Under the covers…..

IMG_3046Ok. So.  I’m in Seattle for the ‘Annual Kimy – Diane Girlfriend Trip’ which usually corresponds on the first weekend of December every year.  We did Austin TX last year.  We’ve been to Maine, Key West, DC (we did DC for years – then realized ‘gosh – there’s a whole other world out there – lol – easy to get caught up in DC at Christmas; or really anytime of the year actually.  He he he).

A travel partner is a finicky beast.  Di and I travel REALLY well together (I have several friends who I can coexist with on trips – you know who you are! Beach! ). W and I travel really well together (that’s my fiancé by the way ::::dreamy sigh:::: )

This morning I got up really super early Seattle time.  4am here which in ATL is about the time 3 hours later I would usually stir and awaken.  Di was still asleep.  I slowly reached over for my phone which I was able to entertain myself for a bit before the urge to slip my laptop out from under my pillow where I had tucked it the night before.  I glance over to make sure she was still asleep.  Good so far.  I slowly eased myself under the covers and bingo – laptop up and masked by sheets and a thick comforter.  If she were to awaken I’m sure she would have just closed her eyes and gone back to sleep.  The dull glow from my sheets I imagined was like a very large fire fly.

I found myself smiling as I thought about my childhood.  I was a ‘under the sheets’ flashlight book reader.  I went through a ton of batteries because I would fall asleep and the flashlight would be dead the next morning.  My mother would try to tip-toe down the hall to make sure I was asleep – however I have EXCELLENT hearing and would turn off that light in a snap and feign slumber.  Academy award please.  I earned it!   I never worried if my kids were reading under the covers.  I would bring them a glass of water and sometimes slip under there with them.  Reading under the sheets is well… just plain fun.

Now here I sit at Starbucks off Pike Street Market in Seattle.  At laptop – writing, working a bit – watching the Seattle streets fill with people.   Life is good.  And magical.

Always learning……..

1“Happiness is not the absense of problems, it’s the ability to learn and deal with them.”

I have to say — it’s rare that I have a bad day.  And the funny thing about me is that when I have a ‘bad day’ —  I try to learn from it.  Embrace it so to speak so that I can appreciate the good day that’s just around the bend.

Yesterday was what I would completely classify as a bad day.  Not horrible by any means.   Even  my bad days aren’t really — that bad – I mean really.  I think about all the war in the world, hungry people, starving children, disease, families with loss of a loved one, a child without parents — and all of the sudden my bad day really isn’t anything but a good day with some learning curves thrown in.   When we stop learning, we stop growing.  Life is VERY good.

So this morning — I’m all smiles.  I am completely blessed in this life I’ve been gifted.  I’m pretty hard-wired to be happy — (I know — I irritate the heck out of non-morning people and for this I completely apologize — I apologize with a huge smile on my face as I twirl and do a couple of cartwheels just for good measure).   I remember a friend telling someone ‘If you hang around with Kimy for any length of time, she’ll have sunshine coming out your A_ _ .’  I’ll take that as a complete compliment.

Cocktails in your PJ’s – woot!

FullSizeRender (5)It’s been a lazy sort of Sunday- in your pjs all kind of day.  It is what it is.

My neighbor, friend and mischief-maker popped me a text to ask if I had time for one cocktail. I answered back ‘sure — if I can come in pjs’ and bra-less and oh by the way is there popcorn?’ Trader Joe’s white cheddar popcorn to be exact.  Amen.

I remember when I moved into this quirky little Historic District I’ve called home for a decade and a half of seeing neighbors at various times of the eve walking up or down or to someone else’s home — in various forms of pjs carrying cocktail in hand.  It was a magical sort of sight to behold.  All of these oddities of course made me feel right at home.

As I searched for some type of shoe to wear to my neighbor’s home (somehow one croc was under the sofa I’m almost positive Olive had something to do with this) I smiled thinking how wonderful it is to head for cocktails in your pjs.  It’s also somewhat like going to the grocery store at 8am on a Saturday in your pj’s, dark sunglasses and a baseball cap (as if the baseball cap and dark shades will completely hide your identity as everyone nods to you and says hi because they too are in the same garb).  All for vanilla creamer.  Which is most important when you realize you are out.  And too sleepy to think about changing thus a baseball cap and dark sunglasses will suffice long enough to run in, grab said vanilla creamer and back home before you can blink.

I’m fairly certain it all boils down to being a bit silly.  And how fun that is.  I’m quite certain that’s what this is all about.

Alas — you’ve never quite fully lived (in my book) – until you’ve headed to a neighbor’s home – in pjs – to have cocktails.

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Name Change!

FullSizeRender (3)Happy Sunday everyone!  I’m sitting here covered in — you guessed it — pugs (aka the Girls).  It’s frigid here in Atlanta – Holy cow! It’s 46 degrees! And it’s almost noon!

