Friday, February 28, 2014

Beyond beautiful, holiday and looking forward

This is where I'll be at the end of the day today.  So looking forward to this holiday.  I'll be back next week with pictures and good things that happened.  And I'll be checking in on your blogs as I can.  Cheers and happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Glowing serenity, definitely downstairs and double nice

- When my sisters and I spent a day in Elbert County, Georgia, a few Fridays ago, I spotted this angel marking someone's grave at the second family cemetery we visited.  The angel spoke to me for some reason and I think someone's loved one must have shelled out a pretty penny to have it erected there. 

- My sisters and I are also facebook friends and we all recently took one of those lighthearted facebook quizzes "What Downton Abbey character would you be?"  My sisters (who sort of operate as a unit at times) both got Mr. Bates.  I got Mr. Carson.  :)  He's a good sort, and kind of a rules follower, like me.  So I was looking for the quiz outside of facebook to share with you and found one, but it's different that the one I took before.  This time I got Mrs. Patmore.  :) 

- A dinner with one of my niece's friends, who also lives in the Atlanta area.  It felt a little like being with family, having dinner and chatting about life.  And there were crab cakes atop a salad that also had walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese..  Yum.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lady food, anxious to eat that and robin redbreast

- A gathering of friends on Saturday morning for a women's "retreat" - each table had a similar arrangement of early budding flowers, heralding the arrival of spring next month.  Later, at lunch (lots of salads and little sandwiches), friend Beverly says to me, "I love lady food." 

- Definitely not lady food here.  Saturday night dinner with friends, where the featured dish was Paella.  The skillet in the foreground was non-seafood.  That's my hand in background on the serving spoon, ready to dig into the traditional seafood, chicken, sausage paella (photo by friend Bonnie).  This is a dinner group that I had dropped out of and didn't realize how much I had missed it until re-entry. 

-  This morning - 6.45am.  Collecting my purse and making sure I have everything before heading out for the journey to work.  A robin "redbreast", as my mother used to called them, is hopping about on my back porch pecking at seeds that have spilled off the feeder.  He catches sight of me in the kitchen and stands with his head cocked watching.  I quietly turn off the lights and slip out the door. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

The last lily, the cookies are here and fingers and cookie

- The last of the lilies from this arrangement.  I thought it looked pretty there on the bathroom counter.  The vase is Waterford (which I just realized due to a sticker on the side) and I had never used it before, but it seemed about the right size for those lilies, and this one, that was cut down.  A former colleague from my late corporate job gave the vase to me about 15 years ago as a thank you gift.  He has left the corporate world, too, and works at a college in Florida (we keep up with each other on facebook.)  I think we are both way happier now.  I hope I thanked him enough for the vase.  :)

- When two young sisters visiting the printing company presented me with hopeful faces that I would buy Girl Scout cookies from them, how could I resist?  I ordered two boxes of Thin Mints from each sister.  Three of the boxes are pictured above, along with lovely thank you notes, and are now in my freezer.  What happened to the fourth?  See below.

- Thin Mints come in two tubes.  One tube went to the back with the pressmen and the other WENT IN MY BELLY!  Yes - I stress ate a whole tube - it's been that kind of week.  :)  I named this photo "fingers and cookie".  :)

I hope delightful things are in store for you this weekend, my friends.  I hope it is great!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Calico, loving and off to a party

 - Another shop cat - this time a resident of an antique shop in north Georgia.  The shop owner had put out signs saying (tongue in cheek, I thought), that there was an "attack cat" on the premises.  At one point, he said, "If you run across the cat, don't rub her belly, even she rolls over and presents it to you."  When this no-eye-contact-kitty finally turned up, I ran fingers lightly over her head, while the owner looked on anxiously.  I think it's fun that this calico / manx seems to run the place.  :) 

- My friend looks on as her granddaughter plays, looks at me and says, "I love her so much."

- An unmarked van crammed to the gills with emerald green balloons.  What fun and where were they going, I wonder. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

The white stuff, seeking rosemary advice and the cardinals

- This was taken last Thursday morning after we had a few inches of snow fall on top of the already accumulated ice.  I thought the rosemary bush (behind the butterfly bush) looked especially pretty with the white stuff on it. 

- This was taken Sunday morning.  Sigh.  I'm afraid the rosemary bush is no longer living.  (I'm thinking the butterfly bush will be OK, having been cut back for the winter last fall.)  For the gardeners out there:  should I cut the rosemary back now or wait and see what happens?

- You would have to click to enlarge to spot the cardinals in this photo.  Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal have lived around my condo for years.  That's him to the right of the bird house, sitting in the tree complaining loudly.  She's to the left, but more difficult to spot, due to her less vibrant color.  They were very happy to see the rapid melt off that started Thursday afternoon.  It was fun for a bit anyway.  :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Silvery world, snow woman and happy V day!

