Monday, February 28, 2011

Steel Magnolias, credits and favorite lines

The Opera House (circa 1890) in sleepy Monticello, Florida.

I wrote it about it once before here. On Saturday evening, it was the scene of a play, Steel Magnolias. And six women who could be considered steel magnolias themselves attended the play and the dinner before it. The dinner was delightfully southern: smothered fried chicken, mashed potatoes and pole beans, with Mississippi Mud Cake for dessert. The caterer provided the food for my niece's wedding reception and I took the time to tell her that it was the best food I've ever had at a wedding.

- The play was set entirely in Truvy's Beauty Shop. I loved the credits in the back of the program thanking local Monticello beauty shops: Maggie from Maggie's Beauty Shoppe for the loan of the beauty shop equipment, special thanks to Jessi at The Dogwood House salon for helping Truvy and Annelle learn to "act" like hair stylists and thanks to Amber Waves for the loan of Truvy's styling chair. Jessi also colored the actress who played Truvy's hair red for the part. My niece was disappointed she didn't look more like Dolly Parton.

The Meeting Oak, next to the Opera House.

- We had a discussion about our favorite lines from the play during dinner: My sister's favorite, when Shelby says tearfully, "Don't talk about me like I'm not here!" My favorite, when Annelle says, "I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair." My niece's favorite, when Clairee says, "Well, you know what they say: if you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!"

Friday, February 25, 2011

Calming the baby, racing trivia and night sounds

- This baby's reaction to the song "Dog Days are Over" by Florence and the Machine. He likes that song as much as I do!

- Spending 1.5 hours at the tire place allows time to read two People magazines and eavesdrop on the staff, who love car racing. A man comes in to sell radio spots and remarks (upon looking around at all the racing paraphernalia) that he interviews sports people all the time on the station. The manager fires back, "Who came in second at the Daytona 500 last weekend?" Oops - that guy didn't know. I looked it up in case it ever comes up again - Carl Edwards. There's a bit of trivia not likely to come up again. :)

- Waking during the night to the sound of a lonely siren that fades into the distance, rain falling softly and the train whistle at the intersection up the street. And the lovely realization that there are two more hours to sleep.

It's Friday!!! Yay. I hope you have a happy weekend, my friends!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bleecker Street, short nap and coordinated

- Another random photo out of my camera. This one was taken from one of those double-decker tour buses in New York City last December. I snapped the sign as the tour guide described this rather bohemian part of Greenwich Village and added the effects last night, to make it look like an old postcard.

- Arriving ten minutes early for an out-of-town meeting, allowing time for some closed eye meditation in the car.

- A medical office ordering printed materials has a green, blue and black logo. The office manager tells me they wear green scrubs two days a week, blue ones two days a week and black on Friday.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Premiere footage, extinguisher and pilau

- Spotted on the Atlanta History Center website - home video footage by Russell Bellman of the "Gone With the Wind" Atlanta Premiere (December 15, 1939). The video features the Georgian Terrace Hotel, Atlanta Municipal Auditorium, the Gone With the Wind Ball, and the Loew's Grand Theatre in Atlanta. I saw the dress that Scarlett wore to the barbecue.

- Chatting up the man who is changing out the fire extinguishers at my work building and remarking that I need to get one of those for my house. He goes to his truck and brings me a used one as a gift, something I will never live down with my co-workers. Oh my - the teasing! But I say, when you are nice to people, good things happen to you. :)

- It was warm enough in Thomasville, Georgia for a cookout yesterday. On the menu: Chicken Pilau (pronounced "pur-loo"), a low country dish. My mother pronounces it delicious - wish I could have been there. Here is a recipe with a picture.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Not a quilt, buona sera and spell check words

- I didn't have a photo for today, so looked at the thumbnails from photos taken that are still not cleared from my camera. This looked like a quilt on the thumbnail, but I couldn't quite tell or remember what it was. So funny when I downloaded it and realized it is a photo of some rack cards I had printed for a local technical college. The client was so pleased that she wanted me to take a photo and I had forgotten about it.

- The exuberant Italian man who works the counter at Figo Pasta, greeting me with a cheerful "Buona Sera!" And overhearing him talking about his upcoming wedding in Italy with a second ceremony in Atlanta so friends here can attend.

- Tuscan vegetable soup, rich and thick with tomatoes, and a side order of Focaccia bread. A Blogger spell check of the word Focaccia gives these options: fogyish, dogcatcher, quackish, freakish, cowcatcher. Everything except focaccia. Now I know if I want to blog about catching cows, I'm all set with spelling. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Over the rooftops, cemetery dog and visit

- The sun setting over the rooftops. Taken from the parking deck of Georgia Public Broadcasting as day was slipping into night.

- Update on the dog from Friday. She was there again this past Saturday. Yes - "he" turned out to be a she. The caretaker says she is a cemetery dog; she just wandered up one day. They posted some flyers around, but no one ever claimed her. So she lives there and they take care of her. Some ladies who come out regularly to visit their husbands graves bring treats and supply her with her festive bandannas.

- Visiting Milledgeville two Saturdays in a row for family business allows me time to visit with friend Susan, who operates an antiques store next to the best bakery in the world.* I always have difficulty resisting the bakery and fortunately for me, it was closed on Saturday (for some inexplicable reason.) I spot some other women peering into the darkened door as I drive away. Another Saturday road trip on a blue sky day with mission accomplished - the family home is back on the market.

* According to me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Peaceful fellow, blue sky day and her time

- This peaceful fellow at the Veterans Cemetery in Milledgeville, Georgia last Saturday. He was comfortably in the shade at the caretaker's cottage area, gave me a look when I rolled down my car window to say hello, then went back to watching for his person.

- A beautiful blue sky day in Atlanta on Thursday with the temperature reaching 70 degrees, giving me the inspiration to clean the junk mail out of my car after I got home from work and give it a quick inside dust.

- Having dinner with an old friend who tells the favorite part of her day: she must drive her car to a mall parking lot and take a shuttle bus to the university building in which she works. This gives her a half hour to read on the bus before and after work. This is her time to do what she loves most.

I hope you find time to do something good for yourselves this weekend, my friends. Hope it is a great one!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gourmet lunch, morning detour and adjective

- My delicious lunch from Star Provisions near my office. A savory tart, with button mushrooms, shallots, sherry vinegar and Gruyere cheese. So good that I'll be dreaming of this thing for weeks. A once in a while treat.

- A morning detour to visit a friend who works in a church building founded in 1848. The sanctuary is a thing of beauty, with stained glass windows "depicting the story of the Christian message" by artists of Tiffany, D’ Ascenzo, and Willet. Best of all, a peaceful chat in a busy day.

- A tax appointment that takes up the whole evening is made so much better because the accountant and I are once-a-year buddies. It is fun to catch up and to have her put some organization on my folder of tax documents. She likes my Goodwill donation slip in which I list various donated household items with the highlight of a "nice two-handled basket." She says it must have been nice since it is the only donation that got an adjective. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Speed Sign, mind refresher and Mr C's on fb

- I switched on the morning news yesterday as I was eating my oatmeal and caught this video just as the man comes into view to stand by the sign. Imagine my initial surprise and alarm. Turns out he was the special guest of "commuter dude" on WXIA-TV Channel 11 with his video gone viral. :)

- This recipe for Creamy Polenta with Mushroom Sauce has the delightful addition of a "Mind Refresher" at the end with the instruction to: "Stand straight, breathe normally, and reflect on patience while stirring the polenta."

- Spotting Mr C's Bar and Grille on facebook and this message: Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lovingly restored, in the Keys and Twain quote

- The Campus Theatre in Milledgeville, Georgia - newly restored by the local university. It was where I used to spend most Saturdays when I was growing up, at double and even triple features. For years, an accountant owned the building and worked out of the offices upstairs, and was asking an astronomical amount of money for the theatre. The college worked out a deal, bought it, has lovingly restored it and even put a coffee shop with a fun name off to the side. A bookstore resides in front and there is still a small theater in the back.

- Friend Jim H. sends this message: "In the Keys on Holiday. Family got to snorkel for the first time. Had some good hole-in-the-wall food, some bad parrot head music - All's well." They are a great family with two young boys - so lovely that they are having this time.

- A friend who is in addiction recovery sends this on facebook: "The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up." - Mark Twain. Like!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Shining through, the long way and before the party

- The sun shining across this Celtic cross, hand carved by a church member. It held a place of honor at my church's annual service known as the Kirking of the Tartans, where we celebrate our Scottish heritage.

- A Saturday trip down to my home town of Milledgeville, Georgia, to check on the family home. The best part turns out to be taking the long way back to Atlanta, through the lovely little towns of Social Circle, Mansfield and Monroe. Monroe, Georgia was named after James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States.

- A little girl inside the bakery twirls around to show off her sparkly party dress. It is her birthday and she and her mom are there to pick up the cake for her party - a large heart-shaped cake with pink frosting.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A little snow, morning bird song and a good listen

- A little snow at 7:00 am and by the time the sun came up during my commute, it had all but disappeared. Still, it was pretty while it lasted.

- A fat Carolina wren chirps away at me from the tree next to my car as I'm getting the snow off of it. The same bird is there every morning - it's my first greeting of the day.

- Listening to the audio book "In the Company of Others" by Jan Karon as I drive around the city. I have always followed the Mitford books and in this one, Fr. Timothy and Cynthia travel to Ireland for a vacation in County Sligo. It's a peaceful listen, especially when the reader uses an Irish accent. Just delightful.

I hope you have find peace and happiness this weekend, my friends. Cheers!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's back, fun facts and off to work

- So we have a little snow again this morning. The sign on the photo is doctored, of course, but a giggle for its tongue-in-cheek truth about how Southerners react to snowfall.

- From a fun facts about Atlanta email: >>The falling of one raindrop causes all drivers to immediately forget all traffic rules. If a single snowflake falls, the city is paralyzed for three days and it's on all the channels as a news flash every 15 minutes for a week. Overnight, all grocery stores will be sold out of milk, bread, bottled water, toilet paper, and beer.>>

- As it turns out, it was only about an inch and not sticking to roads. I'm certain that the grocery store chains were excited about the influx of shoppers shoring up their pantries last night. :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

LF Long pottery, Cherry and carb heaven

- This gorgeous plate made of clay was a Christmas gift from my sister, who bought it for me last October at the John C. Campbell Folk School arts and crafts show. The artist is Laurey-Faye Long, who takes her inspiration from Mark Trail comics, Palissy - the French potter of the 1500s, and historic American Art Potteries Rookwood and McCoy.

- A lot has been written about facebook, but I have enjoyed catching up with people who I might have never heard from again. This time spotting the name of a childhood friend and neighbor, Cheryl, who neighborhood kids called Cherry. I remember once calling her Cheryl at school and she quickly corrected me - no, Cherry to you. So I have sent her a message on facebook calling her just that.

- A wonderful dinner from the Rainbow Grocery hot food bar: soy meat loaf (I swear, it is delicious), mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy (oh yum) and braised broccoli with almonds (so good). It was fun to blow off the South Beach Diet for these mashed potatoes. A little bit of carbohydrate heaven.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Alien faces, birds eye view and 811

- Who knew there were so many different kinds of tequila? This display of sparkling bottles at Pure Taqueria in Inman Park, Atlanta, is especially notable for the bottles of Alien Tequila on top (see alien faces to the right of the blue and white bottle, top row.) The bartender says this brand will be featured at their full moon party on February 18.

- Sitting in traffic for more than an hour on the expressway due to an accident up ahead. Hundreds of birds line up on light poles for the view. We are probably just as curious to them - so many cars moving very slowly.

- Just realizing that I have been writing this blog since February 2007. Today makes the 811th post - that's 2433 good things!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Parish, Manhattan and list on a napkin

- A lovely evening spent at a stylish restaurant with good friends. The mirror was garnished with dried magnolia leaves. We had some of those Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs. Yum.

- And there was a drink I had never tried before - a Manhattan. A very stylish drink.

- It was a birthday dinner and as you can see, I loved it. :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's Finally Friday, Happy Birthday Felix and yum

- Just an image here today, but a GREAT Friday song. My favorite song about Friday. I like country music, but only if it is extremely twangy. Right? Shouldn't country music be twangy? I'm just sayin'. Happy Friday!

- On the flip side, for some distinctly untwangy music: yesterday was Felix Mendelssohn's birthday and it was lovely to hear his music played all day long on the NPR station in Atlanta.

- Meeting a client for a late lunch of grilled mahi mahi and sliced avocado tacos, with a side of black beans and some lovely roasted tomato salsa. Yum.

I hope you have a lovely weekend friends!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Force, groundhog facts and getting started

- It's film festival week here on Good Things Happened. :) This one came via friend Marty, who says, "Volkswagen's mini-Darth Vader ad is hilarious. The child actor manages to express a lot of emotion even though you can't see his face." I got a kick out of it, too. Make sure your sound is up so you can hear the Stars Wars music.

- From friend Mary, "My super intelligent 4-year-old informed me that groundhogs are also known as woodchucks and whistle pigs. Additionally, they are capable of climbing trees to escape, if necessary. When asked if General Lee* saw his shadow this morning, she matter-of-factly replied "I'm not sure. I was at school. You can check Google on your iPad."

- Changing into sweat pants and fleece jacket for a late afternoon walk after work in Tanyard Creek Park, the site of the famous Civil War battle of Peachtree Creek. It turned out to be a wonderful place to walk - I'm hooked. The weather was brisk, and there were other walkers, runners and dog walkers. A good day to start walking again with the promise of an early spring on the way.

* We have the groundhog celebrity General Beauregard Lee in Georgia. Same kind of deal as in Pennsylvania, except no fireworks. :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Single Ladies Devastation, hug and Tuesday

- This little video has turned into one of my favorites. This nice family from Atlanta were singing Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" when it took an unexpected turn. But all is well now and the good news - the family won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Viral Video. I'll be singing that uh uh oh part of the song all day now.

- Greeting a client, who I haven't seen in two years, with a hug. She was having an unhappy day and needed it.

- Talking to my mother while driving home through the rain yesterday (using hands free device and not on the expressway) - she asked if I had a good day. I gave an uncharacteristic sigh, adding, "It was a Monday." She asked (after a pause,) "How do you feel about Tuesday?" I like it just fine and will make it a good day.