Friday, May 28, 2010

R & R, Grace and reflection

- Looking forward to this view for the weekend. The back porch at my sister's vacation home in the mountains of western North Carolina. There are three books already packed in the car that I cannot wait to crack open.

- The house was originally owned by her mother-in-law, a lovely woman who left her stamp all over it. Local pottery, many whimsical touches, books to read if you did not bring your own.

- Memorial Day will be a time to reflect on the past year and look ahead. I hope those of you celebrating this holiday have a wonderful one.

See you guys on Tuesday! Have a wonderful and relaxing weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tea time, taking stuff out and the flip side

- Tea time at the office. The mug came from a gift bag that my parents put together for my birthday several years ago. I rediscovered it during the kitchen refurbish and decided to bring it to work. The tea is my favorite Kalahari brand Rooibos Red Tea. And the chocolate - from my Ghirardelli desk drawer stash. A bright spot in a slow work day.

- Taking a thrift shop pile of stuff to the Goodwill truck and enjoying the few moments of conversation with the nice man who collected the items from my car. There is a huge feeling of satisfaction in taking stuff out of my house as opposed to bringing more in.

- On the flip side, it makes me a little sad to drive away from the laundry hamper, large basket and miscellaneous kitchen stuff when I think about bringing them in when they were new. But they will move on to other homes and hopefully someone will need them.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Take a whiff, impressed and the tango

- Catching the tell tale scent of lavender while walking by the plant aisle at the grocery store. I can't resist bringing it home; it is so unique looking that my neighbor calls me during the day to ask what it is. Take a whiff, I say (but give her a hint anyway.)

- Co-worker Joanne displaying some of her blown glass art and making it sound so easy to do that. We are all so impressed that she will be demonstrating her craft at the Decatur Arts Festival this weekend.

- Skipping the last hour of the finale of Dancing with the Stars because I can predict who will win. But reflecting during the first hour how easy they make it look to do those dance moves and knowing what incredibly hard work it must be. They make me want to learn to tango. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Peaches, no big deal and good eats

- The peaches are in and probably will probably be eaten before making it into cobbler. :)

- A very nice man inspects the ding on my car and makes me feel as if it will be no big deal to fix.

- Catching up with friend Leisa at the neighborhood taqueria, over enchiladas con vegetales, guacamole and Coronas. Yum.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Orchard, favorites and catching up

- While clearing out our family home to prepare it for sale, my sisters and I chose some items we would like to take and I was so pleased to bring home these fruit plates. The three plates above the window and the top two on the left came from my grandmother's kitchen originally, then were in mom and dad's kitchen for years. My dad gave the five lower plates to mom and I thought they all made a nice grouping.

- These three were my favorites though. I can still remember them in my grandmother's kitchen - the pear plate has always been my absolute favorite.

- Finally finding a home for that large soup pot, that I posted about several days ago, after pulling out the pots and pans cabinet and judiciously putting it all back in. It was fun to catch up on little home projects this weekend.

Friday, May 21, 2010

King Plow, must have gotten a deal and yum

- Snapped just as the light changed to green, the King Plow Arts Center (ca. 1890) used to be a plow factory back in the days of the rebuilding of Atlanta.

- A group of brightly dressed women walking purposefully down the street, all wearing identical straw hats.

- Visiting a dessert buffet featuring a vat of warm chocolate in the center, surrounded by strawberries, blackberries, apricot slices, raspberry shortbread cookies and tiny cream puffs. So good!

Yay, it's the weekend! Have a great one!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Touch of serenity, that's the plan and looming

- A happy accident. My camera battery needed charging this morning and so the photo is from an evening last July on the Hiawassee River in Hayesville, North Carolina. My mind always goes there when I need a touch of serenity.

- Amused looks from friends preparing to play the dominoes game "Trains" when I explain I cannot stay because I plan to be asleep in the next hour. 9:00pm.

- The sunrise in my rear view mirror also mirrored in the glass buildings in the looming skyline of Atlanta.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cannonballs, provisions and northwest

- Stumbling upon a website with accounts of Civil War battles fought around the area I work in northwest Atlanta, there is the story of General Joseph Johnston, then commander of the Confederate Army, and his firing for being ineffective in July 1864. It tells of a group erecting a sentimental monument in the form of 55 stacked Confederate cannonballs at 950 West Marietta Street, the former site of the Dexter Niles house, in which the relief of command took place. After work, I decide to find it and program the address into my GPS. Sure enough - there it is, inside a gate that houses the Mead Paper Company's fleet of shipping containers.

- A couple of miles away is the White Provision Company, on Howell Mill Road, a former meat packing plant, ca. 1910. It morphed into a graffiti painted old building full of artistic urban loft dwellers, to a space that now encompasses apartments, offices and retail businesses. (I read with relief that some of the loft dwelling artists remain.) Thankfully no one thought to tear this building down in lieu of a new glass building so commonly seen around now.

- When I was looking for a job the last time, I resisted working this far from home (20 miles.) But it has been a pleasure to seek out the rich history of northwest Atlanta and I expect to search out more monuments and history soon. Watch for more photos. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Midtown view, impromptu and finding a home

- A view of midtown Atlanta from the corner of Howell Mill Road and 14th Street. It never did rain, although that would have been OK.

- Making an impromptu sundae of sorts with crunched up graham cracker cereal, vanilla yogurt and chopped up banana on top. Yum.

- Having brought home a large soup pot from mom and dad's house, it can't seem to find a home in my kitchen. So it rests on the stove top for now and dreams of the day someone will fill it with something good.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Light on the stairs, HGTV and tribute

- Seldom seen light on back stairs, used only by a few. Serenity at 10 o'clock.

