Friday, May 30, 2014

Fresh air, gentle soul and warrior for peace

- Spotted in the New York Times Book Review:  “My father was a very disciplined and punctual man; it was a prerequisite for his creativity. . . . No matter what time you get out of bed, go for a walk and then work, he’d say, because the demons hate it when you get out of bed, demons hate fresh air.” — The novelist Linn Ullmann, in an interview with Vogue, discussing the influence of her father, the filmmaker Ingmar Bergman.  Good advice, that.

- As you can see, my head is still in the mountains.  I am always struck by the sheer niceness of everyone I meet there.  There was even a polite and well-trained dog, all alone, along the road on the drive back to the house.  As I approached, he flattened in place on the side of the road, until I passed.  When I looked in my rear view mirror, he had stood up again and was on his way.

- There have been many tributes to Dr. Maya Angelou, during the last few days since her passing, but I love the words of her family, about her passing, "She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace."  I can't think of a better description than that.

Photo 1 - the walking path alongside Chatuge Dam on Lake Chatuge, Hayesville, NC side.  Photo 2 - beside the Hiwassee River.  Photo 3 - taken at the antique shop in old town Lilburn, Georgia, that I frequent on Saturday mornings near home.  Time to go to work, but it's the weekend!  Hope you have a wonderful one, my friends.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The river, pink flowering tree and bent signal tree

- The view from the side yard at my sister's vacation home in the mountains of North Carolina.  It was slightly overcast when I took these photos on Saturday morning, but that did not dampen my delight in being at this peaceful place.  You can see a flowering tree if you look carefully toward the left (click to enlarge.)

- And a little hike around to that area lead me to view this beauty up close.  I'm not sure what this tree is, but I spotted others around the area.

- This is a signal tree and is officially documented.  Native Americans used trees such as this as trail markers - so they could point others to trails, trading posts, burial grounds.  I wrote about another bent tree in a favorite walking spot nearby in May 2013.  When I mentioned it to my sister, she told me about the one in the property next to us and this is it - its nose is pointing toward the river (called the Hiwassee River).   The river is shallow at this point and can be easily walked across.  Some fly fishermen did just that on Saturday.  I miss the river already.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Three views - same spot, dog park and helping out

- The May view from the bridge at Tanyard Creek Park near my office in Atlanta.  So interesting that this photo was taken the same time of day as the March and April shots below, but the sun just seems more brilliant now.  And I love those heavenly scented privet blossoms there in the front.  I almost missed them - I have been a bit of a slacker about exercise this month, but loved my walk on Wednesday.

 - The mid-April view - I thought it had the look of a painting when I posted about it before.  There's a dog run area just around the corner from this spot.  A couple walking their big, floppy eared dog let him off the leash and he excitedly darted forward into the field, turning around expectantly, those large ears perked up.  The man threw a red ball and off he went...  Such a happy sight.

- The mid-March view.  There are always professional photographers in this park - seems as if every time I go I see one.  On this day there was a photographer leaning in to photograph a woman and her baby daughter, both wearing pastel green outfits (perfect for this lush, green park).  To help out, I gave the baby my biggest smile of the day when I passed behind them.  She gave me a slight smile and interested look, while the woman snapped away.  On my return trip, the photographer was leaping and twirling, trying to elicit another smile or laugh. This time the husband and a little boy had joined them.  The adults were both wearing strained smiles.  :)

Here's something to smile about:  it's a three-day weekend coming up!  And while I'm excited about my Memorial Day holiday, I do remember why we get the day off here in the states:  to remember and honor our fallen soldiers.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, my friends.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Two chairs, tastes like summer and smells like spring

- Neighbor Beth scored these two chairs at a going out of business sale of a nearby neighborhood shop for her courtyard.  They look as if they are having a chat.

- My pre-walk breakfast from last Saturday morning was so pretty, I was inspired to snap a photo of it.  Strawberries and the first blueberries of the season that I can afford.  :)  All topped with just plain yogurt.  So good.  I popped one of the blueberries in my mouth after I washed them - pure sweetness.

- Me, my walking friends and one husband (also a friend) who joined us for the walk on Saturday, all had a group hug when we met up at the park.  It's been weeks since we could walk together (trips, graduations, weddings, life.)  The husband stopped at a honeysuckle vine for a sprig for his wife, presenting it to her, "Honeysuckle for my honey."  My other friend and I got sprigs, too.  It smells like spring to me and looks pretty on my kitchen windowsill.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Ex view, current view and lovely visit

- A favorite client works on the 19th floor of a building in midtown Atlanta.  This was their view (photo taken about three years ago.)  When I was preparing to visit her earlier this week, she told me that her office had been moved to the other side of the building.  I said, "Oh - you lost your view!"  Her reply, "But the new view is SPECTACULAR!"  Of course I took photos - see below. 

