52 week's of Marie's Life

52 weeks captured through photos


9. Complementary Colors (Week 7)

“Relax, unwind… get in a flip flop state of mind.”  Unknown

Friday night we kicked off our 3-day weekend with a little Island time.  I thought we should go out to Siesta Key for dinner before all the winter visitors returned.  As you can see, it certainly wasn’t busy.


Then it struck me that one of our themes was right under my nose – Complementary Colors!  And according to the color wheel, the chairs were paired correctly.  Do you suppose this was on purpose???


40. Simplicity (Week 38)

“Engine engine number 9, going down Chicago line.  If the train should leave the track, do you want your money back?”  “One potato, two potato, three potato, four;  five potato, six potato, seven potato, ‘oer.”    ‘…My mother told me to choose the very best one and out goes you.” ~ How children choose who is “It” ~

A stop at Cracker Barrel can take you back, way back, to a time when life was simpler.  The rocking chairs invite you to pull up by the fireplace or on the porch and play a game of checkers.  The triangle peg games on the tables take you back to a time before the internet, ipads, and  cell phones…   A time of simple games, sitting on the curb;  playing hide and seek, hopscotch, Simon Says, red light green light, and kickball until after dark.  And so we ended our “Maids on the Trace” vacation with lunch at Cracker Barrel – our final stop over the  Memorial Day weekend.  Next stop  – Home Sweet Home.



21. It Happens Over Time (Week 32)

“Life is short – eat dessert first.”  IMG_5778

Finally, our first scheduled “Maids on the Trace” meet up was for lunch at Mammy’s Cupboard.  We were to look for a 28-foot high structure on Highway 61, south of Natchez, Mississippi, that was of a smiling mammy wearing a red kerchief, white blouse, horseshoe earrings, and red skirt, holding a tray.


Mammy’s Cupboard dates from 1940 when it was constructed for Mr. and Mrs. Henry Gaude.  A mammy character had been portrayed in the 1939 film “Gone With the Wind”, about the same time plans for the restaurant were being made.  Along with now being the embodiment of political incorrectness,  the building is also unusual in that its architect was a female, which was not the norm in 1940.  Mrs. Gaude operated the restaurant, which was built as a compliment to an existing service station.  Many tourists were drawn to the bright red skirt, as they came through the Natchez area for the antebellum mansion tours.

This roadside structure has been many things over time – a gas station, restaurant, gift shop, and craft center. It had gone through quite a bit of decay over the years, but it has had its periods of renovation and restoration.   The exterior bricks, which form the skirt, have been repaired many times and the red skirt is given a fresh coat of paint periodically.  During the Civil Rights period of the 1960’s, Mammy’s “skin” was repainted a lighter shade.

Currently the restaurant operates Tuesday through Saturdays, offering a lunch menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, and made-from-scratch desserts.  As you enter the restaurant through a door in her skirt, you will step into a gift shop and dining room.

~ Good friends.  Good food.  Good times. ~


There was a feeling of nostalgia, as we were seated at one of the old fashion tables of varying sizes throughout the room.  Then we watched arrivals to see who was going to be doing this ride with us.  It was fun to see faces we knew and also to introduce ourselves to new friends.


As more would come in, we’d finish eating so we could give up our tables and then congregate outside around our parked motorcycles and a picnic table.

And of course pictures needed to be taken!


(That’s me to the right, and Clara to the left, of Schelley from MS who put this all together.)



52. What’s Cooking (Week 31)

“At a round table there is no dispute about place.” ~ Italian Proverb ~

Tonight we went to Buca Di Beppo in Brandon with a group of friends.  As the hostess brings you to your seats, you are taken through the kitchen.  Since I knew “What’s Cooking” was one of the themes for our photo challenge, I had my camera ready!


Oh, wait – what do we have back there??


That’s got to be the biggest dessert I’ve ever seen!!


Buca Di Beppo, which roughly translates as “Joe’s Basement”, is an American restaurant chain that serves Italian-American food family style.  The first restaurant opened on a basement level in a Minnesota apartment building in 1993.  At present, there are almost 100 restaurants operating nationwide. 

Most locations offer a table inset into the wall directly across from the kitchen.  Here the waiters and chefs will talk with you and perhaps allow you to sample many dishes.  Buca has many themed dining rooms and is known for thousands of closely spaced vintage photographs on all of the walls.  The most unique room has a single round table that has the bust of the Pope as a centerpiece.


If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, you must check out Buca Di Beppo.  Just keep in mind the family-style portions, as my dessert photo illustrates!

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A1. Black and White (Week 16)

“The way I see it
Isn’t necessarily
The way you see it
Or the way it is
Or ought to be

What’s more important
Is that we’re all
Looking for it
And a way to see it”

~ Desi Di Nardo ~ #293 from Starbucks ‘quotes on cups’  The Way I See It  campaign

When I saw the Black and White cookie at Starbucks as I treated myself to a fall pleasure of a Pumpkin Spice Frappucino at lunch today, I thought “why not?”  Why not round out a meal with a cookie I’ve never tried before so I can fulfill one of our photo challenge themes?  So I stepped up to the challenge.  Hey – don’t judge!


Starbucks photo


If you thought that was a lame excuse for the black and white theme, look what my other consideration was!



32. Out of Place (Week 14)

Grab your coat, and get your hat

Leave your worry on  the doorstep

Just direct your feet

To the sunny side  of the street.”

  ~   songwriters Dorothy Fields & Jimmy McHugh – ‘On the Sunny Side of the Street’. ~


Walking around the corner of Hillview and Osprey to go to breakfast at The Serving Spoon one Saturday, I came across this sight.  I can’t imagine how this hat came to be left behind the prior Friday night!


46. The Color Pink (Week 13)

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. ” ~ Christopher Reeve ~

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Pink is the awareness color for breast cancer.  Last week I had lunch at Panera Bread and they had chosen that day to support the fight against breast cancer.  The staff wore pink shirts, there were posters with supportive quotes everywhere, swags of pink balloons, pink butter mints on the tables and this gentleman who agreed to have his picture taken for our “pink” theme.



What Cancer Cannot Do –

Cancer is so limited…

It cannot cripple love, It cannot shatter hope, It cannot corrode faith, It cannot destroy peace, It cannot kill friendship, It cannot suppress memories, It cannot silence courage, It cannot invade the soul, It cannot steal eternal life, It cannot conquer the spirit.”

~ Author Unknown ~


Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow.  ~Philip Gulley


I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I’ve bought a big bat.  I’m all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
~Dr. Seuss

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22. In The Trees (Week 12)

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is now. ”   ~  Chinese Proverb  ~

I looked up and saw that money really does grow on trees!


This past weekend I invited my Mom to go to the Siesta Key Oyster Bar for lunch.  The beach atmosphere has made this a popular Sarasota indoor-outdoor establishment for locals and tourists. I had read that the current owners were offering a customized Tervis tumbler with lid for $10 to celebrate their 10 years in business – and Mom couldn’t resist a deal that celebrated our town!  As we rounded the porch and approached the entrance to the restaurant I told her that there were  thousands of dollar bills stapled to the posts, walls, and ceilings,  but then we looked up to see that the custom had crept outside and up a tree!


And in the spirit of the afternoon, we left our mark on the porch wall by our table!


Afterwards, I researched if it is illegal to write on a dollar bill and I find that there are no laws, but I found that “defacement of currency in such a way this it’s made unfit for circulation comes under the jurisdiction of the Secret Service.”  Hmmm….