Friday, December 31, 2010

Good things, stay safe and party bus

- Thank you for being such devoted friends - it means much to me that you stop by and comment. This was a favorite spot that I happened upon this year and I like to think of us as friends sitting on these benches and having a comfortable chat about good things that happened to us.

- A good suggestion from fire station #19 should anyone venture out on the eve of the new year.

- The disco party bus website shows strobe lights flashing on the inside of this bus as it travels down the party road at night. Something tells me it might be busy this night. :)

I salute the end of a decade. So long 2010 and Happy New Year, my friends!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Resolve, I'll be back and delayed beginnings

- I don't like to make steadfast resolutions for the new year, because I hardly ever follow through on them. So this year I resolve to make at least one recipe out of each of these three new cookbooks (on top). I am particularly excited about Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan, a gift to myself for Christmas.

- I didn't resolve to lose weight in 2010, but I did lose a few pounds anyway. Hello South Beach Diet, I'll be back as soon as the chocolate is gone. See below. :)

- Favorite resolution quote: I do think New Year's resolutions can't technically be expected to begin on New Year's Day, don't you? Since, because it's an extension of New Year's Eve, smokers are already on a smoking roll and cannot be expected to stop abruptly on the stroke of midnight with so much nicotine in the system. Also dieting on New Year's Day isn't a good idea as you can't eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover. I think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on January the second. ~Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones's Diary

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Collections, breakfast and winter world

- Visiting a home in which collections are displayed to great effect. In this case, mugs and bird houses. There were also walls and walls of books.

- The scent of breakfast cooking coming from downstairs. I spotted the visiting son's car out front yesterday evening and I imagine that is who is getting the treat this morning.

- Realizing how short the days have become. The world is completely dark during my commute that begins at 7am. The city lights of Atlanta look so beautiful as I drive toward them in the morning.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The scent of oranges, visit and words to live by

- Bringing a bushel of Florida oranges in to the crew at work and loving the smell of them throughout the building. And as you can see, a few were snagged for home.

- My co-worker Bobby is usually the first person I see on work mornings. Hard at work in the bindery, he always has a good morning smile for me and a comment about the weather or temperature. On this morning he is bursting to tell me that in the midst of the freak snowstorm in Atlanta, a hummingbird visited his feeder.

- Elise at Simply Recipes tells of the new patio that is going in at her home and not being able to resist writing something in the hardening concrete. Four words:





The stone mason scratches his head when he sees it and reminds her that the words will be covered by flagstones. Not to worry, she says, she likes knowing the words will be there for her family and friends to walk over. Even if they will be covered.

Monday, December 27, 2010

White Christmas, closed doors and caught

- Atlanta saw its first white Christmas in 130 years. The snow started falling on Christmas afternoon. This photo is from a gallery of uncredited photos sent in to 11alive news. It was fun for me to see the residual effects of snow on the ground and a few swirling flakes as I encountered it on my return to north Georgia yesterday.

- My farm Christmas in the Florida panhandle was quietly fun. The Christmas tree had to be barricaded in the dining room because somebody kept trying to climb it. :)

- But he got a fun mouse for Christmas that could be operated by remote control. He had caught it here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Heading that way, all is well and day off lunch

- It will be a farm Christmas again this year and I am heading that way in a bit. This was a tree ornament that I gave the family the first Christmas after they built the house on the farm property - it depicts a house surrounded by cows.

- Winding my way through the international farmers market near my home. Everyone else has the same idea, switching from mall shopping to food shopping. One man collides carts with a woman and when she gives him an annoyed look, he apologizes and wishes her a Merry Christmas. She smiles and all is well.

- Having some farmers market hummus and tortilla chips for a feet on the coffee table, day off lunch. Just lovely.

Have a wonderful holiday and weekend, friends!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day off, a thousand kisses and Peace y'all!

