November in Review

I know I say this every month, but can you believe it's December????

November was amazing. There's no other way to put it. There were ups and downs, sure, challenges, of course. But mostly the month zoomed by in a whir of excited contentment (if there is such a thing). 

The main thing was getting settled in the new house...

1) Collecting collections. 2) Storage solutions. 3) Old routines in new places. 4) My idea of decorating. 

1) Collecting collections. 2) Storage solutions. 3) Old routines in new places. 4) My idea of decorating. 

...and getting the cats settled. 

1) Bippi. 2) Tom. 3) Pit. 4) Flounder. 

1) Bippi. 2) Tom. 3) Pit. 4) Flounder. 

There was plenty of exploring, seeing family, hanging out with friends. There was also some hospital visits and holiday festivities mixed in the month. 

1) Cape May, New Jersey. 2) Good bye 15th Street, Brooklyn. 3) Hello 3rd Ave, Asbury Park, NJ. 4) Sunset Beach Days. 

1) Cape May, New Jersey. 2) Good bye 15th Street, Brooklyn. 3) Hello 3rd Ave, Asbury Park, NJ. 4) Sunset Beach Days. 

Even familiar places can seem new. 

1) Fall takes over Greenwood Cemetery. 2), 3), & 4) So many new sunsets. 

1) Fall takes over Greenwood Cemetery. 2), 3), & 4) So many new sunsets. 

A lot of quilting got done, and I'm feeling good about about my goals. I've been working on new things, but moving has helped me unearth all my old UFOs and get some work on those done, too!

1) Lines. 2) Paws of the helper. 3) Pins. 4) And more pins. 

1) Lines. 2) Paws of the helper. 3) Pins. 4) And more pins. 

November was a time of work, but it also felt like a suspension of activity. Sort of like a glorious working holiday. Although I hope December will stay as calm and quiet and productive, I get the feeling things might amp up before the year ends!

September in Review

Another month closer to the end of the year, can you believe it?

September was a great month! Maybe not the wild ride I was expecting, but it was certainly a wild ride!

We spent a lot of time Down the Shore at the new house, friends came to visit for the beginning of the month, we visited new places, participated in happy events, and had some quality time with old friends. 

1) Nola #watchercat! 2) An old friend on 8th St. 3) Sneaky, teeny, watcher in Prospect Heights. 4) Keeping an eye on things on 10th Street. 

1) Nola #watchercat! 2) An old friend on 8th St. 3) Sneaky, teeny, watcher in Prospect Heights. 4) Keeping an eye on things on 10th Street. 

This is the second year in about the last 20 that I've been in Brooklyn for September and it's always a little strange to me. The weather is amazing; one minute Summer, than the next Snap! Fall. The watcher cats were not as prevolant as I would have thought, though. 

1) Neighbor goose. 2) Alabama style mushrooms. 3) Orange cats are almost everywhere in Park Slope. 4) An impressive Post Office.  

1) Neighbor goose. 2) Alabama style mushrooms. 3) Orange cats are almost everywhere in Park Slope. 4) An impressive Post Office.  

1) Porcelain berries in the backyard. 2) Hilltops in Red Level, AL. 3) Yellow beasts in Asbury Park. Cuties wrapped in Pink. 

1) Porcelain berries in the backyard. 2) Hilltops in Red Level, AL. 3) Yellow beasts in Asbury Park. Cuties wrapped in Pink. 

We got a lot done in September, but we got to relax a little, too. Some quilting got done, but not as much as would feel healthy. We went on some dinners with friends and it was nice to hear what they've been up to and forget our own adventures for a spell.

In the middle of the month, we traveled down to Alabama for a family wedding. It was lovely to see family and see a new state. We even spent a few days in NOLA after. 

1) The cutest chapel. 2) Staten Island looking majectic. 3) The brightest jelly. 4) Nola looking magical. 

1) The cutest chapel. 2) Staten Island looking majectic. 3) The brightest jelly. 4) Nola looking magical. 

