Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy mail, still and angel

- Happy mail in the form of a book parcel from friend Jannie, accompanied by a beautiful card of Claude Monet's Three Trees. She is generously loaning me her signed copy of Thomma Lyn Grindstaff's debut novel, Mirror Blue AND included a bonus book. How fun is that? And smiling at Thomma Lyn's upside down inscription on the cover page to Jannie, with the explanation that it is upside down because she is left-handed.

- A young lady who works at my gym sharing with me her college saga that has lead her to attend a nearby community college coming up this fall. She started out at my first school, Georgia College & State University, in my home town. I tell her that I loved it because of the green lawns under leafy trees and that my English professor would take our 20-member group outside to sit in a circle and have class. She says they still do that.

- Working with students by email at the University of Wisconsin Upward Bound program to have a couple of yearbooks printed for the group excursion that landed them in Atlanta this week. Wanting to deliver them myself so I can finally meet them, I get a little lost in busy downtown Atlanta (big GPS failure); finally asking a cab driver where the hotel is. He leads me down city streets, pauses in front of the hotel, lowers his window and points. He drives away with a wave. There are angels everywhere.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Crepe Myrtles, Marion and Mama Bird

- The Crepe Myrtle trees seem particularly beautiful right now.

- Neighbor Marion walks out on his porch and says, "hey - why don't you take my picture." And then was quite flattered when I did. He is a very genteel retired man and his favorite thing to say when I call out his name: "oh - is that Lynn? I thought it was an angel!"

- The fern hanging next to my front door (recently home to a pesky spider) now has a bird's nest in it. Mama Bird and I keep startling each other. She flaps her way out of the fern and flys away to squawk at me from nearby trees.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lilies of the valley, flower duet and song of Norway

- Spotting a flower arrangement of lilies of the valley across a room and upon further investigation discovering that it is made from styrofoam egg carton cups. Finally - a good use for styrofoam!

- Getting back in the car after an errand and finding the most beautiful part of the Flower Duet from the opera Lakmé is on the classical music station. And pausing before driving away to close my eyes and listen.

- Later in the day hearing Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor brings back a memory of my mother's copy of the soundtrack to the film The Song of Norway. She loved the music and hearing a piece from it this afternoon brought back a flood of memories.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Outside, rescue and conservationist

- So yesterday was “Take Your Houseplant for a Walk” day. According to "Chase's Calendar of Events," it is a day created to promote the awareness of how to care for houseplants. It also encourages people to take their houseplants outside so they can get to know their environment.

- The rescue plant above, commonly known as a philodendron (right?), was rescued by green thumb neighbor Bonnie who saw it in a pile of rubbish from someone vacating an office at her workplace. So this houseplant found a home in a new pot on my back porch. It will get to stay outside until October or so.

- According to Chase's, today is the birthday of Beatrix Potter, noted conservationist and author of the Peter Rabbit books. When she died in 1943, Beatrix Potter left 4000 acres of land in the Lake District in England to The National Trust. I so love the story of how she gave this gift to help preserve it for future generations. Check out the film "Miss Potter" if you haven't seen it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wishing and hoping, sleeping and reading

- Getting a kick out of being bossed around by Sophie, who likes to hang out in the kitchen, eternally wishing and hoping for more food.

- But sleeping in the sunshine is not a bad way to spend a weekend morning.

- Unless it's reading on the back porch.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Visit, Julia and Hawaii

- This drawing of the University of Georgia logo (with a little yellow thrown in) and the real thing by a young man visiting his grandpa at work. His job for the morning was organizing his Poppie's pen drawer.

- Attending a screening of "Julie & Julia" with friend Leisa. If you are a fan of Julia Child at all - you will love it. Meryl Streep makes me forget she's not actually Julia.

- Arranging to meet a favorite client today to approve a printing proof, we run into all sorts of obstacles on the meeting location. Inspired by the subject line of a Delta Air Lines email, I say "let's just meet in Hawaii and call it a day."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Monkey, happy exchange and surprise

- This monkey made of newspapers spotted in a creative design firm's lobby. The building also houses The Art Institute of Atlanta, so some of the artwork in the lobby is student work.

- On an elevator with art students discussing deadlines for projects and enjoying the happy exchange of what they are each doing.

- Coming back to the office and find that our courier service has surprised us with lunch from Chick-fil-A. Check out the fudge nut brownies at CFA sometime. Oh yum.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Return, sign and wee

- I was beginning to wonder!

