Monday, March 31, 2014

Pedestrianism, along the way and off we go

The true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk. - Mark Twain

 - Friend Laura and I took an early Sunday morning walk at the Greenway ParkOne tiny lone daffodil remains from that bunch, but the real story is here is the Lambs Ear.  Laura wanted me to feel it and it really was as soft as a lamb's ear.

- The garden club who maintains these plants always leaves these painted ladybugs around.  Christmas before last, Laura gave Janice and me each one of the painted ladybugs for our gardens at home.  She found them in a shop nearby.  It makes me smile every day.

- The brightness of the sun signals that we are near the end of the walk.  Laura says she makes a spring salad and sprinkles Violets, like these, on top.  Her face lights up, remembering, and she says it is pretty and delicious.

- Can you see the train coming there?  It was racing forward with its whistle blaring and we got in our cars to go in opposite directions.  Pedestrianism was fun while it lasted.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Mr. Bluebird, eastern variety and beckoning

- Sometimes in my harrowing commute to northwest Atlanta in the morning (I arrive there around 7:30am), I am not in the happiest of moods because of traffic.  But look who was there to greet me when I pulled up yesterday!  This bluebird, sitting on the back of Mike's car, surveying the world.  I've never seen a bluebird around there - maybe it's the lure of the solar tree (that one coworker thinks looks as if it is in communication with extraterrestrials.)

- A look at Wikipedia tells me that this bluebird is of the eastern variety.  I hope he sticks around for the rest of spring.  There is a bluebird house on my back porch at home, with wrens or chickadees nesting it sometimes.  I took the old nest out of it last weekend, because I've seen some scouting activity already.  (I think it would make sense for them to reuse the nest already in there, but they won't.) 

- A rainy morning commute this morning, but it's OK since it is Friday and the weekend beckons.

Hope yours is wonderful!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Glorious, lacy and budding

- On the way to the urban park to walk after work, more beautiful trees.  We'll just ignore those pesky power lines.

 - Inside the park - love that lacy tree.

- Hopeful signs of spring around Peachtree Creek.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Special vase, spring cleaning and girls' night out

- Purple and white iris found at Whole Foods yesterday.  My mother planted these around our family home and I always loved to see them blooming when I was growing up and later, when I visited in the spring.  She remarked once that she might pick some for inside the house, but didn't really have a good vase for them.  So I got her this one for Mothers Day, probably 20 years ago and it seemed just the vessel for them now.

- Coming home to a clean home on Friday, after once-in-a-while cleaner Colin has been by.  A special treat for the first week of spring.

- The dinner group party planned for Saturday night at friend Jennifer's house fell apart because two husbands were out of town.  So it was fun to have a girls' night out at the wonderful Wahoo Grill in Decatur, Georgia.  And I took their photo in front of a nearby tattoo parlor to text to their husbands.  :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Actual trees, solar tree and dragonflies

- A morning drive for a work errand - I took the scenic route through a beautiful neighborhood and found more blooming trees.  It was good to see the sun today and I couldn't resist pausing on this peaceful road before going on my way.

- And near my office - this solar "tree" was erected in honor of the first day of spring.  The company says it will help power their electric vehicles.  It's a show stopping sight, I think.

- I love dragonflies and someone had my company print a fancy ball invitation that featured a beautiful one.  This lead to a discussion about dragonflies - one work friend saying they eat mosquitoes and another saying they eat termites.  And I just think they are beautiful, but have learned now that they are hardworking, too.

It's Friday!  Happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

All in a row, beautiful exit and leaving midtown

- We are having a run of un-sunny days in the Atlanta area, but the blooms persist in popping out anyway (and are probably loving the rain.)  Purple hyacinths, all in a row, presented themselves at the group mailbox at the condos.  I love how they look as if they are throwing their leaves up in glee.

- The drive through at the bank presented this cherry tree at the exit.  (On Chattahoochee Avenue near my office.)

- Leaving midtown Atlanta (on 14th Street) around 6pm, after volunteer work.  If you click to enlarge, you can just see some blooming tulips over there in front of that building.  So pretty.  And I can't believe I caught a moment with no cars coming by.  :)

It's almost spring, y'all!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Taste like spring, popping up and green day

- Fruity iced tea at Cafe Sunflower with friend Leisa on Saturday, making me feel as if spring is just around the corner.

- The little patches of spring flowers that are popping up everywhere, sometimes in the most unexpected places.  Look for evidence of that via pictures soon.

- Choosing something green to wear to work today in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  I'm not Irish, but like to participate.  A man I used to work with (transplanted from Pittsburgh, PA) said that where he comes from, one wears green only if one is Catholic.  Everyone else is supposed to wear orange.  Anyone else ever hear of that?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sunset, best parking lot ever and neighborly

- That's the sunset behind a partial skyline of Atlanta there - way in the background (click to enlarge.)  After a long day, I was loading a few food items into my car after shopping at Whole Foods.  A young man who was returning to the store after helping someone out with groceries pointed out the sunset to me.  "Isn't that a beautiful sunset?  Look at that."  I was taking it for granted.  It was beautiful.

