Friday, August 30, 2013

Visiting the girl, larger than life and under the shade

- No, that is not Scarlett Johansson, it's the advertisement on the front of The High Museum of Atlanta for The Girl with a Pearl Earring exhibit.  Johannes Vermeer's masterwork is the focal point of an exhibit featuring "Dutch paintings from the Mauritshuis."  Friend Leisa and I visited the exhibit after work, on the night the High stays open late.  If you click on the High Museum link up there highlighted in red, the "girl" will wink at you.

- The large fruit installation on the porch outside the lobby of the museum.

- Leisa alerted me to the view from the other side, where there was a large knife just aching to cut that fruit up for a snack.

- This sculpture, The Shade, by Auguste Rodin, is under the shade of a very large Ginkgo tree on the grounds of the museum.  It was donated to the museum by the French government in memory of the 106 Atlanta arts patrons who died in a plane crash at Orly Airport in Paris, while on a museum sponsored trip, on June 3, 1962.

I also loved the dinner we had after the museum visit, sitting outside on a balmy evening.   And I'm off to a less balmy place today - the North Carolina mountains, where I plan to read books by the river.  I hope you have a great weekend, my friends. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Full of grace, gentle spirit and growth

Today is the 50th anniversary of the day that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.  Bells will ring in all 50 states at 3:00 pm EDT today (the time of the speech 50 years ago), including "Stone Mountain of Georgia," mentioned in the speech, which is about five minutes from my home.  In tribute, I am re-posting photos taken two and three years ago, to celebrate the day.

- You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love... From the I Have a Dream speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The sign borders the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta just next to Freedom Parkway.

- This is the original church building for Ebenezer Baptist Church, standing for more than 122 years. It was here, from the pulpit of the Heritage Sanctuary, that Dr. King 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 is just behind it.

I'll be working today at 3pm, but looking forward to the TV news capturing that bell ringing.  And I heard on the morning news that they have physically moved a large bell to the top of Stone Mountain so they can ring it at the appointed time.  It gives me chills to think about it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Birthday party, the cake and on the move

- A party for a beloved one-year-old.  Monroe's mom took pictures of him every monthly anniversary of his birth and strung them up for his party.  An inspired idea.

- As is tradition in our family for a first birthday party, he was allowed to eat this little cake with his fingers.  He delicately picked off pieces and ate them, probably wondering when someone would stop him.

Favorite moment of the weekend:  Sitting down in my grandmother's rocking chair in his bedroom, while his mom gets him ready for church.  He toddles over, picks up a book and hands it to me.  He sits in my lap and lets me read to him for about two minutes and then is down and off again.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A rare sunny day, tunnel and train trestle

- It has been such a rainy summer here that this bit of sun was welcome on Wednesday afternoon, the only afternoon this week I was able to walk in the park.  I'm getting well acquainted with Leslie Sansone and her "power walk" DVD that I do at home on rainy days.

- This wooden "tunnel" goes through the train trestle.  There's a children's playground on the other side.  See the train going by above?

- And just at the entrance to that little tunnel, I looked up and snapped this image of the train going by overhead.  This was no passenger train, it was full of train cars with goods that make our lives better.  I love to hear the rumbling when it goes by.

I'm looking forward to seeing family this weekend.  It's Monroe's first birthday!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Gift, tomato sandwich and how to spot a good one

- The plant manager of the printing company came in on Monday with a bag of these home grown beauties and walked around handing them out.  It was fun to hear the expressions of delight each recipient gave.  Me:  "Oooh!  Thank you!"

- Mine turned into a tomato sandwich for lunch yesterday at my desk.  In the south, the tomato sandwich typically has white bread, but I have the South Beach diet principles so firmly in my head that I made my sandwich with whole grain bread.  But the rest is all southern:  Duke's mayonnaise, salt and pepper.

- My dad used to tell me how to spot a tomato grown outdoors on a vine (i.e., not hothouse) and the one above is a perfect example, with its cracking around the stem area.  The tomatoes that look too perfect generally do not taste as good.  The one above tasted like outdoors.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Proprietary, Sunday dinner and the first sip

- Whiskers, the shop cat at the antique shop I like to stop in at on Saturday mornings after my walk in Lilburn, Georgia.  He ran to greet me when I walked in the bell tinkling front door, and accompanied me to the counter, where I chatted with the owner.  He looks downright proprietary in this photo.

- It mostly rained this weekend, so I got in the kitchen a little.  I mention this salad all the time, but I don't think I ever photographed it.  I love the vibrant colors of this Chopped Greek Salad and love to make it.  It's as good as it looks, especially topped with feta cheese.  I like to substitute a yellow or orange bell pepper for the green one suggested in the recipe - for more color.

- And it's still raining.  My favorite good thing of the morning so far - that first sip of coffee.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Perfect harmony, something sweet and summertime

I guess this is becoming a recurring from my walk.  Hope you don't mind.

- Tanyard Creek Park, near my office, is so wonderful for its wide, uncrowded walking paths and beautiful vegetation.  Plus it borders an 18-hole golf course on its south end, named for a famous golfer, Bobby Jones.  You can't see them well, but in the far distance, geese were wandering through the course, and the golfers were just playing around them.  If you click to enlarge, you can at least see a golfer or two.

- This flowering vine has cropped up all along the walking trail, the last few days.  I kept getting a whiff of something that smelled sweet and I wonder if that was from those tiny white flowers.

