Mirror Mirror

FullSizeRender (1)I recently placed a full-length mirror in my bedroom.  Yes -I know- first time for everything I suppose.  FYI That’s NOT me in the mirror by the way.  Ahem.

After placing this mirror I’ve caught my reflection several times passing by in various stages of disrobing.  A curiousity began to rise.  Who in the world was this person reflected in my mirror? She looks like me  — sort of.  Or what I perceive myself to be.

In my early college days and into my 20’s up to 30 I suppose — I was Anorexic and Bulemic.  A very secret society I had joined and sought to be in deseperately.   I was obsessed with my weight mainly because my then husband expected perfection.   If I’m just a wee bit skinnier I’ll obtain the love I so craved from him.  I’m 5-9 with my lowest weight being 98.  I hovered some mornings around 95 to 97.   I would smile as I stood on the scales – charting in on the calendar by the refrigerator so that he could see just how dedicated I was to being who I knew he wanted me to be.   With his words in my head ‘you can never be too rich or too thin’.

I was a master of moving my food around on my plate.  ‘Yes — delicious – thank you very much’ as I sat back looking at my abstract food display pushed to the edge of the plate.  I began laying awake at night, my heart pounding, scared.  When did I last eat?  Ignoring the pain in my stomach and chest.

So here I am on the cusp of being an actual adult (never).  I turn 50 this year.  Still feeling like an 8 year old jumping to 12 and full fledged mommy bear with my kids.   I suppose we all reflect on who we are, how we got here, choices made and who in the world is this person looking at me in my full-length mirror.  I smile at myself looking back at me.

I’ve been paying more attention as I’ve crept up to 50. I’ve lost weight – I’m exercising – every now and then the urge to purge creeps into my thoughts but I push it away. What an unhealthy lifestyle I cannot ever let that happen again.   I’m basically very happy with who I am.  I have two lovely children who I am extremely proud of.  One is a more complicated (very) relationship and the other is watching to see where she goes sort of mode.

My sense of who I am is pretty concrete.  I’m far from perfect  but strive to always learn and grow.  When you stop learning you stop living.  Always trying to better myself.  My body shows the wear and tear of being a mother.  Two c-sections, weight gain, weight loss.  If you ever have the good fortunate (laughing at that) of seeing me in a bathing suit or otherwise — you’ll have to love me for who I’ve become.   Or not.  I don’t have room in my life for anyone who is critical or negative.   No one is perfect.  Not even Brad Pitt — although he’s pretty darn close.  I chuckled just now thinking about Brad Pitt seeing me naked — I scared the girls (aka Olive, Finnegan & Piper – the pugs).  It was more of a snortle (chuckle and snort- I’m gifted you see).

I go back to — love who you are.  Strive to be healthy and add to your mental well being.  We are all these amazing works of art – each different with good bad and the ugly.  Mostly good I think.

And I have to add the photo below. I just came across this and love it.  The ‘what ifs’.   Most of my greatest moments have been in failure – because I fly the next time.  You can’t appreciate the highs if there are no lows.  Or in a girls world – the reason we have so many shoes is because there are so many high heels and so many flats to try on.  Just like life.


Catching up

150129_205044I’ve got a friend who is recovering from a recent surgery thus I popped by to take her lunch and drop off some incredible Jake’s Ice Cream (child it’s GOOD STUFF).

This particular friend is such a delight.  Both inside and outside she’s just lovely.  I knew her home would reflect this.  Your home is such stamp of who you are.  I know mine is.  And if you’ve ever seen my home it’s quite obvious.

I walked away feeling such a sense of peace and warmth towards her.  How lovely her home reflected her sense of style and taste.  From wall sconces to chandeliers, choice of furniture and art.  Extremely warm and inviting — poised yet comfortable …. just like her.

