Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Is it Deer Season Yet?

I don't hate deer, I cried when Bambi's Mother died.  But that's all over, no more Ms Nice Guy.  I'm tired of the deer sneaking into my yard under cover of darkness and eating my Hostas.  We tried putting mothballs and Irish Spring soap out.  That slowed them down, but with all the rain they lost their power and now I've lost more of my Hostas.
We live near open fields and trees and enjoy most of the wildlife that has come wandering through our yard, but enough is enough.  Bambi and friends have already cost me a small fortune in new plants, but I guess I'll have to break down and buy ..... bet you thought I'd say a gun, but actually I guess I'll buy the deer spray that's supposed to keep deer away.  If that doesn't work I guess I'll have to think of something more drastic.  So Bambi's safe for now, but he'd better watch out, and had better lose his appetite for Hostas.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Birthday Present


This morning I woke up to roses on my night stand, what a wonderful way to begin the day.  Then, as always,  Mac  surprised me with a great birthday present.  He knows how much  I love my garden and he is always looking for unusual things to go in it.  This year he found me a cedar tricycle planter.  Too cute for words.   I want to find some sort of trailing plant to put into it.  This afternoon he is taking me out to lunch and tomorrow we're off to Port Royal and Hunting Island in South Carolina.  I KNOW I have the best husband in the world.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bread Machine


This ought to be interesting!  My daughter April has given  me a bread machine for my birthday.  I'd put one on my Wish List at Amazon (I love this feature, you scour the internet universe and anything you find and want can be added to your Amazon Wish List) in hopes that I might get it for Christmas, and now I have it!  
I've always been interested in making my own bread, you know how domesticated I am,  but thought it might be too difficult or complicated, I get bored easily and give up on things that involved too much thinking.  So when I started reading about the machines I decided they  might be fun.  We'll see.  My daughter says that she use to make a banana nut/chocolate chip bread that was mighty tasty.  In addition to wheat bread, which is the kind we usually eat, I see a recipe (in the book that came with the machine) for a chocolate Walnut-Zucchini bread that sounds delicious.  But let's be honest, anything with chocolate sounds delicious.  If there were a recipe for Old Tennis Shoe Chocolate Bread I'd give the recipe a try.
Can't wait to give it a try! If I don't blow up my kitchen I'll let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dancing in the Dark

As everyone knows, who reads me on Facebook or this Blog, Mac and I go out dancing on Friday and Saturday nights.  It started about 6 and 1/2 years ago.  Prior to that, in more than 37 years of marriage we'd probably danced once.  As all women know, Men Don't Dance!
But, as I was saying, about 6 and 1/2 years ago while doing a little gambling at a local Indian Casino (in California) we wandered into a room full of folks even older than us who were dancing to a live band playing songs from the Big Band Era.  It was really fun to watch.  Trembly old folks who could barely make it to the dance floor without their walker or cane, hit that floor and magic happened.  Th
ey dropped 40 years and waltzed, foxtrotted, jitterbugged and 2 stepped their way around the floor.  We were mesmerized, we kept coming back to watch them, and finally one day we turned to each other and said, "We can do this."  And so we did.  We discovered that the Casino had live music 6 nights a week, Big Band, Salsa, Country and Rock/Pop 2 nights a week.  We tried them all.
Then we moved down here, looked for places to dance and found Shag Clubs.  Now I know that sounds obscene, but it's just dancing to what they call Beach Music down here, think Swinging Medallions, not Beach Boys or Jan and Dean.  We went for a while, but we don't like organized dancing, having to dance in a certain way, doing the same steps to the same songs in step with all others.
Then we discovered all the live music that Savannah had and danced ourselves silly to the wee hours of the morning and in the process probably destroyed our knees dancing on asphalt in outdoor courtyards.  Then the weather changed and we needed to look for indoor places to dance and we discovered a little neighborhood bar with a dance floor and l
ive music on Friday and Saturday nights.  But it was usually Country, not our favorite.  Then we met a country band that adopted us, made us like country, and that's been our favorite ever since.
Which brings us up to last night.  We went to see a newly reformed band, the lead singer has been around forever, has made a couple of CDs in Nashville, and is pretty incredible.  Sings well, plays guitar like crazy and has written a number of good songs.  It's just that from time to time he decides to put on a show instead of playing dance music, and last night was one of those nights.  Music was good, sometimes great, sometimes pretty awful, and above all, just not very danceable.  And then, I guess because he hadn't played in nearly 2 1/2 years he let his keyboardist do much of the singing.  We know his keyboardist, he's been in about a million bands, never lasts long anywhere, not because he can't play, he can, he's good, but he's weird and unreliable and at best he's just a mediocre singer.  So last night was a major disappointment and we're considering our options for tonight, they includ
e a draggy a** band in a nice dark club we use to like or a boring band with a good playlist in an overlit place  that can't decide if it's a restaurant or a bar.
It may be time to stay home and play garage band again.







