Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Parcels, success and try to remember

- This is the only time I order new books, when friend Karin Slaughter's latest book is out. It is such fun to receive a parcel in the mail though and I had almost forgotten about the pre-order.

- Karin used to manage a small sign shop around the corner from my office and I was always interested in what she was reading, so we would do business and then have book chat. I remember the day she told me that she was moving on because she had gotten a three book deal with William Morrow publishing house. Her first book signing in 2001 at Barnes & Noble was attended by me, her father, a couple of other relatives and three sign shop employees. It's been exciting to see her success. The one tomorrow evening will be me and a hundred or more people in an auditorium.

- Another book I had almost forgotten about came on the same day. I won a book just for commenting on Jewel's "Pink Ink" blog, Iris Gomez's book "Try to Remember." Jewel is a journalist who also writes fiction. Thanks Jewel - my summer reading is set!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blue building, one more day and Cash Cab

- This building on Defoor Avenue in Atlanta, part of my daily commute. I've always been intrigued by its artful details - the silver painted door, the different colored chairs in front, the bronze painted urn, etc. and wondered if it was a business or residence.

- Walking into work on a Monday morning and finding that a co-worker has brought in Krispy Kreme donuts and deciding that my vow to eat less sugar can wait one more day.

- Hearing that my favorite game show, "Cash Cab", won a daytime Emmy award. A bit of an anomaly on the Discovery Channel, the premise is that unassuming people enter the "Cash Cab" in New York City as simple passengers taking a normal taxi ride, only to be shocked when they discover that they’re instant contestants on a game show. It is great fun, I think.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Moving with the sun, glistening and good recipe

- Sophie starts out with a kitchen floor full of sun around 10am and moves with the sunshine toward the window until it moves out around lunchtime. A rare morning at home for me. I admire how she can sleep so deeply.

- A late afternoon thunderstorm that leaves plants glistening when it is over.

- Making Miso-orange marmalade salmon. For two pieces of salmon, mix together 1/4 cup of Miso, 1/4 cup of orange marmalade (preferably English) and 1/8 cup of lemon juice. Slather it on the salmon fillets and pop them in the oven (or toaster oven) to broil 10-12 minutes, or until you see a little char. So good!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Profusion, background music and neighborly

- This tree in front of my condominium building that shed tiny yellow blossoms all over neighbor Marion's car all spring and then exploded with a happy profusion of off-white heart shaped pods. I like to look at it, but have no idea what it is.

- Marion is another great source for background music, with his nocturnal piano playing. He worries sometimes that he disturbs everyone, but I only hear it as I walk from my car to my door. Play away, my friend.

- He and neighbor Bonnie stick their heads out of her door one hot afternoon this week and ask if I have a key to Marion's condo. No, I say, but Rhonda does. He locked himself out and Rhonda doesn't get home until 8pm or so. Bonnie came home after work to find Marion propped up against his front door reading the newspaper in 95 degree heat. She took him in, gave him a cold drink and put his name in the pot for dinner. A wonderful neighborly gesture and the least she can do for one who provides neighborhood background music.

Happy weekend friends - I hope it is filled with music, love and laughter!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Her Majesty, so good and free concert

- Tickled pink with my newly framed magazine advertisement, c. 1931, for a 1847 Rogers Bros. silverware pattern called "Her Majesty" - now hanging in my kitchen. This was my grandmother's silverware and I inherited it. No one knew what the pattern was, so I identified it by scrolling through countless photos of Rogers Bros. silver online. It still amazes me that my no-nonsense grandma would have chosen a silver pattern called "Her Majesty."

- Hankook Taqueria again. This time a Korean Cuban sandwich: Korean bacon, Black Forest ham, deli mustard, cucumber kimchee. SO good! I tell Tomas Lee, the chef/owner, that I enjoy his posts on facebook that totally lured me there this day.

- Standing in a building waiting for a meeting to begin and enjoying the chamber music playing softly in the background. Turns out it is live musicians rehearsing for a concert later.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Something to talk about, driving and curling

- Mr C's nod to the current extra warm temperatures. It's in the mid-90s all week - not the worst temps there are, but it gives us lots to talk about.

- I walk out of my office door intending to walk up the street to the framing place. But after seeing the hot steam rising from the asphalt, I laugh at myself and drive my car there.

- Not having time to wash my hair, but finding that stepping out into the early morning humidity is enough to make it curl right back up.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The bell, the scenery and the nice people

- Another trip to Milledgeville, Georgia for settling of the estate business. This bell, made in Philadelphia in 1886, used to grace the bell tower of the original courthouse that still stands across the street. I like the continuity of the bell gracing the new courthouse, but wish it was in a tower so it could ring.

- On these final trips from Atlanta to Milledgeville, down Highway 441 south, I do not take the scenery for granted anymore. I love passing the farms with the old silos, and the miles and miles of fields with cows and horses grazing. This is the scenery unique to many journeys to my adopted home town and I will miss it.

