Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The gate, bike riding and the road race

- An intersection in midtown Atlanta big enough for four traffic lights. And that big arch behind it, too. :) They call it the Millennium Gate and it serves as a museum of Georgia history. The name refers to Atlanta as "The Gate City."

- Reading an update from facebook friend CBL: "On my bike ride this morning I saw a one-eyed chow eating a chicken bone. And a massive granite monolith." She is promoting bike riding as an alternative to cars. This is the best one yet.

- Hearing myself agree to "run" the 10K Peachtree Road Race with three co-workers next July 4. Maybe I'll just walk it. Training will be good for my health, right? Right?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Peaceful, lovely read and twisty handle

- The sun tried to come out on Sunday morning, but no matter - it was lovely to sit on the porch for a little while and enjoy coffee and some reading on a relatively non-humid morning.

- The book is Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. It is beautifully written with a great plot - all the women in a Mexican village have been left behind while the men gone north to find work, leaving them at the mercy of drug gangsters. The heroine hatches an elaborate scheme inspired by The Magnificent Seven: she heads north to find seven Mexican men and smuggle them back into Mexico to protect the town. A lovely read.

- The pottery mug was created by a potter in North Carolina named Rob. I love the twisty handle on the mug that creates a space in which my thumb fits perfectly when I lift it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Double rainbow, yum and troubadours

Double Rainbow. Photo by ALM

- My niece is the office manager for a private family-owned plantation in the Florida panhandle. She took this photo on the property, of a double rainbow. Unbeknown to me - "double rainbow" is an expression that can be used, according to Urban Dictionary, as "a term expressing something of pure, unrivaled awesome. Used commonly when awesome or spectacular are simply insufficient." Such as,
"Did you see that double backflip?
Totally Double Rainbow"
...Now I know. :)

- In Atlanta - a meeting with a client near my home stomping grounds leads me to lunch at The Alcove, and a diet-blowing Panini sandwich: Fresh mozzarella w/sun dried tomatoes and pesto on Focaccia bread. I forgive myself and go on. Yum.

- The new assisted living facility my mother lives in has wondrously varied activities. We took home activity schedules, so we could all call her and encourage her to attend things. On the schedule for yesterday - The Troubadours. "So how were The Troubadours?" She chuckled, "Honey, they sang like hillbillies! But I enjoyed it anyway." I asked if she clapped along. She did.

I hope your weekend is totally Double Rainbow!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fort Peace, twinkle and fragrant

- This house, referred to as The Castle, but given the wonderful name of Fort Peace originally, was sold at auction this week for $951,000 to a private investor. It is surrounded by office buildings and is just across the street from the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta. The original owner designed and built it himself in 1910 as a summer home. What a wonderful name he gave it - Fort Peace.

- In the doctor's waiting room, an elderly man settles down in my area of chairs. Is this the fun section? he asks. We all smile and he twinkles back.

- The light rain and moisture in the air this morning makes the scent from the nearby potato chip factory more fragrant that usual. I decide it must be sour cream and onion flavor in the air. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Old courthouse, familiar scent and unhurried

- The old Milledgeville courthouse, c. 1885, now empty, taken from the steps of my mom's bank. A beautiful building and I am so glad that they are keeping it, even though it has been replaced.

- A quick trip to my home town for a bit of family business. As I get out of the car, I breathe in the fresh air mixed with cooking smells from the nearby cafe. A familiar scent that reminds me why I love my home town.

- Stopping by The Red Door antique shop to say hello to friend Susan. Her dog Raisin meets me at the door with a stuffed toy in her mouth. Susan is giving a silver teapot a quick polish before sending it off with a customer. I sit for a few minutes before getting on the road again. It was good to get these few minutes of unhurried small town life.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy pens, no secret and out of context

- Waiting for a client in front of a reception desk that holds a vase and these flower pens. At first I thought they were just artificial flowers, but then the friendly young man behind the desk, who was writing with one of them, affected an extra deep voice and said, "Uhh - this isn't my pen, by the way." :)

- An employee who used to work in printing wonders how I could have possibly gotten the account of this large technical school, since she had tried and tried and never could get it. I make it sound like a big secret, but really it was from finding the right person and then asking nicely if I could come by.

- Finding my neighbor's smiling face behind a glass window at the registrar's office. We both laugh at seeing each other out of context.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Saturday, Crazy Heart and once in a blue moon

- The weekend definitely had some good things in it - sleeping in on Saturday and some vegging on the couch. The highlight - a wine and cheese tasting benefit party in the evening with friend Kim L. Some tasting, some schmoozing and then on to see Eat Pray Love. This film has not gotten the best reviews, but I think the reviewers haven't read the book - it followed it somewhat faithfully. And I definitely want to go to Bali now.

- A film that did get great reviews - Crazy Heart. Jeff Bridges was so convincing as a down and out singer that I was completely absorbed into the story. And Colin Ferrell's singing was a complete surprise.

