Monday, November 30, 2009

Visit, walking distance and standing guard

- A holiday visit to my home town. This is the Milledgeville (Georgia) Convention and Visitors Bureau, aka "Old Milledgeville Post Office" built in 1910, later converted to be the county library where I worked in an after school job. A new library was built a few years ago, so this building has been used for local tourism since.

- Tours of Milledgeville are given in this trolley car. The library was a wonderful place to work, right in the center of town and within walking distance to everything.

- Toy soldiers at the corner stand guard over a familiar view.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Legacy, recipe and bucket

- Mom's sweet potato recipe that she made on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. It comes from a cookbook of my grandmother's called "A Taste of Georgia" published by the Newman (Georgia) Junior League in 1977. A nice legacy. Senator Richard Russell was a senator in Georgia from 1933 until 1971; the senate office building in Washington, DC was named for him. There was nothing in Wikipedia about this casserole. :)

- Since I am not so much a "Southern food" cook, I only hoped my version came out as good as hers. I love all the notes in margins and how to make the recipe for a crowd. I especially loved walking into my aunt and uncle's home with it and seeing so many beloved faces; the oldest - 86, the youngest - 14 months, and there are two more on the way.

- The ultimate compliment came from my cousin Russ, who asked his mom if he could have a "bucket of that sweet potato casserole" to take home. Russ got his take away "bucket" in the form of a couple of those Glad containers.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bounty, feast and gratitude

- This harvest display put together by the Chancel Guild at my church. The bounty was taken to a nearby food co-op after the service.

- Since my mother is without a kitchen these days, her famous Senator Russell's Sweet Potato Casserole was delegated to me for the Thanksgiving feast. I only had to call her twice with questions. And in another kitchen in Florida, the newly married niece Abigail was making it, too, as a new tradition for her in-law family.

- Receiving this lovely "Happy Day before Thanksgiving" email from friend Bev yesterday. It sums up how I feel about all of my family and friends, too. (This includes you, blog friends!):

"In the midst of this busy, busy day I wanted to tell you all how much I am thankful for you. And, since this is to be a day of "no complaining" (recommended by someone in Congress, of all places!) I wanted to start my day with a sense of gratitude.
The following is a prayer from my Sunday School class of a couple of years ago and expresses my sense of thankfulness. I consider all of you family, whether we are bonded by blood or friendship:"

For the blessings You have bestowed upon this family,
For all the days we've had together,
And all of the days to come,
For the joys and sorrows that bind us ever closer,
For the trials we have overcome,
And for teaching us that we can do no great things,
Only small things with great love,
Thank you.

Blessings to you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pilgrims, Meatloaf and abundance

- Mr C's says, "Pilgrims loved meatloaf and trivia." Doubtful. :) Just for the heck of it, I typed in "origin of meatloaf" into the Bing search engine and the answer seems to be that it is just a large meatball that Italian immigrants came up with to save time or it is a product of the Depression, when people needed to save money by stretching meat.

- The first time I misspelled the word origin and typed "origen", with an "e" - the number one listing was a Spanish version of a performance of the singer Meatloaf on YouTube. :)

- A lovely pre-Thanksgiving lunch at the printing company, with an abundant table. I made friend Bev's crockpot corn. It was a hit! Here's the recipe in case you need a quick and easy side dish any time:

Crockpot Creamed Corn

2 (16-oz) packages frozen corn
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon white sugar
Salt and pepper

Melt butter and cream cheese, mix in milk, sugar and salt and pepper. Pour over frozen corn in crockpot and mix together.

Cook on High 2-4 hours or on Low for 4-6 hours.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tom & Jerry, mouse hole and bowling

- Tom and Jerry cartoons are my favorite. I always like how Jerry has his little mouse hole to run through so Tom can't get him.

- This looks for all the world like a mouse hole here at the printing company. I mentioned that to co-worker Joanne in passing one day. Yesterday I spotted a plastic mouse peeking out and yes, she put it there, all the way back in October and I just now noticed. :)

- Any kind of whimsy is the best part of my day. Another bit of whimsy - the youth group at my church had bowling in the hallway on Sunday evening, using frozen turkeys - safely donated to charity before they could thaw.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Etchings, spreading the love and molten lava

- This bottle of Fish Eye Merlot, bought on sale at the grocery store. And suddenly noticing the etched fish in the glass of the bottle. Attention to detail like that is pretty cool and unexpected in any product, but especially in a lower priced wine.

- A quick drive to Macon on Friday afternoon for mom's birthday party. It is rare that all three daughters are present for the day. She delighted in spreading the love by sharing her birthday cake with random others.

- A lunch meeting with committee members in which the favorite moment involves a piece of Molten Lava cake. It is fun to see the dark chocolate oozing out of the cake, not to mention delicious to eat.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hanging in, around the corner and show-stopping

- Neighbor Rhonda's still blooming perennials, hanging in there even after the first frost. It feels odd for so many flowering plants to be blooming with dead leaves fluttering around. But it hints of the promise of spring around the corner.

