Monday, September 30, 2013

All lit up, the treat of waiting and on slowing down

- The bridge that goes over Tanyard Creek Park in Atlanta can just be seen, all lit up by the sun, in the far distance.  Click to enlarge.  The week had been frantically busy at work and this after-work-walk on Friday was the first step in winding down.

- On Saturday morning, the shop was open but the human proprietor was nowhere to be seen, but Mr. Whiskers was lying on the floor in a patch of sunlight coming through the window.  I felt a flash of impatience at the prospect of having to wait, because I wanted to get on with my day, but sat on the Deacon's bench to wait.  Whiskers (remembering that I like him) jumped in my lap and stretched his paws up to my shoulder to give me a hug.  We had five full minutes of woman with purring cat, when the shop owner came in, the bell tinkling over the door.  I reluctantly relinquished Whiskers, made my purchase and went on my way.

- On Sunday, I was racing into church at 10:59am to make it in to the service on time, when a woman who is forced to walk slowly came my way and was delighted to see me.  (There is something so wonderful about someone's face lighting up like that.)  I slowed down, too, and told her about my busy morning.  She said, "It took me a lot of years of living to find out that it's OK to slow down."

Friday, September 27, 2013

Good stuff, good friend and tea for two

- Friend Laura made some cream cheese stuffed muffins and shared a couple, still warm from the oven.  They made a delightful little breakfast and I loved how pretty it looked on my blue and white dish.

- Staying out until after 10pm on a weeknight for a lecture and late evening dinner.  The best part was just hanging out with friend Leisa, the walk to our cars on a cool autumn night, and the chuckle we had over being out so late.  :)

- And waiting in a line at the drug store for 10 minutes, just to buy bandaids, when the woman in front of me suddenly breaks into a soft shoe dance as the musak in the sound system in the store starts playing "Tea for Two."

I love it when someone gives me a reason to smile.  I hope that happens to you this weekend, too!  Hope it is lovely!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

George, Master Clock and good answer

- We passed this statue when I was with my niece and sisters in the car on the way to lunch in Washington, DC on September 13.  I asked who the statue depicts and my niece replied, "George Washington."  That made sense since it is near the entrance to George Washington University.  On the way back from lunch, we were sitting beside it in traffic and I asked her to snap a photo out of the car window with my camera.  A Google search says, "A bronze statue of George Washington stands at the north entrance of the University Yard, just past the rose garden.  The statue is a cast of the 18th-century marble original by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon."  I like how the artist gave our first president such a dapper look.

 This photo from Google images

- Niece and her husband live in Glover Park in DC.  (For about another week and then they are moving to Turkey.)  Glover Park is home to the Naval Observatory and the Vice President of the United State's home.  Every morning and evening, Glover Park residents can hear the Naval Observatory play the sounding of colors synchronized to the nation's Master Clock.

- Niece and her husband are parents to 3.5 year old Mina, who you have heard about before.  She has such smart and funny parents, that she is smart and funny herself.  Those of you in the states may be familiar with the TV commercials in which a man talks to a circle of children and asks discerning questions.  (It advertises for AT&T.)  One question of late:  "So what's better, fast or slow?"  A link to that amusing TV commercial can be found here.  When niece and her husband asked Mina, "Is it better to be fast or slow?"  She replied, "It's better to be happy."  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn Equinox, Sunday walk and much flora

Another Sunday morning walk...

- It rained all day on Saturday - a lovely rain, really.  And they said it would rain on Sunday, too, but it didn't.  I was sitting on my back porch, basking in the cool morning, when I just had to enjoy a walk on this beautiful morning of the Autumn Equinox.  The leaves have begun falling already, as you can see above on the Greenway Trail

- I love the islands of plantings along the trail - the prevailing color on this day being blue and purple flowering things.  The one above is Ageratum, with its full technical name on the photo below.  The garden group who maintains the plantings is great about labeling everything.

- My mother loved Ageratum and this made me think of her.

- More blue flowers, these weren't labeled.  I'll bet someone knows what it is.  A little dog (one of those tiny dogs you could put in your purse) came sniffing up, its smiling owners close behind.  The dog lagged behind for a moment to hang with me, then trotted after the couple when they called.

- There was just one of this flower with its feathery foliage.  Love the purple.  It was a refreshing walk and just the right songs came up on my iPod.  A perfect walk.

Friday, September 20, 2013

View across the Potomac, memorial and wacky gift shop

As promised - more pics of DC and beyond...

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s monument is looking directly at the Jefferson Memorial.  As many times as I've been to Washington, DC, I've never seen the Jefferson Memorial up close.  It's so beautiful at night (seen from various trips in and out of Washington after the sun went down.)  And it sure was pretty viewed across the Potomac River on a blue sky day.

