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 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.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Marie sans sa tĂȘte, alternate celebration and the Beaver Moon

- I titled this photo, "Marie without her head" - spotted at a quirky antiques / event place in Atlanta called Paris on Ponce.  Her skirt is made of brown paper.  A truly startling sight that is considered an art installation and not even in honor of Halloween.

- There were only two Trick-or-Treaters last Friday at my house - smiling teenage girls who came just as I was getting home at 6:30pm.  And that was it!  I'll take the rest of the candy to my volunteer organization's candy basket.  Niece Carla, who lives in Turkey with her husband and daughter, great-niece Mina, came up with a fun Halloween celebration for her almost five-year-old, since there is no Halloween in Turkey.  They had a Halloween sleepover with two of Mina's young friends and had a Halloween candy hunt - just like an Easter egg hunt.  A unique and fun way to get candy without Trick-or-Treating.

- Driving home last night from a meeting by the light of the Beaver Moon.  Friend Janice said that is what the November 6 full moon is referred to, but she didn't know why.  The Farmers' Almanac online tells me that the early Native Americans named it the Beaver Moon because "For both the colonists and the Algonquin tribes, this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. This full Moon was also called the Frost Moon."  It sure lit the sky up last night.  So beautiful.

Here's what lights up my world today - it's the weekend!  Yay!  I hope your weekend is full of unexpected delight.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Three bananas, a classic and something different

- Coworker John eats a banana every morning at his desk at work and had loaded up for the week, when he was unexpectedly out of work for a few days.  (He is fine, don't worry.)  I took care of his work for him and reminded him that he had bananas (turning more fragrant by the day) and asked if I could take them home to make banana bread.  "Please!" he said.

- And here it is.  I've never made banana bread before, so had to look up recipes.  I settled on this recipe, that called for three bananas.  The rest of the ingredients were already in my pantry.  And it was pretty tasty, especially with a little butter on it (not the fake stuff.)  :)

- Due to a sudden cold snap, there was also the first fire in the fireplace on Saturday morning, while the banana bread was baking.  The best part of the whole thing was how good the house smelled while it was baking.  I don't bake often, but found this was fun and easy.