- Is this some sort of sign? Buying plain M&Ms out of the vending machine at work only to have them hang up. One of the guys in the back shakes the machine for me and they fall down. He says seriously, "Those 60 cent ones tend to hang up." And then it happened again the next day. Hmmm.

- Having the plant manager's wee granddaughter in the building with him for the afternoon was like having a delicate butterfly around. He blew bubbles for her in his office and she shrieked with delight while trying to catch them.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunlight, contrasting and miracle

- Lovely dappled sunlight on a wonderfully strange not-too-hot day...

- Contrasting with this freak (but fun) snowstorm we had in Atlanta on March 1.

"Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream."-- Barbara Winkler

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy dog, finding the fog and difference

- This happy dog running from one side of the pick-up truck to the other, happily gazing at all who pass.

- Driving back up to the mountains mid-week for a quick overnight trip and finding the fog settling in over the river.*

- Enjoying the difference in the mountain culture during the week, no festivals, just people going to Wednesday night services at church. Year 'round neighbors out for walks. Happy dogs in pick-up trucks.

* A little delay in this post - that's why it refers to mid-week from last week. I didn't get the photos downloaded until the weekend.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday, rare and life is good

- A Saturday morning so perfect on the back porch that it is too bad you can't freeze 10 o'clock.

- A rare Saturday at home, sleeping in a bit, coffee, cheddar cheese laced grits and poached eggs, finishing a book.

- 0% humidity, a light breeze gently wafting by, a neighbor mowing his lawn leaves the air scented with that fresh cut grass smell that always reminds me of Saturdays growing up. Life is good.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Boney dancers, easy rider and fresh philosophy

- A fun lunch with friend Leisa at The Bone Garden Cantina. There is a Day of the Dead theme in the artwork there, with whimsical murals and sculpture. A favorite mural shows some boney dancers frolicking overhead. Check out the photos section on the website for the fun photos of putting this place together.

- This easy rider hangs from the bar area. His motorcycle is a sculpture, too.

- The food is fresh, authentic Mexican food, cooked to order. Yum. The menu cover has the philosophy of the house, flatly stating that, “If your idea of Mexican food is ground beef in flour tortillas covered in melted yellow cheese, this might not be the place for you. …”

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Catching rays, handy and picnic

- This back porch angel eternally catching the rays.

- A repairman named Handy Andy arriving 15 minutes after he's called. Now that's being handy.

- A quick back porch picnic of cold vegetable couscous salad, hummus and a Madress. Thank you to Snaggle Tooth for the name of my cranberry concoction! :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nurturing, sweet tooth and 401

- This artwork that graces the website Welcome page of the fledgling Rising Song preschool in Portland, Oregon. And so proud of the lovely and talented niece who will be teaching alongside her friend "nurturing the imagination" and realizing her dream.

- Discovering a forgotten cherry Tootsie Pop in my purse and smiling at the memory of filching it from the candy jar in the office of my church. A committee member said, "oh you are such a kid, aren't you?" At heart maybe, but really just a gal with a sweet tooth.

- Discovering that yesterday was my 400th post! That's 1200 Good Things. The best thing is that you stop by. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sunflowers, the boys and field

- More from the weekend, a local artist displays her paintings of flowers and the real thing. The sunflowers liven up the bunch.

- Bluegrass musicians, the Rye Holler Boys, work the crowd. Love that name and they livened up the festival with their singing.

- Down from the mountain, this field of Silver Queen corn that seems to go on forever, waiting for the coming rain.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Whisper, relaxing and peace

- The whisper of the river. Back to sit beside the Hiawassee River with my sister after way too much time away.

- The Festival on the Square making for a lovely, relaxing Saturday afternoon. Using stories and songs, Nashville songwriter Tim Bays entertains.

- The back porch, aka almost paradise. And having a discussion about the ability to summon up the river sound in our heads when we need a moment of peace.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Futuristic, treat and our song

The Jetsons called, they want their house back.

- A happy accident - finding this futuristic house on Northside Drive in Atlanta after taking a wrong turn. I can just imagine George, Jane his wife, daugher Judy and his boy Elroy inside.

- Stopping by Caribou Coffee for a morning treat of a latte and blackberry / white chocolate scone. Strangely good flavor combination on the scone.

- Receiving a birth announcement for a baby girl with a big name, Penelope. But she will be called Penny and her last name rhymes with Lane, so you know what our song will be.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Artisan, graffiti and departing

- This beautiful artisan ironwork that lines a part of Bolton Road in an old section of Atlanta, a largely forgotten area of town.

