These pictures were taken on the drive to Charleston, SC back in November. We pulled over somewhere in rural Georgia to capture the stunning light and color. After pulling back onto the road, we realized that it wasn't the first time we'd found an amazing sunset in that stretch of countryside- this sunset was photographed on almost the exact same date back in 2005! We'll see if the trend continues, next time we head to Charleston for Thanksgiving. :)
Several of you have heard me mention That 1 Guy, especially over on Facebook and in my Twitter stream. Billy worked with That 1 Guy on his latest album Packs A Wallop. (The video is Mustaches from his previous album The Moon is Disgusting, since none of the new songs are on YouTube yet.) Billy and I went to see him play live in Atlanta last Friday, and it was amazing!! I can't recall a live gig where I've ever had so much fun. Mike (That 1 Guy) is a true performer and a great person, and he puts on a phenomenal live show. The energy in the room was fantastic. I danced for two hours- it was FUN.
Check him out- to learn more about his amazing instrument The Magic Pipe (which he invented), check out the Packs A Wallop EPK. And if you ever get a chance to see him live, GO! It's like nothing you've ever seen before.
I have been feasting on fresh winter greens lately. Fresh as in, harvested that very morning, and I didn't have to do any of the farming to get them. I joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) by my good friends at Rock Star Farms.
I have been in salad bliss. And I'm learning how to prepare bok choy. :) CSAs are a super way to get amazing fresh local veggies and support local small farms. To find a CSA near you, try localharvest.org
That's all I got for now. . . been busy but having fun!
What sorts of gifts would really, truly be appreciated by almost any lovely lady for Valentine's Day?
The answer is, I don't really know. Because women are vastly different, and I'm not sure I can think of something I can honestly say that most women would like. It's impossible to accurately paint with such a broad brush. But I can come up with a few things that most women I know would appreciate, and there's a good chance your lovely lady would like one of these things very much:
1) Some sort of escape. I asked my friends what the most appreciated, most romantic gift would be for them, and this was far and away the favorite. Usually it's a weekend away from home, without kids. The specifics vary by individual- sometimes it's a few days at a beach resort with warm sun and frosty alcoholic beverages. Sometimes it's a retreat where she can engage in a favorite activity like yoga, writing, arts & crafts, tennis or whatever. It might be a cruise, or it might be a night in a quiet secluded cabin. It might even be tickets to a much loved performance or event, depending on what your lady loves best. Personally, I want a couple nights at the Snowbird Mountain Lodge. :) Oh, and by the way- a wonderful retreat is a whole lot less rejuvenating if she comes home to a mountain of undone chores. Try to arrange for a clean house to come home to.
2) Some sort of pampering. A massage (especially), a facial, a visit to her favorite hairstylist, a pedicure, etc. Gift certificates are an easy but relatively expensive way to give this gift, or you can take it upon yourself to pamper her. An uninterrupted candlelit bubble bath followed by a massage is sure to be appreciated- not to mention the romantic potential for the evening. Really take your time and make her feel wonderful. For myself and many other women, this is a pretty fail-safe gift. If you buy a gift certificate, try to find a spa where they never expire. It can be tough to find time to go, and you don't want your gift to lose value if your lady has to wait to redeem it.
3) A clean house. Seriously. Whether you roll up your sleeves and tackle it yourself, or get a cleaning service out for a day of serious scrubbing, nothing says 'I care' to a tired mama like helping out around the house. (Bonus points: hide little love notes around the house for her to find later.) An alternative is to tackle your "honey do" list. Don't give her a hard time for anything, just get the job done with a smile- and if possible, send her out by herself to relax while the cleaning gets done back home. A couple notes on this: if your sweetheart is not a tired mama, or is super particular about how things are done around the house, this might not be the ideal choice. Otherwise, this is a WONDERFUL choice. Another smaller option is the nice surprise of a cleaned, vacuumed, detailed car. (Many guys would love that, as well!)
4) A heartfelt expression of your love. Sit down with a beautiful card, piece of stationary or pretty blank journal and think about what makes your lovely lady special. Tell her why you are in love with her. Be specific. What does she do that's so wondrous it knocks the breath out of you? How does she make you feel? Why is it that out of all the women on Earth, you choose her? Why did you fall in love with her? Write from your heart. You can also make a video, write a song or a poem if that's your preference, or think of another creative way to clearly express your love and affection. There are many ways to hand-craft a gift for your lady that would be very meaningful to your relationship.
5) If you really want to buy a physical gift, there are a lot of choices but you need to be sure you're getting something that YOUR individual lady will love. The old standbys of chocolate and flowers are pretty great, especially if combined with something else. Personally I love flowers that are delivered when I least expect them, and chocolate is good any time. :) Jewelry is a lovely choice, but be sure it's something your lady would love to wear. Some grown-up classic choices are a strand of pearls or diamond earrings, but not every woman wants those. Lingerie might be a great choice- most women could especially use a great quality, well-fitted bra. She'd need to be fitted in person by a lingerie salesperson who knows what she is doing. Try the department store Nordstrom- they can be expensive but the salesladies in the lingerie department know what they are doing. Then again, maybe your lady would much rather get comfy pajamas for Valentine's Day. Or maybe she has her eye on a new camera, or some climbing shoes, or shrubs for her garden, or a book she wants to read. . . be sure whatever you get, you've put some thought into what your particular lady would appreciate.
That's it- five great ideas to pamper your lady for Valentine's Day. I realize I'm a little late posting this, but keep these ideas in mind for any day you want to do something extra-special for your lady. What would the most romantic, most appreciated gift be for you?
"It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done." ~ Samuel Smiles
Unless otherwise specified, all the photographs on this site were taken by me with my trusty little Nikon Coolpix 4200 point-and-shoot. The lens is getting rickety and the battery door is held on with a rubber band, but it's still working. If I manage to do any editing at all, it's very basic- I might crop or adjust the exposure a little, for instance. If you wish to reproduce any of my photos in any way, please just be courteous and ask my permission first. I'd be flattered. Thank you.