Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The view, along the way and watching

More scenes from sisters weekend in North Carolina... Click on the photos to enlarge.

- The view from the fishing hole.

- A flower along the way.

- A weathered bunny watches from a flower bed.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Potential firewood, puddles and chocolate = good

Photo by TS, taken with iPhone

- Niece's husband posts this picture on facebook of a fallen tree with the caption "Irene comes to Tudor City." Tudor City is the neighborhood in which they live in New York City. An uprooted tree is not really a good thing, but his friend's comment made me laugh, "Dude i hope this was not your favourite tree!"

- The little film posted on facebook of their toddler daughter running around in circles in the rain. Soaking wet and delighted with the puddles.

- All things from the internet today. A headline posted on The Atlantic, "Good News at Last: Chocolate Is Good for You! Maybe" The article by Marion Nestle can be read here. Her conclusion: "a little chocolate is delightful. A lot is not. As in all matters pertaining to diet, everything in moderation." But somehow I still think that is a bit of good news. :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sold, home and sweets

- Traveling down to visit my family in south Georgia / north Florida and making my usual stop at Stripling's General Store on the way. Two nice men ask if I will try their barbecue sauce. It's their family business, always sold at Stripling's, etc. I know how hard it is to sell things, so I buy a bottle (and it is tasty.) I only notice the logo after arriving at mom's. :) The "butt" in the title refers to the part of the pig most commonly used for pulled pork. You can read about the company and see that crazy logo better here.

- Arriving at the assisted living facility and sweet Velma hugs me and says, "I didn't know you were coming home this weekend!" I hadn't been thinking of this as home, but home is where my mom is, I think.

- At church on Sunday morning, brother-in-law passes pieces of butterscotch candy down to me and niece Amanda. He always has individually wrapped candy to give to kids at church and I am happy to be thought of as one. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

First time, another dragonfly and peace

- After a late afternoon appointment at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, walking down to the lake because I never had before. I love the boat house nestled in the corner there.

- An electric blue dragonfly flies up to greet me on the way to the lake, buzzes about for a bit and flies away. It's dragonfly week.

- Earlier in the afternoon, joining hands with a dear, dear client and friend for a moment of prayer and walking away feeling refreshed and at peace.

I hope you have a happy and peaceful weekend, my friends!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Like magic, dragonfly and unexpected

- When my sister was at the river house in July, the neighbor next door (who is a master gardener), invited them over for the opening of the Evening Primroses. Apparently they open just once a year, at night. Neighbors from around the river bend neighborhood gathered and watched, and one by one, blossoms unfurled. Like magic. The brown stuff above is them, in a photo taken last weekend. My sister says next door neighbor must be letting them go to seed.

- A dragonfly buzzes around my car as I wait for a traffic light to change. I wonder if they are good luck - I've always loved them. So a Google search says that in Japan dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength, and happiness. Perfect.

- Receiving a friend card in the mail on the same day that things weren't going well and delighting in the bookmark with the chefs hat on it inside. I'll think of her every time I use it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sisters who can cook, friends and divine music

- Sisters who can cook converged for a weekend of making pretty good food. This was the beginnings of the pesto that became a challenge because of that aging blender, but we figured it out.

- A donkey and his friend wander about in a field near my sister's house within the Nantahala National Forest in western North Carolina. These two were always together every time we passed that way.

- A group called "The Dismembered Tennesseans" sing and play at the John C. Campbell Folk School, with the mountain range in the background. I ask my mother on the phone what that name means to her and she says, "They've lost limbs?" My thought exactly! But it just means that of a group that has been together since the 1940s, members have gone and new ones came in. The fiddler on the left is retired from the group, but made an appearance this night. And their music was divine.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Empty flower pot, filling it up and needs a name

My sister lives in a gated community in which peacefulness abounds except for one lady who is all about the rules. One day she walked around with a clipboard and cited people for beauty infractions, including one neighbor who had an empty flower pot in her back yard. The photo below shows what happened when neighbors cheerfully pitched in to fill it up. :) And the flower pot lady wrote a poem about it. Delightful.

