Thursday, April 30, 2009

Long ago, dawning and the long way

- This building that houses classrooms for Savannah College of Art & Design that kept some of the old advertising from long ago on the side. At night you can see lit up sculpture in progress through the window at lower left.

- My young friend who was in a terrible car accident in early January has been released from therapy for his brain injuries. He gave a presentation last night after church dinner about his injuries and recovery period. His mother spoke about the closeness she and her husband experienced with their only child during this time before he goes off to college. Matt says the accident changed his life for the better, making him more grateful for each day's dawning.

- Taking the long way to work because there was time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Madly reading, angel and with all her might

- Realizing I am not the only one behind on things when I go to my county library site and find that the book my book group is reading for Sunday, "Rabbit, Run" by John Updike, has 12 requests. Scrolling to the bottom, I find that there is a large-print version not yet requested. I can deal with that and be madly reading until then.

- Receiving an anonymous gift. The email announcing it says, "How about that, you have an angel! No, it wasn't me."

- My kitty, who has been standoffish since our vet visit last week, purring with all her might when I pick her up this morning.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tending roses, forsaking all and birthday

- Neighbor Tom, who passed away two years ago, planted this cabbagey rose bush. I tended them during the time his place was up for sale. Seeing them bloom again makes me smile.

- Forsaking the gym and a meeting in the evening in order to put my feet up at home.

- From Mr C's sign: Happy Birthday Me

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dream, fortunate and fun

I traveled to beautiful Savannah, Georgia for a wedding this weekend. Niece Abby's best friend was married and I was happy to be invited and to hang out with my sister, brother-in-law and two nieces (Abby was maid of honor.)

Just one of the breathtaking buildings throughout Savannah.

The wedding was held in historic Trinity Methodist church.

The reception was held at Forsyth Park next to this fountain erected in 1858.

A canopy of live oak trees provided speckled light over the reception area.

- Sitting by the Savannah river eating fried shrimp and watching ships go by; brother-in-law musing about his dream of being a tugboat captain.

- Catching a taxi from the riverwalk back to the hotel, we are lucky to get Lee from Big Mike Taxi service as our driver, a big man with a big smile and booming deep voice. Recently laid off from his job in New York, he has made his way to Savannah and loves his new job; feeling fortunate that he has found himself here.

- The live band at the reception provided fun music. A couple walking their dog through the park stop just outside the roped off area and have a dance. Sister and I, living up to our reputations as Fun Squad Mom and Fun Aunt, dance in a conga line with the bride and bridesmaids.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bursting, happy for her and home cooking

- My city that is bursting with greenness.

- My sister Jo's husband has surprised her with an upcoming Alaskan cruise to celebrate a milestone anniversary. She does so much for others that she deserves this special treat. A couple of years ago she was with me for surgery that happened to be scheduled on her anniversary date. I protested about her coming because of the day, saying I would be fine with friends being with me, but she kindly and firmly insisted. She is the best sister ever.

- An old-fashioned homemade biscuit with sausage gravy provided by a co-worker who brought them in. I had already had oatmeal for breakfast, but decided to eat it anyway since it was specially made with loving hands.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cleansing rain, a kick and great joy

- On a day in which no rain at all is predicted until later on tonight, a co-worker asks me if it rained on me this morning. No, I say. No rain is predicted until tonight. Well it rained on him - big drops. Pouring. I tell him that I hope he is not like that cartoon character from Li'l Abner who has the rain cloud above only him. Perhaps it is just meant to be a cleansing rain.

- Getting a kick out of David Lebovitz's Twitter post: "Had raw duck for dinner last night. Luckily woke up still alive."

- "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people." (Luke 2:10) - this scripture that was part of this morning's daily devotional I get called "Faith at Work." It was good to read that this morning and it is lovely that the writer put it into another context other than the Christmas story.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day, progress and fun evening

- It is Earth Day. "A time to celebrate gains we have made and create new visions to accelerate environmental progress," according to I am proud that my printing company is "green." We use soy-based inks, recycle all scrap paper and we encourage the use of recycled paper for printing.

- The construction project shown above is on Northside Drive in Atlanta. Some old buildings I used to admire for their character have been knocked down to make way for something new we shall see soon, I suppose. But at least they saved the trees...