 - Here's the left side view.  You can just see Stone Mountain on the horizon line there on the left (you would have to click to enlarge.)  That's right about where I live.  So funny that as the crow flies, as they say, it doesn't look so far away, yet it takes an hour or so in traffic to drive there.  Love all the trees beyond the buildings - there are many low rise buildings and houses beneath them.

- Middle view (my hands holding my phone are reflected on the left).  :)  The big white building complex toward the lower left is the High Museum of Atlanta / Symphony Hall.  The Georgia Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons play, and home to many concerts can be seen on the upper right (click to enlarge.) 

- And my smiling client's reflection is in this shot, in which she enthusiastically sweeps her hands to talk about the view.  (Click to enlarge.)  Sometimes visitors to Atlanta think the downtown area (a couple of miles south of midtown here) seems small, but the metropolitan Atlanta area goes on for miles and miles, as is evident here. 

We got our printing business squared away quickly, so we could chat.  It was a lovely visit.  And the weekend is upon us!  I hope you have a lovely one, my friends.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

In the neighborhood, wishing and hoping and symphonic

- The mainly residential road I first encounter on my morning commute is off a highway with exits.  I frequently hear the morning traffic people on the news telling listeners to take that exit to avoid traffic clogs ahead.  Sigh.  So traffic is just more backed up for the regulars on this route.  But in the crawl toward the intersection I need to cross, I noticed something I've never noticed before:  this family cemetery.  (Click to enlarge photo.)  It has steps leading up to it and looks maintained, with a sign that has the family cemetery name carved into it.  Pretty remarkable for an area surrounded by houses and equally remarkable that I have never noticed it in all these years until now.  It's within walking distance of my home, so I might walk up there this weekend and have a look.  I love old cemeteries and there is even a map to it posted up there.

- When my sister and brother-in-law were here last week, I enlisted him to put some hooks up for me.  My friend Stephen gave me this hummingbird feeder at least 20 years ago, so I finally hung it up on one of the new hooks on the back porch.  No visitors to it yet, but I am excited by the thought. 

- The other hook was for a hanging pot out front.  I potted some things over the weekend and this is part of the result.  This morning when I was watering the outside plants in the early morning darkness, I was treated to a songbird symphony.  Funny how vocal they are in the 5am hour and after the sun comes up, not as much.  It was lovely and felt as if it was just for me.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Along the way, passing view and customer service

- There are a few spring flowers around here still.  I love the little glimpses of them I am seeing around here and there - this group encountered on my way to walk at the park.

- Spotting some roses trailing over a fence at a charming cottage, while sitting in traffic during a lunchtime errand.  There was just time to muse out how beautiful they are before I had to move on.

- And at the grocery store errand, I could not find the sesame peanut salad dressing a friend had promised would be at this store.  A passing store worker said she would call the manager.  I thought, "Great - I'll be standing here 10 minutes."  But less than 30 seconds after the speaker page, the manager appeared.  I asked it he was standing around the corner, and he was.  :)  I'll be going back there, especially since he said he would order the salad dressing. 

It's the little things...something I need to get back to recording.  Good things happen every day - it's just taking the time to notice them.  I hope your weekend is filled with good things, my friends!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The morning after, flowers and more flowers

The wedding was beautiful - everything about it.  And it was beautifully planned down to the last detail, as well as the reception, held in their back yard.  The bride's parents (my cousin and her husband) invited us for brunch on Sunday morning.  A few photos that I think of as the aftermath...

 - All over except the take down.

- I loved how they had wedding themed DVDs stacked up in the den of their home.  :)

- Gathering for brunch in the kitchen.  The flowers were so beautiful.  The mother of the bride said the florists made extra bouquets for the house from the wedding and reception flowers.

- Sitting outside for brunch. These were the flowers that graced the reception tables the night before.

- The father of the bride has a second career as a barber and this is the entrance to his shop in the house next door to their home.  So the reception flowed through two back yards.  These flowers were on one of the food tables.

- And of course, some of the reception flowers made it home with me.  I hope these photos load up quickly for you.  It's flower overload today!

Family scattered back to their respective states by Sunday afternoon and bride and groom are honeymooning in Grenada.  I loved the weekend. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Happy Day, hugs and the weather is a 10

- It's looking as if just me and some trucks are on the way to work at 7am.  :)  But have a look a the message on the back of the dump truck.  (Hint - see post title.)  We were at a dead standstill, so I was able to snap the shot with my phone.  Click to enlarge. 

- There is a big family wedding this weekend and everyone is coming to it.  I haven't seen or hugged a family member since February 9, until last night when my Shenandoah Valley sister and brother-in-law came into Atlanta to stay with me until we leave for the wedding on Saturday.  I was hug deprived, and now I'm not.

- The weather clearing up just in time for a bride to walk down the aisle.  And now they can have a blue sky reception, too.

Life has been very busy the last several days - I think I'm way behind on blog visiting and comments, but can be around some today, I hope.  Have a lovely weekend, everyone!