Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Painting rescue, 306th day of the year and peacock connection

I have rescued animals before - the late Cleo and Sophie.  Neither beloved cat had a home before they came home with me.  And a plant - a neighbor retrieved a scraggly Pothos from a pile of trash from a cleared out office at Emory University and asked if I'd like it.  It has thrived on my back porch in the summers and winters in my kitchen.

But this is the the first time I have rescued artwork:

- Last Friday morning, I stopped at the trash compactor at the condos to drop off a bag and discovered this painting lying face down on top of some flattened boxes beside it.  It was wet since it had rained during the night.  I was delighted with this jewel and decided it didn't deserve to be treated this way, so I put it in the trunk of my car and hurriedly drove off to work, since I was running late.

- Later - work friend Brenda and I went out to her car to unload something together and I showed her the painting in my trunk, relating how I had found it.  And then I realized what the inscription on the back said:

- And even more astounding - look at the date!  A November day in the future, the 306th day of 2014.  What do you think about that?  This makes me sad, concerned and astounded, all at once.  I haven't really asked around to see if anyone knows a child named Kayla.  I'm almost afraid to ask.  And there is no Katrina listed in the condominium complex directory.

I guess what makes this a good thing is that the painting has been rescued.  I love its whimsy, particularly because it is a peacock.  Some of you may remember that I grew up on neighboring property to the farm, Andalusia, where the late Flannery O'Connor wrote most of her celebrated work.  I met her on some sort of field trip when I was a little girl - we went to see her peacocks.  I remember a lady with glasses (but that could have been her mother, I'll admit.  I like to think it was Flannery.)  Make sure you click on the link to Flannery's name - there is a photo of her with two of her peacocks.  Click here for a post from May 2009 (the year my father passed away) for his memory of Flannery.

So there you have it - I have a peacock painting and nowhere to hang it.  I have nothing that color in my place, but am thinking it might fit in the unfinished family photo wall in my home office, where it will be home now.

Friday, July 25, 2014

- This was a collaborative effort.  I paused on the road to the river house (watching for cars coming behind me), while my sister took the photograph with my camera out of the car window.  I have edited it slightly.  Good job, us!  It rained most of the time we were in North Carolina, but we all like rain, so that was OK.  And it made for the most beautiful cloud patches on the mountaintops.  Click on the photo to enlarge and you'll see them.

- We found a little sunshine on Sunday morning at the Butternut Creek Festival at Meeks Park in Blairsville, Georgia.  It was sponsored by High Country Artisans, and everyone here was indeed an artisan.  This gentleman was operating a foot pedal to carve wood for canes and such. 

- We went to a lesser craft festival on Saturday (it shall not be named, it was so bad) and my sisters were lamenting that there were not even funnel cakes there.  But somewhere beyond that beautiful bridge there at the Butternut Creek festival, there was a scent of funnel cake in the air.  They sniffed and zeroed in on them.  They shared one while I had some some homemade peach ice cream.

Give me homemade ice cream any day!  :)  There might be a couple more photos in the offing for next week.  Meanwhile - I hope you have a delightful weekend, full of good things.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Shop cat, shop dogs and welcome home

- The owner of a shop in the North Carolina mountains estimates that this sleeping kitty has cost her at least $500 so far.  The kitty had wandered up to the shop and had severe injuries from an animal attack.  She was promptly taken care of and is a beloved shop cat now with her own chair to sleep in.  She merely purred a bit when I petted her very lightly.  What a nice life she has now.

- The repair garage up the street is run by a cheerful blonde woman, with two equally cheerful female helpers.  Two shop dogs (a chihuahua and a tiny terrier) were sitting in a man's lap when I came in to inquire about an oil change.  (The man was a customer, too.)  The welcoming look shifted slightly when I gave an Atlanta address, but became friendly again when the two shop dogs clambered into my lap when the man stood to leave.  (In other words - I'm not from around there, but if the dogs like me, I must be OK.)  :)

- My Gerber daisy was blooming and looked as if it was welcoming me home when I got there on Sunday evening.  I had a lovely time with my sisters - it went by too quickly though.  We all texted that we were home later and agreed that it was truly lovely.

There was no internet access while I was gone and I haven't even gotten started with catching up.  But what a delightful catch-up that will be!  See you on your blog soon.  More pics on Friday.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Berries and lace, out to sea and a beautiful day

- The photos today are from a walk at Chatuge Dam in Clay County, North Carolina, when I was there July 4th weekend.  I took so many photos, I just have to share a few more.  You would have to click to enlarge to see the wild blackberries growing on a vine there.  They looked pretty beside the Queen Anne's lace - a much more beautiful name for the wildflower than its technical name Daucus carota.  When I was a young bride-to-be, the mother of my best childhood friend made centerpieces for the tables at a party they threw for me, out of pink roses and Queen Anne's lace she picked from the side of a road nearby.  I always think of Maxine when I see them.

