[ always tell stories ]

Green Building Should Be One Of Our Top Priorities

At long last... the three-video playlist of the HGTV episode of “Ground Breakers.”

Even a stodgy old girl like mine in midtown can get a successful boob job.

Without further ‘do, enjoy.


HGTV's Ground Breakers Films Final Act

Here's a clip from behind the scenes as Justin Cave and the rest of the Ground Breakers crew shoots the final act of the green renovation at 844:

I was busy filming this and a few other clips before I took my turn in front of the camera.

This experience has been memorable from the start and I'm grateful to the entire HGTV team (not to mention Lynn Saussy for introducing us) for making the project so much fun.

More info to follow about when the episode will air, but I'm thinking it'll be in the fall sometime. They followed us from beginning to end and will likely do quite a bit of morphing and time-lapse photography on some of the elements.

Mary Grace even snapped a shot of me in make-up! Of course, I ended up sweating most of it off...


Confessions Of An Atlanta-based SUV Driver, Part II

(CHARLOTTESVILLE :: 11 August 2008) The color may have changed quite dramatically since my original post on the subject, but the crisis of conscience remains the same.

So goes my driving life with the as-yet-unnamed, gently used 2005 BMW X3 - a capable if bland SUV that gets me to my point B pretty nicely, albeit a bit more wasteful on gas than I'd like.

But then, on a steamy summer day in Atlanta when I was off to the recycling center at Dekalb Farmer's Market, I realized the true spirit of being "green" (vs. baby-spew orange) is not defined by MPG alone. It's measured in how and what you do with your footprint.

I live within a half-mile of where I work. I walk there and other places. I combine errands to reduce emissions. I walk to my workouts. I try and drive evenly so as to not waste gas (that last one being extremely difficult in the third-world war zone driving scene that is Atlanta). I carpool. I have stopped driving to the airport altogether.

There's something else: I miss my stick shift. Big time. But the trade-off there, if there could be one, is that I know
Gracie's new owner - and he's taking good care of her down in Savannah. He's promised me pictures of her, and when he sends them, I'll do a post about it. It's a cool story.

I knew it was just a matter of time before someone snatched up Gracie from the dealership.

Back to being green. I continue to clamor for an SUV in the nice-ish luxury category that has not just low emissions - try ZERO. I anticipate that day because I'll be first in line. We need that. To be kind to the planet, to be off our addition to oil (both foreign and domestic) and to be the fabulous country we used to be. Maybe one of those snazzy new diesel engines would do the trick, too. I'm considering a 2009 X3 European delivery with a standard transmission - juice boxes be damned.

So, while you're considering the hybrid "badge of honor," or if you think being green is some sort of status symbol you wear for showmanship, think again. It's in the total picture of the person that really and truly makes a tree hugger.

Alas, I was counting on
Basil as my "in" for Halloween, but it wasn't mean to be - at least not in this lifetime. He's now making another driver in metro Atlanta think hard about mileage... and about color.


Cheers To Radial Cafe For Going Green... Article To Follow

Check out this piece on WSB-TV that features Radial Cafe! If you haven't yet visited this Atlanta landmark, you should do so ASAP.

Similar article forthcoming from yours truly in Atlanta Intown newspaper. Radial is using biodegradable to-go materials (pictured here) and is exploring the idea of composting egg shells and coffee grounds.

For more, visit
Radial's MySpace page.

Here's My 'Postsecret': Byron Has Definitely Fallen Hard

I was doing my green duty riding Marta to the airport the other day and stumbled across this note... it was initially hidden from my view, but when a passenger got up I spotted it.

There was a nice gal seated to the left of the note, across from me, who thought I was nuts taking this picture -- but I wanted to capture it. All the Marta riders around me cocked their heads to figure out what I was doing.

In the spirit of "Postsecret," a collection of secrets from anonymous sources (thanks to Wayne and Ed for showing it to me), I've helped give Byron one last chance to reach the girl of his dreams.

This made riding Marta that day totally worth it.

I also gave the gal who tolerated me shooting this picture my info, so I hope she gets back. If so, give me a shout! Thanks to her for putting up with me.

So... Here is an example of honest and spontaneous affection that seems to have not found its recipient... So I'm putting this out there to keep his hopes alive.

# # #

Update: I did hear from my gal pal on Marta! Thanks to Marina for dropping me a line. See the comments section for more.

Stellar Cellar: The AJC Runs Great Piece On The Myrtle Basement

Adaptive re-users... unite! The coverage of the house renovation continues... Sick of it yet?

Thanks to Frank at WicksteadWorks for making this happen, and for being my adaptive re-use partner in crime.

Here's a link to the photo gallery, and then also, a jump to the full story by Helen Caulley.

Operational coal returns, recycled antique doors, a Japanese Zen garden. Who woulda thought?? All I can say is that I had a lot of help and that there is everything to be said for collaboration.


Of course, this post would be incomplete without
a photo show of my own. ARTvision 2008 has an official new home for artwork display!

House To Air On 'Renovation Nation' Next Week

Discovery Channel's "Planet Green" -- a brand-new, all-green channel with requisite tree-hugger programming -- will feature the house renovation next week. Check your local listings, but on my Comcast DVR it's slated for Wednesday night at 6 p.m., on "Renovation Nation."

As you check your local listings, watch out for the "Renovation Nation" that focuses on the Atlanta area.

Here's a preview of the channel itself:

And a
preview of the show:

In addition to green products,
Charley's deserts and my big gut will be featured. Don't miss it.

I'm gonna go eat my celery sticks now...

Doing My Best Not To Drool. Really.

Coming to Will's driveway in May 2009...


Confessions Of A Pumpkin-hued SUV Owner

(ATLANTA - 7 May 2008) -- OK, I'm coming clean.

I bought a new car. I got a great deal on it. Since it was a loaner that had just come off its "temp" status, I snagged it for considerably less than list.

He's an SUV, and he gets an uber-crappy 14 miles to the gallon in the city. His name is Basil, named after the big boss in the Austin Powers movies. (For those of you playing at home, yes, he puts the "Grrrr" in swinger.)

But for someone concerned about our dependency on foreign oil and saving the planet, those gas numbers royally suck. The car, however, doesn't - it's a Land Rover LR2, funky in its baby-spew orange and comfortable over Atlanta's obnoxious, lunar-surface city streets.

Still, my conscience is heavy. It's a second car to help me schlep a little easier, and navigate without bottoming out every five seconds on a shitty street like Juniper. (Chuck Benny is using Gracie for the time being.)

But no matter how elegant and agile, no matter how joyous Basil makes the jaunt from point A to B, I wish we had more choices in the luxury, small-scale SUV category that would be easier on the environment.

Until that time, and in light of this decision, I've shifted some habits that might help compensate. To wit:

-- Use Basil for recycling everything under the sun, including cardboard, glass, plastic and other household goods that the city ignores.
-- Instead of driving to my workout sessions with Eric on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I walk to his place and work out there.
-- Combine errands in a single outing and make sure to go easy on acceleration.
-- Walk to the office.
-- Do not involve myself in traffic.
-- Walk more in midtown to restaurants and shops, where possible (already doing that).

I'm so jazzed by the idea of using a new diesel engine with fry oil that I believe "Basil" will be a temporary indulgence. It'll be fun while it lasts.

In the meantime, Atlanta roads look and feel a lot less like the moon.
- WP

Before You Throw Away, Think. It Could Be Used Somewhere

As part of the renovation of the ol hizzy, Lou hired a company to come in and break up our unused and discarded brick and concrete block.

The result is a type of mulch that can be used in a number of installations, including bedding under the porch, potting anchors and much more.

Here’s the video: