Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Comfort, eureka and tea in the morning

- Due to budget cuts a few co-workers have been laid off. I will miss Robert the most - a lovely man. One day last week he wasn't feeling well and I made him a cup of red tea. I was happy to do that for someone who always made my day easier.

- My fondest memory of Rita was from the day a bird flew into the warehouse. I could hear chirping from the bird and from Rita, who had made a trail of popcorn through the warehouse to the loading dock door in the hopes the bird would spot the popcorn, want to eat it and Eureka! see the light and fly out to freedom.

- I am thankful for my electric teapot given to me by friend Leisa. It makes every morning a little better for being able to heat up hot water for tea right in my cubicle.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Companionable silence, neighborly and relaxation

- Helping other women quietly set up for a luncheon, lots of hands making the tasks go quickly.

- Neighbor Marion standing outside flagging neighbors that the Chevron station on the corner "had gasoline as of 45 minutes ago."

- A lazy afternoon napping.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Successful experiment, evening air and so good

- Making a side dish of steamed green beans to take to my dinner group, with a sauce of olive oil, Italian parsley, stoneground mustard and chives from my herb basket.

- The delicious fragrance of a Tea olive bush making me want to linger on the back porch.

- A glorious dessert of chocolate covered cheesecake with a praline layer in the middle topped with chocolate dipped strawberries.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Change of seasons, art stroll and looking forward

- A flock of geese forming a V and flying south. The 3-4 geese in the front jockey for position before they situate themselves.

- Discovering a part of Atlanta that I have never been to. The Castleberry Hill ArtStroll features multiple art galleries and it was fun wandering in and out of them and later sitting at a sidewalk cafe watching the world go by.

- Already looking forward to the Christmas holidays by calendaring the Decatur Candlelight Tour of Homes with friend Barb.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Beautiful place, nice man and chuckle

This is what it looked like except there were red tablecloths

- Attending a lovely event benefiting the Piedmont Park Conservancy - A Passion for Piedmont and enjoying the cool evening air, people watching, delicious food and schmoozing with my client.

- Because of the gasoline shortage in Atlanta, the television news is full of reports of outages, there are cars stranded on the side of the expressway and every conversation seems to involve where you found gasoline. The man from the dry cleaners cheerfully retrieves my clothes even though I had lost my ticket because he remembers me and shares a tip about where to find gasoline nearby.

- Reading The New York Times Dwight Garner’s take on books of lists: “This columnist enjoys books of lists as much as the next reader. But the (sales-boosting) gimmick of adding the phrase “Before You Die” to the end of these titles has him feeling a little rattled. Before he dies?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

No Helen, gone with wind and sharing

- Asking friend Steven for the route he takes to the mountains that just bypasses Helen, Georgia. Helen is a small town that was recreated to resemble a Bavarian village and has lots of kitschy craft, fudge and tattoo shops. People flock there for some reason and so it takes a lot of time to drive through it. (Example for why it bothers me – one can purchase Native American souvenirs at a place called “Tekawitha.” See what I mean?) Steven’s directions end with: “You turn left and head across the mountain leaving all the tragedy in Helen in your dust.”

- Telling Kim that I had a bad day and her response, "Tomorrow is another day, Scarlett!"

- Tony has been picking up his toddler granddaughter Aubrey from daycare every afternoon while her parents are out of town and bringing her back to the office. She has enormous blue eyes and a shy smile. I sat in a chair in his office and talked to her and she brought me a toy to hold.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Like a shooting star, comfort and good sleeping

- Looking up at the crescent moon just as a plane flies across it.

- Being very tired and stopping at Mimi's to pick up dinner. Blackened salmon, mashed red skin potatoes and grilled vegetables. Mimi's is a "gourmet to go" place and does not have a website, so it is always a nice surprise to see what the dinner of the day is.

- My kitty's reaction when I stop by my house unexpectedly mid-morning. She was in the same position I last her saw her in four hours earlier. She stretched, shook her head as if to get the cobwebs out and wanted a treat.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lucky her, dancing, comfort

- Calling a client and hearing music, chatter and tinkling sounds in the background. She says, "Do you mind calling me back on Thursday? I'm in Barcelona."