- Sleeping in on a Thursday. A day off to bake and wrap presents. One final vacation day for the year (the office is closed on Christmas Eve) is a gift to myself.

- A thousand kisses to the unsung hero who thought of those gift bags. xoxoxo

- As my angel from Las Vegas says, "Peace." Y'all. :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Santa dish, celebrate and awake just in time

- I loved pulling out all the Christmas stuff this year and rediscovering some forgotten items, like this Santa dish from my mom's house. I gave it to her several years ago and it always held Hershey's chocolate kisses during the season. I put Dove dark chocolate squares in it though. I like how it sits in front of my grandmother's ice bucket in the kitchen.

- The Dove chocolate wrappers have positive messages inside, this from the one I had after dinner last night: The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. Love, Dove.

- My sister in Virginia tells of how her insomnia worked for her this time, as she was able to view the lunar eclipse while the rest of the family slept, shivering on her back porch and looking up at the moon with snow flurrying about.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reflection, fun mix and home for the holidays

- My client is nowhere to be found when I arrive for our appointment. I don't mind waiting though - it gives me a chance to sit in their yellow leather chair and admire the view of the Cirque du Soleil tents at Atlantic Station and the reflection of tall buildings in the glass of this one.

- Friend Barbara has given me a Christmas music CD that has various artists on it - a fun mix of Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Burl Ives and Bing Crosby. What? It's true.

- An excited email from my sister in Virginia about her son, daughters, son-in-law and granddaughter traveling to the Shenandoah Valley for Christmas. From Washington, DC, Portland, Oregon and New York City, they are making their way home.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Life is good, Ashley's children and ringing

- The sanctuary of my church after the Lessons and Carols service last night. The stool on the left held a young man playing the guitar, surrounded by wee children singing Silent Night. A lovely way to end the service. And then there were cookies after. Life is good.

- Receiving Christmas cards from two friends I haven't been in touch with for a few years. Ashley sends a picture of her children - three of them, under the age of five. All as beautiful as she is.

- On Saturday night, my friends and I rang the bell for the Salvation Army at a nearby mall. This is my fifth year ringing in front of the Macy's entrance. So many generous people. One family has a lesson in giving when a father kneels with his three children nearby, pointing at the kettle. Then they come over and each one puts money in, smiling shyly. I thank them and wish them each a Merry Christmas. One of the little boys turns back and waves as they head to their car.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The spirit, her day and delivery

- These huge Christmas ornaments on the fountain of a plaza at an office building in midtown Manhattan, taken two weeks ago today. I like holiday decorations and NYC was full of the spirit.

- A little girl getting off the school bus excitedly telling her mom something about her day after getting a hug.

- The aroma of coffee beans in big barrels at Fresh Market, just as pleasant as drinking it would be. (I think.) :) But my mission this day is to buy holiday treats for clients. I choose my favorite - white chocolate covered pretzels with red and green sprinkles. I knew I would catch a late-working Angie on my way home, and so I did. Her weary eyes brightened at the colorful gift bag. We chat for a few minutes before her phone rings again and I make my way home.

I am celebrating that it is Friday today. Yay! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friends.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Purse, pin and letters

- Our family home in Milledgeville, Georgia is up for sale and I went by last Saturday to check on it. We have it staged for selling, so most of the personal effects have been taken out, but (not a good thing) I could see signs that someone (real estate agents?) had been looking into the mostly empty file cabinets, etc. and a few boxes that are crammed into one closet. So I did a bit of a search myself to make sure nothing of value or any personal papers were still there. It was a bit of surprise to find these two items in an unlocked strong box. The purse belonged to my great-grandmother - it used to hold some old letters, which my sister says are in the family safe deposit box at the bank. The rose pin was rattling around the bottom of the box. I don't think the pin is valuable, but certainly charming. It probably belonged to my great-Aunt Grace. And I'll wear it sometime and think of her.

