Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving


This is the same image I have on my Hart & Soul post as a way of saying Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Actually, it's the same image but in full color, instead of muted.

I was lucky enough to see this Münster reformed protestant church in Basel, Switzerland, when we were there a couple weeks ago. I was amazed at how accurate the time was on the sundial. I took the picture at 10:45 a.m. (click image to enlarge)!

Anyway, Thanksgiving best wishes to one and all! It's ALWAYS time to give thanks, no matter what our situation. Isn't that the key to happiness?!

Donica and I fly to Phoenix early tomorrow morning and then will drive to Sedona on Friday for a long weekend in the Red Rocks till Tuesday. We've always wanted to experience the vortexes there! I'll let you know if we come back as new/renewed women. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Basel and Bloggers FIRST

As I mentioned in my last post, Donica and I flew to Zürich, Switzerland, last week and worked (Donica) and played (me). Actually, Donica played, too, when she wasn't working!

Her main business was in Zürich, where I took most of my pictures (still working on them!), but she had to take the train to see her boss in Basel on Friday, so I tagged along and was out on my own all day, walking my feet off. In my own heaven!



Within yards of the train station, guess what I first saw! Yup. Starbucks! It was still too early to be open but I sure did take notice! They're everywhere, even in Europe.



Eventually, I tackled the old town, bordered on the east by the St. Alban gate (1400) above and the Spalentor gate (1370) on the west, below.



All the churches in between became my target for the day!
I'm such a glutton for them.



The first one was near St. Alban's gate and is called (of course) St. Alban's church (above)! I liked the coziness of all the trees on the grounds, with the old walls (below).





And there was the landmark Münster Church (above) with its cloisters (below) where I spent most of my time.



Then there were churches I saw from afar, while standing at other churches, not yet figuring out their names. I didn't care what they were called. They called me and that's what was important.







This one is Peterskirche (above), which I do remember because I was able to go inside (below).



I knew from the get-go that Donica and I would end up around 5:30p at the Town Hall to meet up with bloggers Canadian Swiss (Sandra) and husband Orange-X (Mark). But by then, it would be dark, so I had to get my pictures earlier in the day. It's one of the most colorful town halls anywhere in the world. Trust me!





By the time 5:30 rolled around, I was one tired puppy and was so ready to see Sandra and Mark, again. I had already met them in Amsterdam last March!



We met for before-dinner drinks across from the Town Hall.
Then we walked to our dinner restaurant at the Besenstiel = Broomstick. It just so happened that a couple hours earlier, I had coincidentally captured this image (below)!





Then it was time to say Good-Bye to some of the best of bloggers anywhere and walk to the train station for our one-hour ride back to Zürich.



At this point in time, we're talking about midnight! No wonder I was so tired. But it was that GOOD tired, of course, full of happy memories I'll never forget.

And that was just one day out of four! Hold your horses while I get to work on Zürich. It, too, was wonderful! In the meantime, here's the Basel Album.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

North Georgia Mountains

Most people would never guess that just a few miles north of where we live in our Atlanta suburb is the North Georgia mountains where the Appalachian Trail begins/ends, depending on where you're coming from.

And just one hour from our house, we drove this past Sunday into those mountains, to one of Georgia's most popular state parks: Amicalola Falls. Amicalola is the Cherokee Indian word for "tumbling waters." That's because they do!







And if you're willing to take your eyes off the falls and do an about-face, there you see from whence you came!









The falls themselves are 729-feet high, the tallest east of the Mississippi. You get your choice: start at the top and walk down the 425 steps (with views of the falls all the way down)...









...or start at the bottom, the base of the falls, and walk up. We decided to do both, parking at the top and walking down and then turning right around and walking back up.


The sweetest thing about walking back up is that we were behind a 6-year-old boy who has non-paralytic cerebral palsy. Because he was a bit wobbly (but still very energetic!), his pace ended up being exactly the right pace for us 50/60-something women! And the interchange we had with him and his parents was more than enough to make us forget we were climbing back up the 425 steps. It was wonderful.




