One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure…

Ed and I are continuing to sort through the items left behind at his parents’ house.  It’s been a slow and painful process.  We sort in small amounts because it tends to make both of us a bit sad and depressed.  The thought of disposing of the things in the house makes everything seem so final.  At times, we just have to step back and take a break from it all.  It’s been 8 1/2 months since Ed’s mom passed away, and our feelings are still raw.

We’ve cleaned out and sorted all of the closets, cabinets, drawers, and other storage places.  Most things we placed on counter tops and tables so his brothers could see what all was there as they made their journey through the house to choose what they wanted to keep.  The past two weekends, the brothers went through the house to take what they wanted.

As I mentioned, yesterday, Ed and I were surprised at some of the things his brothers didn’t choose to keep–the flags from both of their parents funerals, and the aerial photograph of the family farm.  I’d asked Ed, early on, if he’d like to have his daddy’s flag, and he replied that he felt sure his brother would want it.  I guess Ed was wrong.

Most of what we’ve taken from the house were items of sentimental value.  I wanted Ed’s mom’s jello molds and Buster the cookie jar, while Ed claimed  the cedar chest that he made in high school, as well as his old bedroom suit.  I took back the set of china that we gave Ed’s mama for Christmas, one year, and I chose some stainless flatware to go with it.  I chose a few random dishes from her kitchen that meant something to me, too.

Ed’s brothers claimed many items, much of what I considered to be ‘trash’.  I guess you just never know what will mean something to someone else!  Of course, many things of monetary value were chosen, as well.

Many, many items remain to be disposed of.  I suppose at some point, we’ll begin to sell some stuff off, but the thought of doing this is still pretty painful.  Once something’s gone, it’s gone.  We both know how hard Ed’s parents worked to acquire the things they had.  Their home and the things in it meant a lot to them, and while those things may not be worth much to anybody else, they still mean a lot to us!

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Ed’s daddy’s flag, along with one of his old caps

The over-looked flags have found a place of honor in our home.  I’m proud of the fact that both of Ed’s parents were veterans.  Those flags mean something to me!  Ed’s mom had her husband’s flag framed, after he passed away.  It sat in a place of honor, in her den, for twelve years.  Today, the framed flag sits in our home, along with her flag, as well.

I claimed the aerial photograph of the family home and farm, too.  It, too, will have a place of honor on the wall.  I still remember the tale of how the entire 30 acre family farm and house was purchased for $3000, back in the 1940’s!  The house wasn’t finished on the inside, so Ed’s daddy did the work himself.  We have old family photos of the family home, during different stages of renovation, throughout the years.  Ed has good memories of helping his daddy work the fields of the family farm, while he was growing up, too.

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The family home and part of the farm (taken in the mid 80’s)

I don’t know what will eventually end up happening with the family home and the plot of land it sits on.  For now, only God knows how that scenario will play out.  The rest of the farm was divided between the brothers, before Ed’s mom passed away.  For now, the old family home sits empty and forlorn, with only ‘Trouble’, the old cat, to keep it company. She still considers it home.  We do, too.

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Published in: on May 29, 2014 at 11:05 am  Comments (4)  
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Good-bye May, Hello Hodgepodge…

We’re about to bid the month of May adieu, but before that happens let’s take time for one more Hodgepodge.  The questions really make me stop and think about things, and in the process, sometimes, I learn a few things about myself that I didn’t know!  As always, thanks to our hostess, Joyce, for continuing to host the Hodgepodge 🙂

Here are this week’s questions:

1. What news story are you following right now?

I’m not currently following any news stories.  Sometimes the news can get to be a bit overwhelming to me, so I’ve stepped back and taken a break from it for the past month.  It’s actually been kind of nice, for a change!

2. What’s the last thing you wanted but didn’t get?

The last thing I really wanted, but haven’t gotten (so far), is for somebody in the family to buy Ed’s parents’ home place.  At the moment, the house sits empty and forlorn, right smack in the middle of the family farm–and nobody in the family wants to live there. Sigh.

3. May 28th is National Hamburger Day…when did you last have a hamburger? Other than your own kitchen or BBQ grill, where is your favorite place to go for a hamburger? And for all you non-meat eaters out there…when you’re invited to a cookout what is the one side dish you hope is on the menu?

Ed grilled burgers for lunch, on Sunday, while Brad and Jennifer were visiting.

