Merry Christmas Ya’ll! 2017

I just HAD to share my 1972 picture with Santa.   Rich’s downtown Atlanta — and yes the Pink Pig was of course ridden in fear.  Photo Dec 24, 9 49 21 AM

I was skeptical of Santa at this point… much to my mother’s mortified face as I looked at his beard and taped on white felt eyebrows.  I think the camera caught this too.  You think?  I remember thinking ‘Dude….I don’t think that beard is real’ which I completely voiced to my parents in the car on the ride home.  I loved that dress too.  The Peter Pan collar with three buttons. The French cuff sleeves (I had no clue what French cuff sleeves were at 7 but I obviously loved it even then!).

Christmas changes for everyone through the years.   I do believe in the spirit of the season.   Whatever you celebrate.   Make it magical.  Find your Christmas Cheer for everyone to see and hear! (I got that from the movie ELF which is ONE of my favorite holiday movies…. exactly).

From my home to yours –  I hope magical moments are abundant… and if they aren’t…MAKE SOME!

xxoo Kimy

For John…….

FullSizeRender (5)“Some people say that dying alone is a fate worse than death itself.  Well, they should try being alone during the living part sometimes.  There’s no quicker way to make you wonder why the hell you ever thought you’d want to return. ”

— John Corey Whaley 

This is for John Hays.   You have lived a life that touched me.  You mattered to me.  And to so many other people.  You did John.

I met John gosh….  at least 5 years or more…. maybe 6 years ago.   It gets muddled you see…. time that is.   I made my daughters room into a studio apartment with outside stairs going up the back to the room.  I asked her first…she had moved away to college…  I didn’t expect her to return home to live — plus she always slept with me anyway when she returned home – which I loved …. even if she did flop like a fish and talk in her sleep.

I had literally just posted the notice ‘studio apartment –  a treehouse of sorts (my house) – free wifi- magical – located in a historic district just south of ATL – close to the airport’.   I was thinking flight attendant…or pilot.  And I got John.  John was a mechanic at one of the regional airlines.    He had been renting down the street, saw the front of my home and drove over immediately and gave me a deposit; before the space was even ready.   He was adamant.  He wanted to live in that studio apartment that looked over woods in the back – that had a spiral staircase going up to the back.   John was larger than life —  literally.   Round.  Bright.  Ultra conservative and had a cat named Bubba who I named Mr. Kitty.   I had three fat pugs that Mr. Kitty loved to watch from his perch up in the studio tree house.

John would tell me through the years — this is the most wonderful place I’ve ever lived.  I’ve been the happiest in my life since I’ve lived here.

I cared for John.  He was not everyone’s cup of tea.  I’m not either I’m sure.  He was like a crazy uncle who came and went.  I looked out for him.  Even at work and socially.  I invited him to holiday dinners and loaned him money (which I never asked for repayment).  He lived a life of online friends, navy buddies and past lives I knew nothing about.   I bought him food…  left him things I thought he would enjoy.  From books to dishes to toys for Mr. Kitty.

I had friends tell me ‘you don’t have to care for him’.  You are correct.  I don’t.  But I did.   Then I decided to move –  and was advised to turn the studio back into a bedroom for the house value.  I fretted.  Where would John go?  Luckily –  a grand uncle (not an uncle actually — it’s complicated) had a basement apartment — and let John stay.  Rent free sometimes and in good graces.   That’s what you do… in life… is care for those less fortunate.  Or at least I hope you do.   Don’t EVER look the other way.  Ever.  Help.  Give.  Go the extra part.

John was so very bright.  Irritating at times with his political views…. I tend to stay in the middle of things politically ….  I usually go with what feels right.  John was kind… and giggly…. and lonely.  Sad.  Lost.  Thank you online friends and FB.  Truly.  He had lost his wife while he was in a coma from an accident in his early life.   I don’t think he ever truly resolved that.

John died 4 days before he was discovered.  I’m sorry John.

You are missed John.   You were important to people here on this planet.  And you are missed.  Thank you to everyone in my life and social circle who allowed John in….. because of me.  Thank you.

We are finding a home for Mr. Kitty.  I smile when I think of you and our conversations.

You are missed.  And you mattered to me.