I am a little green pot living in a corner yard
And you would think that life for me would not be hard.
We were surprised to find out one day, when walking by
A neighbor saw me empty and she was so horrified.
She reported my condition to the powers here that be
And told them that my emptiness was horrible to see!!!

My owner told some neighbors and some friends of my sad plight.
And something almost magical happened in the night.
When she awoke one morning out the window she did see
A bright sunflower flower stake was placed inside of me.
And when she thanked her neighbors, her friends, she was surprised
When other lovely treasures appeared in my inside.

And now when people see me, they smile at me and know
That I'm a very happy pot our neighbors helped to grow.
My owner loves me so much that now she says she'll never
Move my treasures from inside (her neighbors are so clever).
She's sending you a picture to show what I've become
And wants to find a name for me, can you help her think of some?

- by MBG

Surely we can think of something for a name! Any suggestions? :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mountain girl, laughing and kindness

Fire's Creek, Clay County, North Carolina

- Loving my few days in the mountains and deciding that I'm a mountain girl at heart.

- Laughing with sisters until my throat hurt.

- Grateful for the kind stranger who got my car started when my sister and I were in the middle of nowhere, trying to get home.

More tomorrow...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sisters' Weekend, just ask and synchronicity

- It's calling my name: the Hiawassee River that runs in back of my sister's vacation home in Clay County, North Carolina. Three sisters are converging today from three states, Virginia, Georgia and Florida, to have Sisters' Weekend 2011. We haven't gotten to do this in three years, due to family illness, etc., so we are looking forward to this time together. Our dad always said of prior Sisters' Weekends, "I'm so glad y'all are close." Me, too.

- A friend's response to the email solicitation I send out for donations to a non-profit (after my apology for asking): "A motto from my Mom; 'You don’t get anything unless you ask.'"

- And late in the day, in perfect synchronicity - my sister walks out of the world's busiest airport just as I drive up.

So I'll be around for blog catch-up on Monday. Thank you, as always, for visiting mine. And have a lovely weekend, my friends!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Funnel of Love, not so much and grasshopper

- This was the "B" side to a record recorded by a woman named Wanda Jackson in 1961. She's known as the "Queen of Rockabilly" - I adore this twangy song and even more that, that she is opening for the singer Adele in concert right now. Someone in Houston, Texas blogged about her here.

- A client has her baby in the car and asks me to bring something she was picking up out to her. I ask if I can see baby Emery and she warns, "She's being fussy, but OK." She rolls the window down and Emery flashes me a huge smile.

- A grasshopper, a lovely shade of green, crawls to the top of the stone rabbit's head in my "garden" and surveys and then is gone in a flash.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Blue chair, sparkling and cherry ginger explosion

- Rediscovering my blue reading chair that's in a corner of my bedroom. My two cats had sort of taken it over (one liked to crawl underneath, too), but both are beloved memories now. After a year, and after being vacuumed about 50 times, it called my name on Sunday for a couple of hours of reading and napping.

- My sister is coming to visit and it has sparked a little extra cleaning that I normally put off. I love opening the refrigerator door and seeing it sparkling and emptied out inside.

- Finishing the last cookie from a Saturday stop with friend Leisa at The Cookie Studio on Saturday. Cherry Ginger Explosion cookie - totally worthy of diet blowing. The Atlanta Journal rated this one of the top cookie places in Atlanta and says that "This Decatur shop donates a portion of its proceeds to the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children." So there you go, it was my duty.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Seizing the day, peanut butter pie and books

- The view from Carpe Diem Cafe, and a lovely Saturday brunch with friends Leisa and Kim L. The trains rumbling by the Ice House Lofts building add to the atmosphere. The Atlantic Star Ice & Coal Company originally constructed this structure in 1926 and operated it until the late 1960s, as one of Atlanta's largest producers of ice and coal. The structure has won awards for its Adaptive Reuse and is now home to apartments and this cafe.

