Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ancient Chinese Art of Yaw Ning

Of course, there's no sound and it's only 16 seconds long, but I've made a video and uploaded it! Sadly, the perfect sound effect I found was not in my budget. But this experience gives me ideas...

Whee! something new and off the beaten track.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jewelry Store Owner Does the Right Thing

Hardly the headline that would likely appear in tomorrow's paper or the lead in tonight's news, I know. It doesn't bleed. If it doesn't bleed it doesn't lead.

But, I feel like I have a wonderful secret that the press doesn't know. People who do the right thing are out there, doing...well, the right thing.

Tonight at 5:40 as I was working out times for a group presentation that had to fit 12 or so people and topics into 60 minutes or less, I got a phone call from my mother telling me she'd lost her purse.

Her tone of voice said it all: disgust, aggravation, frustration, fear. She was so convinced that it was gone, never to be seen again that she went ahead and called her bank and shut all that down. She was letting me know she didn't have her cell phone and therefore would be out of communication commission.

I asked if she had checked the lost and found. She had not because she was not hopeful.

You can see where this is going, so I will spare you the details but for this: at 8:00 pm we were at the mall security office where she picked up her purse, intact, complete with cash and cell phone.

Today is the start of the Lenten season, and all over the world people are giving up something for Lent. But I feel like Lent gave me a gift today in renewing my belief that we, Americans, are bigger than all the bad news. We still quietly live our everyday lives and do the right thing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hey Waldo?

Have you met Waldo? Say hello.

Saturday I drove around after dropping off the dogs and spotted this.

A few things occurred to me: the yellow looks so intense against the sky, the artist was committed to getting this done as it is over an awning on the back of a commercial building and

...PRK is looking for Waldo!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Trillium are Waking

In my yard this weekend, I spied the trillium raising their heads, and leading the arrival of Spring.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Right There all Along

Have you ever done something so routine and noticed something you'd never noticed before? Something you can't believe you didn't see before?

I drive by the building below every time I take Gus and Cotton to doggy sniff/run/bark, say at least 3 times a week. And when I first moved to Atlanta years ago, I read an article about some mythical creatures called Whimbles that I liked so much I never forgot their names. And when I moved to this part of town, I noted the gallery was in the building below.

Shortly after that, the artist relocated, but almost every time I drive by, I think about the Whimbles and that I should go visit the gallery.

On Saturday, I took Gus and Cotton to doggie sniff/run/bark, which is not one of their usual days for the class.

And I saw something I'd not noticed over the last couple of years:

A Whimble Weather Vane.
I stopped in the small park across the street from the building and took this photo. I'm not sure how I missed it, but it made Saturday special to see it for the first time.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


This is an action shot. Can't you tell?

A blurry, slightly off kilter action shot with my almost 4 y.o. niece and my sister playing Concentration, the game we whipped up in 40 minutes yesterday.

My sister didn't realize that she had packed almost the same exact outfit for each of them - I know because I asked if she had intended for them to dress alike. She didn't.

Oh, and I love it when Alabama folks do good. Chef Scott Peacock is from Alabama and currently has a restaurant, Watershed, in Decatur. They have the best fried chicken. It's so good that they have a weekly chicken night and you can barely get in. Anyway, Chef Scott is featured on the Martha Blog. His pimento cheese recipe is available and a video of making pan fried chicken. Now, any of you who are not from or in the South: pimento cheese is a Southern staple, like cheese straws and fried chicken. There are as many variations as there are cooks. But it's all good.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Winter Break

I took this Thursday/Friday off.

Thursday, my sister came to visit. She dropped off my nieces to stay with our mom and that gave us some sister time. We had a leisurely lunch and went to Whole Foods which my sister hasn't got near her home.

She picked up a star fruit to try. How many times have I walked by the star fruit and passion fruit and other exotic fruit and wondered but never picked one up? Who might be the adventurous spirit in our family?

Then she went and collected my youngest niece and brought her to my house.

Olivia told me about Father/Daughter night at preschool and the big boxes of dirt and trowels with WORMS! Real ones. That were wiggling. They dug worms with Dad.

And while I cooked chili, she cooked bubble soup.

And then we all sampled star fruit. We all liked it's looks, both before it was cut and after. And Olivia was an instant fan. I thought it had a kiwi fruit like consistency, and a light taste but something else. My sister called it a green or herb like taste. We had to put away the remaining star fruit so my older niece could try it.

Last night we had a family dinner with both nieces and grandmother and my sister and me. And the dogs. Who were in heaven with so many people to love and sniff.

