Can you believe we are already halfway through this end of summer month?! August is always a roller coaster ride of emotions for me, and this one has been no exception. With the string of St. Simons Island posts taking over the blog lately, I feel like we need to catch up with each other! So let’s start at the beginning of the month…
Normally, school does not start until August around here, so the roller coaster of emotions begins with the excitement of a new school year offset by the loss of summer freedom. Since our academic year began in July, the roller coaster ride started a little early.
Sunday, August 3rd was my birthday and our wedding anniversary. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a cake with caramel or chocolate frosting. (Such a tough decision!) So my husband made the executive decision in favor of the caramel cake.He used a different frosting recipe than the one he has used in the past, but it only made enough frosting to do between the layers and the top. I had a brilliant idea to make a chocolate frosting for the sides.
It sounded like a good plan, but it actually wasn’t that great. As daughter said, The chocolate with the cake is good. The caramel with the cake is good…but the chocolate frosting with the caramel.. not so good. So much for starting a new food fad! LOL I will say the caramel frosting was absolutely delicious! (We’ll just need to double the recipe again the next time we make it.)
On the Monday after my birthday, my sweet friends at work surprised me with this in our break room:
My cake baking friend makes THE most delicious cakes! (She is also the friend with the divine potato soup recipe.) This chocolate pound cake with the tunnel of chocolate frosting (like yummy fudge) is probably one of her most requested cakes, and we devoured it at work. It is her top secret recipe so I am afraid I cannot share it with you. Darn it. My dip making friend made my favorite olive dip. It is delicious with Tostitos scoops. I can share that recipe with you:
Later that same week, I got all excited about an email from one of Jan Karon’s publishers. She told me the tour dates have been set for the new Mitford book tour AND she will be coming to Atlanta!
Here are the dates and locations:
9/2 Birmingham, AL: Alabama Booksmith @ The Cathedral Church of the Advent @ 6:30 PM
9/3 Lexington, KY: Joseph Beth Booksellers @ 7:00 PM
9/4 Dallas, TX: Authors Live! @ Highalnd Park United Methodist Church @ 7:00 PM
9/5 Wichita, KS: Watermark Books @ St. James Episcopal Church @ 6:00 PM
9/6 Atlanta, GA: Georgia Center for the Book with A Cappella Books @ Holy Trinity Parish, Decatur @ 7:00 PM
9/7 Raleigh, NC: Quail Ridge Books @ 7:00 PM
9/10 Lynchburg, VA: LifeWay Christian Store @ 6:00 PM
9/11 Richmond, VA: Fountain Bookstore @ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church @ 7:00 PM
9/14 Blowing Rock, NC: Fifth Annual Mitford Homecoming @ Chetola Resort @ 2:00 PM
Click here for details about each event. The Atlanta book signing is co-sponsored by The Georgia Center for the Book and A Cappella Books, and that wonderful bookstore is making it possible for us to order signed copies of Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good even if we cannot attend the event. Click here for more information.
I don’t know if we will be able to make the Atlanta date,so I am thinking perhaps we could do the very last one in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. It will be at the Chetola Resort.
We have driven past the beautiful lake and up to the inn a few times, but we have never stayed there. They are currently offering a special for the weekend of the Jan Karon Meet and Greet. You can find more information about it here. It sounds like a great package! (We probably need to call very soon because I am sure they will go fast – especially there.)
While we are on the subject of Jan Karon, I want to stop right here to discuss the Barbara Hinske books. I had a reader send me an email saying that she was not happy with the first book due to all the offensive language in it. I had to agree with her, but I thought perhaps I was alone and just being old fashioned in my reading preferences when I read the first one. I think my children would think nothing of the language…not sure if that is good or not. When I started reading the books, it was with the recommendation that the books were going to be similar to the Jan Karon books, so the large amount of bad language in the first one kind of threw me for a loop. I have asked writers before about why they have to put that in their books, and the usual answer is “to make their characters authentic.” I get it, but for many people, bad language is a turnoff and keeps them from being entertained by the story. I guess a writer really needs to know their targeted audience. What appeals to some does not necessarily appeal to other readers. So I am just telling you this in case you find the language offensive and are considering reading the books. Her second and newest book is much better than the first and did not have much “bad” language in it at all. I loved the plot in both books, and it definitely draws you in. Phew! Got all that?