Thursday, September 24, 2009

Birthdays


I have a birthday coming up on Monday and it's dismaying how freaking old I am.  When I was not quite 8 my family moved from Oklahoma back to California and I met my Grandmother, my Dad's Mother.  Actually I'd met her before but didn't remember her.  At the time she was 53 years old and was the oldest thing I'd ever seen.  Sequoias were younger looking than her.   In fact I told my Mother I wanted to die before I got that old.  She laughed and laughed, but I didn't see what was so funny.  Now I do, for I'm much older than my Grandmother was then.  I don't look quite as worse for wear as she did, but Lordy I'm old.
I'm not quite sure how it happened, I remember being a young wife and Mother, it was only yesterday.  Now my daughter is older than I was when she went off to College.  Tick, tick, tick, can you hear the clock?
Oh well, here's hoping I get some good birthday presents, there's got to be some reward for getting so old.
 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Funny signs


While cruising around the Internet the other day I saw a funny road sign "Caution Water on Road During Rain".  How informative, always good to know what happens to the road when it gets wet.  But it got me to thinking about some of the signs  we'd seen in our travels through England, some road signs, some pub signs, some just really strange signs.
One of our favorite road signs we saw down by East Lulworth Castle in Dorset.  It was a large, yellow triangular sign that said "Sudden Gunfire".  What the hell are you supposed to do?  Duck?  Run for cover?  We sped up.
 One of our favorite pub signs was found in the Falkland Arms in Great Tew, Oxfordshire .  It said No Mobile Phones!  Please switch OFF your moble pone whilst in the real pub.  It is not an office and we have grown-ups socializing.  Thank you
Outside the pub was another sign: Children are welcome in the garden.....Dogs welcome in the pub.
In Montacute there was a triangular rock that said, "No milk today" .  Hard to believe they still have milkmen.
In Bisley we saw a sign in a house window stating, "If ye park here the gurt big bus will no be able to pass!".
In Yorkshire one year at a pub called the Craven Arms/Craven Heifer Inn we saw a sign, and it was also proclaimed on their menu, that in addition to be a Calor Gas Finalist for Pub Meal of the Year, they were finalist for Loo of the Year, loo being a Brit word word for restroom.
Again in Oxfordshire we saw a road sign declaring, "Bridge out, Pub open", nice to know the Brits have their priorities in order.
A sign down a country lane in Dorset stated, " Three Duck Corner and Two Duck Cottage".
I'm assumed the married ducks owned the cottage.
Near  Glastonbury we ran into a load of closed signs, the book store was closed, the kitchen of the pub we wanted to eat at was closed, all the antique shops were closed, wanted to see a thatched windmill but the road was closed, found mill, it was closed, went to Barrington  Court and it was closed for the whole year, passed a big sign praising the Jehovah Witness's, but they were closed and to finish the day off we went to the bank to cash some traveller's checks and there was a sign stating," So sorry, bank is closed due to attempted robbery.".
Writing all this has made me very nostalgic for England, we may have to go back next year.


