Monday, May 11, 2020

Turning Japanese Episode 1

I was a bit hesitant to do this post as it could be construed as a rehashing of old vacation photos. Well, I guess it is, but let's try to look at it as something else - the exploration of the aesthetic contributions of another culture. Anyway, we could all use a little Zen these days.

While touring Oregon this summer, we had the opportunity to visit the Portland Japanese Garden, “the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan” per His Excellency Nobua Matsunaga, the former Ambassador of Japan to the United States. Yes, that's a mouthful and yes, I totally pulled it from their website.

I started culling the photos taken that day and found so many images that I wanted to share - this is going to have to be a 3 part mini-series.

Episode 1.

Yours truly at the start of our tour, The pack holds a selection of iPhone lenses... seriously.

The approach to the Cultural Village is quite dramatic with glass balustraded walkways and stairs. Note the moss covered roofs of the Pavilions. 

Zen Garden through a fisheye lens.

Oh, the serenity!  Feeling calmer?

The requisite Koi. I only added this to fuel Andrew's fish phobia.

Three little...uh, two little maids... visitors, NOT actors.

Moss lawn and stone wall... perfection.

Up the steps....

Down the steps.

We'll rest here for now and center ourselves.

To learn more about the Portland Japanese Garden, visit

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

This Little Piggy Stayed Home

We've been sheltered in place for weeks.

We've been eating home cooked meals for weeks.

The gym has been closed for weeks.

And, we've walked miles of suburban streets for weeks.

The latter, perhaps a vain (both definitions apply) attempt to offset the side effects of the former three.

Each block is marked off evaluating renovations, critiquing paint colors, admiring landscaping, and chiding those who still don't understand the concept of social distancing.

It's a pretty mundane process - each day the same routine, the same houses, the same yards. But, every now and then you turn a corner and run across something that still manages to raise an eyebrow (or two).

Yard Art Gone to Pot(s)

The Bilbo Baggins Townhouse - an Alternative to Tree Stump Removal

The Organic Mailbox

Miss Sue E. - Breaking the Accepted Bounds of Suburban Pet Ownership.
I admit, I'm Concerned for Her Safety as U.S. Meat Processing Plants Continue to Close.

Take a walk. Open your eyes. And, experience the absurd in your neighborhood.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Pandemic Pollyana

I haven't posted since we first moved into our previous office space nearly six years ago. But, I'm not going to beat myself up about that, as it's still a more frequent emergence than some species of cicadas.

Here we are, nearly a year and a half in our new office space, and current events have afforded me the time and opportunity to update our website, revamp our image and try to increase our SEO (whatever that is). Where's a millennial when you need one?

In the past I've posted somewhat snarky and caustic commentaries, usually about design and things that I found irritating. A college English professor once told me that she found my wit sharp and interesting but was concerned that someone so young could be so cynical. Hmmm...

All that being said, I've decided that perhaps a more positive tone and view on life might do us all some good. Atlanta's stay-at-home mode has provided plenty of time for lengthy walks through the neighborhood.  We've lived here for 20 years, but are just now discovering things that go unnoticed when you pass by in a car.

Like most good walks, this one starts with willing yourself out of bed.

A hammock hangs lazily over Glenn Creek...
not the North Georgia Mountains, but just off North Decatur Road.
Who knew?

And, look what's downstream and across the street - complete with weather vane. 

Further upstream... the old bridge (1908) that was once part of Church Street.

Future content will feature more "finds" and musings. Until then, wash your hands and don't touch anyone, even with a six-foot pole.