- The letters were wonderful to read when mom found them more than 20 years ago after Aunt Grace's death. It was a series that my great-grandmother (my maternal grandfather's mother) had written to Aunt Grace while she was away visiting relatives. She refers to my grandfather at one point in a letter and how he would attend a cotillion one evening with my maternal grandmother (who he was dating then.)

- My great-grandmother referred to the doctor coming by to visit a few times, but the letters mostly spoke to routine family things. The last couple of letters ask Aunt Grace to come home by train. The last letter had further instructions not to stop and visit anyone on the way. And then there was an obituary clipping at the end - my great-grandmother passed away the next week. She would have been only about 40 years old. I am certain Aunt Grace made it in time - I hope so. Another newspaper clipping is in the inside pocket of the purse still, with these words: We wish to thank the many friends who were so very kind to us during the illness and death of our dear daughter, sister and mother. May God bless each one. Byron, Georgia, February 9, 1922.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Diamonds, activity and just because

- The lake behind a client's office, glittering like diamonds. So different from another view of it taken in August, but still beautiful.

- Another client demonstrates how well she walks after hip replacement surgery. She seems young for this to me, but says she will just be happy to get back to horseback riding, belly dancing classes and rock climbing.

- Ending the day with a glass of red wine from a bottle that makes me smile, Middle Sister "Rebel Red" - along with a bite of dark chocolate. Just because.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Compensating, special treat and talented

- It is 15 degrees Fahrenheit in the Atlanta area this morning. They say on the news that if you step outside you'll turn to ice immediately. Just kidding, but I imagine it to be so. Anyway - I just want to drink hot drinks all day like this Turkish tea I had recently. It's cold, y'all!

- Someone brings in a pound cake with a lovely glaze over it to the office. Decorated with sprigs of rosemary all around it, with sugared cranberries in the middle. It is a thing of beauty, but I am not above being the first to cut into it and blowing the South Beach diet for it. :)

- A friend's son, fresh in from playing basketball, playing a beautiful tune from memory on his grandmother's piano.

Monday, December 13, 2010

So I did, Stella and the snow

- I was telling our holiday loving receptionist at my office on Friday how much Christmas decorating paraphernalia I have, but that I haven't really felt the spirit yet. Her eyes sparkled and she said, "You should put up your little tree this weekend, you would enjoy it, I'll bet." So I did and she was right.

- A shopping expedition on Saturday with friend Barbara G, with the best part of the day being the fun lunch. There are all sorts of holiday drinks on the menu - Barb almost gets a rum and coke float (only in the south...), but decides the calories might kill her. She settles on a glass of red wine and I order a beer - Stella Artois, because I like to say that.

- A blustery day on Sunday. I exit the church service, chatting with a friend's son, Brett. He says, "It's snowing!" And indeed, a flake is falling here and there. It didn't amount to much, but I enjoyed my inside snow watch day and ended it by making a soul warming stew that involved a couple of hours of stirring. Yum.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sweet song, living on and walk in the park

Bob Marley "Three Little Birds"

- Seen in the East Village, New York City, last Saturday. My sister, who loves sweet songs, was taken with this sign and so I photographed it and emailed it to her. She says she will print it out and put it on her refrigerator to smile at every morning.

In memory of Ella - May her rebellious spirit live on

- One in a long series of memorial benches in Central Park West near Strawberry Fields. Another was dedicated to a woman named Elizabeth, who passed away in 2004 at the age of 43: Zizi in the Sky with Diamonds.

The lake in Central Park West, near Strawberry Fields

- A walk in the park with family. I lagged behind because I kept offering to take pictures of couples with their camera. I sure loved my time in New York, can you tell? :)

Have a lovely weekend my friends, and I hope you take time to smile at the rising sun. xo

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Crystals, great joy and look out on a summer's day

- The chandelier over the mezzanine in the Lunt Fontanne Theater in New York City, taken last Sunday before I knew that photos are verboten. Yikes. :) We were waiting for the play The Addams Family to begin and I was thinking how clean all those crystals look and how hard they must be to get to.