Memories


"Memories, like the corners of my mind, misty- water covered memories", not to mention at least 9 feet of sludge.  It's getting tiring just trying to remember what I came in the room for.  You know, the great here after?  It's dangerous just walking across the room to pick something up or opening the refrigerator.  I've never had good short term memory and it's getting worse.  They say it's not Alzheimer's if you can't remember the name of something or someone, but be worried it you don't remember what the thing is for.  No I can't remember the name of the scissors but I still remember how to use them, at least so far.
Mac and I both spend an inordinate amount of time saying hello to folks who act like long lost kin, and when they walk away we look at each other and say, "Who was that?"  At least we're losing our memories together.
Now what brought all this up?  Well since we're retired we don't have taxes taken out of our money and instead we pay quarterly estimated taxes that are due April 15, June 15, September 15 and November 15.  Now ask me if we remembered to pay our taxes on the 15th!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Garage Band


Went out last night in hopes of seeing, and hearing, the band we'd seen on Friday night.  We didn't.  Walked into the club to see another band setting up.  When the owner was asked she merely said, rather brusquely, "They're not here."  So we started taking a better look at the band setting up.  We recognized 2 of them from other bands, but that wasn't a good thing.  One, a perfectionist, always ready to tell you how to play a song, arrange a song or play an instrument.  The other was a really good guitarist known for long, loud solos when not working for the state (you figure that one out).  So we waited.  The first song was loud, the 2nd one was tinny, but we danced anyway, the 3rd was loud and tinny with the band dropping chords.  The table down the way from us was full of middle-aged folks way too dressed  and  way too drunk way too early. One of  the men even had a cute little diamond earring.  They were cheering, even when the band was making bad mistakes, and whistling,  I guess to denote their pleasure.  Mac and I looked at each other and he said we'd give the band  one more song.  So what did they play?  Something current, something you'd love to dance to?  No, their drummer started singing, in a monotone, "Let's Twist Again".  We left, drove back towards home and picked up a pizza.  When we got to the house we ate pizza and then Mac and I played together, him on guitar and me on piano.  We decided that the only band that sounded like a garage band that we'd listen to was ourselves!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Do I Hate Milk or Does Milk Hate Me?

I hate milk, I've hated it since I was a kid.  In fact I don't think I've voluntarily drank a glass of milk since I was taken off the bottle as a toddler.  I don't like the taste of it, the feel of it in my mouth or how it sits in my tummy.
A while back I began to wonder if perhaps it wasn't that I didn't like milk, but rather that it didn't like me.  Maybe I was lactose intolerant.  Maybe I couldn't digest lactose, the sugar in milk.  Then I saw an article about people who can digest milk as an adult.  It turns out that it's a gene mutation that allows some adults to be able to digest milk.  Nearly 75% of the world's population can't drink milk as an adult, they lack the gene that makes it possible.
This gene showed up about 7500 years ago in Eastern Europe and spread with the people across Northern Europe.  It has been suggested that it was an adaptation to the lack of sunshine in that part of the world (and having lived in Germany and traveling extensively in England I can attest to the lack of sunshine) and the need for the body to have Vitamin D which milk is rich in.  So about 90% of Northern Europeans adults are lactase persistent, they can digest milk, 50% of Mediterranean adults, 25% of African and Caribbean adults, 5% of Asians and 0% of Native Americans.  About 90% of Americans are lactase persistent too.  But the fact is being able to drink milk is not the normal condition, being unable to is.
So being of Irish, German and English ancestry you'd think I could drink milk, but you forget my Cherokee ancestry and who knows, maybe it trumped the others, maybe it really is the milk that doesn't like me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gray Squirrel




