Merry Christmas!

This will be my last post for the year. We are taking a week off to spend with family and just enjoy some down time.

merry christmas

found on fromupnorth

Before I wish you a Merry Christmas, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to say thank you for your kindness this year. You have stopped me in stores, on the street, on Facebook and countless other places just to say that you enjoy reading this little blog and you will never know what that means to me. I spend a lot of time preparing posts and trying to share snippets of this wild adventure that Jeff and I are on so to hear that you actually like it is encouraging.

I pray that as the year draws to a close you will take a moment to look around you and cherish the ones who are dear to you…… and to remember, just for the sake of remembering all of the moments that touched you this year. The good, the bad and the ugly for they all work together to mold us into the people that we are and without the tough times we would forget that we need each other in this old world. I need you. My family and friends are my greatest blessings on earth. We sold our house and everything in it this year and many were horrified that I would do that… part with all of my STUFF but you see, it really is just stuff. Replaceable stuff. Not Grandmama’s buffet or Mama’s silver but the furniture, the do-dads, the extraneous baggage that we so carefully collect but that could be gone in the blink of an eye. This is a very weird message from an interior designer I guess but it is where I am. The only thing that I am not willing to let go of is…… you.

You make me laugh. You cry when I cry. You invite me to dinner or to place tennis or to share what God is showing you. You pray for me and are truly happy about our accomplishments.  That, my dear friends, is irreplaceable.

So as you travel on your merry way

From Decorateyoursmallspace

From Decorateyoursmallspace

remember the little things that made your year special. And share them. They bring smiles. They bring hope. They bring encouragement.

And let us never forget the Reason for the Season. He came that we might have life and have it abundantly.

Christmas

Thank you Jesus.

Merry Christmas!

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A Super Fun Date Night

After all the wildness of the last month, Jeff planned a super fun date night for this week. We  went to Greenville to close on Mama’s house (my childhood home) Thursday morning. Now that’s a weird experience if you haven’t done it yet. So many different emotions are running through you simultaneously. Our sweet realtor is not only a childhood friend but now family since her nephew married our daughter. We spent many afternoons at 512 Forest Drive for cheerleader practice. I  could “see” all of  our school shoes kicked off and lined up by the door as I passed through the family  room. Looking into the living room for the last time memories of Christmas past flooded my mind like the year that I got the Shirley Temple wig and bike all at the same time. That must have been an amusing sight for the neighbors.  I could hear my Grandmother’s laugh as she and Mama cooked all manner of good things in the kitchen. I could hear the boom, boom, boom of the basketball next door as my neighbors/adopted brothers, Jimmy, Charlie and Bill, played adjacent to my bedroom window. On and on the memories came, how blessed I am that they were almost all good and sweet and cherished.

I am grateful that we have Mama close and that she is happily settled into her new assisted living home and I am grateful that the estate closing is behind us and we can look only forward now.

I am most grateful in this season of thanksgiving for my precious husband and best friend who always seems to know exactly what I need usually before I do. So on to the point of this post! He sort of kidnapped me after the closing and we headed off for a super fun date night!

First we went to see the incomparable, Terry Gilmore, for a massage at Auburn. That would have been enough right there! But no! He had reservations for us at the Auburn Hotel and Conference Center and the really cool part of it was that this was the night of the Auburn Christmas Parade AND the unveiling of the gingerbread village which I wrote about wanting to see here. How cool is that?

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That’s still not all. There is a fabulous new restaurant in Auburn called The Depot. It is located downtown in…… wait for it….. the depot. haha

This is a picture during renovation.

depo

 

The hostess station is especially clever.

dep

 

The bar is made from the old heart pine boards that made up the platform.

de

You have to go!!!! The atmosphere is very cosmopolitan and the food is amazing.

depot

 

We were seated in one of these cozy booths

depots

 

 

and because we ate early to avoid the parade crowd we got to have a nice long chat with Richard, one of the owners. (on the right)

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As nice as the people are and the atmosphere is, the real star of the show is the FOOD and boy, did it live up to our expectations.

The appetizer list includes about 6 different types of oysters. We went with the Rockafeller and thought we were in New Orleans.

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We then moved on to the Rainbow Trout with pecans and maple roasted carrots. For a side we got the cauliflower and yukon potato au gratin.

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I am glad that we split this so that I had room for dessert: Three chocolate filled beignets perfectly dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with an espresso sauce.

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I didn’t share. Jeff got a fruit cobbler cooked in its own cast iron skillet and served with vanilla gelato.  Goooo!! You will be so glad that you did.

You can go to their web site for a sample menu and to see the Catch of The Day.