My favorite place to go out for a  hamburger is one particular Burger King, located in Vidalia, Georgia.  They make great burgers! (this isn’t true of all Burger Kings)

4. How have your priorities changed over time?

My priorities have changed, according to whatever phase of life I happened to be in.  At first, my priority was to graduate from high school, then get married to Ed.  As a young newlywed, my priority was learning to be a good wife, while making a home for us. Then I played the role of a working wife for a while. Once children began entering our lives, for many years, my main priority was raising our family.  These days, since the family nest has been empty for several years,  I’m focused on getting our affairs in order for the ‘golden years’.

5. What’s a favorite memory with your grandparents?

Actually, I have two favorite memories.  The first is playing with my maternal grandmother’s button jar.  Grandma used to cut the buttons off of old clothing, and store the buttons in a jar, for future reuse.  I remember sitting at her dining room table and playing with all of those pretty colored buttons.  I’d slip the buttons onto toothpicks to make ‘button dolls’.  One button on the bottom would make the doll stand, another button around the middle of the toothpick would make a tutu.

My second favorite memory is of playing ‘house’, outside, in grandma’s backyard.  Grandma would give me empty snuff cans and lids from old coffee cans to use for my glasses and plates.  I’d use sticks and leaves for my pretend food.  I spent many happy hours playing ‘house’ at grandmas.

6. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being fantastic!), how good are you at multitasking? Share an example.

I’d give myself about a 5 because multitasking has never been one of my strong points.  However, I’m a pretty decent cook, and cooking requires a few multitasking skills, don’t you think?

7. How would you summarize your highs and lows for the month of May?

For me, the month of May has been filled with highs and lows, temperature-wise, as well as emotional-wise.  Our May temperatures have ranged from the 40’s up to the 90’s, which certainly has kept things interesting! Crazy weather!

We celebrated Mother’s Day, and it was our daughter-in-law, Jennifer’s, first Mother’s Day. ( Oh, happy day!) It was also our first Mother’s Day without Ed’s mom, which was not so happy.

May is the birth month of my mama, as well as Ed’s mom.  It’s sad not having them around to celebrate their birthdays anymore, but our oldest son turned 32, on May 10, and we were able to celebrate with him!

Last, but not least, after ten years with us, our old hound, Ethan, passed away this month, too. He’s sorely missed.

Random:

Ed continues to deal with his mom’s estate.  This past weekend, his two younger brothers made a second trip through the old home place to see what other things they might like to have before we begin to sell some of the stuff.  Neither chose several things we were sure they might like to have.  Among the things not chosen, the American flags presented at their parents’ military funerals, and a large, framed photograph of the home place, taken from an airplane, over thirty years ago.  It’s funny, you just never know what’s important to people–but that’s a post for tomorrow!  No need to worry, the flags and photograph of the farm found a home with us!

Published in: on May 28, 2014 at 9:06 am  Comments (10)  
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Memorial Day Weekend…

We kicked off the weekend, on Friday afternoon, by spending time relaxing outside.  I sat in the swing and relaxed, while Ed built a fire in the field, and continued burning the remains of all of the pine trees we cut down last summer.  Ed and I have different ideas of what it means to relax!

On Saturday morning, I pruned some of the bushes around the yard, while Ed did a little touch up painting.  Later, I cleaned out my corner of the storage shed (I have my own little space in Ed’s shed), while Ed continued his burning adventures.  In the afternoon, I took more time to relax in the shade, while Ed spent more time on the tractor, pushing burning logs around.  By the end of the day, he’d burned two very large piles of logs, and I was very tired of smelling smoke!

I cooked supper on Saturday night, and we ate fresh squash and green beans from the garden.  The first fresh vegetables are always the best!  Although, after a week or two of eating them, they tend to lose their appeal somewhat.

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green beans from the garden

On Sunday, our son, Brad, and his family came by for an afternoon visit.  We hadn’t seen them in two weeks, so you can imagine how much baby Evan had grown.  He weighs 17 1/2 pounds and will turn 7 months old this week!  He’s sitting up alone, and can say “Da Dee”, which he demonstrated for us!  Evan’s getting to the ‘fun stage’ now, and is quite entertaining to watch.  Unfortunately, all too soon, it was time for Brad and family to leave us to go visit with Jennifer’s family for a while.

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little Evan

Ed and I began Memorial Day 2014  in the garden.  Unfortunately, the green beans needed to be picked!  We picked, and later canned, six quarts of beans on Monday.  This wasn’t how I’d envisioned spending Memorial Day, but it had to be done!  Ed fertilized and mowed the grass, too, which also needed to be done, since we’d gotten a huge rain the night before.

We didn’t spend the entire day working, though.  About mid-afternoon Ed and our son-in-law, Clint, got out their grills and began cooking.  Everyone ate fresh boiled peanuts and watermelon while we waited for the ribs and chicken to get done.  The grandchildren played in the kiddie pool and under the sprinkler while everyone else kept a watchful eye.

