Friday, May 29, 2009

Hens & Chicks, quiet and newest citizens

- Spotting these “Hens and Chicks” at Sherry’s Produce and bringing them home because of the fun name. They’ll find a new planter during the weekend.

- Meeting with very nice ladies about the printing of their book. Them: apologizing profusely for making me wait. Me: no worries – it gave me a few moments of quiet.

- Dad reported that he and the physical therapist walked to see Milledgeville's newest citizens in the nursery at the nearby Womens’ Pavilion at the hospital. Newborn twins still had ink on the bottom of their feet. Me: were they cute? Dad: they're all cute to me.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bella, dinner at home and peaches are in

- This angel, a favorite in my angel collection, was created by Simone Wilson. When I purchased Bella, I asked why she had this name. "Because she is so beautiful, of course!" said Simone. Bella is made from piano parts! Simone is a self-described "rescuer of materials from the past." Her Pleasant Hugh Studio is in Asheville, North Carolina and is named for her grandfather, who surely must have been a lovely man to wear the name of Pleasant Hugh and to be given this tribute.

- A lovely dinner at home of Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella whole wheat ravioli on top on field greens and broccoli, drizzled with olive oil, Dijon mustard and lemon juice dressing, and shredded Parmesan cheese on top. Yum.

- The peaches from Sherry's Produce were beautiful and one of Sherry's sons rhapsodized about how good they would be and that they pick them up from South Georgia themselves. I just thought they smelled good. And they were delightful on my morning oatmeal.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rain, curl and laughter

- So much rain during the night making my hair curl right back up from the humidity during early morning watering of porch sheltered plants.

- Spotting a website, Naturally The "Queen of Curl" will answer your questions. I say, let the curl go free and call it a day.

- During a telephone visit with my still-hospitalized father, mom and sister Brenda's laughter in the background.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day, embrace and return

- Remembering that it is Memorial Day, my war veteran father asks if I put the flag out at the house. (I did remember.)

- A young couple in the mall parking lot embraces, pressing their foreheads together before kissing.

- Finding dinner in the refrigerator and a well-looked-after kitty courtesy of friend Leisa upon returning home.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Stately home, home town and cavalry

- The Gordon-Porter-Ward-Beall-Cline-O'Connor house in Milledgeville, Georgia, c.1820, was built by a General Gordon, "not of Civil War fame." It was leased as a residence for the governor while the Governor's Mansion was under construction. This was the home in town in which Flannery O'Connor lived with her parents when they moved to Milledgeville in 1938 when she was a teenager. It is still owned by the O'Connor estate.

- Chronicling some of the architecture and history of my home town of Milledgeville, Georgia, the capital of Georgia when Civil War was declared. Milledgeville has the distinction of being the only city other than Washington, DC to be designed as a capital city. (The capital was moved to Atlanta during reconstruction.)

- A rare dinner out with just sisters, all arriving from three different directions to help out during a health crisis;* mom saying it was like the cavalry was coming.

* My dad is ill and in the hospital, but expected to make a full recovery.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hidden, dancing and today might be the day

- The trees on the hill behind my office building standing in a row like monuments, largely hidden from general view.

- My boss likes to post motivational quotations above the copier, usually rah rah stuff. But the one yesterday was a little different and stayed with me, "Life is not about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."

- Receiving this uplifting passage from a book by Barbara Brown Taylor from friend Susan in an email, about Biblical Abraham and Sarah, and how very long they had to wait:

"It is a hard thing, to believe in a promise with no power to make it come true. Everything is in the future tense--the land, the son, the blessing. Everything will happen, by and by, but in the meantime what is there to live on now? And yet. What better way to live than in the grip of a promise, and a divine one at that? Who in her right mind would give that back? To wake every morning to the possibility that today might be the day. To remain wide awake all day long, noticing everything--the way the shade of the olive tree processes from west to east, and how the smell of the fields changes from green grass to yellow hay as the sun heats up overhead. To search the face of every stranger in case it turns out to be an angel of God. To take nothing for granted. Or to take everything as granted, though not yet grasped. To handle every moment of one's life as a seed of the promise and to plant it tenderly, never knowing if this moment, or the next, may be the one that grows."

from "The Late Bloomer" from Gospel Medicine, by Barbara Brown Taylor

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Respite, comfort and life is good

- This rather stylized bust of David has been all over my house, but now resides on my home office desk; a calm place of respite.

