Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Happy mail, refrigerator art and just so

A few weeks ago, our friend the Elephant's Child mentioned in a blog post that she would send us a magnet from her visit to Floriade, Canberra, Australia's annual celebration of Springtime.  All we had to do was ask - and so I did.  I adore receiving what I call "Happy mail," which came by Air Mail, with the magnet (there on the right) inside a lovely note card, with a mom with her baby on the front.  This totally made my day.

And there it has landed, on the side of my refrigerator, next to Frida Kahlo and holding up a postcard from the Flannery O'Connor foundation.  There's also hummingbird paraphernalia, as well as a drawing depicting the metamorphosis of a butterfly, drawn by great niece Kloie.  So it's in good company.  Thanks, EC!  I adore it.

The main reason I visited the Elephant's Child's blog the first time was that her blog handle evokes one of my most favorite stories of all time - "How the Elephant got his trunk" by Rudyard Kipling.  (I have a paperback copy of the book "Just So Stories," but the cover is not as good as this one I found on the internet.)  My fifth grade teacher, the late Mrs. Ola Payne, used to read to us in the afternoons, and this was, by far, my favorite. 

If you aren't familiar with "How the Elephant got his trunk," you can imagine, just from looking at this cover, how that happened.  :)  Poor Elephant's Child, with his 'satiable curiosity!  I do love to visit our EC's blog and read her "just so" stories!  A Good Thing, for sure!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Celebration, highland games and people watching

This past weekend, as usual, I co-hosted my Clan's tent at the Stone Mountain Highland Games, at which we celebrate our Scottish heritage.  When I texted my sisters this photo to let them know where I would be all weekend, one sister cheekily asked if was wearing a "beret," too  No - just a tartan scarf pinned over my shoulder.  :)

Taking a stroll down "Clan Row," I spotted this tent with a life-sized cut out of a cowboy and his horse.  Of course I had to ask.  The gentleman there on the right told me that is Bill Boyd, aka Hopalong Cassidy, of vintage cowboy movie fame. 

I always like to watch the dancing - these young ladies were in the Highland Dance competition.

But I love being in our tent the most - it's a great spot in which to people watch.  And there are music performances all weekend in the tent to the left of ours.  Plus bagpipe music in the distance - it's all lovely.  And when they delivered the bottle of scotch to our tent (a thank you for being a sponsor), I told the committee who brought it that I'll bet that's the most fun job there is at the games.  I like how it matched the mums.  (One of the beret guys took it home.)  :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Beacon, presiding and lost, but now found

The smoke stack, at the now closed (power) Plant Harllee Branch in my hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia, will be taken down this weekend.  The plant closed in 2015, but the 1000 foot smoke stack, with its blinking lights at the top, has remained until now.  It's how I always knew that I was close to home, when driving there from Atlanta to visit my (late) parents.  Approaching the bridge that goes over Lake Sinclair, there was that beacon in the distance, letting me know that I would be there in five minutes. 

What makes that a good thing?  (I got sentimental there.)  There's no smoke coming out of it, due to environmental protection guidelines.  And the photo of it over the water is gorgeous.   (Photo credit - Tanya Fuss Alexander.)

 Back at my place in suburban Atlanta, my neighbor's dragonfly garden stake presides over the wooded area in the back.

I lost the mate to this favorite earring at the end of September, on a day when I was leaving the oral surgeon in discomfort, stopping by the pharmacy for prescription filling, and the grocery store near my office, before heading into work.  I realized one earring was missing shortly after.  I looked all over and called all the places I had been, with no luck.

So yesterday, after work, I stopped by that grocery store, and on a whim, asked the bored looking customer service lady if there were any earrings in lost and found, by any chance.  She walked over and rummaged through a box.  She held up an earring and said, "Is this it?"  "YES!"  I can't believe I got it back.  It was a one of a kind set of earrings, purchased from a gallery in Grayton Beach, Florida.  I am so happy.  It's the little things...

I hope something makes you happy today.  Have a lovely weekend!

Signs of fall, out front beauty, the first time and encore

The trees in the background at the condos attest to signs of fall, which was surely expected, but a delight nonetheless.  My car is always photo bombing my pictures.  :)  

The plants out front are gamely hanging in there.  The air has turned crisp in the early morning, here in the Atlanta area, but everyone here on the porch wants to keep blooming it seems.  I don't have the heart to get rid of them yet.  The dragon wing begonia, on the plant stand, had gotten very tall and leggy, so I cut it way back about a month and a half ago.  It came right back and started sprouting out blooms.  

This is a hosta that I bought from a plant sale about 10 years ago, I think.  It probably belongs in the ground, but I've kept it in a pot.  This year, I moved it from the back porch to the front, and it loves it there.  It grew very lush this year.  And surprise - it is blooming for the very first time!  In October, of all times.  The hostas, in the ground, at the mountain house are blooming in July.  Go figure.

And much to my amazement, the rhododendron bush in front of neighbor Mike's window downstairs is blooming, too.  They usually bloom in mid-Spring.  Neighbor Rhonda speculates that it is what she calls an "Encore" bloom.  I'm just delighted to see them both.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Tranquility, what a beautiful morning and helping out

- Another tranquil photo from last weekend in the mountains.  This farmer has harvested his crops already, but I love the furrows left in the fields.  Not to mention the mountain range in the distance. 

- Someone is allowing camping on their property along the river (you can see campers in the background.)  What a beautiful morning that was!

- In Atlanta this morning the sky is gloomy - a result of Hurricane Matthew making its way up the coast (we are 362 miles, on a straight line, from coastal South Carolina).  Nothing good about this weather event, but I admire the people helping out others who had to evacuate from their homes, by taking them in.  My sister, in the Florida Panhandle (out of harm's way) is hosting beloved relatives from the east coast of Florida, until it is safe for them to go home.

I decided to reformat my photos a little, to make them bigger, so I don't have to say "click to enlarge" every time.  :)  Hope you have a good weekend. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Shimmer and fog, music and art

- My favorite river view - the Hiwassee River in the Nantahala Forest.  (My photos always upload with the location Nantahala Forest - I love that.)  It was my last visit there until late spring 2017.  I was sitting on the back porch reading on Saturday afternoon and was loving how shimmery the river looked.

- Sunday morning - 9:30am (EDT) - fog over a farmer's fields. Click to enlarge to see the lovely light.  I was on a back road and paused briefly to snap this photo - it was too lovely not to capture.

- I was on my way to the John C. Campbell Folk School Fall Festival, where there is much pottery, artwork, basketry, jewelry, etc. for sale, as well as lots of music performances. I loved the woman on the right, playing so energetically with her family's band. 

- And I amused myself by photographing this section of cars.  If I panned to the right, you would see thousands more.  Since I got there early, I was able to park fairly close. At first I couldn't see my car, but remembered it was parked in front of a yellow one.  Once I spotted the yellow one, the long-time dent in the right fender of my car singled it out and off I went back to the river.

October is my favorite month, and right on schedule, the air turned a wee bit crisp.  This little weekend trip got the month started out just right.