- A crazy guilty pleasure is back on television this week, "Dancing with the Stars."

- Having a quick dinner at Matthews Cafeteria. Not particularly healthy food, but just like grandma used to make.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Future chefs, last morning of summer, traffic monitor

- Students from the culinary school in their white chef coats, looking ghostly in the darkness as they walk from the bus to get an early morning start to their day.

- The smell of freshly cut grass in the crisp cool air.

- The rumble of a helicopter gliding through the darkness overhead, red and blue lights twinkling.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mama bird, bright spot, poignant

Bird feeder sans Cardinal

- Mama Cardinal came to visit the bird feeder and ate all the seed that had fallen into the tray.

- Talking to Kim from the grocery store checkout line all the way through unloading my sacks of food in the kitchen.

- The Susan G. Komen 3-day walk for breast cancer is this weekend - they are on the last leg of their walk this morning. I so admire that, having lost two friends to breast cancer. It was a coincidence, but on the way to the grocery store listening to the radio the song “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum came on. My eyes welled up over part* of the lyrics. Not remembering why this song makes me want to cry, I looked the lyrics up later and found that it was released in 1992 when my best friend was struggling with breast cancer. It was a terrible year for her friends and family, but one that she considered the best year of her life. When I was done shopping for food, a checkout line was clear and contained my favorite checkout lady Krista. I said, “This is my lucky day!” She smiled and replied, “Every day should be your lucky day.” True...

* I can go where no one else can go
I know what no one else knows
Here I am just drownin' in the rain
With a ticket for a runaway train

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Weekend!, midtown experience, inspiration

Lavender by Bob Trammell

- Laughing, talking and sharing a yummy meal of steak, blue cheese salad and chocolate cake with good friends. I looked forward to it all day and it lived up to expectations.

- A falafel sandwich on flatbread with thinly sliced carrots and tomatoes and a lovely yogurt / chili sauce dressing. Messy but delicious. I went to Metrotainment to pick up the chocolate cake and stopped by Star Provisions for the sandwich.

- Reading Hugh Tran's beautiful prayer* for Bob Trammell to heal.





Friday, September 19, 2008

Middle sister, lovely accent and busy people

- Being amused by this wine at Target and purchasing a bottle of the "rebel red." Being a Middle Sister myself, I would say that I turned out to be the rebel out of the three of us.

- Listening to the novel "Life Class" by Pat Barker and enjoying the voice of the man who recorded it - very soothing in the darkness of the early morning drive.

- Having a great meeting with fellow grant writers that lasted exactly one hour - what we all wanted.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Frolicking weather, fun place to work and creative concern

- The weather suddenly switching from Summer to Fall making me want to walk outdoors.

- Looking around the Hill Street Warehouse & Gardening Center while waiting for my client to approve her proof. They are going to close the doors Friday evening, drink wine and stamp and address the "annual sale" postcards we are printing for them. They were amused at my excitement that the candles will be on sale, too.

- Walking into Brenda's office and laughing out loud - someone has placed peanut M&Ms in the shape of a smiley face on her blotter. Next to it is a sticky note reading, "Are you OK? Check Yes or No" There were boxes for checking.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Brief respite, bigger than a stick of butter and great party

- A relaxing mid-day drive through a historic neighborhood full of beautiful old homes and tall leafy trees.

- Checking on the new giant panda cub on the Zoo Atlanta website - he looks a bit like a stuffed animal at this point. We were over the moon over his sister Mei Lan when she was born. Now she looks downright giant beside her new brother!

- Going through the website with more than 1200 photos from niece Carla's wedding in May and remembering what a fun party that turned out to be.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fun accountant, nice client and just teasing (really)

- Deep in thought at the grocery store, someone calls my name and I can't quite put her in context for a moment. It turns out to be my once-a-year accountant. We always have such a great time at my tax appointment that we spend a few minutes on the sidewalk catching up and then, "See you in February!"