Okay, so now to the winner of the books and the Amazon gift card. The winning number was this one:
and it belonged to this comment:
Congratulations Arlene! I will be getting in touch with you to send you your prize. Thank you to all of you who left your comments on the St. Simons Island posts. I still have one more to share with you, but I think I will save that one for next summer. I have something a little different for you for next week.
So where were we? Oh yes, the August roller coaster. Well, our daughter’s birthday was the Sunday after mine. Her boyfriend came for the weekend, and at daughter’s request, we had a quiche lunch for one of her celebrations. (Another girly Sunday meal.)
The birthday banner is one I made years ago for her 16th birthday, (a random-acts-of-kindness party that you can read all about here) and the table runner is a roll of polka dot paper from Paper Source.
No homemade cake for her special day…She wanted petit fours from a local bakery. (She also says that one day she wants them for her wedding in place of a traditional cake!)
We spent that rainy afternoon seeing this delightful movie:
I LOVED it! Best movie I have seen in a very long time. And if you haven’t been to see it then get off this blog post, and go see it right now. It is precious…a feast for the eyes topped off with something sweet for your heart. Here is the trailer…
The movie is based on this novel, that I am just going to have to read now.
The Hundred-Foot Journey
A week or so ago One Kings Lane had a sale of many of the props from the movie. (The sale is now over.) If I had seen the movie before the time of this shopping event, I know I would have tried to purchase that green bicycle.
Additionally, the movie has inspired Le Cordon Bleu to offer classes that recreate dishes from The Hundred Foot Journey. Click here to find out more if you are interested.
Our middle son’s birthday was last Wednesday, but he was still working in Atlanta, so we will have to celebrate his when he returns home next weekend.
And now let’s talk about a low point in this roller coaster ride of August. On Thursday we all learned of the very sad death of Robin Williams. He has always been one of my favorite actors who had such talent and heart. How awful that depression can take you to such dark places in life that death seems to be the only answer. But I don’t want to dwell on that dark part of his life. He was so much more than that. I want to remember him for all the smiles and laughter he brought to millions of people, and I think our President expressed the sentiments of so many in his condolences:
“Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most — from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.”
It was the role of bangarang Peter Pan that was my favorite of all of his roles. I loved Hook and have watched it over and over through the years. How could you not love that movie with Williams’ hilarious and heart tugging lines, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, a gang of rowdy but endearing 10 year old boys, Dustin Hoffman as a pirate, Maggie Smith as an all-grown-up and grandmotherly Wendy, an amazing musical score, and a beautiful old home set in London (at Christmas no less!)?
I have always said that adults should appreciate the movie more than children, and I ran across this article that supports that view as well. If you are a fan of Hook, you will enjoy reading the article. And if you haven’t seen the movie, watch it next weekend on Netflix and then go read the article. It says everything I could have said about the movie and more (minus the loving Granny Wendy’s house part.)
Robin Williams would have wanted us to find our “happy thoughts,” so while we are loving houses and Neverland, I have a nursery for you to see.
elletid.com photo by Melody Melikian Photography
This Neverland nursery is the brilliant work of the talented designers at Elle T. in California. Their attention to detail is unbelievable. All the references to Peter Pan are amazing…the pirate ship, the map, the treasure chest, the tick tock clock, the bottle of pixie dust, the blocks with a “second star to the right,” (and a framed quote about it) a model of London’s Big Ben, dresser knobs with maps inside, and old copies of Peter Pan books. They have other nurseries in their portfolio, so I hope you will take a look around their website.
elletid.com photo by Melody Melikian Photography
It has been a long time since we have needed a nursery in our home. We moved our “baby” off to her junior year in college this weekend, and I will tell you more about that this week. (More of the roller coaster of emotions!)
And now I feel we have caught up on almost everything from this roller coaster month (except for one dinner I want to share with you next weekend.) I am at almost 1900 words in the word count for this post, and I need to stop! Hope you have had a good weekend. I will leave you with fond memories of Robin Williams and some scenes from Hook.
Find your happy thoughts.
Until next time…