Tech Envy

During a recent trip, I sat tethered to a high-speed connection line on my laptop while my friends Jo Ann & Maggie surfed un-chained on their iPads via 3G. The wireless connection in our room wasn’t working, and making a too-long story short, the hotel’s IT department was less than helpful getting it fixed. So there I sat, at the desk, watching from afar as my friends enjoyed their tablets out on the patio. They were dancing with wild abandon with those slim little gadgets. I was sitting. And I was sad.

I have a major case of tech envy, and I’m not embarrassed to say that. The Amazon Kindle Fire looks super cool, and the price is great, I just don’t know if I can wait that long. We’re off on a Mediterranean cruise soon and I would LOVE to be able to whip out some quick blog posts or other social media updates on a tablet. I’m surely not carrying my clunky laptop all over the place.

Jeff has an Acer tablet, maybe he’ll let me borrow it to get a fix.

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All Creatures Great and Small

There’s a crew of workers up on our roof today, fixing damage wrought by a team of clever critters. Our attic was invaded by raccoons this summer. They were affectionately known as Rocky, Ricky and Three. By #3 we were so over it we stopped naming them. We live practically in the inner city, and we have raccoons? Our neighbor had a possum, inside the house, so in relative terms we got off easy. That’s Three on the right, waving goodbye.

“Oh but they’re so cute,” a friend commented about one of the pictures online. “Not $1,000 cute,” Jeff replied. There are so many more fabulous things we would have loved to buy, see or do with $1,000. A last-minute discount got us a lovely, 5-night, all-inclusive resort stay in St. Lucia for $1,000 earlier this year. We could use it to have full internet access on our Mediterranean cruise (surely it’s not THAT expensive?). We could have booked a 5-star hotel in Rome for an upcoming trip for $1,000. OK, maybe only one night, but it could have been SPECTACULAR! Actually, we probably never would have done that, but isn’t the thought nice? Nicer than a family of raccoons in the attic. Check out Rocky above/left.

In case you’re wondering, we used Urban Wildlife Control, a wildlife removal service that uses live traps and releases the animals to the wild…in the woods far, far away from our house. We highly recommend them, A.J. is a raccoon whisperer & our new best friend. Here’s baby Ricky on the right.

We’re sure that Rocky, Ricky & Three will live a joyous full life in Atlanta’s eastern suburbs & wish them Godspeed. We love animals; we were even really fond of the 5-foot black snake that was living around our yard. That is, until it was brutally murdered after he scared the City’s yard waste removal crew. We weren’t there to stop it because we were enjoying that lovely long weekend in St. Lucia when it happened.

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The Hum of the City

I grew up in Savannah, Ga. on a street that might have seemed busy for such a laid back place. Washington Avenue, in Savannah’s Ardsley Park neighborhood, was a divided street, with an oak tree-and-azalea lined median. This meant, as a child, that I was strictly forbidden from crossing the street without a grown up present. That was especially challenging sometimes, given that our first cousins lived catty-cornered across Washington Ave. & Harmon St. The instinct was to just look one way, run to the middle, look the other way, and run across. But oh no, you didn’t do it. The other reality of our street was there was a dip in the intersection. On an otherwise quiet street, if a heavy truck went by, or even just a car driving too fast, you heard it bump over that dip in the intersection.

When my parents moved from Washington Avenue out to Turner’s Rock, on the marsh abutting the Wilmington River, the silence was so evident. Instead of being jarred awake by trucks that were going too fast and bottoming out, you would wake up to birds, or frogs, or simply that unique sound of the incoming tide lingering into the marsh and the mud sucking it all up.

These days are the time of year when Atlanta is at its finest. We can open our windows to the cool weather and remember how much we enjoy the screen porch that is too hot in the summer. Which means, the windows of my office are open, or I’m working in the ‘kitchen office’ with the doors to the screen porch open wide to the cool, refreshing air. And we’re sleeping with windows open wide to the Fall air.

Here in Atlanta the hum of the city from our back porch includes the constant zip of cars on the Downtown Connector, the merging of I-75 & I-85 that goes through downtown Atlanta. If you looked at a map of Atlanta, our home is just to the right side of the Y after the highways go their separate ways. As one of my cousins once said, the hum is not a bad sound; if you can hear it, you’re close enough to it to get around quickly. The sound from here also includes the rush of the MARTA train every few minutes. When Jeff takes the scooter to the MARTA station on his commute I hear it & think, there he goes, off to work to push tin at the airport! And sometimes the hum includes the sound of a concert from Piedmont Park, like Paul McCartney, or the Eagles, or just some random band out there to entertain.

The hum of the city might be a dip in the road, a frog in a marsh, or a siren on a highway. It is never consistent, but it is always reliable as a soothing sound. Just in time to soothe me to sleep. For tonight, I’ll drown out the hum of the highway & imagine it’s the sound of the sunset and an incoming tide over the coastal marsh.

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

My neighborhood in Atlanta, Ansley Park, has just been named one of the Great Places in America: Neighborhoods by the American Planning Association. One of the first ‘suburbs’ of downtown Atlanta when originally developed, today Ansley Park would be considered in-town, not suburban, living. The neighborhood boasts a wide range of architecture, tree-lined streets, numerous parks and a location that’s within easy walking distance to shops, restaurants and some of Atlanta’s best cultural attractions. But to me, it’s just home.

When I first bought my home 12 years ago, the previous owners gave me this photo that was taken when the house was being built, in July of 1929.They told me that one day a young man rang the doorbell and explained that his grandfather was an architect and hobby photographer in Atlanta in the 1920s. He loved to explore different areas and take photos. He precisely logged the address and the date for each photo and signed his name on the back. After he passed away, his grandchildren found boxes of these photos in the attic and thought, what better way to preserve history than to bring them to the current owners of those homes.

I loved to show off the photo to my friends. But for many years it sat in a drawer encased in a plastic sleeve. It was cut in half and taped back together, perhaps because at the time photos could not be printed in 8 x 10 format. It sat in that drawer for years and a few months ago I brought it out for some reason or other. My husband and I realized it was a treasure of the past, and recently had the photo restored & framed.

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I Like Me Here

This weekend is my annual girls’ trip to Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ. It’s the perfect place to relax, reflect & reenergize. There are opportunities to try new fitness classes (Beaming, anyone?) or to pamper yourself by getting scrubbed with mango sugar. There are even chances to stretch your limits and get out of your comfort zone. Sometimes you realize that there was a reason something was out of your comfort zone, and that’s OK too. In the end, it’s usually a great learning experience.
Tomorrow we go back to reality, but life in the Canyon Ranch bubble has been delightful, as always. As my dear friend Jo Ann says, I like me here.

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Nice to see you!

Welcome to my blog & thanks for checking it out. I hope you will find it informative as well as amusing on occasion. Hope to see you here again soon.

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