2 weeks

fullsizerender-4I have a new friend who I met about a year ago.   She’s a ‘friend of a friend’ and I rather like her quite a bit.   She’s very artsy / theater type personality… she’s had quite the life — she’s been on a soap opera in the early 90’s (One Life to Live which is what my mother watched).   She’s about 6 years older than I am… so shes in her middle 50s…  she’s lived in California – to NYC.  She’s traveled the world.  Met very interesting people.  Romance… friends… travel…..  A trustifarian of sorts to be exact.   She’s dabbled in local theater…  I met her of all places as we gathered around a bond fire at a Christmas tree lot in Mountain Brook Al.  Where all the cool cats hang obviously.    We continued to cross paths along the year at First Tuesday Cocktail Club (FTCC) .

And then……  after seeing her this December (it’s now Feb)….  I have been notified that she got married this past weekend.  I completely smiled when I learned this…. the flip side to that is that she’s dying.  She’s been given 2 weeks to live.    TWO WEEKS.   Trying to wrap my mind around this news  I received another text this evening (a week shy of two weeks) that the end is near. She’s been moved to hospice.  Pain management.  Cancer.     I sit shaking my head thinking this is not fair.  AT ALL.   I wish to make a complaint.  Why. How.  Scared.  Sad.  Angry.  Disbelief.  Acceptance.   Cheers to you sweet friend – as you journey on to parts unknown.   Look for me…. help me when my time comes.  For I will be scared and afraid.   I’ll look for you.  In the stars.  Journey on.  Journey on.

“In the blink of an eye…. I never got to say goodbye… Like a shooting star across the room you were gone far too soon.”

Denver

carabbleRocky Mountain High.  Can’t get the song out of my head since we’ve been here.  That’s OK though.  I’m a big fan of John Denver.  Denver (not John) was the destination for this trip – W had a work meeting to attend.  I got to play.  I love traveling with W.  He has an Orvis backpack he wears (I call it his book bag- he he).  He resembles a graying 8 year old. Love it.  I walked quite a bit –  street photography is a big deal for me.  I’m a huge fan of Diane Arbus and newly discovered Vivian Maier.  I highly recommend you see the movie via Netflix called Finding Vivian Maier.  Click <here> for some famous street photographers. Ok. Back to Denver.

Denver has this great mall I suppose is the word you would use to describe 16th street.  On weekends they close it off and it becomes a huge hangout of sorts.  Food carts, performers, you name it  – it’s there.  There are also pianos all over the place.  Brightly colored – urban art sort of décor painted on them.  Anyone can sit down and play.  I did get W to tinkle a tune on the ivory keys.  He’s very talented I think.   There’s also an unusual amount of homeless here.   I’ve come to the conclusion (via indepth conversations with a new friend) that the younger street people are actually just on a journey of sorts.  I watch them quite a bit without being disrespectful to anyone.  I have to wonder where they came from – is someone worrying about them – or maybe no one at all is.  Which makes me sad.  The elderly is quite a different story.  Heartbreaking.  I did learn that Denver has quite a large network to help the homeless.  Which made it all end on a happy note of sorts. I suppose.

I met a new friend (one of other wives attending the meetings with her hubby).  There was an immediate connection on our parts.  We ran into one another at Union Station of all places.  We sat and plotted our adventure for the next day.  We rented a car and drove to Georgetown where a wonderful train has a loop (about an hour ride).  We talked of books and kids and lives we’ve lived.  We boarded the train and nested in the Parlor car (first class which includes beverage and snacks – no martinis on this ride – too early in the day!).  We scooted through Aspen and evergreens – watching rapids on the river.   The conductor was quite the charmer as he wove stories of trains past.  Quite the comedian we chuckled at his stabs of humor. We meandered through the streets of  Georgetown as well –  quaint with a splash of Victorian thrown in for good measure.

We headed back to Denver where I picked W up.  We jumped right back in the car heading back to the train and town ending up in Idaho Springs for dinner.   The conductor on the train highly recommended Beau-Jo’s for dinner.  Pizza and OH MY WORD not just ANY pizza.  Good GRIEF it was delightfully yummy.  We got the deep dish pie – then you add honey to the crust after devouring all the cheesy goodness.  Foaming at the mouth thinking about that pizza.  :::::shaking my head and smiling:::::::  All these quaint towns turn into ski villages during the snow seasons.  I may need to return just for that pizza again.  Holy smacks.

