Thursday, April 29, 2010

Memories of My Mom



As I have been scrapbooking mine and Mac's family histories I realized how few pictures I had of my Mother.  She was always very camera shy, maybe that's where I got it from.  But there was one studio portrait of her as a young woman and my younger sister Sue has sent me a copy of it.  And even better than that she sent me the only the picture I've ever seen of my Mom, her brother Bill and her sister Betty as children.
They grew up very poor in rural Oklahoma in the 1920's and moved on to California in the 1930's with other poor Okies.  She and my Uncle Bill always said that "The Grapes of Wrath" could have been their story.
My Uncle Bill, who was an author, wrote in his last unpublished book about their poverty, entitling one of the chapters, A Time of Dirt.  They had been left so destitute that they had actually eaten  dirt.
My Mom only went as far as  the 8th grade in school, dropping out because she had no shoes to wear and needing to work.  Though unschooled I wouldn't have called her uneducated, she always had a book in hand and our house was always filled with books, magazines and newspapers.
My Mother was a shy person, not very outgoing, with an edge of sadness about her.  I remember her singing a lot when I was young , a favorite must have been Mersy Doats a nonsense song from the 1940's because it's the song I remember her singing the most.
 She liked people but made few friends, my Dad was the outgoing friend maker.   People interested her and she  always said that her ideal job would be at a busy airport or train station where she could watch people from around the world hurrying on their way.  
In her lifetime she was an Avon lady, Dairy Queen worker, a restaurant cook and then restaurant owner and finally had her own convenience store and gas station.
She was born in 1922 in Marble, Oklahoma, moved to California where she married my Father in 1944 and died in Vian, Oklahoma in 1993.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ima Needs

It's time for Ima to do a rant!

Ima needs her allergies to let up so her pleurisy will get better, she  needs to be able to take a deep breath without passing out.

Ima needs GM to go straight to hell without passing Go and without collecting any more money.  She's less than thrilled they paid back TARP money, spent millions to brag about it on tv yet feels no urge to pay its bond holders who are stuck in limbo thanks to the deal they worked out with the government.

Ima needs the government to  remember that the economy is job one, not climate change, not Goldman-Sachs, not amnesty for illegal aliens or statehood for Puerto Rico.

Ima needs this country to remember that what makes us strong is not the government babysitting us but us being enterprising enough to take care of ourselves.

And most of all Ima needs folks to lighten up and get or regain a sense of humor, for she is not amused by most of the c**p going on.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Roses and More Roses


The roses are just spectacular this year, they looked so seedy last year that I was despairing of some of them and feared they might need to be dug out and replanted.  What a difference a year makes.  This is what is called a semi-wild minature rose and it started from a tiny little pint pack and has grown larger and more rose-filled every year.





This is from our Queen Elizabeth, a climbing rose that climbs well but flowers seldomly.  In a good year we might get 3 flowers and 3 feet of growth.  



This is from a plant we call the Jim Ed Memorial





 Rose because it comes from a plant my Father had ordered shortly before he died in 2003 and I planted in his name.  He gives truly sweet white roses every year.









This peach beauty grows next to the Queen Elizabeth, wish I could remember its name, but it is a stylish proficient bloomer.

Louisiana Iris


Just a quick blog to show that the first of my Louisiana Iris has bloomed.  It's a Beale Street and perfectly beautiul.  It took some hunting to find an Iris that will bloom down here, the Dutch ones won't, though they sell them here.  Japanese and Louisiana will, but the Louisiana are far prettier.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Roses in the Rain


It rained off and on all weekend but the garden just soaked it up, and my roses luxuriated in it, lifting their petaled faces to revel in it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Friday Night With Elvis


You may think the King is dead, but he's not, he plays lead guitar with a country band that performs regularly here in the Savannah area.  Though not born in Tupelo, Mississippi like the original, but rather in  Holland where he learned to play guitar and love the King, he's decided that Elvis is a name that fits him better than the one he was born with. 
We sat with Elvis Friday night  for about a half an hour before the band started playing, always fun talking with him.  Talked a little trash about other bands, how he wanted a new Les Paul guitar and how a certain band member was getting above himself, but he used a Dutch expression to describe this.  He said the guy was getting ahead of his shoes, what a great expression, knew exactly what he meant.
Elvis says his ex-wife (not Priscilla) always asks about us and might be coming next week. She's a nice lady so we hope to see her.   You gotta admire a guy who stays on good terms with an ex-wife