- A fun theater night with the Fun Girls, deciding on Gordon Biersch for dinner. I order the special burger of the night, a "Blue Moon" burger topped with bleu cheese and sauteed mushrooms with just the right amount of char on the burger. Garlic fries on the side. Everyone changes their order to match mine. Yum.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Amusing, ambiance and bring it

- An interesting talk by journalist Gwen Ifill at surely one of the most beautiful college campuses ever - Agnes Scott College. And getting a kick out of how people just cannot follow directions. The question and answer part of the program was the most amusing for the way people lined up to grandstand about issues over and over, leaving Ms. Ifill with the task of smilingly insisting, "What is your QUESTION?"

- A lovely dinner at Wahoo Grill with its beautiful garden patio. The highlight: delicious cheese crisps served with the house salad.

- Looking forward to posts by Dad from "I think this world is perfect..." He writes a parenthood blog that I once had listed on my blog list, but he doesn't post very often anymore, so I deleted it and subscribed to it instead. The family has busy lives, but I always look forward to the insight that he brings when he does post. The most recent entry touched me for its last line, referring to the wonderful performance by Susan Boyle, so talked about lately, "Make it count, be present and bring it, everything you've got, every time."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Art lovers, resisting the urge and in the valley

- Snapping a shot of these kids, lined up to see the very cool First Emperor exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

- Resisting the urge to lecture employees not in charge anyway, for putting my 6" pizza in a styrofoam container. But the pizza was yummy, with feta cheese and tons of shredded onions and green peppers.

- So moved by the a cappella voices of a youth chorus at church service, sounding like angels, as they sang "Down in the Valley to Pray."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Good things, the better deal and the best neighbor

- A local TV station is looking for good news by performing random acts of kindness and giving the recipients "tickets" for paying it forward. They call it "Good Things Happening." (Where did they get a title like that? Ha!) I like to do that kind of thing, but in more simple ways, such as just saying thank you to people or by smiling at tollbooth workers (who always look sort of startled.)

- Two co-workers make an exchange that make each other happy; tickets won on the radio to weekend car racing for a brand new motorcycle helmet won at a car show. They each think they got the better deal.

- Neighbor Marian knocks on my door and asks if I am airing out the trunk of my car or should it be closed? Closed, I say, oh my. He goes and shuts it for me. He is the best neighbor ever for watching out for everyone else.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wide awake, grace and shine

- Wide awake at 2am, wandering into the home office to get on the computer, my kitty is excited that I am up and optimistically starts toward the kitchen looking back. Heck - she does her job, so she deserves it. She gets her food early.

- Reading Whitney's blog Glimpses of Grace and finding that she has posted 500 times. Her life is full of grace indeed.

- Having friends in bloggerland is so wonderful. This week G from Cedar's Mountain gives a shout-out to me and Jannie for our exchange about music several days ago. I enjoyed that exchange very much, but even more the fact that it made his day shine. Same here!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dogwoods, festival and black jelly beans

- Celebrating the dogwood trees that have been so beautiful this year. They even have their own festival this weekend in Atlanta.

- Thankful that the festival is back at Piedmont Park again this year, having moved to another venue last year due to drought conditions. The park conservancy is dedicated to making the park green again and they are well on their way.

- Happy that co-worker Joanne remembered our discussion that I really only want the black jelly beans from the bag. She brought me an entire bag of black ones that were on sale because Easter is over.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cholesterol on a plate, just say no and aftermath

- Check out the Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Mac 'n Cheese from Paula Deen via Tastespotting. Love the caption: This is why Paula Deen should be President.

- Friend Becca is having her rehearsal dinner at Paula's restaurant "The Lady and Sons" in Savannah soon, making for a true Savannah experience. My sister and I are invited to the wedding, but not the rehearsal dinner - she asks me where I'd like to have lunch on that Saturday, saying the wait for Paula's restaurant is usually around three hours. I say if it's all the same to her, let's have some good coastal seafood instead.

- A rainy night dinner of a couple of Easter Reese's peanut butter cup eggs with a glass of Merlot. I have been out of town AND busy the last few days - so no food in the house.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dear, unexpected and familiar

Friend Mary's baby Bella on Easter Sunday morning

- Receiving emails from someone that begin with "Dear ..." and knowing that this person really does mean the word dear.

