Thursday, July 31, 2008

Six Feet Under

Across the street from Oakland Cemetary is a place which is reputed to have the best hamburgers in Atlanta. I have been trying to figure out where it is, and hey presto, there it was all along.

Name's kind of catchy, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today's Mother's birthday. We will gather this weekend for the actual celebration. I hope at my house, because I've got some wicked rib sauce for the gang to try on the country style ribs. And I think there will be cake or cupcakes...
Anyway - check this pose out, and the beautiful smile. And the southpaw, which my brother inherited.
My mother likes to paint, sew, draw, read, write, play scrabble, and hang out at the pool. She loves blue painted furniture, the old chippy kind which has character, she says. She LOVES the grandchildren. She's always working on something to give someone. At Christmas I got a handmade purse from felted wool. The way the wool was cut from the sweater was quite clever - I don't think I would have been able to take advantage of the pattern of the sweater it was made from. I am quite taken with it.
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Laverne/Mother/Grandma
Happy birthday to you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Only show the good ones

This is the first photo I took at Oakland on Saturday. It's before my mind melted into a puddle of mush and I couldn't recall how to operate my camera.

Which sounds better, brain mush or the fact that I was trying to use the tripod that my brother gave me somewhere about 15 years ago? Which the instructor borrowed from me to show another guy which kind to buy (you rock, Rob!). So anyway, either the heat or unfamiliarity with the tripod did me in. Because in 96 photos only a handful are presentable.

And, as my instructor says, "only show the good ones".

Saturday, July 26, 2008

This just in...

So today was the field trip for my photography class. It was at Oakland Cemetary in downtown Atlanta. You may remember we had a ginormous tornado here in March, and much of downtown was seriously damaged - well, so was Oakland. But the dedicated volunteers and the City have made great progress cleaning up.

Anyway, while I type this, I'm waiting for my RAW converter to convert the RAW (think digital negative) into something my Photoshop elements can relate to.

It's always about relationships, isn't it?

Anyway, I'm interested to see how things turned out because in the mid-day light, it was hard to see my LCD screen. And I got frustrated b/c I couldn't make the camera do what I wanted. So, I may be back there tomorrow so that I can hold my head up in class Wednesday night.

AND, I must say it was HOTHOTHOT even though it was overcast. I wilted quickly, but I overheard another lady telling the teacher "it is hot" and she was not exactly dressed for the weather. Or much walking. And was carrying lots of stuff.

I'll share some of my shots with you, IF they merit an audience.

Meantime, here's a link to should drop in.

What's your style?

So this morning I was browsing blogs, and found this link to analyze my home style:

It judged me as classic country.

You take the inspiration for your home from the surrounding countryside. And why not? The country cottage look has been, and continues to be, the epitome of what a family ‘home’ should stand for: warm, welcoming, cozy and comfortable. There’s nothing at all pretentious about this style, just a love of the good, simple pleasures in life.

I'm not sure I would describe myself this way, but okay.

If you take the test, I'd like to hear what you were classified as. (I picked the picture above as an illustration of what it says I like.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Doesn't everyone have favorite brands? It starts when we're young: the favorite blanket...toy...shirt. As adults we can't wear the same shirt everyday or the other people point and laugh, so we replace the favorite blanket with these socially acceptable favorites.

A favorite peanut butter, mayonaisse (NOT Miracle Whip), and syrup. Toothpaste? Deodorant? No? Alright, how about mascara? I'm almost certain I got one of your favorites in that list. You know it. You tell yourself it's reliable, and when the chips are down, do you really want to waste money on something that might not perform the same as _[insert your fav here]_?

No. I didn't think so.

Hello, I'm Molly, and I have brand favorites. And for these few items there is. no. deviation. Shoppers who can go with whatever is the best price once they've taken advantage of a sale and applied coupons have my everlasting admiration. I cannot do it.

With one of my brand loyalties comes a fear of running low, of looking at the stash and finding only 1 roll. That's right. Toilet paper. Fear and loyalty. There's a pathology for you.

For many years I was a Charmin girl. I eagerly looked forward to Mr. Whipple's new adventures. I, too, squeezed the Charmin. The only question was 6 rolls or 12?

From the time I graduated from college to the time I bought this house - say 20 years - steady, committed Charmin use. Folks, my middle name is commitment. Not really. I'm just making a point.

Then, I closed on my new house, and I discovered a new way. Only I didn't know the name of the new way. The previous owners thoughtfully left behind the partial roll in the bathroom along with the blue planter at the back steps, the easel upstairs and the fabric used for their shower curtain.

When I finished measuring all the windows at the new house, I went to the grocery store, straight to the paper goods aisle. And proceeded to look at every pattern and texture of each brand to try to match it up. I was driven. A woman with a mission, close to hyperventilation. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have taken a square with me. I decided it looked most like Cottonelle, which was lucky [I know, Rob, think artistic license] because it had a puppy on the package. It was a sign. A new bond was forged.

Which brings us to today. There is only 1 roll left in the closet. I am tetering on the brink of disaster. The horrible prospect of running out of toilet paper looms before me. Before switching brands I would have no more gotten below 6 rolls than I would embrace macrame for profit. What if there should be drop-in company with excessive habits? What if a certain family member turned up? Stock always disappears when that person visits, but that's another story.

What if Gus remembers his puppy toilet paper antics? Don't dwell on it. Don't be like me. It's the stuff of nightmares.

Down to 1 roll. I don't recognize myself.

Monday, July 21, 2008


This picture is from a past trip to the coast. From 2003 to 2005, every year I went to the beach there were hurricanes. In 2003, they were before and after my trip. In 2004, there was one during my trip which I elected to ride out in my beach house and then one immediately after I left a week later. In 2005, there was Katrina which made me nervous enough to go home at then end of the first week. In 2006 I took a pass on the coast, and last year went to Italy.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


About a year ago, I "discovered" ebay as a source for original art and holiday decorations.

Then, about 2 months ago, I was lamenting the lack of space in my little house, and wondering why I still had my Pentax K1000 camera from more than 20 or more years ago.

And I realized it was in great shape. And had a lens, flash, strap, and two filters to go with it. The only thing wrong with it was that Gus had chewed on the box for the flash.

So I decided I would try to sell it on ebay. My reasoning was even $20 bucks in hand was better than no cash and space taken up by the camera. I ended up selling it for about $60, and the buyer paid for shipping.

I was hooked.

Since then I've sold a book on cd (a duplicate Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix I some how got), the aforementioned Pentax and scrapbook supplies.

Now, I'm waiting to see how the auction for my Canon Powershot G5 digital camera turns out. As you can see below, we have 1 intrepid bidder(you go girl!) and 21 stalkers. I call them stalkers because they click on the item to "watch" and when the auction gets down to the final minutes they may swoop in to grab the item hoping this method will not drive the final price up.

As I type this, the # of stalkers is up to 23 with only 2 hours 7 minutes to go.

Can't wait to see how it turns out.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Christmas in July

I have a camera in my phone, a camera in my blackberry and a small digital camera I carry to take pictures of decorating ideas. Usually they are things that I look at and say
  1. I like that
  2. it costs what?
  3. I could do that

and then I take a picture and step away from the item convinced that I will have the thing constructed on the basis of the snapshot by the next weekend, and my only concern is where will I store it.

Here are some examples of projects that are languishing on my computer waiting for a certain level of industriousness and creativity to strike. Waiting years in some cases.

This doesn't look too hard - just some silver or mercury glass candlesticks with sparkly stuff around the candles. Photo taken in 2006.

One would think I could get a wreath at Michaels, along with some silver and gold spray paint, et voila, chic holiday wreath. Photo taken in 2005.

