Monday, October 31, 2011

Autumn Eve

"That Autumn eve was stilled,

A last remains of sunset dimly burned

O'er the far forests, - like a torch flame turned

By the wind back upon the bearer's hand

In one long flare of crimson, as a brand,

The woods beneath lay black."              

R. Browning

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Joy In The Moment

Everyone should have something that they love to do, something that when they are "in the moment",  they have no idea that time is going by so quickly. Me, I like to make things! I might not be an expert at anything, and my tastes are very simple. No huge bows or frilly things for me...not sure why, just understated type of things are more my style. For a baby shower, I found instructions on how to make a diaper cake. Does everyone know what a diaper cake is? You take a pack of diapers and roll them and shape them into a shape of a cake, you then roll either a blanket or some other baby related item around each layer of diapers and then insert little baby gifts into the "cake". It's useful and beautiful- two of my favorite things! (Oh, and I crocheted that orange edging on the yellow blanket on that lowest level of the diaper was bright but the mother-to-be liked it.)

See, I really like to crochet and have done so for years.  This year, I found Sue at Sunshine International Blankets of Love and she asks for folks to send her squares which she makes into blankets and takes to elderly care homes.   The website is
and just this weekend, TWO magazines have featured articles about Sue and her "Sibolettes"!  I have only made a small number of squares but she has used them in her blankets.  That is the amazing thing, she treats my little stash of squares with as much respect as when she receives a whole box full of them.  This makes me so happy I can't believe it!

Everyone should have a nutty Aunt who makes them t-shirts!  The year that I made this one, I also made a tiny little Lego cake which went down a treat!  (See, it's not perfect, but it was fun to make it and my nephew seemed to like it.)

When I ever make anything in the kitchen that turns out even looking halfway decent, I always try to take a photo of it. More than anything, it has been to remind me that it is possible for me to cook or bake!

 This little plastic HAPPY BIRTHDAY has been used on my cakes for oh dear, maybe 15 years or so... is that sad or what!  (Honestly, it could even be older than that.)

If I see any nice art or photographs of fruit or flowers, I cut them out and just kind of gently wedge them into my kitchen cabinets...I would much rather look at this rather than plain wood.  You spend so much time in the kitchen, might as well look at something you like.  You see, I am an artist trapped inside a working woman's body!

For years, I have made sugar cookies for Christmas.  Do you see the bird shaped cookie? I got that cookie cutter for free with a woman's magazine, it was English, of course!  Don't you just want to dive into those cookies?

What do you do that you are "in the moment" and time just flies by and you are amazed that you have spent so much enjoyable time that time itself seems suspended as if you are in a science fiction movie?
It's a wonderful place to be and I wish this for all who read this today!  Enjoy your life and do what gives you joy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Arabia Mountain, My Blog and A Video

My husband and I have been able to visit Arabia Mountain area TWICE more this week.  That means we have climbed it six times in the past eleven days!   We are doing this simply because we enjoy it so much and we know it is good exercise.

Today as we climbed up, a woman was speaking with a group of young men at the base of the mountain and as we walked past, I heard her say that she had been reading a blog on Arabia Mountain.   As we walked further past, I heard her voice carry up the mountain to my ears and this is what I heard, "...and she talked about climbing Arabia Mountain THREE times!".   This just made me stop in my tracks and I turned around to look at her.  The young men must have wondered why I was staring at them.  Do you think that I would say, "Hey, that's my blog you're talking about!"?  No, I'm a little too shy for that...I just kept on walking, marvelling that anyone reads my blog!

 Hopefully, you will be able to see the video that my husband took today on the top of the mountain.    We were all alone and it was heavenly!  But now, you will be with us... Enjoy! 


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I would humbly suggest that not too many things in this world are perfect.  The weather in Georgia, at the moment, would come very close to it.  My pan of fried sweet potatoes for our dinner tonight which came from my Daddy's garden, also close to perfect. The bag of tortilla chips that my husband bought recently which has the magical words "gluten-free" stamped upon the bag not once, but twice, is very near perfect to my taste. (They are "ON THE BORDER"  brand for those needing a gluten free diet, and my husband loves them.)  For something that is perfect, I actually have something that might just fit the bill...

These mason jars are my Daddy's.  After I opened this aqua colored one, I went online and it really looks as if this one is from 1910 or 1915!   How many people have used this one jar?  How many hands have touched it?  What made them stamp that word "Perfect" upon these early jars?  I can't find an explanation for it.  Apparently, the blue color is from iron imperfections in the glass but I think it is lovely.  There is also a small bubble in the side, and that is another indication that it is an early piece. 

  My Dad knows that this is an old jar but he USES it still.  I love beautiful things but I love useful things too!  These jars will be returned to my Dad when they are both empty and hopefully, will be refilled with wonderful food from his garden.  Now, that is what I call PERFECT. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Arabia Mountain x 3

What could be better than climbing Arabia Mountain last weekend?  How about this:  my husband calls me on his way home from work on Friday and says, "Would you like to go to Arabia the minute I get home and climb the mountain?  What do you say?"   What would I say?  Are you kidding me?  You know I said "Yes, let's go!"

Here's the wonderful thing, we climbed it on Friday evening.  We went BACK on Saturday and climbed it AGAIN (this time a little later and saw the sunset from the top.)   And then, we went again today (Sunday) and not only did we walk up the mountain, but remember that boardwalk at the base of the mountain?  We walked across the way there and ended up walking about six miles .  We kept trying to find a covered bridge which EVERY SINGLE PERSON that we asked told us that there was no such thing. We saw it on a map of the area, and now that we are back home, we think we can find it when we go back.  (Yes, we tend to forget little things like maps!)  Let's hope we can find all those folks who told us it didn't exist!

