Thursday, March 31, 2011

Patriotic, dance moves and old magazine

- Hairdresser Tim's lawn jockey* displays a bit of patriotism. And my camera lens definitely picks up drizzle - yesterday was the fifth day in a row of rain. Oh rain - how I at least love that you are keeping the pollen off my car. I hear we'll see the sun on Saturday. Yay!

- Enjoying the conversation between Tim and another client while I wait. They are both of Native American heritage and compete in dance competitions at pow wows. Tim demonstrates how a crouching dance move is actually easier on ones back.

- Reading an issue of Cosmo Girl from July 2006 and feeling a little entitled to criticize the magazine selection at my hairdresser's. :) (It was that or hairdresser trade magazines.) I offer to bring him some old Southern Living or Food & Wine magazines and he is aghast that his clientele will think that too pedestrian. Better than Cosmo Girl, July 2006 - I'm just sayin'.

* For past lawn jockey displays, click on "lawn jockey art" in the tags below.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trumpet vine, road trip and hog heaven

- This vine has popped up in two places recently - here next to the "no pooing and peeing" zone and running up a utility pole on my commuting route. I think I have identified it as a trumpet vine. Whatever it is, it's pretty.

- A Tuesday after work road trip with friends Kim L. and Robert to give hugs at a funeral home visitation. LaGrange, Georgia turns out to be a perfectly delightful little town with a full downtown at 6:30pm with nary a parking space available. According to Wikipedia, it is named after the country estate near Paris of the Marquis de La Fayette, who visited the area in 1825.

- A dinner of barbecue at a place called "Hog Heaven" - oh my! An icy cold "Blue Moon" beer arrives with an orange slice garnish. Delicious.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

No doing that, belated and glimpse

- The patch of grass this sign presides over is about 5' x 4' and the condo neighbor who is cultivating it so carefully clearly thinks her four-legged neighbor friends can read. :)

- Receiving a birthday card a month and half past the actual day, but loving the thought behind the sending of it.

- Looking forward to that turn I make in the morning on the way to work when I have a brief glimpse of midtown skyscrapers. It's just at that moment right before sunrise when the city is just coming awake and it's still lit up for night.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Comeback, private dances and opportunity

- There was lots of rain, thunderous thunder and lightening popping around all weekend, continuing on into this morning. But between raindrops it was lovely to see all the greening up.

- A migrating flock of geese in their customary V pattern flies into view during a commute while classical music entitled, "Private Dances" is playing on the radio. A perfect synchronization.

- Discovering a dish of chocolate Easter candy on the coffee table at Marjory's home during (suburban) book group discussion. Friend Shelley and I deliberate over our choice and agree that life is too short to let a candy eating opportunity pass by. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Loving his work, wisdom and miércoles

- I adore watching this guy who stands in a shopping cart directing people to a tax preparation business while enthusiastically dancing all the while. Sometimes I detour in the afternoon to see if he is there and we wave.

- From my niece on facebook, referring to her dad: "Don't give 'em the satisfaction of living in your head rent free" --Daddy's wisdom for the day :)

- Looking forward to "suburban book club" discussion on Sunday of "The Speed of Light" by Elizabeth Rosner, a novel that has sort of entered my dreams. An adult brother and sister struggle to find their voices, but both their lives begin to change on a Wednesday, miércoles, the day that sounds like miracles.

It's a little miracle that the weekend is here - it's been a long week, but it's all good. :) Have a great weekend, my friends!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Living on in film, Forget You and sofa time

- A still from my favorite Elizabeth Taylor film, "Father of the Bride." I've watched this one over and over. She was only 17 years old when it was filmed.

- In my quest for good walking songs for my ipod, friend Becca suggests Cee Lo Green's "Forget You" - saying, "I could listen to this song all day and never get tired of dancing in my chair..." Ha! It made me do that a little, too. :)

- And not getting my walk yesterday due to logistics, pharmacy hours, pollen count and general laziness. Just settling on the sofa at 6pm wasn't bad either.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sweet Auburn, gentle spirit and freedom

- This peaceful street is within the area in Atlanta called the "Sweet Auburn" district. It was lovely to drive through it on a blue-sky day and to see how the buildings are being preserved, rather than torn down in lieu of glass buildings.

