Friday, August 31, 2012

Chickens, mushroom and squirrel underpants

- I laugh at myself for even posting this picture, taken out of my car window with my phone.  There were chickens pecking away on this front lawn on a very busy midtown Atlanta street.  You can see them there in the upper right - some brown specks.  They're there.  Really. 

- This giant mushroom appeared on the side lawn of the printing company.  I imagine some bug party going on under this natural cabana at night when all the working people are away. 

- And something wacky posted in my hairdresser's home salon.  He and his wife feed the birds and squirrels indiscriminately, so why not come up with wardrobe, too?  Those are actual little tighty whities.  :)

Here in the states we have what is known as Labor Day weekend, so I'm off Monday.  I'll be in the mountains, sitting beside the river, doing some reading and relaxation.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend wherever you are.  (I'll be playing blog catch up on Monday when I'm back.) 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Food talk, let's make it Italian and some cake + bonus

- On a rainy, too busy day at work, a coworker and I discuss how the weather puts us in mind of Italian food.  Discussion ensues.  I mention how I like Bambinelli's - a family owned business run by Italian Americans, originally from the Bronx, New York.  (Love their story - see link.)  My coworker says he and his grandson have regular outings and they usually choose Italian, too.  It's their thing.

- Friend Leisa and talk during our respective commutes home and commiserate about our day.  She suggests dinner and I tell her how I had the Italian food discussion at work.  Pizza, she'd like pizza.  Oddly enough, it takes me a couple of minutes to think of Bambinelli's.  :)  She got her pizza; I got lasagna.  Yum.

- And she brought me a piece of pound cake that she made.  See wrapped pound cake peeking out of my purse in the photo above.  I'll have it today at work.  Full circle.

A lovely thing:  a seasoned couple at the table across from us were celebrating his birthday.  The owner, Bonnie, brought them Cannoli, complete with a burning candle, to share.  And she took their photo as they beamed at the camera.  Lovely.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Liebster award, it's all about me and cheers

Dear Scarlet awarded this to me, so I thought I'd give it a go.  She said some nice things about me and my blog here.  So sweet!   She's a definite Liebster herself, which translates to darling, sweetheart or dearest one.  Now I am to tell five interesting things about myself.  Oh my, is there anything you don't already know?  In any event - here goes: 

    1. I claim Milledgeville, Georgia as my hometown - we moved there when I was six months old.  (I was born in Macon, Georgia - which is also the opening line of an old song, if you're into that kind of thing.)  Milledgeville is home to a rather large mental institution and prison, outside of town, and I took a lot of ribbing for that when I moved to Atlanta as an adult.  But I am proud of it for being the "antebellum" capital of Georgia, from 1803 to 1864.  It is full of history.  It  is also home of the famous writer Flannery O'Connor and is where Oliver Hardy began his career.
    2. Much to my late mother's chagrin, I didn't go to church in Atlanta until about 11 years ago.  I was part of what is known here in the States as the 9/11 effect - I sought out church for comfort, but wandered into one that became home immediately.  And they asked me to be a church Elder a five years ago (no one was more surprised than me.)  
    3. I record the New York Times Book Review for the Georgia Radio Reading Service for the Blind. It airs every Sunday night.  I've been volunteering there for 20 years.  Last week at the volunteer workshop I attended, I got a collective "Oooh" for that as we all introduced ourselves.  One man asked me how I got such a plum assignment and I replied that I got that after a lot of years of reading newspapers and Sunday Shopper (coupons!)
    4. I'd rather read than eat.  (Let me think about that statement a little more.)  :)  I was read to so much as a child that they realized I already knew how to read on my first day of school in first grade.  So I got to be in a "reading group" by myself.  I've always got at least three books going at the same time now.
    5. I am not at all athletic, but I like to walk and listen to music after work.  And I love walking with Laura and Janice on weekend mornings - we are a school counselor for special needs children, an orthodontist and printer girl.  We have very different lives, but are the same in that we look for good things every day.  
That's it.  I am supposed to award this to five other bloggers, but I think this one has made the rounds of our circle of bloggers, so consider yourself awarded if you'd like to do it.  Cheers!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Artful arrangement, patchwork quilt and organization

- A coworker brings in produce from his garden and displays it artfully on the light table at work.  He said the peppers were arranged in order of mildness to hotness, meaning that the ones on the bottom were the most fiery.  He jokes so much that I almost didn't trust that the little red ones wouldn't be hot, but they were very sweet.