The Eastern Gray Squirrel is a constant visitor in our yard, actually they live somewhere in the yard, but I can never pin point where. Anytime of day you can look out the front or back yard and there will be a couple of them hopping around. They make a mess of the lawn with pieces of pinecones, which they strip down, I'm amazed at anything that can eat a pinecone! They come up to the back porch and get into the birdseed, and don't leave anything for the birds. Ms Kitty spends the better part of her day singing to them, and will follow them from window to window. I'm not sure what she thinks they are, maybe just some kind of  ugly cat. As I said they are constantly in the yard, but we have never seen any baby squirrels, they all appear to be adults. That was until a few days ago, when I saw a squirrel with what I thought was a pinecone in its mouth, a very common sight, but this pinecone was furry, had a tail and let out a squeak! I kept my eye on her and she ran up a tree and stuffed this little fur ball into a hole in the trunk of an oak tree about six feet off the ground. Then she left, I could hear her offspring rustling around and letting out squeaks, and every now and then a head would poke out of the hole, sniff around and disappear. They have been in the tree now at least a week, they are not much smaller than their mother and I wonder how much longer before we see them on the lawn or at the bird feeder.

Jerry Seinfeld


We went to see Jerry Seinfeld last night and really enjoyed his show.  Mac pointed out that our enjoyment came because he, Seinfeld, was enjoying himself.  He was having fun so we were having fun.  His standup routine was very similar to the old Seinfeld show, in other wordsm it was about nothing.  There was no theme, just his view on life, our lives and his.
We learned he's 55, has been married 10 years and has 3 kids, 3, 6, and 8.  His 89 year old mother lives in Florida, in Boca Vista no doubt, and still drives.  He had a cornea lens windshield put in for her, ha, ha!
We learned how close a relationship there is between things that suck and those that are great.  If you drop your ice cream cone that suck, and your say, "Now isn't that great!"
We also learned that a good number of Savannah residents either can't read or they're just plain rude because it was clearly stated that there was to be no picture taking or recording.  Yet that's what was going on, lots of picture taking, security spoke to a lady in the row in front of us several times yet she kept taking pictures.  I kept hoping they'd take her phone away.  Maybe it's just that some people are so stupid that they think that if they do it with a phone it's not taking a picture like with a camera.
Anyway, great show!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Garden Where Bulbs Come to Die


Sadly I have learned that most Tulips and Irises  won't grow in my garden.  I thought it was me, that I was doing something to them.  The Tulips would come up, bloom and never come back or come back and never bloom again.  It was the same story for my Irises, though in their case they just never bloomed, standing tall and green teasing me.  Well I finally got a decent garden book "Garden Perennials for the Coastal South" and found out it wasn't me, I was not willfully destroying these hard working bulbs.  Rather it was the fact that these plants just weren't meant for this area.  To grow well here a plant must be able to put up with hot summers, no nighttime cooling, possibility of a sudden hard freeze and be able to fight off fungal diseases that do well in our humid climate.  The plant mustn't need a sustained winter freeze and be able to put up with the occasional summer drought and frequent winter saturation.  In other words don't plant Tulips and Irises here.
That is unless that Iris was meant to grow in a bog!  I've discovered Louisiana Irises, thanks to the book mentioned above, and I placed an order for 8 different Iris's and they came in yesterday.  I planted them today and I am hopeful, we'll see what next Spring brings.  Below are their catalog pictures.  But the sad fact remains, Tulips won't grow here, I can plant them, enjoy the bloom and then dig them up and throw them in the compost heap or move.  So I think I'll just plant more Irises.








Bayou Bluebell                                 Emigre














Beale Street           













                                                                          Laura Strawn






Bellvue's Michelle    














                                                              Grace Duhon







Bryan Bay                               











                                                           

                                                                        Sea Knight












                                                               