- This lovely bouquet had a wonderful name that caught my eye - Blue Moon bouquet. That's what made me want to buy it. Another blue moon isn't due until August 2012, so this was meant to be a once in a blue moon purchase, I suppose. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

All eight, a few more hours and surprise

- Enjoying the hippie vibe at R. Thomas Grill near my office for an early dinner with friend Leisa. We both get the same thing - the Thai Express Bowl that contains Quinoa Рthe supergrain of the future Рcontaining all eight essential amino acids, higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbs than most grains. Topped with a sauté of broccoli, red cabbage, carrots, scallion, red onion and cilantro in a spicy peanut sauce. I left knowing that I now contained all eight essential amino acids. Yum.

- Waking during the night to hear a heavy, but peaceful rain. And knowing that I can sleep a few more hours. Lovely.

- Receiving a great card in the mail containing a special treat - a Starbucks card. A nice surprise from a thoughtful friend. She told me a treat was coming in the mail - guaranteed not to melt. That just might be in use this morning - latte here I come.

May treats and surprises come your way this weekend. I hope it is a happy one!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Midtown, called back and favorite tea

- On the way to visit a client and pausing on 16th Street to contemplate midtown Atlanta because no one was behind me for once.

- Settling down with my book in the doctor's office waiting room, but being called back right away. And having mixed feelings because I was kind of looking forward to reading the book.

- Having a lovely warm cup of redbush tea in the 5am hour while I contemplate this blog. A great way to start the day!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Next, all the rage and bright and shining

- This storage place is next door to the printing company and it was a bit poignant to see this man going through papers while he contemplated his stuff. I hope he has a great adventure waiting for him next that he can incorporate his things into.

- A client lunch at a nearby Mexican restaurant that is all the rage in northwest Atlanta - Nuevo Laredo Cantina. It has great salsa, so it passes in my book. :) My choice: Poblano pepper stuffed with Monterrey Jack cheese, spinach y mushrooms. Yum!

- The client is a bright and shining young lady just out of college, who has snagged a plum position at a large non-profit that I already handle printing for. It is lovely to hear about her time at a university that much of my family attended and to hear her large ideas for upcoming work.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Laughing all the way, same spot and piping

- My sisters and I would have been looking at this view in North Carolina this past weekend, but considered that we had a sisters weekend anyway by taking care of our mother's move. And we laughed just as much as we always do. One example: My sister Jo (who lives near Thomasville in farm country) and I are having lunch on Thursday and I remark that she is lucky she can eat sour cream. Her immediate comeback, "You're lucky you have DSL."

- My dad always sat in the same spot in Jo's great room and it is lovely how mom likes to occupy that same spot when she is visiting the farm.

- Finding it difficult to get back to work yesterday after four days away, but the morning was considerably perked up by co-worker Joanne's rendition of "Happy Birthday" on the bagpipes in honor of another co-worker's 40th birthday.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Not in Macon anymore, fixed and shadow

- Lamps and pillows and hats, oh my! Just one of the whimsically packed boxes that journeyed down to my mother's new home in Thomasville, Georgia this weekend.

- My brother-in-law spots that I have a car headlight out and fixes it for me with little effort. One of the most procrastinated things ever and so lovely to have it taken care of.

- My mother remarks on the shadow cast on the wall by a carefully placed sculpture.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How to live to be 100

Re-posting of a favorite from last year...

Mockingbird. Illustration by Talitha Shipman

- From Georgia State University Alumna Anne Marie Evans*, who is nearly 102 years old,
How To Live To Be 100
Be Tenacious. In the face of life’s obstacles, be innovative and creative. If you’re afraid or worried, don’t show it.
Befriend Positive People.
Value Education. Always get a good education because that’s the one thing they can’t take away from you.
To Thine Own Self Be True. Analyze how you act and react. Know your skills and capabilities. Then set realistic goals and produce something in justify your existence. Have confidence in yourself and say your prayers because they will bear fruit. Get plenty of sleep and don’t worry about the things that might not happen.

* Anne Marie Evans (M.A.'77, Georgia State's oldest alumna, celebrated her 101st birthday in November 2009. She emigrated from Nazi Germany in 1938, and over the past three decades she has authored five books, assisted dozens of older students with her endowed scholarship, and co-founded Life Enrichment Services, Inc., an educational organization for people over 50. She continues to work professionally as a social gerontologist.

..................................................................................

The weekend is starting early for me, friends. I am heading to mom's shortly to help her move to a new home in south Georgia - she will be closer to my sister and we are all excited about her new place. I'll see you on Monday and hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nannie's trunk, restoration and coming home

- This antique trunk was in the back of my parents' storage barn for years - it belonged to my grandmother. When my sister and I pulled it in out in the sunshine, we could see her initials and location had been stenciled on it in beautiful old script: sma Macon, Georgia.

- Milledgeville friend Susan, who sells antiques, sent me to a local man, Richard A., who could clean it up for me. I did not want to restore it to look like new, only cleaned up so that I could bring it home and it would look nice. I was bracing myself for some high figure he would charge, but he thought for a moment and said, "maybe $75?" Worked for me.