1) Jersey bee. 2) After the storm. 3) Bird on a wire. 4) Brooklyn bee. 

1) Jersey bee. 2) After the storm. 3) Bird on a wire. 4) Brooklyn bee. 

The end of the month it was back to the grind. 

September went fast and although it had it's relaxing moments, it was all about work and it was all about anticipation. There's a lot to get done in October, so let's get started. 

2 Days in Alabama

Over the weekend, we attended my Brother-in-Law's wedding in Andalusia, Alabama

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Having never been to Alabama, I wasn't sure what to expect. And honestly, spending only 2 days there did not give me the full picture, I don't think. 

We flew into New Orleans and drove the 4 hours to Andalusia with just enough time to check into the hotel, get dressed and head back out to the wedding. 
We stayed in the Best Western Andalusia where my in-laws also stayed. We chose this hotel bc it was the only one in the area with a pool. Very important, of course!!
The hotel is also very centrally located in the small city. It's in a busy, commercial area, but only minutes from the town center and square. 

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The wedding was held at the Sweet Gum Bottom Bed and Breakfast, which was about a 20 minute drive from the hotel. It was a very quaint and lovely spot! In addition to the B&B, it also housed a small, simple chapel, and a small reception hall. One stop shopping for your wedding local in Andalusia. 
The wedding ceremony was lovely and brief with the bridal party wearing white and cream, and the groomsmen in light grey. A dear friend of the couple officiated and the groom's brother and father stood by his side. White flowers and babies breath decorated the hall. 

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The reception was held next door and catered with traditional Southern cooking; black eyed peas, bitter greens, and rutabagas (all drowned deliciously in butter and bacon!) as well as fall off the fork, melt in your mouth, stuffed pork chops and beef brisket both with their own gravy. Mashed potatoes, a veggie mix and fresh rolls were used to sop up every bite. There was enough sweet tea to satisfy any trip to the South. 
The wedding cake was simple and super tasty and apparently procured from a cake baker who works out of a gas station. Alabama seems to love combining businesses where ever possible. We passed a shop proclaiming "New Fashions" on one side and "Used Autos" on the other. 

After the reception, the party moved to the couple's home on Gantt Lake, in Gantt, Alabama. Although some partied into the night, we headed home early. 

In the morning, after a quick dip at the hotel pool, we checked out and went to the town square. A tiny old town, Andalusia boasts one of the oldest existing Dairy Queens. The town must once have been a really lovely place to live, the remnants of business, commerce and industry can still be seen. But everything there now is only the leftover hollow shell. Very few small, unique businesses now exist in town centers but chains, discount shops, and big corporations abound by the highways. Alabama was very sad in this respect, depressing. We drove through many such towns, which once must have been thriving communities but we had long since missed them and were left only with their ghosts. Andalusia was at least still trying, painting murals and advertising attractions such as the gas station where Hank Williams got married (falsely married, however). 

After our brief tour, we headed back to the lake. More swimming!

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Like most places I have visited in America, I was interested to see how Alabamian's live, and I would love to see more. Driving thru only gave me a small glimpse of what life there must be like. I was very happy to be in a place I've never been (albeit a downtrodden, depressing one), and see things Ive never seen before (an armadillo! Albeit a dead one).

What struck me most about AL, was the changes and diversity in landscape. From the piney stretches, to wide open fields filled with hay rolls or cotton (beautiful!!!), to the cheesy chain lined highways, and near abandoned brick towns, to the shimmering lake and waterways, I was never sure what I was going to see next. And Alabama is full of butterflies!

Bc we now have a brother and sister who live there, hopefully we will be back to do more exploring of life in Alabama. Even though it was a depressed and depressing place, one that time seems to have either forgotten or sped over, Alabama seemed to be brimming with potential. Andalusia seemed to me to be just waiting for the next thing to restart it's dying culture and community.
Potential is always intriguing.

August in Review

Summer is the greatest, don't you think?

