Friday, September 28, 2012

Scenes from North Carolina, Florida and Georgia

- So often when I don't have a photo ready, I return to my library and find something soothing like this.  It makes me want to jump in the car and go.  Hiwasee River, Clay County, North Carolina.

- Or this one, on a day when I was in the car with niece Amanda, driving through the plantation where she works.  I love the Spanish moss dripping from the trees.  Razor Lake, Jefferson County, Florida.

- There are miles and miles of cotton fields like this in south Georgia.  I always think of that commercial jingle that called cotton, "the fabric of our lives."  It's my favorite fabric!  Somewhere along State Route 300, aka the Georgia-Florida Parkway.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friends!  And I hope you will take time to say a kind word or give a compliment to someone who is not expecting it.  It will make their day.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Breakfast, on living alone and technology

- My niece Becky used to call breakfast "beffest" when she was a toddler.  Somehow I still think of a bowl of breakfast like this as beffest.  Organic peaches from the grocery store (very sweet), Kashi Go Lean Crisp Toasted Berry Crumble cereal and Stonyfield French Vanilla yogurt.  My standard breakfast (fruit, cereal, yogurt) and I never get tired of it.

- A sweet memory:  when my niece Amanda was about four years old, she was "helping" me make the guest room bed on Mothers Day morning at my parents' home.  We talked about how much her mom liked her present that morning.  She asked me "who is your mother?"  I replied, "Nana."  She thought about that for a moment and said, "But you don't live here."  I said that was true, that I have my own home.  Incredulous reply: "You live by yourself???"  With a look of true concern, she said, "Ohhh, you don't have anyone to pour your breakfast for you!"  

- Amanda's mom is reveling in her new role as grandmother.  She's burning up the miles driving to Pensacola to see young Monroe, a month old tomorrow.  She said she got some FaceTime with him via the iPhone app yesterday "and he smiled big when I started talking to him."

Becky (now called Rebecca) runs her own preschool in Portland, Oregon.  Amanda is the office manager of a huge plantation in the county she grew up in in northern Florida.  I'm so proud of all of them:  four nieces, one nephew, and now one great niece and one great nephew.  All delightful.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Signs of autumn, paella and accordion

- The pumpkins being unloaded at Whole Foods and the slight color change of the trees in the distance, on the first day of autumn.

- Sitting with friends on a back porch, a cool breeze blowing.  The host chef has made paella and is cooking it on the outdoor grill in an enormous pan.  The sign that it is done is the sound of the rice crackling.  It was delicious.

- A very nice man displays his inherited accordion during the children's sermon at church.  I love how the adults in the background are much more delighted with the story than the children in front of him.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Alfresco dinner, yum and seizing the day

- Flaming torches at Carpe Diem restaurant at an alfresco dinner with friend Leisa.  The Aikido studio across the street hosted a drum circle on this evening and the rhythmic drum beats and the torches were a perfect match for each other.

- Crispy goat cheese with blackberry marmalade.  Yummmmm.

- From Wikipedia:  Carpe diem is a phrase from a Latin poem by Horace, popularly translated as "seize the day." Carpe is the second-person singular present active imperative of the Latin verb carpō, which literally means "I pick, pluck, pluck off, cull, crop gather, to eat food, to serve, to want", but Ovid used the word in the sense of, "enjoy, seize, use, make use of."  .......That was fun to look up.  :)  All that said - I'm glad I could seize some time with my friend and catch up.

I'll be seizing some weekend coming up at around 4:30pm today - hope you all have a wonderful time, too.  Carpe diem, y'all!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Madly reading, finger food and he always makes me laugh

- Madly reading "Death and the Penguin" by Andrey Kurkov on my Nook tablet during lunch hour at work.  What I call my "urban" book club is meeting tonight to discuss.  My first question will be how they found this one in the first place!  (I wasn't able to attend last time.)  But it's a good story with dark humor that one reviewer says "captures modern capitalism's messy entrance into Russian society."  

- Texting back and forth with friend Steven on what to bring for "finger food" tonight.  He and I are healthy eaters, but also enthusiastically eat things like bacon cheeseburgers, too.   The urban crew, all delightful people, are vegetarian, vegan, etc.  Here's how the texts went:

Him:  Can't wait to see you!

Me:  Same here - can't really think of good finger food.  :)

Him:  Especially when they have such peculiar dietary limitations.  No gluten, no carb, no meat, no dairy...whatever.

Him:  Let's just bring some ribs and wings and act like heathens!  Want to ride with me?  We'll go by KFC and get a bucket of chicken!  