On a side note – here are a few links to some odd and curious things about the Denver airport.  I really like the airport personally.  It reminds me of tents in the desert.  Not that I’ve ever seen tents in a desert in person mind you.  But if I do – I bet they will remind me of the Denver airport.  Just saying. Ahem.

8 Curious things about Denver Airport (truly bizarre)

Blue Mustang Statue 

Pics below — my street photography if you will.  You can view these without being a member of FB by the way.  Which is uber cool. I use FB for photo storage.

Day #1

Day #2

Day #3

Day #4 – headed home 

Mouse in the House

FullSizeRenderYou’ll have to remember when you read this– unless you’ve actually known me for my entire life — or at least a month–  I’m overtly sensitive AND I have an over-the-top imagination.  I’ll just say ‘you have no idea’ and really mean it.  Nothing has been smoked or consumed other than coffee for my imagination to be so.   When people tell me ‘don’t be so sensitive’ I look at them thinking ‘Don’t breath then’.  You can’t stop yourself from breathing — and sensitive people can’t stop being sensitive.  And THAT’S OK!   As if I can really change the fact that’s how I’m hard-wired – OR shut down my imagination.   God made it – don’t judge.   I like to also think God’s pretty darn pleased and amused with how I manage to keep him entertained much of the time.

On to a very furry story.  I have a petite cabin nested in N Georgia mountains – Ellijay to be exact.  Red Bear Cabin.   Quilt filled, whimsical perched beside a babbling brook.  I like to sit out on the front deck listening to the babble of the brook as if it’s filling me in on what I’ve missed since my last visit .  I imagine it saying ‘you should have SEEN the deer in the back yard yesterday’…. or ‘we have the chubbiest chipmunks…have you ever noticed that?’.   You get the jest of our conversations.  You may have completely different conversations with my babbling brook– but I digress.

I was aware of the presence of a petite mouse (hopefully it’s one and not an entire herd of mice) at the cabin when I noticed my wonderful berry filled wreath above the fireplace began looking a bit ….. berry-less.  I walked closer to said wreath when I realized there were small calling cards (mice poo) scattered along the mantle.  Eyes wide with the realization we have a small visitor — who wasn’t on the guest list at the cabin.  Smack.  Criminy.  Love/hate relationship immediately formed with the little fella.

Friends were visiting the cabin a month later and caught the little guy.  I was hopeful that was the end of my mouse saga.  Alas — I popped up to the cabin yesterday to get my mountain fix —  I sat nested in quilts on the over-stuffed brown leather couch – happy as a plum – sipping a good glass of Cabernet – when I noticed a petite furry brown face staring at me across the room. Obviously the twin brother of the previously slain mouse my friends captured a few months back.   It was lounging on the Palomino club chair – in striped red pjs (that part is a lie obviously- maybe)  watching me watch a movie.  I smiled at him.  He was pretty darn cute.  I imagined him making himself at home when the cabin was unoccupied by humans.  He had a martini on the back deck as he hung his towel on the hook before he entered the hot tub for his nightly routine of watching dusk descend upon Red Bear Cabin.  He had a favorite quilt – the one with sailboats and red patches – weathered and worn from years of snuggling.

My heart sank because I realized I would need to kill the little fella.  Tearful as I write this.  That’s the overtly sensitive part of my tormented soulful self.  I give human personality to animals and inanimate objects.  I think there’s a name for that in the mental health community (anthropomorphize).   For now we’ll just call it #Kimysworld shall we? Lordy.  :::shaking my head:::::

I watched him scurry behind the chair as I turned off lights getting ready for bed.  Little did he realize it was his last night at Chez Red Bear.  I put a dab of peanut butter in the mouse traps and walked sadly up to my bedroom.  I lay awake for hours – fitfully trying to sleep and apologizing to him and the world for slaying this sweet little mouse.  Hopeful he was very smart and knew I had set the traps that he would be able to escape.  Darn.

I finally drifted off at some point – I awoke to birds chirping as the sun was filling the room with a new day.  A day without one little brown furry mouse in the world.  ::::sigh::::

The little guy hopefully went swiftly into never-never land of mousedom.   His death turned into morbid curiosity as I held the mouse-trap with his limp or should I say already stiff body.   I buried him by the babbling brook who quickly babbled to me that it needed to be done.   It’s OK.  I love my babbling brook who obviously loves me back.

