Friday, May 29, 2015

Lovely surprise, it's her gift and the deer

- That lily there in the distance was the very one I placed in the sanctuary of my church in honor of my late parents on Easter Sunday 2014.  Neighbor Rhonda planted it and it has bloomed!  We've had a lot of rain the last couple of days and that's why the photo is a bit gloomy - no late afternoon sun.  I got drizzled upon as I snapped the photo with my phone, but I just had to - it was a lovely surprise to come home to.

- And this planter was the one that I planted Lantana and Sweet Potato Vine in last year - pictured here.  This year I decided that I was "planted out" and turned this container back over to Rhonda, who has a gift for planting flowers en masse.  Love the red geraniums with the purple (whatever that is.)

- Naomi was hoping to see a photo of the deer mentioned in my last post.  I had not included it, since it was so blurry and taken through a screen.  But here it is - showing four of the six deer - the other two were still in the river.  I guess these guys are the brave leaders of the bunch.  So lovely. 

Hope you are having a peaceful and good day.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

First look, rare and beautiful and all geared up

- It took me 3.5 hours to get to the mountains after work on Friday, but it was so worth the time spent sitting on the expressway.  :)  After picking up a few groceries, this was my first look at the mountain range.  You may have to click to enlarge to see it ahead.  I pulled over to get the pic.  When I was unloading the car, I smelled something sweet and couldn't put my finger on what it was, but then realized that it was just fresh air.

- The temperature was 40 degrees on the back porch on Saturday morning, so I ate my cereal on the sofa.  Suddenly there was movement on the river - I got up and went to the window and looked out.  It was six young deer slowly crossing.  I moved to the side of the house to watch through a bedroom window.  They cautiously peered over the river bank and then just took off running for the mountain behind the house.  A rare and beautiful sighting.

- I walked alongside nearby Lake Chatuge on Saturday and Sunday morning.  Click to enlarge to see a family of ducks heading out on the water (right corner of photo.) 

- This is a patriotic little town.  They were all geared up here at the gazebo for a Memorial Day celebration. 

I had a lovely visit - it was hard to leave! 

Friday, May 22, 2015

This view - later today, going to ground and Memorial Day

- This photo is the screen saver for my computer at work.  When I'm stressed out, I can just look at this image of the Hiwassee River, that runs along the back of my sister's vacation home in western North Carolina, and my blood pressure will go down.  That's where I'll be later today, after making my way north, along with hoards of other people departing the city. 

- I do have friends who live in that area, so won't have to be completely alone, but I never mind the prolonged moments when I am by myself.  There is a memoir that Amy Blackmarr wrote about her time alone in her late Grandfather's old fishing cabin, to which she had a prolonged retreat.  It's called "Going to Ground" and our friend Sage reviewed it here.  I snagged it from the library to bring with me and will read it on the back porch this weekend.  Thanks Sage!

- And I am mindful that I get a holiday on Monday because we honor and remember the people who lost their lives while serving in the armed forces.  It's lovely that they set aside that day for remembrance. 

I hope you have a lovely weekend, too.  Happy Friday, y'all!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

All done up, 10 o'clock a.m., and astounding

- Friend Janice and I encountered this festooned turtle at Lilburn City Park, near home, last Saturday on an early morning walk.  It must have been in honor of PAWfest, in which canine friends and their owners commemorate "Be Kind to Animals" week.  Many (leashed) dogs were milling around at the park entrance when we emerged at the end of our walk.  It looked like a canine cocktail party!

- Back home - I always wish I could freeze 10 o'clock a.m.  The sun pours through the window and splashes onto the kitchen floor.  I got a tray of airplane plants at a garden club plant sale a few weeks ago and put two of them in this pot that came from my parents' home (I think.)  The new plant loves the windowsill there with the fake lavender. :)

 - There was a mishap with my old bird feeder, and sadly, it had to go.  I was really sad, because my late father gave it to me a few years ago, and there was sentimental attachment to it.  I was going to get a new one, but hadn't yet, when much to my surprise, my sister walked in with the one pictured above, the day she and my niece arrived for their visit.  It belonged to our late mother and hung outside her window at the assisted living facility where she lived in Thomasville, Georgia.  How about that?  I had not told my sister of the mishap with the old feeder - she was just going through things and thought I would like it.  I do like it and so do the goldfinches.  (Click to enlarge - photo taken from a distance inside so as not to scare them away.)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bird's eye view, welcome mile and bridge view

- Ahhh - it was a lovely afternoon for a walk at Tanyard Creek Park, near my office. Pleasant weather with lots of cloud cover, about 82 degrees. That's Bobby Jones Golf Course there - the park runs along side it. It was mostly unoccupied by golfers just then, but there was a bird surveying its surroundings. Click to enlarge if you can - he/she is framed there in the middle. 

- They have added an extension to the walking path since I was there last - making an connector to a tennis center that I didn't even know was there.  It adds a welcome mile to my walk. This is the end of the new section, so I turned around here. This was Civil War battle ground (the Battle of Peachtree Creek), so that's what all the historical markers there denote - they are all about battle lines and brigades. 

- I love the view from this bridge on the other side of the park. That privet was blooming all over the park and smelled heavenly. There was a toddler walking with a nanny just ahead of me before I stopped - I love how they walk like the proverbial drunken sailor.  :) I don't take this walk often enough - new resolve to do this more often. It was lovely.