She surrounded herself with things she enjoyed and had meaning for her.  I love it when people choose to include very personal parts of their lives into their decor.  A very intimate glimpse into what makes them happy and gives them joy. She calls her home Storybook Manor.  And it certainly is.  It looks like something out of a fairy tale.

The home should be the treasure chest of living~~~Le Corbusier

I sit here writing this covered in pugs (Olive, Finnegan and Piper) on a cozy rainy Sunday in Atlanta Ga.  I’m about to head to a movie with friends.  How blessed am I.  To know so many wonderful people and feel the warmth of their homes and see their treasured items.  I named my home La Petite Maison de Joie — the Little House of Joy. It really is a very happy house.

I look around my room where I sit nested in quilts and pugs – I see my art by friend Carly Hardy, my pear collection (yes — I know … it’s really quite lovely though), my sailboat by the window.  A favorite pair of green tinted glass lamps, my ceramic dog collections (theme of collections here — ahem), treasured books on the shelf.

Your home should be a nest where you go to feel the pleasure of who you are, where you’ve been and the splendor of it all.

Happy Trails!


June Book Club Share – Devil in the White City

36645_1392034652970_6035878_n (1)For our June book we read Devil in the White City.  Very interesting.  Death hag sort of fascination.

I have never attended a Worlds Fair. Have you?

The last one in the US was 1984 in New Orleans.  The last World Fair was in S Korea and the next is in 2015 in Dubai.

For Historic College Park Book Club review click HERE 








I’ll miss you daddy

36645_1392034652970_6035878_nIn Memory of

Myrt David Kennedy Jr.

There aren’t many 90 year olds with a nickname of ‘Mad Dog’ who can actually fill the shoes of such an epithet. Well, my father did. Born Myrt ‘David’ Kennedy in the year 1924 he was an Atlanta native at that. He was one of 5 children. His sister, Annette Ingram is the last of those five. He grew up riding his bike through the streets of Atlanta when the Great Depression was just beginning to rear its ugly head. At the age of 14, he became sweethearts with the pretty little skinny girl next door who was 12 – his future wife of 55 years.
Daddy was too young and skinny to join the Navy during WWII, so he did what many did at that time and lied about his age. They said he was still too skinny to join and sent him home with a crate of bananas and come back in a week. He made the weight cut (note to self – stay away from bananas). He told Margaret Frances Kittles (the skinny cute girl next door) to wait on him after the war. And off he went. The stories that came out of his time in the Navy are fascinating. Daddy was a feisty little guy which I suppose one had to be in a full-fledged war. He was on many a war ship and one that was hit and sunk. His days of clinging to ship wreck for over a week or more before being rescued (That’s my favorite story by the way— sharks were involved. Depending on which way he actually told the story, many were eaten alive by the sharks, and then some days well – the sharks were at bay– :::::smiling at my dad’s stories::::::). He was a cutie-pie in his Navy uniform. He was quite the handsome pup.
Upon his return home from the war he did indeed find Margaret Frances and they married. My mother was so scared about her wedding night that she took her best friend at the time with her to sleep over. Much to my dad’s surprise when he came to the wedding chamber my mother and her friend were there giggling. Needless to say the friend was sent home. Ahem. They spent a wonderful life together. They Jitterbugged at Grant Park, took car trips to the beach. They were always having dinners with friends and later in life enjoying church groups and trips.
Daddy then joined the Atlanta Police Academy and served for 30 years becoming a much respected detective solving many crimes. He gained his famed nickname of Mad Dog when working on the police force. To this day, I can ask an older police officer who is active, if they remember Mad Dog Kennedy. A smile will come over their face; they shake their head ‘yes’ and say “Oh yes – I remember Mad Dog’. I’ve tried to find out just why he has such a rascally name — and I’m greeted with a knowing silent smile. Maybe I don’t want to know. ::he he he:::::
My father is survived by two adopted daughters, myself Kimberly ‘Kimy’ Kennedy and Pamela Kennedy. I’m the youngest by the way (I love saying that). He has 4 grandchildren, Laura and Andrew Davis, and Amy & Allison Reese. He has many nieces and nephews. A big THANK YOU to Southwest Christian Care for all your love and care for both my parents in their final days.
I was a daddy’s girl. He could build or fix anything. He built the loveliest playhouse for us when we were small. It was beautiful. He flew kites with us, let me sit and help him for hours in his workshop. I’m positive that’s why I love going into Hardware stores because it reminds me so much of my dad when I was a little girl. He was larger than life. He wasn’t perfect by any means but who is. I’m not that’s for sure.
After my mother passed away decades ago – he was very lost but found his way eventually. He became a resident at Christian City after suffering a stroke in his later years. He became quite the ladies’ man having a girlfriend on at least every other floor. He was known to still partake in a feisty battle with another male hence I suppose he very much lived up to the Mad Dog title. He was a rascal and I loved him.
‘Separated by death – forever together in love and memories’. Love you Mad Dog.
Visitation will be held Monday at our chapel from 5-8pm. Funeral Service Tuesday April 8, 2014 at 11:00am in our chapel. Internment Resthaven Cemetery, Decatur, Georgia. In lieu of flowers please make donations to Southwest Christian Care/ Hospice, 7225 Lester Road, Union City, Georgia, 770-969-8354. Please Visit our website to extend condolences atwww.TaraGardenChapel.com