- Stopping at my favorite "gourmet to go" place for spinach lasagna because I feel the need to comfort myself, but end up listening to the young man behind the counter who needed to vent about his day. I leave thinking that my life is pretty good!

- A little chocolate cake and a glass of Merlot to round out the day. Life is good, indeed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Why I keep my camera with me, Yum and Socks Army

- Walking down the street next to a picture of himself. A recording artist on Peachtree Street.

- Heath Bar Blondies So Easy A Caveman Ex-Boyfriend Could Do It. Spotted on Tastespotting and bringing an image of an old boyfriend to mind. Great title and Yum!

- Ashton Kutcher made headlines last week for surpassing CNN on amount of followers on Twitter. A dubious distinction, I say. But right on their heels is a cat named Sockington, with more than 500,000 followers now. Sockington's person adds, "...which pretty much seals the deal for me as to mankind’s hopes for the future." A typical Sockington "tweet": "and so I slept and then I walked around and then I slept again and then I saw a cobweb..."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bargain, golden and bright

- Doubtful, but you never know! And a bargain in any event at $6.99.

- Sitting in traffic behind a construction company van with the bumper sticker, "Old Guys Rule"

- On a crisp 50 degree May morning, the sun is so bright that sunglasses are needed at 6:45am.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mudbugs, pickers and all in pink

- Presented a batch of these to eat at a benefit dinner, the jury is still out on whether I would want them again. But it was fun to watch a native Louisianan demonstrate his technique.

- A late afternoon sun setting on a field of strawberry pickers at one of those "pick your own" places.

- A crowd around the exit of the church sanctuary makes me think everyone is thanking Robert for his great sermon, but it turns out to be ooers and ahhers over a visiting baby all done up in pink. Robert says, "rightfully so!"

Friday, May 15, 2009

Comic relief, old friend and sunrise

- This photo of Sophie is a favorite, taken with my camera phone on a day when I needed comic relief. I do think that animals have an instinct for knowing when their people need comfort.

- A couple of cold beers with an old friend.

- The sunrise in my rear view mirror also mirrored in the glass buildings in the looming skyline of Atlanta.

Happy Friday, y'all!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Delicious, sleep and found

- Making a lovely Mediterranean couscous salad. Couscous, tomatoes, green onions, red bellpepper, feta cheese, kalamata olives and vinegar dressing. Yum.

- Amused looks from friends preparing to play the dominoes game "Trains" when I explain I cannot stay because I plan to be asleep in the next hour. 9:00pm.

- Finding a missing client file that I had placed in "T" when it would have been in "I" - a co-worker says, "So you're a victim of your own handwriting?"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Greens, glamour and roses

- During a rushed day, stopping to finish a take-out lunch next to this golf course named after golfing legend Bobby Jones and on grounds that a famous Civil War battle was fought.

- A friend's excitement upon going to the glamorous Fox Theatre for the first time. A movie, "The Way Home" was filmed in his neighborhood and they were all invited to the premiere. He talked college sports with Dean Cain for about two minutes; women were lining up for photos and he was edged out.

- A co-worker's husband drops by to bring her roses for their 20th wedding anniversary. Twenty roses - she beamed all day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mr C's, the Hawks and dancing cowboys

- From Mr C's Sign yesterday:


- But sadly, they did not. This morning the camera operator on the local NBC affiliate (amid much hilarity from the two anchor women) cut the weather man out of the shot because he bet against the Hawks. I suppose we can't expect the transplanted news people to love our teams like we do.

- Would this make you think I care about the Hawks? I would have totally jumped on the bandwagon if they had not been eliminated from the playoffs last night. However, instead of watching them on television, I watched the delightfully silly Dancing with the Stars. You gotta love a show that encourages a rodeo cowboy like Ty Murray to dance the samba. The cowboy nation must be behind him with the votes.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Salutation, picnics on porches and remembering

- Today they are new citizens of the world. The Georgia College & State University graduation is just over when my dad and I drive by.

- Porches are full of graduates and family as we drive through the campus area. "Picnics on porches," Dad remarks.