After a week of brainstorming with anyone who would listen (especially if I happened to have been driving and you were a completely captive audience! he he he) I’ve changed the name of my blog from The Social Single to Cocktails at Seven.  It was time.  Still single (hint hint and looking) however the blog The Social Single was never about being single —  it was about the solo journey through life.  However, it was time for me to change it to how my life is reflected to me (and that’s all that matters is my opinion here – LOL).  Thus, Cocktails at Seven came about.

Making it special is my creed.  Whenever I travel one of the main goals is to make sure I’m seated and able to view sunset with a cocktail.

Stay tuned for more tweaking on the website —  and thanks for listening to me.  Thank goodness someone does besides the girls (aka the pugs Olive, Finnegan and Piper. LOL )FullSizeRender (19)



New Years Resolutions

new-years-resolutions (1)Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. — Abraham Lincoln

When I was a little girl, I loved Mondays, the first day of school, and making New Years Resolutions!  Today, as an official adult (at least numerically, not exactly in mind at times) I still love Mondays and I love the act of making and plotting out my New Years Resolutions.

I met with a dear friend for our traditional end of year/Christmas meeting at Manual’s Tavern.  The purpose of this meeting is to of course catch up from our busy schedules, but also to review our year and see what was good and not so great.  What would we do differently if we had the chance.  Highlights?  Then we look forward.  We cover personal (fitness/health/relationships) and business goals, etc.

Many people set goals with the best of intentions in mind.  I find that the more specific you are, setting small goals, both quarterly and for the entire year, as well as monthly helps me stay focused and meet these goals.

I find it all very exciting.  :::::wiggling toes merrily:::::

You get the chance to make 2013 the BEST YEAR EVER!

Turn the Buddha

          I usually only mention these thing because they are somewhat amusing to me, and thus I must share. I can’t quite get it out of my head —  It rolls around until I suppose I just can’t take it any longer and  tire from thinking about it.  This is just wondrous and strange.  At least it is to me.  Which is all that really matters I suppose :::smiling and wrinkling nose:::::
          This particular recent Saturday morning, was a very good one (most always are actually) – for reasons that make me smile very much –the sky is a bit bluer and the sun incredibly shiny as of late.   Isn’t that a great feeling. :::beaming::::::  Ok. So.  Back to my story here.   I awakened to let the ‘fat girls’ out (the pugs – Olive and Finn).  I stood outside on the patio stretching and rubbing my eyes much like a 4 year old does upon waking from slumber.  I revert to a 4 year old in the mornings — I’m usually somewhere between 8 and 12 in my internal workings on any given day.  Morning coffee rapidly takes me to my usual 8 year old state.  So you can see how important that first cup is.   My hair was probably Einstein-like at this point.  I did have on pj’s which is a norm in our neighborhood.  We are a pj-kind of wearing crowd.  Many times I’ll see a neighbor walking up the street to visit another neighbor in PJs.  Tastefully of course.  Or at the grocery store.  That’s a given on any weekend especially if I’ve run out of creamer.  I wear sunglasses as to be incognito.  They always manage to greet me by name.  ::::looking sheepish:::::
          As I stood watching the ‘fat girls’ sniff and putter around looking at flowers, wishing they would be a bit more hurried so that I could go back inside and make my coffee….  I noticed someone looking over my roses.  A very pale face hovered between the Knockout hedge. She just stood there staring at me.  I blinked back trying to figure out if she was a neighbor and then slid my glasses off my head and onto my nose where they belonged to look further and more accurately.   The person who continued to just stand and look at me was a very elderly Asian woman.  Chinese? Japanese? Tibetan?  She was stooped, with a very large walking stick taller than her head.  She wore a dark brown robe much like a monk but with pants underneath.  Belted.  An old back pack slung over her shoulders.  She had on some type of hat – reddish orange although I can’t be sure because the sun was up and in my eyes.  I smiled at her which she did not return.  I continued to smile wondering if I was inadvertently exposing myself somehow and quickly looked down to make sure I wasn’t putting her into shock from seeing a naked Kimy too early in the morning.  Nope.  All was covered.  I looked back up to find her pointing to my little Buddha statue I have nested on an old tree stump in the front garden area.  I looked at the statue then at her again.  I smiled again not knowing what to say or do so I just continue to look happy that she had discovered my Buddha.   I haven’t even had coffee yet at this point I would like to share again.
          She finally put her hand down and said ‘You must turn the Buddha to the sunlight.  You must do that.  Turn him to the sunshine.  It will bring you good luck’.  I stood blinking trying to take this in considering I could now smell the finished coffee aroma I so longed for tickling my nose from just inside the door.  She pointed to the statue again.  I smiled.  She repeated her instructions again and I said ‘Oh…Ok.  Thanks.  I’ll do that’.  Blinking and thinking about coffee.  I smiled to make sure she knew I understood and appreciated her concerns for my little Buddha.
          I turned to head in for coffee because I couldn’t stand it any longer and glanced over my shoulder and she was gone.  I think I must have turned my head sideways puzzled as to how she scooted off so quickly.  I’ve never seen this woman before in my life.  I know most everyone in the neighborhood.
          The next day it still rolled around in my head.  Her creased face, with lines running deep.  It was so round and sincere.   Her small black eyes.  The way she just stood there pointing.  The gnarled walking stick was held upright and about a foot taller than she.  Her instructions were so pointed and adamant.  Hm.
          Thus, that day, I toddled out to the little statue and turned him towards the sunrise.  The ‘fat girls’ sniffed at him as if they’ve never seen him before (lie).  I think Olive may have licked him a few times which is her modus operandi. I hoped the small woman would walk by again and know that the goofy blonde lady in her pjs-(who is 4 in the morning) living  in the little yellow chalet respected her instructions.  I hope it made her happy.
          It was an interesting interaction with someone I did not know.  A wondrous and strange moment.  Those are the best kind I think.

