Friday, October 29, 2010

Ghoulish, fun cake and busted

- This home is alarmingly close to a cemetery and always seems up for sale. The current owners obviously have a great sense of humor about the whole thing. When you get close to the ghoulish figures, they cackle and howl.

- A co-worker brought in a cake to work shaped like a witches head complete with hat. Nose holes were fashioned using two inverted chocolate chips. Every time she walked by it, she smiled at it.

- I never get Trick-or-Treaters in my condominiums, but a few years ago I was out to dinner on Halloween night and when I got home a group of little ghouls were walking toward my building with their mother. I hurried in and (shamefully) just didn't answer when they got to my door since I did not have anything close to a treat to give them. Then I heard a little boy say, "I know somebody's home Mom, because their key is in the door."

Maybe they'll have better luck this time. I'm always prepared now, no matter what. :) Hope you have a delightfully spooky weekend, friends!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rainy night, laughing on the outside and mint

- A rainy night in Georgia. Ahhh - I finally used that line. It rained all day, too, the kind of rain that you can hear from a windowless cubicle. There were mad dashes from car to buildings all day, umbrellas not helping all that much. I love it though and we needed it.

- Seen on a concrete post in the parking deck of Georgia Public Broadcasting: someone has written $949.00 on a black smudge and circled it.

- Two employees having a laughing fit when I come around the corner. Her: "He threw candy at me and hit me!" Me: "What kind of candy?" Her: "These. (Opening drawer.) Do you want one?" Me: "Yes." I take my wrapped mint and go. It was pretty good, even after having being through warfare.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mr C's, upcoming nuptials and pretty fingers

- There didn't seem to be any lines forming. This sign only stayed up briefly - Frank must have arrived to see it. :)

- A soon-to-be bride shares a few of her wedding plans and shows a photo of herself on her iPhone wearing her newly purchased wedding gown.

- Receiving an email with the subject: Your mom got her nails done. A photo from my mother's assisted living facility shows her proudly displaying newly painted nails. This is new, but I like it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Moby on the lake, sharing and fallen

Photo by ALM

- My sister and brother-in-law's dog Moby, keeping vigilant watch on swampy Lake Miccosukee in Jefferson County, Florida. My niece and brother-in-law took him on this boat ride at one of her favorite places in the world. Her other favorite body of water is the nearby Wacissa River, a spring-fed river. A company wants to start pumping water out of it to bottle and sell for drinking water. I am proud of my niece for her responsible activism for the opposition.

- A wee girl walking with her mother in the early morning darkness. The mother has shed her jacket and given it to her daughter, the sleeves so long on her that they drag the sidewalk.

- 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.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Free spirits, Tater Pie and glimpses

- This silver maple tree at my church that stands alone in its leaf change glory. The trees around it have either have been mostly in a hurry to shed their leaves or are obstinately refusing to change at all.

- A beloved uncle has passed away and he put in his advance funeral directive that we sing his favorite song. A crazy little song* that he taught all the children and we always sang it at Thanksgiving with him. This time a group of adults stand around his grave site and sing it. The part that made me smile - just before walking up to the grave site as a group, there is a whispered flurry of making sure we have the words right.

- Later, after lunch, his granddaughter tells me that she is now teaching an 11th grade English class in the same classroom she learned English in as an 11th grader. And she took it over from a retiring teacher who taught it to her. His wee three-year-old great granddaughter demonstrates her ballet moves for me and is the most proud of her bow. A really low one in which her fingertips touch the floor. She comes up smiling.

*Knowing someone would ask, I put the title in my title above. The song that comes up on an internet search has the same title, but completely different words.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blooming, welcome to the world and Zen-like

- These flowers blooming in front of The Salvation Army's Southeastern Territory Headquarters. We are having a run of beautiful weather here and these vibrant beauties caught my eye on the way through the parking lot.

- Watching the local news and a report of a baby being born in a car during morning rush hour in Atlanta, right in the area known here as "the connector." And realizing that was the car with so many emergency vehicles around it that I had passed on my way in that morning. The mom gave birth to a lovely baby girl before help arrived. Baby Olivia gave a big yawn for the camera and will have an exciting tale to tell someday.

- Having put off going to the dentist way too long, I am a bit nervous about it now. Friend Kim recommends that I take my time getting there and arrive at their office in a Zen-like state. She says, "I just get into this faraway place - like everything is being done to me from a great great distance and I can observe it, but it doesn't affect me at all." Thanks Zen-master Kim!

I hope that you have a vibrant weekend, friends!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My old school, blending and graduates

- The Georgia State University mascot - the panther. Purposefully walking the long way to an appointment in downtown Atlanta so I could go through this part of the campus of my alma mater. That's my purse and bag on the bench in the second photo - I stopped at the bookstore and bought a fleece pullover with the same growling panther on the shoulder.

- I had never finished college, so went back as a full-fledged adult when I had the opportunity to go full time. On a chilly morning in January 2003, I carefully dressed in black turtleneck, belted jeans and boots. Looking at myself in the mirror, I thought, "No one will mistake me for a professor." I just wanted to blend in.