- The young lady in the tax commissioner's office, who has been so helpful, calls out "I hope we get to see you again sometime!" as I leave. I hope so, too. Small town life - there is nothing like it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Languishing no more, memories and sweet

- After twelve years of languishing in a drawer, these platters I got in Cancun, Mexico in 1998 are finally hanging. Friend Leisa came over and "helped" me with it (meaning she pretty much did it.) I am lucky to have such a good friend.

- Taking my mother out to lunch at she and my dad's favorite restaurant on Saturday. She and I talk about what food he would have ordered and smile.

- Bringing their wedding picture from the house for mom's new apartment. When it is in place, we stand at look at and I say that I like to see it there. She says she likes the girl that brought it to her.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Poppies, just plain delicious and lingering

Poppies by Bonnie Evans

- This image of poppies on the island of Corfu that Bonnie included with the last round of travel photos. They are often planted in the median of our Georgia interstate highway system so there is not as much need for mowing. A great use for wildflowers, I think.

- Food of the day: Popping into the newish Hankook Taqueria near my office. A concept new to me - Korean food made into tacos or burritos. Two smiling young ladies behind the counter coach me through what to order by telling me their favorites. That's what I get, three tacos - beef, pork and shrimp. The beef was savory, the pork fiery and the shrimp - just plain delicious.

- The lingering scent of lime left on my fingers from squeezing a wedge of lime over my shrimp taco.

I hope there is delight in your weekend. Have a great one!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Shadows, good sandwich and greetings

- The shadows the trees make through the awning at The Corner Bakery. At first I thought it was a printed pattern on the awning.

- Ordering the same sandwich as friend Leisa does because I know I will think hers looked better if I don't. :) A grilled panini - the California Grille - grilled zucchini, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted tomatoes, and pesto with fresh spinach and provolone cheese on whole grain harvest bread. So good.

- Around the cocktail hour, meeting client Lisa B. at a Virginia Highlands neighborhood bar. We dispense with business quickly and move on to a have a beer, a chat and to watch regulars come in and greet each other.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Story hour, the long way back and smiles

- What I love the most about Fire Station # 19, the oldest station in Atlanta, is that they have story hour on Sunday with ice cream. I hope it is the fire fighters who read the stories.

- A work appointment in Decatur, Georgia, allowing me to take the scenic long way back to the office through Druid Hills and the Virginia Highlands neighborhood, with a lunch hour stop at a favorite shop along the way. (Right across the street from the fire station.)

- Ending the afternoon with a stop at the eye doctor's office. The receptionist's little granddaughter is visiting. She has long red hair done up in braids and is so shy that she smiles while looking down. I tell her how pretty I think her hair is, and she smiles and looks up this time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Travelogue, proper enough and sweet voice

From the Amalfi Coast, Italy, by Bonnie Evans

- Friend Bonnie's daily travelogue emails, accompanied by many photos - one after the other. Each more beautiful than the next. Her recounts of the day's events are delightful, what they saw, what they ate and little encounters with people off the beaten path. I replied to one email that I want an email about her life every day, even when she is back home in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

- Too busy and tired after a long day to make a proper dinner, I have leftover party food. Crackers with Havarti cheese topped with avocado slices. So good!

- I talk to my mother on the telephone every day, usually during my commute home. But last night speaking to her finally at 9:30pm. It is lovely to hear her sweet voice saying, "OK honey, good night."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pottery bird, cozy and big hit

- This Zen-like pottery bird from my most favorite potter, "In the Stix" pottery. I've had this for some time now and finally put some flowers in it, as was intended, because I was having friends over.

- Book club friends crowded into my cozy living room and putting all worries aside about not having enough room. It was fun to discuss the Anne Tyler book of our choice and then get on to what we will read next.

- This fruit dip recipe, given to me by a co-worker, was a big hit and went well with strawberries and apple slices. It tasted like cheesecake:

Fruit Dip:

1 8-oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 container of vanilla flavored yogurt (more or less to taste)

Cream the cheese first until it is a light and smooth consistency. Add brown sugar and mix well. Add vanilla extract and yogurt until well blended.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The lawns, long lunch and freedom

- The lawns of Georgia College and State University taken just after graduation day in May. Yesterday I made a quick trip to Milledgeville, Georgia for more legal business and did not even have time to take photos. But this lawn in front of Atkinson Hall was green and lush. A professor was holding class outside on the lawn, reminding me of the times I got to do that when I was a student there.

- Southern life: rushing to get to the attorneys' office because they close for lunch between 12:30pm and 3:00pm.

- Much later in the day, running into heavy rain on the expressway and slowly making my way to my office in northwest Atlanta. After calling in, it is suggested that I can always check emails from home. Yes, I could. I turn onto Freedom Parkway and make my way there - it is lovely to be home two hours earlier than usual.

