The Hodgepodge – A Labor Of Love…

Some weeks it’s a “labor of love” to figure out my answers to some of the Hodgepodge questions, but not this week! I was ready, willing, and able!  After last week’s hiatus, it’s good to have the Hodgepodge back. As always, I’m grateful to Joyce for hosting.  (Remember, if you’d like to join in the fun, just click on the button at the top of this post to find the link)

Here are today’s questions:

1. As August draws to a close, share what’s been your favorite weekend of the entire summer?

My favorite summer weekend would have to be one of the weekends (and there were several) that I spent time on St. Simon’s Island, with my honey 🙂  –and it would definitely have to be one of the beach weekends that didn’t involve any car trouble or rain!

2. Labor Day is marked in the US of A on Monday, September 1st. What paying job have you held that you’ve loved the most? Liked the least?

The job I loved most was, without a doubt, working as a first grade paraprofessional.  The pay was lousy, as well as a few of the tasks required, but I really loved and enjoyed my job!  After 14 1/2 wonderful years of employment with the same teacher, I threw in the towel after I was paired with a young teacher who had very little classroom control, and even less work ethic.  Sigh.  I really tried, but I only lasted the first nine weeks of the new school year.  I only regret that my career ended on such a sour note.

As for the job I liked the least, that would definitely be working in the restaurant section of my uncle’s souvenir shop.  I only lasted a couple of days!

3. Does the new school year start before or after Labor Day where you live? When do you think it should begin? There is much discussion now about older students having later start times to their school day…your thoughts?

Our students will have attended school for an entire month by the time Labor Day gets here!  For some reason, our system is always one of the first to start back to school each year! Only the local preschool waits until after Labor Day to begin, which is the way I think it should be for all schools!

As for later start times for older students, I think it might be a good idea for teens.  Years ago, our teen-aged sons never liked getting up early, and they were habitually tardy for school, much to my dismay!  A later start time may have been beneficial for them, but I guess we’ll never know!

4. What’s something you’ve worked at recently that could be deemed a ‘labor of love’?

The first thing that comes to mind is tending to my flock of hens!  With ‘my girls’, it seems like it’s always something.  Just last night, Ed and I were in the coop, after dark, with our flashlights…  It was time for a follow up worm treatment, as well as an inspection of their feet.  The girls didn’t appreciate either activity!

5.Which of the following work idioms can you most relate to right now…’A woman’s work is never done.’, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ ‘Many hands make light work.’

I can actually relate to all three, but at this point in my life, I’ll say ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ For years, I was a working wife and mother, always busy, doing something for others.  These days, I’m retired and can finally do whatever I want, whenever I want to 🙂 I can only stand so much vacuuming, mopping and dusting, without taking some time to do something enjoyable!  Hooray for play time!

6. Crab or lobster or thanks, but no thanks? Favorite way to have your choice prepared?

Believe it or not, I’ve never tried lobster!  I only like crab if it’s deviled, and, even then, I’ll only eat a small amount of it.  Shrimp is basically the only seafood that I really care for.

7. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, ‘Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.’ Which of the three do you consider to be the most important? Share one of your own ‘rules of work’.

Well, it’s hard for me to find simplicity (or anything else) from clutter, and I don’t handle discord very well, so I guess that leaves ‘in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity’.  Using a computer came to mind when I read this quote!  Every time I encounter a computer problem, I tell myself to consider it an opportunity to learn something new! (I’m still trying to convince myself!)  Thank goodness for two sons who can usually help me with any computer-related difficulty that may arise!

As for my own rule of work:  Be on time, and always do your best!

Random:  Life never ceases to amaze me.

Twelve years ago I was working as a first grade paraprofessional, and loving it. We had several adorable students in our class, but one little girl was exceptionally smart and very sweet.  This student was one of my all-time favorites, and would often drop by the room to see me, even after she’d moved on to higher grades.  Years later, she even invited me to become her friend on Facebook!

Flash forward eleven years, and this student was now a high school junior, who had continued to excel in school.  You know, sometimes things happen, and in the middle of her junior year, she found herself pregnant.  When I first heard this news, my heart sank.  I feared that her life was going to be ruined.

