Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween, witch cake and shame on me

- This home is alarmingly close to a cemetery and always seems up for sale. I'm thinking it's haunted. The current owners obviously have a great sense of humor about the whole thing. When you get close to the ghoulish figures, they cackle and howl.

- Tammy brought in a cake to work shaped like a witches head complete with hat. Nose holes were fashioned using two inverted chocolate chips. Every time she walked by it, she smiled at it.

- I never get Trick-or-Treaters in my condominiums, but a few years ago I was out to dinner on Halloween night and when I got home a group of little ghouls were walking toward my building with their mother. I hurried in and just didn't answer when they got to my door since I did not have anything close to a treat to give them. Then I heard a little boy say, "I know someone's home Mama, because their key is in the door."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Smiling skeletons, rascals and sweet tooth

- A fun lunch at The Bone Garden Cantina at the Lumberyard Lofts. The skeleton playing the guitar out front fits in well with the industrial atmosphere around my work area. There is a whole Day of the Dead theme going on inside and more skeleton figures grinning from every corner. On Saturday they are having a traditional Day of the Dead celebration and anyone who shows them a skull, skeleton or Day of the Dead themed tattoo will receive 25% off their order! :)

- Sitting down at the mid-week church dinner with Eddie, Tom and Ed, telling them they look like the He-Man Women Haters Club and need infiltration.

- Bringing more Halloween candy in for the big blue bowl at work and hearing candy wrappers crackling all around.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

City vs. country, fast food and some people pay for that

- Chatting with my sister by cellphone while deciding which gourmet dinner I will take home from Mimi's and she says, "Do you know how lucky you are to be able to do things like that?" I am lucky, but she is, too. Check out her home and property - indeed miles away from food purchases, but blessedly quiet.

- Mary, the woman working at Mimi's in the evening, chiding me with a smile for not wearing a coat. People often say this place is not friendly, but she always greets me with my name when I walk in.

- My mother had a allergic reaction that made her lips swell a bit and telling me over the phone, "Honey, my lips look just like Angelina Jolie's!"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Change, sweet and Good Fairy

- Attempting to do the "early voting" and marveling at the line wrapped around the building in just one of several locations in my county. The rush to vote is something to behold.

- Checking in on our Giant Panda, Lun Lun, and her as-yet-unnamed cub. The panda cam showing them having a cuddle.

- Receiving the November issue of Southern Living in the mail and noticing that a Good Fairy has renewed my subscription for another year.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Seasons, divine cuisine and college radio

- Sweeping all the fallen maple leaves off my back porch makes me recognize it really is no longer summer. So the blue and white striped throw rug is rolled up and stored away until it is warm again.

- Meeting friend Elizabeth for dinner at L'Thai. The owner proudly telling us that the restaurant has been designated "THAI SELECT" - Awarded by the Ministry Of Commerce Royal Thai Government for one of the World's BEST Thai Restaurants.

- Listening to old friend Album 88 on the commute to work and loving the laid back music. A welcome break from the political talk on other stations.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Magic, perserverance and funny man

- Giving in to a little cold and staying in all day, but venturing out to Main Moon for more hot and sour soup and finding that it works its usual magic.

- Perservering through writing minutes for long meetings last week and feeling the satisfaction of reading them after they are printed out.

- Having a Craig Ferguson marathon by watching five episodes in a row. He was in an amusing film I liked, "Saving Grace" and I just happened to see him one very early morning when I could not sleep and recognized him. Now he is DVR'd all the time.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pampered, comfort and sleeping in

- Sophie on her special perch. She adopted this box that contained a stoneware bar pan a long time ago after I tossed it on the floor, intending to put it in the garbage.

- Having my usual "when not feeling well" hot and sour soup at work. We ordered Chinese in for lunch because of the rain.

- Sleeping seven hours in a row and then falling back to sleep again.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pesäpallo, laughing on the outside and good for him!

- Why I love Postcrossing – I usually learn something new: I received an email thank you from Satu in Finland for the postcard I sent her. On her profile she says she likes Finnish baseball and I asked on my card if it is the same as American baseball. She replied, “I have to tell you that Finnish baseball is different...but still really nice game...:)” I looked it up on Wikipedia and it is called “Pesäpallo.”

