Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Leaving the city, Hiwassee River and the neighbors

- Arriving in the North Carolina mountains last Friday evening to an alternate universe.  The air turned cooler, a man even commented on that as I was getting out of my car at Ingles (grocery store).  Inside, employees were helpful and apologetic that there was no pita bread. There were even employees in the produce section making guacamole to order!  That's mine above - delicious.  I  began to feel relaxed already after being asked how I am at the checkout and being thanked for coming.  A wonderful place.

- Yard art featuring swimming fish marks the spot where there's a good fishing hole nearby.  Not that I do that.  Fish are safe from me - I just like to read and gaze at the river going by.  And eat guacamole.

- The farmer across the river, Mr. Martin, is in his 90s and still works his farm every day.  That's him on his red tractor in the field that will yield Silver Queen Corn.  He was on his knees in that field on Saturday, inspecting plants.  No sign of him on Sunday - he respects the Sabbath.  And on Monday, back to work, as you see here.

- A beautiful teal-headed duck surveys the river from a rock.  He and his mate like that spot out there and came to visit a number of times.  I loved seeing them fly in and come in for a landing.  A peaceful place - I love it there.  Can you tell?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

- The little town near my sister's river house has this lovely memorial to its fallen heroes every Memorial Day.  I am grateful and thankful for the service of each one.  This photo was taken last year, but it's where I am right now (back home later today).

See you Wednesday with river photos!

Friday, May 25, 2012

How deep is your love, tater tots and carefree

- Quote spotted at Fontaine's Oyster House at lunch on Thursday. People either seem to love the Bee Gees or not.  I love them and am saddened again by the loss of another member of the disco generation.  My favorite Bee Gees song?  How Deep is Your Love.

- Ordering tater tots as the side item with my crab cake at lunch, mainly because it's fun to say "tater tots".  :)

- Sitting at the group condo mailboxes perusing my mail and watching a young neighbor lay down her bicycle and climb a tree on the afternoon of the last day of school.  I remember that carefree feeling and love the sign that it's almost summer.

Have a wonderful carefree weekend, my friends!  I'll be away from the computer most of the weekend, but will catch up on blogs when I get back.  Cheers!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Right at home, golden and bright

- Although an earthling created this dragonfly, it looks right at home in a friend's garden.

- Sitting in traffic behind a construction company van with the bumper sticker, "Old Guys Rule".

- On a crisp May morning, the sun is so bright that sunglasses are needed at 6:45am.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bless her heart, country road and Pete

- Getting together with two sisters, their husbands and a niece for a weekend in northern Florida.  At dinner Friday night, my sister tells a story about something unfortunate that happened to an acquaintance and ends with, "Bless her heart!"  My brother-in-law observes that in the south it's OK to talk about someone and their troubles if you end with "bless their heart!"

- A Saturday morning walk with sisters along a remote country road. Only one speeding car disturbs our walk.  As it approaches, my sister says, "That must be the J___ girl, she drives too fast!"  In unison the three of us say, "Bless her heart!"

 - Pete comes and goes from the family garage through this open window and is always interested in family visitors.

And I made it back to Atlanta in time for my dinner guests to arrive.  Lots of fun this weekend, but I'm tired this morning, y'all!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Donna Summer, the neighborhood and legacy

- Forgive me for being sentimental today, but I loved Donna Summer.  May she rest in peace.

- Loving how the condo neighborhood is turning outdoors in the early evening now that the weather is nice.  Children on bikes, dogs frolicking, a neighbor holds another neighbor's newborn baby while they chat.  Coming back from a walk and being greeted by everyone is lovely.

- Polishing my grandmother's silverware, now my silverware, in anticipation of company coming for dinner over the weekend.  When mom gave it to me in a paper bag several years ago, it was tarnished black.  It was fun the first time it was polished to see the life and luster come back to it.  Mom says it wasn't for company, they used it all the time when she was growing up.

It's the weekend - yay!  I hope your weekend is wonderful!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Simple pleasures from niece, niece and aunt

Three things today that are simple pleasures - two from nieces who live far apart, one in Portland, Oregon and one in the wilderness of northern Florida.  And one from their aunt in Atlanta...

- A peaceful weekend boating trip on a lake in Florida for a niece and her boyfriend.  Love that sunset.  Photo by ALM.

- This is Skidmore Bluffs, the "place in Portland where high schoolers would make out after the prom in an '80s movie," according to niece's boyfriend.  He was there with another niece and friends.  Photo by RAJ.

- And in front of Bell Street Burritos on Howell Mill Road in Atlanta, the urban cowboy I've blogged about before here, but this time I got a "through the windshield" photograph.  There's a wonderful article I found about he and his horses you can read here.  It was lovely and unexpected to be sitting in traffic and see him come out of the restaurant and mount up.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Painting, peonies and pearls and Knollwood

- Friend Barbara and I went to the Atlanta Symphony show house on Saturday and walked through the beautiful St. Regis Hotel to catch the shuttle bus to the house.  The painting behind the hotel employees reminded me of my sister's property in Florida.  I love how you can snap surreptitious photos with your phone.