Have a great weekend, friends!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Realism, honored and at work

- This image that makes me think of a Monet painting. Down by the water behind a client's office.

- Gathering co-workers prepare to celebrate a fellow co-worker's 10th anniversary with the company with cake and a plaque. She continues to work until someone makes her stop and be the honored guest.

- The train whistle at the Lawrenceville Highway crossing during the very early morning hours suggests that someone else is already at work.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hialeah, accent and Nick and Nora

Shouse, Daniel. Georgia Thoroughbreds at Hialeah. Oils. State of Georgia Art Collection.

- This painting that depicts a horse race at Hialeah Park. The artist did a wonderful job of capturing the energy of the race. Viewing this painting brought back a memory of my grandfather relating his visits to Hialeah and seeing the beautiful flamingos they have there.

- The man behind the counter smiles at me as I wait for my take-out lunch, "Shall I refresh your drink?" He has a faint British accent and I love the lyrical way in which the question is phrased.

- A true find in the public library's audio collection - "The Thin Man" by Dashiell Hammett, written in 1934. An era in which they apparently drank copious amounts of alcohol. I am enjoying the witty dialogue of Nick and Nora Charles, who solve a murder. According to Wikipedia, the characters of Nick and Nora are often thought to reflect the personalities of Hammett and his long-time lover, Lillian Hellman.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Protective, chamber of commerce day and feast

- My niece's "puppy" Hank with a protective limb over his friend and relative Moby (my sister's dog.) My sister says it was dog mania at their house last weekend. :)

- A chamber of commerce weather kind of day in Atlanta on Monday. BLUE sky, low humidity, not too hot. And wishing I could freeze that kind of late spring day.

- A wonderful meal with friend Leisa at "Feast" in Decatur. I feasted on wood oven roasted shrimp with whiskey sauce, bleu cheese & bacon risotto, poblanos and onion. There was just a pile of shells when I was done. Yum.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A flower a day, moving Southern and awake

Photograph by Rhett Amick. Used with permission.

- This phenomenal photograph by local artist Rhett Amick, from his "A Flower a Day" website found here. He was at the intersection of Highway 80 and Springridge Road in Clinton, Mississippi, looking out over Mississippi College. His daily "flower a day" emails are a daily gift.

- Another daily gift - the travelogue emails from friends Bonnie and Joe. They are currently in Europe, taking trains all over and having to constantly rush for them. Bonnie says of Joe, "He does not move fast, he moves Southern."

- A returning gift. Caffeine. I decided to stay off caffeine after taking a short break from it, but I ordered a diet Coke on Saturday during a road trip. (It was a part of one of those value meals.) Driving down the road sipping it, I was thinking suddenly how good I felt. So now I'm thinking a little diet Coke now and then couldn't hurt. :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Refuge, left and right

- A garden candelabra turned into a bird art refuge. My head is still lingering by the river and surrounding threshold. Until next time...

- The view looking left. Somebody lost their red ball. See it?

- And right. A magical place. I always imagine gnomes and other hidden creatures when I stand on this spot.

A self-indulgent week of sharing photos from the Hiawassee River. I hope you all have a lovely weekend...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Great home, glad it is over and birthday chat

- These horses munching grass in what truly must be a wonderful place in which to be a horse.

- My cat Sophie helpfully sleeping in her crate when I arrive home to take her to her vet appointment. Her initial outraged meow as I shut the door turns to "Woe to me!" meowing all the way there. She turns extremely quiet for her examination, until the shot pinches a little too much and she whirls her head and hisses at the vet. "That's my girl!" I think. :)

- The veterinarian is my good friend and I wish him a belated happy birthday. He smiles and points to his very hip assistant and says, "His birthday is February 14." J. rolls his eyes and nods his head, he has been ribbed about that all his life. I tell him that birth date could work to his advantage in so many ways.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Evergreens, free smells and Good Night Moon

- More from Hayesville. These weathered metal evergreens with the real thing growing tall just behind them.

- The sign in front of the The Garden Shoppe says that Louise has fresh bread today. Looking at my watch, it is 3pm, and I wonder if she has any left. Two other women and I stand chagrined that we missed out. Louise just sold the last loaf. But I get to breathe in the scent of fresh bread while I browse and do score the last of her oatmeal raisin cookies, baked that morning.

- Taking a copy of "Good Night Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown to the bookstore counter to purchase for a baby gift, the teenager at the register says "This was my favorite book when I was little; my mom used to read it to me every night!" I ask if it made her sleepy and she smiles at the memory, "It must have."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tribute, listening and cool spot

- The courthouse square of Hayesville, North Carolina, and its respectful Memorial Day tribute to the town's war dead.

- Enjoying the activity on the river this weekend. Three squabbling ducks pay an early morning visit and camp out on the bank before taking flight. A group of teenagers on tubes go by - giggling all the way. And a young girl on a kayak sings as if no was listening.

- The temperature on the back porch was cool in the morning, a welcome respite from the humidity in the city.