Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Earl and Friends

Hurricane Earl, isn't he lovely!
Earl's Track


I don't mind Earl but the way the storms start to line up out in the Atlantic does make me nervous.  The little yellow circle is, if it gets organized, going to be Gaston.  Happy hurricane season.
It's that time of year again, no not back to school, but rather hurricane season.  Danielle passes by and we hardly noticed her, but Earl is coming closer.  Though he won't come very close to us he is "whipping up a storm in the bay" as they say.  We've had an easterly wind for the last couple of days, high surf (shoulder high to the delight of surfers) and rip tides.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Reconnected!

Saturday at 4 PM Eastern Standard Time our modem died!  We tried everything, but after talking to Tech Support for our DSL  and noting that the brand name on the modem was CSA (Confederate States of America) we knew we were lost----no connection to the internet.  Our Techie put in a work order for us and told use we could go into town Monday----Oh God! Monday! and pick up a new modem.
We moaned and groaned, slept poorly, and Sunday morning Mac remembered that we had a laptop that our daughter had given us and it had an internal modem, so we called up our Tech Support again, they gave us a number for Dial-up Service and we were reconnected, sort of.
The laptop is an old Mac and is slow even when on DSL, on dial-up it gave snail mail a run for its money, it was agonizing waiting for pages to download.  Finally I gave up, sent an e-mail that had to be sent and shut it down.
This morning, early, before breakfast---I left Mac in charge of the kitchen, I flew into town and picked up the new modem, Mac could not believe how quickly I was back, and I said that if I hadn't had to wait for a train and a driver doing 40 in a 55 mph zone I'd have been back even quicker.
Well I sat out in the livingroom drinking orange juice and listening to mumbles and mutters coming from the computer room and finally heard those 2 special word, "We're on-line!"
You could take away my tv--watch very little of it anyway, take my phone, h**l I'd even give up the air conditioner, but I have to have the internet and Mac is just as bad--talk about addictions.  Now we need a need router because the one our daughter gave us (she's always trying to drag us into the 21st century) is definitely getting wonky.
But I'm online and I'm smiling!

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Painting

Mac's been busy again, look at this little gem, I just love it.  It's small, 9/12 on a masonite board.  Have to find a frame for it because no etsy for this one I'm keeping it!

Turtles in the mists


Every year in June the female turtles come out of the lagoon at night and dig a nest and lay their eggs, mostly on wet misty nights. Sometimes I find their nest, but most of the time, I only find their nest after a raccoon has dug it up and eaten all the eggs, and has left the eggs shells  scattered around. In years past upon finding an  unmolested nest I have covered the nest with screen wire, but nothing has ever hatched, this has happened three times. So this year I was going to remove the eggs and put them somewhere safe. I managed to find one egg in good shape from a dug up nest, and eventually found two more viable eggs, in the front yard of all places. I put them in a cardboard box and covered them with soil, and watered them every other day or so. Yesterday I went to water the eggs and there was this little guy, A Georgia Pond Slider.







 The other two eggs are still covered in soil, and this little guy spends most of her time tucked away in the dirt. It remains to be decided if I will keep her at all, if she begins to eat I may wait until she much larger to release,  giving her a much better chance to survive, if she doesn't start to eat after a month or so, I will release her into the lagoon.



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wedding Anniversary

Our 45th Wedding Anniversary is coming up, that's our sapphire anniversary, but I've already told Mac I don't want a sapphire.  He gave me a very special one about 7 years ago and I don't need another one.
For about 7 years ago we found some old love notes we'd written each other when we were teenagers and rediscovered that we'd met on the 17th of March.  Then in September of that year Mac had given me a little stuffed elephant with his class ring on a chain around its neck.  So to commemorate that  he gave me another little elephant with a sapphire ring hanging around its neck.  You can't top that, and anyway, I'm not much of a jewelry person, though I haven't taken this ring off in 7 years.
So I don't want another sapphire, can't really think of anything I want,  and I haven't a clue as to what to get him.  He's so hard to buy for, it's not that he's fussy, he's not, it's just that he's not a very material person and doesn't collect a lot of things.  He loves books but mainly reads nonfiction and I spend a lot of time on Amazon looking for books for him.  Several years ago he picked up a Fred Archer book while we were in England and he loved it, he's now read all of them.  Then I discovered Beverly Nichols  and his garden writing  for him and now  he owns all of those.  Lately I found Mollie Harris, another English author, and he's just now finishing up the last of her books.  We're going on a trip to England for our anniversary and I'm hoping I'll find something for him there, we plan on hitting as many book stores as we can.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Daughter Has a Job!!!!!!

Nearly 5 months ago our daughter lost her job for doing what she thought was the right thing. In August of last year she passed the grueling process of getting a job with the U.S. Consular Service and began the steps to get a Top Secret Clearance.  Now getting on the list doesn't guarantee a job, just a spot on the list of those who may be called to start training for a position.  Your place on the list is determined by your final score from the all-day oral interview, anyone scoring higher, and they assess all the time, goes ahead of you.
Well my daughter is too honest for her own good, she immediately let the company she worked for know that she'd made the list and that hopefully, someday, and probably not until the following year that she might be leaving.  She'd been with this company 10 years and she thought she owed them that. HA!  They immediately put her job up for hire!  She convinced them to find someone internally, she'd train them and move laterally in the company.  They agreed.  Well she got her security clearance but didn't move up the list at all, in fact moved down and it began to look as though she might spend the alloted 18 months on the list and never move on, but did her company care, no.  In January they informed her that in February they would decide whether to continue to fund her position for the next year, and of course they decided not to and as of mid-March she was out of a job, and at first she wasn't going to get unemployment because they said she'd given notice.  Well they changed their minds, admitted that they'd ended her position and she was then eligible for unemployment.
Since then, like way too many other Americans, she has been looking for a job.  She has had a temporary one that had no benefits and paid for less than she had been working, but it was a job.
Today she went for an interview for a 6 month position that paid well and left the interview feeling she hadn't done well, but she had, when she got home she had voice mail telling her she had the position!
So she has 6 months of breathing room, to find a job she likes, that pays what she wants and is permanent. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TIMBERRRRRRRR!

Yesterday this tree was standing, all 75-100 feet of it, we walked right past it.  Today it was laying in 2 yards and you could see where it had been cut up in the road.  We thought at first someone had gotten permission to cut it down, which is not easy to do here, but we looked closer and saw the roots and knew that it had fallen down.  Looking at the inside of the tree we saw that the core was rotten.  It must have made a h**l of a noise when it hit the ground.
One day when we were walking we saw and heard a much smaller one fall so I know this one must have shook the ground!

It had stood next to these trees and was at least as tall as them, glad it happened after our walk.  We had storms yesterday afternoon and I'll bet that's when it came down.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Birds of a Feather

Good  walk this morning, though we just walk through our subdivision you never know what you might see.  Today we saw 2 different birds.  The first was a hawk, it flew about 10 feet above our heads and then landed in a tree and Mac snapped a picture of it.  We think it's a Red-Shouldered Hawk.  They like wetlands and boggy areas and that's a pretty good description of where we live.
Then as we headed for home we saw this bird, a Heron fishing in the shallow waters of our lagoon.  He frequently fishes out behind our house, but Mac encourages him to move on down the line and not eat his fish.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Key Lime Pie

I got this recipe from Southern Living magazine and made it for my daughter's birthday instead of a cake.  It was so easy and tasted wonderful, even my husband liked it and he's not a big fan of pies or sweets in general.  I need to pick up some egg substitutes this week  and I'm going to make it again.

Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Amy Burke
Key Lime Pie


Don't be tempted to substitute bottled lime juice—it doesn't compare to fresh.

Other Time: 4 hours 27 minutes minutes
Yield:  Makes 8 servings


1 (14-oz.) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup fresh Key lime juice*
2 teaspoons Key lime zest*
1 (6-oz.) reduced-fat ready-made graham cracker crust
1 (8-oz.) container fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed
Garnish: lime peel strips
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together first 4 ingredients until well blended. Pour mixture into piecrust; place pie on a baking sheet.
2. Bake at 350° for 17 minutes or until pie is set. Remove pie from baking sheet to a wire rack, and let pie cool completely (about 1 hour).
3. Chill 3 to 24 hours. Top with whipped topping just before serving. Garnish, if desired.
*Regular fresh lime juice and zest may be substituted.
Try it with Lemon! Substitute fresh lemon juice for lime juice and lemon zest for lime zest.