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 Memorial Day fun

Memorial Day is one of the few days we’re able to eat outside, due to the heat and humidity here in the deep south.  If weather permits, we usually set up tables in the shade and eat in the yard, like people used to do, in the good ole’ days.  At one point, rain clouds blew in and threatened to chase us indoors, but, thankfully, the clouds quickly blew over, leaving only a gentle breeze behind.

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another picnic under the Magnolia tree

Our Memorial Day meal consisted of grilled ribs, bar-b-que chicken, baked beans, pasta salad,  potatoes, and french bread.  The french (loaf) bread seemed to intrigue the grandchildren, and they kept calling it “old-fashioned bread”.  Strawberry shortcake, brownies, and cake balls completed our meal, and everything was delicious!

The only things missing at our Memorial Day picnic were Brad and his family.  Their presence was sorely missed, as always, under the shade of the old Magnolia tree.

Published in: on May 27, 2014 at 9:50 am  Comments (6)  
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In And Around The Garden…

Let’s take a little tour of what’s going on in and around the garden of 2014.  Ready?  Here we go!  I’ll begin with an over-all view of the entire garden.  I’m sorry about the quality of the picture, but the sun was going down whenever I took it!

We have potatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, squash, green beans, tomatoes, three kinds of peas, three kinds of butter beans, okra, corn, and a row of sunflowers/zinnias growing in our garden.  Our 2014 garden is somewhat smaller than last year’s garden though.  We decided to downsize and make it easier on ourselves!

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Our sweet onions and squash are now ready! We’ll probably pull the onions up this weekend (to dry), and I’ve picked seven squash, so far.  I’ll be preparing some squash for the freezer soon.

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We’ve been picking lettuce for quite a while.  Soon, the weather in southeast Georgia will be too warm for lettuce to grow anymore. (Expecting to reach 94 degrees today) This is an iceberg lettuce plant. It looks quite different from what we buy in the store, doesn’t it?  Our plants never form an actual ‘head’ of lettuce.  I don’t know why.

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These are some of our carrots. These are actually planted too thick!  I didn’t worry about thinning the plants because I use them as food for our hens.  They love the carrot tops as much as they love the actual carrots. The actual carrots are about the size of my finger, at the moment.  The weather will soon be too warm for carrots, as well.

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This is a green bean plant. If you look closely, you can see the tiny green beans. In just a few more days, Ed and I will be picking and canning green beans.  I’ll do most of the picking and preparing, but Ed will help me with the actual canning part because I’m intimidated by the pressure canner!

It will be about another month before the rest of our garden is ready for harvest.  Peas, beans, and corn are usually ready for picking during the last of June.

At one end of our garden, we planted a row of fruit trees and berry bushes.  We have apple trees, plum trees, peach trees, pear trees, blueberry bushes, and blackberry bushes.

This is the first year our fruit trees have grown any actual fruit (except for our older pear trees), so we’re excited!  We have a few apples growing on our apple trees, see?

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We have peaches, too, but our peach trees look sort of bare. Something caused a lot of the leaves to fall off! We think it may have been the spray Ed used to protect the fruit from bugs and worms, but we’re not sure. Anyway, new leaves are growing back now.

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We have blackberries, too! I’m so excited about this because I love blackberries! We just planted these bushes last year, and now they are already six feet tall, and covered with berries!  Best of all, these blackberries have no thorns!  The berries are red now, but will soon be turning black.  In fact, I’m already finding a black one, occasionally.

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We have blueberries, growing on our bushes, too! You’ll notice we have nets over our berry bushes because the birds love our berries as much as we do!  We don’t mind sharing, but we’ve discovered that birds can be quite greedy.

That’s it for today’s tour around our garden of 2014.  Gardening is a lot of hard work, but it’s also enjoyable, and we sure do like eating the rewards 🙂    Fruit cobbler, anyone?

 

Published in: on May 23, 2014 at 7:59 am  Comments (9)  
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Hello Again, Hodgepodge…

Hello there!  It’s Wednesday, therefore it’s time to join in the Hodgepodge, once again.  Thanks again to our hostess, Joyce, who never ceases to amaze me with her questions each week 🙂  I only wish my answers could be half as interesting as her questions!

1. Under what circumstances do you do your best thinking?

I’m not exactly sure when I do my best thinking, but I do the majority of my thinking late at night, whenever I’m unable to sleep (which is quite often, these days).

