Tuesday, December 30, 2014

************* Good Things Happened 2014 *************

Hello!  This is an end-of-the-year post with one photo from each month of my blog.  It has been a peaceful couple of hours scrolling through my posts and selecting good representative photos.  As always, click to enlarge to see more detail.

- January.  Our friend Granny Annie sent me this antique postcard (circa 1913) as a gift.  I love its message that goes so well with my blog theme:  "All of us wish for all you, all the Good Things we can think of.  If perchance we have forgotten anything worth having we hope you will get that as well."  I wish that for all of you, too, and especially for her, as she recovers from surgery.

- February.  My birthday orchids looked so beautiful against the silvery branches. 

- March.  Only I would choose the month of March for a trip to the beach every year.  This group of bundled up visitors to Grayton Beach, Florida reminded me of penguins, all lined up.  It was a little chilly, but look at that sky.

- April.  Did I really walk before church on Easter morning?  This photo titled "Easter morning" proves I did.  I need to find that kind of commitment to walking again and this motivates me a little. 

- May.  No photo line up for the year would be complete without a salute to my commute.  Someone's artwork of a smiley face and message of "HAPPY DAY" made me smile as I was stopped in traffic on I-85 south in Atlanta.

- June.  A nice man, at the weekend park, always has treats for Dorrie and Mac (friend Laura's dogs) and makes them sit politely before receiving them.  Love their faces.

- July.  Of all the mountain photos I could have posted, this one is the most peaceful to me.  I titled it "perfect afternoon" - it was perfect, reading in a comfy chair, with a soft breeze floating in and the sound of the river rushing by outside.

- August.  I was in search of "home grown" tomatoes, and found them at the garden near my condo.  The farmer has health issues and sent out emails all during the fall, looking for someone to help him with this beloved place, and to eventually take it over.  From the latest group email, seems as if he did.

- September.  This gorgeous creature came to visit one Saturday.  It stayed for about 10 minutes and then went on its way.  A priceless visit.

- October.  I titled this photo "gathered by nature" on my blog post.  Someone scratched a drawing of a girl at the spot in which I stretch at the end of my walk (at the park near my office.)  But I loved the leaves and rocks to the right that were gathered by nature the most.

- November.  The last blooms of the season from the potted geranium that I brought from my parents' home on September 2009. 

- December.  The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, except for one, which soon would be there.  I laughed so much about the plastic bag that was a placeholder for niece Amanda's knitted stocking.  But she brought it from her home just in time for Christmas Eve at her parents' home in northern Florida.  Christmas was a beautiful time of being with family.  I loved it. 

Thank you for spending this time with me.  I'll resume my regular posting schedule next week.  I hope you have a wonderful and happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Chrismon tree, peppermint puffs and little hands

- My committee at church, which I am chairlady of, is responsible for putting up this tall tree, getting it decorated with Chrismons, and putting out poinsettias, etc.  We do a lot of other stuff, but this is the fruit of our recent labors.  The Chrismons were made by the women of the church as a project in the 1970s - a lovely and meaningful project, I think, and a lovely tradition.

- Peppermint puffs were my mother's favorite candy.  We always bought tubs like this for her to have at assisted living.  She kept some in a bowl on a table there to share with assistants and friends, who visited.  Co-worker Joanne brought this one in yesterday and I took a photo with my phone and texted it to my sister, asking, "Who does this make you think of?"  "Awwww!" she replied.

- Two great nephews are already at the farm in Florida to celebrate Christmas with their grandparents, who LOVE to babysit them.  Their mom is there, too, and their dad will be there tomorrow, along with their Great Aunt Lynn.  Monroe, at two years and four months, is just the right age to help decorate cupcakes.  My sister texted this photo last night, saying it "looks like Olaf!"  "Who is Olaf?"  I asked.  "A character in the animated film, Frozen."  I hear so much about that little film that I think I should watch it sometime.

What did we do before texting?  I got a lovely one from Riot Kitty yesterday, saying "I thought of you!"  It was of a sign in a shop window that said, "SHARE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL"  Isn't that nice?  Love happy texts like that.  Thanks friend!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Lump of coal, no ideas and finishing up

- From Mr C's sign:  Santa's Main Coal Drop Off.  (Click to enlarge.)  I'll bet it is!