- Receiving my first Christmas party invitation in the mail, courtesy of friend Tim, making me remember that the holidays are actually just around the corner. :)

- On a recent trip to my parents' home in Milledgeville, the neighbors were already beginning to decorate their house for the holidays. The family was having a wonderful time sorting out lights and pulling out reindeer, big candy canes, etc. out of boxes. It promises to be one of those show-stopping houses that people drive out of their way to look at.

Have a great weekend! I hope it will be filled with lovely good things.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Finger Labyrinth, laughing all the way and paths

Printable Finger Labrynth - I have this at work and find that it really does give a few moments of peace, when needed, by tracing the path with your non-dominant hand.

- Noticing that the director of my volunteer organization has a bicycle in her office now. She says she is taking time to ride it during her lunch break and the other day encountered a hill at nearby Atlantic Station that was so steep, she had to laugh her way up it.

- An email from cousin Susan that we will have 33 for Thanksgiving dinner next week. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because I get to see at least 20 family members that I normally do not cross paths with during any other time in the year.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One of these days, 18 no more and singing

- I missed it. And I had a plan on Monday afternoon to stop by Mr C's and get a take-out for dinner later at home, but there was a client to see that took me away from the area. One of these days I will try the meatloaf. (Photo taken Tuesday at 6:55am on the way into the office before they changed the sign.)

- My sister attended a reunion party of sorts over the weekend of some of her high school friends and sent a picture by email. I was startled to see that they are no longer 18! :)

- The same sister reported that later that day, after the sister shift change at the hospital, she and dad sang songs to keep him awake so he could greet yet another sister on her way up to see him.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Perfect match, gratitude and legacy

- A cat named Jackson, who has one blue eye and one green eye. He chose to perch on a blanket that perfectly matches one of his eyes.

- Receiving thank you notes in the mail on the same day from two nieces, one recently married and the other about to give birth. Our mother instilled the practice of writing personal gratitude notes on us early on and it is lovely that my sisters have instilled that in their daughters, as well. Both notes contained a thank you for the gift, how much they would enjoy using it and a few lines about the gift giver.

- Sharing the legacy my father instilled in me in a meeting in which we are sharing information that might help us acquire more customers for the printing company. I tell them that my father finds something nice to say to everyone he meets and I always try to do the same whether someone turns into a customer or not.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rm w/a vu, story and dedicated

- A room with a view. Sunrise from my father's hospital room in Macon, Georgia over the weekend.

- Visiting with an uncle who I haven't seen in a really long time. And hearing the story of how he met my aunt - he spotted her at a bowling alley and told his buddy, "I'm going to marry her." The buddy laughed at him, but he did marry her - three months later.

- Meeting so many dedicated hospital workers over the weekend: a recently divorced student radiology technician who decided to make a life change with a new career, a 23-year-old nurse who LOVES working the 7pm to 7am shift and is perky even in the middle of the night, a nurse who finally became an RN at age 47 and is sorry her dad didn't live to see her realize her dream, the young woman who comes in to clean proudly displaying her babies' photo on the back side of her hospital badge - she has a one-year-old and a two-year-old, the smiling medical technician who finds me wide awake at 3am and asks if I would like a snack and then brings cherry Jello and Sprite. Lovely people.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vintage, awesome and all good things

- According to Eliot Glazer, "Before the fanny packs and Andrea Bocelli concerts, your parents (and grandparents) were once free-wheeling, fashion-forward, and super awesome." Interview heard on NPR on the way home tonight. Eliot's blog "My Parents Were Awesome" shows vintage photo after vintage photo of parents before they were parents, back in the day, looking cool. Check it out, it is a pretty cool photo blog.

- These two parents, pictured above, were pretty awesome and still are. One of my friends spotted these photos and said, "Wow, they looked like movie stars!"

- A belated happy Veterans Day to my dad - still in the hospital (but expected to be OK.) I am on my way to be with him now. I hope you all have a wonderful, happy weekend, filled with all good things!

Another rainy day, ginger cookies and fallen

- Another rainy day, but the trees sure are beautiful.

- Someone putting out a package of Biscoff cookies at work and they are gone in a flash. They are my favorite snack on Delta flights, so I just manage to snag a couple to have with my hot red tea.

- Sweeping all the fallen maple leaves off my back porch makes me recognize it really is no longer summer. So the blue and white striped throw rug is rolled up and stored away until it is warm again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Doors, heartwarming and lucky

- This artwork from the State of Georgia art collection housed at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Since it isn't labeled, I think it should be called "Doors." :)

- The rain is relentless and attributed to Tropical Storm Ida passing nearby. This kind of weather always makes me want comfort food. So cold, damp and tired at 7pm, finally making it back to my neck of the woods, and calling Main Moon to order up Spicy Szechuan Shrimp. The smiles of the proprietors and later, the food, warmed my heart.