- Of course I didn't blend in. My first class was full of sleepy-eyed freshmen and sophomores. A young lady, April, the child of parents who had her late in life, immediately attached herself to me that morning because she is "more comfortable with adults" and walked with me through the campus later. By the end of my two years there and graduation, I did blend in a bit with my sweat pants and t-shirts and came to love this place. And April? She went on to law school, marriage, and passing the bar when she was eight months pregnant. She is now the mother of a baby girl and a working attorney.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My people, same last name and on the cheap

- A view of midtown Atlanta just before sunset from the back steps of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, known in Atlanta as the Carter Center. A paper company sponsored a seminar on brochure folding techniques in the auditorium. When paper geeks convene... :)

- Meeting my hairdresser's brother quite randomly. My hairdresser looks just like Rod Stewart and has hair and personality to match. His brother is very conservatively dressed and coiffed and is a tax consultant. But something in his eyes - a bit of a twinkle - gives the relationship away. Plus the last name.

- Just because you are among my favorite peeps, here is a link to buy inexpensive used books: I mostly use the library, but often end up buying books when the wait time is long. This site benefits global literacy and shipping is free within the United States, and only $3.98 worldwide.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

View from the portico, dressed up and no candy

- More from the weekend. View from the portico of the restaurant in which we held our "family" dinner on Saturday evening. When we left in the dark, we were greeted by fireworks over Stone Mountain, reflected in the lake.

- There must have been some sort of dance that evening, because carloads of high school kids came into the restaurant, all dressed up. The girls looked about 30 years old with their off-the-shoulder dresses and the boys looked unaccustomed in their suits and tuxes.

- Bringing leftover snack sized Twizzlers packs into work and hearing the bag rattle all day as co-workers picked them up up front. They were for visiting children to our Clan tent last weekend, but most parents didn't want their kids to have them. Note for next year: apples or granola bars. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fàilte, contagious and winner

- A scene from the 38th annual Stone Mountain Highland Games. This was a dramatic part of the opening ceremonies on Saturday, in which massed pipe and drum bands marched onto the field. A sound that never fails to thrill my soul and the games way of saying fàilte (welcome.)

- Gathering in my clan's tent to celebrate our Scottish heritage, it is lovely to see old once-a-year friends and to welcome new ones. This year a young man was excited to be invited to walk with us on Sunday for the clan march onto the field. His excitement was contagious - he loves all things Scottish and tells us he has "Kilt Day" every Sunday afternoon at his house; everyone who comes over must be kilted.

- Later arriving home at the same time as my neighbor and her bagpipe playing teenage son, all decked out in his kilt for the games. He fingers a medal pinned to his vest and his mom tells me that he won first place in the Piobaireachd competition (pronounced peabrook - it is a classical form of piping, featuring long, melancholy tunes.) All the more impressive because he is blind and autistic.

Friday, October 15, 2010

New promise, lucky dog and the same idea

- Deciding to forsake a dark, cavernous parking garage, find street parking and have a bit of a walk to visit my client. You can't see it, but her tall building is about a half mile thataway. A lovely morning, about 9:30am, 70 degrees (f), the day is fresh with new promise.

- A dog with a big gruff bark was somewhere around this house my car was parked beside. Lucky dog to live somewhere so close to symphony hall and the museum with the Salvidor Dali exhibit and to be guarded by the elephant's child.

- I think other people had the same idea. I loved my breezy walk, but time to move on. Already plotting to stop for a cafe latte on the way back, I am on my way.

I hope your weekend makes you happy. Have a great one!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cooing, new home and he's an aries

- Dinner amid the fun decor of R. Thomas Grill with friend Leisa. This must be the chirpiest place in town - the trees around it are full of birds observing happy hour. Some doves in a cage near our table emit soul soothing coos.

- After bringing in family heirlooms from my parents' house to my home, some of my less treasured things had to go to make room. So it was fun to spot a lamp I never used on the desk of an employee at the mission. It was in the trunk of my car and I handed it off along with some printed materials I was delivering.

- A graphic designer client has an email that keeps bouncing back, so he gives me another. I thought he was saying osaries(at)... and it bounced back, too. Sigh. So calling again, he says no, if is ofaries(at)... He says he was in a prepositional phrase kind of mood the day he thought of that.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Register love, more street food and cubicle lunch

- Since the Food Network's piece on Hankook Taqueria (around the corner from my office), I haven't braved the swelling lunchtime crowd, but went in yesterday around 11:15am to get an early takeout lunch. I wanted to try the Bibimbap. Gracious Pamela takes my order and I am on my way in five minutes. A lovely touch: the cash register's electronic read out scrolls: WE LOVE YOU.

- The Yumbii truck, loading up with "street food" (featuring Korean tacos) at Hankook for the lunchtime crowd. The truck rolls to locations sent out on Twitter. Yesterday's tweet: Truck pulling up at Howell Mill Rd & Defoors Ave around noon. This street food thing is fun!