I wonder if these boys, back at the top, know how lucky they are!



After the falls, we went into another part of the state park to find a spot to eat the fabulous picnic lunch Donica had packed for us. After that, we continued along a one-lane gravel road to find the High Shoals Baptist Church we kept seeing signs for. We eventually found it and were glad we persisted. It's as "country" as they come, with services held every 3rd and 5th Sundays of the month at 3p. 5th?? How many of those would there be in a year, I wonder!



Then it was time to head back home and catch even some more sights.
Always be cautious of pumpkin pickers!



Just a few yards away from that sign was this 1955 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria, enjoying its retirement in the woods. Donica was the one who did the research to find out exactly what year and model it was! When I retire from everything, I'd like to live in the woods, I think! OH! That's right...I DO! :)



On the way up, we had made a mental note of this little treasure by the side of the road, selling ice cream treats. So, yes, we stopped on our way back.

Eat, drink and be Merry.
Relax and Enjoy Yourself
.

We did. I couldn't have said it better myself.

What a great day in the Georgia mountains! You know what they say about your own backyard....

**********

Later this afternoon Donica and I will be flying to Zürich, Switzerland, returning on Sunday...just a quickie. She'll be there for business meetings on Thursday and Friday and I'll be there on...a PHOTO HUNT, of course! I'm so excited because it'll be my first time ever in Switzerland. Not only that, on Friday we plan to have dinner in nearby Basel with CS and O-X, blogger friends for a long time now. YAY for when the virtual world becomes REAL!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

NINE TEN G'mas!

Count them!

One day recently Nicholas (age 8) and I started counting all his g'mas! Just when we thought we had counted all of them, we remembered another one...until we got to NINE! I think we got them all! WAIT. There's TEN. Someone just piped up....



I HAD to start with ME, of course (HAHAHA) because, well, he came out of Amy and she came out of me.
Talk about basic, crude truth!
Besides, this is one of my favorite images of him and me when he was 1-1/2 years old.



And since Donica is my partner, and so many of his memories are with her/us, she happens to be next in my own logic. Even though he doesn't call her "G'ma," she is. I call her his "Sugar G'ma!" :)
He knows he can get anything he wants from her, if he's reeeeal nice. :)



Even though Donica's mom passed away this past February, Nicholas knew her in his lifetime. In fact, he sat between Donica and me on the front row at her funeral. He even "got his education" about her cremains, curious as he was afterwards. So at 67 this year, she was his great-g'ma. Always will be.



On Daddy's side of the fence, there's G'ma Virgina (here with Nicholas and his half-brother, Ryan)!
Yup, his first two g'mas are Virginias and both are redheads. He couldn't have done that if he had tried!



Amy's dad had already married Linda, so in time sequence, she was/is one of the early g'mas. G'ma Linda.



Linda's 87-year-old mom is still alive and has met Nicholas a few times. So here's another great-g'ma. Great-g'ma Janet.
She's the one I had missed! (Anyone else out there I don't know about??)



Daddy then married Dee and HER mom is Anna (with one of her great-g'sons, not Nicholas). So add G'ma Anna to the list.



Dee's dad married Bobbi, Dee's step-mom, so now add G'ma Bobbi.
(Is she a "real" redhead??? I don't know.)



Then this year Amy married Dennis, whose mom is Judy. G'ma Judy!



Judy's husband is David, whose 98-year-old mother is Ruth. That makes her great-g'ma Ruth! Her birthday is in January and she wanted everyone to know that she's "almost 99."

There you have it. TEN. Count them! Seriously...what would YOU do with 10 g'mas?! I've often said you can never spoil a kid with too much love...especially if you're a g'ma, so this is one very loved boy who should grow up to be one of the most-loved kids on Planet Earth...ever!