- Seen on a concrete post in the parking deck of Georgia Public Broadcasting: someone has written $949.00 on a black smudge and circled it.

- From the very formal Georgia State University Alumni magazine, “Alumni Report”: “Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, who attended the School of Music as a music management student from 1998-1999, was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on Saturday, September 20. The three-time Grammy-winning rapper and actor is the first rapper to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Since his initial breakthrough, Ludacris has maintained his status in the world of hip-hop as well as achieved a successful career in the film and television industry.”

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Living up to his name, air philanthropy and garlic breath

- My niece Amanda and her dog Lucky. Lucky once belonged to a woman who was gravely ill. She asked an animal rescue organization to find him a new home and he got a great one.

- A woman at the gym is a flight attendant for Delta Airlines and wore a pink dress in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month on the last flight she was working. She collected more than $300 from passengers, including small change from children who were eager to give.

- The scent of garlic in the air when entering the church and enjoying a delightfully garlicky meal of lasagna and garlic bread at the church dinner.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Celtic art, comfort and sharing

- One of the vendors at the Stone Mountain Highland games was selling pendants made of porcelain clay pottery. After looking at all of them, I kept coming back to the one with the spirals that represent Spiritual Growth. It looks good against my black sweater.

- Stopping on an impulse into Taqueria Los Hermanos for a bowl of Sopa de Vegetales to go. And diving into it standing up in my kitchen. The change in the weather makes me want soup and their vegetable soup is lovely and all vegetarian.

- A wee girl walking with her mother in the early morning darkness. The mother has shed her jacket and given it to her daughter, the sleeves so long on her that they drag the sidewalk.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Morning solace, good yarn and must be tasty

- Running out of Kalahari Red Tea at work and reverting to my old friend Earl Grey. Still delicious.

- Finishing my book on CD, "Deep South" by Nevada Barr and finding that I would like to listen to more of her Anna Pigeon series. Since I have a bit of a commute, listening to a story makes it so much better. I have to really look through the audio books already on the shelves at the library and was not sure if this author would suit me, but her story turned out to be a good yarn.

- From Mr. C's sign:
Get in here
and get

Monday, October 20, 2008

Highland sword dancing, lifted in the spirit and great name

- Watching young Clan member Michelle in the "11 and over novice group" dance her heart out.

- Marching in the Parade of Tartans, while hundreds of pipers in massed bands played, thrilled my soul.

- A 17-month-old toddler visiting our tent has a big name, Huckleberry, and is called Huck. With his blond curls and infectious grin, the name suits him.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Once a year family, all day party and happy exhaustion

- The Virginia Military Institute pipe band at the Stone Mountain Highland Games made for exquisite noise all day.

- Catching up with fellow Clan members. I especially love to see Catherine and Larry, both in their 70s, who are such a central part of our organization.

- A three hour meal at a nearby restaurant at the end of the day was "very European" according to Clan member Linda. She and husband Jon traveled all the way from Minnesota to be with us.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Treat, games and lovely

- Stopping for a mid-morning latte and vanilla scone. A treat to myself on a rainy day.

- Receiving an opulent tartan banner in the mail to carry this weekend at the Stone Mountain Highland Games.

- Walking around and admiring the unexpected Asian artwork in Scott and Janet's home. And a wonderful autumn meal.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thief, chuckle and telepathy

- Someone left a trail of candy corn on the sidewalk outside my building. A guilty looking squirrel is startled when trying to sneak one away and scrambles off.

- Mr. C's sign reads, "Stimulate the economy 1 beer at a time."

- On a day when things weren't going particularly well, receiving an uplifting email out of the blue from Kay at exactly the right moment. She is married to my cousin and I haven't spoken to her in months.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I like it anyway, miracle and or not

- The mystery plant finally bloomed with puffy things. I think it's beautiful, but my neighbor assures me it's a weed.

- My mom and dad may switch their vote to the Democratic party. Will wonders never cease...