I needn’t have worried, she’s done fine.  She had a beautiful baby boy, last August, at the beginning of her senior year.  She recovered, took care of her baby and attended school, and still managed to graduate third in her class!  I am so proud of all that she’s been able to accomplish, so far.  Thankfully, she’s blessed with a loving, and very supportive Christian family.  They’ve been beside her every step of the way, unlike the boyfriend who eventually went away.

Recently, this student won a scholarship to a university, located two hours away from our town.  She had to make the difficult decision to leave her adorable baby in the care of her family, in order to use the scholarship.  Her family is rising to the challenge of caring for her son while she attends college, in order to help her have the best chance at success.  I wish them all well, I’m sure the challenge isn’t easy for anyone, but here’s the final ‘kicker’ to my story.

My former student’s college classes began last week.  Believe it or not, one of the requirements of a class was to begin and maintain a blog!  She posted about this assignment on Facebook, along with the link to her new blog.  I was the first one to leave a comment on her first blog post!  I must say, she’s come a long way since writing those ‘young author’ stories in first grade, and I have no doubts that she will be successful in whatever she decides to do in life.  By the way, I thoroughly enjoy reading her blog posts, too 🙂

Catching Up…

It’s Monday again, and that can only mean one thing.  It’s time to play ‘catch up’.  Boy, the weekends pass in a hurry, don’t they?!  Ed had another three-day weekend, but, still, the weekend passed in a hurry.

Only two words are needed to describe our weekend–hot and wet!  The temperatures were almost unbearable on Friday and Saturday, with highs reaching the 100 mark!  By 10 a.m., each day, simply walking out on the porch was reason enough to make one sweat! Needless to say, we stayed inside as much as possible!

We originally had a day trip to the beach planned for Friday.  Once I saw the weatherman’s predictions, I knew there was no way I was going to sit outside–even under my favorite oak tree at St. Simon’s Island!  We postponed our trip until Sunday, when the temperatures were predicted to drop.

Ed and I made the best of being ‘shut ins’, by watching lots of television and taking naps.  Both days, late in the afternoon, Ed fired up the grill and cooked supper for us.  Saturday evening, on a whim, we even ate grilled steak, salad, and baked potato by candlelight!  Fun times.

Sunday morning, at the crack of dawn, we were packed and headed toward St. Simon’s.  I should have known it was going to be ‘one of those days’ when I realized that I’d forgotten to bring my shrug.  (I always wear a sundress when going to the beach, but bring a shrug to wear over it when going anywhere other than the beach.)  The sky was overcast on the way, but had cleared by the time we reached the island.  It was shaping up to be a gorgeous day–or so we thought!


When we arrived at The Village, I noticed there was an arts and crafts festival being held in the park.  It was the first festival we’d been able to attend all year, so we headed over before unpacking our beach chairs.  I enjoy browsing the exhibits, even though I rarely buy anything. Sunday was no exception.

Before long, Ed and I were settled in our chairs, underneath our favorite oak tree.  A stiff breeze was blowing, and I noticed the water was a bit choppier than usual, but it felt so good to be outdoors!  Before long, I looked to my right, and spotted this…


I’ll bet you can guess what happened next!  Within the next hour, the rain began to fall!  Ed and I quickly grabbed our chairs and headed for the car, where we sat and waited to see if the cloud would pass.  The longer we sat, the darker the skies became, and the more it rained.  It didn’t just rain, it poured!  We’d been on the island just over an hour…  After another hour of waiting, and watching the downpour, we gave up and left the island.

We didn’t go straight home, though.  Instead we did a little shopping, in nearby Brunswick.  I was disappointed about missing my ‘island time’, and felt naked without a shrug to cover my skimpy sundress, but we made the best of a bad situation, and still had a nice time.  In the end, that’s what really counts.

Before long, summer 2014 will be winding down, but there are still enough days left to get in a little more ‘island time’!  Ed has a four-day weekend coming up, and it’s my birthday weekend.  Guess where I’m hoping to be, at least one of those four days?  The ocean and the oak tree are calling my name…

Happy Monday!

