We like to have green grass and flowers blooming in our little garden area all year long. 'Curb Appeal' is a term that I learned years ago when a large landscaping project was occurring.

I asked what our little space around the corner was going to receive? I was told, "Nothing! Your space has no curb appeal since it is around the corner and people can not see it from the curb."

So, for over 10 years, we have planted grass, flowers and plants and maintained the little area in front of our place.

There is a huge renovation project going on now and we were asked to remove all personal items from our patio area. So, I placed the ladder against the hill behind our place and we slid items down below. There are some things that we want to protect from the weather, so we erected our canopy.

Some may recognize the chair as one the Costleys used for many years before passing it down to us. I refinished it before Annette and Lynn were visiting. I also have my camp stove that I received when I was 12 years old stored here.

As a child, one of my favorite books was entitled, "The Light in the Forest." I loved the cover of the book as much as the story as it depicted a scene of a forest with the sunlight piercing it in a tunnel of light. One of the reasons that we have stayed here is this view out our back door.

My older brother, James, once called our place, "Earl's Walden".

We moved into this apartment on a six-month lease and we are still here over 16 years later. With 10 parks only minutes away and the Chattahoochee River National Park about 100 yards away, we have been drawn to this area and love it here.

The renovations started in the summer and now fall has passed. We have tried keeping out of the way as the much-needed renovations have been made and we have done what we could to keep our wits with the chaos going on around us.

Here is another shot of our little courtyard just as the renovations are beginning in the summer. I reseed the grass every fall and spring and we have the greenest space around. Our bird feeder is a very popular spot being located here along the Chattahoochee and next to the woods.

This is the green that I look forward to all year long. During a long, cold and dreary Georgia winter, we love seeing this green as it lifts our spirits.

We were excited as we were told that our little space had suddenly gained 'curb appeal'! Truckloads of new plants and bushes arrived and it looked like for the first time in 17 years someone, besides us, was going to plant something in our space.
The crews came through and either dug up or cut down every bush in sight and then scraped up every inch of our lawn. We sadly dug up our remaining flowers and excitedly waited for the new plants. The project manager told us the crews would be here in two hours, so be ready for a transformation!

Unfortunately, curb appeal became the reality once again. The renovation project manager wanted maximum impact, so plants, trees and crews destined for our area were redirected into places with more 'curb appeal'.

It was time for Plan B! The 17-year streak had been kept alive and no one had planted anything in our area. Our little green lawn that was just taking root became a huge mud pit two days before Christmas as the crews left.

We had help from some friends and the Christmas Caper of 2006 was on.

Usually, we decorate our bushes out front and I build a 'tree' of lights. This year we were staring at a mud pit in our front yard and it was depressing for us, our neighbors and even our pets.

We are supposed to 'keep out of the way', but we had enough of that! We found a tall 4 x 4 that had been abandoned by the renovators and planted it squarely in the middle of our 'curb appeal' and began decorating with all the lights we had left.

Our friend, Mick, helped us and decorated our bird feeder to look like a candy cane. We couldn't wait for it to get dark!

It's not Rockefeller Center or Times Square, but it was beautiful in its simplicity. It brought light and a bit of Christmas joy to the mud pit. The farther away you got from it, the better it looked! Walked across the street and I was amazed! We added some more lights the next morning and it looked better.

I was most amused at how the birds adapted. At dusk, it was fun watching the birds land on the lighted 'candy cane' as they visited the feeder. Many of the birds used our 'tree' as they lighted before going to the feeder.

After our great decorating achievement we were excited about seeing some real Christmas lights and headed for Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. Here the tree has been moved to a different part of the park and closer to the Georgia Aquarium.

Also notice the official bird of Atlanta, the construction crane, at the top left.

Looking back towards the tree, several of the Olympic light pedestals can be seen. At the top of the building just to the left of the tree is Ted Turner's penthouse.
A sculpture in the Quilt of Nations Plaza.
Atlanta is known as the 'City of Fountains' and many are located in the Olympic Park.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

When the park was being built, organizers asked for donations and the donors were given an 'Olympic Brick' with their name etched into the brick. We bought a brick and also bricks for a sister and some close friends. I could tell that my Mother wished that we had given her one. After the Olympics, they opened the program again and we bought my Mother and Father a brick.

The location disappointed me because it was in the back of the park just inside this gate but, with the new Aquarium just across the street, this gate is now the main gateway into the park. Mom and Dad, I love you! You are on Main Street now!