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pillows

I love pillows but seldomly buy  them preferring to make my own.  So noticing that many of mine were  starting to look tired I decided that it was time for some new ones.  Getting material locally has become a little more difficult as the only fabric store in town has moved away and Walmart has stopped carrying fabric at our local store.  The nearest fabric store was over in Savannah down Abercorn Street which is more a line of traffic lights than it is a street so I started pondering alternatives and decided to look on line, I buy nearly everything else there so why not fabric.  Using good old Google I found fabric.com and they're prices were more than reasonable and they offered free shipping if you bought enough material, so of course I did.  Then I ordered a new pillow book from Amazon and it arrived this week.  Today my cat (of course you know Tabbies love to sew) and I cut out about a half dozen pillows.  When Mac hauls my sewing machine upstairs we'll be in business.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tybee Island







We went out to Tybee Island yesterday, not to the beach but rather to Fort Pulaski.   And we really didn't go to see Ft. Pulaski which is a 19th century fort named after a Polish count who helped the Americans during the Revolutionary War.  No we were there to see that lighthouse at Cockspur so I could paint and Mac could fish.
We began the day with a short walk out to the old North Pier through the maritime forest and then a
 longer walk out to the lighthouse.  Glorious day, painting went well but the fishing did not. 
So from there we went to Lazaretto Creek for lunch at Loco's Cafe and Grill.  Mac as always had a Low Country Boil (shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob and sausage) which he said was pretty good except for the corn --as usual it had been boiled to death.
I, as usual, had fried shrimp, yum, yum, yum, big,
 juicy shrimp lightly breaded, need I say more?
Then after lunch we drove to the other side of the creek and both of us fished, I caught about a 2 inch I don't know what fish and Mac caught nothing, so it was time to head home.  Great day.














Tuesday, April 20, 2010

List All Your Medications, Including Over the Counter and Their Dosage


Yesterday I went to the Dermatologist to have some "spots" looked at and the nurse at the front desk had me update my medical information.  Parts were easy to do, I know what medical conditions I have, I know my medical history and I knew why I was coming to see the doctor.  The question that slowed me down was the one that asked me to list all medications I take including over the counter ones and to list their dosage.  Uh-oh.  I basically know what medications I'm taking or at least I know what I'm taking them for, but I really don't know how to spell some of them and I don't know their dosages.  Some were easy, like Bencar and Lipitor, but some were doozies.  I take a pill for acid reflux and it is Prilosec or at least it use to be Prilosec before it got changed to a generic and is now Omneprazole.  Now ask me if I remember how to spell that name.  Or the name of the one I take for my thyroid, which use to me Levoxyl but became the generic levothroxine.  Believe me that form got a lot of weird spellings, I was embarrassed.  I will fill out a little card for my wallet so that next time, and we all know there will be a next time, I'll know what I'm taking.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring


When I was younger if you asked me what my favorite season was I'd always say summer.  But not anymore, I love spring, particularly this year.  Some springs down here can be rainy and cool.  This year we're having a spectacular spring, just enough rain, mild days mainly in the mid-70's and cool nights.  Everything is growing and the garden is a joy to be in, as opposed to last year when we had so much rain and many of my plants rotted.

I have 2 projects I'm working on, clearing under the oak tree where the Freesia  and Spider plants are, and under the oak tree by the lagoon.  

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday on the River





For Christmas Mac's brother George and his wife Laura gave us what is called an Xperience Day, and ours was a boat ride down the Savannah River with lunch.  So we booked our trip for yesterday and hoped the weather would be good.  In fact it was glorious, in the upper 80's and sunny.
The boat left from the landing on River Street and went up the river, with  narration and then
 down the river, all the while they fed us a quite tasty Southern lunch.  It included 
bbqed ribs, fried chicken, pork loin,
 stewed greens, a mash of squash, rice, mixed salad and dinner rolls.  Dessert included peach cobbler, individual berry cobblers, pecan pie, banana pudding and fresh melon.  And all the sweet tea you could drink.



  We ate inside 
and then went topside to enjoy the view.






Friday, April 16, 2010

Azaleas



This has been an incredible year for azaleas.  Most of our bushes are fairly small, I'm cheap and I buy small ones, but they grow very slowly.  We do have 3 large ones, the ones a neighbor gave us because she said she was allergic to azaleas.  I don't know why she thought it would help to get rid of them,  for every house, and there are about 100 of them in our subdivision, has a yard full of azaleas.
Regardless,  her husband hooked a chain up his truck   and pulled them out.  We wish now that we had taken more, she was just giving them away, but we were afraid they wouldn't survive the transplanting after their rather rough pull-out.
Anyway, they're blooming their head off and smell like heaven, our smaller ones don't have much of a smell, and this light pink is not my favorite color, but they smell so good I want more.





Thursday, April 15, 2010

St.Simon's Island Yesterday









We did go to St. Simon's Island yesterday and fell in love!  It was a beautiful day, in the upper 70's, and it was a beautiful place.  It's about 70 miles from us, not in a straight line, it's about 10 miles to the Interstate from our house, then about 47 miles south on that and then about 15 miles back out to the coast, but well worth the drive.  It wasn't as built up at Hilton Head but rather it was full of streets lined with Live Oaks with Spanish Moss hanging from them.I'd Googled the beaches there before we went so we'd find one with parking, and we chose to park at Massengale park which is at the south end 
of East Beach, a mile or 2 of beautiful white sand.
 















We did our daily walk there trying to find some shells, and  there were virtually none, but Mac did find numerous sand dollars, unfortunate or fortunately for them, they were all s
till alive so we returned them to the sand.  Also so a number of washed up jelly fish, these can become a problem on Georgia beaches later in the year.
After the beach we went over to the lighthouse where I did a water color painting while Mac did some surf fishing.  He caught a rather large Horseshoe crab, he didn't have the camera with him, I had it, and so no picture.  He also caught one fish, he called it a croaker, some of the locals call it whiting. 
Had a little trouble finding a place to eat, most places didn't open till 5, but
 finally found the BeachComber BBQ Gr
ill where Mac had lovely BBQ'd ribs and I had the first decent hamburger I've had in years.  Mac also had a cup of Brunswick Stew, he said it wasn't the best he'd ever had but it was tasty and definitely not out of a can.












We were exhausted when we got home but can't wait to go
 back, so much more to see and do there.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

St.Simon's Island

We're off to St. Simon's Island tomorrow, it's just down the coast from us at Brunswick and is one of the so called Golden Isles ... the other one being Jekyll Island where the seriously rich folks hang out.
We've scheduled what's called an inshore fishing trip which means we'll go by boat along the Intercoastal Waterway and fish.  But that depends on whether enough other folks have signed up to go too.  We may have to reschedule the fishing for a weekend day.
Regardless, we're still going to St.Simons, I want to explore the area and of course I want to paint the lighthouse.
Brunswick is famous for its Brunswick Stew and Mac says he'll probably have some.
This is a recipe called Get a Husband Brunswick Stew, I haven't made it but I plan on trying.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 (3 pound) whole cooked chicken, deboned and shredded
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes with liquid, chopped
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup hickory flavored barbeque sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hot sauce to taste (optional)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3 (14.75 ounce) cans cream style corn

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and saute the onions and celery until soft. Mix in the pork and beef, and cook until evenly browned. Do not drain.
  2. Transfer the pork and beef mixture to a large stock pot over low heat. Stir in the shredded chicken, tomatoes and their liquid, ketchup, and barbeque sauce. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Place the whole green pepper into the mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 hours, or until thickened.
  3. Stir the cream style corn into the stew mixture. Continue cooking 1 hour, or to desired consistency. Remove the green pepper; chop and return to the stew or discard.






Monday, April 12, 2010

It's That Time of Year


Yes, it's that time of year, no not taxes although it's that time too,  it's deer fly season.  They're at their worse between Mother's Day and Father's Day, but  they frequently start in April and they have come with a bang this year.  We always have numerous biting insects around here, after all we do live in a swamp, but copious amounts of Avon's Skin So Soft insect repellant usually takes care of them.  But not deer fly, nothing stops deer fly, they don't care if you've recently bathed in a vat of DEET, they're going to bite. And the resulting bite swells up and itches like crazy, and even worse they've been known to carry Tularemia (rabbit fever).
When we first moved here we went online to see what we could do about them and read  that they're attracted to the color blue and you could put blue paint on bottles and cover them with an attractant to capture them.   We kind of pooh-poohed this idea and learned to live with them.  But one day walking by a neighbor's yard we saw a bunch of blue bottles stuck up around the yard.  Being the nosey lady I am I went up, rang the doorbell and asked the man who answered if the things really worked, and he assured us they did, told us to carry one home and try it out, so we did.
We were sold!  It trapped all kinds of flies.  He had told us the sticky stuff was called Tangle Foot and that we could get it at Ace Hardware and that's what we did.
So each year we save large bottles, coat them with Tangle Foot and try to remove as many deer fly from the breeding cycle as we can.
I was out for only a short while today and caught about 30 flies.  Soon we'll be catching them by the 100's.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Snake Eyes or Why Mac Checks the Yard Before I Go Out



