Friday, February 27, 2009

Joy, the long way and aroma

- Visiting with lovely people at Atlanta Union Mission. Their last newsletter featured a woman's story of overcoming drug addiction and her joy in life. It is a pleasure to meet her.

- Getting to take the drive down DeFoor Ferry Road twice in one day. Leafy trees, quiet street, beautiful older homes.

- Walking in an office with delightful aromas. I say to the receptionist that it smells like coffee and chocolate in there. She smiles and says that's exactly what it is.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day that goes by quickly, unexpected and dust

- The kind of day I enjoy the most - lots of driving around and calling on my most fun clients.

- Unexpectedly winning a drawing for a $25 gasoline card and then using every penny of it when the low fuel light comes on in my car.

- Sitting with most of my favorite people at the Ash Wednesday service at church.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hero, flying and fried green tomatoes

- A HERO truck operator pouring gasoline into a stranded car in the early morning. We are so fortunate to have HEROs aka the Highway Emergency Response Operators program. It is a freeway service patrol operated in metro Atlanta by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT.) Their goal is to clear congestion, but they are still heroes to me.

- Driving behind a car with a large dog hanging out of the window enthusiastically barking at everyone and everything in sight. And wondering what goes through their heads while riding in a motorized vehicle and if it makes them feel as if they're flying.

- A great new restaurant discovery and a salad with the unusual ingredient of fried green tomato croutons. It had other good things, too, but this is what made me want it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday, the day after and experience

Mardi Gras by Bob Trammell

- Remembering the good time I had with five friends and thousands of new acquaintances several years ago at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I never went back because it was easily the best time I ever had and there does not seem to be any possible way that could be duplicated. And those friends have scattered, two dropping out of sight, another moving to another state, one passed away and one is still my crazy friend Cary who I pick up with where we left off every time I see him.

- On Ash Wednesday, the revelers will wake up to a city with perfectly clean and strangely quiet streets. The ankle deep trash that is allowed to be dropped in the French Quarter during Mardi Gras will have been swept away by people hard at work during the night.

- On that Ash Wednesday, during the long drive back to Atlanta and just out of New Orleans, we had a flat tire on the van. Later, when Ed took it to be repaired, he was told it had a bullet in it. Just part of the New Orleans experience and no real surprise to any of us.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lent, warmth and walking uprightly

- Walking the church grounds with a man and his son searching for the three holes in the ground that the Lenten crosses went into last year. Different friends coming by to offer suggestions, I finally leave them to it knowing it will be taken care of.

- Thinking of my mother every time I pull on my long black gloves. Ever practical, but loving stylish things, she chose these for me because I am fond of black and like gloves that disappear up into my coat sleeves.

- Quote for the day from my FrankinCovey calendar planner: "There is a transcendent power in example. We reform others unconsciously when we walk uprightly." --Annie-Sophie Swetchine.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Watching, admiring and appreciating

- Watching how my kitty handles a fresh bowl of water that has been set in its proper place. She slides it a bit with her paw so the water moves like gentle waves and then drinks.

- Admiring my neighbor for her intent in loading a trail bike in her car in 27 degree weather at 6:30am. Me: Are you going to ride that today? Her: I was, but can't fit it in!

- Appreciating an enthusiastic Friday welcome by pressman Eddie.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Resolve, smile and virtuous

- Leaning my forehead against the door of Tazza Coffee and Espresso Bar in sorrow when I see the note on the door saying they have closed due to the slow economy. And turning it into a good thing by resolving to only patronize independent coffee places from now on.

- Meeting a man who is so dour that I knock myself out trying to get him to smile and finally succeed after he tells me, "I watch way too much 'Law and Order.'" I respond by saying that I hear that two-note "dong-dong" sound they use on the show in my head whenever I think something catastrophic is about to happen.

- Feeling virtuous about going to exercise after work since I have been blowing it off all too often.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Inheritance, simple gifts and shine

Bus Stop by Bob Trammell

- Inheriting a big committee job by default when someone else resigns inspires this subject line in an email from friend Steve, "When is the Inaugeration?"

- Reading the Caring Bridge posts about Bob Trammell's recovery from illness are so inspiring. Helen reports that, "Andrew, one of our neighbors visited with Bob, much to Bob's delight. He loves those kids. Last night they brought dinner. When outside, their offers to help with whatever we are doing are immediate. These simple gifts give such joy to Bob it brings tears."