It's the weekend already! I hope you have a happy one!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Baby Beluga, no ferris wheel for me and fire on the mountain

- Scene from the shark exhibit at Georgia Aquarium.  Sister, niece and I were there on Friday afternoon.  I like how the sun rays are coming down into the water from the skylight - a docent said that is natural light.  We also loved seeing the pregnant Beluga whale, Maris.  A friend was there on Saturday and said that exhibit was closed because the staff was readying the tank for the impending birth, which happened appropriately enough, on Mothers Day.

- No one would ride the SkyView ferris wheel with me - there it is in the distance.  Sigh.  I am going to rally some friends to go at night.  My first Bell System job in Atlanta, way back when I was in my early 20s, was inside the Equitable building - the black building there on the left. 

- And later Saturday night - there was the laser show/fireworks display at Stone Mountain Park.  Niece took this photo - I labeled it "Fire on the Mountain" after that old Marshall Tucker Band song.  In all the years I have lived in Atlanta, this is the first time I've attended this.  I can cross that off my bucket list now.  :)

Funniest moment - niece laughing when I fished in my purse while driving, after a pollen related sneezing attack and came up with a clean tissue.  Niece says her mom and I are two peas in a pod.  We always have tissues, etc.  Oh - the millennial generation!  She also didn't want a wine glass, opting for a red solo cup (I keep those on hand for picnics.)  I loved their visit, can you tell?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Shyness and beauty, out front and loyalty

- The spring potting is underway.  Company is coming, so I was motivated to get started.  This is my very shady back porch, so I've got Woodland Fern, Hosta and New Guinea Impatien there.  And I always love my shy angel that sits on bricks from my maternal grandparents' home.  When I was there for the last time - I walked around their back yard, saying goodbye to it and saw some bricks stacked against the house.  I asked my mom if could have them - and I've made good use of them, I think.

- Out front - I named this photo "Lantana and friends" because that's the only name I remember - there are other type plants in that planter on the right.  And I do remember from posting about Lantana last year, that it is not revered in other parts of the world, as it is in the southern US, but it reminds me of home, so in the pot it went.  (But it does kind of smell bad - maybe it'll keep the mosquitoes at bay.)  :)

- When I opened the front door this morning, neighbor Cali there licked my toe.  She always does that when I walk out in flip flops.  :)  The photos I took of her are comical.  They are all action shots - she never stops moving, so I had a hard time getting a good one, but in this last one, she only had eyes for the door her person went into for a moment and there she stood until neighbor Rhonda came back out. 

My sister Jo and her daughter, niece Amanda are on their way to visit from Florida, for some city happenings.  I'm off from work today, and excited to be with family.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Celebrating life, bridge over peaceful waters and hustling

I was in Orange Park, Florida over the weekend to celebrate the life of a beloved uncle who passed away last week.  He was my late mother's younger brother and such a happy man that he would have loved the party my aunt threw for him on Friday night.  The service was on Saturday morning, but since I walk on Saturday mornings with my friends, I tried to rally sister and cousin for an early walk with me.  They could not be persuaded.  So I asked the hotel desk if there was a path along the St. Johns River and there was!  Off I went.

- The birds were singing so sweetly as I started out on this peaceful morning, that I titled this photo Three Little Birds, after the Bob Marley song, because serendipitously, it came on my iPod at that very moment.  And I sang a little of it out loud, since no one was stirring.  Click on the red link there to hear it if you don't know it.  "Don't worry about a thing, 'cause every little thing's gonna be alright."

- Ah - I found the river behind a home that was empty and for sale.  That's the Buckman Bridge that connects Orange Park, Florida with Jacksonville, Florida.  What a glorious view in store for some lucky buyer.  I had taken a wrong turn and missed the river path, so backtracked and found it:

- Love the Spanish Moss dripping from the trees that is all over northern Florida.  A peaceful walk, listening to tunes.

- And toward the end, I encountered people running - I found it on the internet - it was the "Hula Hustle 5K", which explains why some runners were wearing grass skirts and leis.  :)  Click to enlarge.

A cheerful sheriff's deputy, who was directing runner traffic, directed me back to the hotel.  And everyone was sorry they didn't go with me, after they heard about the view.  :)  I loved it and was just as happy to be alone.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Productive life, sassy, sophisticated and lesson learned

Mockingbird. Illustration by Talitha Shipman

- From Georgia State University Alumna Anne Marie Evans, who turned 101 years old this month*,
How To Live To Be 100
Be Tenacious. In the face of life’s obstacles, be innovative and creative. If you’re afraid or worried, don’t show it.
Befriend Positive People.
Value Education. Always get a good education because that’s the one thing they can’t take away from you.
To Thine Own Self Be True. Analyze how you act and react. Know your skills and capabilities. Then set realistic goals and produce something in justify your existence. Have confidence in yourself and say your prayers because they will bear fruit. Get plenty of sleep and don’t worry about the things that might not happen.

* Originally posted in November 2008 (wow - doesn't that seem like a long time ago???)  This appeared in the GSU magazine I receive (since I am also alumna) and I cut this out and posted it in my cubicle back then.  Good words to live by that work for me.

- My book club read the book, "The Mockingbird Next Door" by Marja Mills and will meet about it Sunday night.  An easy read - it's about the months that the journalist / author lived next door to the fiercely private Harper Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird", and her sister Alice, in Monroeville, Alabama.  I think the author, Nelle Harper and Alice all qualify as "sassy, sophisticated Southern Ladies".  If nothing else - the book tells you what day to day life was like for Harper Lee. 

- The November quote on the calendar in my office: "The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn." David Russell, Classical Guitarist*

Feeling reflective today - I ran across this post while scrolling through old posts.  Happy May 1st everyone and Happy Friday!