Wednesday, October 30, 2013

We are ready, wonderful legacy and rosemary

- My plastic pumpkin and I are ready for trick-or-treaters tomorrow night!  Last year I only had one child come by, so the mom got a pocketful of candy, too.

- Lots going on in that photo above.  The buffet (along with the out of sight dining table) belonged to my grandparents.  My uncle Carl refurnished their home for them in appreciation (years and years and years ago) after they helped put him through Georgia Tech.  I still can't believe it's mine.  And the painting above it came with it.  The colors in my living room and dining room reflect the colors of that beautiful countryside in the painting.  The blue and white bowl was found at a friend's antique shop years ago and I believe is one of those things one would have washed up in.

- Getting all the plants indoors, but knowing the potted rosemary bush will be OK outdoors for the winter.  And I love the whiff of rosemary I get from it when I walk by it when I'm coming and going.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Flowers, walking and Hamlet

A picture a day from the weekend:

- After an especially busy work week, I treated myself to not exercising after work on Friday;  friend Leisa and I chatted by cellphone during our after-work commute instead - wonderful to have that entertainment.  Plus there was a stop at Whole Foods for takeout dinner and as a bonus, this "Sunrise bouquet" to brighten my kitchen.

- It was 30 degrees when friend Laura and I met up at 8am at the park on Saturday morning; I was quite rosy cheeked when we were done.  And I had this view of my condominium complex's driveway when I returned home.  The neighbor in the yellow SUV waved an apology for getting in my photo as he passed.  Love the shadows there on the driveway and the red maple trees in the distance.

- On Sunday there was Georgia Shakespeare's stripped down production of Hamlet.  There were no fancy Elizabethan costumes or flowery delivery of speech.  There were minimalist sets, and the actors wore urban street clothes.  Loved that.  (It was never explained why Hamlet was barefoot throughout the whole thing.)  And the gravediggers spoke with sort of 'ol boy Southern accents during their scene.  It was great.  :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

View from the couch, OK - I had two and looking forward

- First fire in the fireplace this season.  The temperature dropped into the 40s yesterday evening and there was a distinct chill in my living room when I got home around 6:30pm.  And there is was - the opportunity for a fire.  I love it so.

- A happy printing client brings chewy homemade oatmeal cookies, still warm from the oven, as a thank you.

- A random text from my best guy friend, Steven, inviting me to dinner next week.  We met on his first day at work, when he was sitting at a drawing table working and smiled at me as I walked by.  This was in 1988.  Pretty long, as friendships go.  We are not in constant touch these days, but know each other is there.  It brightened my day to think of having dinner with my handsome and funny friend.

Keeping it simple today and finding the simple things are what make me the most happy.  I hope you find that today, too.  Have a great weekend my friends!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Number 1 Best Friend, good idea and Mom Yoga Now

- The Celtic cross that I was given last weekend at the Highland games.  Some friends (a grandmother, mother and 12-year-old son) to our Clan tent got it from a vendor who makes Celtic woodcarvings and presented it to me at the Clan dinner on Saturday night for being their "Number 1 Best Friend" at the games.  That's what I like most about those games - we are all family for a couple of days.

- They have a loose connection with our Clan and adopted our tent to hang out in.  And I like it when they are there, because they are fun.  :)  The grandmother said (tongue in cheek, of course) that I should hang it at my doorway to "keep vampires away", and that seemed like a jolly good idea!  So there it is, hanging in my foyer.

- And if you have time for a peaceful six minutes, watch this video of a mom and yoga instructor, who lives in Kansas, who makes time for yoga while her children play around her.  It's lovely.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Soul thrilling, jam session and remembering the bonnie banks

- The opening ceremonies of the 2013 Stone Mountain (Georgia) Highland Games on Saturday.  The massed bands playing the pipes and drums never fails to thrill my soul.

 - Slightly fuzzier photos from my iPhone.  Saturday was just a drizzly day, but it didn't dampen the spirits of the crowd.  This group of musicians had an impromptu jam session in front of the tent city of the vendors.