- Hearing from a nice woman that the printed piece we did for her company is "quite a hit!"

- Overheard at work, "You're out of your mind! If you had a mind, you'd be out of one!"

Monday, September 15, 2008


- A good book club discussion on "The Year of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs. Consensus that it was less about a faith journey than getting a best seller written. However we liked this question, and suggestion by the author: if an eleventh commandment was written, what should it be? "Thou shalt not have certainty that you are right."

- Enjoying Joan and her husband's friendly lawn sign rivalry. There was one sign for John McCain and another for Barack Obama. She says it has been a 20-year debate.

- Joan had sent out an email with directions "For those of you who live way out in the Boonies", and three women walking in announcing they had survived their journey from the Boonies. Joan took the in-town snobbery kidding good naturedly.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Welcome to the world, manifesto and sofa time

- The arrival of a new third cousin - beautiful baby Andrew.

- Finishing "In Defense of Food - An Eater's Manifesto" by Michael Pollan and liking his suggestion on how we should eat: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

- Not feeling well and realizing that I can really just stay put this morning.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Surprise, thoughtfulness and lovely legacy

- Watering my outdoor geranium and finding a red bird feather has been stuck in the soil. And placing it with my collection of found feathers into one of my ceramic "feather catchers."

- My neighbor Rhonda put it there for me to find. She often checks on Sophie for me when I am out of town and noticed that I like feathers.

- The feather catchers were created by an artist in North Carolina who has since passed away. A pottery collective in Dillsboro, NC used to showcase them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Creativity, recognizable footsteps, right!

David Fried, Self Organizing Still Life (SOS)

- Visiting the Atlanta Botanical Gardens with friend Leisa on a beautiful night. The current exhibit is called Sculpture in Motion. The balls on the smooth surface shown above move toward you when you call to them.

- Robert pokes his head around the corner when I call out a good morning to him: "How did you know it was me?"

- Bobby's smile when I passed him on the way in, "It's Friday, right?"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

American treasures

- This flag was lovingly and protectively draped over the side of the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. It now hangs at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington DC.

- The SMAH has restored and houses the Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired our National Anthem. I quite enjoyed visiting the museum on my annual visits to watch the progress of the restoration. The restoration could be viewed through a window with the staff on their knees on platforms over the flag painstakingly working on it.

- You have to love a museum that has Dorothy's ruby slippers, Julia Child's entire kitchen enclosed in plexiglas and a statue of George Washington portrayed as Zeus!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beanstalk, kindness, giddiness

- My mother always uses a word for the kind of plant that took up in my pot, it is a "volunteer." I decided to let it be, water it and just let it grow, but it seems to have reached its full height. I think it looks like something Jack might have climbed up.

- The elderly man I see at different times of the day walking slowly up and down the road where my office is. He has long gray hair pulled back in a ponytail, wears a bucket hat, tweed jacket, shorts and sneakers. Hands in pockets, he seems to be in deep thought. A co-worker told me they refer to him as "Slow Walker" and added that the business next door allows him to live in the back of the warehouse. I'll bet he has a great story.

- My father's happiness and relief that the results of his scary test were good. He was told he had the bone marrow of a 50-year-old. He said, "Now if I just had some hair, I'd be dangerous!"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Notorious in a good way, little quirk and cool guy

- Standing in a long line at the post office, where one lone woman is working behind the counter, the lady in front of me asks to everyone in general, "Where are Marvelous and Fabulous?"

- A rather taciturn woman I am providing printing estimates for, and who I have never met in person, signs her emails "Fondly."

- Having a discussion with the cool guy who works at Mighty Joe Espresso about the music they are playing. Some sort of Bluegrass mix. He smiles and says, "Muzak has come a long way."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Still feisty, living up to her name and coming home

- The howl of righteous indignation from my kitty who thought I was lifting her off the chair, when I was only placing a towel under her (so guests who want to sit there after her won't get cat hair on their clothes.) She hasn't jumped up there in months due to her arthritis and I had finally taken the white throw off.