- The sister I traveled with particularly wanted to see the World War II Memorial in honor of our dad, who was a veteran of WWII. I had seen it on an earlier visit, but loved seeing it again.  It is just a short walk from the King Memorial.

- The cast iron wreath with eagles when you look up into the rotunda at the entrance.

- A visitor from Texas left a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses in tribute to fallen soldiers from that state.

- And switching gears with a sledgehammer, the giant jaws at the entrance to the Dinosaur Land gift shop.  We didn't actually go into the park, but I believe the gift shop has cornered the market on just about everything cheesy you could put in a gift shop.  :)  And you can pay to have your picture taken inside those jaws.

I hope the weekend has good things in store for you, my friends!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Eventful travel, sight seeing and monumental

- The plane my sister and I were on after it made an emergency landing in Norfolk, Virginia last Thursday afternoon, due to a hydraulic leak that might have affected the landing gear, but didn't (thankfully.)  There was no other plane available, so all passengers were put on buses and driven to Dulles airport in the Washington, DC suburbs, where we rented a car at 11:30pm for the rest of our journey.  My sister and I decided it would give us a story to talk about forever and it was wonderful to have our other sister and brother-in-law waiting for us on their front lawn at 1:30am when we finally made it there.

- On Friday, there was a little family visit in Washington, DC with niece and her husband + adorable 3.5 year-old great niece.  And there was some sightseeing.  This monument honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is beautiful and inspiring.

- The Washington Monument was damaged during an earthquake in August 2011 and so is undergoing renovation and repair for cracks.  Michael Graves designed the curtain-like scrim that surrounds the monument while this is going on and it is lit at night with 488 glowing lamps. 

I knew we were almost to their house when we passed Dinosaur Land.  :)  More photos on Friday.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dinosaur Land, family and visit

- Photo courtesy of Dinosaur Land, where replicas like Coelophysis above, roam around in a wooded area.  Kind of like a theme park with no rides.  :)

- My sister in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia lives closer to this place, Dinosaur Land, than she does to a grocery store.  And that's where I am right now - visiting her.  I'll be back, with many photos (of course), next week!  And I'll visit around blogs as I can.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Flowers in a jar, ambiance and remembrance

- This bouquet of flowers arranged in a canning jar - an impulse buy at Whole Paycheck Foods.  It made a nice splash of color on my table when the book group ladies came over, as well as benefiting the Whole Kids Foundation, which promotes healthy nutrition in schools.  I like that they promote school gardens, too.

- Walking into a client's office, at a large non-profit organization, and loving that she has a candle burning.  "It's for ambiance," she says.  The scent of vanilla followed me all the way down the hall.  Lovely.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Yellow daisies, no problem, and all about the chocolate

- More yellow daisies at the Greenway Trail this weekend, spotted when walking with Laura and Janice.  There was a giant festival - the Yellow Daisy Festival - held in their honor at Stone Mountain park this past weekend.  I didn't go to it, but loved seeing their cheerful yellow faces along the way in this setting the most.

- Three men at Wal-mart automotive center say they can't change taillight bulbs in my car, because it would involve taking the mechanism out, trouble, trouble, etc., etc..  :)  I know this is not true and go to AutoZone, where a smiling young lady takes care of it in less than five minutes.

- Making Gooey Chocolate-Chip Sandwich Bars for book group, held at my home last evening.  Rich, chocolatey, and gooey indeed.  They were a hit, but one was enough.  The rest go to work today.  When I first joined that group, I looked up what would be typically served at events like that and have always gone with the big three recommendation:  Cheese (with crackers), fruit, and something chocolate.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Poppies (I think), passing stranger and amazing

- Poppies (I think) from the neighbor's yard in the mountains.  I see these growing in the expressway medians frequently and love that you can get such beauty so easily.

- Back at my favorite park near work on Wednesday (the only day this week I could walk outside), passing a large shaggy dog (much like Talon's Charlie), who veers away from her distracted owner to give me a quick kiss on the hand.  Much apologizing from owner, but I called back, "I loved it!"

- A wise friend says, "The world...can be so amazing."

I hope amazing things have happened to you this week.  And I hope you have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Walk along the lake, peace and purple mountains

- Saturday walk beside Lake Chatuge.  I love this trail that goes over the dam, through the woods and beside a recreation area - three miles total.  A perfect distance for a walk and it was fun watching all the activity on the water, too.  (As always - click to enlarge the photos.)

- Fishermen and a fisherwoman (in the middle) fishing off of a bass boat.  The air in that area had a slightly sweet / fishy scent that I remember from fishing on a lake with my dad years ago.

- A working farm not far from my sister's house by the river.  Those wild yellow daisies seemed to pop up everywhere this trip.  My favorite thing, as always - the purple mountains in the distance.