- Sending out an approval request for a committee activity that I consider somewhat routine and receiving a response from a man who is happy about it: "Approved with great JOY!" I thank him for his exuberance and for making my day.

- A happy accident, but surely a little cyber synchronicity at work among blog friends. Pulling up my blog this morning to see that Talon and Jannie Funster have inadvertently synchronized titles (see my blog roll to the right) that are the opening lyrics to Starry Night by Don McLean. Thanks, beautiful ones, that was lovely to see.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

No Rockettes, Cherry Ginger Explosion and proud

- Walking down the street in New York with my sister, looking for the bus, and happening upon Radio City Music Hall. A passing man looks amused when he overhears me say I have no wish to see The Rockettes. :)

- Back home, perusing the cookies at a place called The Cookie Studio for a treat to take to a meeting. A bored teenager goes over the cookie flavors with me and I choose Cherry Ginger Explosion mainly because of its name. The website tells the story of how this cookie came to be: "A lovely woman came into the Studio one day and told us that her dream was always to open a cookie shop. Now in her 70s, she decided that she wanted to share with us a few of her favorite recipes. This cookie is our rendition, with the addition of crystallized ginger and tart lemon. Our reaction when tasting the first samples out of the oven? It was like a flavor explosion in our mouths -- this cookie practically named itself!" ... Aptly named! Yum.

- After the meeting later, listening to the talk of talented kids and their upcoming concerts, plays, good grades and homecomings.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Room with a view, the long way and imagine

- The view from my niece's dining room window. The first night I was there, my sister pointed out the reflection of the lights at the top of the Chrysler building in the glass on the table. The drive into Manhattan from the airport was a magic moment, too. The view of the lights of Manhattan from the Triboro bridge was gorgeous.

- Rockefeller Center and its giant Christmas tree, stumbled upon while we took the long way to Macys.

- A Saturday morning excursion to see the part of Central Park known as Strawberry Fields. My New York family goes to the park all the time, but had never been to this section of it. This was my first trip there and I really loved it. More tomorrow. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Camellias, 45s and leaving on a jet plane

- Cold loving camellias at the corner of my sister's house. My grandmother had a similar one at her home in Macon, Georiga, and it was still blooming last time I drove by the house.

- The little thrill that I get to keep my father's collection of 45 records. So much great music - The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Elvis, Al Jolson, etc. etc. They are put away lovingly for now until I figure out how to play them. :)

- Preparing for a trip to meet up with family. And hoping I can get away with a carry-on zip up tote bag that has my purse inside + an extra pair of shoes. Someone will tell me?

Have a great end of the week and weekend, my friends! I will return to posting on Tuesday, but expect to be able to check blogs and comments while I'm away.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cousins, more pets and the way it should be

- There was a lot of this stare down stuff this weekend at my sister's place, with three dogs and a cat about. These two are the littlest though and seem the most scrappy. :)

- A visit to the vet clinic yesterday, to show them the proof for the calendar we are printing for them, elicited so many pet offerings that I could have left with my car looking like Noah's Ark. The vet (my friend Ronnie) has taken in yet another stray dog that he found wandering loose near his home, so he does his part. He has three rescue dogs at home now - one of them a hemophiliac dalmatian with three legs.

- Another visit - this time to the warehouse club for vitamins - had the nicest employee, who asked if I had everything I needed as if he meant it and called me Ms. M___, after a glance at my card. A nice and unexpected touch.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy mail, comfort and optimism

- A good mail day - what I like to call "happy mail." Friend Michelle has sent me some books, there is a party invitation, my replacement Starbucks card, loads of catalogs, and a beautiful purple sweater.

- Coming home after mucking through a cold rain all afternoon, getting a fire going in the fireplace and knowing I do not have to go out again until the morning.

