Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Shop cat, shop dogs and welcome home

- The owner of a shop in the North Carolina mountains estimates that this sleeping kitty has cost her at least $500 so far.  The kitty had wandered up to the shop and had severe injuries from an animal attack.  She was promptly taken care of and is a beloved shop cat now with her own chair to sleep in.  She merely purred a bit when I petted her very lightly.  What a nice life she has now.

- The repair garage up the street is run by a cheerful blonde woman, with two equally cheerful female helpers.  Two shop dogs (a chihuahua and a tiny terrier) were sitting in a man's lap when I came in to inquire about an oil change.  (The man was a customer, too.)  The welcoming look shifted slightly when I gave an Atlanta address, but became friendly again when the two shop dogs clambered into my lap when the man stood to leave.  (In other words - I'm not from around there, but if the dogs like me, I must be OK.)  :)

- My Gerber daisy was blooming and looked as if it was welcoming me home when I got there on Sunday evening.  I had a lovely time with my sisters - it went by too quickly though.  We all texted that we were home later and agreed that it was truly lovely.

There was no internet access while I was gone and I haven't even gotten started with catching up.  But what a delightful catch-up that will be!  See you on your blog soon.  More pics on Friday.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Berries and lace, out to sea and a beautiful day

- The photos today are from a walk at Chatuge Dam in Clay County, North Carolina, when I was there July 4th weekend.  I took so many photos, I just have to share a few more.  You would have to click to enlarge to see the wild blackberries growing on a vine there.  They looked pretty beside the Queen Anne's lace - a much more beautiful name for the wildflower than its technical name Daucus carota.  When I was a young bride-to-be, the mother of my best childhood friend made centerpieces for the tables at a party they threw for me, out of pink roses and Queen Anne's lace she picked from the side of a road nearby.  I always think of Maxine when I see them.

- The trail runs alongside a campground and I just managed to snap a shot of sailboat with its colorful sail, sailing gracefully out on the lake.  Click to enlarge. 

- About 1/2 mile left until the end of my walk when I'm at this point - emerging from the shade of the pine trees.  My car is at the end of that paved drive.  It was a beautiful day.  

This week - three sisters from three different states are converging for our annual sisters weekend.  And we're going to the place we love best - the house by the river.  There is really no way to read blogs when I'm there, so I'll catch up when I return.  Have a great week!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Freedom, farmers market, greeter and peace

- My favorite farmer is Mr. Martin, who grows vegetables by the Hiwassee River in North Carolina - across the river from my sister's vacation home.  On this day, I snapped his photo through the screen of the back porch as he drove that tractor all over his property.  (Click to enlarge.)  He is well into his 90s, has cancer (diagnosed more than a year ago), and lately has been living in assisted living.  When I was there in May, I saw him on the property, but someone was always with him.  This time, I watched as he drove his tractor alone - no one else in sight - even over the part of the property that is not farmed. Freedom.

- Downtown Hayesville, North Carolina, last Saturday morning.  They always have a farmers market on Saturday mornings there.  Vegetables, preserves, baked goods, some crafts.  People are so friendly there.  One man proudly gave credit to his wife for the bonsai trees he was selling, "She's off talking somewhere if you want to ask her about anything."  

- This dog walked up to me for head rubs.  A nearby man said, "That's Rowdy.  He lives a couple of blocks down the way there (waving his hand) and comes up every Saturday morning to hang out with us."

 - Here's Rowdy again, this time greeting at the pie lady's table.  She was selling her homemade buttermilk pie, a proud secret recipe.  (Although I have it if anyone wants it - my grandmother used to make it.)  She asked me what time it was, and said "never mind" when I pulled out my cellphone to look.  I explained that I don't wear a watch anymore - I just look at my phone for the time.  She said, "I gave up watches and cellphones when I retired here and have never missed them."  I could see that and totally agree.  She just wanted to know the time so she could go home after selling those last two pies.

- I asked if I could snap a photo of the flowers in the wine bottle (a great idea, I think.)  She said (smiling), "You can have them if you buy a pie."  I replied that although I probably have it in me to eat a whole pie, it doesn't seem advisable.  :)  I left with no pie, but a little later noticed the women in the photo just above this one, walking away with pie and flowers.