 - I'll be spending Christmas with my sister and her family at the farm in northern Florida, as usual.  Normally I know exactly what I'm giving my sister for Christmas, but this year, nothing has presented itself. (The rest of the family are easy.)  I asked her for suggestions and she said (apologetically) that she can't think of a thing (but please, no pottery or anything to hang on the wall.)  Sigh.  I told her that she might just get something crazy then!  So I've made a game of texting crazy photos of things spotted in shops to her, such as the cat necklace above, with the message "This might be what you're getting if you don't give me a clue!"  :).

- Or this monkey hat!  :)  This texting crazy things game has been fun.  Looking forward to more of that tomorrow, as I finish my shopping with everyone else. 

It's the weekend!  There's much to do, but I'm looking forward to it.  Hope your weekend is merry and bright!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Business as usual, a bit of an adventure and home again

I gave myself a bit of an adventure on Saturday, 12-13-14, the last sequential date of this century.

- It was business as usual for a Saturday morning.  Friend Janice and I met at the park for our early morning walk and loved that the turtle along the way has been decorated for the holidays.  I've been feeling a little homesick - missing my late mom and dad, and was telling Janice that I hadn't been to Milledgeville, Georgia, where I grew up, since August 2012, when I was there for the house closing.  Friend Susan runs a shop called The Red Door - a lovely little antiques shop.  When I was leaving the park that morning, I thought, "If I call and Susan answers, saying she'll be there, I'll go."  She picked up the phone and said, "Lynn?"  So that was my sign.  :)

- So off I went, getting there around 2pm.  This is taken on West Hancock Street, under the awning of the Campus Theatre, where I spent many Saturdays watching double features.  The local university owns it now and uses the front of the house for a campus bookstore.  I pressed my nose against the glass - it was closed by the time I got there.  This is a nice image of small town America, I think.

- The Campus Theatre at night, taken by one of my sister's friends, who shared the photo.  Next on the agenda was visiting friend Susan at The Red Door..  When mom and dad were so ill, I was here almost every weekend, for several months and I loved going by and visiting with her.  She knows me so well - when I walked in, she said, "Have you been to the bakery yet?"  Of course I had.

-It was National Wreaths Across America day on Saturday, in which every fallen hero interred at a Veterans' Cemetery in the US has a wreath placed on their grave.  My father was a veteran of World War II and so he chose this place for his burial.  My mother is buried with him.  It was a peaceful few moments under a brilliant fall sky.

- Before leaving, I stopped by the garden center near our old family home and bought pansies.  I planted them in this planter on Sunday morning before leaving for church.  I'll think about my adventure in Milledgeville every time I look at them.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Family tradition, shiny and bright and old and new

- I have to say, after so many years of decorating very little for Christmas, I do enjoy my Christmas tree and decorations.  It was the dividing up of my parents' ornaments that did it - how could I not put a tree up?   I like my little tree sitting on the apple crate and the first thing I do when I get home in the evening is turn to tree lights on.

- This shiny wreath, made up of tiny packages, used to go to work with me and hang on my cubicle wall. (It came from Roses Dime Store in Milledgeville, Georgia, where I grew up.)  But now I decided its colors go nicely with the hanging quilt and pillows in my home office.  The quilt was made by my paternal grandmother and was one of several quilt "tops" (that had not been quilted.)  We found them in a cedar chest after she passed away in the late 80s and her sister (my great aunt) told me that the pattern of the unfinished one I chose was called "Step around the mountain."  Its smaller, unfinished size made it perfect for a wall hanging.  Since the quilt tops were in a cedar chest, they looked perfectly new.  My great aunt told me that the squares came from flour sacks and all the sisters worked on them - circa 1920, or so.

 - This was the only tree I ever used to put up, but I still like it.  The Christmas card holder on the right (looks like a toy soldier) always used to hold the cards sent to my parents.  And the Santa on the left came from another great aunt - this time from my mother's side of the family. 

Well represented family members here, plus traditions all my own.  This is the part of Christmas I love the most.  I hope you are having a good holiday season so far and that you are looking forward to the weekend as much as I am.  :) 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Pilgrimage, pumpkin wreath and naughty and nice

- Friend Barb G and I ventured out on a rainy Saturday morning to our annual pilgrimage to Madison, Georgia for the tour of homes.  This house wasn't on the tour, but I loved the back garden gate with its simple wreath.