CALORIES 301 ; FAT 4.3g (sat 0.7g,mono 0.2g,poly 0.4g); CHOLESTEROL 7mg; CALCIUM 142mg; CARBOHYDRATE 55.4g; SODIUM 194mg; PROTEIN 7.7g; FIBER 0.1g; IRON 0.9mg 

Southern Living, JULY 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Collection

I'm not a serious collector but I do like English porcelain plates and whenever we go there I try and pick up a few for my collection.  They're nothing special, no Minton, no  Worcester, no Derby, just plates that caught my eye.
I love the Victorian ones, like the Ribbon plates and have a special place in the heart for Art Nouveau and Art Deco, no Clarice Cliff.  I love flow blue and soft turquoise, and I'm always on the look-out for yellow ones.
You'll notice a few jugs in the first picture, they're part of another collection.
Can't wait for September so I can collect some more.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

House Cleaning is Not a Recreational Sport

I planned on working in my garden again today, but one look around my house today and decided that in order to  avoid the spread of pestilence and  disease I'd better do some house cleaning instead.  So it was kitchen and bathroom day, what fun, shining stainless steel and scrubbing down all those porcelain thrones.
  Then I Swiffered the hardwood floors.  Swiffers are ok for picking up dust, but the bits of debris on my floors just laugh at it.  I also have a Swiffer-type mop and it's a waste of time, it's good old hands and knees on my garden kneeler when I break down and do that.
When that was done I jumped in the pool and scooped out leaves, flies and wasps.  The pool has been reasonably cool lately, hope it stays that way.
While I was in the pool I ran the air conditioner in the upstairs so I could do some work up there, which I did.  I managed to lose a needle, destroy a pillow and cut out some fairy squares that I want to use to make a small quilt with. All the fairies are blue fairies but each one is different.  I also have a set of pink fairies.   I've never quilted, but once the weather cools down a little I'm going to give it a try.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Down the Garden Path

I worked out in the garden today, under an umbrella, for the first time time in forever.  The heat has just been oppressive. and though it's not as hot today it is very humid.  When I get to complaining too much about the weather  I have to stop and remind myself that we live in a swamp and if we have swampy weather there's a good reason.
Anyway, after weeding I wandered around the yard to see how things were holding up.  The Rose of Sharon was the only plant I saw that actually seems to be enjoying the weather.




 Mac's sunflowers, though not blooming yet, are doing well, as are the multitude of Zinnias that seed themselves every year.



Mac caught a fish while I was out there.





And Miss Kitty, dragging her leash behind her, was hot on the trail of a lizard.




Earlier today when we'd headed out on our walk the Lantana was so covered in butterflies you could hardly see the flowers, now it's just too hot.
I snapped a picture of the Bougainvillea on the front porch and headed in to get my suit and go swimming.

Friday, August 13, 2010

World's Best Husband

When I was out in the pool yesterday floating around my husband folded the laundry for me.  Most of the laundry that it.  He used his socks to spell out a message to me---Q is my nickname.  Now how sweet is that!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Responsible Citizenship

I went Tuesday to vote in the Republican run-off election for Governor, I don't usually do run-off elections but I missed voting in the primary.  I missed voting in the primary because they'd moved my polling place and by the time we'd track a polling place down and found out it was the wrong one I decided a pox on all their houses and I just didn't vote.  Which is too bad because the person I would have voted for lost, bady,  and I was left with 2 people I knew nothing about in the run-off election.  Georgia is one of those states where if a person doesn't get at least 50% of the votes then they hold a run-off between the top two vote getters.
So before voting I decided to look up some background on the two candidates and the news was not good.
The woman running has been the Secretary of State for Georgia, but she never graduated from college, one of her first jobs was working for Marilyn Qualye the wife of a really bad Vice-President, and to me the kiss of death was that Sarah Palin endorsed her.
The man running was worse, though he's been a U.S. Congressman he has had  so many ethic violations filed against him that it took me a half hour to read about them.
What a choice.  But I voted and the man won.
I think I'm going to vote for his Democratic opponent, at least he has experience, he use to be Governor here, and has some idea of how to get things done.
I have serious doubts that our system works for regular people any more.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Little House on the Prairie Time