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Disappointment


I have read reviews of "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert for more than a year, all of the reviews being very positive.  Reviewers talked of the wit and humor with which Ms Gilbert described her search for pleasure, prayer and God as she traveled to Italy, India and Indonesia.  Well  I've got to tell you folks I was really disappointed.  Her search was lengthy (taking a year) and about an inch deep.  What a whiny book.  I want my money back, glad I bought it used and she'll get no royalties from my purchase.
At first I thought it was just me, I'm old and cranky, I wanted to give her a swift kick in the butt and say, "Get over it!".  But then I went and read some of the reviews of Amazon readers and they all felt the same way I did, I usually read these reviews before I buy a book and I wish I had this time.
Poor, poor Liz, So you had a bad divorce ( one of your own choosing), boo hoo hoo! Isn't that sad, and to make it worse you had a bad love affair, before you were divorced from your husband and that ended badly too!  Oh, poor baby.  You were so needy and he was so distant, how does one survive this?  Like millions of others, by getting on with your life?  No, no, no!  You get an advance on a book you'll write and take yourself on a yearlong trip of self discovery and search for God.  I'm glad the pasta was good in Italy, that you found peace in India and new love in Indonesia.  I'm just sorry that I wasted my time reading about it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Is Obama Channeling Jimmy Carter?


I didn't vote for Obama, I held my nose and voted for that old white guy who ran against him, but when he won  I sincerely hoped he'd do a good job. I was willing to give him time, felt anger when people complained after 2 weeks in office that he hadn't solved all our problems. I wanted him to succeed because this country was/is in a mess.  We needed someone to come in, take a look at the economic situation and come up with a plan, not to socialize it, but to restore some confidence in our financial institutions, get our economy moving again.  I wanted him to put Americans to work again, too many of our friends have lost their jobs or had their hours cut, I wanted to see homes selling again, an end to bankruptcies for both individuals and business's and an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But what have we seen?  More bankruptcies, fewer jobs, bigger deficits, no end to either war and now a plan for health care we can not afford but are going to have rammed down our throats.
He looks so ineffectual, changing his mind, waffling as to what he wants, weak.  And that scares me.  I remember Jimmy Carter one of the weakest presidents we ever had.  He wasn't stupid, just ineffectual.  He had no idea how Washington worked and accomplished nothing but having our embassy seized in Iran and the idea that we were a weak country past its prime.
And with his inability to get anything done that's what Obama looks like.
Being a one term Senator doesn't qualify you to be President.  Just because you speak well doesn't mean you'll be an effective President.  And surrounding yourself with cronies of dubious character will not make you a President to be trusted.
I don't need Jimmy Carter as President again but I'm very afraid that's what we've got.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Use to Hate Mondays


Use to hate Mondays, they cast an evil shadow over my weekends.  Had to shop and clean on Saturday 'cause I had to go to work on Monday.  Watched football and did laundry on Sunday, but I had to start getting stuff ready to go to work on Monday.  Some Sunday nights I had trouble sleeping worrying about the work week and getting home and work organized.
All that ended 6 years ago when I retired!  I love Mondays, all my neighbors are at work, their kids are at school and I'm here eating grapes.  I had trouble sleeping last night, maybe my Sunday nap was too long, but it was no problem.  I got up, read, had a snack, laid back down, solved all the world's problems, picked out a paint color for my dining room (Mac has already painted it 3 times for me) and finally drifted off to sleep somewhere between 2:30 and 3:00.  Woke up tired you say?  Of course not, I slept till 10:00 and started my Monday then instead of the 5:30 that my working self had to deal with.  So I had breakfast, did a load of laundry, played the piano, weeded in the garden and ate some grapes.  I use to hate Mondays!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

You Can Take It With You




Contrary to popular belief you can take it with you.  A man in Saluda, South Carolina was buried in his beloved  1973 Pontiac  Catalina .  Lonnie Halloway, aged 90, died last week and had made arrangements to be buried at the wheel of his car.  The church decided it was ok, and a year before he died he'd made arrangements with a car wrecker service to lower  the car into the huge grave.  He also decided to have his guns placed in the trunk of the car.  
I admire someone who goes out in style.  And it got me to thinking about what I'd take with me, if I could and   I decided that  I'd  want the  stuffed elephant that Mac gave me 6 years ago.   It was a replacement for one he had given me for my 17th birthday.  That one had his class ring tied on a ribbon around its neck.  The new one had a beautiful sapphire ring on a ribbon around its neck.   So sweet that he'd remember how special that first elephant was to me.   I'd love to have the original one but our daughter April played it to death when she was young.  And that's ok because she's pretty special too.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Gypsy Wagon