- A late night knock on the door - I know it is neighbor Rhonda because her dog Lucy is barking with authority. She hands me my soaking wet wallet that she spotted lying beside my car. I am very lucky to have a neighbor like her.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rosy glow, glowing enthusiasm and something nice

Rising by Bob Trammell

- With the return to Eastern Standard Time, my commute begins in the dark and ends with the sun just risen. The sky yesterday morning has a rosy glow that might signify rain is coming. And it has.

- The glowing enthusiasm of friend Charlene as she puts together a group of people who will learn ballroom dancing on Friday nights, and a big chuckle at the last line of the latest email, "Please contact us if you have any doubts about dancing."

- An emergency room visit with my dad (he will be OK) and smiling at how he always finds something nice to say to health care workers who are in and out of his room. He gives a startled look to a nurse with fuschia streaked hair, but says, "Petra - what a pretty name."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Peaceful, historic and late bloomers

- A quick trip on Saturday to my hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia, and stopping by the sun dappled Sacred Heart Catholic Church to sit for a few peaceful moments in its rose garden.

- This historic church was completed in April 1874 and contains handmade pressed glass windows that had been in the Lafayette Hotel which originally stood on this spot. Local author Flannery O'Connor attended Mass here.

- Late blooming roses give off a delicious fragrance. The sculpture of the Virgin Mary has a plaque that reads, "In memory of Mary Frances d'Ambrosio. Say one Hail Mary." I meditate for a little while and head back north.

Friday, November 6, 2009

St. Joseph's, spectacular and petit paquet

- Rising 200 feet into the air, the twin cross-topped spires of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Macon, Georgia, catch my eye from an office building nearby. The church, built in 1889, is even more beautiful at ground level.

- Attending a "meet and greet" at Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, an organization devoted to better hearing and vision in Georgia. This dress was part of a "spectacular" event this year in which student fashion designers created dresses, using parts of eyeglasses, for a fundraiser fashion show.

- Receiving this "Petit Paquet" from a friend in Canada, via another friend in Texas. I am delighted to receive this unexpected package in the mail and open it excitedly outside. The book, "Quite a Year for Plums" is by Georgia author Bailey White. I like this notion of a traveling book. And I can't wait to read it!

Wishing you all good things this weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Yikes!, small world and journey south

- Yikes! This tree beyond the pool area at my condominium complex, looking for all the world like a big fright wig.

- A small world moment: running across a childhood friend's name on the internet. She is a consultant to a group I am affiliated with. They moved away and my parents lost touch with hers. The last memory I have of her family is of our mothers sitting under a tree in their yard watching all of us play.

- Walking around the back of the printing company, a co-worker has the warehouse door open. He tells me of a few moments earlier when hundreds of starlings stopped by out back, alighting on the trees and the fence for a rest. The warehouse door opening spooked them and they took flight again on their journey south. The best thing: that he knew I would love hearing about it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Anticipation, there in spirit and looming

- Attending a play at this theatre, often referred to as The Fabulous Fox. Five exhausted women decide collectively during intermission that we can figure out how this one is going to end and slip out, anticipating a few minutes extra sleep at home.

- Earlier, still miles away on errands, I am running late for a pre-show dinner with the Fun Girls. While I am still an hour away, one of them reads the menu to me by cellphone. She says it feels as if I am sitting at the table.

- Smiling as I can the see the lights of the city looming ahead and picturing my friends at the restaurant table and knowing exactly what cocktails they would be having: an in-house beer (since we were at a brewery restaurant), a Cosmopolitan, a glass of red wine and a glass of white wine. They raise their glasses in salute as I finally arrive, dinner, laughter (and a Mojito) waiting for me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Yoo hoo!, thought and never too late

- After all these years, finally trying the chocolaty drink Yoo-hoo - a co-worker brought them in as a leftover treat from a party at her house. Too many calories, but so good.

- Emailing niece Amanda that I had a Yoo-hoo and thought of her. My dad used to put one in her stocking at Christmas. Her answer, "oh my gosh i love yoohoos!!! i haven't had one in a long time either. I just might have to go get one today :)"

- A favorite quote and personal motto, displayed in the photo above: "It is never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot (aka English novelist Mary Anne Evans - 1819-1880)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Morning light, lingering and a wink and a smile

- The time "falls back" to Eastern Standard and the morning light seems particularly fresh and vibrant on Sunday morning.

- The night temperatures turned crisp and inspired fireplace activity all around. The scent of wood smoke lingers in the air.

- Later at church, serving communion to a favorite elderly congregant who always sits on the back row, she mouths "hey dahlin'" and gives me a broad wink and a smile.