In Our Neck Of The Woods (Part 2)…

I’m sorry it’s taken me three and a half weeks to get around to posting part two of my original post, but life has been busy!  I only thought the month of May was busy, with all of its celebrations. Then came the month of June, with Father’s Day, an anniversary, and our garden kicked into high gear. I’m here to tell you, things got a little bit crazy in our neck of the woods!

Before going forward any further, let me back up a bit to the month of May and show you one of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts.  My daughter-in-law has a good sense of humor, don’t you think?


I’ve named this little lady “Bertha Big Butt” and we’ve gotten quite a bit of enjoyment out of her, so far…  For the first few days, everyone thought “Bertha” was me–bent over and tending to my flowers 🙂 Actually, I do have a polka-dotted dress…but it’s blue.

Come to think of it, “Bertha” reminds me of a story [our former pastor once told] about the lady who came walking into church, one day, with the her dress accidentally tucked into [the back of] her girdle!  Heaven forbid!  The other day, I was actually headed out the door, to church, when Ed told me to turn around and look in the mirror.  Yep, you guessed it–my dress was tucked inside the back of my undies 😦  Thank goodness for observant husbands!

Let me back up a little bit further and show you one of the cute little wrist corsages the children [of the church we’ve been attending] made for the mothers of the church, for Mother’s Day.  I thought they turned out nice.


I was invited to help with this project, and I enjoyed having lunch with the ladies, getting to know them, and helping the children create these corsages.

Now, fast forward to the month of June, and the week before Father’s Day and our 45th wedding anniversary.  I felt lousy almost the entire week, but on Thursday I finally rallied…just in time to take a beach trip!

On the spur of the moment Ed and I threw our beach chairs into the back of the van and headed for St. Simon’s Island–totally unplanned.  We had a great time, celebrating our anniversary a few days early.  We ate bar-b-que sandwiches for lunch, and spent the afternoon relaxing under the shade of our favorite oak tree.  I didn’t take a single picture, but the view was still the same.

Ed and I celebrated our 45th anniversary (and Father’s Day) in church, on Sunday, June 18.  Without God’s mercy, Ed wouldn’t even be here to celebrate with me, so there was no better place for us to be than in church.  We drove to the nearest Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, after church was over, and enjoyed our traditional anniversary meal together.  Later, we drove home and celebrated Father’s Day, too.  It was a busy day!

Suddenly, the day after Father’s Day all of our garden was ready to harvested!  We’ve never had this happen before, but our corn, butter beans, tomatoes, and peas were all ready to be picked and canned at the same time!  Ed and I worked several twelve to fourteen hour days in a row.  At night we fell into bed, exhausted, and this is what my kitchen has looked like for over a week:

this table has been totally filled, twice, with rippening tomatoes

Day one – ( 2 of the 7 buckets of corn we picked)


day four – some of the 3 bushels of butter beans we picked and shelled

more butter beans and the first of the peas

We’re well into week number two, and we’re still picking and shelling peas, as well as canning tomatoes as they ripen!  Our green beans and some of the tomatoes may have drowned, but the rest of the garden not only survived, it has produced beyond our expectations. I promised God if He blessed us with a good harvest, we’d share the bounty, and we have.

We’re so grateful to our daughter and our granddaughter for their help in shelling all of these peas and beans.  One day, the four of us sat and shelled beans for six straight hours!  We all went to bed with sore thumbs.

Things are now winding down with gardening and canning, so the end is in sight!  A few more days and the spring gardening season of 2017 will be history.  Did you notice I said “spring gardening season”?  The fall gardening season is already underway.

Ed already has two rows of sweet potatoes planted!  We’ll be adding a few more things to the fall garden as the summer goes on.  Oh, and our grapes will be ripe around the last of August!  It’ll be time to break out the jars and make a little grape jelly. The fun never seems to end in our neck of the woods 🙂

 

 

 

Published in: on June 28, 2017 at 6:59 am  Comments (2)  
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A Flag/Father’s Day Hodgepodge…

 

Happy Wednesday!  It’s been a couple of weeks since the last Hodgepodge, but it’s back, and I’m glad!  As always, I’m thankful to our gracious hostess, Joyce, who keeps The Hodgepodge up and running.  Here are today’s questions:

1. The Hodgepodge lands on June 14th this week, Flag Day in the US of A. Do you fly your country’s flag at home? Sometimes, often, or every single day? Have you ever visited the city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia)? Did you make a point of seeing The Betsy Ross House? Have you ever made a trip to Baltimore? If so, was Fort McHenry on your itinerary? (where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner)

We don’t fly a traditional American flag, but I have two patriotic garden flags that I fly around Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.  Does that count?  I’ve never been to Philadelphia or Baltimore.  I’ve spent all of my life here in the deep south.