Thank you for sharing my walk through the farmers market.  Mr. Martin used to sell potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, etc. there - I have a photo of my sister buying potatoes from him to take home (probably 10 years ago.)  I'm betting he'll be back, judging by the crops I saw coming up across the river.  Have a great weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sunday morning, bird haven, legacy and perfect afternoon

- The neighbor to the left of my sister's house on the Hiwassee river in North Carolina has this beautiful rock right in front of her back porch.  I see her grandchildren sunning themselves on it sometimes or playing gladiator.  It was so beautiful on Sunday morning - cool with a light breeze blowing.  No grandchildren around, and the neighbor was at church, so I took this glorious photo.

- This bird haven (as I think of it), is halfway between my sister's house and this neighbor.  If you click to enlarge, you'll see signs that there is a nest in it.  I often see birds flying in and out - usually blue birds.  No action this weekend though - there must be fledglings about.

- Not to be outdone in the beauty department, my sister's Daylilies, madly blooming, on the other side of her house (taken on Saturday afternoon).  Her late mother-in-law, Grace, planted them long ago.  I love how they keep coming back year after year.

- I looked up from my book one afternoon and thought how peaceful that back porch looks from my cushy vantage point inside the house.  A perfect afternoon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Red level, hazy and signs of independence

- My brother-in-law in Virginia collects antique levels, such as this one that I spotted at the antique shop I love so much in Lilburn, Georgia.  He has dozens of them hanging on the wall of his home office and usually polishes up one for the odd gift to the kids (graduations, weddings, etc.).  I emailed these photos to him because that's the first thing he looks for when he goes into an antique shop, so now I keep my eye out for them, too. 

- The haze in the sky in Atlanta yesterday was due to dust from the Saharan desert!  And I thought it was just smog.  So interesting that a touch of Africa has floated into the southeastern US via the gulf winds.  There's more about this here.

- The same antique shop, referred to above, Antiques in Old Town, has these old American flags draped from the ceiling.  The owner told me they've been there for 20 years.  I'm seeing lots of flags around this week, due to the July 4th holiday coming up.  I'll be celebrating in another favorite place, the house by the river I love so much. 

Just one post this week.  I'll be back next week with lots of photos, I hope.  I hope your week and weekend are filled with good things!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Unexpected beauty, re-purposed and volunteer

- I already had the dental appointment, which I was alerted to with a postcard in my own handwriting.  It's always a bit disconcerting to see my handwriting in the mailbox.  But I stuck the card in the overstuffed mail catcher on my home office desk because I love those stamps.  Aren't they beautiful?  Click to enlarge.

- You would also have to click to enlarge to see the scribbling on this folder, which began as the folder for my 1996 taxes.  Sometime in the early '90s, I had a boss in my corporate job who asked us to deliver reports and such to him in used folders.  He hated the idea of brand new folders (for some reason.)  I laughed when I was digging in some old papers last weekend and came up with the one pictured.  A lesson learned from him, I guess - re-purposing a folder.  I must have been waiting at my tax appointment, listening to my work voice messages to get visuals to Maria, to see Leeann on Monday and to send (photo) release to Dawn, etc. etc.  A trip down memory lane and I'm keeping this folder, which now holds papers from a church committee I chair.  :)

 - And this is the loading dock at the printing company.  I noticed a lovely little flowering shrub has "volunteered" between the cracks there.  My mother used to call plants that spring up "volunteers."  Nothing at all beautiful about that view, except the shrub that I noticed in passing and, of course, that beautiful blue sky. 

Beauty in unexpected places - a favorite good thing.  I hope some of that is in store for you this weekend.  And a special Happy Birthday to Naomi, who is 83 years old today.  Happy Birthday, my friend.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Getting a treat, Lamb's Ear and something purple and beauty

- Friend Laura's dogs, Dori and Macintosh, anticipating the treat a nice man is about to give them.  He always has a bag of treats for dogs walking in the park and they assume this position at the mere sight of him.

- I titled this photo, "Lamb's Ear and something purple" because I don't know what the something purple is, but they are beautiful together.  Some nice ladies maintain these islands of flowers in the park where I walk on the weekend.

- The sun was smiling down at wildflowers that have taken off in a field shadowed by lots of power lines.  There's an occasional red poppy in there (you can just see one in the back peeking over the others heads.)  It was a beautiful morning for a walk.