Thursday, December 31, 2015

************* Good Things Happened 2015 *************

Hello!  This is an end-of-the-year post with one photo from each month of my blog.  I have loved these peaceful couple of hours scrolling through my posts and selecting photos that made me smile at the memory.  As always, click to enlarge to see more detail.

 - January.  I titled this post "Day is done. Photo taken outside the library near my home, after work.

- February.  The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta held a meeting in a church right across from our Georgia state capitol building in Atlanta.  I love its gold leafed dome.

- March.  Lenten roses at an Atlanta beltline park near the end of an after work walk.

- April.  Sweet violets at the weekend park in Lilburn, Georgia.

- May.  Note to self:  New Guinea impatiens do not do well on my back porch.  They sure were pretty that first day though.

- June.  The privet was blooming at the site of a Civil War battle - the same beltline park mentioned above.

- July.  I loved catching this bee in flight.  

- August.  My aunt's dog, Cotton, very interested in something down below.  At her home in Franklin, North Carolina.

- September.  A beloved spot - the walking path along the dam at Lake Chatuge.  Hiawassee, Georgia.

- October.  I titled this photo "by the light of the silvery moon."  Taken one morning as I was leaving for work.

- November.  Fallen leaves looking beautiful, in their own way.

- December.  Christmas Day at niece Amanda's beau's home in Madison, Florida.  It was a beautiful drive there to be with them for breakfast.  Lots of activity with a busy and excited six-year-old running around.  The larger rocking chairs belonged to my parents and were on their back porch at their home in Milledgeville, Georgia.  I'm delighted they are here now in this peaceful spot.  I told Amanda that her grandparents would have loved it there.  She says that she, her beau and his little girl sit in these chairs every evening and watch the sun set.

Happy New Year, y'all!  See you in 2016!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Over the river and through the woods, napping and merry

- I have literally traveled over a river and through woods to be with my sister and her family at their farm in northern Florida.  I love it here - so peaceful.  (This image from my favorite antique shop near my home.)

- Every time I see my sister's cat, Pete, sleeping like this, I always wish I could sleep so heavily and without care like he does.  But I sleep very well here - it's so very quiet.

- If you celebrate Christmas, I wish you a merry one!  And I wish you all peace and joy.  Hugs!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Crazy punch bowl, framed rug and fuzzy vest

My sister Jo and I have long made a fun game of pointing out things in shops, prior to Christmas, that we are going to get each other for Christmas - tongue in cheek, of course.  And since we aren't together as often as we'd like, here are three photos I've texted to her with no message and her response.  :)

- She said, "What IS that???"  A crazy punch bowl, I think.

 - She replied that she could hang that in her dining room.  A framed Last Supper rug - amazing that someone thought to make that.

 - I sent this with the message, "I crack myself up!"  She replied, "You are too funny!"  Me, "That's going to look so good on you!"  One year another relative gave her a sweater with a fuzzy neck like that and she felt she had to wear it at least once.  :)

She was frantically wrapping all of the Christmas presents last Friday, in anticipation of the grandsons visiting - she needed to have all of her time to be with them.  She asked in the same text message if I remembered all those trips down to be with them on Christmas Eve and that I sat on the floor with her in a closed room and helped to finish wrapping all the presents.  That happened year after year - I thought it was fun.  She said that was a good memory and that, "You are the best sister ever!"  I replied - "No - you are!"  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Lessons and carols, ladybug bell and home

- A moment of hilarity among musicians prior to the start of my church's annual Lessons and Carols service.  It was a beautiful service and I was privileged to be one of the readers.  My committee is responsible for decorating the church sanctuary for Advent.  I think it looks enchanting.

- Friend Janice gave me this stained glass ladybug bell for Christmas (the bell hanging at the bottom is a bit obscured in the photo.)  We like ladybugs (long story.)  It's hanging out front where the fern resides during warmer months.  Not that it isn't warm now!  It hardly feels like December.  But the fern is safely ensconced on the covered back porch to protect it from frost.  On the day I took this pic with my phone - last Saturday - I shopped all day for Christmas, wearing Capri pants and flip flops

- And this pre-planted pot of pansies just begged to be taken home.  It was among a few bedraggled pots left at the plant nursery last Saturday.  It seems to like it by my front door.

Another highlight of the week, photos sent from my sister at Dulles Airport in Washington, DC, where niece Carla and great niece Mina arrived from Turkey to spend the holidays with the family in the Shenandoah Valley.  Loved the action shots of Mina running to greet her grandparents.  And also loved the faces of strangers caught in the photos as they smiled at the happy reunion. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Golden trees, festivity and off to a good home

- I still haven't put up my Christmas tree yet (due to the effects of a lingering head cold), so I'm admiring other trees.  Loved these golden trees in the antique shop window.