- A super-stretch Humvee limousine races by in the early morning darkness toward the airport, making me wonder if a celebrity could be inside.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Fun Girls, Wicked and wise man

Clare from Three Beautiful Things, who has inspired many gratitude blogs, got a wonderful mention in an article "How to Survive the Global Panic" (see her blog from October 14.) The writer calls her an "expert gratitude spotter" and suggests others keep a gratitude journal. Thank you to Clare for inspiring worldwide gratitude!

- Meeting five women (aka The Fun Girls), one teenager and one husband for dinner at Mexico City Gourmet and moving on to the Fox Theatre for "Wicked." The Fun Girls lived up to their name once again and the husband held his own with (mostly) silent amusement during dinner.

- Sitting back and letting the magic of the play wash over me.

- Enjoying this line from David Lebovitz's blog: "It's impossible to be unhappy around candy..."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Welcome, glimpses and very cool

- Noticing a neighbor, hugely pregnant last week, holding her small bundle on the sidewalk while another neighbor oohs and ahs.

- The moon is 100% full and huge. There were glimpses of it here and there during my drive to work in the dark, the man-in-the-moon clearly visible.

- Nick, a co-worker who has moved here from Romania, comes in early to work still wearing his motorcycle gear - red, white and black helmet and leather jacket that matches his wheels.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fun festival, young creativity and letting go

The Ottoman Military Band

- Enjoying a plate of Mediterranean food at the Atlanta Turkish Festival. Hummus, tabbouleah, flat bread and yogurt sauce. Yum.

- A little boy proudly displaying his newly crafted Origami birds.

- My sister and I, both overwhelmed with projects, deciding that we can give up a photograph slide presentation we had planned for a family gathering. She said, "I feel like 50 pounds just lifted from me."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bakery scents, entertainment for weeks and love that Hitchcock

- Stopping by the The Village Bakery in Stone Mountain for a cookie after renewing my season pass at the park. And leaving with the suggestion that I take home a Hot Chocolate Pie in mind for another time.

- Receiving the telephone notification that the library was holding a reserved book for me, only to find upon arrival that there were two books I had requested waiting, "Off Season" by Anne Rivers Siddons and "The Keepsake" by Tess Gerritsen. The cool guy behind the desk (really black hair and Buddy Holly glasses) smiling at my enthusiastic response.

- Being awakened from a sitting-up-nap by the melodramatic music of the film "Spellbound" just at the romantic kissing scene.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Selfless work, pero and youth in action

- Members of my church go on a mission trip every year to Piedras Negras, Mexico, where they build a house for a family. It is part a program called Constructores Para Cristo (CPC), a wonderful non-profit organization. They built their 18th house this year.

- This year one of the teenage girls discovered a dog living under a nearby abandoned rusted-out car. He was starving and injured with an infected cut on his leg. She and her parents took him to a veterinarian who dressed his wounds and arranged for his passage to the states.

- When the group gave an account of their trip this year in a special program, the little dog was there, too, happy and grinning from ear to ear. This is the second dog they have saved during mission trips. The young lady spoke briefly and said that she believes in making small differences and this was one of them.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Satisfaction, LOL and lovely wish

- "Well done good and faithful…" This message from fellow grant writer Robert T., after we submitted our grant proposals to the Presbytery, made my day.

- One of my clients called frantically that she would be late for our working lunch. Her fiancé locked himself in the garage wearing only his boxer shorts and the oven was on, so she had to go let him out. She said the only thing he had to do this day was bake cookies and clean the parrot cage.

- My latest postcard from a Postcrossing member is from Sim in China. His Message: "Today is the next day to Chinese Mid-Autumn Day. As the old saying goes: (he writes a message in Chinese characters), meaning that today's moon is the fullest throughout the year. May the moon and this card carry my best wishes to you."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wish it would rain more often, happy half-hour and makes for a good smile

- Pulling up to the gym, it is closed due to a power outage probably due to the heavy rain of the day. However the power was working at Taqueria Los Hermanos next door. Friend Leisa pulled up and called out, "Want to go drink instead?" And that's what we did.

- When I waffled over my beer selection, Raul, the brother taking our order, asked, "Corona Light?" It pleases me greatly that he always remembers. When I was going to school full-time and studying the Spanish language, I used to sit in there on Saturday afternoons and eves drop on the five brothers and their staff speaking Spanish with each other.

