Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My County

We live in a small town near Savannah, Georgia and I've notice that when I visit some Blogs it says I'm from Hinesville, I'm not, Hinesville is about 30 miles from here, it's where Ft. Stewart is.  We're much closer to Savannah, different county too.  There are loads of counties in Georgia, 159 to be exact, we're second only to Texas which has 254.
We live in Bryan County and it has county commissioners to administer the country.  Can't name a one, but if I said Bubba was a county commissioner I probably wouldn't be wrong.  I sometimes think half this state is named Bubba.  We're virtually a one-party county too, if you're anything but a Republican you don't mention it in polite company.  So every couple of years one good old boy or another gets elected country commissioner.  I'm not sure what the qualifications for the job are, but having read the bios of those who've run I have to say they can't be much.
Anyway, these are the folks who have brought us our round about/ traffic circle and I don't want you to think this was their only accomplishment.
A couple of years ago they built a beautiful sports park in our end of the county.  Lots of baseball fields, soccer fields, football fields, fishing lakes, walking and biking paths.  It's really quite nice, except for one thing.
For the sports fields they decided to put in artificial turf so they could save money on watering.  Did they do any studies on artificial turf, see how it worked in the MLB and NFL?  Did they look info  the increase in sports injuries because of the hardness of the turf?  Did they realize how hot artificial turf gets, particularly in a semi-tropical zone like we live in?  The answer to all these questions is NO, they did not.
And what they now have is artificial turf, that is way more expensive than real grass, that has to be watered down constantly so that it's not too hot to play on.  There has been talk of taking it all out and laying sod.
Oh, by the way, did I mention that you have to drive around the round about/ traffic circle to get to the park?

My county commissioners, gotta love them.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Noon

The weather is doing me in, it finally cools down a bit, if you can call lower 90's down, then the humidity goes up and it feels worse than before.  Our morning walk this morning felt more like swimming than walking.  By the time we got back to the house our clothes were soaked, YUCK.
I washed sheets and towels this morning, big load, and for some reason the spin cycle didn't take out much water, so things were pretty wet.  Mac took the sheets upstairs to hang them and I threw the rest in the dryer which I seldomly use, but it's so humid they would never dry outside.
I picked my ring up yesterday and it looks beautiful!!!!  We haven't been able to take a decent picture of it, they all look fuzzy, but I'm putting one in anyway.
Also found the picture I took at the ballpark last week that shows how close we were to the action.
We enjoyed ourselves so much that we've already made reservations to go back again.
I've finally gotten around to reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, I was only about 67th on the waiting list for it at our library.  I really like it, her writing style is very different, not particularly linear and you really have to pay attention.
I missed 5 on Friday, Friday sort of got lost in the shuffle around here, but I'm going to borrow an idea from Amy at Love Made My Home and tell you 5 things I like and 5 things I don't like.

I'm not going to list my husband and daughter because I more than like them, I love them.

1.   I like chocolate, I'd eat some every day if I wasn't afraid of weighing even more than I do.  I like chocolate anything, I've even eaten chocolate covered ants and a grasshopper.

2.    I like my car.  It's a pretty, white Mazda 3 Hatchback and it's so comfortable to ride in.  It says Hello to you when you get in and Good-bye when you get out, it has a temperature gauge to tell you the outside temperature, it has a 6-speed manual transmission and is fun to drive. Mac has a little sports car, a Mazda Miata, and it's cute, but I'm not going to lie and tell you it's comfortable to ride in, it's not.

3.    I like taking trips to England.  We made our first trip there in the early 70's and it was love at first sight!  Since then we've been there somewhere between 20 and 30 times.  It's a beautiful country with friendly people.  We would get back from one trip and immediately book the next.  I'm not much on stately homes and castles anymore, we've seen lots of them, but I do love moated manor houses and gardens.  Can't wait for our next trip.

4.    I like Skype.  When we first learned that our daughter was moving to Japan I cried, it had been bad enough having her 600 miles away when she was in Maryland, but Japan was half a world away. Then she set us up with Skpe and once a week we get to SEE and talk to her.  She's still a long way away, but this makes it better.

5.  I like sports, particularly baseball (yeah Braves), football and golf, not so much basketball or hockey.  It's fun to go to live games, but truthfully you see better on tv than you do in person and a hot dog won't cost you $9.00.

Things I hate:

1.  I hate  it when people don't acknowledge that  I  have send a gift.  I took the trouble to find, buy and ship it, can't you at least let me know it got there.  You don't have to send me a Thank you card, an e-mail is fine.  If you don't,  you're stricken from the list of people I send gifts to.

2.  I hate cilantro, it tastes like something you've scraped off the cellar floor.  If I taste it in something it all but gags me.

3.  I hate hot weather.  I use to love summer, it could never be too hot for me.  But as I've grown older I am less able to deal with it.  Spring and Fall are so much better, I just tolerate summer and I hate to see what my electric bill looks like this month we've had to use so much air conditioning.

4.  I hate going grocery shopping, I wish I could buy food online.  Well actually I can, but boy is it expensive.  If my local stores started offering home delivery I'd definitely be interested.

5.  I hate weeds, why can't they rot and die from too much rain like my plants do?  My garden is so full of weeds right now that it's embarrassing, but until it gets a lot cooler and less humid I'm afraid there's not much I can do about it.

Amy did 10 things, but I heat-soaked brain says 5 is enough.  Enjoy the rest of your week.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Just a Short Trip

We drove up to Atlanta on Tuesday for a quick getaway.  It's about 260 miles from our house to Atlanta and takes about 4 hours, when you throw in a stop for lunch.  Thank God for air conditioning because as we drove from Dublin to Macon (that's about half way) our  car said the outside temperature was 104º.  And it wasn't much cooler when we got to Atlanta.
We had picked a very special hotel to stay at, the Renaissance Concourse, a beautiful hotel with a central atrium going all the way to the top and glass elevators.  But the reason we chose it is because the rooms on one side had balconies overlooking the Atlanta airport runways and you can sit and watch planes taking off and landing.  Now I realize this might not suit everyone, but we really enjoyed it.

The reason for the trip to Atlanta was to take in a Brave's game, I waved to you Kay (I know she loves the Braves and always watches them) did you see me?  We had great seats on the 3rd base side and I could actually see the ball, Mac said he thought they were the best seats we'd ever had at a game.  We beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, that was nice, and even better we got a bobblehead doll of Freddie Freeman (the 1st baseball and Jonnie Gomes an outfielder), is very funny.
After the game we sat on our balcony and watched a few planes taking off, but we were both tired, so off to bed with us.
But the next morning we had croissants and coffee on the balcony and watched the planes for over an hour, could have stayed all day, but we had a long drive ahead of us.
It was a great little break.

An update on our traffic circle/round about; it's still causing problems,  and one of the County Commissioners said he'd  seen at least 5 cars enter the circle the wrong way.  No one seems quite sure how to solve the problem.  I'm betting they end up stationing a police officer there to direct traffic for a while.
Also, someone commented Anonymously on my post to let me know everything I never wanted to know about traffic circles/ round abouts.  I wasn't concerned with the correct nomenclature, I was concerned to how people were using it.
TedEBear asked to go the Atlanta with us so we took him.

Landings were really loud, landings not so much.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Traffic Circles/Roundabouts

Driver circles the roundabout Tuesday while another driver waits to merge from Belfast River Road. (Photo by Paul Floeckher)
Whatever you call them you find them all over England and the rules are simple, the cars in the circle have the right of way.  And if there is more than one lane of traffic in the circle you pick the one that matches your exit.  We love them, not the least because if we miss our exit we can go around the circle again and pick it up.
Now, our little backwoods town (we don't live in Savannah, just near it) has decided that a traffic circle is just what we need to reduce traffic tie-ups near some government offices.  It's nearly complete, lots of warning signs about the new traffic plan, lots of traffic cones to direct you into the circle and guess what, it's a mess.
It's just down from the local fire station and one of the country commissioners observed the circle has reported people entering the circle going in the wrong direction, and so requested that traffic  cones be set up to help,
Here's what the paper says.

New roundabout causing some confusion

July 15, 2015 7:44 p.m.

The roundabout at Highway 144 and Belfast River Road should be finished on schedule, according to county officials. 