- And then he pointed out the moon, saying, "And did you see the moon?  This is the best parking lot ever!"  I think so, too.  

- The day had started out with bang.  I had a flat tire about a half mile from my home and was able to pull into a convenience store parking lot.  Roadside assistance was slow coming (but a cheerful man arrived 1.5 hours later - allowing me time to clean out the car's trunk.)  A neighbor came by to get convenience food and walked over.  We are nodding acquaintances - I see him out walking his dog. "You're my neighbor, right?  Do you need help?"  I told him help was on the way and thanked him.  He said he would help anyone, but especially a neighbor.  How nice.  

I'm off to get two new tires this morning, thankful I had a good spare tire in the trunk and that the flat came just before I got on the expressway.  And cleaning out the trunk while waiting revealed two Santa hats that had gone missing, a tumbler from the church kitchen, and a book I borrowed ten years ago (don't ever loan me books.)  I'm having dinner with the book's owner tonight.  Full circle.  Have a great weekend, friends!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hopeful, one pound lighter and the moon

- One could hope.

- A woman accosted me at the entrance to the church, asking for money to get home on the bus, so I gave her all my change.  My friends inside said she's been hanging out regularly asking for money and that is what she always says.  I felt a flash of idiocy and then decided it was OK - I helped someone who is about my age who is not as fortunate as me and just hope she used it to get a hot meal somewhere.  And my purse felt about a pound lighter.

- The moon looks beautiful as I leave the meeting.  Waxing Gibbous, the internet tells me.  I love its bright glow that shines over me as I head for home.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Carrying around books, sweet Cali and this month's dish

- This sculpture, called "Adventure Mountain" at Lilburn Park, where I walk with friends on weekend mornings.  When I stopped to snap the photo with my phone - friend Janice shared that the sculpture bothers her because the dominant children are three boys climbing, while a girl holds a doll at the bottom.  (Click to enlarge.)  What makes this a good thing?  I liked the discussion that ensued in which we all had in common that we were more likely to carry around books when we were children (and as adults, too).  (Although we all had dolls, none of us were that attached to them.)

- When I got home from the walk, sweet neighbor Cali was sitting in a chair, enjoying the morning sunshine.

- And here, she has seriously settled in, looking as if she could use some sun goggles!

- This was fun - I had a telephone conversation with a staffer from Cooking Light magazine on Friday afternoon.  I have their Simmer and Boil blog linked to the right there and noticed one day they were looking for readers to interview about their use of the magazine.  My comments will be shared at the staff meeting this morning.  And deciding to live up to what I said about choosing one of two recipes per issue to make, this Sunday evening dish was good:  Grape Tomato, Olive, and Spinach Pasta - recipe found here.  It's for lunch today, too.  So good.  (Although the pasta was slightly too al dente for my taste.)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Just being, sweet baby and rainy night in Georgia

- This friendly seagull hovered around our sun catching spot on the beach last Sunday and stayed for about an hour, sometimes lifting his / her leg and standing on the other one, but always just looking out at the water - just like us.  Sometimes it's good to just be.

- Ash Wednesday service at church - in the smaller "founders hall" rather than the sanctuary, giving us more close proximity to each other.  A couple with a baby in a stroller sit in front of me - and the baby's placid face and sweet baby smell just make the whole service feel more serene.

- Rescheduling already belated volunteer work and other errands so I can go home.  It was a rainy night in Georgia and the fireplace felt good.  There was nothing for dinner, I thought, but then some Wild Mushroom Ravioli presented itself - so good on some leafy greens, all drizzled with olive oil with shaved Reggiano cheese on top.  A little Thursday night bliss.

Here's some more bliss:  it's Friday!!!  I hope your weekend is filled with Good Things, my friends.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

All lined up, all lined up 2, and along the way + a bonus pic

- They look a bit like penguins lined up, don't they?  But it was some bundled up people, enjoying Grayton Beach, Florida on a cool, breezy Saturday.  Not so cool that they needed that much bundling up, but it's all good, I say.

- All lined up for the run / walk to benefit the Seaside, Florida school on a blue sky day that should have been bottled, it was so beautiful.

- Along the way on the race route.  It was only three miles and it amused us that there were so many people toward the end saying "You can do it!"  I guess.  :)  But it was lovely to be with my weekend walking buddies and their husbands for a fun weekend in which the run / walk for to benefit the school was an excuse to be down there.

- That's friend Laura knitting socks for her daughter's birthday (today) and friend Janice's knees just beyond.   I slathered myself in sunscreen and camped out on the beach on Sunday afternoon, too.  It was a lovely trip.  I loved it.