- So often photos aren't allowed on the tour, but this homeowner graciously allowed this one of a pumpkin (or maybe it's a gourd) in a wreath.  This was her back porch.  I told her I would like to do something like that, too, next fall.

- Barb and I agreed that we wouldn't do Christmas gifts for each other, but I found this necklace wrapped for me later.  She said it was so me, that she just had to get it for me.  :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Family tradition, all lit up and Bonne Nuit

- I loved the ingenuity behind putting this old wooden ladder over that beautifully decorated tree at my favorite antiques shop.  The sign behind it "Twas the night before Christmas" makes me think of my older sister's family tradition on Christmas Eve:  her husband lines the kids up on the sofa and reads that book to them.  They all cheerfully shout out the last four words of each line along with him.  "Not a creature was stirring, NOT EVEN A MOUSE!"  They're all in their 30s now, but still maintain that tradition.  Last year, when niece Carla stayed home in Turkey for the Christmas holidays, she arranged to be there so she and great niece Mina could be with them via Skype for the annual reading and shouting out. 

- Mina, almost five years old, loves to dress up in fairy costumes (much to her mother's chagrin.)  I'll bet she would love this lighted dress.

- I like the thought of this "Bonne Nuit" tree for the corner of a bedroom.  It would be lovely for this to be the last thing to see at night before slumber.  I have the day off today, so will be pulling out all of my Christmas decorations.  Can't wait!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

No hunting zone, Live Oaks and soothing

- Thanksgiving at my sister and brother-in-law's farm in northern Florida.  They provide sanctuary for the deer that wander (and frolic) through the fields down below (although they condone hunting, they don't want deer hunted on their property.)  I walked out and stood still one morning waiting for the deer, so I could photograph them from afar, but they waited until I was inside the house before emerging.  :) 

- A Live Oak tree, dripping with Spanish Moss.  The shadows they make are lovely, I think.

- Great nephew Monroe had a willing playmate in an older young lady, Chloe, who was visiting for the morning.  My sis provided sidewalk chalk and they chalked away (mostly Chloe) - I liked the sun drawing the best. When Chloe had a bit of a traumatic scrape with the driveway later, niece Amanda quietly read her a book - Mother Goose stories.  Just after "Little Miss Muffet", I asked Chloe what did she think "curds and whey" are?  "Some kind of cereal," she replied, thoughtfully.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Serendipitous, good things and more good things

- A favorite photo - taken a few years ago, in November, from the side of a road that borders Chastain Park in Atlanta.  For the life of me, I can't remember where I turned that day so that I found this spot.  I was on a work errand and was turning around here.  Truly serendipitous, I guess!  I would like to be sitting here with you - having a chat about that view, watching the geese fly south, as I'm seeing so often the last several days.  I was thinking the other day about the friends who visit my blog and how grateful I am for your visits and friendship.

- "Good things happen when you meet strangers." - Yo Yo Ma

- "Be true to the game, because the game will be true to you.  If you try to shortcut the game, then the game will shortcut you.  If you put forth the effort, good things will be bestowed upon you.  That's truly about the game, and in some ways that's about life, too." - Michael Jordan

Yo Yo Ma (one of my favorite musicians) and Michael Jordan - they have something in common, those two, with the good things quotes.  I hope you are having a good week and that you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mr. and Mrs. Pilgrim, Sunday morning grits and just heavenly

- My Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers stay in the kitchen cabinet where the plates and bowls are housed, all year, except in November.  I like how they peek out at me when they are in the cabinet, but even more when they are on top of the microwave in the kitchen.  They make me smile every time I look at them.  And the lady Pilgrim gets to be the pepper shaker!

- No one will ever want me to be a food stylist, I guess.  :)  The Sunday morning hominy grits when they were almost ready.  This batch was perfect - with just the right amount of thickness. 

- Friend Barb gave me two bars of this soap about 10 years ago, when I admired the scent of it in a shop.  French soap from Provence in my kitchen.  Just heavenly.  The first bar lasted all this time and was down to a sliver, so I dug out this one.  It's almost too pretty to use.

