Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wine and "French Kiss"

My DH and I were married almost a year ago (April 18, 2009). I have been meaning to start scrapping our wedding/honeymoon shots, but time always seems to have slipped away from me before I know it. We were forced to wait until July '09 to sneak away for an extended weekend to finally have a honeymoon of sorts. We traveled to upstate North Carolina to the Yadkin Valley to have a mini wine tour and get away from it all. We stayed in a lovely B&B,  the Pilot Knob Inn, at the foot of Pilot Mountain in a rustic cabin made just for two. During the weekend we traveled to Mount Airy, the hometown of Andy Griffith, where I took a lovely photo of my honey behind bars in Otis's cell based on the show. We also went to the pinnacle of Pilot Mountain and took some stunning photographs that we will cherish forever.

The highlight of our trip was our visit to some of the vineyards in the area. Our experience at Shelton Vineyards was wonderful. The grounds are quite impressive with willow trees and paths that lead you around lakes and throughout the property. There is a wine tour of the facility as well as a tasting bar where for a small fee, you can taste 5 wines "home-brewed". We purchased two bottles to take with us from the gift shop, one for the cabin later that evening and one to take home for our collection. The photos in the layout above are just a couple of shots from the grounds of the vineyard. There were many more vineyards in the area that we simply did not have the time to see. We are hoping to return to enjoy more in the future.

I had never been to a vineyard before our trip. I had only seen them in movies. As I worked on our photos tonight I was reminded of the romantic comedy French Kiss. In the movie, released in 1995, Kate (Meg Ryan) and Luc (Kevin Kline) are seated together on an airplane to France. Kate is on her way to rescue her fiance'. He has telephoned her to tell her he has fallen in love with another woman while he was in Paris at a medical convention. (Do doctor's often have medical conventions in Paris?) Luc, on the other hand, is on his way home after "acquiring" a diamond necklace and a vine that he is aspiring to use to begin his own vineyard. Mayhem occurs after Luc hides his possessions in Kate's bag to avoid customs and all of Kate's belongings are stolen. And while Luc teaches Kate to act more French to woo her fiance' back, Kate helps Luc to find the necklace and fulfill his dreams. Their lives are turned completely around by the time the movie is over. I just love this type of movie.

My favorite line in the movie? Kate and Luc are sitting in an outdoor cafe. Kate begins to mimic Luc.
"You'll become one of those hunchbacked, lonely old men, sitting in the corner of a crowded cafe, mumbling to yourself, "My ass is twitching. You people make my ass twitch."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Notting Hill Inspiration

Today was an off day for me. My DH was home ill and when that happens, my schedule is off-kilter. Try as I may to get into my "regular" hardly workin' routine, I just seem to flounder. So while I did completely finish one load of laundry and clean the kitchen, that was it for today.

After noon rolled by, I watched a few movies today. And yes, I said movies. I am a big movie buff. I probably own enough DVD and VHS titles to watch one a day and not see them all before the year is up.  I also have an assortment earmarked in my Netflix queue as well as the unlimited amount of movies they can stream to my television via the internet. And don't even get me started on and all the other sites that will feed me more movies daily. And did I mention cable?

My first feature today was Enchanted, a Disney fantasy that starts off as a cartoon and morphs into a live action film about a princess who is thrown into a world of heartbreak and distress so as not to off balance the cartoon world ruled by the evil queen. So naturally the Disney makers sent her to modern day New York City. Princess Giselle bumps into Robert (Patrick Dempsey) who helps her to find out who she is and what she wants to do with her life by the end of the movie. This was actually cute and I found myself really enjoying it, singing along to the songs I recognized from my DD's music collection. But somehow I found it funny that Patrick Dempsey was the love interest in the movie. I am sorry to his fans. I have also grown up with him and seen him in numerous movies. He is a good actor and can be a very romantic subject. But when he was dancing around in today's flick, all I could see was him as the teen gigolo teaching himself to dance with taped footprints to the floor in the movie Loverboy in 1989.

My second movie today was the inspiration for my scrapbook page I completed this evening. Notting Hill is one of my all time favorite movies. I like everything about it, the actors, the story, the location, the music, etc. This is the story of William Thatcher (Hugh Grant) who owns a travel book shop in the neighborhood of Notting Hill in London. By chance he meets Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), an American actress, in his shop. The story continues as he deals with her fame in his life and she deals with the want to live a normal life out of the spot light. "Remember, I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her." (Best line of the movie!)