- It was a silvery world when I got up yesterday morning.  A layer of snow fell during the night and made it all so beautiful.

- I cropped my friend's daughter out of the photo for her privacy, but thought you'd like her "snow woman" as much as I do.

 - And Happy Valentine's Day, friends!  This skeletal Valentine lady was spotted in a thrift shop in tiny Bowman, Georgia, where my dad grew up.  I liked this shop.  Who wouldn't like a shop that sells china and sombreros in the same area + has a startling Valentine greeter at the front door? 

I just had to post some more snow pics - it's that unusual in this area.  I've enjoyed my days at home, but will head into the office this morning.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Morning light, consider the lilies and socked in

- My church held its annual Kirking of the Tartans service last Sunday.  This photo was from Saturday morning, when a group of church friends and I hung the tartans (borrowed from the local St. Andrew's Society.)  I loved how it all looked in the morning light when we were done.

- These are the lilies from the bouquet I showed in this post.   They were crowding that bouquet after they finally started opening up, so I pulled them out and gave them their own vase.  They look so pretty, I think. 

- That is ice, not snow.  Yes - we are socked in again, but this time local officials were overly cautious and closed the Atlanta area way earlier than the last time.  I've got that Sue Grafton book to finish and tons of kale to figure into recipes, so I'm all good here.  Cheers, y'all!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Blue sky day, silence and laughter

- Fort Creek Baptist Church in Elbert County, Georgia, on a beautiful blue sky day.  Sisters and I journeyed there last Friday and met up with our dad's first cousin, his son and grandson, whom we had never met. All such nice men - a mini family reunion.  Our Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother donated the land for this church in 1909, in honor of their first daughter, who passed away after living only a few months. 

- A nice lady let us walk through the sanctuary.  A woman is slowly making stained glass windows she is donating; each one in honor of a different family member of hers. 

- The cemetery land was donated, too, but is full of mostly our late family members.  It is a silent, peaceful place, just a short walk to the church.  We had a gravestone made for our dad's brother, who died in infancy.  So this was the main reason for the trip, so we could see it, but we did fit in a fair amount of antiquing along the way.  (Of course.)  :)

- Switching gears!  That bowl was full of chocolate chip cookies at the beginning of the weekend.  My Virginia sister makes the best cookies ever and that's what I wanted for my birthday treat instead of cake.  As you can see, we liked them. 

- We visited a favorite thrift shop of mine on Saturday and my sister bought these crazy boots to wear to a costume party.  She will go as one of the characters in the play / film "Mama Mia."  I have never laughed so hard as when we were contemplating these boots.  :)

That was the prevailing theme of the weekend, lots of laughter.  My throat is a little sore from it.  :)  I needed that.  I hope you had a great weekend, too - I will be catching up with your blogs at lunch hour today.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Three sisters, I love us, too and sentimental journey

- My birthday was this week and it seemed like a good time for three sisters who live in three different states to have a visit.  :)  Sister from Virginia spotted these flowers immediately and said, "Oh how nice - someone sent you flowers!"  Nope - I buy them for myself.  :)

- Sister from Virginia and sister from Florida made the last leg of their journey to Atlanta together (I know - complicated.)  They bought party hats along the way and they were wearing them when I opened the door.  :)  They said they had such fun giggling while they put them on before getting out of the car, causing one sister to say to the other, "I love us." 

- We are taking a sentimental journey today to the town where our paternal ancestors settled after arriving in the United States in the early 1800s.  I just love being with my sisters no matter what we do. 

And I hope all good things happen to you this weekend, my friends!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Good fortune, good lunch and good dinner

- My fortune from a cookie that came with dinner over the weekend.  Still mulling this one, "For light, go directly to the source of the light, not any reflections."  I like that!  But have no idea what it really means.  :)

Two meals in one day at wonderfully named restaurants:

- Mushroom risotto from Cafe Sunflower for lunch with a client - another diner blogged about it and called the risotto "to die for" and it really is that good.  

- Laughing with friend Leisa over dinner at Sun in my Belly and during the crazy rainy commute while getting there.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Whiskers in the morning, flowers from a friend and Hallelujah

- My favorite shop cat, Whiskers, this time sporting a bejeweled collar for the jewel he is, takes in some morning sun from the front windows.  I had cuddled him earlier, and noticed him later, being carried around by a man who was browsing, who he had persistently followed throughout the shop.

-  Friend Janice (who is married) was so interested in my kitchen flowers that I always buy for myself.  I told her that I learned a long time ago not to wait for flowers.  So when I pick her up for an afternoon tea we are both attending, she presents me with a pot of purple orchids.  Lovely.

- An encounter with a young man with Down's Syndrome, who doesn't often interact with the world, always seemingly deep within himself.  It was my turn to greet at the front door of the church before the service yesterday.  When he came in with his mother, I greeted her and then him by name, and he responded (much to my delight) with, "Hallelujah."