Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Good sport, rise and shine and soaking it in

The extended Thanksgiving holiday in northern Florida was beautiful and warm.  The sunflowers are from the crop in the lower fields and my great niece Kloie made the Thanksgiving card, using her hand.  I love that kids still do that!  The round, green cylinder on the right is the birthday hat she made for my brother-in-law, who was a good sport and wore it in the restaurant, where we celebrated his birthday the evening before Thanksgiving.  Passing wait staff said, "Happy Birthday, Pepaw!" as they passed. 

The sun rising and shining through the Live Oaks on Thanksgiving morning.  

My sister got the idea for this structure for swings via Pinterest and had it built.  We christened the new brick fire pit in the center on Saturday night by toasting marshmallows over it.  The night sky was so beautiful that I could actually see the stars (something that gets lost in the city skies where I live.)

It made nephew Curtis smile that I was walking around snapping photos with my phone on Sunday morning, right before departure.  I was soaking up the beauty, I said.  And I was trying to get his dog Hank in the photo - there he is in the background.  Hank loves roaming this property - it's like a giant vacation for him - being on the farm.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It was a blustery day, gamely blooming and golden leaf

It was a blustery day and time for a walk. While I waited at the park for my friend to arrive, I thought about the lyrics to a favorite children's song, "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day":

Oh the wind is lashing lustily
And the trees are thrashing thrustily
And the leaves are rustling gustily
So it's rather safe to say
That it seems that it may turn out to be
It feels that it will undoubtedly
It looks like a rather blustery day, today
It sounds that it may turn out to be
Feels that it will undoubtedly
Looks like a rather blustery day today

The ball fields were oddly empty.  No one was at the tennis courts either.  But those flaming trees sure were beautiful.

The day was so blustery that I gave up on trying to wrangle leaves at home.  This plant is still gamely blooming - even I couldn't kill it.  :) 

And this beautiful maple leaf landed perfectly in this pot on the back porch.  Love its gold, tinged with red.

It is our Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday in the United States.  There is much to be thankful for.  Thank you for your friendship - I love that you come by. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Just breathe, pink haze and have a good week

This is by no means the best photograph of the super moon from November 14 (taken with iPhone 6 and a little grainy), but it represents my view, as I stood in the street of my neighborhood after a challenging week and just breathed.

I could still see that same beautiful moon this morning - the internet tells me that occurs because it's really the sun's light reflecting off of the moon's surface.  It was off to the right here, but I wasn't able to get a photo of it (don't worry - I was at a complete stop.)  I did get the hazy, pink glow over the skyline of midtown Atlanta (here on I-85 south).  The haze is from smoke blowing in from wildfires in northern Georgia and western North Carolina - not a good thing at all, but it did make the skyline look mystic.

I hope you have a good week.  Hugs!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Impulse buy, spooky home and sparkling

Seems like a day for some Good Things!  And as always, it's the little things...

The cashier at the grocery store loved that I was buying flowers and wine.  "And a salad!" she said (looking perplexed).  I told her the flowers were an impulse buy for me, the wine was for a gift and the prepared salad was for lunch the next day.  I adore coming home and seeing these flowers, first thing.

Friend Janice and I were walking in park on Saturday morning - a lovely, crisp morning.  I think I've posted a pic of this tree before, but I still think it's delightfully spooky looking.  And love that it has a bird house on it.  If I were a bird, that's where I would want to live, in this spooky home.

And the driveway view at the condos was sparkling with light and color when I got home from the walk.  Love the shadows on the pavement, too.

I hope you have a lovely, peaceful week, my friends!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Proven winners, finally - some fall color and red cabbage

It's so amazing that it is the first of November and that hosta is in full bloom now.  I can't bring myself to get rid of the blooming things yet (as my neighbor has done).  Recommendation for all of you who can find them - Dragon Wing Begonias, probably the hardiest blooming plant ever.  (It's the one on the table there.)  The red link is to a website that calls them "proven winners."

The view from the trash compactor area at the condos, last Sunday morning.  I don't think I've ever taken photos of our changing leaves from this view before.  I turned back to car and marveled at the serenity and beauty of the morning.

It all started when I promised a friend that I would send him my sister's recipe for Red Cabbage.  "Oh yeah - her red cabbage is great!  I'll send the recipe to you."  And then I couldn't find it.  So I texted her yesterday morning to ask her to send it.  She hadn't thought of or made it in years, but a few minutes later, I got a "Found it!" text with this photo of the recipe card.  It was her late mother-in-law's recipe*.  Her husband asked if she would make it soon, so she did - she made it for dinner last night.  

She served it with pork roast and potatoes.  And I got a text from her while I was at volunteer work last night and still contemplating dinner, "Wish you were here!  Thanks for the reminder!"  Me, too.  They live in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia - I don't see them nearly enough, but I love that we are in touch all the time like this.

* If you make this, fat would be butter (I asked) and vinegar is the apple cider variety.  :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Happy mail, refrigerator art and just so

A few weeks ago, our friend the Elephant's Child mentioned in a blog post that she would send us a magnet from her visit to Floriade, Canberra, Australia's annual celebration of Springtime.  All we had to do was ask - and so I did.  I adore receiving what I call "Happy mail," which came by Air Mail, with the magnet (there on the right) inside a lovely note card, with a mom with her baby on the front.  This totally made my day.

And there it has landed, on the side of my refrigerator, next to Frida Kahlo and holding up a postcard from the Flannery O'Connor foundation.  There's also hummingbird paraphernalia, as well as a drawing depicting the metamorphosis of a butterfly, drawn by great niece Kloie.  So it's in good company.  Thanks, EC!  I adore it.

The main reason I visited the Elephant's Child's blog the first time was that her blog handle evokes one of my most favorite stories of all time - "How the Elephant got his trunk" by Rudyard Kipling.  (I have a paperback copy of the book "Just So Stories," but the cover is not as good as this one I found on the internet.)  My fifth grade teacher, the late Mrs. Ola Payne, used to read to us in the afternoons, and this was, by far, my favorite. 

If you aren't familiar with "How the Elephant got his trunk," you can imagine, just from looking at this cover, how that happened.  :)  Poor Elephant's Child, with his 'satiable curiosity!  I do love to visit our EC's blog and read her "just so" stories!  A Good Thing, for sure!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Celebration, highland games and people watching

This past weekend, as usual, I co-hosted my Clan's tent at the Stone Mountain Highland Games, at which we celebrate our Scottish heritage.  When I texted my sisters this photo to let them know where I would be all weekend, one sister cheekily asked if was wearing a "beret," too  No - just a tartan scarf pinned over my shoulder.  :)

Taking a stroll down "Clan Row," I spotted this tent with a life-sized cut out of a cowboy and his horse.  Of course I had to ask.  The gentleman there on the right told me that is Bill Boyd, aka Hopalong Cassidy, of vintage cowboy movie fame. 

I always like to watch the dancing - these young ladies were in the Highland Dance competition.

But I love being in our tent the most - it's a great spot in which to people watch.  And there are music performances all weekend in the tent to the left of ours.  Plus bagpipe music in the distance - it's all lovely.  And when they delivered the bottle of scotch to our tent (a thank you for being a sponsor), I told the committee who brought it that I'll bet that's the most fun job there is at the games.  I like how it matched the mums.  (One of the beret guys took it home.)  :)