Monday, May 31, 2010

Living With A Marine

My favorite Marine hasn't always been the easiest person to live with over the years but as I write this I am watching him out the window as he a pretties up flower beds outside our charming guest cottage! His gardening and baking are relatively new hobbies bringing a new peace to his life.
Like so many his age, Ron served in Vietnam in the 60's. He doesn't relive the experience out loud! On occasion we discuss the horrors of war and how greatly they impact a soldier's life. I can only imagine and base my understanding on his accounts and those of images captured during battles and maneuvers. Each picture filled with so much emotion and pain that I don't know if I can ever fully comprehend some of his meanings behind his words.
But I do understand this . . .once a Marine, always a Marine. His devotion to this group of elite soldiers is commendable. Life stateside continues, a soldier must readapt to society while the memories of war and destruction redefine his personality and once ordinary life!
Every day that a soldier sacrifices his or her life for our life here in America I am reminded what a privilige it is to conduct my ordinary life without interruption or fear!

Below is a letter from Commander A.V. Marusak of the USS LaSalle as it leaves for a tour of the Meditterranean in 1964.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Georgia Media Marketplace

The Georgia Travel Media Marketplace was officially declared "over" this morning as an appreciative group of travel writers left Coweta County!

Thanks to all those wonderful, caring business owners in Newnan who donated along with Home At Last! to our "Turn Down" gifts on Friday night! Encore Decor on the court square! Your Fleud de Lis' were pretty and appreciated. The girls from LaGrange held their's up on Saturday and expressed their surprise and appreciation!

Rick and Susie Berta of Good N Gracious Cookies-your cookies were delicious and a smash hit! One visitor said she couldn't wait to get home and brew a cup of Home At Last! Mellow Blend Coffee and enjoy one last cookie! Octane, our newest cocktail and coffee bar-opening soon near downtown Newnan supplied us with a thoughtful gift of a notebook-small enough for travel bags! Please watch for their grand opening this June! Home At Last! Mellow Blend will be a featured coffee and served in a French Press-for an authentic European coffee experience with Octane's specialty pastries and light fare!

The Veggie Patch on Hwy 29 in Newnan graciously donated fresh limes, lemons, mineola oranges and strawberries to the Reception presented by Home At Last! on Thursday night at Dunaway Gardens. We garnished our Southern Tea and Lemonade dispensers with fantastically bright colors of spring and summer! Thanks to Laura Westbrook who has one of the best noses for picking the tastiest and ripest fruits, veggies and fresh shucked peas and beans! She's open 7 Days a week 1502 Hwy 29!
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Casa Bella Kitchen Garden

My beautiful poor strawberry plants! As soon as the young fruit ripens I am there to pop the succulent berries into my mouth!  SWEET! This is my first attempt at growing strawberries and these raised gardens seem to provide the ideal conditions for a busy innkeeper-editor!

I also photographed my first two heirloom tomatoes. (Brightwells) Ron and I have planted way too many plants but I am hoping this year to can what we don't eat or share. 
Another garden note-I tried drying my hothouse Campari seeds-suspending them in water until the seeds fermented and loosed from the gel that surrounds and protects the seeds.
Some have questioned the success I might enjoy from drying my own seeds-but the seeds have sprouted in abundance and I am anxious to see my first flowers. 
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Georgia's Beautiful Spring

I don't think I'm  the only person in Georgia who believes this has been a near perfect spring! Plenty of cool nights followed by pleasant sunny days-soaking rains that encourage my small raised gardens to thrive!

Our weather this morning was spectacular and the day continued to inspire me as the day unfolded.  We staked a few more heirloom tomato plants-worked in the yard a bit and enjoyed our wonderful pool!

Cloudless skies, 90 degree temperatures that heated the pool to near perfect conditions made for a wonderful day of relaxing! A recent soaking rain nourished my tiny plants and actually make my weeding pleasurable! Pictured here are all my flavorful radishes, micro greens and tomatoes.  I already wish I had planted more of the foods we enjoy each summer but that's another garden!

We enjoyed a late dinner of a grilled Tilapia with a Thai-inspired marinade-basil, mint, garlic, cilantro, oregano and cumin-most of the young herbs plucked from the garden. Mineola orange juice created a bright, crisp flavor with the sesame oil and balsamic vinegar!

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Friday, May 21, 2010

French Breakfast Radishes

I couldn't wait another second to taste one of these wonderful tender radishes and although these are still young the sweet, buttery flavor is almost ready!

Perfect for tea sandwishes, these will pair well with salmon, cucumbers and chive cream.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Atlanta's Casa Bella Bed and Breakfast


Someone said once that I love "sparkly" things and it's true!  Magic happens in my brain when light is captured in glass-creating such indescribeable beauty! 
It started early for me as a child growing up in Germany-wonderful field trips to glass-blowing factories! Museums filled with gold and jewels from ancient Egypt.
But my young imagination also soared at the sight of home gardens dotting the landscape along the Rhine River! Delectable red currants, delicate lettuces, huge cabbages and stunning window boxes spilling over with beautiful flowers! I continue to be inspired in my life from the images of a wonderful childhood in a foreign country!
I am only able to manage a few raised gardens these days but I rush to the small raised gardens in the early morning to witness the magic created overnight.  Late last night a soaking rain caused baby French Breakfast Radishes to pop up their heads out of the dirt! 
A pretty soft pink, I can't wait to serve them on our breakfast plates at our Casa Bella Bed and Breakfast!  This morning I garished our sweet plate with tender nastursium leaves!
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sweet Spring

This shot took me several hours to capture but I think you'll have to agree it was worth it!