- The early morning rain makes the streets shine. A woman standing at the bus stop puts me in mind of Bob's painting "Bus Stop."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Love the Oscars, a hit and not old at all

- Astonished that my book group would schedule a meeting on Oscar night and telling them that we should say where our outfits came from when we get to Kelly's house on Sunday evening.

- Sharing my easy Chicken and Dumplings recipe with a friend in need of something comforting to make for her family. And reading on email that it was a hit!

- Wishing a client a happy 30th birthday and smiling because she thinks that is old.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stoney, playing and just right

Stone Mountain

- A former pastor visits my church and remarks that we all look exactly the same after five years, "...must be the stoney water." My church is in the shadow of the mountain shown above.

- Music from the church service: The beautiful "Trompette ou de Cornet en Dialogue" by Louis-Nicholas Clerambault reminds a friend's son of field mice playing in a pasture.

- Delicious vegetarian takeout from my favorite Thai restaurant. Their Pa Nang Pak has just the right amount of spice and fresh basil

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Relaxation, marvel and spicy soup

- Waking up to a gloomy Saturday morning that gives me the perfect right to sit on the couch and watch a movie.

- Catching up with once-a-year friend Carolyn for my tax preparation appointment. It is always fun to see what has gone on in each other's lives since last year. And to marvel on how quickly the year passed.

- Making a lovely batch of Moroccan Chickpea Soup. And the house still smells good from it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

- So it was Friday the 13th, but we celebrated Valentine's Day anyway at the office by giving each other sweet treats.

- A yummy moist chocolate bundt cake with dark chocolate chips made me decide that the South Beach diet could wait another day (or two.)

- Hearing from a potential client that she wants to award me a print job just because I am nice. People like her make my job so much easier because she is nice, too. As she says, "nice goes a long way."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Coordinated, experiencing no danger and purple

- The medical office ordering printed materials has a green, blue and black logo. The office manager tells me they wear green scrubs two days a week, blue ones two days a week and black on Friday.

- Another business has a sign on the door, "Danger! No Solicting!" I open my mouth to ask the woman in the front what the danger is, but think better of it.

- Dinner with my friend who looks so nice in all her purple. Purple jacket, necklace, earrings and ring.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Flowers, guacamole and angels

Photograph by Rick Adle

- Having a long, peaceful conversation with a wise woman who works at my church. I walked by her door and noticed she had been sent flowers, stopped in to remark on them and had a few unexpected moments of head-clearing peace.

- Making a taco at the taco bar set up for our church's Wednesday night meal with five-year-old Trey beside me busily compiling his plate. He wrinkled his nose when I put guacamole on mine. I asked him if he would like to try it and he said he had before and thought it too slimy.

- Exiting the church through the dark sanctuary and hearing the faint voices of singing children.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Winking, a visit and forever young

- Catching fleeting glimpses of the moon winking in and out of the clouds like something out of a pop-up book.

- A friend telling me that her mother-in-law says she can see her long deceased husband playing basketball with his friends in the backyard. "See? Can't you see him?" I tell her that maybe she really does see him.

- A man at my volunteer organization has turned 50, with his office appropriately decorated. And smiling at his flush of pleasure when I tell him he doesn't look a day over 40. (And he really doesn't.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Favorite things, festing and shine

Good things from other much loved blogs today...

- From Whitney's Glimpses of Grace: Standing in the snow while having a happy conversation and letting snowflakes stay on my nose and eyelashes.

- From Jannie Funster's blog: Her post about Kalyani's Magic Fuzzy Pants lead me to comment that I had never seen anything quite like those pants. Her response: "And you may never again, on this or any known planet, get to not only see — but experience the grandeur and ease of the Fuzzy Pants, and its ensuing lifestyle of fun, frolic and festing."

- From Clare's Three Beautiful Things: 3. On a rainy night the path up the hill shines when everything else is dark and dirty.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Kirking, tartan and rebellious spirit

- The pageantry of my church's Kirking of the Tartans and my honor of acting as Liturgist for the service. The Kirkin' o' the Tartan tradition is an old Highland one. After the defeat of the Scots by the English in 1746, the wearing of the tartan and the keeping of any Highland ways or culture was forbidden in hopes this would forever subdue the rebellious Scottish spirit. However, as the Scots were fervent Christians, and canny as well, they clung to their ancient traditions by putting them underground.

- The Kirkin' was an important part of this in that one Sunday a year, the populace went to church wearing a concealed piece of the tartan and, at a certain moment set aside in the service, the tartan was touched while the minister pronounced a blessing on all tartans and the Scots once more pledged their loyalty and respect for their old traditions.

