't know it had been canceled until we showed up at the Amphitheater and saw a sign on the gate.

We got our money back and about a year or so later, he came back to a different venue - a large arena but I decided to pass on the tickets because I was a bit miffed at the previous cancellation, plus I thought the tickets were a bit expensive.



Well..fast forward to July 27th, 2017.  A few months ago, when I heard he was coming to the Fox Theatre.  I thought this was a good venue to see him - the perfect place, actually so Teresa and I decided to give it a go.

Oh My Gosh!!!  I am so glad we went.  Everyone was given a green glow stick when they came in the door, which was pretty cool.

Let me just say that Barry Manilow is a TRUE PROFESSIONAL ENTERTAINER.  He is not a just a singer, he is an ENTERTAINER.  You can tell this man has rehearsed and has everything down to precision.  He seems to be a perfectionist when it comes to performing.





Of course we knew (and sang along) to every - single - song!!!

  • It's a Miracle
  • Daybreak
  • Somewhere in the Night
  • Can't Smile Without You
  • Bandstand Boogie
  • The Old Songs
  • Looks Like We Made It
  • This is My Town (the only song we didn't know - a new song and I loved it)
  • On Broadway
  • New York City Rhythm
  • I Am Your Child (Beautiful)
  • Even Now (which was powerful and passionate!!)
  • Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart (Judy Garland Duet who was on a screen)
  • Weekend in New England (blew me away!!)
  • Let's Hang On! (The Four Seasons Cover)
  • Somewhere Down the Road (he sat on the edge of the stage while singing this)
  • Ships (blew me away again!)
  • Could It Be Magic (along with his old self on the screen - then the Donna Summer Disco Version)
  • Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed
  • I Made It Through The Rain
  • Mandy / Could It Be Magic 
  • I Write The Songs (boy does he ever!!!)

He went off stage for a bit and it showed some clips and then he came back out with a different (white) jacket) and sang:

  • Copacabana
  • It's a Miracle (bringing it back full circle)




After he sang Even Now - which seriously brought tears to my eyes because it was so good - he got a 5 minute standing ovation - right in the middle of the show - he would have gotten a longer standing ovation except he started talking which made us calm down.  He also got a standing ovation after "Weekend in New England" and of course and amazing ovation at the end of the show.





Wow!! Wow!! Wow!!
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

W.I.P. Wednesday

I can't believe another week has past...this month is really flying by...I suppose it is because I am so busy.  Some good stuff (see last weekend) and some not so fun stuff, but I won't dwell on that.

So...as I mentioned last week, I got this crazy notion to join a Dishcloth Swap on Ravelry.  I thought I was doing great because they are due until the end of August and I already have 2 of them completed...but I went into the group and I see that most people have already sent theirs in.  What?  Of course I realize that most of the people there do not have full-time jobs, let alone full-time demanding jobs so I guess if I was home all day, I'd have all mine completed too...but it doesn't matter, I still have plenty of time to get them done.  Plus...I have completed 2 of them, which I am pretty proud of.



I think they are pretty cute so far - 3 more to go.
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Weekend Re-Cap

I had a pretty busy weekend! (Warning...lots of photos ahead)

DAY 1 - FRIDAY

Friday night started off with a visit to the newly remodeled Variety Playhouse.   This place originally opened in 1940 as a movie theater and (long story made very short), it is now an intimate music venue.  I admit, the last time I was there, it was pretty run down, broken seats, sticky carpet and such but it looks FANTASTIC now!  The renovations are incredible - a beautiful venue!!

Well..back to the story.  We went to see Amy Ray.  Now I have followed Amy since 1987 - for 30 years!!!  I use to see Indigo Girls perform back when they had 20 people coming to the show and before they became big name signed artist!  I have stayed a loyal fan all these years (as has all of my friends who were also there in the beginning). 

Amy gave a fantastic show (no Indigo Girl songs - she has plenty of her own material).  Wow!  She was amazing and performed a lot of new songs, all which were great!!  Her performance of "The Rise of the Black Messiah" absolutely blew me away!! She has such passion!





Her long time friend and singing partner, Emily Saliers, was there just to watch the show but she convinced her to come on stage and sing the last 2 songs with her.