- Picking up a proof from a client's front porch and finding she has left me an unexpected gift.

- Hugging my father and loving his familiar scent of fresh laundry and peppermint.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tupelo's, granola girls and laughter

My sister forwarded the daily email from Tupelo's Bakery & Cafe in her very small town of Monticello, Florida. It is the kind of establishment I wish I had near me. Read all the way to the bottom if you have time. It's very funny today and they sound like great gals - self-proclaimed "granola girls." I told my sister she should go to Laughter Yoga - sounds like our kind of thing... Read on...

Good Morning Monticello!

We are all very important people, aren't we? But some of us are more important, more busy, more everything! ... I introduce the EAR PHONE! It's insane! It's growing in popularity. Personally I think it's letting your phone too close to your brain. Very soon I think we'll see implanted phones bringing the idea of UNPLUGGING to a whole new and scary level. A lot of our customers are converting to these devices/vices. I supposed we granola girls will have to ditch our Patchouli and Birks and hit the wide open road of technology ... or not. I love my phone, don't get me wrong. But I like my head too. Unadorned with technology except maybe the fantastic invention called a rubber band. We had a customer who would come up to the counter and facing us two very tired chicks would proceed to talk about all sorts of oddities .... the scene went something like this:

US "Good Morning, what can we get you?"
THEM "Yeah, I think she told Pastor Dan but you know he can't hear so well in his left ear."
US "Um, I didn't know that but what would you like today?"
THEM "Hi, let me see, a scone.... I know, but you've got to get in there today to be seen."
US "Um, seen where? Who? Pastor Dan? Did you want coffee with that?"
THEM "Yeah, sure, sounds good!"
US "Here's your coffee, cream and sugar are on the tables over there."
THEM "Oh, no honey, I wanted hot tea and a sticky bun."
Exasperated and Confused US "Who the hell are you talking to? Me? What exactly do you want from US, here, now? Are you on the phone?!"

We love this customer in particular and most of the others too, but it was too good not to share how odd these phones make counter conversation.


7 Layer Southwestern Salad - chopped romaine lettuce, sweet corn, black beans, red onion, shredded cheddar cheese, crispy tortilla chips, diced tomatoes all drizzled with a blasting creamy lime and cilantro dressing ... BAM! $5.50 / 3
Sweet Potato Bisque - a delight for the senses with it's pillowy sweet goodness made with piles of sweet potatoes and hints of nutmeg and plenty of buttery cream from our boys at Sparkman's Dairy $6.25 / 4.25 Served with a slice of today's bread.
Ham & Swiss Wrap - Boar's Head honey ham layered with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, sweet onion and mayo and whole grain mustard on a 100% whole wheat wrap ... HMMM! $6.50 / 4.50

The list below are our options available EVERY day so there's no reason you can't bring your sweetie down and feed him/her some "good for ya" food from the hippy chicks at Tupelo's!

Turkey & Swiss Sandwich - Boar's Head turkey and Swiss cheese layered up and then finished with lettuce, tomato and onion then a dab of mayo and whole grain mustard. $6.50 whole or $4.50 half WW - put it on a whole wheat wrap, drop the cheese and limit the mayo to 2 tsp. to make it 9 pts
The Big Green Salad - is a favorite around town with it's organic baby greens, dried cranberries, crumbled feta cheese and maple toasted nuts all tossed with our house vinaigrette. $5.50 large $3 small served with a bit of our daily bread
Quiche Combo Meal - is a slice of today's quiche slice with a side of either today's salad or the Big Green and is available while it lasts ... it runs out fast but that's cause it's so damn good! $6.75
The Sampler Meal - is a small soup, a small of either salad on the menu and a half of either sandwich on the menu with a drink for $12.25
The WW Four Point Salad - a medley of organic mixed greens and lots of veggies with 2 T. of our house vinaigrette dressing ... Weight Watchers 4 pts. $5.50

Tupelo's Bakery & Cafe
220 West Washington Street
Monticello, Florida 32344

Open Tuesday - Saturday 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Closed 2 weeks for the Christmas Season and the month of August.