- View from the side of my clan's tent:  the day brightened on Sunday, and we were serenaded all day by this musician, Colin Grant Adams, who sang traditional Scottish ballads.  When he sang, "The Bonnie Banks 'o Loch Lomand" (over and over, it seemed, but that's OK), it reminded me of walking around Loch Lomand several years ago with niece Amanda, who tried not to look embarrassed when I sang that song aloud to her.  :)

I keep candy on the table at our Clan tent for any children that come by.  A favorite moment:  the top of a blond head and a pair of big brown eyes peered over the table.  He put a tentative hand up into the candy basket and looked at me.  "It's OK - they are Twizzlers!  They're good."  He looked back at his mom, who nodded her consent, fished one out and ran over to display it to her as if he had scored pure gold.  Lovely innocence.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Scarecrow party, winner, winner and runners up

There is one of those community gardens near the Greenway park where I walk on the weekends in which one can rent plots for vegetable and flower gardens.  The "plotters" had a scarecrow competition recently.  You know I loved walking around taking pics of that.  :)  Here we go:  

- It's a scarecrow party!  Here are some of them in a group.  The winners are next, taken the next morning, in order, after the voting.  As always, click to enlarge to see them better.

- This guy with the red bandanna won first prize.  It wasn't the most creative to me, but perhaps it was the most realistic.  And he's a University of Georgia Bulldogs fan.  (That's what "Go Dawgs" means to us in the South.)  :)

- The woman who owns the antique shop with the cat I like, took second place.  I liked her pumpkin head man amid the morning glory vines.

- Third place is a pretty lady.  Love the marigolds at her feet that match her trousers.

- I think this anatomically correct lady was robbed!  Very colorful and happy.  :)

- And if I was a crow, I'd be afraid of those pie tins!  I liked this one, too.  But they were all good, in my opinion.  I had a wonderful time walking around them.

And I hope you have a wonderful time this weekend, no matter what you are doing.  Have a great one!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Because Nice Matters, getting ready and mesmerizing

- The nicest client I have has this sign in her office "Because Nice Matters" - her friend's mother gave it to her when she got this job, in which she interacts with many, many people.  She didn't need it - she's nice anyway, but I love the thought.  And it's true.

- Someone else nice:  my cousin Susan's husband Sam, who has reinvented himself in his 50s by graduating from barber school and opening an old fashioned barber shop in Fayetteville, Georgia.  This morning on facebook, there is a photo of Santa, who was there getting ready for the season with a hair and beard clipping.

- Current book:  "A Plague of Doves" by Louise Erdrich.  "Every so often something shatters like ice and we are in the river of our existence.  We are aware."  Booklist calls the novel "mesmerizing" and it is.  I'm not wanting it to end.  And in fact, there is a sequel.  Yay!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Festively adorned, the falling leaves and simple good fun

- Someone put a replica of The Bird Girl in the park in which I walk in most weekend mornings.  There was a festival there this past weekend, so she was given some flowers and a blue painted pumpkin to adorn her for the festivities.  The original bird girl sculpture achieved notoriety from the book cover of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt.

- The park is beautiful with the season change.  And the walk was lovely in the crisp October morning air.  Someone nearby even had a wood fire burning.  We walked first and then strolled through the festival booths.  Here was my favorite:

- The winners of the pumpkin carving contest.  :)  Intricate job there on the left and it won first prize.  It was nice to shut the troubles of the world out for a while and enjoy simple good fun such as this.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lemon tree very pretty, flying south and sign of the season

- This Meyer Lemon tree that my friends bought when we were in Seaside, Florida last March.  It's still in its pot, but it's popping out lemons all of a sudden, even though no one ever put it in the ground.  I hear there might be Meyer Lemon preserves in the offing.

- A flock of geese forming a V and flying south.  The geese in the front jockey for position before they situate themselves and take on the next part of their journey.

- Taking time to get a flu shot, not that it's worthy of much mention, but someone must have coached everyone at the HMO about being friendly.  Three people, beginning with the woman at the guard desk, asked me about my day.  It's good to be friendly and caring, even if it seems coached.  :)

Woo hoo!  It's the weekend.  I love an October weekend (actually all weekends, but particularly October because of the lovely weather.)  I hope you have an extra good weekend, my friends!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Big rocker, why it's there and enjoying the ride

- How I managed to pass this over sized rocking chair, in the middle of nowhere, in northeast Georgia:  I was coming back from my festival trip late Sunday afternoon and took a detour road home that brought me to this rather desolate highway (GA-52) near Lula, Georgia.  I spotted this unusual sight, backed up and stopped to take the photos.  There was no explanation for it.  I love things like that.  (Of course.)