2. Red flag or white flag? Which have you encountered most recently? Explain.

Recently, I’ve encountered both.  Let’s just say someone else waved the red flag, and I waved the white flag, and let’s leave it at that.

3. Are you a stay in the car listen to the end of a song kind of person? What kind of person is that?

Yes, I’ll stay in the car and listen to the end of a song, if it’s one of my old favorites I haven’t heard in a while.  I’m not sure what kind of person that makes me.  Sentimental, perhaps?

4. What are some of the traits or qualities you think a good dad possesses? In other words, what makes a good dad?

In my opinion, a good dad should be “hands on” from the start.  In other words, one who’s not afraid to change a diaper, give a bottle, or rock a crying baby.  He should be patient, nurturing, loving, and unselfish with his time, but he should also be willing to discipline, when necessary.

I’ve just described my husband, Ed.  He changed our baby’s diapers before I did, and did his fair share of bathing, rocking, and feeding, as well.  This was a tremendous help to me, and helped him build an early bond with our children.  No matter how tired Ed was, he never said no when one of the children asked him to do something.  In fact, I don’t remember him refusing them anything they’ve ever asked of him, even now.  Ed even returned our daughter’s wedding dress, after her wedding was called off.  How’s that for a good dad?

What’s an expression you associate with your father?

I can’t remember any specific expressions, so I’ll just tell a bit about my daddy.  He was very devoted to my mama, and loved her with all his heart. He had a good personality, and got along well with everybody.  He had a tender heart, and cried easily.  He also had a ‘green thumb’ and could grow a beautiful vegetable garden.  One funny thing I do still remember about him was, upon first hearing the term “chicken fingers” (strips of breast meat) he thought they were talking about actual chicken fingers 🙂  Daddy passed away 26 years ago, following a long illness, shortly after his 65th birthday.

5. What’s one rule you always disagreed with while growing up? Is that rule somehow still part of your adult life? Is that a good or bad thing?

I can’t think of a single rule I disagreed with while growing up.  (I’m a ‘rule follower’ at heart.)  My parents actually gave me very few rules to follow. I had to clean up the kitchen every night, take care of my bedroom, and, occasionally, I had to help clean the rest of the house.  That was pretty much it.  Oh, and I had to be home from dates by 11:30–but Ed could stay at my house as long as he liked because our time together was so scarce. (Ed was in the army, and wasn’t around much)

Random:

us, with the pastor who married us

This coming Sunday will be Father’s Day, but Ed and I will also celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary on that day.  Yes, we married on Father’s Day, 45 years ago, just three short weeks after Ed was released from the army and I graduated from high school.  I’m so thankful to God for bringing us together!  We’ll be celebrating with our customary trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken (and the beach).  We’ve been celebrating anniversaries with KFC every since our wedding night–when the store manager gave us our first meal as husband and wife for free.

us, last year, with our complimentary gift bucket from KFC

Published in: on June 14, 2017 at 7:02 am  Comments (10)  
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Welcoming June With A Hodgepodge…

1. Tell us about one fun thing on your June calendar.

God willing, Ed and I will be celebrating our 44th wedding anniversary on June 18!  We usually celebrate the day, together, near a beach somewhere, followed by our traditional early evening meal of Kentucky Fried Chicken.  KFC isn’t on our ‘approved’ diet anymore, since Ed’s heart attack, but we’ll make an exception on our anniversary.  We’ve eaten KFC on the past 43 anniversaries, beginning on our wedding night, when we were given our meal free, as a complimentary wedding gift.

2. How careful are you in the sun? Do you tan or burn? Do you make it a point to see the dermatologist every year?

For the first 40 years of my life I never paid a lot of attention to the sun.  I never burned or peeled like so many people do, I just turned brown.  Because of this, I rarely wore any kind of suntan lotion or sunscreen.

At age 41,  I had to begin taking drugs [to control rheumatoid arthritis] which made me sensitive to the sun, so I really had to limit my sun exposure or I’d burn/ break out in a rash.

In December of 2015, much to my surprise, I was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells on the bridge of my nose and basal cell carcinoma beside my nose!  I had to have my entire nose ‘frozen’ to remove the pre-cancerous cells, followed by Moh’s surgery to remove the skin cancer beside my nose, followed by plastic surgery to close the ugly hole left by the surgery.  Neither experience was fun, and my face will never be the same.

I’ll have to be followed by a dermatologist for the rest of my life because there is a 50% chance of skin cancer recurrence.  These days, I can’t stress how important it is to protect yourself from the sun!  Heed the warning.