So today we made a matching/memory game with some Secret Agent Josephine valentines and scrapbook cardstock (I printed the valentine images on 8 1/2 x 11 paper and then cut them up and cut the cardstock into 3" squares and we all glued the valentines on the cardstock ). Then we played the game. When I was little we called it Concentration. Maybe it's not called that now. Anyway, it was a success and it gave me an idea for a family version.

Tomorrow I will go spend an afternoon with a friend.

And this little mini-vacay will be over.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Morning After

All around Georgia there were storms last night, but this morning the sky is clear and the sun is coming up.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Legend of Chat Noir

'Round these parts some folks tell a story of a wily black scamp named Chat Noir. 'At Chat Noir, he'd left a string of broken hearts all over, never bein' gentleman enough to hang around the next day.

The sheriff and his deputy had their fill of Chat Noir and always being too late to catch him as he slipped out a window, over a fence, under a branch...always one step ahead of th' law.

The Sheriff set his mind on buildin' a wall around the town to protect the wimmin-folk. Folks agreed Something Had to Be Done. Too many folks were losin' sleep listenin' to all that wailin' of a night.

So the town built the wall and charged the Sheriff and the Deputy to patrol it and keep them safe from Chat Noir.

Howdy, folks. I'm the Sheriff of Golden.

'Scuse me, I smell somethin'. Depiddy, you smell anything? You know we've got to keep the wimmin-folk and chirren safe...

Yep, I do, Sheriff. And I've told you time and again, it's 2009 - stop sayin' wimmin folk like you were in some border town out west.

It's him, Chat Noir. That blackguard! What nerve to show his face here!

I see him - put your heart in it Depiddy...BARK! An' I'll run the fenceline. We'll let Chat Noir know we don't need his kind around these parts.

Sheriff, I think he's gone.

All in a day's work, folks. Nothin to see here anymore, move along now. Town's safe.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Still Life a la Olivia

My niece is fond of picking up the gravel from the path and putting it in the bird bath, water or no water. This time she accented her work with leaves, pine straw and a pine twig. After she did it 10 or so times in a row, I started taking pictures of it to share with her when she's older, worried about her manicure and far too sophisticated for such things.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gravel eye level

We have been encouraged to shoot from unusual angles to get good photographs. So with the soupcon of energy I had from eating a morsel after my long Saturday nap, I went out with camera in hand.

I was going to copy Candi's idea and shoot the daffodils. Or paperwhites. Or the snow drops.

This required lying in the gravel in front of the "boat door" on the back of my house. Because apparently when my house was built, boats needed shelter, but cars did not.

This is one view I had from the gravel--my pink Justin gypsy cowgirl boots. They're fun. And it was Valentine's Day. But I wear them other days too and it's fun knowing the pink is hiding under there. I almost got the pink camo, but I resisted.

So many, many shots later, including the one I shared on Sunday, I got this. And I liked it before I took a look. It's not perfect, but it's close to what I was trying for.

You never know what you'll see from gravel eye level.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pine Tree

I just liked this one from last week, so I'm sharing it.

Hope your weekend is full of blue skies.

Same Time Last Year

Sorry about skipping yesterday. I was limp as a noodle figuratively and literally after work.

This morning I thought I'd look and see what I was taking pictures of this time last year.

No surprise, there are no pictures from this time last year, because I was caught in the same work loop (board meeting, board package, board presentation, you get the drift).

The first pictures I have in my folder from 2008 are of my backyard in bloom.

That's a nice thought: in a little over a month, the backyard will look like this.

I'll carry that picture in my head today.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We Interrupt This Blog for a Belated Birthday

Dear CWT,

Let's take a day off, grab your camera, and head for the hills!
There are picturesque towns to visit, antique shops to raid and scenic routes to travel.
And we can be back by suppertime.
I'll drive and the birthday lunch is on me.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Highlights from Westminster

Every year I watch Westminster. I watch to pull for the breed I own(ed).

Except this year. After noting that the dog show started Monday night I had an inner dialogue that went something like this:

ooh, it's already time for Westminster. I love that show.

what will I do? The Closer is on tomorrow night too.

Ah - I can watch Closer on demand later. Gotta watch Westminster.

Then I got home last night, and flipped the channels at length, fiddled around, made some supper, read while I ate and forgot all about Westminster AND The Closer.

Tell me, do you ever lose enough memory not to mind that you can't remember anything anymore?

So I remembered tonight but not in time to see the Golden Retrievers (that I own now), or German Shepherds (first two dogs owned me). It's all over for me. But I did put the TV on that channel, and heard that this little creature is from May-retta, Georgia. IS TOO SO how we say it down here. It's a suburb of HawtLanta (today it was 70ish).

This guy won the best of breed for Golden Retrievers, but came in second in the group. Sorry I missed it.