- Seeing food bloggers come together to support a fellow blogger, Jennie from In Jennie's Kitchen, in the sudden and heartbreaking loss of her husband to a heart attack. Tami, from Running With Tweezers, participated in what seems like a remarkable event - she made a peanut butter pie. Jennie's response to all the bloggers who asked that they could do to help: make a peanut butter pie to give to someone you love (it was her husband's favorite.) The Food Network even devoted a blog to this, you can see the list of the bloggers who made the pie for Mikey here.

- My suburban book group gathered to discuss the memoir we read. It was "read the memoir of your choice." A favorite moment, when someone held up "West with the Night" by Beryl Markham, and Geneva gasped, "Oh to read that book for the first time. Those lovely words." It's now on my reading list, along with about 10 others now. A good thing.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Reflection, the view and memorable

Click to enlarge

- While photographing the view from my client's office, I somehow manage to capture my hands holding my camera in the reflection in the glass. That's Kennesaw Mountain off in the distance.

- I remember a story written by Lee Walburn, then editor of Atlanta Magazine. He and his wife had become empty nesters and so they moved to a high rise apartment building in midtown Atlanta (right next door to this building), enabling him to walk to work. He extolled the benefits of urban living and spoke of his view of Kennesaw Mountain in the distance and the tiny hamlet around it that used to be his home, and how it was lovely not being a part of the distant chain of headlights slowly making their way home to the suburbs during rush hour(s).

- This view always makes me think of that story. His editorials were always warm and memorable and I miss them very much. A quick Google search gives the information that after a long career as editor of Atlanta Magazine, Walburn, 73, is now retired and living in Armuchee, Georgia. He lives in a 106-year-old lakefront home with his wife, Jackie and making new memories.

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

In front of the scarves, khaki clad and quotes

- It's Random Photo Thursday and this one is of a happy profusion of flowering plants in front of a shop selling colorful scarves in Thomasville, Georgia. I always think I'd like to attempt one of those multiple planting pots - maybe next year.

- A very tall, slender woman walking down 14th Street in midtown Atlanta, wearing a long flowing khaki skirt and an enormous wide brimmed khaki hat, looking like a cross between Isak Dinesen and Scarlett (you know who I mean.)

- Wonderful Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) quotes:

“To be lonely is a state of mind, something completely other than physical solitude; when modern authors rant about the soul’s intolerable loneliness, it is only proof of their own intolerable emptiness.” – Out of Africa, 1937

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea." – Out of Africa, 1937

"When in the end, the day came on which I was going away, I learned the strange learning that things can happen which we ourselves cannot possibly imagine, either beforehand, or at the time when they are taking place, or afterwards when we look back on them." – Out of Africa, 1937

"Through all the world there goes one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me leave to do my utmost!" – "Babette's Feast", 1953

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dancing, outside watering and a good thing

- One of my coworkers recreated this with two former classmates for their 40th high school reunion on Saturday night. Watch it if you have time. I love the spirit of these actual senior citizens, who performed a dance to "Billie Jean" at an assisted living facility. It's one of those you tube videos gone viral.

- It's gotten sort of routine - going outside to water plants at 5 a.m. I sort of enjoy the quiet nurture time of watering the ferns, ivy, geraniums, dragon wing begonia and renegade pot of weeds. I imagine what their day is like in the sizzling heat and like to think they appreciate the early morning water.

- Hearing my mother's sweet voice saying "Hello?" when I call her in the late afternoon. I always ask her if anything good happened to her that day and yesterday she says the highlight is my call. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cyclists, presidential and chocolate ganache tart

- A sign of the times - a few workers in this office building in midtown Atlanta bicycle in. I've seen more and more of this lately with rising fuel prices. Just last week at different times - two women in business attire on motor scooters.

- A coworker gives birth to a 9.1 pound baby boy and gives him a rather grand name containing three names of former presidents of the United States, including his already Presidential last name.