He asked and He said yes…… The Uncles Commit —

I believe…….. in love.  Two people who I hold near and dear to my heart exchanged rings and a commitment last night.  Richard and Val – aka ‘The Uncles’.  They are somewhat like the old 70’s TV show ‘The Odd Couple’.   For those who know them can figure out quickly who is Felix and who portrays Oscar.  Ahem.

Friends, family, neighbors and of course our own Father Troy Beecham from St. John’s Episcopal gathered in the magical gardens of the Uncles to exchange vows, rings and make their decade old commitment in front of God, and well — everyone.

About a month ago, Richard and I began plotting and planning a surprise for Val for their ten year anniversary.  A plan was hatched.  I’m horrible at keeping surprises —  I’m a connector and love to share… I kept my silence although I smiled quite a bit and broke into giggles if anything came close to being divulged….Val knew something was up but had no idea…to the scope of what we had planned.  :::bwahhhh ha ha:::::

Richard asked Val to marry him last Wed. evening at The Pecan….  Well…. let me go into that a little bit.  Richard began a dissertation about three steps as to what and how a marriage would proceed between them.  Val sat looking at Richard with furrowed brow for  a minute or two not sure as to what had just taken place. Finally Val said ‘Did you just ask me to marry you?’  Richard shook his head in affirmation.  ‘Oh….well yes then’.  The heavens opened little chubby putti angels fluttered about and all was well with the world.  ::::beaming::::::

Now, for the surprise to take place, Val assumed the small dinner party with a few friends was the surprise last night.  Little did he know a small army was gathering down the street about to melt from the sweltering 102 plus degrees in the Atlanta summer heat down the block.  My surprise for Richard (which was extremely hard not to blurt out over cocktails several times the week before) was that his sister, Mary, had flown in for the affair.  When I received the text that we were all ‘ok’ to begin our trek a block to their garden area, the magic began.

Val and Richard stood as friends and family lined the street to partake in a ceremony of commitment, love and rings.  Richard was shocked when Mary hiding behind a sign that read ‘Someone has to lead the conga line’ popped out with hugs and kisses.  My mother was always heard to say ‘if you don’t make it special, who will?’  which applied many times to so many things last night.  We made it special and it showed.

Food was placed, cocktails were poured and Father Troy began his blessing of the evening.  Richard and Val told their stories of love for one another.  The rings were exchanged and all is right with the world.  ::::dreamy sigh:::::

I believe in love.  And I believe in you.  ::::smiling happily::::::

*** since this posting, ‘The Uncles’ got hitched in NYC – Dec of 2013!

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Being A ‘List Person’ — and owning it!

Either you are or you aren’t – a ‘list person‘ that is.   I’m fairly certain I picked it up from my father, who had a list for everything.  Or maybe you’re just born a list person.  I have a system I’ve developed for me personally, because I keep so many lists!  I have  a notebook for each car, because when I’m driving I  have these epiphanies about something I want to learn, or do or write or need to do. I’ll hear something on NPR and zoom zoom I’ll grab my notepad and scribble.  I have a notepad in my handbag.  I have one by the bed.  Oh, I also keep a personal journal.  That’s not really a list though, is it.

I  have a daily log I keep on my desk, that’s a ‘to do’ list for the day.  But then attached to that is a sticky note just for that day – for errands.  It’s  a very easy system and works really well for me.