Published in: on August 25, 2014 at 8:15 am  Comments (7)  
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No Hodgepodge Today, But There’s Still ‘Hummy’…

Our hostess, Joyce, has taken the week off from the Hodgepodge, this week.  So, instead, I’ll tell you about our resident hummingbird, ‘Hummy’.

For years, Ed and I have tried to attract hummingbirds, without a lot of success, I might add.  We don’t have many flowers in our yard, nor do we have an ideal spot to hang a feeder.  However, we still persisted.

Last year, a couple of hummingbirds found their way over to our daughter’s house, next door.  She has flowers planted all around her porch, and chose to put a hummingbird feeder among the flowers.  It worked!  Soon she had two hummingbirds–a big one, and a smaller one.

Late last summer, I purchased a new hummingbird feeder when they went on sale at Tractor Supply.  I hung the feeder from a shepherd’s hook in the yard. Before too long, I saw a hummingbird visiting!  It turned out that my daughter let her feeder run out of nectar, and when she did, her birds found their way to my feeder!  (My daughter says when the nectar would run out, the hummingbird would fly up and look inside of her sliding glass door, as if to say, “Hey, where’s my food?!”)  The two birds visited back and forth, between our houses, the rest of the summer. 

This spring, my daughter and I put out our hummingbird feeders again, but she accidentally mixed her nectar using twice the recommended amount of sugar.  Needless to say, the hummingbirds liked her feeder best!  I think they enjoyed their ‘sugar high’!  Eventually, her feeder ran low, and the two hummingbirds migrated next door to my feeder, although I’m sure they were disappointed with my regular strength nectar!

We’ve all enjoyed watching the antics of the hummingbirds, all summer.  The largest of the two hummingbirds is a bully.  He always chases the smaller one away, but the smaller one still manages to get some nectar.  We’ve named the largest bird ‘Hummy’, and Ed’s even taken his photograph.


‘Hummy’, the hummingbird

We enjoy watching ‘Hummy’ flying around, landing on various things in the yard.  This is the first year we’ve been able to do this (remember Ed had cataract surgery, last year!).  Before long, the weather will cool down, (I hope!) and ‘Hummy’ will soon disappear for a while.  Hopefully, both ‘Hummy’ and his friend will reappear next spring.  Perhaps, then, I’ll mix that first batch of nectar a little sweeter than usual 🙂

Published in: on August 20, 2014 at 9:44 am  Comments (6)  

This-N-That On Tuesday…

For some reason, lately, I’m having trouble sitting down and writing a ‘themed’ post.  It could be the heat, or my age creeping up on me, but I can’t seem to stay focused on one particular subject anymore.  I have a couple of ideas floating around in my head, but they haven’t found their way to this blog yet!

Meanwhile, did I mention that it’s hot here?  Apparently, summer has decided to arrive in earnest!  I’ve become a prisoner in my own house, due to the ridiculously hot (90’s and above) temperatures outside!  I’ll spend some time outside first thing each morning, and a little more time in the early evening–sometimes.  If I didn’t have chickens, cats, and plants to take care of, I probably wouldn’t ever go outside!

Yesterday, Ed picked up and counted all of the pears that had fallen from our two over-loaded trees.  Would you believe there were almost 500 pears on the ground?!  That’s a lot of pears!  The branches of the poor trees are really struggling under the weight of the remaining fruit.  Where are the squirrels when you need them?!

pear cobbler, anyone?

We once had a plum tree that over-produced like this.  We gave away buckets of large, red, plums and I made lots of plum jelly, too.  The plum tree died the following year!  I guess you could say it went out in a blaze of glory.  I hope the same isn’t true for these pear trees, but they are getting pretty old…

The garden is doing remarkably well, considering it’s so hot and dry!  The peas are beginning to bloom, so it won’t be long until it’s pea-picking time–again!  I sure hope the weather cools down between now and then!  I’m not in a pea-picking mood, these days.


not welcome on the porch!

