Friday, January 12, 2018

Sunrise, friends and flowers

Watching the sun rise from 30,000 feet last Sunday.  Niece Amanda snapped this photo with her dad's phone and kindly sent it on to me, since I was not in a window seat of the plane.  We were traveling to celebrate the life of a beloved family member (my brother-in-law) who has passed away - gone too soon. 

My sister lives in a neighborhood with close, close friends.  A number of them took in out-of-town friends and relatives for the night since her house was already overflowing.  The couple I stayed with have this adorable English bulldog, Bella, who was wearing a Cornell hoodie.  She posed like that until her "mom" told her she could move.  And then she got a cookie.

Sunrise on Monday. Their home overlooks this lake where migrating birds have been flocking.  The lady of the house looked out one morning and it was filled with swans.

This is a primrose plant that the owner of my company gave me when I returned to work.  I hope I can keep it alive - it looks a little finicky, but I love it.

My brother-in-law was such an interesting man and quite fun to be around.  He loved children and reading to them especially.  His favorite book to read was Dr. Seuss's tongue twisting book Fox in Socks.  I can just hear him reading this part at the end:

Now wait a minute, Mr. Socks Fox!

When a fox is in the bottle where the tweetle beetles battle 
with their paddles in a puddle on a noodle-eating poodle, 
THIS is what they call...

...a tweetle beetle noodle poodle bottled paddled 
muddled duddled fuddled wuddled fox in socks, sir!

Fox in socks, our game is done, sir.
Thank you for a lot of fun, sir.

Friday, December 29, 2017

The magic of Christmas

This Christmas season has been so nice and busy that I didn't get my post done before heading to Florida to spend the holiday with my family.  An attempt to post from my iPad was a big fail (for some reason.)  As I was wrestling with it on Christmas eve, kitty Pete visited me on the couch and gave me an inquiring look, "Don't you want me in your lap?"  Of course I did and put the iPad aside and felt great peace in watching him relax, his head growing heavy as he fell asleep.  So finally, here are some favorite photos from the last two weeks:

My tree almost didn't get put up.  I do love doing it, but couldn't find the energy for a few days, so the boxed tree sat in that spot.  My Richie bear came from the now defunct Rich's department store in Atlanta.  I'll leave it up until New Year's Eve.

I have a good mix of ornaments and love each one.  The glass Santa there came from the estate sale of neighbor Susan, who passed away earlier in the fall.  I wanted something to remember her by and told her family I would write her name on the box that holds the ornament, so I'll always remember.

 This was my mom's Nativity scene, with its porcelain figures.  The terracotta angel is something I added.  It's sitting on top of my "Kneeling in Bethlehem" book by Ann Weems - a gift from a beloved friend several years ago.  The angel card was hand painted this year by another beloved friend this year - I plan to frame it.

There was a quick trip to my hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia on December 16, where I spotted this adorable mailbox for letters for Santa.

The main reason for the visit was to attend the national wreath laying ceremony being held at the veterans' cemetery where my late parents' are buried.  I got to lay one at my dad's grave in honor of his World War II military service.  They would all have one by the end of the day, but I like to do it myself when I can.

And then it was on to Florida last Sunday, where the stockings were hung by the chimney with care.  

My sister and brother-in-law have a zillion ornaments and a big tree, but opted to just put up my late mother's little tree that she had had at her assisted living apartment.  The grandchildren helped hang the ornaments and were quite proud of it.

Great niece Kloie left homemade cookies for Santa and a personalized drawing of Rudolf.  He was good to her, as he was to all of us. 

Thank you for spending this time with me.  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  I'll be visiting your blogs this weekend.  Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Blue morning, giving thanks and family time

A little catching up to do - I haven't posted in almost a month!  Going backwards, starting with last Saturday morning.

Last Saturday morning - 7:30am - the view from my front door.  A blue morning in a winter wonderland.  We are not accustomed to snow in Georgia.  I can't think of the last time it snowed.  It was glorious while it lasted. 

 It was already melting in the afternoon, once the temps rose.  Snowmen were everywhere, but my favorite was this little one on the table in front of Five Guys.

Not to worry - I was sitting completely still when I snapped this photo on Friday afternoon, during the harrowing ride home.  Georgians don't know how to drive on snow, y'all.  It took me two hours to go 20 miles, but it was lovely to get a fire going and have a little sofa nap later.  AND to wake up to that blue morning the next day.