2. Are you a risk taker? What’s one big risk you’ve taken?

No, I’m not a risk taker at all.  One of the biggest risks I’ve ever been a part of was when Ed and I decided to build a new home next door to the old home we’d lived in for over 30 years.  Designing and building the home ourselves, with a very limited budget, was quite an undertaking–especially at our age.  At times, the challenges seemed overwhelming, but we survived, and have been happily living in our new home for almost seven years–and it’s paid for!

3. Some of the most common phobias according to the National Institute for Mental Health are-fear of spiders (arachnaphobia), snakes (ophidiophobia), heights (acrophobia), fear of spaces from which escape is difficult (agoraphobia), fear of thunder and lightening (astrophobia), fear of dogs (cynophobia), injections (trypanophobia), social situations, flying (pteromerhanophobia) and fear of germs and dirt (mysophobia). True phobias affect only about 10% of adults, but of those listed which would you rate as your greatest fear?

I could actually choose several of these phobias, but a fear of snakes ranks pretty high on my list.  I don’t like snakes of any kind!

4. Are you settled or do you feel the need to move somewhere new?

We’ve lived here on the family farm for 37 years, so I think we’re definitely settled!  I have absolutely no desire to live anywhere else.

5. What is something you find annoying when dining in a restaurant?

I get annoyed by crying babies or loud, over-active children who cause disturbances.  Poor service ranks a close second.

6. Daffodil yellow, sunset orange, spring green, or sky blue…your favorite color this time of year?

Of the colors listed, sky blue would be my favorite–any time of the year!  Of course, spring green is a beautiful sight, too, after seeing brown all winter.

7. If you were going to take a holiday all by yourself, where would you go?

I’d probably just go to nearby St. Simon’s Island or Amelia Island because I’m familiar and comfortable with both of those places.  Both places sort of feel like home since I’ve been there so many times!

Random:  

We lost another furry friend, this week, when our dog named Ethan passed away.  Many of our beloved pets are getting on up in years, and, at times, it feels a bit like a Hospice Home for animals around here.  Our remaining dog will soon be ten, and nine of our twelve cats are ten years old–or older!   Even our parakeet is over nine years old.  I’m reminded, daily, how precious and fragile life really is, and I’m always wondering who’s going to be next?

I’ve had more than my share of pets over the years.  I can’t remember very many times when our family didn’t have at least one pet of some kind or another.  For the past ten years we’ve had lots of pets, following my year of volunteer work at the local animal shelter!  Having pets brings me great joy, but losing them brings me great pain, as well.  I’m feeling lots of pain, this week.

A couple of years ago I put together a video of all of the pets we’ve had, or still have.  In honor of Ethan’s passing, I’m re-posting that video.  Many pets have passed away since I made the video, but some of the animals on the video are still among our aging crew.  We still have cats ‘Trouble’(who lives at Ed’s mom’s house), ‘Charlie’, ‘Smut’, ‘Big Red’, ‘MAC’, ‘Kyle’, ‘Kitty Bee’, ‘Drake’, ‘Sara Callie Girl’, ‘Suzie Q’, ‘Fat Susan’, and ‘Bobs’.  Morris, the dog, and ‘Tweety’, the parakeet are still with us, as well.

I hope you’ll take a moment to enjoy the antics of our crazy pets.

 

Published in: on May 21, 2014 at 6:50 am  Comments (11)  
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Saying Goodbye To Another Old Friend…

Ten years ago, a homely little hound dog puppy stole my heart at the local animal shelter.  He was one of a litter of ten puppies, born to a red basset hound named ‘Bessie’.  While I was volunteering at the shelter, mother and puppies were deposited at the shelter by their owner, discarded like yesterday’s news.

In 2004, the show ‘Survivor’ was very popular, and, at the shelter, all ten of Bessie’s puppies were given names of people who were playing the game of ‘Survivor,’ at the time.  The brown puppy’s name was ‘Ethan’, named for Ethan Zohn, the  cute, curly-haired soccer player, who was popular on Survivor that season.

When I decided to adopt Ethan, I decided to keep his name, and thus began my adventures with Ethan, the hound dog. (Note: Only one of Ethan’s nine litter mates survived the shelter.  The others were eventually euthanized.)

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Ethan, enjoying a moment inside

I don’t know what kind of dog Ethan’s father was, but he must have been a big dog!  Ethan grew to be much larger than his basset hound mother, but he had many of her characteristics.  His most outstanding features were his eyes, his long floppy ears, four big feet, and a funny personality.  Ethan could hold his mouth in such a way, that he appeared to actually smile, at times.  When he wagged his tail, it went around and around like a propeller.