The yellow daisies were still there, even though some had gone to seed and we enjoyed seeing tiny birds flitting down to enjoy those seeds! (We can identify most birds in this area, but the sun was so bright, it was hard to see them.)  We were very excited to see something that we have enjoyed at Stone Mountain before, it is a beautiful wildflower called a beautyberry! What a perfect name for it! Just after I took a few photos of the beautyberry, we walked to another boardwalk which is over a bit of woodland stream and we walked on the path which goes to Arabia Lake.  We saw some movement on the trail, and just ahead of us were three deer!  Now, deer are very plentiful in Georgia, so we knew that there would be lots of them in this protected area, but we still didn't expect to see them!

These photos show what we saw, but I just wish you could hear the calls of the birds, smell the fresh air with the scent of pines, and feel that warm hard rock beneath your feet.  You can imagine it, can't you? Ready to see Arabia again?  Yes, let's go!

Why are we walking so much?  The weather is FANTASTICALLY beautiful.  It is my opinion that there is about a week in April and a week or so in October that, in Georgia anyway, are absolutely PERFECT.  So during this brief period of time, you must get outside as much as possible.  We are trying our best, not easy when you both work and both on different schedules, but we manage it somehow.
Just a note about the signs that I photographed.  The one with the scientific name for the yellow daisy... I have seen two different names for it, so I wonder which one is correct? Could the sign be in error? I found a different name for it and also it is mentioned in one of of the comments on my last post. Which is correct?  Interesting thought, what if the sign IS wrong.  Can someone tell me the best way to tell the Arabia Mountain Alliance?  Please could someone outside this country let them know for me, if that is the case.  I don't want them to have any hard feelings against me, and not let me come back!  Also, we laughed but we shouldn't have, that you actually have to tell folks not to drive golf balls off Arabia Mountain...
Hope everyone has a lovely week and is able to get outside as much as possible.

Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve
One of the most remarkable and unusual hikes in the Atlanta area, the trails across the exposed granite hills, wetlands, and pine/oak forests at Arabia Mountain take you back nearly a half-billion years in time. Arabia Mountain is a monadnock, an isolated outcrop of exposed rock, near Lithonia (Greek for “place of rock”). In 1973 the Davidson Mineral Company donated the property to DeKalb County for a park. In 2006 Arabia Mountain, Panola Mountain, and surrounding areas were recognized by the National Park Service as the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yellow Flowers Mark The Way

Let's climb Arabia Mountain today!
We went on a climb/walk up Arabia Mountain this past weekend. There were stone cairns to mark the way, but the yellow daisies which bloom at the mountain were charmingly lining the pathway up the mountain. These little flowers also bloom at Stone Mountain, and they are even called Stone Mountain Yellow Daisies or Confederate Daisies, but that is according to the dictionary, I have only ever heard them called Yellow Daisies. This is the astonishing thing: they only grow within a 60 mile radius of Stone Mountain. I wonder if that figure is correct today and perhaps that radius might now be smaller.

The wonderful thing is that these flowers are at their peak at the first of September. So we were happily surprised by the abundance of these lovely flowers on our walk .  They may not have been at their best, but oh, it was a pleasure to see them. Arabia Mountain has just in the past few years been completely transformed by new walking and bike trails around the mountain. There is another mountain close by, Panola Mountain, and both of these were heavily quarried for the lovely granite. Stone Mountain is just north of these mountains, about seven or eight miles away. Arabia Mountain is part of what is a National Heritage Area and will eventually link up to the thousands of acres at the Monastery.   (I have written an earlier post about the Monastery here in Rockdale County.)
The elevation of Arabia Mountain is 948 feet above sea level.  Not as high as  Stone Mountain (which is 1,686 feet) but enough to get you away from the madding crowd. We only saw a few people and other than that, we were completely alone.   Lovely.

These last few photos are of the boardwalk that skirts around the base of the mountain and then the trail continues across the road and goes on for miles and miles.   The yellow daisies were so beautiful.  I hope someday that yellow flowers will mark your way.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stone Mountain April

 Nothing like record breaking heat to make you think of a cool Spring day.  (It was 85 degrees today! ) Anyone fancy another climb up my favorite mountain?   These were taken on April 15th and it was another cool overcast day and it was lovely!  The flowers were blooming and the trees were that exquisite shade of light green...

Having trouble getting these photos in the order that I like, but I hope that this nice climb can be imagined and enjoyed!

 My husband took most of these photos and that one above is one of my favorites...when we walked out of the woods from the Cherokee Trail and stepped onto that path, it just took our breath away, it really was that beautiful.
 Stone Mountain viewed from the lake.  Can you believe we were just on top of it?


 Look, my better half took a photo of my better half!

 Americans can drive anywhere, you know.

You know the nerdy people who take photos of signs like these...that would be me.  I love this quote, this is on a plaque inside the building on the very top of Stone Mountain. There are also  signs explaining all the plants and animals on Stone Mountain.  The tiny water pools even have tiny shrimp in the spring!   By the way, Stone Mountain is 1,686 feet above sea level.  It's like being on top of the world!  Hope you enjoyed the view...  Arabia Mountain still to come in another post,  not as spectacular as Stone Mountain, but charming in its own way.