- Peonies in the middle of the lobby were supported by pearls.  Lovely.

- The house, "Knollwood", was built in 1929.  The home and gardens were decorated by 29 designers and the proceeds benefit the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and their community outreach programs.  Barb and I love to go to the show house every year - it's our thing.  The designer of the room above graciously allowed me to photograph the detail in the bookshelves.  I would love to have my bookshelves built in like that.  The pianist was playing "Moonlight Sonata."

- We were told the house has been sold to "an anonymous young couple" and they can purchase all the inside stuff in they wish.  It was fun seeing how the other half lives.  :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flash mob playing Peer Gynt, evening gift and yum

- How I wish there could be an experience like this on our transit system.  A lovely and peaceful two + minutes.

- An evening in which plans fell through.  And also there was chamber of commerce weather outside and I could have walked, but didn't. Instead, there was mostly sitting on the sofa watching TV and going to bed early.  I call that a gift.

- A simple supper of caprese salad - tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil from my potted garden and freshly ground cracked pepper, drizzled with olive oil.  So good - I could eat that every night.

I hope there is peace, unexpected gifts and good things in your weekend, my friends.  Have a great one!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring Onion Pie, legacy and rainfall

- Making this yummy Spring Onion Pie after work on Monday.  That might have been a better weekend project, but I never got to it and so when my walk on Monday was rained out, my thoughts turned to dinner.  As so often happens, I was distracted and a little disorganized this day.  I didn't have any all-purpose flour and had to run out and get it, but finally got it in the oven.  Hmmm - as delicious as the pie tasted, the crust seemed a little chewy.  Forehead smacking moment - I forgot to put the milk in the batter!  Next time.  :)  Here's a link to the recipe if you'd like to try it.

- Using a cast iron skillet that belonged to my grandparents and then my parents and thinking about how many hands had made good things in it before.

- Sitting on the back porch after dark listening to light rainfall on the trees.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Eleanor's bench and flowers, heart and not real

- My Sunday morning walk up the street on which I live was broken up by a few stops along the way.  This bench dedicated to Eleanor Monroe sat in a Memorial Garden of the elementary school halfway up the street.  (Update - note the top of the bench - she was School Secretary from 1971-1991.)

- Here are some of Eleanor's flowers.

- Just up the street a bit, this - I wonder if DD and BB are still an item?

- This creature and her identical, but earless, partner, startled me the first time I took this early morning stroll.  Viewing them from down the street, I thought they were real.  :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, May 4, 2012

A to Z April Challenge 2012 Survivor: Reflections + R is for Rhododendrons, L is for Love and D is for Drain Cover

- I have to say - I ended up enjoying the A to Z Challenge more than I thought I would.  It was fairly easy to continue with my usual three things that I love, find funny or find pleasure in and just use the alphabet letter scheduled for me.

Thank you again to all of you who stuck with me and to the new readers who came by.  I found a few new blogs to read and was delighted that Hilary (who I had seen on others' blogs) was doing the challenge, too.  I thoroughly enjoyed her A to Z castles posts. 

The following three things were meant for challenge posts, but fell by the wayside.  So here they are - three leftover random good things.  :) 

- R is for Rhododendrons.  We have one lone rhododendron bush in my condominium complex and it has been blooming for a few weeks now.  I love those purple blooms.  When I flew from London to Edinburgh several years ago in the month of June, there was an entire hillside covered in blooming rhododendron bushes - spotted as we were circling the airport to land.  The purple blooms were spectacular massed like that. 

- L is for Love.  "True love", is what niece Amanda labeled this photo she took of her boyfriend scratching her dog Lucky's tummy.  New boyfriend has just been in the picture since last fall, but we all like him very much and Lucky LOVES him.  It must be that he warms up canned food for Lucky and slips him extra treats.  Lucky sits and gazes at him whenever they are together. 

- D is for Drain Cover.  I spotted this on my walk at the park off Collier Road and thought what a nice job someone did designing this drain cover.  Love the fish surrounded by water plants design.

It's Friday!!!  Yay!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and find beautiful things around you!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Henderson Park, Lake Erin and suburbia

- Looking for an alternative place to walk last Saturday, I wound up at Henderson Park - near my neighborhood.  I had read there were walking trails, but was not expecting the total woodsy isolation of these trails.  Beautiful, but oh so quiet.  Imagine my surprise when I finally emerged out of those woods and came upon...

...this beautiful lake.  I found out later it's called Lake Erin (probably after a developer's wife or daughter.)   About halfway around that lake, I was plunged into woods again. 

- Sigh.  I thought I'd never make it back to the soccer field parking lot where I left my car.  :)  I followed the general direction of the curve of the lake, which I could see glimpses of here and there.  But after about a mile through the woods, I saw a clearing up ahead and was suddenly standing on a neighborhood street, surrounded by brick houses.  My car ended up being about 1.5 miles from there.  So my afternoon walk turned into a hike, but there was so much beauty in that hour, that seemed like two.  And due to the isolation, probably the one and only time for that adventure.*

* Someone is likely to tell me that I shouldn't be walking in the woods by myself like that and I agree!  :)  Back to paved sidewalk walks on the weekends.