The sick ‘girls’ (aka the hens) seem to be doing better since we dewormed them.  I need to devote an entire post to that experience, for the sake of ‘newbie’ chicken owners.  Within days of applying the topical treatment (sort of like you apply flea treatment to dogs/cats) the hens began eating again, and having more energy.  Who knew?!  (The sickest hen lost vast amounts of feathers, and still isn’t quite over the hump, yet.)  Through it all, two of the three girls have continued producing eggs, believe it or not!  Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to eat their eggs for 14 days, due to the medication in their systems. I recently purchased eggs–the first I’ve had to buy in over two years!

My girls free-range all day now, but have become obsessed with the new front porch!  Shortly after the above photo was taken, we had to put up a baby gate to keep them out!  I’ll share my porch with cats, but I draw the line at chickens 🙂

Lately, things have been quiet at Ed’s job.  Let’s hope this is not the quiet before the storm.  The hospital administrator announced, last week, that she will be leaving at the end of this year.  I can’t help but wonder what is going to happen between now and then.  The CFO will be leaving at the end of this month…  Have I mentioned this is the second failing hospital Ed’s been employed with in his lifetime?  He spent twenty years working at the previous one, before it closed its doors in 2000.  How’s that for luck?!

On that note, I’ll just say “Happy Tuesday”–at least I hope it will be!


Published in: on August 19, 2014 at 10:21 am  Comments (6)  
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It’s Monday Again…

It’s been a few days since I last blogged.  I always have good intentions, but life keeps getting in the way.  I’m not complaining, mind you, just sayin’…  I’ll do my best to get caught up, this week, and visit all of my blog friends!

On Friday morning I tagged along, on a shopping trip, with my daughter and granddaughter.  It had been a while since we’d been off together and it was nice.  (I really enjoyed getting out of the house for a while, too!)  With the exception of Ed, there’s nobody I’d rather spend a day with than my two girls.

Ed and I kicked off the weekend by having a cookout at our house, on Friday night.  We used to grill a lot, to kick off the weekends, but, these days, not so much.  Anyway, it was nice to have [almost] everyone join us for bar-b-que chicken.  It was a good way to end the week, even though we missed having Brad and his family with us.

You may recall, I mentioned the Jesup fire, on my blog, a couple of weeks ago.  One of the historical buildings, destroyed by fire, housed a thrift shop which raised money to help battered women. Another store owner (not affected by the fire) offered use of their vacant building to house the thrift shop, so our newspaper mentioned the shop was in need of donations to get the thrift store stocked.  On Friday night, we all decided to send some donations with daughter-in-law, Christina, who happened to be going to Jesup the next day.  I spent most of Saturday morning, sorting through ‘stuff’, and between our three families, I think Christina’s car was pretty full when she left for Jesup!

On Saturday, Ed spent most of the afternoon painting the floor of the new front porch.  It was very hot and miserable outside, but Ed stuck with it and finished shortly before suppertime.  I’m afraid I wasn’t much help with the painting, since the oppressive heat kept me indoors until late afternoon.  (I’m sure I’ll get the chance to paint some, since we still have two more porches in need of a fresh coat of paint!)

Ed and I traveled to Jesup, on Sunday, where we ate a delicious lunch at a restaurant called Sybil’s. Sybil’s has a fantastic Sunday buffet, so we both came home feeling stuffed!   From our house, Jesup is about halfway to St. Simon’s Island, so it felt strange to stop in Jesup and not travel on to the beach. We’ll be going back to the island within a few more days, so I consoled myself with that thought!

Brad, Jennifer, and Evan stopped by our house for a visit, late Sunday afternoon.  They were heading back to their house after a birthday celebration with Jennifer’s family.  I couldn’t believe how much Evan had grown and changed since their last visit!  The boy’s growing like a weed!

On Sunday night, after church, the rest of the family came over to visit with Brad and Jennifer, too.  It had been a few weeks since everyone had been together, so there was a lot of talking going on!  The four cousins seemed to enjoy each other’s company, as well, and they played around the house.  I loved how Evan joined up with his older cousins to play!  It was the first time I’ve seen this happen.


Everyone had such a good time, before we knew it, it was almost bedtime!  Everyone reluctantly said their goodbyes, and went home.  Since it was so late, Brad and family decided to spend the night, and drive home early this morning.  I don’t know what time they left, but they were gone when Ed got up for work at 6 o’clock. They slipped out so quietly, we didn’t even hear them leave.