3. Describe a time when you wanted to ‘throw in the towel’?

Lately, there have been many times when I’ve wanted to throw in the towel while trying to get our garden harvested and canned!  Sometimes, God gives us a ‘bumper crop’ of things, and, this year, it was green beans.  Ed and I have picked and canned so many green beans we’ve lost count of the jars!!!  One day, we spent twelve solid hours picking and processing green beans!

4. What’s a song you love that has a day of the week in the title or lyrics?

It’s an old song, but I love “Monday, Monday” by the Mamas and Papas.  I also like “Pleasant Valley Sunday” by the Monkees.

5. Are you a fan of berries? Which one’s your favorite? What’s the most recent berry dish you’ve eaten? Which blueberry breakfast food appeals to you most-blueberry pancakes, blueberry yogurt, or a blueberry muffin?

Yes, I am a fan of berries.  My favorites are strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, in that order.

The most recent “berry dish” I’ve eaten is home-made blackberry jelly.  Before that, it was blackberry cobbler. Can you tell our berries are getting ripe?

I prefer blueberry pancakes for breakfast, but I’m a huge fan of blueberry muffins, as well. We usually eat them as our bread with a regular meal.

6. What’s something you want to do before your next birthday?

There is nothing special on my ‘bucket list’.  I just want to enjoy each and every day, to the fullest, and, hopefully, get to spend each one of them with my husband, Ed.  I do need to make a visit to the Social Security office to talk with them, though.

7. June 1st is National Say Something Nice Day, so let’s all say something nice here.

First of all, I’d like to say how thankful I am for our hostess, Joyce, and for “The Wednesday Hodgepodge”.  I met our hostess, Joyce, through a similar meme, a few years back, and immediately liked her.  Joyce is warm and gracious, and has such a way with words!  When the other meme ran its course, I thought Joyce would be an excellent meme hostess, and was thrilled when she decided to begin “The Wednesday Hodgepodge”.  Kudos to Joyce, who has exceeded my expectations of a great hostess!  In addition to all of the fun I’ve had while participating in The Hodgepodge, I’ve met some great people along the way.  Thank y’all for being my friends, and I apologize for my absence in blog land, lately.

Random:

Ed and I have been eating many “garden fresh” meals, lately.  Last week, we had a grilled chicken salad, and all veggies in the salad were from the garden (lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, radishes), with the exception of tomatoes, which aren’t ripe yet.  Last night, everything on our plate was from the garden except for the meat and bread. (squash, green beans, potatoes, cabbage)

I haven’t made jelly in many years, but, this year, I decided to give it another try.  We attempted the first batch of blackberry jelly over the Memorial Day weekend.  It turned out pretty good, but we need a little more practice, so we’ll be making a second batch soon.  Homemade jelly is delicious!

 

 

Published in: on June 1, 2016 at 7:07 am  Comments (10)  
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Forty-Three And Counting…

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showing (with our fingers) that we’re celebrating #43

Wow! Has it really already been four days since Ed and I celebrated our 43rd anniversary? I guess time flies when you’re having fun… Actually, time flies when you’re not having fun, too. I can testify to that, after too many days spent canning vegetables!

Anyway, I wanted to document, on my blog, how Ed and I spent our special day–in case I forget!  These days, it seems, I’ve forgotten about as much as I remember, and by this time, next year, I may not have a clue what we did, so here goes…

Ed and I woke up early on our anniversary, June 18. We both knew the garden would just have to be put on hold for the day, because it was our day to celebrate! We exchanged our cards and gifts, then decided, at the last minute, we’d pack up and head to the beach, after all.

Originally, we’d planned to post pone our trip to St. Simon’s Island due to the heat wave we’ve been experiencing, but, suddenly, it just seemed like the right thing to do. Heat wave or no heat wave, we were going to St. Simon’s Island! By nine o’clock we had ourselves and all of the animals fed, had our things (for the day) packed, and were on our way.  (I’m so glad we went, because the relentless heat wave is still with us!)

Upon arriving on the island, the first thing we noticed was another [older] couple sitting under our favorite tree! Oh, no! We’ve made dozens of visits to SSI, and we’d never encountered this problem before. Fortunately, the tree is large, so we picked a spot to the far left of the couple and set out our chairs. As it happened, the couple left just about an hour after we arrived, and we had the tree all to ourselves for the rest of our visit.

Ed and I took our camera and tripod with us, and did our traditional anniversary photo session, too. (A tradition we started, about five years ago, was holding up fingers to show how many years of marriage we’re celebrating) We took our anniversary pictures in the park, on the same bench we used last year.  After the first three or four pictures, we discovered the camera lens had fogged up, so we had to start all over, once the lens cleared. At one point, two men came driving up in a golf cart, and stopped short, just seconds before driving through one of our pictures in progress! We laughed. Believe it or not, we eventually got some good shots!

