Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Monday, outdoor time and big batch

- I woke this morning thinking of this song and so, here it is. According to the "Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits" - it was the 198th number one song on the Billboard charts and "For years, John (Phillips) maintained he had no idea what the song meant." I think it is just the best Monday song I know.

- My shedding fern's delight that it got to go outside for two days of 65 degree weather this weekend.

- Waking up to the lingering scent of vegetable soup simmering. It was time for more "Big Batch Vegetable Soup" yesterday and kind of fun to have a freezer clearing batch of soup. It turned out to be more vegetables than broth and sure was tasty.

Friday, January 28, 2011

First effort, Triskele and traveling top

- A call came in to the printing company a few months ago with the question, "Do you print hardbound books?" Yes we do and this is my first book with a dust jacket, delivered to the client yesterday. And it has a good message for children, I think (although I might have targeted it toward both, or either, parents.) :)

- The mate to this earring is lying somewhere on the sidewalks of New York - probably Times Square. I lost it on a trek from the theater to my niece's apartment last December. It is a Triskele - a symbol used to symbolize the Druidic Threefold Sister Goddess: Fotla/Eiru/Banba. I emailed this photo around to vendors specializing in Celtic jewelry with no luck and then found another pair on (of all places) ebay. An almost perfect match. So I hope someone found that lost earring, has had it made into a necklace or something and that it brings them good fortune.

- Jannie Funster sent my prize winning package last week, containing CDs, lollipops and this cute top. The top immediately put me in mind of friend Whitney and I impulsively mailed it to her (with Jannie's blessing). She blogs about it here and I have dubbed this top that came from Texas, to Atlanta and is now back in Texas, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Top.

I hope the weekend brings good things to you, my friends. And I hope it is happy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another day, good to be home and Jen's wedding

Photo by ALM

- Niece Amanda's photograph of the lake on the plantation at which she is the office manager in the Florida panhandle that she titled "Just another day in paradise. :)" I am so glad that she loves her job. It is perfect for her.

- Another cold, rainy day in the ATL, but it was lovely to come home to a fire in the fireplace, an easy dinner of a big salad and a Netflix dvd of the series "Moonlight."

- Hearing client Jen's description of her upcoming wedding: a traditional gown (displayed on iphone), no veil and purple shoes. No attendants. She is delightfully unconventional, so I love this peek into what her day will look like.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chasing away doldrums, energy and winter trip

- These big beauties came from the warehouse club store and I couldn't resist buying them. They smell and taste so good and are just the ticket for chasing away the doldrums of winter.

- Calling a friend on an impulse. She is out of work and says she is floundering; I needed inspiration to make sales calls. The phone call worked out for both of us - she said it brightened her day and her bright voice gave me the energy to reach out to voices on the telephone.

- Another impulse call last week to friends Barbara and Norman, a very active elderly couple who have sort of adopted me. They were leaving in a few minutes for a flight to Chile, where they would board a cruise ship for a sail around South America. I have loved thinking about the special time they are having and look forward to the postcard I will get in the mail.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Resting, cup running over and joy to the world

- These dogs, hanging out in the sunshine, while their owner shopped on Saturday.

- A neighbor takes the opportunity to tell me all that is going wrong in her life as she is getting into her car. But before she backs out, she rolls her window down and calls out, "It's all good though, my cup runneth over!"

- From an article about my favorite movie reviewer, Roger Ebert, who can no longer speak or eat as a result of cancer surgery to remove his thyroid, comes this quote from him that sums it all up for me, "I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."
Jones, Chris, "Roger Ebert: The Essential Man.", 16 February 2010,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thomasville, downtown and brick paved streets

- Visiting my mother this weekend in her charming new town of Thomasville, Georgia. I must be destined to be affiliated with towns that end in "ville." :)

- This small town has a busy downtown with all the store fronts full. Antique shops, specialty shops, even a local dairy selling their cheese. I make a quick trip downtown to find a plate hanger and find just the friendly shopkeeper to help with that. Now I know how to drive to two areas.