One last bit of news before I go.  You may recall I mentioned how we have an ‘over-load’ of pears, this year.  It seems this over-load is proving to be a bit too much for the trees.  On Saturday, another large branch broke out of the top of one of the trees.  I estimate there were over 100 pears on that branch, alone!


Notice how close to Ed’s car that broken branch landed.  I don’t think Ed will be parking close to the pear tree anymore!

I once blogged how Ed used to battle those pesky squirrels over pears every summer.  (He’d sit outside with a BB gun and chase them away)  We haven’t had our usual ‘squirrel problems’ since cutting down all of the surrounding trees, last year.  I couldn’t help but comment to Ed how the squirrels may have been doing him a ‘favor’ all of those years, by making the load of pears lighter on the branches.  You just never know!

Happy Monday, y’all!

Published in: on August 18, 2014 at 9:21 am  Comments (6)  
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Join Me For Another Hodgepodge…

I’m so glad you decided to stop by!  Won’t you stay a while and join me for another Wednesday Hodgepodge?

1. The best part of waking up is “Folgers in your cup!”  Ha!  (Sorry, but that jingle popped into my mind when I read the sentence.)

Really, I don’t even drink coffee, so I guess, for me, the best part of waking up is not having to get up and go to work anymore!

2. Given a choice, which animal interaction would you most like to experience (or for those non-adventurers…which would you dislike the least?)- Swim with the dolphins at one of several locations in the Florida Keys, a lion encounter ten minutes from Victoria Falls (Africa), or a day at a remote base camp high in the Big Sur wilderness via the Ventana Wildlife Society helping track California condors?

Of the choices listed, I’d most like to swim with the dolphins in the Florida Keys.  In fact, I’d be happy doing just about anything in the Florida Keys!  Tracking California condors would be my least favorite choice.

3. What is something you fear about ‘old age’? What is something you look forward to?  

Only two words are required to answer this questions, but I’ll use a few more.  I fear everything about ‘old age’, and look forward to nothing (with the exception of our grandchildren who’ve already arrived)!

4. Hot sauce…are you a fan? If you answered yes, what’s something you make/eat that must have hot sauce? On a scale of 1-10 how hot is too hot?

No, I’m not a fan of hot sauce.  On a scale of 1-10,  anything beyond 3 is too hot for me to handle.

5. It’s been said that children learn what they live. What do you think children learn at your house?

Without getting all serious about this question, I’ll share this.  When our children were growing up, somebody gave me a wall plaque. It hung on the wall of the dining room, in our old house.  It said, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”  That pretty much sums up what the children learned at our house!  (Just kidding, of course!) 🙂

6. What’s your favorite movie with a number in its title?

After searching the list of 200 movies [on Google] with numbers in their title, I determined that my favorite on the list is Miracle On 34th Street.  101 Dalmatians ranks a close second.

7. Saturday (August 16th) is National Tell a Joke Day…share one here.

I saw this on Facebook, and thought it was funny:

10552522_262920953914427_6058575889838629369_n big girl panties


I collect bears of all kinds.  Some of my bears are stuffed, while others are made of resin.  Some of my bears are old, while others are new.  Some bears were gifts, while others were purchased. Here’s a photograph of one of my favorites, and I totally agree with her sign!


As always, thanks so much to Joyce for hosting ‘The Hodgepodge’!

Published in: on August 13, 2014 at 7:27 am  Comments (11)  
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A Rough Start To The Weekend…

Wow!  I just noticed this is post # 1301.  That’s a lot of blogging, but here I go again…

On Friday, our three-day weekend got off to a rough start.  Despite our best efforts, we lost another hen on Friday morning.  We’re now down to three.  This hen suffered from the same ailment as the hen we lost a few weeks back. Coincidence or something contagious?  We don’t know, but time will tell.

After he buried the hen and I gave the coop a thorough cleaning, Ed offered to take me to St. Simon’s Island for the day.  I quickly took him up on his offer.  We threw our chairs and cooler into the car and hit the road, without looking back.