- He suddenly remembers things to tell us. He knows that I admire Flannery O'Connor's stories and her farm property, Andalusia, is around the corner from my childhood home. "She was a nice lady," he says. You knew her????? She used to come in the grocery store with her mother. In the last days, she was in a wheelchair. Nice lady.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Treat, more treats and somebody now

- This glorious key lime pie from Bahama Breeze restaurant. Jane brought it as a treat for our circle meeting at church. All I can say is, YUM! And totally worth the calories. It sparked a discussion regarding our mutual love of graham cracker crust.

- More yumminess. Friend Leisa dropped by my office with cookies left over from a seminar her company gave at a function for seniors. We scarfed them down like anteaters. :) Their company specializes in "aging-in-place" home renovations for seniors, allowing them to live in their homes instead of assisted living facilities. A good thing, for sure.

- Wishing a wonderful concert this Sunday in Austin, Texas to Jannie Funster, who routinely makes my day. This comment from G on her blog: "Yay! I’m friends with a musician who has an actual product of music out. I’m a semi-somebody now!" I feel the same way.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sparkle, rescue and lost objects

- My new cellphone that has a number of free ringtones, but none I really liked. All kinds of dance music sounds - OK, but you hate it when it goes off in in a crowd. So I chose the Samsung ringtone which is kind of ethereal. I mention to friend Leisa that I miss my Sparkle sound from my old phone. She says, "I love the word Sparkle!" Me, too.

- Knocking on a nice neighbor's door asking for help with my computer, knowing that she will know what to do. She does help and later knocks on my door to see if all went as hoped.

- Noticing a trend in roadside objects. Chairs. This morning it was a nice looking office chair sitting to the side of the expressway. Yesterday - a Barcalounger. What's that about?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Courtesy, Twitter and pound cake recipe

- Edging onto the expressway at the height of rush hour, a man lets me in. I thank him with a wave and he waves back.

- Enjoying Twitter and following the food people. This "tweet" made me laugh out loud from @ezraklein "How is @ruthreichl not several thousand pounds?" Ms. Reichl is editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and posts what she is eating all day long. I always imagine everyone posting about what they are eating and cooking must be doing it from the treadmill from a blackberry.

- The pound cake from a grandmother's recipe was a big hit at book group. The recipe is emailed (recipe follows) and someone questions the lack of baking powder in the recipe. The answer makes me smile, "You just have to trust me that no chemical reaction is needed to leaven the cake. The cake rises based on the expansion of tiny air bubbles that are created when the batter is properly made. Aeration is achieved by creaming the butter and sugar on medium high speed until it is very, very fluffy. This can take a number of minutes. (Husband) just checked on the best temp to cream butter and it is 65 degrees. The eggs also leaven the cake-think of a souffle. You should add the eggs one at a time until each is well incorporated, and I turn the speed down to low when adding the flour. Hope this helps."

Pound Cake

1 lb. softened salted butter - leave out overnight to bring to room temp.
8 eggs - must be at room temp
2 and 2/3 cup sugar
3 and ½ cups plain flour (White Lily recommended)
8 tbsp evaporated milk (small can)
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 and grease/flour large tube pan. (Note: this recipe will not fit in a bundt pan.) Cream butter and sugar until very fluffy. Add eggs. Alternate adding flour and milk until each is well incorporated. Add vanilla. Bake 1 and ½ hours; let cool 10 minutes and invert onto plate.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mascot, extra mile and happy morning

- This wooden cat that was left facing the front door of my gym a couple of years ago. (No one knows why.) Staff opening up in the morning found it there, brought it in and adopted it as their mascot. They have fun decorating it for holidays; this time in honor of the assistant manager who is graduating from college.

- Visiting an obstetrician's office in which a pitcher of lemonade is always set out on a tray for expectant moms and supportive dads.*

- The birds providing a happy morning symphony in the trees around my house, complete with different sounds.

* This was a work visit.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Diamonds, dedicated and rain

- The diamond pattern the landscaping man made in the grass he was mowing.

- Attending a festival in which Adopt a Greyhound Atlanta, Inc., an organization dedicated to providing homes for retired racing Greyhounds, had a booth. One of the dogs was wearing four tiny pink shoes, made just for her sensitive paws.

- Sitting on the back porch after dark listening to light rainfall on the trees.

Friday, May 1, 2009

15 stars, done and sing out loud

- Getting 15 stars for exercise completed in April.

- Finishing an article I agreed to write and emailing it off before I can change my mind about its contents.

- A co-worker is alone in the printing plant this morning and remarks about the quiet. And enjoying his laugh when I tell him he can sing out loud.