Monday, August 31, 2009

Abblasen, run through the rain and coast is clear

- A decidedly un-sunny Sunday in which the afternoon was spent in slothful sofa-time, catching up on DVRd CBS Sunday Morning shows, with the wonderful opening theme music, "Abblasen" played by Wynton Marsalis.

- An exhilarating run through the rain with friend Ginny, both umbrella-less, and laughing as we reach our cars soaked.

- Putting away Sophie's nemesis, the vacuum cleaner. She emerges from behind the futon meowing her discontent and "is the coast clear?" I tell her I don't like it much either.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ramble, scentful and funky space

- A river runs through it. View from the Cliff House on the Hiawassee River, July 2009. We took a ramble through the grounds and porches around this house for sale when we were there last.

- The savory smell of the rosemary flecked soap sitting on a shelf in my kitchen. I get a whiff of rosemary every time I lean over to pick up Sophie's water dish for refill. (Not wanting to use it for washing up just yet since it is so delightfully scentful.)

- Visiting a potential client who sells fine art out of a building that was once used to manufacture Arby's sauces. A huge vat in the center of the space has now been made into a conference room with a door cut-out and funky furniture and sculpture inside.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tomato sandwich, vs. tomato pie and happy mail

- This lovely haul of tomatoes from co-worker Bobby's garden. We have a discussion about the best use of tomatoes and agree a tomato sandwich is the best of all. Fresh bread, slices of salted tomato and Duke's Mayonnaise, properly eaten while standing over the kitchen sink.

- vs. a yummy looking tomato pie recipe that I spotted on the Simply Recipes blog that I want to make. Bobby thinks that is a waste of good "home grown" tomatoes - so this might be Sherry's Produce stand tomato material. :)

- Looking in the mailbox and seeing just one happy item: a picture postcard from a vacationing friend who reports "sea air, sunshine, super views and soul-surrendering sensational simmerings of song and sacred silences."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The view, the square and the red hatters

- A lunch catch-up with friend Pat and enjoying the window view of the courthouse in Lawrenceville, Georgia. The courthouse was built in the "Romanesque" style in 1885 at a cost of $23,083, after the first one burned.

- Lawrenceville is a suburb of Atlanta where the courthouse square is full of antique shops and cafes. Our lunch at Sperata was delicious; my crab cakes and Pat's brie wrap - Yum. The coleslaw contained herbs from the garden in the back.

- While we lunch, watching a sea of laughing women wearing red hats and purple outfits file across the square and into the restaurant where a long table is set up just for them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Messy fun, broad hint and exclamation

- To honor the new PBS Jim Henson childrens' show, Dinosaur Train, Georgia Public Broadcasting kicked it off with a fun Doughnuts and Dinosaurs day. Giant orange footprints continued down the hallway and along the walls to a train ride that included a doughnut upon boarding. Messy fun.

- Salad that includes yellow heirloom tomatoes from co-worker Bobby's garden. When I pause to tell him how much I enjoy the tomatoes, he says he'll bring me some more. A broad hint that worked! :)

- A client's excited exclamation, "That's exactly what I wanted!" She loved her red tag sale postcard on brown cover stock that will go out in the mail this week.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Follow the grain, contents and rear view

- This quote by Dr. Howard Thurman that I think means to be your own person, not what others expect you to be. The best thing: learning about someone I didn't know about before via Wikipedia.

- Friend Mary's 2 3/4 year-old Bella sporting a little silver purse with purple flowers. And showing me the contents: Cheerios.

- Wispy blue clouds against the sunrise pink sky, looking like marble in the rear view mirror. A beautiful start to an unseasonably cool morning.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Shining water, catching up and happy news

- This photo of the Hiawassee River that was taken during a July visit, jumping out while scrolling through other photos. Shining water on a summer morning.

- An unexpected visit from friend and cousin Susan and catching up on family news over plates of pasta and fruity iced tea at nearby Figo Pasta.

- Learning that a family member is expecting her second baby. In a state of disbelief, running four pregnancy tests before her husband suggests that the fourth one is probably correct. They are happy and will have two children 18 months apart in age.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Floating, heirlooms and touching

- Niece Amanda's dog Lucky was wistful that everyone was in the pool but him, so they fashioned a float on a tube and he floated away, looking quite cheerful about it, too.