- Summertime...and the living is easy.  A man walks his dog on a coolish August afternoon.  Click to enlarge.  It's hard to believe that a Civil War battle, with many lives lost, was fought right where I walk.  It's sure peaceful now.

I hope the weekend is peaceful and wonderful for you, my friends!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Happy desk lunch, in other lunch news... and I'm awake

- I mentioned Ruth Reichl's gazpacho a few days ago and finally made it last Sunday.  So good!  A coworker walked by my cubicle yesterday and said she smelled cucumbers.  Indeed - the air around my cubicle smelled so fresh because of it.  And it lingered for awhile.  Lovely.

- So glad the above pic would not qualify for the Sad Desk Lunch tumblr blog, in which the prevailing thought is "62% of American office workers usually eat their lunch in the same spot they work all day."  Click here to view if you need a giggle. 

- And so happy the man downstairs has already left for work as the salt shaker plummeted from a kitchen cabinet, striking a glass on the countertop and breaking it to smithereens.  I looked at the carnage around me and was relieved not to have awakened my hardworking neighbor, but now I'm wide awake. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Me and my shadow, puddle dodging and serendipity

 - As so often happens, I had company on my Saturday morning walk at the Greenway Trail, but on Sunday, I walked alone, which is just as nice, as I enjoy listening to music while I walk, too.  And the Green Day song "I Walk Alone" even came on the iPod.  Love that line "My shadow's the only one that walks beside me" - and it was true on this morning.  Click to enlarge the photo and you can spot another solitary walker framed on the little bridge in the distance.

 - Lots of puddle dodging because of the hard rains from the the late afternoon and night before.  I noticed I had mud splatters on my ankles when I got home, which made me feel like a serious walker.  :)

- The Ladybugs Garden Club maintains the flower beds and sets out these Ladybug painted rocks around.  People seem to move them around or even take them, but there always seem to be more placed here and there.  Part of the beautiful serendipity of this park.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Part of the family, finishing strong and a great start

- An image of my Dragon Wing Begonia before it completely takes over the front door area.  I love this plant, that needs no coddling, blooms with no coaxing, and grows with happy abandon.  And I love the shadows it casts on the front door.

- The guards at the building in which I do volunteer work.  They are always so friendly and smiling, a welcome sight to a weary late afternoon visitor.  My tiredness is evident (it had been A DAY at my paying job.)  "Finish the day strong!" one of them says, as he buzzes me in.  And that is the encouragement I needed.

- An early morning cleaning of my kitchen, making it shine and sparkle for the weekend ahead.  And the Dragon Wing Begonia got the vegetable water out of the steamer from last night.

I'm looking forward to a weekend full of good things, and I hope you are, too.  Have a great one, my friends!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Flourishing, she loves them and simple gazpacho

- A few months ago I bought a "rescue" plant at friend Louise's "Garden Shoppe" in the North Carolina mountains - a butterfly bush.  It was long overdue for being planted in the ground, she said.  I opted for a large ceramic pot and it has flourished in front of my condominium.   And my new butterfly friends seem to love it.

- A visitor to the printing company can't get off her cellphone from either her husband or mother (whom I also know).  "I'm with Lynn.  Yes!  I have to go."  As she hangs up she smiles into the phone, (and the smile says she loves them).

- A simple recipe for gazpacho from Ruth Reichl.  I had abandoned my plan for making gazpacho last Sunday because of all the tomato peeling, seeding, straining and cumin toasting (which interfered with sofa sitting.)  :)  This one is wonderfully simple and easy and sounds delicious.  Click here for her post.

Monday, August 5, 2013

In search of tomatoes, sun-drenched and greeting committee

- After a brisk early morning walk with friend Janice, I stopped by Doug's garden to see if there were any tomatoes.  There was no one in sight, so I stood for a moment and took in the sun-drenched welcoming area.  If you click to enlarge, you can see the hand lettered list of vegetable offerings.  My favorite thing about the picnic area is the seat from a car thrown in, for a little extra added comfort, I guess.  :)

- The sun works its magic over the lily pond.  Doug, a rather taciturn man, stepped out of his house with a cup of coffee and started calling for his helpers.  I asked if I was too early and he shook his head no and went back inside, as a smiling young lady rounded the corner.  I remembered her from last time.  She and her dog Bobby lead me to the tomatoes.

- Bobby was a puppy last time I stopped by in February.  He came over for a head rub, then took up his post in the driveway.  I chuckled that I had to drive around him when I left with my tomatoes on this sun dappled morning.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Stone steps, young visitor and the home stretch

- It was so humid outside yesterday after work that you could practically see the humidity, but I went for a walk anyway.  Love these natural stone steps I've passed a hundred times before.  At Tanyard Creek Park, Atlanta.

- Just around the corner, they've recently installed these man-made steps.  I like the natural ones better, but on a day when it's not so humid, I might add a trot up and down these steps for added workout results.

Just around the corner, a wee boy in plaid shorts and baseball cap was standing alone.  He waved and I waved back.  He announced he was going to get to play baseball.  "Who is with you?" I asked.  He pointed and a woman deep in conversation with another was just out of sight.  On my return trip, he was hitting a ball with a plastic bat off a baseball tee, with the women (probably nannies), now seated on the grass, still not watching.  I gave a silent arms-raised cheer for his good hit when I went by.

- My favorite part of the walk yesterday - my car was almost in sight at this spot and it was over!  I was drenched in perspiration from the humidity, but still glad I did it.  I always think of this as the home stretch when I walk here in the afternoons.

Wherever you are this weekend and whatever you do, I hope good things happen for you.