We ate Southern Soul Bar-be-que sandwiches for lunch, and, as usual, they were delicious. If you ever visit St. Simon’s Island (near Brunswick, Ga.), and are a fan of bar-be-que, I highly recommend Southern Soul! The place isn’t much to look at (it’s a converted gas station), but the food is so good!

The ‘walking man’ (from last year) was still out and about The Village.  He started walking just before noon, and was still walking at 3 o’clock–in temperatures over 100 degrees!  His clothes were totally soaked, from perspiration, after the first hour or so.  I can’t help but wonder why he always walks through the hottest part of the day.  Ed remarked how quickly he must wear out a pair of walking shoes…

Temperatures reached 101 degrees, after lunch, but a nice ocean breeze was blowing, most of the time, so it didn’t feel that hot–until we left The Village! The ride home was pretty warm. Thank goodness for car air conditioning–and, believe me, it was working overtime, that day!

Of course, our anniversary would not have been complete without our traditional meal at Kentucky Fried Chicken, so we stopped in Jesup, for an early supper, on the way home. Us and one more couple were the only ones in the entire place, so it was a quiet and pleasant meal. Ed remarked, “This (the chicken) is almost as good as it was 43 years ago!” We didn’t get our meal for free, like we did on our wedding night, but we did get the senior citizen’s discount 🙂 Sometimes, growing older has its privileges.  Ha!

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the last picture we took

We made it home, safe and sound, with no car problems, which is always a good thing!  My back even cooperated and didn’t give me too much trouble during the ride.

It was an awesome day, at an awesome place, spent with an awesome guy.  I couldn’t have asked for more.

Published in: on June 22, 2015 at 9:02 pm  Comments (7)  
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A Dinner To Remember…

a quick photo before our anniversary meal…

Remember when I mentioned that it’s a tradition that Ed and I eat Kentucky Fried Chicken on our anniversary every year?  We do this for a reason.

Forty years ago, we drove up to a KFC in our car, with Just Married painted all over it,  to buy our dinner.  When the store manager realized that we’d just gotten married (about 3 hours prior), he gave us our first meal as husband and wife– at no charge. We’ve been celebrating our anniversary with Colonel Sanders every since!

Well, this year, in a moment of weakness,  I actually spent our anniversary toying with the idea of breaking that tradition of spending our anniversary with “The Colonel”, but let me back up for just a moment.

Ed and I chose to go back to Amelia Island for our anniversary celebration this year.  This marked our fourth year in a row of going to this island to celebrate.  (We may have unintentionally started another tradition!)  We stayed at the same hotel as last year, and would you believe we even had the same room?  What are the odds of that happening?

On Amelia Island, there is a little ocean-side bar and grill called “The Sandy Bottoms”.  It’s literally located right on the beach.  They have a covered patio, or you can even dine under an umbrella with your feet in the sand, if you chose to.  They have live music each evening, and on Monday, which was our anniversary, their evening special was steak–and I love steak!

After learning about the steak special, I spent most of the afternoon trying to decide if I wanted to abandon our KFC tradition, and eat steak on the beach at “The Sandy Bottoms”.  Finally, I decided it just wouldn’t feel right NOT to eat KFC.  Some traditions are just too special to be broken.  Ed seemed to feel the same way.

Monday evening, around 7 o’clock, Ed and I packed up our beach chairs, changed our clothes, then headed for the local Kentucky Fried Chicken, where we’ve gotten our last three anniversary meals.  Our plan was to get our meal “to go”, then have a picnic on the beach.

So, I’m finally all excited about our beach picnic, and getting some KFC, when we enter the parking lot of the restaurant and see–an empty, abandoned building!  Sometime, during the past nine months, the island KFC had gone out of business!  Talk about bursting our bubble!!!  I racked my brain, then remembered our daughter saying they’d once gotten some KFC in Yulee, which is located about 13 miles inland.  Ed and I were really determined, so we  headed for Yulee, in search of Colonel Sanders!  We finally found the place, got our chicken, then headed back to the beach.  By this time, it was well after 8 o’clock in the evening.

We took our food to the little park area beside the beach, and put it on a table.  It was about this time when we discovered that the evening breeze blowing off the ocean had gotten a lot cooler than before…It was also about this time when we discovered that the girl at KFC had neglected to pack any eating utensils for us!  There is just no way to eat mashed potatoes or coleslaw without a fork or a spoon!

Fortunately, there is a convenience store located next-door to our hotel, so we made the decision to just pack our food up, stop by the store to buy some eating utensils,  and just eat in our room where it was warmer–and that’s what we did.  We had a “carpet picnic”, except we ate on the coffee table!  After the  ordeal of finding the food, it was so delicious–and that meal will definitely go down in the books as one of our most memorable anniversary dinners ever!

Published in: on June 21, 2012 at 9:11 am  Comments (8)  
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