- In the center of it all is Ebenezer Baptist Church, standing for more than 121 years. It was here, from the pulpit of the Heritage Sanctuary, that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached his ministry of nonviolence. The sign asking that cars yield to bicycles is a tribute to the gentle spirit of the neighborhood.

- Due to church growth, this much larger church building now resides just across the street. The King Center for Nonviolent Change is just behind it.

And so, feeling refreshed after my lunch hour drive, I turn onto Freedom Parkway and head back to work.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Whisper of the river, hearing and perks of coffee

- My sister will be looking at this view later on today - she's heading to the river for a bit of quiet. I can close my eyes and hear the whisper of the river as it goes by and am glad for her that she will have these few days.

- Sitting in the doctors' waiting area for a body maintenance check and happy to be so healthy. If you close your eyes and listen to others, you hear all sorts of information.

- Hearing again that I should reduce the amount of coffee I drink or cut it out altogether, I opt for the reduction option. :) Southern Living magazine had an article in January 2011 "Coffee's 5 Best Perks" - the torn out page has been posted on my refrigerator. I am hoping for the Brain Boosting power spoken of in Number 4: Coffee increases short-term recall, plus people who drink 3 to 5 cups of coffee each day are 65% less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Here comes the sun, stuck and mooned

Early Sunday morning by JMM

- My sister found peace in this rising of the sun on her farm property. I feel peace just looking at the photo.

- My young friend Kathleen, who was handicapped by an accident and must depend on others quite a bit, sent a "forward" about sisterhood - one of those things about friends needing each other and that you must send it to 10 other women, etc. I noticed that she sent it to nine women + her 20-year-old brother and remarked upon that in my reply. She said, "The reason I also sent it to my brother - this is because he's been, mostly "stuck", going thru this with me, but he has always been there for me, even when he was the "annoying lil' nerd" that he used to be! But, I AM his sister, so we're stuck with each other, whether we like it or not, for life!!"

- Having a look at the moon when I emerge from a meeting after dark. Facebook friend Arch posted a photo of it, along with this message, "This is the last full moon before the spring equinox, 2011. March 19, 3:28 GMT (10:28 p.m. EDT), distance from earth: 356,813 km (closest in last 40 years and for the next 19 years), percent full: 99.4 ... Consider yourself mooned!"

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pansies, rhythmic music and knackered

- A late afternoon view of the pansies my neighbor planted last fall. They withstood snow and ice and bounced back every time, cheerfully presenting their colorful faces to passersby. She will be putting out spring flowers soon and I will miss these guys.

- Having an after work walk in an office park near my house where there is a lake in the middle with a path around it. I have loaded up my ipod with all new music that I think would be good to walk to. The best rhythmic song turns out to be "Word Up" by Cameo.

- Learning a new expression from my friend who has an English background: Knackered. She said, "You must be knackered!" in an email. I replied that I probably am, but don't know what that means. Turns out "Knackered is exhausted...English expression. It's about as tired as you can get." I adore that word and will use it all the time now. Thanks friend!

If y'all have any suggestions for good walking songs, I'm an itunes downloading fool right now. Love those 80s songs like "Word Up" and David Bowie's "Let's Dance". That kind of thing. Have a great weekend, my friends!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Tanyard, off the hook and feast

- Tanyard Branch (a branch of Peachtree Creek) runs underneath this bridge that is on the road I work on (the other end that is mostly industrial.) This is the scenic part of the neighborhood.

- Sitting across from a client discussing her printing and talk meanders to spring. She announces that she is "off the hook" for swimsuit season this year. She is expecting her second baby.

- It was $5 martini night at Feast, a favorite place for dinner. Friend Leisa and I had a Pomegranate martini and shared some Black-eyed Pea Hummus. Yum. The restaurant's website says it has a Southern European influence. I wonder if there are Black-eyed Peas in Europe???

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Greening up, haven and chivalry

- After all the rain yesterday, we'll probably be seeing a lot more of this. I love all the greening up.

- The Rainbow Grocery (natural foods store and restaurant) has a hot food bar with the most delicious vegetarian food. It is like a food haven for take-out at the end of a long day of work, volunteer work and driving around in the rain. Eggplant Parmesan and braised broccoli for dinner. There were braised brussels sprouts, too. A banner day.