So — I sit here recounting this furry little story to you – at the Martyn House Intown – my haunt when I’m at the cabin.  Sipping my latte – feeling better already.  Thanks for listening. :::wrinkling nose :::::::

 

Happy Camper

IMG_3973One of my dearest BFF’s bought a 1958 Deville 12 foot camper.  It’s a complete dream.  Completely.   Think of all the possibilities of road trips.  ENDLESS.  The goal of any road trip of course is where you’ll end up at sunset and what cocktail you’ll be having at that moment sunset begins.  Let’s get our priorities straight here.

She bought this camper (who I think they’ve named Mary Jane or Betty — I can’t remember which is the car and which is the camper….) and traveled from Atlanta to California (San Fran area) to pick it up.  A magical journey ensued in which I would text her mid-day – ‘So where are you now’….then afternoon ‘what cocktail and where will you be for sunset’…..then ‘where are you headed today? ….. yadda yadda yadda…… it went on for a month and finally they came back through Birmingham so I could see and touch and completely think of stealing the camper as they slept over night on their way home to Atlanta.

So…last night… I dreamed of road trips…. and cocktails at sunset…  settling into National Parks and putting enticing invitations on other campers doors to join us for cocktails, conversations and stories of the road around a roaring campfire…  as we plotted our next few days of sunsets and cocktails.  Endless possibilities…. endless I tell you.  ::::dreamy sigh:::::

Don’t worry — I didn’t steal the camper.  I do get to plan road trips though.  We’ll go GLAMPING…..  Just us girls.  ::::beaming:::::::

Friends feed your spirit……

787b0389d6bf9c7fc727fc0ef0c78d3aI woke up this morning in an enchanted land of quilts, beautiful art, whimsical dishes, french pressed coffee and a wonderfully playful red-headed wackadoodle best friend who I adore.  I’m the cheese to her macaroni —  her nickname is Anda Panda Macaroni.  Don’t ever get too old to be silly with your bestie.  You’re missing out if you do.

I drove into Atlanta (the song from the B52’s ‘Atlanta Hwy’ always in my head when on I-20 – I got me a car it’s as big as a WHALE… :::wiggling toes merrily:::::) to handle some business.  Once the business part was over I headed to see ‘The Uncles’ and get my uncle fix — #UncleLove – meet the girls for dinner then sleep over at Panda’s house.   The grandkids room is up a narrow winding staircase that over looks the tops of the trees.  It’s really like a little treehouse room.  Filled with quilted beds, toys, books art, posters and so much more!  I walked to the end of the room where a bedside light was already on to welcome me.  My puffed quilted bed was already pulled back. Dreamy sigh.  La-de-dah-de-dah.  Indeed.

Girlfriends have ALWAYS played a very important part of my life.  The Uncles do too and though they would like to count as girlfriends technically they don’t have the required girlfriend parts (at least not that I’m aware of…ahem).  Giggling at that.  Lordy.

After a wonderful dinner catching up with three very important girlfriends…  Anda locked up and I meandered up to my ‘attic nest’ to retire for the evening.    My lips curled into a smile as I made my way through the dim light to my patchwork quilted bed.  My bedside lamp glowed warmly as I curled up to read.  I quickly realized that wasn’t going to last long.  I reached over turning out the light as moonbeams filtered in through the window where my bed was perched underneath.   Rain drops tipped and tapped making my nights sleep restful and sound.

‘Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast’. — Queen of Hearts,  Alice in Wonderland. 

I texted Anda when I awoke to let her know I was headed down to make coffee = french press style.   She tends to scream (loudly) when startled.  You understand my text now.

We giggled over morning coffee and Facebook updates.  I in my pink lounging pjs with the white pin-stripes and Panda in a thick robe and red hair sticking up all over the place.   Surrounded by treasures from estate sales and coffee cups…. life is wonderful.

We met more friends for coffee at Rev Coffee (with the hidden bar in the back — love it!).  I headed back to Birmingham and my love – W.   Fun to get away —  great going back home.  Although I have two homes really.  Historic College Park and now Birmingham with W.   Life is wonderful.  Truly.

Girlfriends fill your heart and spirit.  Thank you to all my dear friends who add so much to my world!