Enjoying the afternoon sun this little baby took shelter from the sun in my father's Italian parsley!
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Springtime at Dunaway Gardens in Newnan

I have made it a goal to appreciate every minute of spring in Georgia!

Yesterday provided a special treat as a group from our Coweta committee headed to Dunaway Gardens to finalize party plans for this month's Georgia Travel Writers Marketplace-showcasing Coweta and Troup Counties!

One can easily imagine actors, directors and celebrities strolling the grounds-revitalized and inspired by the beauty of the gardens and fortified by the delicious food of the Blue Bonnet Tea Room!

Last weekend's guests of our Bed and Breakfast, Casa Bella attended a lovely wedding at Dunaway and were appreciative of the beauty and serenity of both facilites!

Friend, Susie Berta captured the essence of our beautiful county in her own lovely garden with stunning pale apricot-colored Abraham Darby Roses. Susie and husband, Rick are responsible for Good and Gracious Gourmet Ricotta Cookies. Available at Newnan Market Days or online.
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Monday, May 3, 2010

South of Atlanta Casa Bella Bed and Breakfast Awaits

After a hectic winter, I am enjoying a bit of a slow down and the opportunity to get out and reconnect with old friends and make a bunch of new ones! The south metro continues to draw artists, artisan food purveryors and people with spectacular vision!
Ron and I talk daily about our vision for Casa Bella Bed and Breakfast in Newnan! What experience do we create and share with our guests? What do we wish our guests take away from their visit to Newnan and Coweta County?
Articulating our mission with just words can be a bit challenging.
Take a moment and think about the most relaxing spot you have enjoyed . . .remember the smell of the air, the beauty of the night sky and the warm feeling of peace that washed over your being as every muscle relaxed. The memories that linger from that perfect getaway are the core of the experience we wish to convey in a visit to Casa Bella Bed and Breakfast!
As experienced innkeepers we pride ourselves on our ability to foresee the needs and wants of our guests. Privacy is high on our priority list . . .along with our desire to accommodate our guests desire to experience our story and relive our history in Newnan and Coweta.
Our guestrooms have been designed with elements evoked from memories of our own favorite travel experiences. We have woven our travel stories into the energy that is Casa Bella-as well as redesigned food memories from episodes of Home At Last!, Patty's weekly cable television show.

Crisp, monogrammed sheets and pillowcases, fresh cotton bedding appropriate for the season, comfortable, ample seating in each guestroom, large color tv's with movies, music and local stations, easy access to our high speed Wi-Fi network allowing international and corporate guests to conduct business with ease and modern baths are just of few of the details available at Casa Bella in Newnan.

For a Calendar of Events For Newnan's beautiful downtown, please visit our Mainstreet page at

Call us today at 770-755-6750 for our Summer Sizzle Rates to celebrate our re-opening! We'll look forward to caring for you at Casa Bella Bed and Breakfast-just a quick 35 minutes from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport at Exit 47 off I-85!Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May Day At Serenbe

Visitors and residents enjoyed a perfectly blustery day at the Serenbe MayDay Celebration this Sunday!  Dubbed the "Sonoma of The New South" by the New York Times Serenbe is a 1000-acre sustainable community located thirty minutes from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.  
With temperatures hovering close to 90 degrees and stiff winds whipping around at 16 mph-visitors shopped the beautiful specialty stores, galleries and restaurants of Serenbe. Outdoor vendors and artists lined the beautifully landscaped streets reminding us of some of our favorite cities in Switzerland and France.
Twangy Southern-style fiddle filled the air with happy notes while visitors relaxed on blankets as red-faced children and panting dogs played nearby. The mood was happy and upbeat!
Festival foods were in abundance as well as specialities by some of the restaurants and shops. Raspberry Lemonade and Strawberry Shortcake was offered by Gloriosa owner, Keith Gerard Robinson-whose fabulous floral arrangements (filled with all my favorite flowers) adorned the beautiful tables outside Keith's new shop, Repurpose, a European-style design shop filled with lovely finds!
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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Building A Strong Immune System

Making this expensive restaurant-style salad is so easy and inexpensive when prepared at home.
This salad is a carefully-constructed live food salad with a small amount of cooked protein-essential to building a strong immune system.
Each ingredient chosen to aid in the body's ability to fight disease and provide valuable fiber and essential vitamins to the daily diet!
The recipes starts by boiling a small amount of pounded chicken cut into small pieces in a little water flavored with dried cranberries, cumin, dried kale, dried chives, whole garlic and paprika until the chicken pieces are just cooked. The chicken is removed from the water and placed in the refrigerator to chill.
Mineola oranges are segmented and chilled. A red bartlett pear and small tomato are each sliced thinly and chilled.
The small baby spinach is added to spring mix and then tossed with a small amount of olive oil and fig balsamic. A tablespoon of ranch adds flavor and sheen. Toasted chopped pecans finish the salad, adding flavor, nutrients and texture!

Men, this is a must for you!  Protecting your prostate with exercise, less red meat and lots of live foods benefits this valuable organ as you age! Serve it up with halved red grapes and a small glass of red wine.

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