Our visit on the island was a little shorter than usual, since we got a late start, but I enjoyed every minute of it!  Of course, in all of the fuss, I forgot to take my camera, and, wouldn’t you know, I missed several great photo opportunities.  Here’s the only photographic reminder of this trip, taken after we returned home:


the drink cups from our picnic lunch

Meanwhile, at St. Simon’s Island, the walking man was still walking, the sight-seeing plane was still flying, and people were still fishing off the pier.  Speaking of the sight-seeing plane, here’s a shot I took of it on our anniversary visit.  That day, it took me several tries to get a decent photo of that plane!


One of these days, I need to get up my nerve and take a ride!

On the way home from St. Simon’s, Ed and I ran into an awful storm, about fifteen miles from home.  It rained so hard we could barely see the road–and it hailed on us, too!  What made this storm even worse was the fact that it stretched for miles!  It took us at least ten or fifteen minutes to drive through it.  Thankfully, we made it home without incident.  I didn’t check the car for hail dents, but I probably should.

We got home from the beach early enough for a Friday night visit from two of the three of our grown children and their families.  On Saturday evening, we gathered again, at our daughter’s house, and laughed and talked about some old times.  It’s times like those when we miss having Brad and family with us, the most.  Cousins playing together, while adults reminisce…  Good times!

The rest of the weekend was rather slow and non-eventful.  It rained off and on all weekend, a total of three inches, and when it wasn’t raining, it was unbearably humid outside!  Ed and I watched more television than usual, and even finished watching a couple of series.  We’ve recently become new fans of the shows 24 Live Another Day, and  The Bridge.  Good shows, but not for the squeamish!  We’ve been catching up on seasons missed, through Amazon and Hulu Plus.

Today, our granddaughter officially begins her second year of home-school.  She’s in the second grade.  My daughter burned the midnight oil making sure everything was just right for her daughter’s first day of second grade, then she shared a couple of pictures with me before going to bed.  I couldn’t help but laugh when I read the email accompanying the pictures.


Apparently, Madison went to bed stressing about second grade being too hard, and worrying about not liking the new ‘video teacher’.  Like mother, like daughter. (A new school year was always stressful for Brandy, as a child, too.)  I’m wishing both mother and daughter a wonderful, and very productive new school year, and I’m sure that it will be!

Well, I began this post by talking about our hens, so it’s only fitting that I should end it the same way. Now that our flock is so small, we’ve decided to let the girls free-range all day, but we leave the door of their coop open so they can have access to their nesting boxes, feed, and water.  This scenario has led to a strange phenomenon at our house.


What’s up with this?

We can’t seem to keep our cats out of the chicken coop!  Every time I look, there’s a different cat inside of the coop!  The cat in the above photo  was actually sitting on top of an egg!  Strange, but true…

Have a great Monday, everyone!

Published in: on August 11, 2014 at 9:37 am  Comments (5)  

Thursday’s Thoughts ~ The Summertime Tree…

Many years ago, when I used to work in a classroom, as a paraprofessional, one of my duties was to change the bulletin boards in the classroom each month.  Each month’s bulletin board always had a different theme.  I always enjoyed finding and celebrating something special about each month, and, one day, decorating all of those bulletin boards gave me an idea!

I got the idea to begin the tradition of decorating a ‘year round’ tree, at home. I bought a tall, skinny, artificial tree and started collecting things to decorate it with.  At first, my family thought I’d lost my mind (keeping a tree up all year?), but, now, I think they enjoy seeing the different decorations on the tree, each month, almost as much as I do.

I decided, each month, my tree would have a different theme.  I’ll have to admit, it took me a while to figure out what some of the themes would be, but, eventually, I settled on a theme for every month.  For instance, January is snowmen, February is Valentine’s Day, March is St. Patrick’s Day, etc.  The summer months proved to be the toughest to choose themes for, with the exception of July, which is patriotic themed.

For the month of August, my theme is ‘summertime’–and nothing says ‘summertime’ more to me than the beach.


My summertime tree decorations are among my favorites because they remind me of the beach. Most of the ornaments came from little shops at various beaches, particularly St. Simon’s Island, since we visit there most often.


