Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What I Saw Yesterday

My smiling DH as we sat in the Copper, Athens' own microbrewery and restaurant.

Daffodils in the yard of the Athens house.

Monday, February 26, 2007

What do Vegans Eat?

Yella Cake with Wolffie's "Buttercream" frosting! Oh the deprivation and acesticism! It's tough, but someone has to do it.

(somehow, we need to convince Wolffie to write her own cookbook...hey Wolffie!)

Yoga Booty Ballet evaluation

I received my Yoga Booty Ballet evaluation in the mail today. I scored as "high pass", which surprised me. Not too shabby for a 40 y.o. broad in a class full of 20-somethings with professional dance training.

The Yoga Booty Ballet teacher training is different from their exercise videos put out by BeachBody. The training is really an aerobic dance class focused on hip hop, with a small bit of the ballet work and yoga thrown in. No upper body strength moves or ab work (as in the videos).

Yoga was hardly covered in the training; instead, you are instructed to get your yoga training elsewhere. I think that's a great idea, but it should be explained upfront in the class description.

Also not revealed in the class description is that you will be judged on a numeric scale of 1-10 while leading the group in dance moves, and judged solo while teaching a segment of YBB that they choose for you.

Additionally, there is a four page written exam that focuses on rote memorization from a lengthy manual that you don't get to see until you're at the class (example: I got a minus point for answering "energizing" on one question, instead of "energy". HUNH?!). The first day of class goes until 10 PM and the next days from 8 am to 6 pm. You're working pretty much the whole time, not much time left over for memorizing a manual. At night, I only had energy to eat dinner, soak in epsom salts and collapse. Evidently my middle aged brain has not yet lost it's ability to retain, since I did fine on the test. I don't think I would have done as well if I hadn't already been teaching yoga awhile and understand some things because of it.

Below is a photo of us practicing our dance moves. That's me in the immediate foreground.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Groundhog Husband

My husband, having lived out West for the majority of his life (CA & AZ), refuses to accept that it usually snows here in March (we live in the Georgia mountains). Even though we've been here 6 years and it routinely snows in March!

As usual, we've had a little warm(er) spell here at the end of February, but Winter ain't over yet.

Yesterday it was 60 degrees and sunny. I had some windows cracked to get some oxygen inside. That's when hubby put on an Aloha shirt and proclaimed himself "better than the Groundhog"!

Here's to everyone who has ever joined in on the lyric, "I'm gonna go where the weather suits my clothes".

Below is a photo of us on Pali Outlook on Oahu last Fall. It was extremely windy, so hubby had to hold his shirt down (see our hair flying?) and I'm hunched over from the cold - it was chilly up there! Kinda like here, last night, when it went back into the 30s. But in hopes of an early Spring, I offer this image of hubby in an Aloha shirt (shirt was a gift from my mom).

My hubby - better than the Groundhog!

Going With the Grain (or tile!)

Lucky for me, I have my Hawaii photo album on the computer in automatic rotation as my computer's desktop. The other day I noticed my desktop photo has the same colors as the main bathroom in the new and peach! I had been despairing over this bathroom, but I think with my newly enlarged photo of Waikiki beach as a focal point, it will all come together. My photo will go right there on that blank stretch of wall on the far side of the mirror.

Decorating for Happiness

I plan on decorating our new house guided by the principle that we can increase our happiness by having only images and things in our home that make us feel good (and getting rid of those things that don't). I'll be using watercolor paintings created by my mother in many areas of the house, as well as photos I took in Hawaii. I'll base my decorating scheme on the colors in the art and photos.

Here are three floral shots I took on Oahu. Just looking at them makes me feel cheerful. I had them enlarged to 8x10 and will get them nicely framed and matted.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Still More Fantastic Music

Sitting here daydreaming about our upcoming trip to the New Orleans Jazz Fest. Last time I was there, my mother urged me to go with her to see an all-trombone band, Bonerama. I was skeptical. But when I got to their stage, it totally blew my head off! Those guys can PLAY. They bill themselves as New Orleans Brass Funk Rock. They're all extremely accomplished musicians and members of other well known bands.

Hearing them live is bestest and most excellent, but you can get a feel for them on their myspace page HERE. My favorite cut on their myspace page is War Pigs, check it out.

Reviews from their site:

"There is a lot of great music that is characteristic of New Orleans, but Bonerama defines the heart of this magic city's artistic freedom, a combination of seemingly disparate elements that make perfect sense when heard together. There are other groups of trombonists, but none interacting with a drummer as explosive as Russell Batiste Jr. and definitely none who play a cover of Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein." " - John Swenson, Editor of Rolling Stone Jazz and Blues Album Guide

"The band's new release, "Live From New York", shatters any preconceived notions listeners may have about the role of the trombone in a musical ensemble. There are passages psychedelically mind melting, hauntingly beautiful, furiously syncopated and filled with scorching virtuosity." -City Life Magazine

"The Ultimate in Brass Balls" -Rolling Stone Magazine

"Hands down the hottest group to hit the scene in this town in years." - Where Y'at, Magazine

"A powerful and fresh sound unlike any New Orleans has ever produced" - Offbeat Critics Choice: Top 10 Louisiana CDs of 2001, March 2001

"One of the Top 20 CDs of Louisiana from 2001" - Keith Spera, Times-Picayune

"A totally fresh sound...a hip new universe of musical delights" - Michael Dominici, New Orleans