- It is still raining this morning, but I get to leave a little later than usual and I can go through the Starbucks drive through on the way in to work. Yay!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shining through, vortex and picture project

- The sun shining through the branches of a Live Oak tree in Jefferson County, Florida.

- On Thursday, 42 relatives make the rounds hugging each other (sometimes multiple times) as we say our goodbyes at the close of Thanksgiving day. One cousin by marriage calls it being caught in a "love vortex."

- Going through piles and piles of family photos with sisters and laughing at our hair styles over the years. We wonder if we will be laughing at our current hair 20 years from now.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pilgrims, mad dashes and abundance

- My pilgrim salt and pepper shakers make me so happy that I move them around to different areas of the kitchen. After the holiday, they live among the crockery inside the cabinet and still make me smile as they peer around the dinner plates.

- Realizing I am short one egg, I tear up to the grocery store on Wednesday night. A woman in the parking lot offers me her cart, saying they are short of carts inside. She tells me this is her third visit here that day. We wish each other a happy Thanksgiving and go our separate ways.

- During this morning of pot stirring and thinking of everyone I will see in a few hours, I have reflected upon those early adventurous souls who made friends with native Americans and sat down to eat together, sharing their abundance. I am thankful for them and for all I have. Happy Thanksgiving everyone (including my friends outside the States.)

I will be with family for the next few days - have a great weekend, my friends!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Semi-homemade, cooking talents and Zen

- This stack of ingredients makes me giggle a little every time I pass it. It is for the ton of sweet potato casserole I will provide for Thanksgiving dinner for 42 people tomorrow. I took over this dish from my mother, who pronounced it "just like hers" last year. I know fresh potatoes seems more like me, but this is faster and easier. I guess we would call it semi-homemade. :)

- A similar gathering on Tuesday at the printing company resulted in a potluck spread that showcased the cooking talents of office staff and pressmen. My favorite - the shipping manager's coleslaw with finely chopped jalapeno peppers in it - a nice (and fiery!) accompaniment to other rich food.

- My account of visiting a client that morning and the client's one-eyed and very loving rescue dog, Zen, sparked a conversation of everyone's pets. I loved hearing one co-worker speak of his dog and how the dog follows him around "talking" - he pulls out his phone and displays a screen shot of him that is passed around the table.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good excuse to walk, irony and air of mystery

- To avoid lining the pockets of that parking garage owner who gets $3.50 for 20 minutes parking, I find street parking in a residential neighborhood about a mile from my client's office and walk to my appointment. The fresh air (not to mention the walk) lifts my spirit and I get to study old Atlanta buildings, like this one, up close. I think it might have been an apartment building, but I'm not sure. The name "Pavilion" is on the front in smallish letters. I love that round window in the front.

- I pass the Lattetude Coffee Lounge and Bistro and enjoy the irony of the admonishing sign and the very laid back hours. :)

- The mansion on the hill is the Peachtree Circle apartment building, said to have been a school for girls long ago. It has a certain charm and the peeling paint suggests an air of Gothic mystery.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tableau, smiling faces and anticipation

- The annual Thanksgiving food tableau at my church (photo taken with a friend's iphone) - the food was donated to two local food co-ops. This tradition began about ten years ago with a Slavic congregation who used to meet at our church in the afternoon; they did it as a surprise the first time.

- Going through mountains of family photos from our family home for preliminary sorting prior to division between sisters. Family faces float through my dreams in black and white and color.

- Sitting in a shop dressing room talking to my sister by cellphone about next weekend and what board games we'll bring. Finally saying to her that I am sure the shop employees wonder what happened to me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Banner day, wee neighbors and nice neighbors

Photo by ALM

- My niece's dog Hank is a celebrity now - this picture was published on the Ducks Unlimited website. He mostly just likes to play and bark, so modestly accepts this honor. Today is his first birthday.