In addition to all of that (stop psycho-analyzing everyone)  I have a ‘year’ to do list which is also somewhat of a goal list as well.  I have a sheet of card stock and have headers for each of those.  Examples for headers for each of those would be:  Social, Real Estate, Writing, Family, House, etc……  then on each of those, I put a post- it note with an on-going list for whatever it is I have coming up, and what is needed for that event or to-do item.

Now, coming up I’m going on Spring Break with my daughter, Laura (aka The Doodle).  I was shocked and excited when she called to ask if we could head to the beach for Spring Break.  She’s a freshman at University of Alabama (let me interject a ROOOOLLLLL TIDDDDEEEE right here).   Of course the wonderful thing about your children getting older is that you can have conversations with them and they actually respond and interact.  It’s amazing.  I’m wiggling my toes merrily just thinking about nesting in a beach chair, large floppy hat and sunglasses, my kindle and magazines, a fruity drink by my side with a tiny orange umbrella and deep conversations with my 18 year old.  I’ll let you know if the deep conversations occur.  I’m hopeful.  The reason I bring the trip up is because after making the reservations last night on Expedia (don’t tell the gnome! ) I went to my office to the third shelf of my bookcases and grabbed a new notebook.  It’s for my ‘Jamaica Trip List ‘.  I get as much joy starting the list as I do actually going on the trip I think.  Funny what pleases you and making a list pleases me tremendously!  And checking an item off….well….. let’s just say it’s as if I’ve just completed brain surgery.   It’s self-gratification instantly.  Love it.

Get the picture?  Are you a list person?  What is your system and are either of your parents a list person?

WESTVIEW CEMETERY — an incredible part of Atlanta!

Westview Cemetery is just an incredible curiosity, especially for the 8 year old who surfaces a lot in me.  It’s morbid curiosity on my part.  I’m OK with that.

I have always loved cemeteries.  They are creepy, historical, spooky and curious – all rolled into one.  Yes, I’m a member of  Find A Death.com, surely you are too.  I think sometimes we are called Death Hags, although I just prefer ‘morbidly curious’.

In Atlanta, we have some fabulously curious cemeteries.  One favorite is Westview Cemetery located in West End about 10 minutes South West of the city.  Just the other day, on a spur of a moment, I went with a friend to explore the Mausoleum which is an incredible building. It holds a chapel, and hundreds of crypts.

It’s been quite hot in Atlanta and we are only in August, thus we still have some super hot days until we turn the corner into Fall.   The Mausoleum is found after meandering through acres of headstones, statues & trees.  I’ve always thought it would be an incredible affair to hold a Halloween Party at the Mausoleum there.  I’m sure the dead people would enjoy a good party every now and then.  If you want a creepy interesting place to explore, you MUST do this.  It’s mandatory for all those other ‘8 year olds stuck in an adult’ like me!

What’s the creepiest cemetery you’ve ever explored?  Enlighten me!

The Brake Pad — Historic College Park, Ga

Can you tell how much I love our Atlanta neighborhoods?  Well, keep reading – you’ll get the drift sooner or later.

The older neighborhoods in and around Atlanta have such character – things that you can’t get with the newer n’hoods.  For instance, in our neck of the woods, Historic College Park, we have The Brake Pad. The Brake Pad is located on the corner of Main Street & Rugby.  A neighborhood hangout.  Especially on Monday nights.  You’ll find many of the neighbors huddled in groups or couples and some even alone, to play – yes…. you got it….. TRIVIA!   It’s fiercely competitive, with heads thrust together with lips moving in whispers as answers are shot around the table.  My group came in third last night.  Go BP FRIES! (the name of our group).  All groups must have a name.

My group consisted of (as of last night those being present and accounted for….there are some that come and go) –  a VP of a local company, one of the secretaries of that company, a salon owner, a counselor, writer/realtor (that would be me), a nurse, nurses son, an artisan/contractor, a retired couple, and an army guy.   Don’t you just love the diversity?  Heck yes!   These are all neighbors and friends.  When the trivia begins….. lines are drawn.

The Brake Pad is an old gas station turned into a pub/restaurant.  The sister restaurants are located all over the city.  Many in old gas stations as well.  (you can find them on the website).

I was a bit distracted I must admit through trivia – much had to do with tummy problems (I know…TMI) – and some of it was the upcoming 2nd date with ‘someone of interest’ ::::raising eyebrows up and down really fast::::::::   I’ve committed to going dancing with said mystery man….  it’s probably all in my mind, but I think I come across somewhat like Steve Martin dancing in the Jerk.  You get the picture.   That’s one reason I play racquetball instead of tennis – I can slam into the wall and it be totally acceptable – no one realizing I tripped over my foot.  ::::looking sheepish:::::

Back to the Hood – Come to our neck of the woods…… it’s actually a fairly well kept secret.   Many like it that way – I however like to brag.  ::::wiggling toes merrily:::::