 

DAY 2 - SATURDAY

My sister and I were driving up to Adairsville, when we got a text asking to change the date to Sunday, so we changed course and headed back home, but we decided to have lunch first at Farmburger.


I went home and made two pans of baked ziti (one for friends coming in town and one for tomorrow). Then after my friends got into town, we went to the Braves - Diamondbacks game. We received free tickets when we donated blood there about a month ago.

The sunset at SunTrust Park was glorious!!






 
The best part!! The BRAVES WON!!  Great Game!!

DAY 3 - SUNDAY

Sunday was a bit more somber.  My sister and I did drive up to Adairsville but the emotions were mixed.  We were going to see a long time friend - someone we've know for over 40 years so we were happy to see him, his kids and his dad but the reason for the visit was because his mom passed away.  I'm so heartbroken - she was a wonderful lady and my heart just breaks for them.  I took them the baked ziti I made and my sister made some chicken and dumplings.  We visited for several hours.

When we were leaving to head back home (it is about an hour's drive), we decided to stop by Barnsley Gardens, which is right there in town.  It would take a LONG blog post to write all about Barnsley Gardens so for now, I will just share a few photos.  (We hope to go back in the fall, when it is a lot cooler)












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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

W.I.P. Wednesday

There is something seriously, seriously wrong with me when it comes to crafting projects.  You may recall that I have already mentioned that I have a few Works-In-Progress (WIPs) already...I have even more Works-In-Mind (WIMs as I like to call them, which are projects that I have in my queue that I want to make).

So...why is it that when I received an invitation to join a knitted dishcloth swap, I said "Sure, I'm in!!"

First of all....this is a very busy time of year for me (at work) so I really don't have time for knitting/crocheting

Secondly....I already have a few projects on my needles and hooks.

What was I thinking?  Well...I know what I was thinking.  I was part of this swap last year and I had so much fun.  I made 5 different dishcloths using the same pattern but different colors.  I had fun and learned some new skills.  Here is a photo from some of the ones I made last year.


Then I got 5 different ones back - all colors and different patterns and styles.  I loved getting them from my fellow knitters/crocheters.  Since I enjoyed that so much, I thought why not?  Right?  Life is short and knitting/crocheting relaxes me in the evenings after a hectic day...it gives me something to look forward to.

So, this year, I decided to try a pattern that has always intrigued me...the 1900 House Dishcloth.
I had to frog it and re-start a couple of times because both times I messed up my knits and purls around row 48 somewhere but...I think I have it now and I am currently on row 58 and all seems to be going well.  It is hard to see the detail in this photo so when I have all 5 finished, I will post a photo of them all.  


I suppose when they are all done, THEN I can get back to my other projects (already in progress)

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Similar Book Covers

I am currently reading the book "Wish Me Home" by Kay Bratt (which is pretty good so far).  The other day, I got an email from Amazon with Kindle book suggestions and one of them looked familiar.  I realized it looked very familiar to the cover of "Wish me Home" - then I started poking around and found 2 more books that I thought also had a similar cover.

There are probably even more that look similar to these - do you know of any?

















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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!!



I have seen these floating around on Pinterest.  I have wanted to try them before because they are festive and they look pretty yummy.

Our church was having a picnic this past Sunday - a Family Reunion of sorts!  I was to bring a dessert but I wanted something somewhat healthy and my sister suggested these and I thought that was a perfect idea!

Very simple to make - 3 ingredients


1 package of Vanilla (white chocolate) melting chocolate - I used CandiQuik because it comes with a little tray that makes it easier to melt in the microwave.

2 dozen strawberries (washed)

1 bottle of blue sugar (I used Wilton's, which I got from Michael's Arts & Crafts)

Wash and dry the strawberries


Melt the white chocolate for 60 seconds and stir (don't overheat or you will ruin the chocolate)
Dip a strawberry into the white chocolate (shake off excess)



Then sprinkle the tip with blue sugar (hold it over a bowl or plate so when you are done, you can put the extra sugar back into the bottle).

Place them on parchment paper to let them dry.


Once they are dry, you can put them in cute little paper cups (also purchased at Michael's) but you don't have to do that - I just thought it made them more festive...