- Wistfulness from me when I found that I had missed out on the "home grown" tomatoes that a co-worker brought in to share. So I got my own special bag of heirloom tomatoes this morning.

- A young couple arriving together to the office briefly touch hands before heading off in opposite directions to begin their work for the day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

you said Is, treasures and looking forward

- e.e. cummings. A poet with a joyful perspective on life.

- Sitting in a gracious woman's living room and admiring her collection of china figurines, reminding me of things my grandmother treasured.

- A young lady at Chick-fil-A having great patience with someone who doesn't usually order fast food, saying, "It's Wednesday - you have two days to go before the weekend." Looking forward to that.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So good, great yarn and voice

- These treats made for a co-worker's birthday that lived up to their name, "So Good Brownies." Found in the August 2009 issue of Southern Living - the recipe was said to be so good that the entire food staff of the magazine approved them at first bite. They were a hit at the printing company, too.

- In the same issue, a review of Pat Conroy's new novel, "South of Broad," a book that I cannot wait to get my hands (and eyes) on. If you haven't read his books before, he spins a great yarn every time.

- Hearing a voice on the telephone that I just never get to hear enough - friend Tereza invites me to son Max's christening on Saturday. Max is a sweet, serene baby that I am looking forward to cuddling.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Big birthday, dinner with a view and we are family

- A drive to be with beloved family members and friends to bestow gifts upon a deserving young lady, ie. bridal shower for my niece. It is just a coincidence that it is the 450th birthday of Pensacola, Florida. An event that even the king and queen of Spain thought it worthy to attend. And someone got the idea that perhaps party goers could sign a card that will be submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest birthday card ever.

- A lovely dinner at Atlas Oyster House on Pensacola Bay, where the featured dish is something called "Grits a' Ya Ya" - Gulf shrimp sautéed with spinach, portobello mushrooms, applewood-smoked bacon, garlic, shallots, and cream over a heaping bed of smoked Gouda cheese grits. Niece Abby saying to her Aunt Cookie, "I told you we eat good down here."

- A more rustic dinner at The Oyster Barn overlooking the marina bridge, where the food was almost as good as the staff was fun. And the official greeter was a cat named Gator, who the owner took in when she wandered up one day. He named her before her gender was known.

Best of all this weekend...being with family and friends (I had all my sisters with me.) Another good things moment - reading your blogs on Sunday morning while all the other gals energetically went for a walk. Looking up at the precise moment they walk by the window, they cheerfully wave in unison and I wave back.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Directions, discovery and the Blue Ribbon

- These fun signs beside Tommy's Store in tiny Hayesville, NC that point in the direction of other cities, New York, Asheville, Miami, etc. So many directions we could go... I am off to Pensacola, Florida this morning for the weekend and hope to have some pictures for Monday.

- Discovering another library I can use in the nearby suburb of Clarkston, Georgia. Telling the librarian how much I admire the new library, he says it has been there for 15 years. Oops. :)

- A lovely dinner with an old friend at the Blue Ribbon Grill where the slogan is: "You Gotta Eat Somewhere and We Need the Money." Black and Bleu steak salad and a summery pineapple and rum drink in a martini glass. Yum.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jake, grace and still

- Jake, the mascot at Provenance Antiques, who usually greets me at the door. Asking where he is, Vanessa points and says he is on the $4000 sofa that is for sale. Later, sitting beside him, a customer walks through and I tell her that Jake comes with the couch.

- This article by Mike Lupica of the NY Daily News about Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a woman of grace and purpose, sent by the proud mother of a Special Olympian with the words, "Please honor her by reading her amazing story."

- Committee member Barbara G's mother winning a swimming competition at age 93. Barbara, telling us that she also came in 2nd and 3rd in other events, says that there weren't that many competitors in that age category. We say "Still! A remarkable achievement!" An example for all of us.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lucky Day, le sigh and parcel

- It's the simple things... :)

- A woman with a distinctly French last name, who is incredibly busy, ends an email with a smile and "le sigh..."