- Graffiti on the traincar makes me think of a friend who did this sort of thing in the Bronx, New York as a teenager; a budding artist who turned that talent into something lasting.

- Goodbye. Something so lovely about departing train cars going about their business, especially when they think no one is watching...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Profiles, summer goods and dignity

- Amusing myself in traffic by thinking I see profiles in the clouds above Old Canton Road.

- This email message from the Decatur Organic Farmers Market: "Come out to market this Wednesday and find organic Blueberries, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, peppers, cucumbers, blackberries, chard, kale, lettuces, cabbage, early melons. Fresh goat cheeses, organic breads and pastries, fresh pastas, spreads and salsas. Thanks for supporting your local organic growers!! See you at market!!" Summer goods! Swoon...

- This op-ed article flagged by a young political writer via Twitter "as being kind of weird" titled "In Search of Dignity" by David Brooks in The New York Times, stating that "Americans still admire dignity." Not weird at all, I say. Dignity is always a good thing...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Salsa, pledge and going with

- These puppets gracing the Georgia Public Broadcasting lobby. The security guards said they had been on the third floor, but they were moved to the lobby to give them more exposure. They are from the Salsa program, a comprehensive Spanish program for young children that is beneficial for both Spanish and English speaking children. The guards watched with great amusement while I snapped photos and wondered why I did not want them to take my photo in front.

- Signing the pledge for Meatless Monday - a non-profit initiative run in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. They say it is "not about rationing. It's about living rationally; i.e., eating more healthfully." Further, "Skipping meat even just once a week can help you avoid a wide range of illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes." I like the idea of this...

- An email invitation from my sister for the weekend, "want to go with?" Yes, I will be going with. Yay!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Prize, steps and back porch

- The Old Governor's Mansion, Milledgeville, Georgia, circa 1839, home to Georgia's governors until the end of the Civil War. The pink stucco mansion is considered to be one of the finest examples of High Greek Revival architecture in the nation. Designed by architect Charles Clusky, an Irish immigrant, and built by Timothy Porter of Farmington, Connecticut, it was claimed as a "prize" in the "March to the Sea," when General William T. Sherman headquartered in the building on November 22, 1864. It even has a cameo part in E.L. Doctorow's novel, "The March" in which a character in the book can see the Union army inside the house from the windows of her home across the street. In 1973 the Mansion was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Trust for Historic Preservation.

- Spending the 4th of July in my home town and sitting on the post office steps at noon to call my sister in Florida. Suddenly the bells of Sacred Heart Catholic Church begin to play God Bless America and My Country 'Tis of Thee to an otherwise deserted downtown, making for appropriate patriotic background music.

- Being served up a sizzling steak cooked on the grill by my still recovering father. He got just the right amount of char on it. And it was nice sitting on the back porch with him to see him at his usual grillin' self.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th!

-It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have these three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence to practice neither. Mark Twain

Friday, July 3, 2009

Glimpse, Gift and Big Joy

- An unexpected early morning glimpse of a pensive Mr. Slow Walker watching a truck being unloaded at the hardware place next door.*

- The outpouring of friendship and comfort to a family as we say goodbye to a friend. He always made me feel as if he was just delighted to see me, with the gift of his wide smile and hearty laugh.

- Having "family style" Chinese food with committee members at a restaurant with a great name, "Big Joy." And finding we all have an equal affinity for Hot and Sour Soup.

*No worries - I did not intrude upon him, using the zoom feature on my camera. That's why it is a little fuzzy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Protector, welcome and young reader

- This fiery dragon protecting his family from evil doers.

- A red-cheeked little boy flashes a beaming smile as he runs to the door of the Agape community center. He and his wee sister break free from their mother to beat on the door, calling "¡Hola! ¡Hola!" A smiling woman opens the door to welcome them, saying ¡Hola! in return.

- Waiting room conversation: A young woman lovingly describes her 2 1/2 year-old son who likes to play with little cars, but mostly likes to sit down with piles of books and "read."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tastes of summer, all aired out and winner

- Burgers on the grill and fresh corn. Tastes like summer!

- Sure feels like summer. The southern US had about one week of spring and went straight into summer temperatures. But the air this early morning is cool with a slight breeze blowing. It was a mercifully lower humidity night. My outside air conditioning unit is on the fritz, but with friend Tim to the rescue it should be repaired today. And having my place aired out with all of the windows open didn't hurt a bit.

- The spontaneous applause at the Vacation Bible School dinner when it was announced that a young church member has won three gold medals at the Special Olympics games in San Diego.