It's that time of year, birds are nesting, lizards are lounging in the sun and snakes are out and about.  I don't as a rule have a fear of snakes but I don't like to come upon them unexpectedly, I'd rather Mac pointed them out to me at a distance.  We live in a swampy area and snakes come with the territory and for the most part I've come to terms with that.  Not many of the snakes found here are poisonous.  There are Copperheads here and they're poisonous, but I've only seen one live one here, not in our yard but at a walk in a park, you usually see them run over in the road.
What we do see a bit of in the yard are small green snakes and black racers.  I don't mind the green snakes at all, though it can sometimes give you a jolt when you see one hanging in a tree.
I'm not as "fond" of the Black Racers.  One year they "denned" in a support post for our pool and ate all the bird eggs out of the cardinal nests, I made Mac get rid of them and block up the post.
He saw one this week laying next to the pool and I said to get rid of it, I hate having them close to where I am.
Black Racers (Columber Constrictor) are  the most commonly seen snake in this area, they are long (up to 60 inches) and as the name implies, black.  They aren't really constrictors but rather they eat their prey whole and alive.  They're harmless to people, except for the heart attack I have when I come upon one unexpectedly, like the time I was in the pool and one stuck its head out of the jasmine and hissed at me--talk about walking on water.  
Generally they "race" off when they are confronted, but occasionally they'll hold their ground and strike at you.  I don't like them.
These pictures were taken this week in the yard, I've told Mac it's time to put out more moth balls, this generally keeps them away from the house and pool.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fruit Trees




When we moved to Georgia from California we figured the one thing we'd miss were the fruit trees we had out there.  We grew oranges, lemons and olives and had to leave them sadly there.
But since moving here we've discovered that all of these will grow, and bear fruit, here in coastal Georgia.  So we've had a lemon tree for a couple of years and last fall we added an orange, hopefully this fall we'll be putting in some olives.  We're growing them in pots in case, Heaven forbid we should move, we're taking them with us.  The lemon tree bears fruit well and at the 40 cent a lemon they charge down here it paid for its self in a couple of year.
 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Springtime at Our Place


Georgia is always pretty, but springtime is the prettiest time of all.  The wisteria is blooming, the azaleas are incredible, and if you're lucky enough to have a dogwood (we've killed 3 and I won't plant anymore) it's now covered in flowers.  All the trees that flower are flowering, don't ask me what kind I really don't know--I go by the old song Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, so all pink trees are cherry trees and all white ones are apples, with the exception of dogwood which I recognize. And that's  pretty damn impossible because apple trees won't grow here it gets too hot and not cold enough in the winter.  Our  lemon tree and orange tree are blooming too, and if there is a sweeter smell than an orange tree in blossom I don't know what it is, it's even sweeter than the wisteria.
As I've said before I want to live somewhere that the seasons have a scent to them.  Prior to moving here we were in Southern California in a semi-arid region (think desert) and the only smell was of the Michelin tires in the air.  Though we lived near the grapefruit groves, hundreds of acres of them, and they did smell sweet in the spring.  
So I know I'm living exactly where I want to be.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'll Be Dam(n)ed or Leave It To Beaver



Several weeks ago Mac spotted a beaver cavorting around in the lagoon out back and tried to get some pictures of him, but all he  got were the splashes.  But then this week he found signs that the beaver had been visiting our yard, and they weren't good signs.  He has gnawed down 3 or 4 trees and tried to drag them off but they caught in the bushes.  Mac, nature lover though he is, was mad as h**l and has covered the entire area where he'd been gnawing, with  mothballs and sprayed all the trees and bushes with deer repellant (they ate all my Hostas last year) and is setting up a motion camera to see what happens.
I like beavers, think they're such industrious little critters, but I hope he sets up shop elsewhere. That will be safer for him and better for Mac's blood pressure.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Appliance Wars





My stove and dishwasher are doing battle to see which will be the first to be thrown down the kitchen stairs--that's where all offending appliances and tools get thrown when they've been replaced.  They're both part of the Fridgedare Gallery line of appliances and I've been less than thrilled with them and their end is near.  They haven't died, but I'm going to do them in.
The stove is impossible to keep clean, the burners have never fit right, the knobs turn the stove on if you brush up against them ---and being on the front of the stove you brush up against them all the time, and the stainless steel no longer polishes up.
The door on the dishwasher won't stay shut unless you click for the wash cycle and the other night I opened it to empty it, pulled out the top shelf, picked up a couple of glasses and the bottom shelf rolled out, I thought it would stop at the end but it didn't, it rolled right on out, and because my hands were full it flipped itself over and threw the dishes on the floor.  I have a stone tile floor so it  broke two glasses, one plate and a bowl.  It too is having problems with its stainless steel finish and it has a slight leak at the bottom.
So I'm in a quandary, they're both going to go, but in which order?  The stove is more dangerous, but as spring moves towards summer I cook less, eat more salads and bar-b-que, and so it doesn't get touched as much.
The dishwasher gets used every day and I'm beginning to really hate it.
So we'll see.

What's Cooking?

The kitchen smells heavenly.  I made vegetable beef soup, think it's the first time I've done that.  It's for lunch tomorrow and...