- Visiting with my mother all day on Saturday and catching up on sleep from the week as we have recliner naps in front of the home and garden channel on TV.

- Mother's neighbor from across the hall stops by to say that he only got to know my father for a few months, but that he was a good man. "He stood straight and tall."

Friday, May 14, 2010

View of an urn, back to work and an angel

- A late morning meeting outdoors in Madison, Georgia in which the view from the picnic table was this urn, admired for its happy profusion of vines and flowers.

- Earlier in the morning, returning to work after a couple of days away and the satisfaction of putting my work to rights.

- Still earlier, at 6:45am, one of the tires on my car goes flat just at the end of my condominium driveway. While I am digging in my wallet for the roadside assistance card so I can call it in, an angel appears. A young neighbor I haven't met before pulls up behind me and asks if I need help. I tell her what happened and she springs into action; she knows exactly what to do and makes short work of changing my tire. We exchange names and house numbers before she drives away with her patient blue-eyed baby in tow.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Surveyor, napping spot and thankful

- A rare morning working from home in which I get to see the sun on the kitchen floor at 10am. My companion surveys the world outside before...

...finding a patch of sun to nap in.

- And thankful for good friends checking in on me since I was a bit under the weather for a couple of days. Friend Leisa's care package of bananas, apples, crackers and ginger ale was just the ticket for recovery.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cheerful, nice neighbors and dropping by

- One of my mother's teapots from the family home that is about to be sold. I chose this one to bring to my home because I got it for her in England and also for its cheerful arrangement of flowers and strawberries. Note: She is living in a tiny apartment now and was not able to take all the teapots with her.

- More from the weekend - my sister meets the neighbor across the street from the house at the mailbox. He and his wife are lovingly restoring a home that contains many memories for us. We all used to babysit over there for families that came and went. A little later there is a knock on our door - they have brought coffee and breakfast for us.

- The girls bring mom over to see the house - all staged for the real estate people - when their former housekeeper drops by. It is a happy reunion for she and mom and before she leaves, mom tells her she wants her to choose a teapot from the ones that are left. She chooses one with butterflies and flowers.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunset on the lake, notes and looking sweet

- A boat ride at sunset from some friends' house on Lake Sinclair in Milledgeville, Georgia, to a lakeside restaurant. A welcome break after a long day of packing and sorting.

- Admiring the way my mother made so many notes to capture memories of where things came from and who gave them to her. Her vast collection of teapots had a note inside each one.

- Visiting an uncle who has slipped into another world, and delighting in his sudden smile when he sees us. He surveys the four women in front of him and says, "You sure are pretty and you look sweet!" He was always a flatterer and no one would argue with that. :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fence full of roses, budding artist and new color

- My work neighborhood, that I often refer to as a concrete jungle for its industrial aspect, is also chock full of lovely little cottage homes like this one, with its fence full of roses.

- Right across the street, a budding artist apparently had lots of time to apply some graffiti. Hopefully those skills will be put to employable use some day. My friend Jerry was a graffiti artist in the Bronx, New York, back in the day, and is now a very successful graphic designer.

- And across town, the newly painted bathroom wall with its bright mood-enhancing new color.

My mood is enhanced just thinking about the weekend! I hope yours is lovely and bright.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

At the end, small town and determined

- This globe in a fountain - a surprise at the end of a very long driveway with new clients at the end.

- This email from my niece who lives in a town with a population of about 2000 people: "I made a check out to Evelyn B_____ and mailed it to her from work. I just wrote her name on the front of the envelope and was going to look up her address later and put it on there. I ended up grabbing it with the other mail and it got mailed without the address, just her name, and she GOT IT! Is that small town or what?"

- A gentleman in a vintage suit, wearing a fedora at a rakish angle, walking out of Fresh Market with a bouquet of roses and a determined look.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gulf winds, remembered and good sleep

- That old floral wallpaper in my bathroom is history after today. And finding that choosing a new wall color is not easy - too dark, too turquoise, too somber, too not right. One of the colors on the propped up chip is it - my painter told me to mark it and he will go buy it and start today. I hope I like Gulf Winds. Sigh.

- A decadent pasta lunch from Figo Pasta - ravioli with goat cheese and walnuts. And being remembered not for my name, but for my smile when I go in to pick it up.

- After an exhausting few days, crawling into bed at 9pm and falling instantly asleep. And the satisfaction of waking for a moment at 10:30pm knowing that I have several more hours of sleep to go.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Container garden, blue and perseverance

- Friend Susan's container garden, much admired for its unfussy arrangement of waning winter flowers and newly potted spring color.

- She collects blue bottles and we all bring them to her. Elsewhere on the property is a "bottle tree," a tree with multiple blue bottles hanging from it.

- A book discussion of "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, a first book that was published finally after Ms. Stockett received about 60 rejection letters. I admire the perseverance of this young writer in getting her story told.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Winner, lucky earrings and serenaded

- This sweet little rag rug that I won at a silent auction (to benefit my church's preschool) on Saturday. The woman who made the rug for the auction showed it to me several days ago and said, "I hope someone will want it." Someone did.

- Viewing some of the items with a nice woman who I do not know very well. She is wearing earrings with a magician's face on them. She says they are her lucky earrings and she always wears them when playing poker. We plan a poker night sometime soon.

- A highlight of the auction: being serenaded by the preschool kids while we enjoyed our pasta dinner. They sang, "On Top of Spaghetti" to the tune of "On Top of Old Smokey" and rang handbells as an accompaniment.