Thanksgiving Day was spent in Fayetteville, Georgia at my cousin's house and the extended family.  Because my immediate family was coming together from Atlanta, Virginia, Florida and Mexico, we stayed at a hotel the night before.  I didn't realize how starved I was for family time until we were all together.  Favorite moment:  a smiling older couple from Detroit, Michigan were also staying at the hotel and just before they got on the elevator to go up to their room, they spontaneously jitterbugged for several seconds.  We applauded.  It was that kind of fun night.

 My cousin's home has lots of space, indoors and out, for the 40+ family gathered together in Thanksgiving.  We convoyed to my sister and brother-in-law's farm in northern Florida on Thanksgiving afternoon.

Thanksgiving crafts by two great-nieces on Friday morning. 

And all the little ones got a tractor ride on Saturday, before everyone drove away.  A lovely few days.

Next week - holiday magic.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Good Things Happened: along the way

New favorite quote: "Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day." - Shira Tamir

 This very large leaf danced its way into my front door, so I let it stay.

This display at the first holiday open house I have attended this year made me want to buy a birdhouse and I already have one that my feathered visitors shun, for some reason.  I always love coming to the shop inside this old building, with its brick walls.  One more reason to love fall.

I hope you have a lovely weekend, my friends!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Good Things Happened: signs of autumn (finally)

My somewhat grainy photo of the Beaver Moon from the past weekend.  The Farmers' Almanac says the November full moon got its name from the native American Algonquin tribes, as this was the month to set traps for beavers "before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs."  It was beautiful very early on Saturday morning, when I couldn't sleep, and wandered outside to see it.

And later that morning, beautiful fall color at the condos.  Finally.

This is the dipladenia that I bought at the mountain nursery and blogged about here.  I didn't realize how much it has grown, until I looked at the photo of it on that post (the third photo, taken at the mountain house, before I brought it home to the condos.)  When I visited the mountain nursery last month and inquired if I would be able to keep it through the winter, the lady there said they don't winter well and she wouldn't try it.  So I thought I would pay tribute to it, as its leaves turn along with the leaves on the trees around it.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Good Things Happened: Weekend Warriors

Can you guess where I spent last weekend?  Yes - the annual Stone Mountain Highland Games, at which we celebrate our Scottish heritage. This vendor tent was doing a brisk business.  I love that so many weekend warriors get to do that Braveheart thing.  "Alba gu bra!" (Scotland forever!)

For some reason, there were a lot of Santas around the games this year.  (I spotted at least five.)  This Santa represented his Clan at the Sunday morning church service. 

My favorite part of the weekend is the Clan march.  I wish my photo could capture the scope of the endless array of Scottish Clans lined up to march onto the field.  It never ceases to thrill me to hear our surname called out as the massed bagpipe bands play us in.

We ended up lined up beside the Atlanta Pipe Band after we paraded in.  A young man in our group is interested in taking up Scottish drumming, so this was perfect placement for him.

By the closing ceremonies, late Sunday afternoon, I was ready for home, but loved being played out to my car by the pipes and drums.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Good Things Happened: black and white photo challenge

A few weeks ago, one of my friends sent me a photo challenge on facebook:  "7 days. 7 black and white photos of your life.  No people.  No explanation."  So I did it and posting them here, too.  I liked the way black and white changes the mood of a photo.  A couple of them were just throw away photos that looked as if they told a story, when changed to black and white.  I followed the rules for the facebook challenge by not giving any explanation, but I'll give one here.

I was waiting for my typical-for-a-Friday-night take-out Chinese food at my favorite little neighborhood restaurant when I read the facebook challenge on my phone.  Photos of my life, I thought.  No time like the present, and lifted my phone for this shot.  The challenge did specify no people, but I decided that meant no friends or family members.  I love the way these three at the restaurant always hustle around getting orders ready.

The next morning, this old friend who can't walk easily anymore, was being pulled on this wagon-like device by his owners.  The look in his eyes as he gazes at his "mom" just exudes love.

 The Saturday before that, in Black Mountain, North Carolina. This is one of those "throw away" shots that worked out well in black and white.

 I posted this one in color in August.  I only noticed that leaf, there in the middle, in the black and white version though.

 And I posted this one from the September retreat weekend in color.  It got the most accolades on facebook.  Love those shadows on these old pews.

 On the sixth day, I was getting ready to head up to the mountains with my sisters, and was outside watering the plants, when I noticed this little tree frog.  It hopped out of the plant I was watering and took refuge on this rail.

And on the seventh day - this lovely view of the Hiwassee River.  I never get tired of this scene and loved the misty look of the black and white photo on that morning.