- When my sister was visiting from northern Virginia, we kept our eyes out for festive holiday earrings to go with her reindeer outfit.  She was to dress as a festive reindeer in a neighborhood Christmas party choir.  (I saw photos - it was awesome and she found some earrings during the trip home.)  Now I'm seeing festive earrings everywhere - this batch was dandy!

- A printing company client brought these mums in around Thanksgiving as a thank you gift.  But when they started looking a little peaked, someone sat them by the loading dock door.  I was standing there looking at them, when coworker Bobby walked by; truly the nicest man I know.  He asked if he could have them - he hated to see them thrown out.  So they went home with him and he planted them.  I love that.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fancy Pants, Middle Sister and Drops of Jupiter

- I found myself in the wine aisle of the grocery store last night, looking for a bottle of wine to take as a gift.  This one caught my eye first - my sister Jo and I used the term "Fancy Pants" as code words during a difficult time in our family.  All we had to do was text or voice message Fancy Pants! and one would call the other.  How in the world we came up with that term - I couldn't say, but it worked.  And I love the pretty blue label on this bottle and that tag line, "I wear the pants."

- And the bottle next to it cracked me up.  I texted this photo to my sisters, since I am the sister born in the middle.  I'm sure no one thinks I'm a drama queen.  :)  The tag line "The dentist told me I needed a crown.  I was like I KNOW RIGHT!"  This one is apropos since I am facing getting a crown on a tooth.

- I'm terrible at picking out wine - I just go with interesting labels.  This one made me think of that song by the band Train, "Drops of Jupiter", and lo and behold, when I read the back of the bottle at home, it's their wine.  How about that.  And I just read that proceeds from sales of this wine go to charity.  I like that.  Hope it's good.  :)

Have a wonderful weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Silver and green, little house and snowman

- Friend Barb and I went on our annual pilgrimage to beautiful Madison, Georgia last Saturday, for the annual tour of homes.  I didn't take that many photos, but loved a home belonging to a young couple married less than two years.  Restoration of their home has been a labor of love.  He told me that he took her to an 8th grade dance and they had been a couple ever since.  Their home was filled with beautiful touches and I loved this silvery vase on the back patio, filled with seasonal greenery.

- They don't have children yet, but there's a little play house waiting in the back yard, for when they do. 

- This snowman in front of a shop brought back a memory of drawing a snowman for niece Mina when she was about two years old.  We were out to breakfast and she brought me a pen and napkin and wanted me to draw a snowman.  She described exactly what she wanted:  branches for arms, a carrot nose and a hat.  Nice memory.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Shadow sisters, beautiful walk and in flight

- My sisters and I went for a walk last Friday on a gloriously warm and sunny morning.  We noticed that our shadows walked ahead of us, so I snapped a photo with my photo, but inadvertently cut myself off.  Still kind of neat though.

 - There they are again - I had lagged behind to take another photo.  This is a farm access road and a few friends of the tall sister there slowed in their cars to chat.

- There was a bird perfectly perched on the stump in the middle of that pond, but it flew away as soon as it sensed us nearby.  If you can left click to enlarge, you can see it in flight.

Thanks for coming along on our walk!  What a difference a week makes - it's 30 degrees outside here in Atlanta and I'm off to work.  Sigh.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Welcoming, good things, rooting and grazing

- Thanksgiving day was a perfect weather day - bright, sunny and warm.  My cousin's home in Fayetteville, Georgia is so welcoming and I loved the new outdoor fireplace on the back porch.  There were 30 of us for dinner, including my sister and her husband from Virginia.  The three of us headed down to northern Florida in the late afternoon to be with our other sister and her family for the rest of the weekend.

- I had to snap a photo of this shop sign, in my sister's tiny village of Monticello, Florida, featuring "good things."  Click to enlarge.

- Young Monroe makes his dad happy by wearing the Bear Bryant-like hat his grandmother bought for him.  That's the University of Alabama vs. Auburn University game reflected in the window.  Fortunately, Alabama won.  :)

- And in a quiet moment on Saturday morning, a couple of young deer were grazing in the back.  Click to enlarge.  My sister and brother-in-law consider their property a deer sanctuary.  The deer on the right spotted me and at the same moment, they turned and ran.

The internet is spotty down there, so I did not get to visit blogs, but I will catch up.  I Promise.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Goldengrove unleaving, déjà vu and a fine looking pie

- I had to have a tooth pulled last Monday morning, so this week has been rather confining.  And there was nothing good about the experience except it wasn't as bad as I expected.  But when I got home, I thought the golden leaves lingering on this tree were a beautiful sight.  And that turned out to be the only photo of the week. The reference to "Goldengrove unleaving" is from the poem "Spring and Fall" by Gerard Manley Hopkins that I was obsessed with when I was a young girl. 