 

Thank you sweet Jeff!! You are the best. One day I am going to figure out how to surprise you…. but I don’t think it will include hiking and camping. Just sayin’.

 

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It’s Party Time

It's party time

 

I just had a conversation with my “hair gal” today about how people aren’t having as many Christmas parties as they used to. Remember when you couldn’t fit them all into the schedule? Maybe we just aren’t  popular. haha But TONIGHT….

It’s Party Time.

 

Everyone is bringing a heavy hors d’oeuvre so I hit Pinterest for some inspiration. What looks/sounds yummy to you?

I am always a sucker for a good cheese ball. This ones looks yummy and I love the touch of red for Christmas.

 

appeti

 This is elegant and would make a statement. My man eats olives by the gallon so he would love it.

appetizer

I have served this before and it is always a hit! Hard to beat olive oil, Greek seasonings and feta with anything.

 

This sounds awesome and I know the fellas would like it…. hearty eats. Recipe here.


ap

 

And this looks way above my pay scale but WOW… yes, PLEASE!

 

ap2

 

 

Now I’m hungry. See y’all on the flip side.

 

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Steeplechase

I have wanted to collaborate on an event with my daughter, Megan, for a long time and this weekend I got my opportunity! She was in charge of the Guarantor’s Tent at Calloway Garden’s annual Steeplechase event and I volunteered to be her flunky.

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It was a beautiful fall day and the predicted rain did not dare show its face. I beat Megan there and had some time to get the lay of the land as they say.

This is a HUGE event. I had no idea. My first thought upon driving up to “her” tent was, “This is the biggest tent outside of a circus I have ever seen!”

Followed rapidly by, “We have how long to get this done???”

About that time a 21 foot U-haul truck flies up to the staging area driven by my tiny little girl who looked even smaller in that big truck. It was show-time for the second time in a week. When the back of the truck was revealed I was a bit weak in the knees. Had she actually loaded all of that? I didn’t ask.

 

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Megan explained her vision as she passed out stack upon stack of beautiful custom tablecloths made of oatmeal colored canvas. A little over half of the 30 tables where covered in these. The rest of the tables were farm tables that she had made just for this event by Jordan Vocational High School. They did an awesome job. Everything used in the tent is for sale as a fund raiser for the arts in Columbus, Ga.

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Megan’s sweet friend, Chenault James (whose work you should check out) came to help us. She was a God-send. Chenault was chosen as one of Traditional Home’s Rising Stars of Design this year and it is well deserved. I love gleaning from these inspired young women.

Bottom line… we did it. haha

The last flower was being placed as the first guests were arriving but, by George, we did it.

Thank you to John David Helms for the professtional shots.

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

The placemats are salvaged pieces of slate.

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Kristen Waites. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Kristen Waites. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

 

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Angie Everson. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Angie Everson. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Kristen Waites. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Kristen Waites. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Kristen Waites. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Kristen Waites. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

 

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

Everyone’s favorite part of the set-up was this gorgeous bar. Husband, Mac, and a friend made it. Chenault and Megan draped it in black and hung that impressive diptych of a racing horse front and center. Flanked by the massive lamps and Roe antlers on shields, it was a show stopper.

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This looked like a show stopper also which is why I couldn’t have any but… yum! Adult lemonade with sage, cucumber and something.

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The wait staff from Epic looked particularly dapper in their matching bow ties Megan provided for them.

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 Here she is chatting it up with the first guest just as the gates opened.

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We managed to snap a couple of pics before I got my bad self out of the way and went home to see the real stars of the show… the grands!

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

Hubby was proud and so was I.

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

 

As I started my car these fine folks allowed me to snap their image. They look ready for a fine time, don’t they?

Little did I know but this happens to be Mason and Mary Lou Lampton and this is their event. Mason grew up in Kentucky and started a small race there before meeting and marrying Mary Lou and moving to Columbus. He later started the steeplechase in partnership with Callaway Gardens to support the arts back in the 80’s. Now that’s what I call serendipity! Wish I had known to thank them. I love people who support the arts.

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November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Angie Everson. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Angie Everson. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

 

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Lance Boyd. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Lance Boyd. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

 

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by John David Helms. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Angie Everson. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Angie Everson. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Kristen Waites. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Kristen Waites. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

 

November 7, 2015 - Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Kristen Waites. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

November 7, 2015 – Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens with http://www.OutdoorEvents.com. Pine Mountain, GA. Photo by Kristen Waites. Full set of images available at http://www.johndavidhelms.com/events #chaserace

 

Cheers and good job, Megan.  As your Papa would say, “Ya ‘done good’, Baby Girl! And I am proud of you.”