- The streets still have the original brick paving. A peaceful, relaxing couple of days in a sleepy, but progressive town.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dad's bowl, the moon and dose of cheer

- This is the bowl that my father used to put together his bread dough - he referred to it as his bread bowl. One of his friends carved it for him and carved the rolling pin, too. I still can't believe I got to have it. A late evening tap on the door last night revealed the UPS man with a package containing the iron display stand I ordered weeks ago and had almost forgotten about. The bowl was well-used and I might just have to see if I can follow in dad's footsteps and make bread myself.

- When I turned onto Midvale Drive yesterday morning on my little journey to work, the full moon was perfectly framed between the trees on either side of the road. I got glimpses of it here and there during my drive.

- My co-workers love a particular kind of candy that comes from Wal-Mart called Cinnamon Discs. So I steeled myself for a lunchtime visit to this mega store to stock up and encountered the most cheerful checkout man ever. I thanked him for his cheerfulness - I needed a dose of that right about then and told him so. He told me it was his first day and he needed that compliment right about then, so it worked out for both of us.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mighty fine, little Nicky and common ground

- My carbohydrate-laden takeout lunch from nearby Figo. A Caprese panini and some bruschetta, with a bite taken out of it already. :) The man at the counter is recently in from Italy and has a delightful accent. I got to choose between a number of different spreads on the bruschetta. He rattled them off rapidly and then said, "You want me to choose for you?" I did. And it was mighty fine (whatever it was.)

- Walking into the plant manager's office at work and being confronted by an indignant little poodle, barking madly. She is the plant manager's dog and visiting for the day, very protective and totally devoted to him. I loved seeing the interaction between this tiny dog and this big tough man.

- Attending a focus group to study the amending of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977. Because the subject matter is so dry and to get us in the mood to talk, the moderator asks us to interview the person next to us to see what we have in common. Rob and I find that we both watched the film Inception recently and are both still scratching our heads over it. The only common ground, but it gets us talking and ready for the discussion.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Three fun things that came in the mail

- My good friend makes gifts for the holidays to send to friends and family and uses the money she would have normally spent on gifts to donate to various non-profit organizations that are dedicated to helping others. A lovely idea and I am tickled pink with my hand-painted stationery.

- Over at Funsterment, Inc., there was a contest to win CDs with the song stylings of the most fun blogger in the blogosphere. I don't remember what it was I did to win it, but it sure was fun to get this package in the mail with CDs, lollipops and a hand-written note from Jannie's sidekick, Blue Bunny, who tells me I am "Awsim." You are awesome, too, BB.

- And my sister spotted this ceramic business card holder with a dragonfly on it and sent it to me, because she knows I like dragonflies. I like that it is holding all the things that come in the mail dedicated to the tax man.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Festive lights, love and name calling

- My neighbor Beth's windows with the tiny white lights left up after Christmas. I quite enjoy seeing her lit up window in the early morning and after dark and hope she keeps them there.

- Her son is a teenager who is blind and autistic and is very, very sweet. I asked about him on Sunday and he was off with his dad. She said not to be surprised if he tells me he loves me next time we meet; it's his new thing. I tell her I think that is something I would welcome.

- Up the street, my annual visit for the car emission testing by the big guy with the Barry White voice. Ramón opens the door for me, says Hello Sugar and sends me inside to wait. He looks surprised and pleased when I thank him by name as I am paying. I vow to do more of that with people in the future.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Darkness into light, good neighbor and anniversary

- "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

- A neighbor pulling in front of my car at the trash compactor at the condos wordlessly reaches for my bag of trash to throw in with his.

- Feeling a bit wistful at the thought of leaving a warm house at 7am this morning for the commute. But remembering how many people I know who are out of work and remembering what that is like. It is my three-year anniversary week at my current job.

The photo was taken the Friday before the big snow in the back of the building in which I work.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cabin fever, synchronicity and the sisterhood

Enough with the snow. Seriously!