- The fern hanging outside my front door is still living and looks as big and lush as ever. Some wrens have been flying in and out of it - I think its denseness is a good barrier to the wind and cold, so they burrow into the middle of it. I wonder why they stick around - I'd be in Miami for the winter. :)

- My neighbor comes out of her condo leading her teenage son (who is blind) at the same time I am leaving for work. She tells me that yesterday he said "Bye Lynn!" as they were leaving. When I looked confused because I didn't remember seeing them, she said "No - you weren't out here, he just said it anyway." How nice and this time he got to say it in person.

I hope you have a banner weekend, my friends!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bird sanctuary, home town win and true test

- These colorful pots full of fall plants and floating plants in the bird sanctuary of R. Thomas Grill on Peachtree Street in Atlanta.

- Winning tickets to see Garrison Keillor last evening from my radio station, WMLB 1690AM - The Voice of the Arts. To be in the running, I just had to comment on their facebook page about which "small town with big stories" is my favorite. Guess which one I put?

- Mr. Keillor was wearing his trademark red accent items - this time, red tie and red sneakers. Friend Leisa and I enjoyed his observations on Thanksgiving "a day we gather among our kin who know us a little too well, and put civility to a true test." That's kind of true, but I am still looking forward to it. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Up on the roof, Wrimo and good book

- Going up to the roof of the parking garage at Georgia Public Broadcasting because I was early for my volunteer work. The rain had moved out, but left lots of clouds. Those red brick buildings to the left are part of Georgia Tech.

- Reading in the New York Times Book Review that National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo), an organization in which the goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30, spawned a novel that I really loved - Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. This "kamikaze approach" to novel writing sounds as if it isn't for everyone, but it is good to hear that the risk taking approach of hammering out a novel worked for someone.

- Feeling a little sad to finish "Thirteen Moons" by Charles Frazier - a novel set in the mountains of western North Carolina mostly before the Civil War. It is about a young man who ends up running a trading post at the edge of the Cherokee Nation. I listened to the audio version and it was lovely to hear Will Patton's voice reading the beautiful wry prose of Frazier. I found this at my local library and it was with me during a trip to south Georgia and north Florida to visit family and countless hours of commuting and work trips. Recommended - whether you read or listen.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Two benches, gingerbread shot and good guy

- Two benches keeping each other company on a rainy day at Chastain Park, Atlanta, Georgia.

- A shot-sized sample of gingerbread flavored latte with whipped cream at Starbucks - so delicious looking I couldn't resist. But I order my regular grande non-fat latte to go and continue on in the rain.

- Hearing an account of the recent benefit dinner for the mission, and the keynote speaker Jeff Foxworthy. When the dinner and speeches were over, he stayed behind and helped stack chairs.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Apple pie, jewel tones and like

- A friend's daughter loves experimenting with different apple pie recipes - this one was as good as it looks. :)

- Book club meeting at a home I have never visited before. I mention to Peggy that the jewel-toned colors of her walls seem very Early American to me. She smiles and says they were indeed inspired by a family trip to Williamsburg, Virginia.

- We read the Anne Lamott book of our choice and I decided to read "Traveling Mercies" - her initial collection of essays. In one of them her young son says he is weary of her telling him she loves him so much. What would he rather hear? I like you. So that's what she says from then on as she tucks him in bed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The road, welcoming stranger and worth it

- A glorious weather day. Could this be November? The photo is from the miles of countryside passed on a work road trip to visit the Covington, Georgia campus of DeKalb Technical College.

- I choose the wrong building in which to look for my client. I tap on the glass door of a woman who is intently typing to ask direction. Her face lights up with a huge smile, "How are you???" I ask if we have met and she says I just look so familiar. She walks outside with me and sends me in the right direction. I think we should all welcome strangers like that; I know it made my day.

- The oil change man sticks his head in the waiting room door and says, "You must do a lot of driving." Between work and family visits, I sure do. (The mileage since the last oil change gave it away.) If all work visits could be as pleasant as the one yesterday with all the nice technical school employees (and friend Rose) - then it is entirely worth it.