- I picked it up on Saturday afternoon to bring home to Atlanta. Richard and I realized we have something in common, his mother was a teacher at my high school and I was her student assistant for two years during my "free" period. Small world. And now, if I could just figure out where in my home to put this trunk...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Clamoring, passing it up and crunchy day

- These geese who live at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. They are literally clamoring for treats - other visitors must know to bring food. They had a lovely little dance going on there though.

- Feeling so virtuous when a vendor brings in ice cream as a treat for my office and I pass it up for my sliced apples and vanilla yogurt. And it was pretty good.

- A hastily put together dinner of red bell pepper strips and hummus. A crunchy kind of day.

Monday, August 9, 2010

K-5, memories and notes from a wise woman

- This is the house in which I attended kindergarten in my home town of Milledgeville, Georgia. The Roberts School - run by a sweet little lady - Mrs. Roberts. I was in my home town on Saturday to further ready our family home for sale and went by this landmark, now a real estate agency, sat in the driveway and remembered.

- This is the back door that students entered and exited. And the playground was the same fenced in back yard in the shade of a giant oak tree.

- Earlier on Saturday, attending a memorial service for someone gone too soon. Her daughter gave a beautiful eulogy and listed things her mother taught she and her siblings: that we are all the same regardless of the color of our skin and if anyone disputed that, they should argue with them. And they might get in trouble growing up, but it would be OK if they learned from it and it was fun.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Freezing, family phrases and the end of the story

- Mr C's lures 'em in with a frosty promise. A nod to the prevailing conversation these days about the dog days of summer.

- Family emails flying back and forth about the coordination of a date for an event that just isn't working out right. My sister hits 'reply to all' and writes "Damn spit!" A niece replies, "Damn spit???" and sparks a series of emails with everyone else contributing their favorite expletives (rated PG, of course.)

- Making an appointment with my car repairman, who I go way back with, for this morning. People often feel comfortable telling me their troubles and when we talk yesterday, he picks up where we left off last February. I am looking forward to hearing the end of the story!

Have a cool weekend, friends! One way or another. :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Steve's house, pulling for the dog and friends

- This house caught my attention last time I was in my home town of Milledgeville, Georgia and it turns out that it belongs to a childhood friend, Steve S. I love all the little whimsical touches and you can't see it, but the porch ceiling is painted blue - a custom in the south to keep away wasps nests and / or spirits, aka "haints." :)

- Receiving this message via facebook from a former co-worker, also named Steve, "Hello there my old pal. I hope you're doing well. I was watching Independence Day the other day, and I always think of you when I watch the scene in the tunnel where the dog makes it to safety. I don't know if you remember me loaning you the movie, and you commented on how you were pulling for the dog." I have no memory of this, but am glad to hear that I was pulling for the dog.

- Going by my client's house to see her new baby - just one week old. Her dog Scout, who loves company, runs around like a fool barking, stops long enough to sniff the baby's toes and then ends up by leaning against me, gazing up adoringly. The baby was oblivious. I'm betting that she and Scout will be great friends.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New treat, the guards and low key

- A woman who works at my volunteer organization has fresh figs to share and invites me to have one. Oddly - I don't think I have ever tried a fresh fig before. It is sweet and delectable. She tells me that she likes to serve them as appetizers halved, with a bit of goat cheese on top.

- A media personality is filming a program called "Swift Justice" at Georgia Public Broadcasting. I ask the guards, as I am signing out, if they ever see her and they say that I just missed her. They are so accustomed to my smiling commentary on everything that they laugh out loud when I describe why I do not admire this woman. But I am pleased that the show brings revenue to GPB.

- A couple of weeks ago I was signing out at GPB and looked up to see a man I do admire waiting to sign out - Ambassador Andrew Young. I did a double take and he smiled politely. What a nice man and so nicely low key.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happy accident, missed and there you are

- Leaving a client's office, I think I push the elevator button for L (Lobby level), but somehow end up at LL (Lake level). A happy accident. I always love this spot with the flowering bushes and the reflection of trees in the water.

- A madly fluttering creature in the Knock Out roses eluded my quiet intrusiveness. Missed again. :)

- Ah. Thank you for pausing long enough so I could get your photo, butterfly. You are beautiful.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nest and pencil, role model and awake


- Someone lost their nest and pencil. The landscapers likely knocked the nest out of the bushes behind this power unit and sat it on top. The all-star student who owned the pencil used the eraser quite a bit it seems. I admire the craftsmenship that went into building the nest and the student for exercising early editing skills.

- My beloved uncle worked until just one month ago at the age of 86. He managed a parking garage for an office building in downtown Macon, Georgia. He passed away last week after a brief illness and it was so lovely to see the comments from patrons of the parking garage on the online "guest book" at his obituary page. One example out of many, "John was so very nice. I met him when I started working downtown in Aug of '08. He has been pleasant from day one. When he was not there, I looked for him to be. It is an honor to have known such a person who always gave you a smile as you entered and left his presence. I will never forget him and I know many others won't either."

- Logging more miles on Interstate 75 north and feeling so lucky to have friend Leisa to call and chat with (using hands free device) so I can stay awake.