When it’s ‘too’ soon…..

I had completely forgotten about this and after telling the entire story to my dear friend – who thought it was very interesting —  I thought it might be good Cocktails at Seven material.

521431_482479785123285_1271919598_nI met a BFF for coffee and chats at The Little Tart (behind Six Feet Under on Memorial Drive — if you’ve never been then GO!!!).  After an incredible latte, people watching, magazine reading, chit chats, scrumptious nibbling on some great quiche and tarts — we decided to meander over to Historic Oakland Cemetery.  One of my very favorite places in downtown Atlanta.  I know I know — are you furrowing your brow thinking ‘my word she’s odd’.  Well let me assure you upfront — I’m completely off the beaten path so to speak.  :::he he he::::

I’ve always loved historic cemeteries and Oakland in particular.  Years ago I worked for Mayor Shirley Franklin.  During lunch, I would meander down to Oakland and pick a nice shady spot on a grave and read for lunch.  It was so peaceful and recharged me for the rest of the day.  It’s very park-like which Victorian cemeteries were meant to be, so that you would sit down and stay for a while.  Of course in my over-active imagination, I would pretend all the deceased were peeking over the old brick wall surrounding Oakland yelling ‘Here she comes!! I bet she sits on my grave today!’.  Call me an 8 year old.  It is what it is.

As we leisurely strolled through the sunny rosemary filled pathways of the cemetery that day, I recalled a first and last date I had years ago.  I was still working for Mayor Franklin at the time.  It was a blind date a friend of a friend.  He had recently unfortunately lost his wife.  I asked my friend was he even ready to step back into the dating pond and she assured me YES.   I was skeptical and for good reason.   But she urged me on – saying he was a super nice guy, very bright and I would enjoy meeting him.  I shrugged, said it was ok to give him my number and didn’t think that much about it.

A few weeks later, I got the call, we talked for a few nights via phone, then set to meet at Houstons by Lenox.   Upon meeting him he looked as if he must have surely lost  much weight due to the fact his suit swallowed him the poor dear.  He seemed very nervous which made me question immediately my friends statement of ‘he’s ready’.   I felt so very sorry for him.  He ended up talking the entire time about his newly deceased wife (within the last 6 months), everything from her cancer treatments, to how he brushed her hair, to how they met, to almost every intimate detail I felt I didn’t want to know.  But I sat and nodded letting him know I was listening.  I ordered another glass of wine to help facilitate the rest of the date.  He was lonely. He was hurting.  He desperately missed his wife.  Bless his heart.   After a few hours, I was ready to head home with a call into my friend.

