Saturday, January 31, 2009

Expo, maybe they're tired of it and lit up

- Attending the International Poultry Expo at the World Congress Center in Atlanta to check in on two clients. There were 18,000 people in attendance and miles and miles of exhibits - all about poultry. My favorite - a poultry processing group from Kentucky who enthusiastically invited me to come back at 4pm for Irish dancing and beer.

- A funny thing: the networking function at the expo had pretty good food: taco fixings, meatballs, cheese and shrimp. No poultry in sight.

- Driving home at the end of a memorable week, reflecting how beautiful my lit up city looks at night.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Blue, unexpected art and comfort

- A beautiful winter day, not too cold, with a robin's egg blue sky.

- The L.L. Bean Spring 2009 catalog with its beautiful cover painting by Maine artist Scott Moore of a frolicking fawn with her wary mother in a field of jonquils and irises and purple mountains in the background.

- A comfortable dinner with friend Leisa at a quiet European-inspired neighborhood bistro "Feast" where the Wild Mushroom and handmade Papardelle pasta with tarragon, pecorino and toasted walnuts was so good I wanted to lick the plate.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shake, direction and familiar face

- Stopping by the stylish "Provenance Antiques" to congratulate client Vanessa, who won a mention in Atlanta Magazine's "Best of Atlanta" issue. Her dog Jake runs into the showroom, sits down in front of me and lifts a paw to shake.

- Friend Wynell's laughter when I answer the GPS voice telling me to turn right (even though I do not agree with the direction) with a resigned, "OK."

- Getting an over-the-counter hug from Dinah at the International Poultry Exposition who is working the info booth.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just now, hugs and all the time

- Hearing the delight in my mother's voice when she picks up the telephone saying, "I was JUST thinking about you!"

- Many hugs in the middle of the day as we gather to say goodbye to a friend.

- Asking a man named Clark, who wears "Clark Kent style" glasses, if anyone ever tells him he looks like Clark Kent. All the time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Quiet, tissues and chuckle

Sunflowers by Bob Trammell. "Quiet Times" art.

- My cellphone loses its charge and I am exceedingly annoyed until I realize that, really, a couple of hours in the car without making calls is a charming way to spend a drive.

- Finding that friend Susan has placed tissue boxes around the church as she says she would. Over the weekend we shed some tears together over our friend's death, but took a moment to giggle over our choice of nose blowing instruments - typical of her, she was using her grandma's lace handkerchief and typical of me, a paper towel from the roll in my kitchen.

- From Mr. C's Sign:


Monday, January 26, 2009

Sleep, gratefulness and blessings

- Waking up at my usual 5am, remembering with happiness that it is Sunday, and turning back over to sleep three more delicious hours.

- My young friend who had a terrible car accident on January 2 was in church and says that never had he been more grateful for his own bed than when he finally got to come home from rehab this week.

- This message from my cousin about my much loved uncle who is in an Alzheimers Unit: "He asked for some pillows to prop up with and then had us sit on each side of him holding his hands. He laid back and just smiled and said so sweetly, “It’s a WONDERFUL life!" Then he started talking about all of our blessings."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Past, sinful and duck

- A lovely man, a friend from fellow past corporate employment, comes for a long visit. We sit at the dining room table drinking coffee, catching up and going through my vegetarian recipes.

- Finding a Paula Deen recipe for "Mashed Potato Bake" to make for my dinner group party. It is sinful - containing, well...potatoes, sour cream, cream cheese, lots of butter (of course), Jack cheese and topped with those french fried onion rings. It turns out soooo good.

- The dinner included beef tenderloin cooked on the grill (yum), as well as duck from a nearby "authentic" Chinese restaurant. I tell the chef that the duck's head and neck he had put to the side reminded me of the scene in "A Christmas Story" in which the mother erupts into hysterical laughter when the waiter at a Chinese restaurant lopps off the duck's head and neck. I laugh along with her every time, as if I had never seen it before.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Paper, profiled and star

- Pouring over paper swatch books with two co-workers looking for just the right paper to use for an estimate. We offer recycled options every time someone is willing to pay the extra money for it. I just wish it did not have to cost more, but the recycling process makes it so much more expensive for paper companies to produce.

- Laughing at how has so pegged me with this: "As someone who has recently purchased cooking titles from, you might like to know about these comfort food cookbooks." It is funny because I always order sort of high brow cookbooks and never really cook from them, so sees through that and knows I am a crockpot user at heart.