Ethan was raised, at my house, by an old brown collie, named ‘Hobbs’.  Hobbs was my first animal shelter rescue, and was the best dog I’ve ever owned.  The peculiar thing about Hobbs was the fact that he always ate his food while lying down.  It wasn’t long before young Ethan developed the same odd habit, which continued his entire life.

Ethan wasn’t always an easy puppy to love.  As a young dog, Ethan had a wicked attraction to cats, and killed more than a couple of my kittens before he finally outgrew his cat attraction and rough playfulness.  I’ll never forget the morning I looked out of the window to see Ethan carrying my favorite orange kitten, ‘Peaches’, in his mouth!  I cried and yelled at Ethan, who didn’t seem to have a clue that he’d just killed my kitten!

A few weeks after adopting Ethan, he became sick with Parvo.  I was pretty sure what the problem was, even before the vet diagnosed him.  (I may had inadvertently brought the virus home from the shelter on my shoes.)  I didn’t have a lot of money to pay for a hospital stay, so the vet told me how to care for Ethan at home.  I did everything the vet told me to do, and Ethan defied the odds and lived–but he was a sorry-looking sight for a while!

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Ethan, after Parvo

A few weeks after surviving Parvo, Ethan came down with a case of Red Mange, the result of his damaged immune system, the vet explained.  Once again, the vet guided me through the treatment process, and, once again, Ethan defied the odds, and was cured.  The mange treatment was painful, though, and as a result, Ethan grew to mistrust me. (The strong dip burns the raw skin)  Ethan would no longer let me bath him or put my arms around him in any way.  I wasn’t able to put any kind of medication on him, not even flea powder!   If Ethan ever saw me with any kind of container, he quickly bolted out of sight!  Ethan remained skittish the rest of his life.

When I adopted Ethan, we lived in our old house, next door.  We built our new house and moved three years later.  As a result, Ethan could never decide which house to call home!  He spent as much time at our old house, with my daughter,  as he did at the new house with me.  He’d often split his time between our porches.

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Ethan, resting in his favorite position (on my daughter’s porch)

Before my daughter moved next door, she lived just down the road.  At times, Ethan would roam down the road to visit with her dogs.  On one such visit, Ethan wandered out onto the highway, and was hit by a car.  Once again, Ethan defied the odds, and wasn’t killed, but one of his hips was injured. The injury resulted in arthritis, during his later years. In an effort to get more comfortable, Ethan often began sleeping on his back!

The thing Ethan loved most was eating!  That old hound dog would eat everything in sight, especially cat food. Ethan was notorious for stealing the cats’ feeding bowls, and carrying them off into the woods to lick them clean!  Ethan was a sneaky one, and he finally forced Ed to build the cats a ‘cat cafe’, high up off the ground, so the  poor cats could eat their food in peace!

Ethan had an internal clock, and if supper was running late, he’d gladly remind you when it was time to eat!  Many afternoons when Ed and I would be working out in the garden,  Ethan would call to us from the yard, telling us it was suppertime.  He had a loud, gruff bark that was impossible to ignore.  Ethan’s gruff bark would alert us about visitors approaching, as well.

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Ethan, a couple of years ago

Thankfully, Ethan eventually outgrew his wicked obsession of bothering my cats!  In fact, one of our younger cats came to love Ethan so much, she’d sleep with him every night.  Often I’d see the two of them curled up together, napping during the day, too.  I’ve even seen Suzie grooming Ethan, at times.   At times like that, I’d think back to how Ethan used to be, and say to myself, if Suzie only knew…

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Ethan and Suzie, BFF’s

Ethan’s health eventually began to fail, especially the later part of last year.  A host of  health problems seemed to develop all at once,  including a strange, unidentified bulge under Ethan’s abdomen.  Ethan still had a few good days, along and along, but most days he didn’t stir much–except at mealtime or for an occasional short walk. We knew Ethan wasn’t going to have a lot of time left.

Ethan’s health began to rapidly decline the past couple of weeks, and he really began to struggle more with each passing day.  The glimmer in Ethan’s eyes gradually became replaced by a dull look of constant pain.  Ethan didn’t seem to be able find comfort anywhere.  He could barely walk, and the bulge under his abdomen became much larger.  His breathing became labored. Yesterday, we made the choice to say goodbye to our friend of ten years.

Thankfully, today, Ethan suffers no more.  We’ll miss him, and things won’t be the same around here without him, especially at suppertime!  Ed and I laid Ethan to rest near Hobbs, the old collie who raised him. May the two of them rest in peace together, in a place where there’s no more pain and suffering.  If they’re eating together, somewhere, I’ll bet they’re both lying down!