At the beginning and the end of the movie is a song called "She" sung by Elvis Costello. It is a beautiful song with a relaxed melody telling the listener that even though she brings chaos into his life, she is the best thing he's got. And while the song is centered around the partner of the singer, somehow it always reminds me of my DD.  For many years DD was the center of my world. I was divorced shortly after her first birthday. She and I have grown up together as she was my best companion for 14 years before I met my DH. While other moms love their children too, I have felt DD and I have had a special bond. As she grows up, she is pulling away to become her own person as it should be. I am proud of the person she is becoming, but this song really pulls at my heart strings. So before I start to sob all over my keyboard, here is the layout inspired by this movie:

My DD saw this layout lying on the table after it was complete. I am very proud to say that she loved it.

Scrappin', Shoppin', and Sharin'

Today is the last Sunday of the month. As I have just begun to be an avid participant of the Ch{all}enge Masters website, today was D-Day. All March projects had to be completed, photographed and uploaded to their website by midnight. I was very happy when I realized I completed 12 paper projects this month. Well technically, one was an altered candle. But it was 12 projects all in the same. I was also chosen to be a Designer of the Week during week 2. I received an email this afternoon inviting me to be a Guest Designer for the month of April. I am feeling very enthusiastic and creative thanks to the fine ladies working hard at this site. I extend a hardy "Thank You" to all those involved.

On top of the glee I am feeling regarding the above paragraph topic, I am happily sitting here knowing that I accomplished many projects this weekend. One of which was the shopping and purchasing of my teenage daughter's prom dress. Shopping is not rated highly in my book. I tell you now that I would rather sit through a televised golf game or a lecture on the drying of wet paint than shop. (sorry golf fans and paint watchers everywhere) Take me to a mall and I find the largest book store with a coffee shop to hide. But as I was the carrier of the wallet today, I had to be directly involved.

Usually shopping with my daughter for clothing of any sort is a nightmare. I spout "this shirt is too short, too tight, too tacky". She thinks "Shut up Mom and let me grow up". Today we both must have taken our sensible pills. There was no bickering or arguing of any sort. My opinions were expressed and not batted back at me with a racket. She tried on every item I asked her to try without the rolling of the eyes or "come on MOM!" She asked for insight and accepted whatever I said. I let her try on prom dresses until she was satiated. Then we headed over to the food court to split a value meal and discuss the rest of the ensemble. Later we found the perfect shoes and bag without raising a voice. All in all the whole experience was ............... grown up.

What has happened to that little girl of mine? Could it be that she is growing up and realizing that her mom knows a thing or two about the world and what lives in it? We talked all afternoon at the mall amid whining children, sluggish window shoppers and the child train ride that tried to run us over on our last visit. Even the ride home was pleasant. A normal car ride with DD involves an MP3 player and headphones. I listen to the car radio and attempt to talk to her between the newer songs I do not know while she blocks me out with her own brand of music via the headset. I  tire of yelling her name to get her attention. She tires of me interrupting her. Today we discussed driving techniques, friendships and boys. We giggled, talked badly about people we don't like and poor drivers on the road. We had a great time.

Once upon a time....

I have been meaning to start a blog many times over and over. What's that excuse? Procrastination? Does everyone start a blog like this? Never mind!! Make up any excuses for me that you like. I am just going to get started here.

Currently I am sitting around goofing with various blog sites trying to decide how I want to set this up. I have been ogling over others "works of art" and information trying to come up with my own ideas. "Write what you know" keeps running through my mind from my Walker High School teachers. "Be creative" is another one. And my favorite "Just do it!"  How easy it is to pass out these words of wisdom to others. I say, Stop it now! Leave me be! I am going to do it my way.

My life is currently a creation in the making. I am in search of a newer fine-tuned version of myself. My old self just wore out. I was tired of the day to day doldrums that were driving my life. You know the ones: home, work, home, work, on and on and on. Through no fault of my own, my life completely changed last year. I got married. I moved to a new state. I started the pursuit of a new career as mine had become one of stress and anger. But the highs have come with lows. Unemployment. Health issues. Teenage angst.

In an attempt to thwart off the depression that could easily set into my mind, I have begun to release creatively. This blog will be a reflexive outlet for my pursuits. Feel free to follow along. Any guidance will be read and taken into consideration.