Thursday, August 28, 2008


Be careful what you wish for.

The Atlanta metropolitan area has been in a drought these last several years and the lakes and waterways surrounding the area have been diminishing and diminishing. As a result, we have instituted strict watering policies, residents have changed their car-washing habits, and shortened our showers, all in hopes of alleviating the water issues here.

Then came Kay.

Lake Lanier, one of the biggest lakes in the area, and a primary source of drinking water here, has risen 2.4 feet, the lake's biggest gain in two years. The lake is still 15 feet below full, but that 22 billion gallons it got last weekend really helps the problem. And with Tropical Storm Gustav on his way, the area is bound to get even more rainfall. The drought is by no means over, but this soaking is really important to the area.

Trouble is, not everyone wants so much water.

Down in southwest Georgia, roads are impassable, homes have been destroyed, and farmland has been seriously damaged -- all because of too much rainfall.

So, while we are celebrating our windfall of rain, our neighbors to the south are surveying their damage.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Too Many Men...

The last couple days I have had business meetings that lasted until the evenings and into the dinner hour. It's not often I stay in Downtown Atlanta for dinner during the week, but there I was, walking down Peachtree Street amongst the throngs of visitors and tourists and whatnot. Wednesday evening, I was struck by the sheer volume of people downtown. I really had no idea how active a nightlife Downtown Atlanta enjoys. I thought everyone went to Buckhead or Midtown for their evening fun, but with all the new hotel construction down here and the new Aquarium and World of Coke just a couple blocks from here, it makes sense there are more people around these days.

That was my Wednesday evening observation.

Last night, I suddenly realized that practically everyone around me was male. There were a few females here and there, but really, the place was overrun with men.
So, I asked around and found that the International Woodworking Fair is at the Georgia World Congress, just a couple blocks from my office, and there are approximately 40,000 attendees. Most of those attendees are men, filling all the available hotel rooms in the area.

Holy crap!

I knew what I had to do: Call Alice!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Finally, a Finished Object!

I've been working on this medallion tunic from Spring Vogue Knitting all summer. I even had the crazy notion I'd finish it in time for my trip to Scotland, but seeing as how I just finished it today, two months after my return, I was pretty wrong in my calculations. It's not that this was terribly difficult, it's a relatively straightforward all-over lace pattern, but it was tedious and I just got bored.
In the end, I made only one change to the original pattern, and that was to add the loop and the button at the neckline. The head opening is plenty big (though in this picture, it looks like it might strangle the wearer) and the flaps just didn't fall right.
Anyway, I'm pretty impressed with myself.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Yum! Join a CSA!

My friend, Jennie, is looking for a job to do in retirement. She and her husband live on a few acres of land in Social Circle (also home to the Blue Willow Inn and Nathalie DuPree) and she was musing about getting goats and having a microfarm one day. She had me read an article about a Georgia farmer delivering food to regular customers here in Atlanta. She was intrigued by the idea she and her husband might start such a small farm. I really liked the idea of getting my food direct from the farmer, so I investigated existing CSA farms.

It's not a new concept, I remember hearing about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) back when we lived in Ann Arbor. But, just never jumped on the idea for my own groceries. Basically, customers "join" a CSA farm, generally offering up a weekly fee (either year round or just during prime growing season months, depending on the farm), and the farm supplies its members with weekly produce. Whatever is fresh that week. Tomatoes and corn in the peak of summer, broccoli and lettuce later on and potatoes in the fall, etc. Whatever is ripe, you get the idea.

There are 1000s of these kinds of farms in the U.S. There is usually a maximum number of customers each farm can service -- and most are at capacity by mid summer.

I did a google search on "CSA farm Georgia" and found many sites, some were listings of the farms, some were the websites for the individual farms. I settled on TaylOrganics, a farm in Ellenwood, Georgia (which also happens to be the subject of the article Jennie had me read). I planned to join up weeks ago, but was required to send a check. I had everything filled out and ready to go, but never actually sent the check.

I told my Monday Night Knitters about it, and Nell mentioned Moore's Farm and Friends. Debbie and I signed on right away (though Debbie thinks I am still with TaylOrganics, but no, that check daggumm check got in my way!). But with Moore's Farms, you can sign up and pay for everything online! Perfect! I pick up my fruits and veggies in Downtown Decatur, just minutes from my house (there are many, many locations around Atlanta for convenient pickups).

Yesterday's bounty has me salivating over what I will prepare for tonight's meal. Len came home last night to a freshly prepared asparagus, mushroom, onion and fontina cheese frittata, prepared with organic farm fresh eggs and onion from the Moore's farm folks. On the side was an amazing heirloom tomato salad with Florida avocado and cucumbers, all from my Moore's farm package. I added only a bit of salt and pepper, no oils or vinegars on those luscious 'maters needed. Yum!

Tonight, I am planning a delicious tomato pie and a cold side salad made with the rest of the asparagus that I didn't prepare last night, with fresh peppers and cucumbers -- and a splash of vinegar. Tomorrow, we'll have some of the wonderful squash from the package, and something made with my Yukon Gold 'taters.

I mention this to folks who invariably ask if I worry I can't use all the veggies I get. No! Len and I are eating better with the CSA than we ever have. It's good food, at the peak of ripeness, grown with no artificial pesticides. It's all organic, whatever that really means (Len has me confused about that one). Not only that, we are helping the environment in many ways, by supporting local farmers. Our food isn't tranported all over the place, just within Moore's delivery area (probably a 100-mile radius of distribution, max), and our food producers don't use the aforementioned pesticides on their crops.

So, if you haven't already, look into supporting a CSA. Google it.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

My fingernails are stained

I went on a fiber dying binge last night. After several hours and several pounds of fiber, I came up with this.

Friday, August 01, 2008

August Musings

Geez. I've got the summer lazies. I keep meaning to write, but...

I went to visit my mom last weekend. My big brother, John, was home from Qatar and my big sister, Paula, flew to Altanta and we drove down to Tallahassee together for the family visit.

We had a lot of fun. John's wife, Karen, had a new pool put in while John's been gone, and we thoroughly enjoyed it and their hot tub. Their back yard is a vacation paradise. Karen made vodka and cranberry drinks all around, and she's a pretty heavy pourer -- even Paula joined the fun. I forgot to bring my bathing suit, so I wore an old suit of mom's -- she hasn't been swimming since the early 90s, when she was merely 65 or so, so you can imagine how glamorous I looked. Plus, I really don't like getting sunburnt, so I waited in the shade until the sun subsided a bit. I got a kiss of color, because you just can't help that, but nothing serious.

Paula, whose husband passed away in January, really looked good. The last time I saw her was in April, and she still looked pretty tired and out of sorts. Now, she looks much healthier and happier. She's going to be just fine.

John is doing really well. He looks good, he's having fun, and he and Karen seem happy. What more is there?

Len is pretty happy I don't have another trip scheduled for a good while. This summer, I've been to Scotland and Vegas and Tallahassee, and he's been to Cleveland.

He starts school again very soon. His last year, and I can hardly believe how fast the time has gone. I am really looking forward to the schooling being over. A year from now, he'll have finished school and taken the bar exam. Woohoo! Nothing left but finding out the results.