Light from the Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2016, and catching up with past Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine

I always have to “go toward the light” when I see a gorgeous fixture —

Following the light fixture

Following the light fixture,  Castleberry Hill Loft Tour (Oct 22, 2016)

Following the light fixture

Here it is from beneath…

But meanwhile, that balcony view led to something shiny too – the roof in the distance. I’m not a sports fan, so had to ask–  it’s the new Atlanta Falcons’ Stadium. Here it is from the terrace off the top floor (and how about that fountain?).

Stadium view from Castleberry Hill

Shiny roof — stadium view from Castleberry Hill

Sam has sharper eyes than I do, he’s the one who said, “Look at the workers on the roof!”  I had to use my telephoto to see them. Zooming in…

Workers on the stadium roof - Atlanta

Workers on the stadium roof - Atlanta

Workers on the stadium roof - Atlanta

Of course, after enjoying the tour I had to come home to my own mess.  Today I’ve been listening to an audiobook called Does This Clutter Make my Butt Look Fat? while sorting and consolidating piles and boxes of stuff displaced by bath remodeling.

Here’s a quote —

Your home shouldn’t overwhelm you. It should give you shelter from the storm, and it should be more than a roof over your head. It’s up to you to make your home support you in your quest for happiness.

Does This Clutter Make my Butt Look Fat?  – Peter Walsh

–I missed the photo challenge Shine, but I see the next is Chaos — is that right up my alley or what? (And you know I can’t help but wonder, does this clutter make my butt look fat?)


More on the past Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine

2016’s Castleberry Hill Loft Tour, Coming Up Oct 22 (and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Local)

Atlanta locals, take note. It’s almost time for this year’s Castleberry Hill Loft Tour. Meanwhile, just for inspiration, here’s a mini-photo-tour from last year…

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015 - dining area

I love the rhyming lines in the stair railing and the chair backs.

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

In the same home, with Sam checking out a window of the laundry room.

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

A great idea for displaying a collection of vinyl…

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

Can you tell the owner here also runs an art gallery?

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015 - mannequin and art

Another view — art? mannequin? hat-rack?

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

Welcome now to more signs of my obsession with stairways…

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015


Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015 - art and stairwell

Down one more stairway and out — back soon for this year’s tour.

Revisiting last year’s tour is wake-up call for me; I see that yet another year has passed and I still haven’t finished downsizing. If I’m going to get out of my house and find a new home in a condo, apartment, or loft by this time next year I’m going to have to focus. Meanwhile, on Saturday I’ll get another look at Castleberry Hill — an historic intown neighborhood,  interior brick walls, stairway angles, tall ceilings and gallery walls — all very appealing.

What do you think? Doesn’t a loft look like a great alternative?

More on the Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2016

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Local


Seeing the Light Fixtures, Remodeling Can be Fun, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

Remodeling projects are a quest for beauty, practicality, and OK, resale value. But here’s what I hadn’t realized —  they can also be a quest for fun. Before I settle down and get practical, I’ll share these favorites among the lights I’ve seen while shopping and touring.

Who knew there were light fixtures for plane and train fans (and small boys)… these were a happy surprise when I was shopping.

Airplane light fixture

Airplane light

Train car light fixture - "Choo Choo"

It’s “Choo Choo”, the train car light. I loved the airplane so much that I had to ask what else was available — this is from the catalog.

Hall light fixtures from Modern Atlanta Homes Tour house

I love this starry minimalist light from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour – too bad I’ve neither the budget nor the expansive hallway to support one.

Sputnik light - Modern Atlanta Homes Tour

And lights can be fun — this one reminds me of the Sputnik era. And I love how they echoed the shape with the plant below.

Pendant lights with telephone pole insulator shades

Going retro with telephone pole insulator shades

Pendant lights with telephone pole insulator shades

And for the nostalgic, a closer look

And for those who prefer a quest for fire, I’ll include these, also from past Modern Atlanta Homes Tours…

Fireplace and painting from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2016

If I were that tree I might be a little nervous (fireplace and painting from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2016)

Fireplace from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2013

One more modern quest for fire (Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2013)

What will it be, fire or light?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest


More Drawer Explosions, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge

I’m living on the edge of reason around here while remodeling is going on. With everything out of place, I needed at least one corner where I could bring order out of chaos. I found two drawers in the “bar” cabinet (doesn’t every 1970’s suburban house have one?) that hadn’t been visited in a long time.  Here’s my most important find — as you can see, it’s a bit bunged up, I’m assuming from past use.