- This postcard that came from Jannie Funster.  I liked her post "Sail a note like a ship out to sea".  You can see the card there in a photo of the artful arrangement she gave her soon-to-be-mailed postcards.  They look like a patchwork quilt there on that picnic table and they have joined the patchwork quilt canvas that is my refrigerator.  :)

- I heart my new laundry room cabinets.  It looks like a real laundry room now - there was just a shelf there before.  I keep going in there to look at them and it was fun loading them up.  (It doesn't take much to make me happy.)  The best part was dedicating one section for storage of vases that were previously stuck all over the place.  Maybe I'll be inspired to buy flowers at the farmers' market more often now.

I hope you have a delightful weekend, my friends!  I don't have one thing planned yet, which means that there will be lots of reading.  Yay!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Purple, timing is everything and focus

- A coworker spotted this purple wildflower among the weeds behind the printing company.  And since there was so much admiration of it, he added some honeysuckle discovered back there, too.  Lovely.

- A niece posts her status on facebook as "Loves him. :)"  It's been wonderful seeing her so in love with a young man who has been in her orbit for a few years.  The time was finally just right.

- Being awarded $60 for saying what I think about paper towel designs.  Not bad for an hour's work. :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Random flowers, random meetups and a good Saturday

- Some random happy flowers en route from the mailbox to my front door on a sparkling morning.

- Running into a friend I haven't seen in nine years in line at the credit union on Saturday morning.  Then - one of The Real Housewives of Atlanta's husbands at a volunteer workshop.  On the way home, the husband/wife attorneys who fired me downsized me five years ago, at Trader Joe's, and a beloved former coworker and his partner, also at Trader Joe's.  I talked to them long enough for the attorneys to exit with their purchases before I did.  I didn't want to ruin my happy Saturday vibe.  :)

- Crisping up my Wednesday night hand cut fries in the new toaster oven and having them with a little ketchup, while making a salad to take to my single friends' dinner Saturday night.  We sure can cook - it was awesome - and my throat is still scratchy from laughing so much.

Thank you to Scarlet for awarding me The Liebster Blog Award - I'll have to think about that one and do an appropriate post soon.  Thanks Chica!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sometimes simple is better, all smiles and crunch is good

- These flowers are a salute to Friday and the end of a looong week.  Actually they were from the baby shower for my niece Saturday before last.  Love the rocks at the bottom of the Ball jar - sometimes simple is just so much better.

- A good customer service experience at Wal-mart on Thursday p.m. vs. the bad experience on Wednesday p.m.  The young lady last night was all smiles as she picked up my online order and brought it out to me.  She was so genuinely concerned about my less than good experience the night before, that I plan to call there  this morning and commend her to the management.

- It was 8:15pm by the time I left there and I hadn't had dinner.  So I pulled through Taco Bell and got a couple of tacos.  Sometimes sitting on your couch and having a couple of crunchy tacos is all you need.  :)

I hope there are good things in store for you this weekend, my friends!  I hope it's lovely.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back to school, my old school and bittersweet

- Back to school for those young adults there, and probably the owners of those cars there, too.  In my home town of Milledgeville, Georgia on Tuesday afternoon for the legal stuff to close the sale of our family home.  I was so busy for those five hours that I had little time for photos, except for this one out of my car window.  But I saw hundreds of college students all over town yesterday and it brought back memories of my first days at that school

- The college campus pictured above is Georgia College and State University, chartered in 1889 as Georgia Normal and Industrial College - a college for women only, to prepare them for teaching or industrial careers.  It went coed in the 1960s.  That building in the background is Atkinson Hall, circa 1896, named for the founders of the college, who wanted to promote the education of women in the 1880s.  My freshman English teacher used to hold classes on the lawn in front of that building when the weather was nice.

- A lovely and bittersweet afternoon.  It was delightful hearing the distinctive middle Georgia accent all afternoon.  The bakery had my favorite German Nut Bars on hand.  The rain started just as I was leaving town and was at my back all the way home to Atlanta.

It would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday - we should all have something French to eat today in honor, even if it's French Fries.  :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back porch time, currently reading and pure bliss

- Saturday morning.  There had been toast and poached egg on the plate.  And of course, good coffee.  A light breeze carrying the lyrical voices of my Asian neighbors to the back, who were working their garden.  You can just see the roof of their house beyond my mosquito repellent device there.

- Last June, August book club was thrown out as, "read the Ernest Hemingway book of your choice" + "The Paris Wife" by Paula McClain.  The second book is a fictionalized account of Hemingway's early writing life in Paris, told by his first wife Hadley.  But the presented dialogue is the only conjured up fiction - the author pulled accounts of their lives from a number of sources.  Reading that one after "The Sun Also Rises" makes for fascinating reading.  I am loving this book.

- And on Sunday morning the temperature on the back porch was 62 degrees with 0 humidity.  Pure bliss.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hummingbirds, the royals and work treats

- My sisters thought it curious that I photographed this planter in downtown Thomasville, Georgia last Monday - but I loved it for its sun dappled beauty and graceful appearance.  It was only after I downloaded the photo that I noticed the hummingbirds - our late parents' favorite birds - on the planter.  Mom and dad always had feeders at their house.  During the final home clear out Saturday, two weeks ago, hummingbirds kept buzzing by despite the lack of feeders.  I think they were checking to see if that nice lady and man were back.  So I left the new family a hummingbird feeder and nectar on the kitchen counter with an explanatory note and hope they put it up for them.

- A news report last night on NBC that for a country that started out not wanting to be ruled by royalty, we sure do love British royalty now.  It's true - I got up very early to watch both Princess Diana's wedding and that of her son.  And I loved it when they showed William and Kate doing the "wave" in the stands of an Olympic event. 

- My coworker, aka "the cupcake queen", finds a double stacker cupcake cake holder on sale at Macy's and brings it in to show.  I say I'll be more excited about it when it is filled with cupcakes, preferably those chocolate ganache ones she makes.  Maybe today.  Here's hoping...

May your weekend be filled with good things, my friends.  I'll be staying home for this one and am quite excited by the thought.  :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Shower flowers, rain on the way and gathering

- A beautiful weekend with family at my sister's home in Florida.  When the honored guest walked in on Friday night, we all gave a collective, "Awww!"  She would have bent over double laughing at us if she could.  Her baby is due September 2 and we were there for her home town baby shower on Saturday a.m.  

- Low hanging clouds in the wilderness of northern Florida.

- Pete takes a breather while we drink coffee on the back porch on Sunday morning.  It was my absolute favorite time of the weekend - sleepy eyed family wandering outside to join others on the porch, hostess sister shooing us out of the kitchen while she made brunch.  Much laughing.  A lovely time.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Morning scent, words to live by and national pride

- The scent of basil wafting up when the early morning water from the watering can hits it. 

- Wise words from Thomas Edison, posted by the boss at work.

- We don't tend to mince words here in the South.  By the dawn's early light, Mr C's declares an affinity for winning.  And earlier when I was watching the US Rowing Team singing the national anthem as they received their gold medals, my heart swelled with pride, too.

That's a lot of wires in that photo above, huh?  Just an observation.  :)  I hope you all have a glorious weekend!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My favorite thing, something fun and translation help

- So true.  I love being absorbed in a book set in places I've never been before.  Jonathan Kellerman has a detective series set in Los Angeles and I had one of them with me when I visited a friend there for the first time a few years ago.  She lived in the same part of town he so often describes - in West Hollywood near Sunset Boulevard, so it was fun seeing street names I had read about so much in those books.  I'm reading two books for the two book groups right now - The Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.  Two very different writers, but I am indeed transported to a small Georgia town (OK - not much of a stretch there) and Paris in the 1920s. 

- Guilty.  As charged.  :)

- And does anyone know someone who could translate this for me?  There will be a blog post about this later, but my dad had relics from World War II that included some photos.  He did spend some time in Shanghai, China and I do think this script is Chinese.  **Update**  Friend Leisa works for an international company and asked a colleague about it, who in turn checked with a friend who said this isn't Chinese, but Japanese.  His Japanese is very good.  "He said it was ancient Japanese, he couldn't understand the exact meaning, however, the rough meaning is: The soldier must have the characters of loyalty, courtesy, bravery, faith and high quality." I'll keep you posted about the next steps. 

Lots of signs today.  Have a great middle of the week!