These next two should be a piece of cake. Cone shaped styrofoam, silk poinsettia(s), decorative push pins, ribbon, terra cotta pot, spray paint, hard could it be? Photo taken in 2007.

These next two were for me to take to someone to create for me because even I recognize something beyond my skillset. But I love them, they are on an artificial nandina base, with artificial leaves, pine cones and fruits scattered over and white lights all around. Photo taken in 2007.

There. I've gotten it off my chest. I am a procrastinator.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


The first assignment for my photo class was white balance. We were to take a picture with the camera set to the correct white balance and one (or in my case more than one) set to an incorrect white balance setting. It had been raining all day. The dogs were B-O-R-E-D with being inside. Below are the photos.

1. White balance set correctly to cloudy.

Cotton: She's down there by the truck. Do you think we're going somewhere?

Gus: Is that a squirrel over there?

2. White balance set to Tungsten light (incandescent lightbulb).

Cotton: She keeps pointing that thing up here. She never goes anywhere without that thing. What IS that thing anyway? She gets mad if I lick it. Do you think we're going somewhere?

Gus: Maybe.

3. White balance set to fluorescent.

Cotton: Do you think we're going somewhere?

Gus: Maybe.

4. White balance set to flash.

Gus: Maybe?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy Ending

Just as I found this blog--because it included stuff about horses--things got tough for the family behind the blog. It was painful to read. But today, when I braced myself for an update, there it was. See for yourself.

Chronicles of a Country Girl


Happily, we are getting rain in Atlanta for the second Sunday in a row. Plus there were afternoon showers during the past week. So, I'm happy about the rain, but I'm dreaming of the beach. This is the view from the chair I spent the better part of two weeks in. It was wonderful. Notice the crowds? The traffic? The people on cell phones? Of course not. That's why it was wonderful! In fact, there was only one telephone line from the mainland to the island. Frequently it had a pelican sitting on it.
This was St. George Island, near Apalachicola. I went into Apalachicola often enough to scratch the shopping/browsing itch and to visit the bookstore. It is my retirement dream. Or one of them. Operating a small bookstore on the coast.

I think I'm going to have to investigate another trip to the beach. Soon.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I've been looking through my old photos this morning, can you tell? In this one, 6 month old puppy Cotton is an optimist! This limb fell from one of the pines in the back, and she dedicated herself to trying to drag it around one Saturday. As I recall, it didn't budge, but she had a good time trying.

Blue Boy(s)

I took this photo in 2005 when I was on vacation in Cape San Blas. Rob and his family also rented a house there - it was the year Katrina hit. Anyway, we had gone to lunch at this place and while we waited for the others, I took this. Eli and Brooks are such good subjects.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


This is Gus and Cotton's idea of welcoming guests. Actually, the first welcome includes a lot of running and wagging and bouncing around. This picture was about 30 minutes after the first welcome-they were still excited.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Canine decorating

One of the things I loved about this house when I looked at it the first time was the bathroom tile. I'd never seen a pattern quite like it-it creates a basket weave effect. I worked very hard to decorate around that tile, determined to enjoy it as long as I could since it has to be at least 30 years old. When the landscapers worked in the back yard, there were bits of broken tile that tell me the floor has been redone at least once, and the house was built in 1930ish. Anyway, aside from the towel that is askew and the random coat hanger, this room is one of my favorites. It's also Gus'. When we go for a walk and he wants to cool off, he goes to the bathroom floor. When I shower, he lies on the floor against the wall, just like this. When I can't find him anywhere else, I look in the bathroom and there he is on the floor. What I didn't realize until I snapped this shot is how nicely he coordinates with the room. Better even than the bath mat he has shoved out of his way.

Now I know: I can use Gus to match towels and bathmats. I will borrow one from the store, run out to the car, and check it against his fur for a match.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Last night I went to watch the fireworks at the park. I was really looking forward to it because I wanted to try to take pictures. These are the ones I like best for one reason or another. This was F11, 400 speed. And no tripod, I was too self conscious. Next year, tripod. Still, the results were better than I expected. But I found myself just watching instead of snapping because I LOVE fireworks.