Panic Button

Panic button, also needed for Earth-evacuation in a ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ scenario. Oh wait, maybe that was “Don’t Panic”, much harder to do.

As for a list of finds, here goes —

9 wine-bottle corks. I gave away the wine, so that makes these how old?

12 clip-on flashing lights like we used a decade ago when walking at 0-dark-thirty in the morning.

3  can openers,  4 sleek mid-century-looking bottle openers, 6 can/bottle openers of the kind that were once called “Church-keys”, including a cute little folding one, and 7 corkscrews (4 I didn’t even know what were at first).

5 screwdrivers… now that I think of it, very appropriate for a bar area, at least in a bad-pun sort of way. Also 5 more pairs of scissors, and many little oddities. Here’s my favorite oddity…

Celebrator goat ornament

It took only a little surfing to find out that bottles of ‘Celebrator Doppelbock’ come with these ornaments on the neck. Bob loved his German beer, so it’s good to think that he once enjoyed the bottle this came from. Oh, and apparently bock means ‘goat’ as well as a type of beer, so mystery solved.

Also on the subject of German beer – more of Bob’s coaster collection – pretty, yes?

German beer coasters

And my nomination for the award for Most Out of Place — a fossil remnant from a past Gem and Mineral Show …

Fossil - Exogyra Cretaceous - Texas

Exogyra Cretaceous, Texas

And here’s the obligatory drawer-explosion photo, a partial-view, after throw-aways —

Another drawer explosion

Do you have any cabinets that need exploding?


More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge

More on Exogyra Cretaceous

Buying a New Air Conditioner, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Details

I usually spend so much time snarled in the details of decision-making that it takes months to decide on a major purchase, but this time I had to be quick. On July 4 weekend, one of the hottest of the summer, my upstairs air conditioner uttered a mighty “thunk” and died.

Death was not entirely unexpected (but timing could definitely have been better). The old furnace and a/c were original to the house, which made them 37 years old. I’m surprised they made it this long, but a good maintenance plan helped.

Old AC-Furnace unit lurks in the attic

Here’s part of the old unit, lurking in the attic, disconnected and ready to leave.

I’d been hoping they’d last until I’m ready to move out. They were so large that I couldn’t imagine how they’d get them out of the attic, but as Sam would say, “these guys are trained professionals.” It all came down in pieces.

Furnace and A/C pieces are down

Old Furnace and AC unit come down the attic stair

Later I saw this part out in the driveway – I think it looks like a robot heart. See the aorta? But then, I’ve been watching The Iron Giant and Big Hero Six, so everything looks like a giant-robot-part to me.

Ductwork looks like a Robot Heart

I’m lucky the house has zoned systems, so the unit downstairs still worked. I moved downstairs and slept on the couch for two weeks until the new one was installed.

The old upstairs unit was noisy and friendly. I would hear it think about coming on, clink and groan a little, then run through it’s cycle. The new one is distant and serene, whisper quiet, and a little like the ambient hum of the Starship Enterprise. On the bright side, I no longer need to get a Star Trek White Noise Sleep Machine (“Effective as a Vulcan nerve pinch”).

New attic furnace and air conditioner 'system'

Here it sits, crouching in the attic amid that muscular and shiny ductwork. Now I get to feel virtuous about its energy-efficiency.

 At least when it comes time to sell the house, it’ll be a desirable detail on the list of upgrades. Meanwhile, I can move back upstairs and sleep in a bed, lulled to sleep by the ambient hum of… oh dear, could there be a warp engine in my attic?

Oh yes, and the new system is smart. It emails me acknowledgement when I change the settings on the thermostat. It wants to talk to my phone, but I haven’t let the phone know that yet.

What does your A/C sound like? And, do you let it talk to your phone?


More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Details

And, after some investigation on Youtube (where you can download hours of the sound) here’s the Enterprise…


Battlestar Galactica’s Cylon Base Stars are noisier, but you can get that sound too.


Leftover Foreign Currency, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Spare

Got any spare change?

Spare Change

Funny that they call it “currency” because it seems to go out of date pretty quickly.