- At the beginning of the day, I dodge puddles as I make my way around the back of my work place to go inside. The paper delivery truck largely blocks the back driveway and I have to edge around it. The driver sees and feels bad about that and jokingly offers to lay his jacket across a puddle at the stairway entrance for me. I tell him if he had actually done that, I would have written a story about it. :) And then I did anyway.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Synchronicity, puffed sleeves and Ides of March

- The vintage train trestle that runs through Tanyard Creek Park. Just as I got to this spot on my walk, Florence and the Machine's "Dog Days are Over" came on my ipod, with the lyric, "Happiness, it hurt like a train on a track Coming towards her, stuck still no turning back..."

- A co-worker wears a Springy yellow blouse with puffed sleeves and says she is not certain that puffed sleeves are really "her." I think they remind me of the excitement Anne of Green Gables felt at receiving a pretty dress with puffed sleeves as a gift.

- Waking to rain and deciding that on this morning of the Ides of March the geraniums go back outside from the winter. Hope they are excited as I am to get them out of the house. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cloud-like, fun shirt and always within never

- A cloud-like tree in the abandoned Shoney's (Bob's Big Boy) parking lot near my house. I used to love their strawberry pie.

- Listening to an interview on NPR with singer Bruce Cockburn, who is reportedly wearing a shirt with the slogan, "I'm only wearing black until they make something darker." :) I laugh because I get a lot of flack for wearing black so often. I like it because of its versatility with other colors and its elegance.

- Finishing the book, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery. This was just an amazing book, and I loved that it embraced the notion of looking for beautiful things within your day. Two of the characters stop to listen to the distant sound of a someone playing the piano: "(we) let the sun warm our faces while we listened to the music drifting down from above." One of the characters concludes "maybe that's what life is about: there's a lot of despair, but also the odd moment of beauty, where time is no longer the same. It's as if those strains of music created a sort of interlude in time, something suspended, an elsewhere that had come to us, an always within never."

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan and everyone affected by the tsunami devastation. Louvregirl has this link to a blogger in Japan who gives a first-hand account.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Afternoon tour, the Burns Club and old long since

- On a brisk and windy afternoon, touring the replica of the national poet of Scotland, Robert Burns' birthplace. It was opened to the public for just two days this year as part of "A celebration of living landmarks" series in Atlanta.

- The cottage was built in 1910 by The Burns Club of Atlanta, a "literary and social" club, founded in 1896. It is the only replica of Burns' birthplace in Scotland that exists.

- Friend Lori and I paused to read the inset dedication stone on the outside of the building, a tribute to "the gentle peasant prince."

- There was poetry reading and history sharing by some of its members, as well as the tour. I think the author of "Auld Lang Syne" would have appreciated that people came to pay tribute and have a cookie on this day.

I hope you do something fun this weekend, my friends. Have a lovely one!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Queensboro Bridge, wild promise and first glimpse

- It's Random Photo Thursday. (I just made that up. Ha!) I took this photo on a Saturday morning in December of the Queensboro Bridge in New York City from the Mobil Station. I like that it has its own song "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" by Simon and Garfunkel. I've spotted it on TV and movies since then.

- In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby", Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway cross the bridge on their way from Long Island to Manhattan. "The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge," Nick says, "is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world."

- It was my first trip to New York City, and the drive into Midtown Manhattan was as Nick describes - only this time it was over the Triboro Bridge. The cab driver said, "We'll take the Triboro Bridge because of so much traffic, OK?" Uh - OK. My niece was delighted that I had this first view of the city at night, so full of life, mystery and wild promise.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Beautiful walk, star trek for real and Moby Duck

- The walking path at Tanyard Creek Park near my office, lined with lacy trees.

- Loving the wake-up call that the space shuttle astronauts got from William Shatner on Monday morning: "These have been the voyages of the space shuttle Discovery. Her 30-year mission: To seek out new science. To build new outposts. To bring nations together on the final frontier. To boldly go, and do, what no spacecraft has done before…" How cool is that???

- Reading a New York Times review of a book with the best title I've heard in ages: "MOBY-DUCK - The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them" by Donovan Hohn. The book is truly about a journalist's ocean quest for 28,800 rubber ducks lost at sea off a container ship, discovering where they came from, where they drifted, and why.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and tradition

Mardi Gras! by Bob Trammell

This is a re-posting of my post from last year on Fat Tuesday - I was looking for an image and stumbled upon Bob's painting in my pictures and thought, "that post was pretty good and informative. So let's have it again." :) So eat a lot today, friends, it's Fat Tuesday. Tomorrow I'll be having the eggs for dinner as usual, but will keep it all in perspective as noted on the third thing.