- So I have gotten a bit of a case of cabin fever now, but have been grateful for the opportunity to stay home while other peoples' cars are crashing into each other in the aftermath of the land of the ice and snow. Also - my ex-father-in-law passed away yesterday. He had Alzheimer's disease. He was a lovely man, a veteran of a foreign war who came back home and ran the family dairy farm after the war was over. I liked to help him count cows at the end of the day, something I only got to do now and then. A sweet, sweet man.

- Maybe my dinner of Steak au Poive was appropriate. :) I don't eat meat often, but I sauteed a little steak and made a remoulade sauce to go with it, along with some caramelized onions. Yum.

- Stellaaahhh!!!!! A Streetcar Named Desire. So much yelling that I'll be watching the remaining 1 hour and 16 minutes another time. What else was there on the DVR to watch? Hmmmm. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Yep. That was just the ticket. A nice little film - not gritty, but just what I needed for this night.

“Whoever you are,” Blanche DuBois said, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Best line ever! I hope you experience kindness from everyone around you this weekend, my friends.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter scene, films with yelling and well-rested

- It looks a bit more beaten up and slushy now from this scene on Monday afternoon. My neighbor poured some of that ice melt stuff on the sidewalk to make it easier for her to walk her dog in and out. We have a fair amount of young children living in the condos and they have enjoyed playing in the snow.

- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Oh my - the yelling! I watched it over the course of two days. I can't imagine why Paul Newman wouldn't have gotten an Oscar for his performance. Today - A Streetcar Named Desire, which promises a bit more yelling. :)

- Having the time to make food has been fun. I guess the difference is - having the time, and feeling so well-rested while doing it. Yesterday - it was hummus. Yum.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Life inside, snowpocalypse and Roman Holiday

- Life inside. Somehow adapting with three computers going and the television. The laptop in the front is my up-to-date computer, the one behind it is an ancient one that has a Mahjong game going and there is a desktop computer back in my home office that has some age on it. And I am glued to the news. I am talking to clients from home, too. And still feeling fortunate to be able to stay home.

- Someone coined the term Snowpocalypse and looking it up on Google, only to find that it is already in the online urban dictionary. So it is not all about us. :)

- Watching the delightful Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn's first film. The lead-in from Turner Classic Movies said she almost didn't get the part because her screen test was so subdued. But when it was over, they left the cameras running without her knowledge and asked her about her life. Her animation while chatting with the director won her the role.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The first day, Aqua Net man and Cool Hand Luke

Neighbor Rhonda's dog Lucy, Monday morning

- And before it was over, six inches of snow fell in Atlanta. Then there was sleet on top of the snow, leaving more than an inch of ice on top in some areas. So looks as if I have the day off again today! There are news reports of miles of tractor-trailer trucks stuck on our perimeter highway, so I do not complain about being in my place where it is warm and there is lots to do.

- Watching news reports all morning and laughing at a veteran weather reporter who was reporting from outdoors, withstanding the barrage of admonishment by the female anchors inside that he is not wearing a hat in the 20 degree weather. Best line of the day, "My hair is like a hat now after so many years of having Aqua Net sprayed on it."

- Delving into the 4-star films that have been accumulating in the "My DVR" folder, last evening, Cool Hand Luke. I did not know that is where that line "What we have here is...failure to communicate" came from. Paul Newman's character of Luke demonstrates an unquenchable spirit and you can just feel the miserable summer heat. Today I can choose from, The Last Emperor, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Roman Holiday and A Streetcar Named Desire. I'm think the Audrey Hepburn movie. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

It snowed all night, wonderland and pinch me

Photo by Jerry Tirado - "three inches so far" taken around midnight

- My camera battery needed charging (of course) so perhaps I will be able to post my own photos of the snow in north Georgia tomorrow. Friend Jerry is more of a night owl than me and posted this one on facebook after midnight.

- Waking up to what sounded like rain hitting the windows, but it is sleet that is packing in the snow that fell all night. Opening the front door at 4:45am to a winter wonderland.