As we stood to leave, he was antsy before me begging to show me something.  I blinked blankly at him not sure what was coming next.  I timidly asked ‘you mean now?’  He fervently shook his head, and said it would mean the world to him to share this with me.  My mind raced as I agreed, I said I would follow him asking the destination.  He said it was a surprise.  :::gulp::::::  WARNING — WARNING WILL ROBINSON — arms flailing::::::

We drove away from Houstons, destination unkown to me — very unsure of what was to happen next and what would be revealed.  I tried to figure out what in the world this poor lost soul wanted so desperately to show me. A complete stranger.  As we neared the Capital and turned towards Oakland Cemetery — I was still very puzzled but happy to see my favorite cemetery.  It was summer so still plenty of light even after dinner.  We parked, groups of people milling around so I wasn’t too very alarmed.  I didn’t get a threatening feeling from him anyway (I have that you know — the gut feelings about people –  it’s that 6th sense).  We walked as he told me she was buried here.  Bing Bing Bing He wanted to share with me where she was buried.  Oh. My. Word.  Intrigued though, because of the cemetery love thing going on, I followed him to her grave site.  A stark white statue of a man and a woman.  He sat looking at her lovingly as he combed her hair.  It was a tribute to his wife.  Forever carved in marble.   Goodness.  To love someone so very much and to lose them.  Painful.  Been there done that myself.

Back to the present moment — as I recounted this story to my bff I had earlier met for coffee — she said after a moment — ‘sort of reminds me of the one you dated who liked to jump into open graves’.  Well now….that’s a whole other ball of wax.  You think?   Ahem.


Feb Book Club! Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral!

988804_10202556216019821_1545390720_nCross-posting from book club —  Have you read this one?  A definite beach reach for sure!

Historic College Park Book Club rocks! You can find our link HERE.  If you love to read and don’t belong to a book club — start one!

Lawrence’s Cafe – Decatur Ga

lc5I hope I never lose my internal curiosity to explore, learn and seek.   I joined Ms. Margie’s Supper Club for just that reason.  To explore food and restaurants that I might otherwise ‘pft’ and never try (fyi – ‘pft’ is a dismissive noise made with your mouth — got it?).  So a wee bit about Ms. Margie — super cool lady who owns The Vegetable Husband.   With a business like that you know she knows the food industry.   Exactly.

For our meeting last night, Ms. Margie was unfortunately sick (hope you’re better Margie!).   So, a few of us decided to go anyway, and I’m so glad we did!  Our destination was Lawrences Cafe — located on W College Ave right down from the wonderful campus of Agnes Scott.  Located in small collection of buildings, it appeared warm and inviting as it dusk rolled in far too soon.  I’m really looking forward to longer days.   My friend and I didn’t really know what to expect and then we saw Lebanese food we both looked at one another with surprise.  I knew nothing of Lebanese food and wished Margie was here to walk us through.  The menu outside looked quite tasty as we walked in.

Once inside, high ceilings and a warm glow was felt immediately.   Wine was ordered and then grape leaves wrapped in seasoned meat with yogurt dipping sauce (TO DIE FOR!).  I actually had a second order and wished like heck I had some for breakfast as I sit here this morning writing .  Addictive is how I would describe them.  Holy cow :::::mouth watering:::::.    The dishes were wonderfully named like ‘Babaganush’ which makes me think of a person on Seinfeld.   I ordered roasted leg of lamb which was divine.   The bread (pita) was served with garlic olive oil butter.  Once again — addictive.

The three of us who were able to attend were definately pleased pleased pleased and will be back!  The owner Tony Chebib was delightful, coming to our table several times.  We couldn’t express enough how much we loved the food and cafe.