I’ve decorated the tree with sand castle ornaments, actual sea shells, and even a miniature replica of a shrimp boat!  The little girl sitting in the lawn chair is one of my newest (and most expensive) ornaments.  The glass ball filled with sand and shells came from Tybee Island.  It’s a souvenir of one of the beach trips I’ve taken with my friend, Diane.


This ‘gone to the beach’ ornament is one of my older ones, and is among my favorites.  Of course, it came from St. Simon’s Island!  The sea-horse ornament, to the right of it, came from Amelia Island. I bought it on one of mine and Ed’s anniversary trips there.


Of course, nothing says ‘beach’ like flip-flops, and I have a few pairs of those for ornaments, as well. The mermaid came from eBay, and the white sea shells at the top of the picture were found on Fernandina Beach.  Did you notice the little maracas to the far right?


Here’s a view of one of the sand castle ornaments, along with one of my fish ornaments.  I have several different kinds of fish ornaments scattered about the tree.  There’s a tiny surf board to the left of the sand castle, as well.


Of course, my tree wouldn’t be complete without a light house, so I have a couple of different kinds of those, too.  The one shown in this picture came from Amelia Island.  Speaking of ‘light’, the little green and blue fish lights up!

I enjoy looking at my ‘summertime’ tree decorations each day.  Whenever I feel the need to go to the beach, I just look at the summertime tree and dream!


 The sign on this little ornament says it all…  my heart is always at the beach!

Published in: on August 7, 2014 at 8:53 am  Comments (6)  
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The Key To A Happy Wednesday–The Hodgepodge!


Hey!  It’s Wednesday, you know what Wednesday means!  It’s time to participate in The Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Make yourself comfortable, and stay awhile.  Today’s theme is all about ‘keys’.  Here are today’s questions, courtesy our hostess, Joyce:

1. What would you say is the key to success?

I’m not sure what the real key to success is, but I believe a lot of time, hard work, and perseverance certainly go a long way toward achieving it.  A heaping helping of good luck doesn’t hurt either!

2. Have you ever been to the Florida Keys? Any desire to visit that part of the US of A?

I’ve never been to the Florida Keys, but they’re definitely on the top of my list of places I’d most like to visit!  (Joyce, think of me while you’re basking in the sun down there!)

3. When and where did you last see a real live donkey? Monkey? Turkey?

Our neighbor used a couple of donkeys in the pasture with his cattle, to help protect them from predators, so it hasn’t been that long since I’ve seen a donkey.  (Did you know that donkeys are protective?  I didn’t!)  I saw several wild turkeys, not long ago, while traveling on a country road.  As for a monkey, the last time I saw one of  those was at the Jacksonville Zoo, about six years ago.

4. An old Portuguese proverb says, ‘Beware of the door with too many keys.’ What do you think this means? Share an example of how this has proven true or false in your own life.

To me, this proverb means to beware of anything that’s too complicated.

Relationships are the first thing that come to my mind, and yes, the proverb proved to be true in our family.  You may (or may not) recall that our daughter was once engaged to someone else, before marrying her current husband of 13 years.  The groom-to-be left her–in the midst of their wedding preparations. When I say he left, I mean he literally moved out of what was to be their future home, in the middle of the night, without saying a word to anyone! We didn’t think so at the time, but what a blessing that turned out to be!  You could say, he was a ‘door with too many keys.’

5. Besides your home, vehicle, and special jewelry, what is something you keep under lock and key?

Important documents, and a few other things.

6. When did you last get keyed up about something?

“Keyed up” is my current state of mind, these days!  Between wondering about Ed’s future job situation, and wondering what in the world is going on with my hens,  I’m in desperate need of another beach trip!

7. Who thinks we need an easy one right about now? Key lime pie…yes please or no thank you?

Yes, please!  I think it’s time for an easy one!  I really like key lime pie, and Key lime cake, too!


Every time Ed and I go to St. Simon’s Island, we travel through the small town of Jesup.  I love to admire their lovely historic downtown area as we ride through.  Their historic  downtown area has been renovated and preserved, and is alive with many small ‘mom and pop’ businesses–something that’s becoming increasingly hard to find, these days.  All of this changed on Monday night.