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 Goodbye, old friend

Published in: on May 20, 2014 at 9:57 am  Comments (8)  
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Things Could Have Been Worse…

The weekend began with the closing program of our oldest grandson, Caden.  Friday marked the end of his year in pre-K.  (Where did the time go???)  The closing program was cute, and had a ‘nautical’ theme, which is near and dear to my heart 🙂  Caden knew all of the songs and poems, and recited his memory verse without a hitch.  We are very proud of him, and all that he’s learned, especially the fact that he’s now reading!

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We had no plans for Saturday, which felt nice for a change.  Of course, having no plans didn’t mean that Ed didn’t stay busy!  He hauled dirt (with the scoop of his tractor) to build up and fill in bare spots in our yard.  Our lawn is still a work in progress, following last summer’s tree cutting, but we’re slowly getting there!  After finishing with the dirt, Ed mowed grass for a while.

Meanwhile, I weeded in the garden for a while and delivered small buckets of dirt around the yard, using my garden wagon.  After that, I spent the rest of the day sitting in the lawn swing, under the magnolia tree, watching the hummingbirds dine!

I had ordered myself a new hammock, and it arrived on Friday afternoon.  Ed put it together on Saturday, after mowing grass, so I was able to spend a short amount of time in the hammock, too.  I think the hammock will be an excellent place to enjoy a good book during the milder parts of the summer days!

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me and Bobs, the cat, trying out the new hammock

On Sunday morning, Ed asked me if I’d like to go back to St. Simon’s Island.  Would I?!  I told him that he knew me too well!  I’d been thinking how much I’d love to go back, but wasn’t about to ask him to take me since we were just there on Wednesday.  Ed’s invitation was too good to pass up, so I quickly got ready while Ed put the chairs and cooler in the back of the car!  We were on the road within 45 minutes, and we ate breakfast on the way.

The weather was ‘picture perfect’ and we spent four glorious hours in our favorite spot on St. Simon’s Island.  Many others were there enjoying the island with us, too.  A birthday party was going on in the picnic area, and fishing on the pier was brisk. We sat and watched a parade of sailboats gliding across the water…

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Sunday was a perfectly glorious day…until the ride home.

On the way home, we stopped by Lowes to pick up a few bedding plants.  As we were leaving Lowes, Ed came (literally) within an inch of rear-ending the car ahead of us.  He’d seen the car start to pull off, assumed it was gone, then started to accelerate while he was still looking at the on-coming traffic.  I started making funny noises, and he hit the brakes–just in the nick of time!  We both soothed our frazzled nerves and proceeded home.  Alas, our travel troubles were not over though!

About eleven miles from home, a vehicle pulled out in front of us, then immediately slowed down to turn off.  Things like this make Ed mad, so he punched the gas to go around the vehicle.  Within a minute or so after passing the car, I heard our car alarm ding.  I asked Ed, “What’s that?”, and he replied, “I don’t know.”  About that same time, I noticed our car beginning to slow down, and Ed looking for a place to pull over.  Apparently, the car engine had suddenly shut off!  Ed pulled over to the side of the road, but the car refused to restart, even after repeated attempts.  There we were, eleven miles from home, and stranded by the side of the road!  There was nothing left to do except call one of our children for help.

It took two calls before we were able to find some help.  Ed asked our oldest son, who was home getting ready for evening services at church, to “Please come and get us.  Drive my truck and bring a chain!”  (In the meantime, Ed discovered there was no place on the car to attach a chain.)  As we sat beside the road for 45 minutes, only one car even stopped to offer assistance–a lady traveling alone!  We thanked her for her offer of help, and marveled at her courage and kindness, as she drove away.

Our son arrived, we transferred everything from the car into the truck (including the plants!), and left my poor car sitting beside the road.  (I was more distraught about leaving my car unattended than I was about breaking down.)  We dropped our son off at church, to join his family, and made our way  home shortly after six.  I continued to worry about my car, sitting there beside the road.

Fortunately, we called our insurance company, once we arrived home, and they were able to arrange tow service for my car. (We had no idea our insurance company would do this, until our son mentioned it.) It was shortly before dark when the tow truck arrived, an hour and a half later. (Ed had to go all the way back to the car, to meet the driver with the car key.)  We had the car towed 23 miles, and dropped off at a car repair place we normally use.  Ed followed the driver to the repair place (which was closed, of course), so he could get the car keys back until morning.