I’ve been tidying up for quite a while now, but even though I’m heading for a spare (simple) environment, I still keep spares (extras) of useful things. What hadn’t occurred to me until I saw this photo challenge?   — Change… spare change that is. And when it comes to pre-euro European currency, I can vouch for the fact that nobody wants it.

Before our trip to England in May, I found a stash of British currency that must have been from the 1980s. I found more traveler’s checks too, and in pounds — bonus!. I was singing “We’re in the money…” but then, when we got there, we had to find someone who’d take the traveler’s checks (thank you Post Office).

Leftover currency from New Zealand

More leftovers. Bob had just a small amount left from a 1990s business trip to New Zealand.

I had enough English currency to be a welcome addition to trip expenses, but it did require side-trips to the bank to exchange it for current — ok, “up-to-date” — currency. The old stuff was no longer spendable. In the countries on Euro, only a few banks will still exchange old currency at all. Last fall I took some leftover Belgian francs to Brussels. We spent time looking for the right bank, then learned they’d take only the larger bills. Sam thought I was joking when I said that, after the transaction fee, there might be enough for coffee.  Now I’m still left with the coins and small bills that my frugal nature doesn’t allow me to just throw away.

Coins from pre-Euro Greece

Sometimes we ended up with extra cash and kept it, thinking “we’ll be back” — and sometimes we ended up with just a souvenir amount. This little packet (with a note in Bob’s writing) was all we had leftover from Greece.

Even though it’s easy to use credit cards now, there are times it’s still good to have some cash. Tipping the cleaning staff springs to mind — I always sympathize with the maids. And in the future I’ll remember that some airlines collect extras for charity, so I could donate on the way home and avoid the spare change problem.

And this post? Late again, because it seems the only thing I don’t have enough to spare is time.

What do you do with spare foreign coins?  I’m thinking I’ll declare mine art material. A travel collage might be interesting…

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Spare

P.S. Anybody remember Scrooge McDuck? — I’m starting to feel the urge to play in piles of coins…

Another Drawer Explosion, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Jubilant

I didn’t realize another drawer explosion was about to happen until I got home from vacation, couldn’t find the key to my pickup and went drawer-diving for a spare…

Another drawer "explosion"

I don’t even know WHEN it became a junk drawer, I usually just open it a couple of inches to grab scissors or extra house keys when I need them… who knew the rest of this stuff was there.

My friend Susan says drawers and purses are like Dr. Who’s Tardis, Snoopy’s doghouse, and Harry Potter’s tent — they hold many times more than their actual size would indicate. Sadly, she observes, this does not hold true for suitcases.

Here’s a partial list of loot from the drawer:

  • 6 pairs of scissors. Yes, 6.
  • 4 pocket flashlights – 1 I just bought, not knowing the other 3 were here.
  • 9 keychains – 3 with tiny squeeze-flashlights of their own.
  • 2 pocket knives – 1 standard, 1 with Betty Boop.
  • Old stuff – an extra key to Bob’s old PO Box, a coupon from 2008 (to be fair, just 1) and these —

A ticket from the Empire State Building Observatory — that would be from 1998, just before Bob’s second surgery in NYC.

A U.N. Guided Tour button — I haven’t been, so, no clue.

A U.S. wheat penny and a 5-pfennig coin, way pre-Euro.

And is that Odie? … I can’t imagine how he got here, either.

Odds and ends found in the "junk" drawer

Drawer Oddities

Moving on…

  • 3 folding rain hats. circa 1950-60. These would have belonged to Bob’s mother because: Kansas. Through what wormhole did they arrive in my kitchen drawer?
1950s folding rain hats

I unfolded the Wonder Bread one and, amazingly, recognized that dot pattern, from childhood.

  • 3 mystery objects…

Mystery objects from the "junk" drawerEventually I noticed there’s a razor blade inside the yellow one, so it’s a paper cutter. The silver one’s hard to open, so I haven’t. The black one? I finally got it open.

Is it a compass?

Apparently it’s a compass, but it’s an indecisive one, much afflicted by the wobbles. And why does it have a ruler on the side?

The drawer’s back together now, with most of its papers and many of its objects filling the recycle bin, with a few useful ones to donate.  I even stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond today and treated myself to some drawer organizers to keep me honest. The last job to do is sort through the keys. Am I happy with my clean drawer? Yes — I’m jubilant.

Do you know what’s in your kitchen drawers?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge