Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rained out, taking the long way and weekend cooking

- My usual Saturday morning walk with friends was rained out (or drizzled out), but I still drove up to Starbucks for my weekend treat of a latte.  The dog in the truck in front of me at the light was just aimlessly looking around, when he stiffened and spotted something.  Click to enlarge for a better look at his alertness.  I looked to see what he was focusing so intently on and there, off to the left (out of view) was a squirrel - traipsing across a pawn shop's front lawn. 

- Taking the long way to Whole Foods to pick up ingredients for weekend cooking, so I could sip my latte and listen to the Lee Child book, Gone Tomorrow.  I reached the end later while sitting in the parking lot of the library, where another audio book awaited.

- This is a Weight Watchers recipe, Rigatoni with Sausage and Kale.  Click on the link for the recipe.  It was good!  I could have styled that better, I guess.  The photo was really for my sister, who follows Weight Watchers.  I don't, but spotted this dish on the cover of the WW magazine at the grocery store checkout.  Next time I will up the kale and might substitute cannellini beans for the Italian sausage, just for kicks. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Saving the planet, currently listening and currently reading

- The sign for Mr C's Bar & Grill near my office: "Mr C's - Saving the Planet by Making People Walk Home."  Good for them, I say!  It's been at least a couple of years, I think, since they have posted whimsical things on their sign. Hopefully it's a trend - I need humor for my commute.  :)  See Mr C's on Labels, below, for past signage.

- Currently listening during my commute:  Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child, one of his Jack Reacher books.  Violent at times, but every one is a cracking good suspense yarn.  I have another waiting for me at the library - I am having a Jack Reacher marathon.  Jack wanders the country with only a toothbrush and an old passport in his pocket.  He buys new clothes every three days and swears by his wandering lifestyle. He manages to save (or mostly save) the day in each book. 

- Currently reading at home:  The Quiet American by Graham Greene.  I'm only a few pages in - and book group meets on it Sunday night.  The link has a review of it, from The New York Times, circa 1956.  The internet is so marvelous for items like that.

Looking forward to a quiet day on Saturday to sit and read.  Celebrating the weekend over here!  I hope yours is lovely.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Special touch, wise beyond her years and first day

- That's neighbor Rhonda's hand there in the picture.  I was saying to her that of all the plants we've had on our communal front porch, I think this one has been the prettiest and most lush looking.  She says she grew it from seeds!  I think she's got the touch.

- A young lady, 12-years-old, and wise beyond her years, tells me she likes my kitchen.  I point out things in it I love - mostly heirlooms, like my grandmother's fruit plates.  She says she likes my spice rack the most.  I tell her the year I bought it, at House of Denmark, and her eyes widen.  :)

- It's the first day of autumn!  My favorite season.  Love the little animated First Day of Autumn illustration on Google this morning, especially the last part.  There's an article about it here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Good things happened, side note and butterfly kind of week

- There are eight people coming for dinner tomorrow night and so, this morning at home, when I would normally be preparing my Friday blog post, I was tidying my condo for my friend Colin, who is also my house cleaner when needed.  It amuses him that I tidy so much for him.  :)  So just now (taking a quick break at work), I went to Google, typed in Good Things Happened and then Images.  I was looking for a photo to post today.

My blog header is the first image up on Google images.  There are a zillion images below it - lots of Good Things quotes, etc. but a few of my photos, including the first photo of the butterfly from my Tuesday post from this week.

Scrolling down, there was another butterfly photo of mine.  This one above, of a swallowtail - taken in the courtyard of my late mother's assisted living home in Thomasville, Georgia in 2011.  I loved that she had this for a view every time she left her suite. 

- As a side note - I'm just wondering if there is Google job in which someone looks at photos all day and decides which ones are worthy of Google images. 

- Anyway - it's been a butterfly kind of week.  My friend Whitney, who is a Presbyterian minister in Cameron, North Carolina, and is the very one who inspired this blog, posted a photo of a butterfly this week on facebook.  (Her blog Glimpses of Grace is on my blogroll.)  She added:

"This slightly-battered brown and blue butterfly is often seen flitting around my car when I arrive or leave my house. I always feel butterflies signify resurrection and new life, and have had the honor of being present when many faithful people have made that holy journey from this life to the next. I often wonder who is with me in the moment I see this butterfly. The lines between heaven and earth are much more delicate than we often think. As delicate as a butterfly, perhaps."

So her facebook message gave me a peaceful feeling when I read it.  And there it was again just now - a butterfly, in Google images, that my mom and I stood and looked at.   

A little rambling today.  :)  I hope your weekend is peaceful and good!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Beautiful visitor, beyond the begonias and identity

- Discovering this beautiful butterfly hanging out by my front door at the condos when I got home from my walk with friends on Saturday morning.  I went inside to get my camera and thought it would be gone when I got back.

- But no, it stayed and hung out for a while.  Just needing a bit of rest, I guess.  It was a peaceful few moments and I thanked it for dropping by before leaving it be.  I checked again about 10 minutes later (quietly opening the door and peeking out) and it was gone.

- I Googled and found what kind of butterfly he or she is:  Red-Spotted Purple
"The Red-Spotted Purple is not a swallowtail, but a brush-foot, and is black with blue or blue-screen scaling. At first glance it can be mistaken for a swallowtail, but it has no tails.  Orange or red marks are seen on the tips of the wings."

A Saturday morning gift, I think that was.  :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Perfect harmony, September Wonder and avocado toast

 - That's a bird feeder (there in the middle) that my late father gave me once - guaranteed to keep away squirrels (so far, so good.)  Click to enlarge to see a chickadee feasting on birdseed.  The feeder is designed for little birds, but the cardinals sit in the tray and eat the seeds that the little birds dropped.  Photo taken last weekend - it was a regular party there for a little while, cardinals and chickadees sharing a snack in harmony, but they all flew away except this one, when I loomed up to snap a photo with my phone.

 - Coworker Bobby went to Ellijay, Georgia last weekend to pick apples and shared these beauties with us.  This apple is called September Wonder.  Isn't that a lovely name?  It's a variety of the Fuji apple - sweet, crisp and delicious. 

- Look at the time there - I had a little photo shoot this morning at 5:43am.  A late summer peach, an avocado + two banana peppers that came from coworker Tony's garden.  I love that everyone shares.  And I have plans for that avocado for this weekend, inspired by this post from food52 called How to Make Avocado Toast.  Yes - there will be some avocado toast at my house this weekend.  :)

It's raining out - I love the sound of it.  And I love that it's Friday.  Happy weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mountain morning, great big flower and peace

- I have a little hodgepodge of photos from my recent trip to my sister's mountain house hanging out on my desktop.  If you click to enlarge, you can see a lone fisherman there across the river at the edge of Mr. Martin's farm.  He turned up every morning, about the same time, and caught a few mountain trout each time, throwing the tiny ones back.  This photo makes me wish I was sitting there right now, with my coffee, new purple glasses (see box in post before last) and Flannery O'Connor's Prayer Journal, that a friend copied from a book for me.

- My sister calls the woman next door (that's a bit of her house here) "Miss Gail" - she was my sister's late mother-in-law's friend, both from Florida.  They used to come up in May and stay until October to celebrate the cooler air.  That's what Gail still does.  I loved this big flower in one of her flower beds.  It must be in the Morning Glory family, because it closes up in the afternoon.

- View from the road to the house, about a mile away from it.  That's someone's well-worn driveway path on the lower left and their fields below.  I titled this photo "Church and Fields."  If you click to enlarge, you can see the little church there, right in the middle.  Sigh - I feel more peaceful already. 

Favorite thing this week - a man I work with is taking the day off to take his ailing father fishing for the day.  It's his father's birthday.  He says he couldn't think of a better present. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sit a spell, pure bliss and confetti

- What a nice idea - a chair right in the flowerbed.  At Green Willow Gifts in Hayesville, NC.  If you click on the red link, you can just spot it in an early photo (far left in front of the house) of the shop on their website. 

- Back home, on Wednesday, at the shopping center that houses my favorite Chinese take out place, nail salon and grocery store, I had ordered some Hot & Sour soup (battling a cold) and also needed milk.  The nail salon is right in the middle, so I skulked past on my way to the grocery store, hoping not to be noticed.  But on my way out of the grocery store - there she was, waiting on the sidewalk, my nail technician.  She had a look at the state of the polish on my toenails (bad) and tried to lure me in.  So funny.  I promised to return on Thursday and did go back last night for a blissful spa pedicure. 

- Getting out of the shower at my condo and spotting an errant piece of confetti on the floor.  :)

And it's the weekend - so looking forward to it!  I hope you have a great one, my friends!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor Day weekend, shopping and party over here

I spent some time on Saturday morning in Hayesville, North Carolina visiting a few shops, including a new  favorite - Green Willow gifts, run by two women who are funny as heck.  This is the shop with the rescue cat I posted about here in July.  

 - I walked in with four other women right behind me (they were sisters and friends) - the other one offered us a glass of sparkling wine.  It was 11am and I thought about it for a second before saying yes.  :)  It turned into a party when almost everyone said yes.  

- My thought is - they get you slightly buzzed and you decide you can't live without the stuff you browse while sipping.  I did not want that cap though.  :) 

- When I turned from taking the photo of the plant in the boot planter on the front porch, the kitty, referred to above, wanted to go inside and waited with practiced patience for me to open the door before I left.  She immediately plopped down inside the foyer and stre-e-e-tched out.

- My box of purchases, guarded by a couple of frogs in the flowerbed.  The blonde one helpfully sprinkled confetti over everything.  Sigh.  My favorite - those scissors there on the left that are for cutting herbs.  I sat the box down to take a photo of a chair nestled in the flowerbed, but the photo needs some work at home.  Maybe you'll see it Friday.  Thanks for coming to the party!