- The trail runs alongside a campground and I just managed to snap a shot of sailboat with its colorful sail, sailing gracefully out on the lake.  Click to enlarge. 

- About 1/2 mile left until the end of my walk when I'm at this point - emerging from the shade of the pine trees.  My car is at the end of that paved drive.  It was a beautiful day.  

This week - three sisters from three different states are converging for our annual sisters weekend.  And we're going to the place we love best - the house by the river.  There is really no way to read blogs when I'm there, so I'll catch up when I return.  Have a great week!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Freedom, farmers market, greeter and peace

- My favorite farmer is Mr. Martin, who grows vegetables by the Hiwassee River in North Carolina - across the river from my sister's vacation home.  On this day, I snapped his photo through the screen of the back porch as he drove that tractor all over his property.  (Click to enlarge.)  He is well into his 90s, has cancer (diagnosed more than a year ago), and lately has been living in assisted living.  When I was there in May, I saw him on the property, but someone was always with him.  This time, I watched as he drove his tractor alone - no one else in sight - even over the part of the property that is not farmed. Freedom.

- Downtown Hayesville, North Carolina, last Saturday morning.  They always have a farmers market on Saturday mornings there.  Vegetables, preserves, baked goods, some crafts.  People are so friendly there.  One man proudly gave credit to his wife for the bonsai trees he was selling, "She's off talking somewhere if you want to ask her about anything."  

- This dog walked up to me for head rubs.  A nearby man said, "That's Rowdy.  He lives a couple of blocks down the way there (waving his hand) and comes up every Saturday morning to hang out with us."

 - Here's Rowdy again, this time greeting at the pie lady's table.  She was selling her homemade buttermilk pie, a proud secret recipe.  (Although I have it if anyone wants it - my grandmother used to make it.)  She asked me what time it was, and said "never mind" when I pulled out my cellphone to look.  I explained that I don't wear a watch anymore - I just look at my phone for the time.  She said, "I gave up watches and cellphones when I retired here and have never missed them."  I could see that and totally agree.  She just wanted to know the time so she could go home after selling those last two pies.

- I asked if I could snap a photo of the flowers in the wine bottle (a great idea, I think.)  She said (smiling), "You can have them if you buy a pie."  I replied that although I probably have it in me to eat a whole pie, it doesn't seem advisable.  :)  I left with no pie, but a little later noticed the women in the photo just above this one, walking away with pie and flowers.

Thank you for sharing my walk through the farmers market.  Mr. Martin used to sell potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, etc. there - I have a photo of my sister buying potatoes from him to take home (probably 10 years ago.)  I'm betting he'll be back, judging by the crops I saw coming up across the river.  Have a great weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sunday morning, bird haven, legacy and perfect afternoon

- The neighbor to the left of my sister's house on the Hiwassee river in North Carolina has this beautiful rock right in front of her back porch.  I see her grandchildren sunning themselves on it sometimes or playing gladiator.  It was so beautiful on Sunday morning - cool with a light breeze blowing.  No grandchildren around, and the neighbor was at church, so I took this glorious photo.

- This bird haven (as I think of it), is halfway between my sister's house and this neighbor.  If you click to enlarge, you'll see signs that there is a nest in it.  I often see birds flying in and out - usually blue birds.  No action this weekend though - there must be fledglings about.

- Not to be outdone in the beauty department, my sister's Daylilies, madly blooming, on the other side of her house (taken on Saturday afternoon).  Her late mother-in-law, Grace, planted them long ago.  I love how they keep coming back year after year.

- I looked up from my book one afternoon and thought how peaceful that back porch looks from my cushy vantage point inside the house.  A perfect afternoon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Red level, hazy and signs of independence

- My brother-in-law in Virginia collects antique levels, such as this one that I spotted at the antique shop I love so much in Lilburn, Georgia.  He has dozens of them hanging on the wall of his home office and usually polishes up one for the odd gift to the kids (graduations, weddings, etc.).  I emailed these photos to him because that's the first thing he looks for when he goes into an antique shop, so now I keep my eye out for them, too. 

- The haze in the sky in Atlanta yesterday was due to dust from the Saharan desert!  And I thought it was just smog.  So interesting that a touch of Africa has floated into the southeastern US via the gulf winds.  There's more about this here.

- The same antique shop, referred to above, Antiques in Old Town, has these old American flags draped from the ceiling.  The owner told me they've been there for 20 years.  I'm seeing lots of flags around this week, due to the July 4th holiday coming up.  I'll be celebrating in another favorite place, the house by the river I love so much. 

Just one post this week.  I'll be back next week with lots of photos, I hope.  I hope your week and weekend are filled with good things!