I hope you have a great weekend, my friends!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Favorite veteran, ship's cook, and Veterans Day

- This photo turned up in my father's things - rolled up and torn in places. A bunch of young men about to go off to World War II in its last year. He's the one near the upper left with the big blue eyes.

- He was on a mine sweeper and ended up being the cook on the ship by default. He volunteered to cook because he saw it as a way to eat better. :) The first meal he cooked was chili and some guys came by and told him he should make it spicier than the last guys did. So he poured an entire can of industrial sized chili powder into the vat of chili. He said sailors were running for water and wiping their eyes, it was so hot.

- He never wanted a thing to do with the World War II memorial in Washington, DC, as much as we cajoled to take him. Serving your country is just what you did; to serve with honor. Thank you to all the veterans and I honor you this day and every day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November rose, thank you and fun book

- My neighbor's roses, blooming in November - surely the last of them.

- Printing a thank you poster for the mission that will go to a little girl who collected more than 3,000 shoes for the homeless.

- Reading a review of what must be a hilarious childrens' book, "A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea" by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. Operating on the premise that everyone looks good in a majorette outfit, loves marching bands and great floats, the book states that you would be wrong. Pigs don't march, they shuffle. They prefer sad country ballads and the only floats pigs like are root beer floats. Must get for niece.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Home again, comfort, and life is but a dream

- Receiving this flower for representing my father at my parents' church on Sunday in my home town in honor of All Saints' Day. The church is adjacent to a cemetery that has graves dating to 1804. I always mean to take some time to walk around it again and will one day. Author Flannery O'Connor is buried here, as is Bill Miner, an "American criminal" according to Wikipedia. He was called "The Gentleman Robber" and is said to be responsible for the phrase "Hands Up!" His gravestone says he is "The Last of the Famous Western Bandits."

- Having a comforting cup of soul warming soup for a snack at work. It is always cold there this time of year and although I've grown accustomed to it, it never hurts to have something hot to drink.

- Coming home from work to three young neighbors out playing. They are loudly singing, with great hilarity, "Row, row, row your boat" - except they have changed the ending to "life is but a strawwww!"

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend visitors, watched pot and apple scent

- Some inside visitors over the weekend due to the first frost of fall. They look as if they are longing to go back outside and with a high temperature of 68°F predicted for this afternoon, they will.

- Mastering my mom's four-minute egg - somewhere between soft and hard boiled. The secret seems to be watching the pot until the water boils and then setting the timer for four minutes. That old adage, "A watched pot never boils" is true unless you busy yourself with some other task in the kitchen and pretend as if you are not watching. :)

- Somehow ending up with too many apples, and so there are about a dozen of them in the refrigerator. And enjoying the blast of Fuji apple scent I get when I open the fridge.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Drizzly day, panda cam and a good story

- A windy drizzly day, but the trees sure are beautiful.

- Checking in on our Giant Panda, Lun Lun, and her as-yet-unnamed cub, the panda cam showing them having a cuddle. This is her third cub and I like to go to the panda cam at random times during the day to have a look.

- The librarian smiles when I check out a couple more books on CD - I tell her how much I love hearing a story when I am out and about during the week or on the road for travel. Listening to a good yarn makes it all so much better.

I hope good things are in store for you this weekend, my friends!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tradition, promise of glory and which bridge

Photo from the Forsyth Daily News

- This is my hairdresser Tim (on the right), who regularly attends Native American pow wows in the area and participates in dance competitions. I get a haircut last night and hear about his latest adventures while sipping a glass of red wine. He will be hosting a Sweat Lodge and dinner for friends in a few weeks, saying he likes upholding the tradition of the original Thanksgiving celebration.

- Waking for the second morning in a row to a gentle rain falling. It makes traffic bad, but is so worth it since the promise for the weekend weather is glorious.

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