Things in my kitchen that make me happy.  :)  It's almost Thanksgiving here in the US, so out came the Pilgrims!  Happy Tuesday!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Still blooming, local celebrities and reliving the month

- That is a camellia blossom (called Camellia White Northern Lights Camellia Sasanqua) blooming at the park where I walk.  I love that camellias bloom in cold weather here.  My grandmother had a camellia bush at the corner of her house, beside the front porch, that had reddish pink blossoms.  When my sister and I decided to drive by the house a few years ago, during a visit to Macon, Georgia, there it was - in December, still blooming.

- Meeting a client for lunch at a sandwich shop near our office this week - a good thing in itself.  She has a sparkling personality and always makes my day.  I arrived before she did and noticed a small shrine to Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler.  The owner walked up when I was snapping the photo with my phone, asking, "Are you a fan of Scarlett and Rhett, too?"  Absolutely - how could I not live in the city where the book was written and not be?

- The possibility that I might have pre-Thanksgiving guests forces me to get my house in order.  I relived the month of October, as I cleaned up piles of stuff from trip to the mountains, Highland games, friend's wedding weekend, Halloween, etc..  All put away now - a great feeling.

And here's another great feeling:  the weekend is upon us!  I hope your weekend is wonderful, my friends.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Through angel wings, wee visitors and to grandmother's house

- I love a fanlight doorway anyway, but the addition of these wooden angel wings make it exquisite.  Seen at the antiques shop where Whiskers (who now lives in the apartment upstairs) used to be.

- The owner is a kind woman who feeds the local strays.  Looks as if they have a warm box to sleep in, too.  That's friend Janice's hand, knocking on the glass so I could get their faces on my photo.  That tortoiseshell kitty just kept eating - oblivious.

- Over the river and through the wood...to grandmother's house we go!  I always associate that song with Thanksgiving and indeed, Wikipedia tells me that it was a Thanksgiving poem written by Lydia Maria Child in 1844.  It celebrated her memories of visiting her grandmother's house as a child.  What a wonderful time that must have been.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Red and golden, full of happy things and cardinal deck

- The condo driveway, near the entrance, on a sparkling fall morning.  I love the glorious display all of the red and yellow maple trees are putting on around here right now.  They surround my church, too.  Last Sunday when I walked out of the church building with friend Beverly, she pointed to all the maples surrounding it and said they were planted in honor of her son, who passed away unexpectedly when he was 18.  That was many years ago, but the beauty of them must be a comfort to her when they sprout their green leaves in the spring and turn red and golden in the fall.

 - It's 29 degrees here in Atlanta this morning.  I just stuck my head out of the front door and apologized to the begonias in this pot.  I expect this to be their last stand.  I'll buy more in the spring.  I never did a thing to the begonias except water them.  No fertilizer - nothing.  They bloomed and bloomed - they must like that spot.  That's Dusty Miller Silverado in the back of the pot - I think it might survive the winter.  And the cut back pot of Blue Daze is below.  If it comes back in the spring, I'll find a more beautiful pot for it. 

- A Cardinal in the parking deck at Emory University Hospital.  Friend Norman had heart valve replacement here, so I visited last weekend.  I loved the parking deck signs that depict birds indigenous to the area.  My memory is bad sometimes - I'll walk away from my car muttering Red C, Red C, Red C to remember where to find it again later.  But remembering the Cardinal deck was easy! 

It promises to be a cold weekend here, but that's OK - it's supposed to be.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Transition time, cutting back and still blooming

- It always truly feels like fall to me when I sit out this fake pumpkin purchased on sale at Rite Aid pharmacy a few years ago.  That's it on the table beside my front door (next to the stick I knock down spider webs with).  When I opened my door on Sunday morning, this card was there, reading:  Hanging Basket...  Geranium - 'Vancouver Centennial' and Lysimachia 'Golden Globes'.  When I posted a photo of that hanging basket in September, someone asked in a comment what the plant was.  It's still pretty, so I asked neighbor Rhonda this weekend.  She found the plant tags and wrote it down for me, so we can remember it for next year. 

- A remnant from the Blue Daze Evolvulus pot that was so beautiful all summer.  It let me know that fall was here, so I cut it back and hope it will come back next year, since it is a perennial.

- And I always feel a twinge when I pull up the potted geraniums in the fall, after they start getting straggly, like this one.  But then it bloomed again, so I just couldn't. Looks as if it'll be sticking around for a little while longer.