The traffic circle’s paving has been completed, and temporary road markings have been painted. Workers started installing the curbing separating the roundabout’s lanes Wednesday and will “probably be done by the end of the week with the project,” County Engineer Kirk Croasmun said at Tuesday night’s Bryan County Board of Commissioners meeting. 

Commissioners are now shifting their concern to ensuring that drivers use the roundabout correctly. 

“They have to understand the right-of-way,” Commissioner Steve Myers said. “The guy in the circle has the right-of-way.” 

A driver who pulls up to the traffic circle is supposed to wait for an opening in traffic and then turn right to enter the roundabout. The driver then is to make another right turn onto one of the circle’s exit roads. 

However, Myers said he observed the roundabout for a couple hours from the nearby fire station and counted five cars that turned the wrong way onto the traffic circle. The drivers were eastbound on Highway 144 and, accustomed to turning left to enter the South Bryan County Administrative Complex, made left turns onto the roundabout to access Capt. Matthew Freeman Drive. 

“I could not believe what they were doing,” Myers said. 

“You could hit somebody head-on,” Commissioners Chairman Jimmy Burnsed said. 

Myers explained that he and fellow Commissioner Carter Infinger asked the work crew to place barrels around the circle to help direct the flow of traffic. Myers said he has not seen any drivers making wrong turns since the barrels have been in place. 

“The problem is, the barrels are going to be gone, and people are going to take a left turn again,” Myers said. “It needs to have a ‘one-way’ sign.” 

That concern has been shared with the Georgia Department of Transportation, Croasmun said, because Highway 144 is a state road. The state’s response was, “We’ll monitor it” once the work has been completed, he said. 

Croasmun also pointed out that the barrels will be replaced by traffic bollards. The short posts will delineate the lanes of the roundabout and direct its traffic flow. 

“We’re not totally done yet,” Croasmun said. 

County leaders maintained from the project’s inception that their main concern was having it completed before the start of school on Aug. 3. Richmond Hill Middle School and the new McAllister Elementary are near the roundabout. 

Drivers have more than two weeks to acclimate themselves to the roundabout before school starts. Burnsed stressed that the speed limit on Highway 144 drops from 55 mph to 45 and then to 35 approaching the traffic circle. 

“I did take a carload of teenagers to go around the roundabout and show them how to do it,” Infinger said. “They had never done one.”
More changes will be made to the roundabout in the future. A widening of Highway 144 from Timber Trail to Port Royal Road is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2016. 

“When 144 is widened, the roundabout is going to be redone permanently at that point,” Croasmun said. “Remember, this is temporary. We wanted to get this in to make sure we had traffic control for the school.”

I predict there will be more than one accident before people finally figure this out.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Five on Friday

Yes, yes, I know its Saturday, but Amy at Love Made My Home gives us extra time and this week I need it.
Summer just saps my energy and drains my brain so please excuse my rather mundane five.

The First is my summer wardrobe.  I live in shorts, short or sleeveless tops and walking shoes.  The flip flops I wear in the pool because when my plantar fasciitis is acting up you're not supposed to go barefooted anywhere.  I don't normally like anything between my toes, but these aren't too bad.  I don't like sleeveless tops because I have fat arms no matter how much I exercise, but the heat demands as little clothing as the law allows.  The top is from Loft and I have it in several colors and the shorts are Gloria Vanderbilt because she understands short, round women.  I have shoulder length hair and in cooler weather I actually curl it.  But in the summer I wash it, blow it dry and put it up in a clip or a scrunchy.
So my summer wardrobe:

The Second one is today's lunch.  We're going to have lamb shish kabobs with lamb, potatoes, Videlia onions, green peppers, mushrooms  and a shrimp at each end.  The shrimp are just because we love them.

The Third is the books I read and are currently reading.
I read: Long Way Gone: The Memoir of a Boy Soldier by Ismael Beah.  What a sad story about children dragged into the war in Sierra Leone

Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova The story of a family that discovers the father has Huntington's disease.  The dilemma is, do you want to know if you carry the genetic mutation that causes this disease?

Dry Bones a Walt Longmire novel by Craig Johnson.  I've just discovered this series and ordered the first one.  I understand that it is a tv series too, but I've never seen it.  This one was about dinosaur bones and Native Americans.