About the Owner:

————Tony Chebib grew up in Falougha Mount-Liban, Lebanon. As a child he was eating the same healthy and tasty dishes which he is serving today. When going back home he still enjoys watching the chefs prepare local favorites.  Lebanese cuisine is simply good for you. The Mediterranean diet just got named one of the top three best in the world by U.S. News. Tony says, “Many of our dishes are traditionally vegan and gluten free. We use lean meats. It’s all about the food we serve back home. People keep coming back because it tastes delicious and nutritious.”

His secret ingredient is simplicity. By combining the freshest ingredients from the farmers market with recipes handed down through the generations Tony has recreated the Lebanese experience worthy of the Decatur pallet.  Tony has been adding his personal touch to Lawrence’s Cafe since 1990. He started on Buford Hwy and has been wanting for the last 10 years to move his restaurant to Decatur. He says it’s because, “People in Decatur really appreciate good food and value diversity, and individually owned restaurants.”In January 2013 he found a new home for Lawrence’s Cafe right here in Oakhurst————-

I HIGHLY recommend a visit (sooner rather than later) to this fabulous find.   A great pairing of a neighborhood restaurant and a very easy location for parking .


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Secrety Society of Serendipity


I love a quintessential mystery, especially when it involves a pleasing path or thought. And even MORE SO when it happens right in my own neighborhood.  A perfect pairing indeed.  ::::::turning cartwheels::::::::

Yesterday as I piddled thinking I had an extra 30 minutes before picking up my friend to venture out to celebrate Chinese New Year (we embrace all cultures especially if we love their food – ahem).   I received a text saying ‘On the porch awaiting my ride’ and realized I thought pickup was 11:30, when in actuality it was 11:00.  I dashed out the door (she only lives one house up but I hate to be late) pulled to the curb and walked up to get her (still some ice on the driveway from our recent Snowpocalypse here in Atlanta).    As I reached to open the door, a small white object caught my eye on the ground next to the bush.  And behold the MYSTERY begins.  :::::ominous music playing the background:::::::::  Chuckling at that — it’s a merry mystery not nefarious at all I assure you.   A small dustpan with two little white bunnies (dust bunnies -get it? – oh someone has a sense of humor here).  That alone being all cuteness and such, the card attached by rubber band is where the smile and twinkle in the eye enters like a dancing fairy.  It says ‘Secret Society of Serendipity’.  Serendipity is one of my very favorite words meaning – fortunous happiness or pleasant surprise.  Serendipity is also one of my all-time favorite romantic movies. ::::dreamy sigh:::::::  Well, this one constitutes both of those.  The back of the card reads ‘You make the world a better place and you are appreciated’.  Well heck — that’s pretty darn magical in my book.

We were heading out to celebrate Chinesee New Year and thus my research on finding out about this Secret Society would have to wait.  A Secret Society.  Hm………..

I did eventually arrive home, smiling from our adventures with Dim Sum — and could find nothing on the Secret Society of Serendipity much to my chagrin. Wah!  Secret Societies are just that – a secret.  Like the Masons or the Seven Society at University of Virginia.  All this of course brings up secret handshakes, secret meetings and well…the list could go on for a while.     

I love the idea, that someone, or some group, is spreading joy and cheer.  THAT is the magical part. :::::wiggling toes merrily::::::

p.s. We’ve tried to see if we can pinpoint who it might be? Then we realized we know many people who would do something so wonderful, and then the Serendipity hits us all over again.   :::::beaming:::::::::

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Yes it snowed —- and we crumbled. Snowpocalypse 2014

Slide1We live in the South for gosh sakes.  Not Maine or NYC or Ohio or Michigan or Canada — where they are accustomed to this kind of snow.  I mean my lordy, I just stopped wearing flip-flops not too long ago.  And then of course we do the appropriate thing that we do in the South – we panic, wiping out all milk, bread and wine (if you’re smart — always wine and now creamer because I’m just about out – YIKES!).  But we ARE resourceful.  In my case, I walked up to my neighbors house and we had ‘cocktail hour’ because just about the BEST thing we DO in the South is gracious hosting.  And snow is a reason to celebrate.  Actually we can pretty much celebrate practically anything.