- But the wonders of Google gave me this:  "Just outside Lula, down a winding country road is a hard-to-miss attraction that keeps people in its seat.

Dwight Oliver, of Goldbrook Pumpkin Farm, said he originally built the giant rocking chair as a place for schoolchildren visiting the farm to gather for pictures.  The fifteen or so foot chair, he said, can hold thirty kids.

Oliver said he sees car tags from all over as people stop to take a look or get a picture of the orange-and-white chair.  Some folks have even sat in the chair waving at passers by as if they were sitting on their own front porch, he said.

And everyone around knows about the big chair on the corner of Persimmon Tree Road and Lula Road.  According to Oliver, the farm can't move the chair anywhere else, or "people won't know where we are."  After seven years, the chair is a permanent fixture."

- The oddest thing was that I realized later that my GPS took me this way, when there was a much more direct route home.  But I loved this long and winding road, with its farms and rolling country fields.  I guess GPS knew I'd like to see this giant rocker.  :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Folk School festival, colorful day and hanging out

- A quick trip to western North Carolina to join my sister and her friend at the John C. Campbell Folk School 40th Fall Festival.  It was fun to sit on hay bales and watch musical performances, such as the sweet voices of the Cane Creek Cliff Dwellers above.

- Purveyors of pottery, baskets, quilts, etc. etc. lined the festival barn and pathways throughout the folk school grounds.

- A rag man presided over a booth selling treats, such as scones and shortbread.

- A purveyor of hats hosts a musical jam session.  Note the couple in the upper left taking a "selfie" - a camera phone portrait of themselves.  (As always - click to enlarge for more detail.)

- There they are again - looking at the outcome on the phone.  The music was lovely and the young man in the blue shirt there with his back to me had been clogging with other dancers onstage just an hour before.  A lovely day and then back home.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Late bloomer, favorite month and southern treat

- Late blooming bougainvillea at the building I live in.  My begonias still have blooms, too, and it's hard to think about pulling them up, as my closest neighbor has (in preparation for pansies and violas.)   Still - odd to see flowering shrubs, like the one above, while leaves are falling all around.

- That being said - October is my favorite month.  The afternoons are still warmish here in Atlanta, but lovely out and it's fun to see so many people outdoors at the park not covered in sweat.  :)

- A gathering of women at church (aka "circle"), where the treat for the evening was Coca Cola cake - a chocolate sheet cake, with Coca Cola in the cake and frosting.  It was particularly welcome since most hadn't had dinner yet (cake as prelude to dinner - I like that.)  We left after a nice hour together so we could all go home to watch the Braves in the National League playoffs.  Maybe tonight will have a better outcome for the Braves.  :)

Fall planting, leaves falling, slightly cooler weather and major league baseball playoffs - it all says fall to me.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friends.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cheerful bouquet, lol moment and cookie bars

- I loved the way the red bouquet of fall flowers was marketed at Whole Foods as "Cheerful Bouquet" - and "Cheerful Bouquet" was on sale, so I bought one to put in my jar vase.  My next stop was to the more pedestrian grocery store, "Publix", where sunflowers could be had for just $3.  They made Cheerful Bouquet even more cheerful, I think.  :)

- You may have to click to enlarge to read this, but last night at my volunteer organization, someone had written across the top of a yellow scratch pad, "PLEASE TEAR PAGES CLEANLY, LEAVING NO SHREDS.  THANK YOU."  The word "please" looked like an after thought.  What makes this a good thing?  It made me laugh out loud.  :)

Image borrowed from An Organic Wife

- A once-a-week guilty pleasure - Carmelita Bars.  I'm supposed to be on a diet, but about once a week I pick up a couple of them from the cookie bar at yes, Whole Foods (I'm a frequent visitor to their hot food bar.)  Not too sweet, and very chewy.  I love them so much.  A more organic recipe can be found in the link under the photo, but here is another, much quicker recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.  So good - I may try making them to take for Thanksgiving.