"The number 2 overall selling CD during Jazz Fest: Bonerama, "LIVE From New York"- Offbeat Magazine

Friday, February 16, 2007

More New Orleans Music

You can now hear New Orleans music online at

They have several shows available:

The Live Stream
Mardi Gras Radio
The Vault
Frenchman Radio
Bayou Radio
Trad Jazz Radio
Diva Radio

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Listen to GREAT N.O. music

You can hear some fantastic New Orleans music on the New Orleans Jazz Fest Jukebox. Go to their website and click on JUKEBOX on the upper right hand side (opens a separate dialogue box that automatically plays the music). Music from Allen Toussaint, Rebirth Brass Band, Tab Benoit, The Iguanas, Papa Grows Funk, Little Feat, Doug Kershaw, Cowboy Mouth, Astral Project, The Radiators, Marcia Ball, Ivan Neville, Terence Blanchard and more.
Check out this fireplace in the house we're buying (downstairs). Instead of a mantel, it has a huge ceramic tile installation on top of the brick hearth. They are small white tiles, with red ones interspersed. I've never seen anything like it. They also put a gas heater inside the fireplace. Hope to replace with gas logs at some point.

Send Me Decorating Ideas!

The bathrooms in the house we are buying all have two colors of tile (three, in the first photo). Anybody got decorating ideas? Each bathroom has a window that will need curtains. But the tub/showers all have sliding glass doors.

I wonder if I should paint the walls to match the toilet/sink color. Would that be too much?

Sort of rosy rust and yellow, plus dark trim tile...dunno about that wooden shelf. It doesn't grab me.

Peachy color plus mint green?!

Whew. At least grey and blue make sense. That toilet seat has got to go, though.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Why Athens, GA?

View from inside The Globe, pub and restaurant in downtown Athens
photo by Me

We're moving to Athens. Some ask, "Why Athens?" Here's an excerpt about Athens from National Geographic's Traveler magazine to explain (after you consider that the main social entertainment where we live now is Walmart).

Magnolias and the B52s compete for your attention in this breezy, beautiful, musical southern city.

It's best to be seated when Leara Rhodes, a professor of journalism at the University of Georgia, starts extolling the virtues of Athens. "We're the smallest county in the state, but we have 37 venues for music and 550 bands. We have two opera companies, three symphonies, at least four independent theaters, a bus system, gardens, coffeehouses, great restaurants, music, piercings, conservatives, liberals, athletes. We have everything here, and that's why I love it."

A perfect day in Athens (and to Rhodes, most days qualify) includes at least one stop at Blue Sky Café, a walk through the State Botanical Gardens, a visit to the Georgia Museum of Art, quiche at the Bluebird Café, a walk past the Morton Theater (an old vaudeville venue and one of the first theaters in the U.S. to be owned by African Americans), a musical shopping spree at Wuxtry Records and Schoolkids Records (both on Clayton St.), dinner at the Five Star Day Café, and an evening of live music at the 40 Watt Club (where REM and the B52s got started).

Athens At-a-Glance

Fast Fact: In 1785, the University of Georgia in Athens was founded as America's first publicly chartered university.

Population: 100,266

The Big School: University of Georgia (1785)

Best Time to Go: Spring, summer, and fall. The Twilight Festival (April) features the Twilight Criterium bike race. Athfest (June) is a downtown music celebration that draws more than a hundred bands and 10,000 fans. October brings folk, harvest, and wine festivals.

Outdoor Escapes: The rose garden of the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia (2450 S. Milledge Ave; +1 706 542 1244) blooms May-September.

Trip Planner: The Athens Welcome Center is located in what is believed to be the city's oldest surviving residence, the Church-Waddel-Brumby House (280 E. Dougherty St.; +1 706 353 1820). Classic City Tours offers a cool 90-minute bus tour of the city (+1 706 208 8687; fee).

Don't Miss: The Georgia Museum of Art (90 Carlton St.; +1 706 542 4662); Morton Theater (195 W. Washington St.; +1 706 613 3770).

Recommended Rooms: The Magnolia Terrace Guest House (277 Hill St.; +1 706 548 3860; $85-165) is a cozy eight-room Victorian inn. The Nicholson House Inn (6295 Jefferson Rd.; +1 706 353 2200; $109-159) is an eight-room antebellum inn. Both are located near downtown.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Outside My Door Today

Sorry about the poor quality of these photos. I was looking out my window at the snow when I saw this squirrel scampering by and then disappearing into a snow hole, like those mirkats on tv.

Squirrel approaching a snow hole...

Squirrel popping it's head up to look around....

Squirrel exiting the snow hole.

Photo I took after I ascertained I won't be getting off this mountain today. No, us Southerners are not equipped for dealing with snow. Especially with the extreme grade up to my house. It spells D-I-T-C-H.

While in Athens, GA

Couple photos I took a few weeks ago in Athens...

My namesake at the pet food glad she found a home.

Veggie food at 5 Star Day on the east the foreground is my salad with homemade dressing and the Trinity Bowl, a layered bowl with rice, greens and blackeyed peas. In the back is Mitch's salad and a 5 alarm spiced ravioli dish. Even Mitch said it was hot. That means it's inedible for the rest of us mortals. 5 Star Day is groovy, we will be back. They serve banana pudding with meringue topping and Kool Aid!