So, our exciting and eventful beach day finally ended at 9:30 Sunday night.  Ed and I went to bed, slightly sun burned, very tired, and wondering what in the heck happened to the car!  However, we, also, went to bed grateful that we made it safely home, and were able to get my car off of the side of the road. (because people are so mean, these days)  Things could always have been worse!  I hope we’ll still be able to say this when we get the repair bill for the car!

Have a great Monday!

Published in: on May 19, 2014 at 9:50 am  Comments (5)  
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A Few Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

This old blog is probably feeling a bit neglected this week, but then again, so is my house.  Lately, I seem to be spinning my wheels and not getting a whole lot accomplished.  It could have something to do with me not feeling well…  Perhaps, next week will be better!  Anyway, I’m ending the week with a few fragments of what’s been going on around here, and linking up with Mrs. 4-4-4-4.

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Ed and I picked our garden peas on Monday.  I put three packages of them in the freezer, and we’re saving the rest for seed.  I’m not much of a fan of garden peas, but these are so good!  We’ll have some fresh squash to eat by next week, and should have some green beans in a couple more weeks.  The sweet onions are almost ready, too!  I love having garden-fresh vegetables to eat!

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I’ve begun letting my remaining four hens ‘free range’ a little bit.  Sometimes, in the afternoons, I’ve been letting them out of the coop for short periods of time.  They enjoy roaming, very much, but if let unattended, they always find their way to places they don’t need to be–like my flower beds and such!  Chickens are much like children, they always want to play where they shouldn’t 🙂

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We finally got over two inches of rain, this week.  We didn’t see any leaks from the roof, so I think it’s safe to say Ed has our leak fixed, once again.  It rained almost all day yesterday, and our grass and our garden is grateful!  I guess Ed will do some grass cutting and hoeing time this weekend.  I may do some hoeing, as well, but I don’t mow grass!

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Ed and I ended up going to St. Simon’s Island on his mandatory day off on Wednesday.  It was our first beach trip of the season, together (I’ve been twice without him).  The island wasn’t crowded at all, but by 1:30 we had to pack up and leave because it started raining!  It was okay, though, we spent the rest of the afternoon shopping in Brunswick, another favorite past-time of mine.

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1461211_10151735288271428_1589334018_n Caden

Our oldest grandson, Caden, will be finishing up Pre-K today.  Ed and I will be attending his closing program, this evening.  It seems like just yesterday when he was born,  and now he’s getting ready to enter Kindergarten!  Our grandbabies are growing up too fast.  Sniff, sniff…

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There’s a lot of truth to the Kenny Chesney song, Don’t Blink, don’t you think?  We need to savor every moment of life that we can! Go out and make it a great weekend 🙂  See ya’ back here on Monday.

Published in: on May 16, 2014 at 7:41 am  Comments (9)  
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Another May Hodgepodge…

These weeks sure roll by in a hurry, don’t they?  Actually, the months roll by pretty fast, too.  Can you believe we’re already in mid-May?  Mid-week during mid-May can only mean one thing–Another May Hodgepodge!  Time’s wasting, so let’s get right to the questions!  As always, thanks to our delightful hostess, Joyce, for furnishing the questions and hosting each week 🙂

1. It’s still May, right? When were you last in the middle of something that might be described as mayhem?

The only thing that comes to mind was, last summer, when we had 43 trees cut down from around our house.  Our yard looked (and sounded) like a battle zone for several days.  Did I mention it rained for several days in the midst of the cutting?  As a result, we ended up with lots of mud and muck!  Here’s a little of what the mayhem looked like:

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Our front yard, during the tree cutting experience

2. When did you last feel dismayed?

I’ve been feeling somewhat dismayed for the past couple of months, while I wait for Ed to get on with the business of  dealing with his mom’s estate.  (He’s such a procrastinator.)

3. What’s a food combination you like, but other people may find strange?

I like Heinz 57 sauce with my pork chops.  That’s all I can think of at the moment.

4. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” Do you think that’s true? Why or why not?

I don’t think it’s true in every situation because everyone’s circumstances are different.  For instance, I realized, sort of late in life, that I would’ve made a great teacher.  I spent 14 1/2 years working as a paraprofessional and loved (almost) every minute of it.  I had a way with children, and I absolutely loved helping them learn.  Of course, by the time I realized all of this, I was nearly 50 years old and already dealing with a host of health issues. For me, it was too late, but I have no regrets.  I had a great time being a parapro!

5. US News and World Report listed the best historic destinations in the US as follows-Washington D.C, Philadelphia PA, Williamsburg VA, Charleston SC, Boston MA, Richmnd VA, Savannah, GA, Santa Fe NM, Yellowstone, San Antonio TX, San Francisco CA, New Orleans LA, and Charlottesville VA.