- Today is Fat Tuesday at the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, and the day before Ash Wednesday. Tradition says that people eat all they want of everything and anything they want on Fat Tuesday, as Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the Lenten fasting period for Christians. The Fat Tuesday I spent in New Orleans one year was easily the most fun I ever had anywhere.

- On Ash Wednesday in New Orleans, the revelers will wake up to a city with perfectly clean and strangely quiet streets. The ankle deep trash that is allowed to be dropped in the French Quarter during Mardi Gras will have been swept away by people hard at work during the night.

- My church traditionally serves up a dinner before Ash Wednesday service that features egg and pancake dishes - no meat. In Googling the question as to why we eat eggs, no meat, on Ash Wednesday, I came across this answer on Yahoo answers that sums it up from someone called Arcana 1, and puts it into perspective: "The choice is up to you. The Catholic Church advocates many practices of avoidance and fasting on certain days of the year. It is actually a carry over of the Church's ancient days' adventurism. But honestly I tell you this...Do good acts to all men, respect your parents and elders, do not cheat. Pray and have solid faith in your God. These acts will get you through hell even if you eat eggs or consume meat on Ash Wednesday. God Bless you." That sounds simple enough. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Early spring, catching up on films and cookies

- The trees are blossoming in full force in Atlanta, a sign of an early spring. We are back to the low 30s this morning in temperature, so they must be feeling a bit shivery right about now.

- Watching the 1993 film, "In the Name of the Father" - a true story of a group of people falsely convicted of IRA bombings. It is a good somber film for a rainy day and Daniel Day-Lewis's performance in it is phenomenal.

- The church deacons host a cookie reception after the 11am service. A group of women have a discussion about the oddity of cookies served in the lunchtime hour, as we munch cookies then talk about what we are about to have for lunch. :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dogs at work, Dakota and a kind stranger

- I've blogged about Replacements, Ltd. before - they are a great resource for replacing china, crystal and silver pieces you might want. But I love that they have a "bring your pet to work" policy. This "Carolina Traveler" piece shows what a great place to work this truly must be.

- My mother reporting that a young lady visiting her assisted living facility is named Dakota. What do I think about that name? I reply that I think it's very cool.

- Driving a vivid green Volkswagen Beetle rental car while my car is in the shop. A woman at the gas station comes over to tell me how cute it is. She is just in time because I cannot figure out how to get the gas cap off. She figures it out* and waves a smiling goodbye as she drives away with her husband.

* Push down, then turn. Oh. :)

It's Friday! Happy weekend, my friends!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nice digs, today you are you and the thinks

- A bird condo with flexible rental space available. :)

- "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you." Happy belated birthday, Dr. Seuss! (It was yesterday.)

- Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try. More from Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel). OK - I'll stop now. Long ago, the family read to me so much that I knew how to read when I entered first grade, so they put me on Dr. Seuss books and allowed me to read on my own. I've always loved his books.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Petits fours, home in the a.m. and making the best

- I hear that I am scheduled to bring snacks to my circle meeting last night and swing by an old Atlanta institution - Rhodes Bakery - to pick up cookies or cupcakes. They have nothing ready that time of morning except petits fours. A woman quickly puts a rose icing garnish on them. They are a hit and there are four left to share with co-workers this morning.

- A mid-morning work errand puts me close to home, so I go by and pick up my forgotten cellphone. It is so lovely standing in my kitchen during that time of day to see the morning light play across the floor.

- Learning more about the book of Revelations at circle and reflecting how much better that lesson goes down with a petit four and some crunchy mixed nuts. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

More magnolias, dream and coming in like a lion

- A Japanese Magnolia tree in Monticello, Florida. I love how the blooms drop off and scatter around on the ground.

- It was bound to happen. Watching a glorious sunset over a mountain through a window and drawing a friend over to show him how beautiful it is. I am composing in my head how I will write about it for my blog when I wake up. Just dreaming.

- Powerful thunder and lighting with lots of rain during the night - March came in a like a lion once again.