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Rejoice When Others Rejoice

Scripture tells us that we are to weep when others weep and rejoice when others rejoice.

ashley15

 

I did a lot of both yesterday.  There are a lot of people hurting in this old world. Aren’t you glad we have friends to run to in our times of need?

There is also much happiness. Friends are adopting precious children, long-prayed-for weddings are in the planning phase

and at least one special friend just opened a jaw-dropping new shoppe. I was so happy to be one of the honored guest at the grand opening of Parish last night.

[Read more…]

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Happy Labor Day

cocoaaatumbler

cocoaaatumbler

It has been a summer of amazing sunrises and sunsets.

sunrise happy labor day


sunset happy labor day

It’s officially fall because we all know that SEC football means it’s fall, right?

We have welcomed it with a pot of chili, homemade pimento and cheese sandwiches and Greek Orthodox BBQ. Boom.

So HaPpY lAbOr DaY y’all. Go out and have some. See you back here soon.

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Hope In The Darkest Hour

 

 

storm

In all of our lives we hit seasons that are hard… really hard. I got slammed last week. My beautiful little Mama who is the most active, vibrant 82 year old you will ever meet had a stroke.

After a week in the hospital we are now at the rehab hospital relearning how to walk, talk, swallow and other things that you and I take for granted every minute of every day. It is devastating. Yet in the midst of darkness God’s light shines through. Precious family members from near and far have been here for the week taking the night shift so that I could sleep. (I am an only). Health-south is such a place of encouragement and hope. Those people are truly used of God to work miracles in the lives of people everyday. So we have great hope for significant if not full recovery. I personally am pulling for full! 🙂

God knew and went before us. Our house sold last week but we don’t have to be out for a year. I know. Amazing. I am starting to try to draw plans for another home that will include an apartment for Mama. The lots in TND neighborhoods are small and have many stipulations so if you run across any great little plans with the main house at @1800-1900SF and the Mom part at @800-900 please send them to me!!!

It is weird going from being the daughter to being the Mama and I know Mama is HATING it as she worked so very hard to insure that this would never happen; but it has and His grace is sufficient. It’s amazing the love that floods your heart when a loved one is in distress.

Thank you for letting me share. I just wanted you to understand if posts are a bit random… maybe even seldom. Please don’t forget us over here at Forever Design as we so love and cherish your friendship and readership. I know many of you are in similar situations so we can support each other. Prayers are coveted. Take care of yourselves folks and go have your carotid arteries checked TODAY.

Here’s believing for brighter days as the Light shines brightest in the darkness.

sunshine

Found on angeni61tumbler

Many blessings.

Cindy

 

 

I

 

 

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River City Smoke – Off Is A Hit

We had  a really fun weekend in Columbus watching daughter Megan, aka project-housewife.com host the first annual River City Smoke-off.

Project-housewife challenged John McLemore, president of Masterbuilt and her husband’s boss, and chef Jamie Keating from Epic to a smoke off .

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Rosie The Riveter for the win

They duked it out in the boxing ring all day long in order to raise money for the Trinity Women’s Clinic.

cooking for charity

The day started early as meat was prepared and grills were moved into position.

river city smoke off

river city smoke off

The teams began to arrive at noon and the smell of  ribs, stuffed duck and smokey pimento cheese was soon driving the downtown employees crazy.

Jamie Keating from Epic Restaurant

Little man had it all under control

river city smoke off

The crowd began to gather as the six o’clock hour approached and the celebrity judges took their seats.

river city smoke off

Even stitches and casts couldn’t stop the little ones from having a grand ole time.

river city smoke off

I tried to convince this cutie who to vote for.

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Trust me, you couldn’t go wrong.

river city smoke off

river city smoke off

Awesome job Team Project-housewife. Can’t wait for next year.

river city smoke off

Here is an overview of the day if you want more.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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What Do Fly Fishing And Paintings Of Chapels Have In Common?

cindy barganier fly fishing

You might remember a previous post about a fabulous trip I  tagged along on when Jeff had a writing assignment in Oregon. We spent several days at Morrison’s Lodge and had our own private river guide, James Sampsel, who taught us how to fly fish and hooked me forever.

That should explain why I got very excited when a van with Oregon plates pulled into my driveway with this on the window.

[Read more…]

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Need A Word Of Encouragement? Don’t We All.

cindy barganier encouragement for a new week

Found on Facebook

 

Between the pollen and the deluge yesterday I gave myself permission to have a pajama day. I do love a good pajama day, don’t you?

It’s been a weird first quarter this year. I don’t know why but it’s a fact. As I was having my on private church on-line this morning I ran across this message and really struck a chord so I decided to share it with you in hopes that it would help you also.

[Read more…]

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