- After a particularly long day, arriving home to find a parcel waiting at the front door. I love parcels. It was only the sea salt I ordered, but I get a little thrill when I receive a parcel in the mail.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Favorite breakfast, delighting and one Beatle

- A favorite breakfast - Egg in a Frame. It was the first thing I ever learned to cook. 1. Pinch out center of bread to make a hole. 2. Place into a medium-hot skillet, drop a pat of butter in the center and let it melt until it is sizzling. 3. Crack an egg and fill the center hole with the raw egg. 4. When the egg white has turned white and the yolk has started to firm, gently flip the Egg in a Frame with a metal spatula. 5. Cook until the yolk is firm (or to desired firmness) 6. Remove from the pan and serve with salt and pepper. Yum!

- A little girl, delighting in a bank of petunias, picks a purple one that exactly matches the flowers in her dress.

- Sitting with a group of friends, the discussion turns toward the upcoming Paul McCartney concert in Atlanta; sparking a discussion of concerts we have all attended. Most of us have seen at least one Beatle in concert.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back road, good home and order

- Taking a seldom used back road, impulsively turning into the driveway of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery. Stepping out of the car - a feeling of peace washes over me.

- As one of the brothers drives out, he patiently waits for the geese to move. He smiles with a twinkle in his eye as he goes by.

- Even the water tower has the mark of the order. They have a working farm, but supplement their income by selling handmade rosaries, fudge and bonsai trees.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Madly running, phenomenon and winner

- In one of their golf cart runs, my sister managed to photograph her dog Moby, who had captured an unfortunate iguana. Not a good thing for the iguana, but what a photo! Sis took the picture while Moby was running mad laps around and around the cart.

- This article in the Atlantic online that grabbed me with the headline "Running Under the Influence." The event is a worldwide phenomenon - a running club in Tokyo sponsors the event, called the Beer Mile relay, in which one must chug a beer without dripping and then run a mile. And then they didn't drive, but went to have snacks. :)

- Congratulations to Hardy Wallace, local wine connoisseur, who won the most votes in a contest to become the social media spokesperson for the Murphy-Goode winery in Sonoma Valley, California. Hardy will make $10,000 per month for the next six months to promote the winery using social media. His exuberant video submission got him his dream job. Go Hardy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Glistening, by the water and signs

- A beautiful morning following a hard rain during the night. Everything new and glistening.

- This is the view from the back of an office building where a client's office is, although she sees it from five floors up. Yesterday I spotted her having a meeting at one of the tables by the water. A good spot for discussion, I think.

- Smiling at the two signs. A man, disregarding the admonishment not to smoke, nervously crushes out his cigarette when I come out. The geese are nowhere in sight. Maybe off looking for food.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

City dog, country dog and possible treats

- After about ten tries, finally getting a photo of Janet's dog Emily, a lively visitor to the gym.

- Smiling at an overheard conversation as my sister puts the phone down long enough to ask her husband to pick her up at the front door in the golf cart. They ride through their property so their dog Moby can run free. He could run like that any time he wants, but chooses the excitement of running amok while they ride along in his wake.

- A lengthy discussion about possible edible treats to take printing customers, bakery cookies, home-baked cookies, fruit or wrapped candy. All good things. Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Purple morning, diligence and gloriously good

- On a purple morning, Mr C's weighs in on the Presidential beer meeting.

- Family emails flying back and forth as we finally have insight on the disappearance of a family member c1910. Mystery kind of solved due to the diligent research done by my aunt.

- A gloriously good cake brought in by co-worker Joanne to honor the boss's birthday. She walked in apologizing for the cake, two layers of red velvet, one layer of yellow, fudge icing between the layers with cream cheese frosting on top. It didn't rise enough, the layers kept sliding in the car, etc etc. Nothing wrong with the taste. A Monday morning treat. So good!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mastering the art, scent and peace

- My copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child has arrived from the used book seller. Always intending to get a copy, the inspiration to finally order came in the form of the book and film "Julie and Julia." I like this one with its tattered cover, a sign that it was well used.

- The way the scent of eggs cooking mingles with the smell of coffee brewing - making the house smell good all day.

- Finding myself in the unusual position of scheduling visiting preachers for our church without a pastor, a delightful email reply from an invitee, "Greetings from Palestine! Salaam in Christ." He is a Palestinian American Presbyterian preacher and is in Palestine and Jerusalem on a peacekeeping mission.