- We were warned of this snow and ice system approaching Georgia on Friday and decided to close the printing company today and possibly tomorrow. This means I get to read, watch movies and cook today. Somebody pinch me. :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Figo, thank you note and I wish you enough

- My favorite little Italian restaurant near the office - Figo Pasta. I love how they have embedded broken crockery as a mosaic for their front counter, but my favorite thing is how the staff calls out greetings when you come in the door.

- Receiving a written thank you note from my niece for her Christmas present. She had thanked me in person, so it wasn't really necessary. But I love seeing her handwriting thanking me for her gift card, that she used it the next day and that her dog Lucky liked his special "cookies."

- A former neighbor of my parents, probably the kindest woman who ever lived, emails "forwards" and I do not have the heart to tell her I usually do not read forwards. But the subject line made me read one today, "I wish you enough." It is long, about a woman telling about the tradition in her family of saying "I wish you enough" to each other. The essential message is given at the end: 'When we said , 'I wish you enough', we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.'

I wish you enough, my friends. And I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Life is a song, interesting client and good things

- Discovering an item purchased from a mountain vendor last October, but forgotten until I ran across it in a drawer this week. I like the stickers on the box and the message on one of them, "Life is a Song...Sing It." Indeed.

- Funniest moment of the week: a printing client sits in the conference room with me and tells of his dream business card, prefacing that with, "Have you ever seen the film American Psycho?" Hmmm, no, but it is in my Netflix queue now. :) Apparently it has a theme of "business card envy" running through it.

- Favorite facebook status update of the week, from home town school friend Ralph: "Rain on the tin roof, chicken on the grill, sitting in front of a big roaring fire listening to some good music. It's a good day to be at the shack." This is the kind of thing I like to see on facebook, good things happening.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The walk in, 30318 and memory lapse

- I just thought the sky was beautiful when I was walking around the back of the printing company on my way in to work at 7:30am and stopped to take the first photo. But the second photo shows the walk - not beautiful, but with a certain character. Potholes that always remind me of tiny fairy skating rinks when they are iced over, the trucks of nice men who will smile their greeting and the glory of the morning.

- I've worked there for three years now and feel part of the 30318 neighborhood. Mr C's Bar and Grill doesn't have the usual quirky sign postings anymore - I think that guy must have moved on. I kind of miss that. My new dry cleaner, "Ralph's Cleaners," is around the corner - Ralph always remembers my name. I chose his cleaners over the other two on the street because of the number of cars pulling in and out.

- In another part of town, later in the evening, a group of slightly weary women have a meeting without cake / cookies / or whatever. Someone was supposed to bring that. Oops - we didn't need it anyway, I keep telling myself. And perhaps it is appropriately spare for the beginning of the new year.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Maybe I'm Amazed, practice and back to work

- My favorite Foo Fighter and a pretty good chick singer salute my favorite Beatle. I saw this on the Kennedy Center Honors Paul McCartney and thought it was fantastic. I've always loved that song and keep coming back to watch this video over and over.

- Arriving home after work in time to hear neighbor Corbin practicing the bagpipes and since it is not too cold out, leaving my front door cracked open for a bit so I can listen.

- The last really quiet commute on Monday. The vacationers and holidayers will be back today. It's all good.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tradition, favorite gift and perfectly delicious

- Since there was a bit of discussion of new year traditions on the blogs this weekend, I thought I would show you my black eyed pea stew. The peas are supposed to represent coins and the collard greens represent green money. The tradition goes that eating these items on the new year brings the promise of prosperity in the months to come. I just like that I know what I'll be eating on that day. :)

- This handy gadget was in my Christmas stocking. It hangs from the cabinet handle and you can clip a recipe on to it for easy viewing during meal prep. Small things like this always end up being my favorite present.

- Friend Alice made this carrot cake for friend Kim's birthday. She arrived with the cake telling about its imperfections, but it was delicious and charming with its array of candles.