The area's only totally organic/natural bakery and cafe. The ideas and views expressed in our daily emails are our own. They come from our own little twisted minds, from what we read, from what we are passionate about at the moment. We challenge you, shock you and test you in order to encourage you to T.H.I.N.K. We aren't experts. We aren't scientists. We're aren't farmers (yet). We just want to engage the mind. Make you question the norm. Get educated about food issues, systems and sources. That's all folks!

There is a real danger in continuing to believe that the modern food system is perfect, safe and sustainable. The recent peanut recall illustrates the more egregious problems this industrialized system presents. The video documentation of the meat packing plants is another illustration of where things are going wrong in ways that risk human food safety and work to make animal cruelty an acceptable behavior. Tupelo's is supportive of a system that is safe both for the humans consuming the foods produced and the animals and land used in it's production. We encourage everyone to learn more and debate more so that real change can be made. We will be hosting a series of Seminars and Lunch & Learn Programs in the summer and fall to help facilitate information sharing. Interested speakers may contact Claire at 850/510-0942 to discuss getting involved.

Southern Music Rising Festival is on it's way out to grand old Monticello .... visit the site for more information .... for all the details! Tupelo's will be hosting the Story Hour for Children during the festival.

Laughter Yoga is hosted here each and every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and Monday at 5 p.m. .... come out for the great benefits of yoga and the wonder of laughter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Peaceful hour, Red Ryder and just the ticket

- My favorite nail technician smilingly clucking over the state of my fingernails and saying she will mostly just work on my cuticles, making for a peaceful hour, along with the pedicure. Nevertheless, my hands look very nice now even if my nails are "active length."

- Asking friend Bill is he will operate the sound board at the Good Friday service and he replies, "You betcha Red Ryder!" He is aghast that I do not know who Red Ryder is. However, a Google search turns up multiple uses of that phrase scattered among many websites. And it turns out that Red Ryder was a cowboy of comic strip and radio fame from the '40s. Later, when I am leaving he says, "See you tomorrow night?" You betcha Red Ryder!

- A late night dinner of a hastily thrown together spinach and feta cheese omelet was, as my grandmother used to say, just the ticket.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holy Thursday, full moon and quote

- Looking forward to the Maundy Thursday service at my church tonight; we will leave the church in silence to stand around a watchfire that will be attended all night.

- "When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator" --- Mahatma Gandhi... And the moon is particularly beautiful this morning. Huge, full and orange against a deep blue and purple sky.

- Quote of the day from my Franklin Covey planner: Worry is interest paid on trouble before it falls due. --- William Ralph Inge. Pretty good advice, I think.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring snow, pastels and hippie name

- Hearing excitement from the reception area at work - there is snow falling. I am told, "look, if you look carefully against the black awning of (the business across the street) you can see a flake now and then." And indeed it was true, but, sadly, it did not stick.

- It was so cold yesterday that everyone broke out their sweaters again, but most went with the more pastel colored versions in a nod to spring.

- Being tagged to do one of those crazy social networking surveys "What would your hippie name be?" To my chagrin, it would be Freedom Daisy Sunshine (even though I picked my favorite color to wear as black.) Very cool friend Gator would be Gypsy Willow Dusk. Much better.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On the map, yum and last chance

- This cookbook that features desserts from local Atlanta restaurants has put my Taqueria Los Hermanos on the map by including the recipe for their Tres Leches cake. Leisa and I flip through the copy on the counter as we are paying for our after-the-gym dinner. (The cover features Fried Oreos.) One of the brothers, Orlando, smiles as he tells of someone bringing their copy in for them to sign.

- Thankfully this cookbook does not focus only on Southern standards, although there are some included (Mary Mac's peanut butter pie. Had it before. Yum.) Just reading the review makes me want to go to Rathbun's for the Gooey Toffee Cake. Mmmmm mmmmm.

- An early spring cold snap has visited our city, giving a last chance for boots and fireplace action.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Return, spring dessert and show tunes

- They're back! There were reports last year of the the disappearance of bees. Beekeepers visiting their hives would find them deserted (it's like the mother ship came and got them.) And realizing that, indeed, I had not seen any bees buzzing around my flowering plants for a couple of years. But yesterday, spotting some bees through the kitchen window. Where have you been?

- A lovely spring dessert of angel food cake, strawberries and whipped cream. Yum.