- Raul cheerfully photographed three teenage girls with their camera until they were satisfied, asking them to say, "Sopapilla!" instead of the usual "Cheese!"

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gift, innovation and kindness

- Meeting with two nice women who are opening a high-end catering company across the street. They sent me off with a container of chicken salad on cucumbers and tomatoes, topped with fresh basil.

- The "Poor Man's Chilhuly" sculpture beside the guards' desk at Georgia Public Broadcasting. It was an art piece some school children worked up as a thank you for GPB and consisted of plastic bottles painted festively and entwined with curly ribbons, all strung together and mounted on a stand.

- Making it to the AutoZone near my house before it closed. My car cranked sluggishly when leaving my volunteer work in the evening and, sure enough, a new battery was needed. I was annoyed about this unexpected expense, but the good thing was nice Mr. Peña who installed it for me on the spot in the parking lot.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Glow in the dark, one can hope and it doesn't get any better than that :)

- Leaving for work in the dark and seeing a glow just up the way. It turns out to be huge blow-ups of Tigger and his friend SpongeBob SquarePants all lit up.

- The blow ups belong to two men who love Halloween. We don't get a lot of Trick or Treat action in our condominiums, but they prepare for it anyway.

- Mr C's sign this morning:


(Monday Night Football)

Monday, October 6, 2008

What'll ya have?, light at the end of the tunnel and not fast enough

- My church's mortgage has been retired and we had a celebration after services. They brought in The Varsity truck - the whole nine yards of famous fast food. It was fun standing in line discussing favorite Varsity memories with other church members.

- Working on a grant request all afternoon and celebrating (mostly) finishing it with hummus, romano cheese crisps and a glass of Merlot.

- My sister Brenda was talked into participating in a pie eating contest on Saturday, but didn't win. My question, "What kind of pie?" It was apple, but blueberry would have been more fun - I think.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Alien eyes, just next to Slaughter Gap and blame it on OnStar

- Sophie had an appointment at the vet for a shot of Cortisone. When we returned home, she explored the entire place to make certain nothing had changed in the hour we were gone and settled in among the shoes.

- My sister Jo called and reported she took a wrong turn on her way to Hayesville and ended up going over Blood Mountain. Blood Mountain? That summons up all manner of sinister images, but she said it was a pretty, albeit difficult drive.

- The woman from the GPS system called her as she was going over Blood Mountain and said, "You are going to want to kill me! I gave you the wrong turn!" It is good to know they're human - they usually sound so automaton like.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Love that name, go Joe and happy home

- Having gone way too long without a pedicure, my nail technician clucks over the sad shape of my toes and says "I fix!" I chose a polish called "Tucumcari Boysenberry."

- During a group lunch at work, Charlone and I glance at each other while everyone goes on about how great Sarah Palin is and I know there is a fellow Democrat in the house. Stopping by her press a little later, we engage in some eye rolling.

- Delivering a client's print job to his home, a friendly beagle comes up the drive to greet me and accompanies me to the door. Inside, a beautiful home with a large teddy bear sitting on the couch.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Soiree, safe, oh yes I do

- Calling a potential client who owns a catering company for a meeting and after my enthusiastic response when she describes their food, invites me to lunch.

- A woman at the gym describing the circumstances in which her son did not have to go to Iraq. He had a lingering staph infection from a communal hot tub from his gym.

- Asking Charlone if she is happy it is Friday. Her response, "I AM happy, Honey! You just don't know!"

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Peace, comfort and out of Os

- Driving straight toward the waxing crescent moon, the sky behind it light pink and gray blue.

- Good comfort food at the mid-week church dinner, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and english peas.

- Mr. C's metallic letter sign advertises a special of "Grilled Chicken and Patato Salad."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just busy, Bohemian art and inner clock

Scarlet by Bob Trammell

- Laughing with my health coach Frieda, calling from Texas. When I answer the telephone she says, "There's my social butterfly!" I am rarely home when she checks in, but I never would have described myself as that.

- Winning a necklace that I bid on at the silent auction from Passion at Piedmont. And for not much money - I can't believe I got it.

- Getting a good nights sleep and waking up at the appointed time even though my alarm clock did not go off.