Of those listed how many have you seen in person? Which two sites on the list would you most like to see in person?

I’ve visited Charleston, SC twice, and used to live in Savannah, GA.  I loved Charleston, but I can take or leave Savannah.  Of the other sites on the list, I think I might like to visit Yellowstone, San Francisco, or Santa Fe.  (I know that’s three, but who’s counting?)

6. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. If you had to participate in a single fitness activity for the next half hour, which activity would you choose?

I’d choose walking.  That’s probably about the only form of exercise my body could tolerate right now.

7. What did you like best about the city, town, or neighborhood where you grew up?

I like the fact that I grew up in a small town, where everybody knew everybody.  You knew which people to hang out with, and which ones to steer clear of.   As youngsters, we thought nothing of riding our bikes all over town or going trick-or-treating in groups, without our parents.  The streets were safe back then, but not so much, these days.  Our little town actually had its first drive-by shooting, just last week, at our local McDonald’s!  (Thankfully, the bullet missed hitting anybody)

Random:

Ed’s off from work again today (another mandatory day off), so I may be a bit late in visiting all of you.  If you stop by, please leave a comment, and I’ll visit you tonight or tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I’m going to spend some quality time with my honey!  A mandatory day off from work is a terrible thing to waste, don’t ya’ think?

 

Published in: on May 14, 2014 at 7:10 am  Comments (6)  

A Mother’s Day To Remember…

Mother’s Day, 2014 will go down as a Mother’s Day to remember for several reasons.  First of all, it was the first Mother’s Day in all of our years together, that Ed and I didn’t have one or the other of our mothers to celebrate with.  My own mother passed away many years ago, but I’ve always thought of Ed’s mom as my second mother.  I really missed having her around to celebrate with us.  100_2454

Ed’s mom, celebrating her final Mother’s Day in 2013

My oldest son was a ‘Mother’s Day baby’, which means our family always gets to celebrate his birthday along with Mother’s Day each year!  Brett turned 32, the day before Mother’s Day, and we needed to celebrate!

On Saturday afternoon, Ed and I hosted a family cook out (the one we postponed from Easter).  Ed tried out his new grill–along with his old grill.  He cooked on both grills at the same time, and did a great job!  While we were at home cooking, everyone else was busy doing other things before the evening birthday celebration.

In addition to the birthday and Mother’s Day celebration, our town was hosting its annual ‘Sweet Onion Festival’.  Some of the family attended the parade and festival activities, while others in the family attended showers or visited with the elderly before arriving at our house to celebrate the birthday.  It was a busy weekend for all!

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Christina prepares to light Brett’s candles, while Chase looks on

You may recall that it rained here on Easter, and we had to cancel our outdoor egg hunt.  Nothing says ‘love’  like throwing an egg hunt in with your birthday/Mother’s Day celebration, so that’s what we did!   I was impressed with how well the ‘grands’ were able to find eggs, this year, needing very little help from the adults.  Caden found the most eggs.  He also found both of the prize eggs, but he shared one with Madison’s little friend, Brooklyn, who was a guest at the egg hunt.   On Saturday, Ed and I hid 200 eggs in our yard, but the children only managed to find 190 of them, even after searching again on Mother’s Day!

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Searching for eggs on Mother’s Day weekend!

Another reason Mother’s Day 2014 was so special is because it was daughter-in-law, Jennifer’s, first Mother’s Day!  Mother’s Day is special for any woman, but for those who have had to over-come huge obstacles, in the process of becoming a mother, the celebration always seems a bit more special.

Jennifer and Brad chose to commemorate her first Mother’s Day by having their son, Evan, christened on this day, which made the day all the more special.  I felt honored and blessed, as a mother, to see every member of my family sitting in the church, on Mother’s Day, for baby Evan’s christening–a baby none of us ever dreamed would be possible, three short years ago!  God is good.

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our family after Evan’s christening

We listened to a sermon concerning ‘family’, and continued our celebration throughout the afternoon with family and fellowship.  I am a blessed wife, mother, and grandmother!  I received several wonderful gifts and sweet cards.  2014 must have been the year of ‘living gifts’, as I received a pink dogwood tree, and two baskets of flowers among my Mother’s Day gifts, along with an updated portrait of Evan and a gift card.  I loved each and every gift.

I hope to be around to celebrate quite a few more Mother’s Days with the family, but Mother’s Day 2014 will be always a favorite!  It will be difficult to top this one.

 

 

 

Published in: on May 12, 2014 at 8:08 am  Comments (6)  
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