- A gracious and loving friend has passed away suddenly and too soon. But knowing that Heaven has a bright new occupant today.

"In one of the stars
I shall be living
In one of them
I shall be laughing
And so it will be
as if all the stars
were laughing
when you look
at the sky at night."

- The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Friday, January 23, 2009

Posters, rampant sweetieness and make-out music

- Self-described "Hillbilly Princess" Leisa and I amuse ourselves by participating in Obamicon.Me by making posters of ourselves in the style of the famed Shepard Fairey Obama poster.

And here is my big 'ole eye.

- Telling a friend at lunch that sometimes I get called "Sweetie" by a male friend at the printing plant, but am not offended by it because it is said genuinely as a term of endearment and not meant to be demeaning, as we have been taught. And then after work, pulling my car into the Emissions testing place where a very cool guy with a very deep voice drawls, "Heyyy sweetie" as he opens the door for me. He is blasting what I call "make out music."

- Calling my mother from the emissions place, killing time while waiting, and she says, "Where ARE you?"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Peaceful, delayed reaction and warmth

- The peaceful feeling that Yo-Yo MA, Anthony McGill, Gabriela Montero and Itzhak Perlman lent to the inaugeration ceremony with their performance of "Air and Simple Gifts" by John Williams.

- There was an inaugeration party (for anyone who voted - no matter for who) thrown by some fun gals able to stay home during the day and since I could not go have brunch and drink Mimosas (heavy sigh) - I recorded it on my DVR. Seeing Yo-Yo MA's delighted face made the whole thing for me when I watched last night.

- To heck with the calories! Could anything be better than a warm Krispy Kreme doughnut? Thanks Joanne...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Poppie's coat, Fantasia and inaugeration moment

Photograph by Robert East

- And it is so cold this morning in Atlanta that it feels as if snow should be on the ground. I am grateful that I have my "woolly mammoth coat" to wear on days like this. It once belonged to my sister's father-in-law from Gloucester, Massachusetts - a place that is probably always cold in the winter. He wore it only once before he passed away. None of them wanted it, so I took it home. It is too large for me and takes up too much room in the closet, but no cold whatsoever can be felt through it.

- The pothole in the back parking lot of the printing company that was full of water yesterday is solid ice this morning. It looks just the right size for tiny fairies to skate on.

- Walking into Publix just before noon yesterday, just in time to see a couple of excited employees glued to a television, cheering to see the 44th President of the United States sworn in.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Peace on earth, coincidence and spin

Photograph by Robert East

- Friend Robert's photograph taken in Michigan recently of a peaceful church.

- A number of friends ending up at the same restaurant and checking out each others' food.

- From Mr C's sign:

u can believe

Monday, January 19, 2009

Glimpse, rest and teamwork

- Catching a glimpse of a dear friend in the balcony at church service.

- A badly needed sitting-up-nap in the afternoon.

- Working with a friend over the telephone to get some minutes written and a great feeling of accomplishment when it is done.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snowflake, gracious and warmth

Photo from with the caption "If you look closely, you can see a tiny flake of snow falling in Midtown Atlanta, Jan. 17, 2009"

- Driving back to Atlanta and seeing a few snowflakes here and there. Our city gets silly about snow. Sadly, nothing accumulated or stuck.

- A friend's lovely, gracious mother has passed away. I was invited to a museum benefit last Spring in which there was a theme of The Wizard of Oz. Attendees were encouraged to dress in Oz character. And she gamely came dressed as Auntie Em.

- A good night's sleep under the delicious warmth of a goose-down comforter.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Warmth, laughing all the way and magnolias and moonlight

- Arriving at my parents' home with sister waiting, too. Loving hugs and good smells coming from the kitchen.

- My sister telling my Dad, "You always make me laugh." He says, "That's my job."

- Thinking how beautiful my home town of Milledgeville, Georgia is while running errands with my Dad. The convention and visitors bureau describes it as "Bathed in an intoxicating mixture of magnolia and moonlight."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Really cold, neighborly and hero

- The arctic air that blew in that makes it finally feel like winter. We would probably not want 15 degrees every day, but it is fun to hear all the conversation about it.

- A neighbor pulling in front of my car at the trash compactor at the condos wordlessly reaches for my bag of trash to throw in with his.

- Arriving at work and finding that Brian has conquered the evil Trojan Worm virus that infiltrated my computer yesterday.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Interesting choice, curling up and breathe

- Sitting beside three-year-old Merida at church dinner and watching her eat green beans and potato chips, both with her fork.

- My parents gave my cat Sophie some sort of crazy glove that has long dangley fingers that she is supposed to want to swat and play with. But instead she likes to curl up with it while she sleeps.

- WRAS-FM 88.5 playing a rap version of Pink Floyd's "Breathe in the Air" from "The Dark Side of the Moon." And Chelsea announced that it was "Breathe" from The Problemaddicts's "The Dark Side of Oz." I do not like rap, but this was kind of cool.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Coffee drama, comfort and neighborly

Help our Planet feel the Love!

- Searching through the pantry and, all the way in the back, finding a packet of Godiva coffee flavored with Creme Brulee and having that since I can't do that expensive coffee option every day - even though it garnered me a potential client yesterday. (Why don't I just go to the grocer? The fair trade coffee I ordered was inadvertently delivered to the wrong place and I cannot get it until tonight.)

- A comforting telephone conversation with a friend.

- Two nice neighbors calling and knocking simultaneously to tell me I left the dome light on in my car.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nice man, exposed and facilitation

Photograph by Michael Ryerson

- A representative from Atlanta Gas Light Company, cheerfully relighting pilot lights after an outage from a gas leak, is thoroughly amused by this poster that hangs over the circuit breaker box in my laundry room.

- It once hung in the Itek camera room where we produced Yellow Pages advertisements and I rescued it from a trash pile when we went digital. A funny story: my sister used to go to a gynecologist who had this same poster hanging on the ceiling above his examining table. His first name was Art.

- Stopping for a Cafe Latte at ChocoLate, where the slogan is "Facilitate a strategic awakening." The owner wonders what I am doing out so early, then asks for my business card - she would rather use a printer that patronizes her business. It should always be so easy to find clients.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yum, who knew and remembering

- A fabulous dinner with friends which started out as a Golden Globes viewing party. Wonderful food and the highlight was a dessert of bread pudding made with Krispy Kreme doughnuts with butter rum sauce.

- Driving a fellow committee member home from a meeting and finding we live on the same street and have for years.

- Feeling a bit wistful at leaving a warm house and having to scrape ice off the windshield in 29 degree weather at 6:30am. But remembering how many people I know who are out of work. And remembering what that is like, it is my one-year anniversary week at my current job.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Peace, Sunny and young GPB fan

- Friend Steven holds an annual Christmas / Holiday card contest every year and this year had five winners. And my card was one of them - a carefully selected hand-made card with one word "Peace" across the front. I agree with Whitney - Peace is my favorite word, too.

- Leaving dinner on the front porch for friends attached to the hospital right now, I ring the doorbell so their dog Sunny will have some exercise. And indeed, she runs up and down inside the house barking like a maniac. (Mom was coming along soon to let her outside.)

- Stopping by the package store for a bottle of Kahlua to put in brownies I am making today, the man behind the counter points to my Georgia Public Broadcasting t-shirt and asks if I work there. He explains that his daughter watches all the time - she is three-years-old and loves Dora the Explorer.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Big Chicken, no sibling rivalry and Sacagawea

- Volunteering to deliver an important print job on a beautiful day, I follow the Mapquest instructions and find that all it really had to say was "turn left at the Big Chicken."

- Friend Tereza says her four-year-old son Luke has adjusted nicely to new brother Max and helped him open his presents on Christmas morning, saying "Look Max! This is how you play with this!"

- Dropping a Sacagawea dollar into the tip jar at Main Moon as thanks to the teenager handing me my takeout. And explaining to him that it isn't a quarter - which is how I got it in change in the first place.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dreaming of Spring, happy hour and techno music

Photo by Tara Dillard of hydrangea "Penny Mac" in her garden

- Friend Tara has sent an email inviting me to join her "HYDRANGEA 2009 TOUR TO NORTH-WEST FRANCE, DEPARTING U.S.A. 24TH JULY, 2009, 11 DAYS (10 NIGHTS) IN NORMANDY, BRITTANY & LOIRE VALLEY, Optional Paris extension." It is only $3285, airfare not included. I'm thinking that if everyone who reads this blog sent me $1000 I could swing the $285. :)

- Happy hour at the Blue Ribbon Grill with Leisa. We blew off other commitments and should-have-dones in order to have beverages and snacks at a place where the bartender calls you Hon.

- The new morning DJ on student-run WRAS-FM plays pretty much all techno pop, which I do not like, but it does remind me of my beloved nephew Doug. When you are in his car, that is the music you get.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sign, speaking and reflection

- I am eating more healthily in the new year, but spot peanut M&Ms in the vending machine back in the printing plant and can’t resist. I casually walk back and put my money in and of course, they get stuck and won’t fall down. Billy comes to help, shaking the machine for all it is worth. We draw a small crowd. I feel conspicuous. Tony finally gets them to fall. I think it is a sign.

- Matthew update: His mom reports by email that while he slept a while and she talked with one of the therapists, he apparently was listening, because he woke up and said “that’s the longest guitar solo I’ve ever heard” (She had a John Mayer CD on.)

- Having a moment of quiet reflection and prayer alone in the dark sanctuary of my church.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Early risers, good news and I wish you enough

- The rapid transit train rail runs beside I-85 South for a bit and then curves away. This morning a train full of early risers is right beside me for a moment before disappearing down a hill.

- My young friend who was in a terrible accident last week has been slow to recover, remaining semi-conscious and not speaking, but good news from an email: "...he washed his hands, crushed up the paper towel, and tossed it into the garbage like a basketball."

- My parent's next door neighbor, probably the kindest woman who ever lived, emails "forwards" and I do not have the heart to tell her I usually do not read them. But the subject line made me read one today, "I wish you enough." It is long, about a woman telling about the tradition in her family of saying "I wish you enough" to each other. The essential message is: 'When we said , 'I wish you enough', we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.'

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Parade, swish and crazy weather

- The large brown dog in the back of a pick-up truck celebrating life by parading his rope bone to cars around him. He turns around and around in circles with it in his mouth and finally settles down when cars move forward.

- A wee girl in a long swishy pink skirt walking with her mother down the sidewalk.

- Finally connecting with a former colleague and hearing that he is visiting Grand Rapids, Michigan today where it is 22 degrees and 12+ inches of snow expected. He is off to polish the sled runners. It is downright balmy here - 100% humidity and highs in the 60s. No coat needed today, just an umbrella.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Orange scent, good news and breaking resolutions

- The scent of Indian River oranges that lingers in the air long after they are eaten.

- Hearing that a laid-off co-worker has opened his own photography business and is doing very well.

- From Mr. C's sign:

Come in
and see
how many

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Caring, cooking and citizens of the sky

- Pulling up email and finding that a teenager from my church has been seriously injured in a single car accident and knowing that church family will be all over that. And they were. He is going to be OK, despite many broken bones, and his family was surrounded by friends all day.

- Spending the afternoon in the kitchen making food for all week. While I did not resolve to do anything better for the New Year, I do plan to cook more and do less take out food.

- The bird feeder is back in place after being moved to accomodate holiday stuff. It is getting a lot of action and the wrens are happily chirping. Next year - no moving the bird feeder. We will accomodate citizens of the sky instead.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gift, closed and legends

- A cold drizzly day spent mostly in front of the fireplace with movies and mahjong on the laptop and considering it a gift.

- The German Bakery is closed until January 6. I resist the urge to lean my forehead on the door and scream, nooooo!!!!!!!!! But this probably turned out for the best - I have done without those calories for five years, after all.

- The beautiful scenery (British Columbia and Brad Pitt with long hair) of the 1994 film, "Legends of the fall." Recommended if you have not seen it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

No kiss, good eating and yum

- Calling my parents to give them good wishes for 2009, only to find my mother is feverish with a germy cold. They laugh and say they stayed up until midnight to see the new year in, shook hands and went to bed.

- Making healthy Hoppin' John (turkey sausage instead of pork) - it is so delicious that I vow to make it all year long.

- But hearing from a neighbor that The German Bakery I used to frequent is still open. (My response, "Uh oh.") I went there about five years ago and it looked closed for good. Apparently that was only temporary. So I don't start my diet until Monday...hmmm...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Daydreaming, stories and Happy New Year

Directional sign to anywhere (Asheville, NC, Paris, France, etc.) just beside Tommy's Store in Hayesville, NC. May you follow your dreams in 2009...

- Learning to do something new. Since they were behind in the bindery at work, I offered to help out. (No one wants to talk to print reps on New Year's Eve anyway.) So they taught me to use the shrinkwrapper and I liked that the repetitiveness of the work allowed time to daydream. And the guys blast music back there, also fun.

- Listening to country music while shrinkwrapping and reflecting on how the songs always tell a story.

- Almost staying awake to see in the New Year; fireworks sounds at midnight alerted the passing of 2008.