Those 3 I finished, now I'm working on The Last Plantagenets by Thomas Costain---this is a reread, fits in with my class that I'm taking.
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner.  This is a reread too.  I read it many years ago and thought it was an incredible book, so I wanted to reread it and see if I still felt that way about it.  I do, it's a wonderful book about the West.
The Power of Three by Laura Lippman.  This is the story of a high school shooting, strangely enough by a girl.
Fall of Giants  by Ken Follett.  I've been working on this one for awhile, but I had library books to read and return and this one had to linger for awhile.  Family saga, world war I, a Russian family,  2 British families, a German family and an American.  It's good, but I'm not enjoying it as much as I thought I would.

The Fourth is what was on my MP3 player this morning while I was exercising.

Iris  by the Goo Goo Dolls

500 Miles by the Proclaimers

You're 16  by  Ringo Starr

Everyone Wants to Rule the World   by Tears For Fears

I Want You To Want Me   by  Cheap Trick

We Got the Beat by  The Go-Goes

And the Fifth  is the movie we saw this week, besides Jurassic World.  We saw the Kingsman with Colin Firth and enjoyed it very much.  Mr. Darcy, who knew you could be so dangerous.

Well I got this done too late to be on the list at Amy's, but I did get it done.
So please join  the others for Five on Friday.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What Have I Been Doing?

I be bad, I haven't posted all week, not from lack of ideas, more like a lack of energy.
Monday was spent mowing our lawn, in 96º heat.  I don't want to say it fried my brain, but it didn't help.
Tuesday we finally made it to the theatre to see Jurassic World and we really enjoyed it.  Not because of the storyline, rather predictable, not the stars, didn't recognize anyone although the lead guy was ok, definitely not because of the pathos they kept trying to interject.  No, no, no, it was the dinos of course, particularly the raptors and their part in the movie.  So if you go to see it don't look for a great story, character development or any other such mundane thing, go for the dinos.
Ah, then Wednesday I had to get caught up on a class that I'm taking, "England in the Time of Richard III".  I am a Richardian and have always had an interest in the Plantagenet Kings so I was really looking forward to the class.  It's been a little slow going this first week and many  of the discussions seem to be made up of how many  people like Phillippa Gregory, who had written numerous fiction books about this period, and ewwww, wasn't battle savage--who knew.  So I'm a little disappointed so far, about the only thing I've learned, and I actually think I knew it already, just forgot it, is that you can date peat and that's how they finally found the bog where the Battle of Bosworth took place.
Yesterday evening we had a huge storm and there are branches and parts of trees down all over our neighborhood.  We were lucky, bits and pieces of branches  on the lawn, but not much else.  Our electricity was out for nearly 2 hours, but finally came back on as we were getting ready to jump in the pool to cool off.  Took a bit to clean the pool today, lots of leaves and leaf debris.
So that was my week.  No rain today or at least not so far.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Few Sunday Thoughts

Too hot for much thinking, but I'll try,  It was 98º here on Friday and Saturday, they say it's cooler today, but you couldn't prove it by me.  I know Angry Parsnip at Two Little Square Black Dogs is hotter in Arizona, but they don't have the humidity we do.  So laying low and eating light---ham sandwiches and pasta salad--that's about all you can do.
Try to eat some fruit every day, bananas being my favorite.  But I like them slightly on the green side and in this heat they go bad quickly.  If you put them in the refrigerator they turn black.  So while out shopping at a store that I don't usually shop at I bought some lovely green grapes.  Talk about bitter grapes, they were one step from being vinegar.  I put some out on the counter to see if I could ripen them up, but it was no use.  A very expensive mistake, I won't be buying produce from that store an more.
We swim every day so when I saw an article about what pools turn our eyes red it caught my eye.  When I was a kid we'd visit the local swimming pool and swim until our skin was pruney and our eyes looked like something out of a bad vampire movie.  We always blamed the chlorine.  Scientist now tell us it wasn't the chlorine, it's urine.  When urine combines with chlorine it produces  chloramine which is a derivative of ammonia.  Now isn't that a pleasant thought.  Glad I have my own pool and that no kids swim in it because you know that's who's weeing in the pool.
I need to do some decluttering my closet, Goodwill you're in luck and then it's lunch time.  Hope you all have a great weekend.