They were a hit!  Very pretty and tasty.  I even made another batch and took them to work on July 3rd

 
The whole process took less than an hour - totally worth it!  Have a safe and happy July 4th!



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Monday, July 3, 2017

Love Letter to a Car

June 2, 2017

Dear 2003 Chevrolet Blazer,

I purchased you February 25, 2003, you were brand new.  While you were not the first "new" car I purchased, I was more excited about this purchase than my previous "new" car.  I had wanted a Silver Chevy Blazer for many years but just didn't know that I could afford one.  However, God has a way of forcing our hands sometimes and as it were, my Chevy Cavalier decided that it was no longer going to run for me so I decided to bite the bullet.

My mom and dad went with me Henrick Chevrolet ( then located on Shackleford Rd in Norcross, GA) and they were there more for advice and support.  I was 30-something (age withheld-haha) and when I saw you on the lot, I knew I wanted you.  The salesman, Richard Pittman, let me drive you home and keep you just to see how I like you.  He was pretty new there and later I think he must have realized he shouldn't have done that because he called me the next day wondering when I was coming back - haha.


But I actually was about to head back and tell him, let's make a deal.  I did all the dealing myself and I drove off the lot with a beautiful silver/gray Blazer.
                                                                                                      



I got you just in time because on the way to pick you up, my old car died on me, literally, and I had to have it towed into the dealership.  This was the days before everyone had a cell phone so  thank goodness this lady let me come into her house and use her phone to call them and they sent a tow truck to haul it in.  That was interesting....

The minute I got you home, I loved you.  I read the owner's manual cover-to-cover.


I took many, many, many trips with you...to Virginia to see my dear friend and my Godson, he had just celebrated his 3rd birthday when I got you and now he is about to be 18!!!  That is a lot of birthday visits.

I took you to Kentucky a couple of times to see my brother and sister-in-law.  And we went to Florida way too many times to count...to see mom and dad and other relatives and go to Family Reunions and to see the beach.

Some of my happiest memories are riding down to Florida and back with my beloved and trusted dog, Thatcher in the car with me.  He would start out looking out the passenger window but within 20 or 30 minutes, he was laying on the floor so the cool air could blow in his face.  Even after he was gone, I continued to look at the spot on my trips and picture him laying in "Thatcher's Spot". 


Again, those trips were before cell phones and before digital cameras (which shows you how long I had this car).  I wish I had some photos of him in the car but it just wasn't that common to take photos then as it is now, since getting film developed was pretty pricey, but I sure wish I had a photo.  At least I have the picture in my mind, which I can see whenever I want to.

I put a lot of miles on you - but considering how long I have had you, I don't think it is too bad.


You came with a CD player, which was starting to become pretty common when I bought you, but people still played cassettes and I had plenty of them so luckily you had a cassette player too.

As you can tell from the worn markings...the radio, CD and cassette player got plenty of use!


It was so, so hard to trade you in for a new car.  I didn't want to and even as I type this blog post, I am tearing up thinking about it because I really didn't want to let you go.  There are so many memories attached to you, I really loved this car!!  I was emotionally attached and will miss it so much. 

However, as God kind of gave me a gentle push before, He surely gave me a gentle push again.  I prayed (A LOT) for guidance on if I should trade and when the mechanic told me that it was going to soon need over $2,500 worth of repairs (when I just put in almost $1,000) and I was just getting a gut feeling that something major was going to go wrong and it would be very expensive....knowing that the financial value was way below that...I listened to God's guidance and decided it was time.

I took both sets of keys - even all this time, I never once had to replace the battery in the key fob.
It was obvious which was the one I used all the time and which was the spare set (you can't even read the writing on it)


I had to say goodbye to my friend



I prayed for you on the drive over to the dealership...I prayed that after I leave you, that another owner comes along, that you are treated well, that you are given regular maintenance every 3 months, just as I did, that your tires are rotated every six months, and mostly that the new owner will LOVE you just as much as I did.  

On the drive over to the dealership, I was behind a Florida Rock truck, which is the company my dad worked for...to me...it was a sign from my dad that I was doing the right thing and he was with me, still supporting me as I let go of a car that I loved very much.

Good bye dear friend...thank you for being reliable, for all the trips and for all the memories.  I will miss you but I will never forget you.



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