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WTOC facebook photo

On Monday evening, after the businesses closed, a fire broke out on the roof of one of the stores, due to a faulty air conditioning unit. The fire quickly spread to neighboring businesses! Over 150 fire fighters from several surrounding counties worked through the night trying to contain the blaze and get it extinguished.

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WTOC facebook photo

When all was said and done, ten businesses were totally destroyed. Two firemen were injured, but were later treated and released. A large portion of Jesup’s historic section of downtown is now in ruins.  Ten owners no longer have their businesses, and thirty people are without jobs.  So sad!

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WTOC facebook photo

Perhaps, the saddest part of this story is that one of the destroyed businesses was a pet shop, filled with all kinds of pets. The fire was so intense and spread so quickly, most of the pets were not able to be rescued. Only two puppies, two kittens, a guinea pig, a snake and an iguana could be saved before rescue efforts had to be abandoned.


Published in: on August 6, 2014 at 7:32 am  Comments (10)  
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Since I Last Wrote…

Since I last wrote, another weekend has come and gone.  They do come and go quickly, don’t they?!

Since I last wrote, the first day of the new school year has come and gone.  For some reason, our school district chooses to start back and get out earlier than most.  Last Friday was ‘the day’.  All of the little kiddos got dressed up in their new school clothes, and posed for ‘first day of school’ pictures–which were immediately posted to Facebook by their parents.

My own little family wasn’t affected by the back-to-school hoopla since neither school-aged grandchild is enrolled in the public school system.  In fact, both school-aged ‘grands’ and their families were gone (together) on a weekend trip to St. Simon’s Island, on Friday!  That sounds  much more fun than going back to school, doesn’t it?

Since most of our family was out-of-town for the weekend, it was extra quiet in our neck of the woods.  I didn’t even leave the house for the entire weekend, but we did have a little company for part of the weekend.


I caught three generations in one shot

Brad and his family came in late Friday night (after Jennifer got off from work), and stayed with us until after lunch on Saturday.  It had been several weeks since they’d been to our house, because we made two trips to their house during July.  Little Evan is crawling, pulling up and cruising everywhere!  Babies sure do grow and change quickly.  Evan turned 9 months old last week.


little fall garden

Our little fall garden is really growing.  The weather here has been so hot and dry, I’m surprised it’s still alive.  Thankfully, we finally received a shower of rain on Saturday night.  We were happy to see it!  A few days ago, I saw a mama deer and her twin babies  out in the field–in that grassy spot at the end of the garden! Every day I’ve been holding my breath, afraid that the deer will come over in the garden and eat our peas.  Deer love to eat peas!  Notice our sweet potato vines, to the right of the picture, are beginning to run.  Rabbits love sweet potato vines, and we have an abundance of rabbits, too!


my ‘under-the-weather girls’

Lately, “my girls” (aka the hens) haven’t been eating much.  Usually, I can’t seem to fill them up, but a few days ago, they stopped eating very much.  I’ve tried to figure out what could be wrong with “my girls”, but I’m clueless.  I tried a different brand of feed, which helped, but only temporarily. Then we dusted them for mites, since some hens are losing feathers, too.  I’ve been letting the hens free range more often since they still seem to enjoy foraging for bugs, but they’re losing weight.  When they’re in their pen, they just sort of sit. I have a couple more things to try, but after that, I’m at a loss for what else to do.  Who knew raising chickens could be so frustrating?!

Speaking of frustrating, I can’t say a lot, but things at Ed’s workplace have been really frustrating and stressful for a while now. We’ve been through a salary cut and weeks of mandatory vacation days.  Several people have lost their jobs, with more cuts promised, as the hospital attempts to ‘restructure’ itself.  There has even been some talk of a total hospital closure.  Ed’s future is uncertain at this time, and it’s very difficult going to work every day, wondering if it may be your last day… Last week, two of Ed’s co-workers (one with 35 years of service) were terminated.

Wow, this post sure is full of ‘heavy’ stuff!  Deer threatening our peas, sick chickens, and uncertain job security for Ed…  Yeah, some days are just like that.  Have a great Monday, y’all!  I’m sure going to try!







Published in: on August 4, 2014 at 10:11 am  Comments (6)  
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