- Little Bella finding the church sanctuary a wonderfully big place to romp in after she has been fetched from the nursery following worship service. Her grandmother makes her cackle with laughter at the words "stinky bug."

- Catching sight of Carolina Wrens on my bird feeder. I wonder if they are from the family who nested on my back porch last Spring?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sharing, '50s film, and high spirited artist

- Making a spinach and cheese omelet from eggs from the Simpson's menagerie. I like the eggs from the Guinea Hens the most - they seem to be all yolk. She brought dozens and dozens to the circle gathering the other night - everyone left with eggs.

- Watching the delightfully creepy movie, "The Night of the Hunter" on Turner Classic Movies. There was a character called "Icey Spoon."

- Catching up on recorded programs, my favorite is Project Runway on Bravo. This week Stella was the "losing" designer. I suspected that they kept her on for as long as they did to provide entertainment - she was a riot. At the end of the show, Tim Gunn said of her, "That was an ebullient departure."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saturday morning

- This planter came from Louise in Hayesville who insisted on putting the peat in it for me when I balked and didn't think I would ever do it.

- Nice men replacing my heating and air conditioning system while I quietly find long put off things to do in my home office.

- Enjoying coffee purchased from Equal Exchange. My favorite is the organic blend called "Mind, Body and Soul." It has beans from two roasts from Mexican beans and highlight chocolate and spice flavors.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Jake, bright spot and evening stars

- A client's dog greeted me and leaned against my legs while I rubbed his side. Jake is a mixed breed dog who came from the Atlanta Humane Society. Later, he stood in the loading dock door and watched me drive away.

- Having a spontaneous lunch with Leisa at the friendliest place ever, Figo, enjoying arugula salad with shaved parmigiano reggiano drizzled with lemon vinaigrette.

- Becoming so drowsy at my circle gathering that I nod off for a moment, then look up to smiles from other women who know what it's like to never get enough sleep.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lots of woofin', cool, and good humor

- Receiving the Replacements, Ltd. email newsletter is so enjoyable because of the section always at the end in which there is a Featured Pet (and Pet Owner!). They have a pet-friendly policy there which surely makes it a happy place to work.

- The coolness of the early morning air making outdoor watering a pleasure.

- Bill carrying Ann's purse and handling the gentle teasing about it with good humor.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Connection, I so agree and OK since then

- The way the sun hits the cherub on my back porch. He is perched on bricks found in the back yard of my grandparents’ home.

- This is why I love his blog: “I've always disliked seared tuna, or al dente pasta, as well. Either cook the damn thing—or don't.” David Lebovitz

- Receiving an email from my cousin that picked up where we left off on June 23.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Shadow, singing those songs all week and nice boy

- The stained glass dragonfly hanging in my window makes a shadow that moves across the kitchen floor. It came from my favorite place in Hayesville, NC, The Garden Shoppe and Nursery. The owner, Louise, bakes bread there every morning - you can smell it from the street.

- Spending Labor Day afternoon with Pat watching the cheeriest movie ever, Mamma Mia!

- The clerk at Publix shyly informing me that since I am purchasing a bottle of wine he is required to see proof of my age since he is under 18 years old. I tell him that I kind of enjoy being carded.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sisters in the Spirit

- Having an impromptu parking lot catch-up with Beverly R, and being joined by Ginny, we have declared ourselves "Sisters in the Spirit." Beverly thinks we should take it on the road. Then having Sally drive up smiling, roll her window down and ask, "WHO stands in the middle of the parking lot where they could get run over?" And then, "Can I join?" We would be more than honored.

- Sitting down with Bev H with more catching up about parents, life, yoga, etc. - I should have been in Sunday School, but loved this few minutes.

- Later finding Beverly R again, this time tidying the office of the new Director of Youth Ministry, who starts this week. We tell each other how much we miss Whitney. Beverly says, "You know she's being ordained today?" I did know and reading her account of it just now made me tear up.