'Scuse me while I go see what my Golden is barking at AGAIN in the back yard. Possum or feral cat, you can never tell. Back now. When I called Gus and offered a cookie, he came bounding up the stone steps from the really dark back yard. When he got close enough for the light to hit, it was almost like I had my own show dog. Like below. With the serious case of red eye. Debbil Dawg.

Last but not least: the group winner for German Shepherd dog. My beloved first dog was a GSD. She was perfect. I miss her still. She looked a lot like this.

Westminster is always fun to watch. That is, if you remember you like to watch it.

May the best dog win!
Oldest dog ever wins Westminster! Stump the Sussexx Spaniel is 10. That's 70 for you and me!! Old age doesn't mean you can't win Westminster.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Moon Shot

This is the photo I wanted to take tonight on the way home when I saw a big fat orange moon rising over Ponce de Leon on my way to pick up the Golden Ones.

Only, the traffic lights were in the way.

Traffic kept moving. And...

I didn't have my camera.

But it did look very much like this. If by this that means no traffic lights, street lights, neon signs and head/tail lights.

And if I'd had my camera.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Takin' it to the Streets

I have a dream.

It is to return soon to Italy.

Now, I am fully aware that there are parts of the US I haven't seen. And there is certainly a whole world out there to see.

But Italy has so much to offer: Art. History. Religion. Fashion. Food.

The 10 days I spent there barely scratched the surface. I would like to go back and have the time to wander streets like these, and to shop in local markets for fruits and vegetables, to have cafe at the counter with the locals and to have the opportunity to be a part, in some small way, of the rhythyms of life in whatever village I am fortunate enough to stay in.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


A wonderful thing happened during this crazy week: Lightroom arrived on my doorstep! Yep, and thanks to Gretchen, I now can Lightroom with my pals.

Feels like I'm a real photographer! I can join Candi, Traci, Gretchen and all the other big girl photographers :) from my class last November.

Lightroom is a photography management tool, lets you keep up with all your photos and lets you do some photo editing...but maybe the best thing for me this very minute is that I can see my photos in Lightroom without having to run a converter on the camera raw files that are created by taking a picture. {purrrrr}


Now I just need to remember how it works...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Nobler Pursuits

I work to fulfill a need to achieve, to compete, to be part of something bigger than myself.

Psych. I work so I can buy dogfood and pay the mortgage on the doghouse and provide toys, walks, grooming, doggie social outings, vetcare and, above all, naps.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

New Take

Except for the hydrangea I shared last week, I'm pretty much a SOOC person lately. That particular photo lent itself to a nice sepia tone, so I did. Most of the time, though, these photos are not edited unless they are cropped.

I had a lot of running around to do today, so on my way from my haircut to get the Golden Ones, I stopped and changed into a big sweater, jeans and uggs. The plucked uggs. Oh, didn't I tell you? Well, Gus plucked the fleece off the inside of the top of the left ugg. Plucked it clean as a chicken in the grocery store. Clean as a whistle. Whatever that means.

And I grabbed my camera because I was going to be going by the family's yard that seems to be "seasonal displays are us". Nothing new yet.

But on the way I saw this and shot it from inside my car. Pretty colors, right? And the name of the restaurant is the same as Molly, phonetically.

When I was unloading the car (extra coat and homework), I looked up and saw this:

Gus didn't get the message that we were being very, very still. But the rail and the moon did pretty well for handholding at a really slow speed. See the reflection on the bottom of the rail from the moon on the lens?

And last but not least, I haven't had bangs in 2 or 3 years, since I decided I would have everything one length because it had to be much easier to get ready in the morning. So, I had bangs cut today. And I got highlights.

So, I'm pretty happy with the bangs. And the highlights.
Tried anything new lately?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Last year's Althea
ISO 100

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Odds and Ends

Here are some things that I wondered this weekend:

Can anyone tell me why this dog wants to lay half on/half off a nice soft, warm dog bed in cold weather?

Did you know that to buy Gen-U-Wine Deruta, Italy pottery, one should go to a suburban antique/thrift store in Decatur, Georgia?

Did anyone expect that the light fixture they removed during an update of their old house would be sold as Art Deco glass years down the road?

Did anyone know that sometimes going to the other Whole Foods on the way home from your weekend outing will nearly get you killed in the parking lot even if it saves gas?

Does anyone else pass this view of the skyline and think about how to take a picture of it that does it justice?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Candlemas Day

From the family who brought you the Pilgrims and the giant snow man face...

Here's hoping you don't see your shadow.

As the light grows longer

The cold grows stronger

If Candlemas be fair and bright

Winter will have another flight

If Candlemas be cloud and snow

Winter will be gone and not come again

A farmer should on Candlemas day

Have half his corn and half his hay

On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop

You can be sure of a good pea crop


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