- Luckily, there is no need to conceal the tartans anymore and many people wore them proudly to the service. However, the rebellious Scottish spirit is still firmly in place in me (or so my mother says.) :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The sweet life, Nutella and Duck's

- Reading the food blogs, which provide endless entertainment. My favorite: David Lebovitz, who is
Living the Sweet Life in Paris
His latest post: a chocolate cake recipe he found on a men's room wall. The downside: he posts the recipe in French. The upside: a reader named Jess translates it and provides a helpful URL that shows how to translate grams to cups.

- Another recent favorite from David's blog: the post about World Nutella Day on February 5. One wonders how the makers of Nutella managed to have a whole day for the world to celebrate their yummy product, but it makes a lot more sense to me than Labor Day. (Except people in the US get that day off, which in my book is a good thing also.)

- My chicken pot pie from Duck's Cosmic Kitchen the other day had a golden crust topped with a crust cut-out in the shape of a duck. And the pie was delicious. I contemplated taking a photo of it to submit to the Internet Food Association as "Daily Food Porn," but was hungry and wanted to eat it. The IFA blog sounds so official, but it is a bunch of food knowledgeable friends who post multiple times daily about food. The opening line from the "About" button: "Hello. We’re from the internet. And we’ve come to help you cook." It provides endless entertainment.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Retreat, gift and sharing

- A women's retreat at Columbia Theological Seminary with its wonderful display of artwork and crosses through their "Faith and the Arts" program.

- Walking through the grounds and admiring the gothic architecture of the buildings. The program, taught by Mary Bruggemann, touches on something essential to a life built around faith; the gift of waiting.

- A shared poem that I will remember when I cannot turn off my mind and sleep, "What to do in the Darkness."

Go slowly

Consent to it

But don't wallow in it

Know it as place of germination

And growth

Remember the light

Take an outstretched hand if you find one

Exercise unused senses

Find the path by walking it

Practice trust

Watch for dawn

- by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

from the journal Weavings, 2004

Friday, February 6, 2009

Contented, traveling flowers and the river

Traveling flowers

- Taking a few moments to sit beside my kitty on the futon that she camps out on in my home office because I have not been home much this week. Her contented purr fills the room. The screen saver slide show on my computer displays the photo above.

- It was taken a couple of years ago of flowers friend Ginny picked from her garden for me on the day I was leaving for a trip. I put them in a vase and they traveled in my car's cup holder to my sister's mountain house.

- Dreaming of the day when I can go back there and sit beside the river. It is calling my name.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Plans, exercise and yum

Pebble Hill plantation house in Thomasville, Georgia - site of an upcoming family wedding

- Niece Abby's delight, upon telling me that she will have seven bridesmaids at her wedding, that I could list them all.

- Sore arms from exercising - probably a good thing.

- A perfectly cooked steak and perfectly chilled "dirty" martini. And warm bread pudding for dessert.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Felix, leftovers and cheer

- Being entertained all day by 90.1 WABE-fm paying tribute to Felix Mendelssohn on his 200th birthday.

- Leftover chicken and dumplings from Monday night's dinner warming my soul on a blustery day.

- Cheery greetings to have a happy day from Bobby and Charlone as I walk through the printing plant on the way in.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Shine, winter and whimsy

Shine by Bob Trammell

- Another painting to help chase away winter doldrums painted by a true Renaissance man.

- Finding that I am one of the few people who like winter. Or maybe it is the things that go along with winter; hot beverages, fireplace, cool gloves and scarves.

- Receiving a card in the mail sent by my sister's dog Moby and her granddog Lucky. And loving the whimsical spirit of the thought that went into it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hands held, warmth and journey

- The congregation of my church ending the service with hands held.

- The weather warming enough to sit outside for coffee in the afternoon and watch the world go by.

- Watching a little of the endless Super Bowl pregame coverage and admiring the quirkiness of the story of how Arnel Pineda got his job as lead singer for Journey. (From a cover performance on YouTube.)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Perch, edge and primavera

- Waking and finding that my cat Sophie, who generally sticks to low places these days, is perched on a chair in my bedroom so she can stare me awake since all that meowing before went ignored.

- Discovering that the Alfred Hitchcock film, "Rear Window" still has me on the edge of my seat even though I know how it ends.

- Improvising with ingredients at hand and making a version of Pasta Primavera. And it was pretty good.