- This is what I got: Bibimbap. I'm always looking for comfort food and I found it here. It was just the ticket to spice up my cubicle lunch. :) It features pickled cucumbers, steamed bean sprouts, mushrooms, and bulgogi over rice and the whole thing is topped with a fried egg with gochujang drizzled over the top. Oh yum.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Music that rattles, content and miles apart

- Driving up Ellsworth Industrial Blvd toward the Lumberyard Lofts near my office, a giant mariachi skeleton with a guitar marks the spot for the Bone Garden Cantina. My work neighborhood is known for its quirkiness - this is one of my favorite quirks.

- A cheerful man in a chef toque sits in a lawn chair under a tent near the intersection of Howell Mill Road and Belle Meade. He cooks and sells something that is smoking in a covered grill. He smiles and waves every day when I pass by heading home.

- Later at the end of a meeting in the 'burbs, two proud grandparents compare notes and photos of their red haired, blue eyed grandchildren living in New Zealand and North Carolina respectively.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meatless Monday, happy man and great snack

- My Greet-the-Sun Breakfast Pizza was so good on Saturday morning that I had it again on Sunday morning. In honor of Meatless Monday, the recipe can be found here.

- A man in the produce section of Publix, exclaims with delight when he discovers that you can buy onions already sliced. I smile and say they are just so much more expensive that way. But it's convenient and I just want to watch the game! He throws me an incredulous look when I ask if the Falcons are playing. :) I point him toward the crumbled bleu cheese and he is on his way; a vision of happiness.

- A delicious end of the day snack in lieu of dinner: a red Anjou pear, toasted walnuts and some sharp white Vermont cheddar cheese. Yummmmm.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Reflections, crazy fun and where did it go?

- This view from a parking lot in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, with its crape myrtle tree, reflection of a golden building, parking deck surveillance and a building with stair steps to the sky.

- Some graphic designer coworkers took me to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show once - just a crazy fun experience, complete with audience interaction. One of them sends me this message: Preorder and download songs from Glee: The Music - The Rocky Horror Glee Show by Glee Cast on iTunes. Must have this.

- Friend Jennifer's new employer is offering "A DAY OFF to the winner of the company Fright Fest Costume Contest." So, she is now officially entertaining all unique/creative/non-store-bought/non-scary costume ideas. That sounds like a great employer to me. :) Halloween must be coming up - where has this year gotten to?

I hope you have frightfully good weekend, my friends!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The answer, what's next and mitsitam

- The answer my friend, is blowin' in the wind... That's what this couple was singing on Sunday and it was impossible not to sing along.

- Using the last of the blueberries from the freezer on my morning oatmeal and pondering what will be the next morning fruit. The answer might just be at the farmers' market this afternoon.

- The Smithsonian catalog contains a page with Native American jewelry and such that you can order. The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook caught my eye - I like the sound of that word Mitsitam. Turns out it means "let's eat."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Down from the mountain, friending and waning

- Still dreaming of the mountains, days after I am down from them. It feels as if you could just walk out onto those clouds and have a nap.

- "Friending" a childhood friend's son on facebook - it is amazing to spot his profile picture and see so much of her in his face.

- Looking up at the waning crescent moon just as a plane flies across it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bramble, friendly and change of seasons

- Something I don't run across every day - a raspberry bramble.

- Delivering a client's print job to his home, a friendly beagle ambles up the drive to greet me and accompanies me to the door. Inside, a beautiful home with a large teddy bear sitting on the couch.

- A flock of geese forming a V and flying south. The 3-4 geese in the front jockey for position before they situate themselves and take on the next part of their journey.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Folklife, rag man and exit music

- An overnight trip to North Carolina to visit the John C. Campbell Folk School Fall Festival. Musicians performed while we browsed artisan offerings in an old dairy barn. The school features year-round "non-competitive learning and community life" with classes in such things as basketry or writing. My sister and her friend are inspired to come back and take clogging lessons.

- A rag man presides over a booth selling treats, such as scones and shortbread.

- This band, Coldwater Creek, provided graceful exit music at the end of the day.

A lovely quick visit. I was pleased to be invited to join my sister and her best friend for their annual friend trip to the mountains. Her friend is part of our family landscape and I tend to only see her for Christmas Eve church service in Florida, so it was lovely to sit and catch up over Saturday night dinner and a Sunday adventure at the folk school.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Late bloomer, evaluation and bursting

- Another late bloomer - neighbor Marion's bougainvillea. Bougainvillea is part of the 4 o'clock genus of tropical plants and I love the way that word rolls off the tongue.

- Hearing from a case worker who visited my mom for physical "evaluation" after a fall (she is OK): "Your mother is delightful!" She is delightful, but it is always nice to hear that kind of evaluation from others.

- The satisfaction of finishing a book and returning it to the library for another. My suburban library recently moved to a new facility because it was bursting at the seams. The new library is always full of children - a great sign.

Here is something else to be happy about - the weekend! I hope your weekend is bursting with good things. :)