1) Brooklyn street balloons never disappoint. 2) My favorite flavor at Blue Marble is now gone. 3) I would live in you forever. 4) Workers working in the Summer sun. 

1) Brooklyn street balloons never disappoint. 2) My favorite flavor at Blue Marble is now gone. 3) I would live in you forever. 4) Workers working in the Summer sun. 

Well, my blog doesn't think so. This was another stinker month for blog posts. But Fall is almost upon us and that means back to school, and back to work. 

August was great. Packed with work and work and some fun things, too. 

1) A swell in South Slope. 2) A party on Sackett Street. 3) A spider sits in the sky. 4) Rink in Brick. 

1) A swell in South Slope. 2) A party on Sackett Street. 3) A spider sits in the sky. 4) Rink in Brick. 

Although blogging suffered quilting saw an uptick from July, which still means you would need a microscope to really tell. 

Travel was minimal with one constant destination: Down the Shore. 

1) Prospect Park Zoo busy bee. 2) Peach and white blooms on my commute. 3) Sagging for good vibes. 4) A Home Depot bee hard at work. 

1) Prospect Park Zoo busy bee. 2) Peach and white blooms on my commute. 3) Sagging for good vibes. 4) A Home Depot bee hard at work. 

We got to see friends for leisurely living room visits, work related parties, and Summer time beach BBQs. We even managed to squeeze a family visit or two in there. 

Work at work was slow, but steady, and work at home switched gears to packing, painting and preparing -- Big changes are in the works. 

1) I see this fellow all the time now on 6th Ave. 2) Two cats live in this house on 7th Street, but I could only capture one of them. 3) New neighborhood new watcher poodles in Asbury Park, NJ. 4) Boardwalk kitty observes your beach going on the AP strip.

1) I see this fellow all the time now on 6th Ave. 2) Two cats live in this house on 7th Street, but I could only capture one of them. 3) New neighborhood new watcher poodles in Asbury Park, NJ. 4) Boardwalk kitty observes your beach going on the AP strip.

We saw piggies, watchercats, and bees galore this month.

Pit Star looking regal. 

Pit Star looking regal. 

August lead us in some new and exciting directions; now we are getting on board for September's wild ride...  

July in Review

July was certainly bright. And fast, and busy. 
After several years of having this blog, I think I see that Summer months are my slow months here. Good to know, July. 

Blogging in July might have lagged, but only bc life moved by at whirlwind pace. Next year, I plan to take July and August off from blogging altogether. 

We had some big adventures and some big changes, but mostly we just moved along and let Summer take us for a ride. We saw family and friends and went Down The Shore as much as possible. 

We worked hard, trying to stay on task at work and at home. Quilting was minimal, but hopefully will pick up. There are quilts waiting!

Bc July was so busy, and August is almost over, and it's time to move on, I'll let my instagram pics take center stage. 

1) Bright blues in Prospect Heights. 2) A bird with bug in Asbury Park. 3) tent time in Ocean Grove.  4) Watchers and brick in South Slope. 

1) Bright blues in Prospect Heights. 2) A bird with bug in Asbury Park. 3) tent time in Ocean Grove.  4) Watchers and brick in South Slope. 

1) Hip...  2)  Hip...  3) Hooray...  4) ...for Asbury Park!

1) Hip...  2)  Hip...  3) Hooray...  4) ...for Asbury Park!

1) Happy fourth on Olin St. 2) Sneaking a peak in Prospect Heights. 3)Just chilling in South Slope. 4) Copy cat on 7th Ave. 

1) Happy fourth on Olin St. 2) Sneaking a peak in Prospect Heights. 3)Just chilling in South Slope. 4) Copy cat on 7th Ave. 

1) Bippi. 2) Dragon. 3) Beach street cat. 4) Tyger. 

1) Bippi. 2) Dragon. 3) Beach street cat. 4) Tyger. 

Even when blogging and quilting and taking a moment to breath gets hard, I still post on instagram

July was bright, alright, perhaps blinding. I'm just letting August lead me where it wants me to go...