Had a good little loaf of bakery bread yesterday and decided to stop being so lazy and make my own.  So Mac got my breadmaker out and I made a loaf of crusty French bread.  The top didn't get as dark as I thought it should and to my taste it's just a tad salty, but all in all not too bad.
Then to go with the bread I made Blackberry Jam.  I got the recipe from Amazon's Daily Blog page and they said it was originally a BBC recipe.  Basically you cook blackberries and sugar together in the microwave and seal the results in little jars.  Looks good, tastes pretty good, but rather seedy, I may make some more and strain some of the seeds out.
With the left-over berries I made a kind of cobbler and we'll be eating that with ice cream tonight.
A nice way to spend the morning.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Random Thoughts on Childhood Illnesses

I was reading about an outbreak of Whooping Cough (Pertussis) in California and  it got me to thinking about why it was happening.  Some say because many parents won't vaccinate for fear of side effects and though no connection has been found that their child might become autistic.  Others just don't think vaccinations are important and others have religious reasons.
I had whooping cough as a young child, young enough that I don't remember it, but my Mother told me that I'd had it.  That got me thinking about whether or not I'd been vaccinated, the vaccine was developed in the 30's and widely available in the 40's, but I have no idea whether I had it and sadly my Mother is gone and I can't ask her.
This in turn,  led me to thinking about other vaccines and illness's.  The only vaccine I can actually remember having as a child was the polio vaccine, I was among many other children who were the guinea pigs for early polio vaccinations, and in fact, to this day I don't know if I had the real vaccine or a placebo, we were never told.
So when I started school, about a 100 years ago I probably had few vaccinations, so out of curiosity I looked up the vaccinations to start school in Georgia, quite a list:
Diptheria
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Tetanus
Polio
Measles
Mumpts
Rubela
Pnuemoccal
Varicella (Chicken Pox)
Influenza B
Hepatitis   A and B
I know I had chicken pox as a child, again from family memories, not my own, but as to whether I ever had measles, mumps or rubella I have no idea.  I sure hope I've kept a better record for our daughter.
The biggest round of vaccinations I can remember taking was when Mac was in the Army and we were being sent overseas and I had to take Tetanus, Thyphoid, and Small Pox.  When we were stationed in Turkey I also had a gamma globbin innoculation for Hepatitus.
Because we're outdoors a lot we renew out Tetanus shot every 7-10 years and this year we broke down and took the  Pneumonia shot, have never taken the flu vaccine and probably never will.
It's a wonder I've survived all these years, but most of my Grandparents made it to their 80's and 90's and I doubt that they were ever vaccinated for anything.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bombs Away, Sort Of ...

Missing Hydrogen Bomb
They found a Civil War era Parrot shell at Ft. McAllister, that's just down the road from us.  It was still full of black powder and they had to detonate the powder.  They're not quite sure how the shell got to Ft. McAllister because it's the kind of shell shot out at sea and not towards land.  The shell was found dug up and they're theorizing that someone with a metal detector (which it's illegal to use in the park) found it, dug it up and decided they'd better leave it there.
The park has now put it on display.
The reason I said bombs in my title is because there is another bomb in the ocean near us.  In 1958 the Air Force had to jettison a hydrogen bomb from a B-47 after a mid-air collision with a F-86.  The missing 12 foot  hydrogen bomb, weighing about 7600 lbs. is somewhere on the bottom of the ocean  just off our coast in the Wassow Sound, that's between Ossabow Island and Tybee Island.
The Air Force has never been able to find the bomb, but claims it is not a threat to local residents because it didn't have its nuclear capsule (I guess that's what's needed for detonation).  Unfortunately they've never been able to find that nuclear capsule either, they're not sure where it is.  For now they think it's safer to just leave the bomb in its muddy bed.  Sure hope they're right.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Painting

Mac framed my latest painting for me and I've hung it in the "Beach Bathroom", and  I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  I was painting another bucket to go with it, a purple one, but I'm not happy with how it turned out so it won't get hung.
Old Boat Painting
Current work in progress




The new painting will replace the one of a boat that I did several years ago, I'll probably put the old one on etsy.  Right now I'm working on another boat painting and want to start one of a doorway.


 I'm not as dedicated as Mac, he paints every day, I try to do some at least once a week.  He's currently working on a basket of strawberries.

All Wrapped Up

Started early, finished late.  I started wrapping presents way back in November and except for a few small things due in the mail I'm fi...