- Reading a report that President Obama gave Queen Elizabeth an iPod as a gift, all loaded up with show tunes. I hope she liked that.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Weekend recipe - Egyptian Edamame Stew

Egyptian Edamame Stew

This is so good and your home smells wonderful for hours.

1 1/2 10-ounce packages frozen shelled edamame (about 3 cups), thawed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 large zucchini, cut into half moons
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add edamame and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes or according to package directions. Drain. Or you can steam them.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini and cook, covered, until the onions are starting to brown, about 3 minutes more. Add garlic, cumin, coriander and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the edamame and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in cilantro and lemon juice.

Makes 4 servings, about 2 cups each. Per serving: 258 calories.

I serve this with saffron rice. Yum.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Welcome back, postcard from the edge and poem

- Loving 8:52am on Saturday morning when this photo was taken, the sun just beginning to dapple the back porch. And isn't it like a little miracle that Hostas come back like this?

- Playing hooky from the church grounds clean-up day and feeling only a little guilty about it. My excuse being that the pollen intake would finally send me over the edge.

- Looking at all the budding trees and flowers peeking out of the ground makes me remember a little poem by mother used to say when we were kids: "Spring has sprung, the grass has ris, I wonder where the flowers is?"

Friday, April 3, 2009

Two Totos, interdimensional and human

- Two friendly Cairn terriers (think Toto from the Wizard of Oz) come running up to me as I get out of my car at work wanting to be petted. Their owner trots up apologizing. Do you mind? We are neighbors and they like your patch of grass. I give my business card in case they ever need any printing.

- My usual WRAS-fm 88.5 lets me down this morning during my commute by playing too much techno-pop, so I switch to whatever is in the CD player. It turns out to be The b-52's Greatest Hits and "Is That You Mo-Dean?," making for a fun start to the morning. G, over at Cedar's Mountain, has a list of randomly selected favorite CDs on his post from yesterday, leading me to have a look at what else is in my car:
- the aforementioned b-52s Greatest Hits
- a Swing music CD picked up at Starbucks (my dad loves Big Band music and passed it on to his girl)
- Emmylou Harris, "Heartaches & Highways"
- and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland's rendition of Felix
Mendelssohn's "Symphonies Nos. 1 and 5 "Reformation." (Kind of dour, but I like it.)

A pretty good collection in case I am trapped for hours in traffic. What's in your car? Or if alternative transportation is used, what are you listening to?

- Blogger friend Anne, from Norway, at Ab imo pectore, has a link to a favorite song from The Killers, "Human" on her blog this morning. Are we human or are we dancers? I'll be singing that all day!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Zaya, wine tasting and tomato kind of day

- Loving my lunch at lovely Zaya in Inman Park. Chicken Shawarma, boneless chicken marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and aromatic Lebanese spices, went well with yogurt salad, tabbouleh, pita bread and hummus. I have a weakness for Mediterranean food and could eat it every day.

- Observing two of the restaurant staff tasting wine from a visiting merchant, taking a sip and then spitting it into a bucket. And thinking alternately how much fun that would be to choose wine for a restaurant and what a "waste" of good wine.

- Later after church dinner, I thank the cook and get a hug in return. She sends me off with one of those cellophane wrapped cucumbers leftover from the salad making. Bill thinks it is a zucchini and announces that Anne has a good recipe for zucchini and tomato casserole. Anne: Bill that is a cucumber! Bill: (crestfallen) Oh. Me: Give it to me anyway. It's been a tomato kind of day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Good eats, happy days and 15 times

- A fun night with the Fun Girls beginning with dinner at Mary Mac's Tea Room. Mary Mac's opened in 1945 and is popular with theater goers like us because of its fast service and walking distance to the Fox Theatre. The highlight: tomato pie. Yum.

- Happy Days, the musical, was good, clean fun. A funny moment came before the curtain went up when a couple of local DJs from an oldie's station came out to rev up the audience and asked, "Does anyone remember Richie Cunningham's favorite song?" The crowd burst into "I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill" in response.

- The fast walk to the theater from the restaurant and back counted as exercise, in my opinion, so I gave myself a star sticker on my calendar, giving myself 15 exercise days for the month of March. Not bad and better than the previous two months.