Me:  (Rolling on the floor laughing):  Sure!  Maybe I'll bring that hot Mexican dip.  U are cracking me up!

Him: that!  What should I bring?  Maybe a fruit tray?

Me:  Popeye's Chicken Strips!

Him:  Or fried Mac and Cheese!

We decide we will stop at Whole Foods on the way there and get olives from the olive bar and maybe some hummus.  :) 

- Steven and I have been friends for more than 20 years.  We met on his first day at BellSouth.  I was walking through the office and passed a row of new employees working diligently on drawing boards (doing Yellow Pages artwork.)  No one looked up except for Steven, who smiled at me as if we were going to be best friends.  He loaned me a tape he was listening to - The Smiths.  He still tells the story that when I brought the tape back, I said, "That is the most depressing music I ever heard!"  We've been close, close friends ever since.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Spun sugar, like a puzzle and green

- My Saturday morning walk in Lilburn (Georgia) park was over and I impulsively pulled over to snap a photo of the nearby Hindu temple on the way home.  I always think it looks as if it were made of spun sugar.     Much better photos can be seen here.  Oddly - it shares the block with a Walgreens Drug store - I was standing in its parking lot here.

- My Sunday School class was studying world religions and took a Sunday afternoon tour a few years ago.  Gracious tour guides told us of the volunteers who carved 34,000 individual pieces to be shipped to the USA and assembled in Lilburn "like a giant 3-D puzzle."  

- Looking up on Sunday morning to see a plant trickling down from my upstairs neighbor's back porch.  See it there?  It was wonderfully cool and a perfect time for a peaceful hour of reading.  I hope your weekend was good, too.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Veil, luxury and glistening

- Looking through a veil of leaves at the Hiwassee River.  How I miss the river.

- A lovely dark red polish applied to my toes during the luxury of a pedicure.  Life is often so hectic at work during the day, that the 30 minutes of peace and quiet was a treat.

- An early morning check of the temperature outside - fresh and cool.  Glistening drops on the begonias give away the bit of rain that fell during the night.

Ah - the weekend.  A gift.  I hope yours is wonderful!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Volunteer night, the book review and inside the list

- This is where I spend Tuesday evenings - in a recording booth within the Georgia Public Broadcasting building  on behalf of the Georgia Radio Reading Service for the Blind.  There are so many wonderful volunteers there - my favorite:  the man who played Officer Don on a local Atlanta kiddie show I used to love as a child.  He was gracious enough to endure my fan gushing when I first discovered him there.

 - Not only do I get volunteer time in, but I also get to read The New York Times Book Review every week - a 58 minute show.  Always a delight and at times a bit over my head.  :)  One listener calls in all the time asking if we can record certain books I read the reviews of.  It makes me so happy to know that I have at least one listener.

- I loved this bit in the column "TBR (to be read): Inside the List" - click to enlarge if you want to read it.  I've been reading so much about Ernest Hemingway lately that I thought it was so interesting that the writer Hunter S. Thompson once retyped all of "A Farewell to Arms" "just to absorb his rhythm and technique."  Papa Hemingway never wore underwear?  That might be TMI.  :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

The weekend in pictures: two books, picnic and moonflower

- This might have been my favorite part of the weekend - finishing these two books on my comfy bedroom chair.  "Criminal" by Atlanta writer Karin Slaughter and "The Paris Wife" by Paula McClain.  There was a beautiful summer rain on Saturday afternoon, which made the reading experience all the better.

- A "welcome back" from summer activities in the form of a church picnic in a nearby park.  I like how the red Solo cups line up there.  :)

- And a Moonflower in a friend's garden, taken just after the sun set.  That's the only time it opens.  Gorgeous.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Peace, quietly singing and humming to the baby

Click to enlarge

- Another view of the mountains / farm area of Clay County, North Carolina.  I got out of my car and walked back to this spot in the road at which you could see that little church in the background.  A moment of Labor Day peace.

- Hearing neighbor Travis quietly singing on his back porch during the 5am hour.

- Our newest family member has reportedly found his lungs.  His very stoic dad has found a good way to calm him is by humming while he holds him.

May there be beautiful music in your life this weekend, my friends.  I hope your weekend will be peaceful and good.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dozing and dreaming, shopping and along the way

- It was a drizzly, misty Labor Day weekend by the river, but how I wish I was there again anyway.  I did read half a book, mostly while dozing and dreaming in between.

- This man was pulling on gloves to enter the refrigerated truck - you can see the condensation pouring out if you click to enlarge.  I'd want to eat all the ice cream inside if I drove that Mayfield truck next to it.  :)
 - Mountains surround the fields of hard working farm families.  I love how they live amid their crops.