Despite the fact that it looks like I twirled the camera while the shutter was open, I put this one here because it was an unusual display that was repeated on top of the building we were in, and at the head of the park. And it was the big finale.

Stained Glass

Just two days ago I was lamenting the lack of butterflies on my butterfly bush. I wondered if something had happened to them the way it has to the bees. But this morning, when I went out to water (legally), this guy was on the butterfly bush. With the light behind the wings, it looks like stained glass, don't you think?
And I've learned the burned edge effect in Photoshop Elements. Not that I can remember all the steps. But I like the look.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Santa Maria sopra Minerva (Assisi, Italy)

This is me, standing in front of a column of the Temple of Minerva (see below) that was built 25 years before Christ. According to one of the umpteen guidebooks that I read before, during and after my trip. I was so awestruck by the age of the structure below. It was built by the Romans, for pete's sake.

A priest came out and we thought we had done something wrong. But we hadn't. He invited us in to see the church that the Roman temple had become. The interior was a complete shock. See for yourself. I had to find a photo on the web (thanks whoever) because we could not take pictures inside. It was just amazing. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the trip.

And here we are with the priest. Clever, he was. We all made contributions to the box inside.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Black Bean Salad

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 small jicama, small dice

1 tomato, diced

1/2 onion, diced

1/8 cup fresh cilantro, chopped*

3 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp cumin

1 clove garlic, diced

2-3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Splenda to taste (1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp)

In a large bowl, combine beans, diced tomato, jicama, onion and cilatro. In a separate bowl, mix the lime juice, garlic, cumin and olive oil. Whisk until well blended. Add Splenda to taste. Pour over bean mixture. Stir. Serve room temperature or chill.


*or substitute 1-2 Tbsp dried if you don't have fresh, and mix with the dressing.

This is a recipe I found on the South Beach website and modified for my tastes. Everyone who has tried it has loved it. I think you will too. I made this for my lunch today, but ate it before I could remember to take a picture. C'est la vie. Jicama is a mexican root vegetable that is crunchy and slightly sweet. I first had it on the barbecue chicken salad at California Pizza Kitchen.

Winterboro 5-0

Mother and her best friend

This fine looking fellow had a crush on Mother but she never knew

This lady took care of Dawn "when she was in diapers"

Last Saturday, Mother went to her 50th high school reunion. She graduated when she was 16. The 1958 graduating class of Winterboro High School was 37 strong. 15 members returned to celebrate this year, which is a pretty good turn out. The senior class sponsor came this year, too, and was in his 80s.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Odds and ends

Well, these finally came up, and then finally bloomed. I love the color - a sort of coral-red.

This butterfly was missing some of its wing, but it didn't seem to affect the flight.

Gus and Cotton usually enjoy being on the porch. This day, though, they were plotting the destruction of all squirrels, everywhere, but most certainly the one just out of reach in the hickory a few feet from the porch.

Good hair day

Does anyone know why a 3 year old would lie down on a concrete porch when someone wants to take her picture?

Do yourselves a favor and double click on the photo and see how sparkly her blue eyes are.

I emphasized them a bit with my favorite toy, photoshop elements. And I may have complemented them by encouraging the blue paint on the porch. And perhaps have even given the butterfly hair bow a boost. You see, Olivia gets 2 M&Ms every night that she makes it through the whole day without pulling down her hair. So we must notice and complement the hair. Which is why I juiced up the pink butterfly barrett. Just a touch.

Olivia, your hair looks very nice. I hope you got your M&Ms.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Do you remember being curious about everything? I do.

This is an old building at my Grandmother's. It has housed tools, honey, boxes of books and quail egg incubators. At least that's what I can remember from childhood. It was always very tempting to push open the door and go look inside. There was always something interesting in there.

The cute little pixie peeking in the door is my niece Olivia.

She was curious about what was in there.


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