I had ventured out yesterday for lunch with a friend at Souper Jenny in Buckhead.  I knew we had the ‘snow alert’ on but it was not snowing at the time so out I tottled along not really thinking much about it. On a side note Souper Jennys is FANTASTIC.  There was a line out the door.  As I got closer to town a few flakes began swirling magically  down from the pregnant sky but once again —  it was just a few flakes.  Snow is very magical to me.  I suppose because we don’t really live in snowy conditions like many of our northern friends it’s a mystery.  Thus we are in denial to a degree when it really starts to snow.  We begin thinking that perhaps it won’t ‘stick’.  Well it did.  And created in a frigid  icy snowy birth was SNOWPOCALYPSE 2014.   And yes, it was celebrated with wine and white cheddar popcorn at my neighbors house at the appropriate cocktail hour after 5pm.   I walked up the hill in a snowy whiter than white winter wonderland dressed in my furry snow boots, forgetting my gloves because I didn’t want to drop my newly purchased bottle of wine, cell phone to document my arctic journey, orange scarf and a parka.  I was equipped for anything — even polar bears.

After seeing the news this morning and hearing of friends stranded all night in cars and thankfully businesses like Home Depot and many others, including homeowners opening their doors to people who would otherwise be popsicles this morning —  the innate goodness of people I truly believe in.  And it shown through wonderfully in this ‘not’ hot Atlanta mess we have found ourselves in.  But do what we do best —- ‘What-ya’ll have to drink’ and ‘come on over — cocktail hour here in the South’.

For everyone who didn’t make it home — sending hope and that someone has helped you stay warm.  xoxo  1453275_10202308416903881_1146363728_n

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The Wrecking Bar Brewpub in L5P ATL

wrecking-bar-brewpubI’ve always been drawn to the Greek Revival-ish building that holds the now Wrecking Bar Brewpub — it previously housed architectual antiques, but had also been a dance school and church from what I’ve read. Located in one of my favorite niches in ATL – Little Five Points or L5P.  The top portion of the buidling is for special events with the bottom half of the building housing the bar/restaurant.  My first impression on my initial visit reminded me of being in a quaint lodge/bar in Aspen minus the snow, mountains, celebrities and skis. Although lately for this Atlanta native we’ve had pretty much all of that with these very nippy temps (minus the actual snow THANK GOD and skis  however we are getting plenty of celebrity sightings in ATL – HELLO!).

The exposed stone, low ceilings and dark cavernous feel of the interior is quite appealing.  It’s become the particularly pleasure-food seeking weekly haunt for many.  I recently met up with a few friends (one of whom I attended Jr. High with — is that a kick or what –).     Wrecking Bar was packed tightly this windy and cold  Saturday evening — the wait wasn’t too very long. Remember Ms. Impatient here however we had just enough time to people watch, catch up with a development of slight longing for a menu as food whizzed past by wait staff to parts unknown.

I’m not a beer drinker (I know….I know…) thus I can only comment on the fact that everyone else at the table seemed to enjoy their different shades of ale as they were promptly delivered to our table by a bearded and jovial Paul, our waiter.  I did have a waft of beer essense as I asked to ‘sniff test’ everyones ales of all shades and a very small dark syrup like ale for Ann.  They were pleased as we dove into the thick gooey very tasty beer fondue with pretzels and apple/veggies served on a slate tile.  YUM! We all ordered (believe it or not) the grilled cheese.  They have a fairly diverse menu but we were just all hankering for cheese on sourdough.  Happy campers were we!  I added very cripsy bacon to mine but tomato was also an addition for many at the table.  Ample choices for sides were available.

I very much recommend a stop to the Wrecking Bar.  Parking is competitive, thus park across the street on opposite side of Moreland or take a chance for valet which fills up quickly.


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