- So as I have done before, I Googled "good things happened" and clicked on Images.  And in a déjà vu moment, this one came up from my post on November 16, 2010.  How about that?  And the weather looked about the same five years ago.  I remember that I was on a work errand, took a wrong turn, and was turning around here on this access road when I spotted this scene.  The funny thing is - I've never been able to find that spot again. I think it looks as if the two benches are having a conversation about the weather and lack of golfers on the course at Chastain Park.

 Photo from The Smitten Kitchen

- I'm excited about the American Thanksgiving holiday next week - my sister from Virginia is coming to visit and we'll be with family and extended family throughout that week.  She and I will make this pie that I discovered on The Smitten Kitchen blog to take to our cousin's home in Fayetteville, Georgia for the big day meal.  She's a wiz with pie crust and I am not.  And this recipe calls for "golden syrup" rather than the usual Karo syrup.  I have some cane syrup from one of the plantations in northern Florida, so we'll use that - it's definitely golden.

I'm taking a wee blog break, so my next post will be on Tuesday, December 1.  I'll be around to visit your blogs though.  Until then, may good things happen to you!  Cheers!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Wind collection, peachy and resilience

- The wind collected the leaves into a nice little pile on my back porch on Saturday.  I was going to sweep them away, but then decided I kind of like them there.

- The sun was hitting the bakers rack full of cookbooks in my kitchen just right on Sunday.  This is one of my mother's teapots - she had an extensive collection of them.  This one honors the state of Georgia as "the Peach State."

- And like everyone - my thoughts and heart are with the people of Paris.  There's no making sense of this tragic event.  I loved the display of resilience of the fans leaving the soccer stadium event Friday as they sang La Marseillaise. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Meanwhile in Georgia..., the sun came out and at home

- I spotted this on facebook and laughed out loud.  Yes - after so many days of rain, it was amazing to see some sunshine. 

- My day was spent indoors on Wednesday, but I managed to get to the park near the office just in the nick of time after work.  There were so many runners, walkers, playground kids out - it was like a big celebration of the sun.  I got the tail end of it, but managed to get back to my car just before the sun completely shut down for the day.

- And I was thinking how cheerful this corner of my kitchen looked this morning, so I snapped a photo of it.  I got the aluminum tray at an antique shop in Murphy, North Carolina last summer.  I love its etched vine pattern.  And when I got home with it, I couldn't think where it would go, so I put my hodge podge of sugar dish and cream pitchers on it.  It's always bright in my kitchen.  :)

Happy weekend, my friends!  I hope yours is lovely.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fallen foliage, it has its perks and pretty

- And the rain in metro Atlanta continues.  I was leaving for a meeting early on Saturday morning and thought the fallen leaves on the wet sidewalk were beautiful.  That's my 10-year-old car ahead, photo bombing the photo.

- A friend is posting on facebook one thing per day she is thankful for during the month of November.  I am thankful not to be the one who has to bag all of these leaves!  That's why I live in a condo. 

- Ending on a cheery note with the pretty flowers in my kitchen.  I kind of like the leaf pictures though.

I hear the sun might make an appearance tomorrow.  Fingers crossed!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Smiling faces, remnants and not stressed out

It's pretty telling about the week I've had when all I have to post about is a sandwich, cheese and bad traffic.  :)  But here goes anyway!

-Tuesday was National Sandwich Day, so I went to Jersey Mike's - my favorite submarine sandwich near my office.  This is the #4 regular served "Mike's Way" (onions, lettuce, tomatoes, olive oil blend, red wine vinegar and spices).  The #4 isn't on the menu, but was the featured sub a couple of years ago, so they still make it for me.  The employees behind the counter were all smiling at me when I walked in on Tuesday and the lead sandwich maker said, "#4?" and pointed up to the sign above him.  It's the featured sub once again.  :)

- I like to go through the cheese "remnant" basket in the Whole Food cheese shop.  It's a great way to sample interesting looking cheeses at a low price.  Wednesday lunch was Cotswold cheese - I always seem to love cheese from the UK. "Cotswold is a variation of Double Gloucester, which has been supplemented with chopped onions and chives for added flavour. Cotswold originates in Gloucestershire County of England."  It was delicious and a perfect lunch with a cup of soup on a rainy day. 

- Friend Caroline and I were grumbling last night about driving in rainy traffic this week (she referred to us as "the grumpy travelers" to another friend)  :).  It took me 1.5 hours to go 20 miles yesterday morning and the same in the evening - pretty common in the rain and not the worst commute in the Atlanta area I've heard of, by any means.  In the morning, a song by 21 Pilots came on the radio and I really listened to the lyrics.  It's called "Stressed Out" - the link to the video is here.  I love that their parents are included in the video!  Somehow this song made my morning go better, as I passed accidents and arrived safely at work (only 1/2 hour late) in the rain.

It's supposed to rain until the middle of next week.  I think I might go to Jersey Mike's for lunch again today - where smiling faces always await me.  Have a great weekend, my friends!