- An individual dark chocolate ganache tart containing a surprise center - a fresh strawberry. Cheers to client Jenn's birthday and whoever made those for her.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Privacy screen, delicious and pretty in pink

- My new rolling planter that affords a little privacy (while sitting down anyway) from the back porches of neighbors. I am pleased as punch with it. The butterfly plant hanger on the lattice is from my parents' home.

- Eggplant Parmesan. It took too long to make and the oven heated up the kitchen too much, but it was delicious. Should have taken a picture of it, but couldn't wait to eat it. :) It's for lunch all week.

- Friend Ginny's granddaughter - all done up in pink for church. She proudly shows me her pink purse, Hello Kitty bracelet, an enormous pink stone ring and her stuffed unicorn.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Almost forgotten, rain and sofa time and parm

- These dark red beauties were purchased more than a week ago and had gotten pushed to the back of the refrigerator. They look so pretty in my pottery colander and they are sweet and luscious.

- A discussion with coworker Joanne - is that loud rumbling noise the recycling bins being pushed to the loading dock door, or thunder? I hope it is thunder and it is. Rain and sofa time at home ensue.

- Writing down the ingredients for Eggplant Parmesan - a recipe spotted on the Cooking Light website. I missed the Eggplant Parm at the hot food bar at the natural foods grocery this week - they ran out before I got there. So I'll just make it myself this weekend - as it should be anyway. Referring to it as "parm" makes me feel so Carmela Soprano!

Looking forward to cooking and sofa time this weekend - maybe a little movie watching, too. Hope you have a great one, too!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rain, no arm twisting here and no regrets

- It's Random Photo Thursday and this depiction of a rainy night in midtown Atlanta is what I am hoping for the day: a rainy day and rainy night. So far, so good - I woke hearing rain and a little thunder off in the distance.

- Someone's birthday inspired a red velvet cake put out at work to share. Oh twist my arm! One taste and I knew it came from Henri's Bakery - real butter and cream cheese in the icing.

- A big fail on sticking with the vegetarian diet for the day by ending up at dinner with an entree advertising itself as Asiago Peppercorn steak. No regrets. :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

All in the ears - it is, chivalry and lost and found

From Google images

- A man comes in with his dog and I ask him what the dog's name is. "Yoda - because of his ears." The dog is friendly and comes up for a head scratch. He wandered up to their house one day and stayed. He looks a bit like a Corgi mix to me, but a Google search shows that any dog can look like Yoda if given the proper costume.

- A girl and a boy walking up the sidewalk next to a busy street - very young, probably in their early teens. A car whizzes by too close and the boy puts out a protective arm and switches places with her so that he is on the side next to the street.

- Returning a top that would need hand washing to a store (should have noticed that first) - it's been in the trunk of my car in a bag since May. And finding something underneath the bag that I've been looking for. Sweet.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Surveyor, down by the water and Georgian

Taken with iPhone

- An early morning walk around Cherokee Lake in Thomasville, Georgia on Sunday morning. There were a few quiet walkers at 7:00am, as well as this guy, who found an awesome perch on a skinny stump.

- In perfect choreography, "Down by the Water" by The Decemberists comes up on my iPod just as I set off around the lake.

- A couple, strolling with their dog, slows down to let me pass. The woman asks, "Are you Georgian?" I tell her I am, but just visiting that part of Georgia for the weekend. They are from upstate New York and visiting their daughter, who has just given birth. They like Thomasville well enough to be thinking of moving there. There is serious humidity this particular morning, so that's saying something. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Magnolia, another day and fragrant hair product

- A sun-dappled magnolia blossom on the tree in the courtyard outside my mother's front door in Thomasville, Georgia.

- On the way down on Saturday, a truck in front of me on the state highway going south swerves to avoid hitting something. It's a turtle, in no hurry, and it makes it to the shoulder of the road to live another day.

- Just before I leave to come back north on Sunday, beautiful niece Abby shows up to visit her aunt and grandmother. We hug and say "you smell good!" to each other at the same time and laugh.