Among other things that Mac gave me for our anniversary he gave me a Gypsy Wagon that he had made for me.  It was so sweet it almost made me cry!  You wonder why a Gypsy Wagon would cause that kind of reaction, well,  I'll try to explain.
When I was a little, and not so little girl, and I was being naughty, or simply annoying my Mother, she would tell me that if I wasn't good the Gypsies would come and carry me off.
Flash forward to a 17 year old me and who do I meet?  Mac, whose Grandfather was a "Gitano" which is the Spanish word for Gypsy!  So my Mother's prophesy came true, although I don't think I was very bad.  But  a real, live, beautiful Gypsy came and carried me off!  And now after 44 years he's made me a wagon to finish our journey in.  I think that's pretty special.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Anniversary Trip





We're home from our anniversary trip and it was wonderful.  We got up about 5am and drove to St.Marys a beautiful little coastal town here in Georgia.  It sits on the intercoastal waterway and is full of old live oaks hung with Spanish moss and antebellum mansions.  We stayed at Emma's Bed and Breakfast, a home built at the turn of the century (1900) where we had a 2 room suite with a deck.
We checked in and had breakfast down on the waterfront while 
we waited for 
the boat to Cumberland Island.


We 
usually 
only have 
toast in the morning, but we knew it was going to be a long day
 so we had a real breakfast and then
 caught the boat at 9.  It's about
 a 45 minute ride out to Cumberland Island.  We had a pair of dolphins who swam along side the boat as we neared the island, jumping out of the water in tandem, we took pictures but they were too far off for them to show up.

The island is so pretty, there are no plans to ever develop, it mostly belongs to the National Park Service and that's wonderful.  When we
 arrived we walked out to the ruins at Dungeness.  There are picnic tables set up  under the trees and I sat there and painted while Mac went in search of shark's teeth.  


Fossilized
 shark's teeth are so cool.  Sharks lose their teeth daily and can
 replace a whole set (77 teeth) monthly, so there are 
a lot of teeth out there to be found, if you know what you're
 looking for.  Mac found 36 teeth that day, you'll never guess how
 many I found!  
He put a quarter in the picture so you can get an idea of the sizes.



We say a load of wild turkeys down near the water, armadillos, and wild horses everywhere.






  Mac also saw a group of deer.



We picniced on the island and then walked out to the beach.  You have to bring all your own food and water, 
there is none available on the island except for a water fountain near the campground.  
As always the beach was beautiful and we waded in the water which was warmer than here and I had thought the water at Tybee was warm.















We stayed all day on the island catching the boat back to St.Marys at 4:45.  Dinner was at the Silver Star Steak house where I had a heavenly steak and Mac had an overspiced (too much anise) Chioppi.  He said that the mussels and pasta were good but the rest was just so-so.
Back at our B and B we sat out on our private deck and drank Champagne.  
In the morning we had breakfast on the back porch of the B and B, French toast with fresh strawberries and blue berries.  Delicious!
The whole B and B was super, we would recommend it highly and hope to go back and stay again.
.
The gardens were beautiful, full of roses, huge magnolia trees and goldfish ponds.  Down the street was a church from 1801 and it was just a short walk to downtown.  We walked around after breakfast, but it was very humid, Mac had wanted to fish but we decided we'd had enough sun so we loaded up and headed for home.  A short drive down the road back to the freeway we came to an antique mall (one of my favorite places) and we spent a busy hour there.  All in all a wonderful trip.



















Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cumberland Island


We're off to St.Mary's tomorrow and will be spending the day on Cumberland Island.  Cumberland is the largest of Georgia's barrier islands, it is about 17.5 miles long and about 6 miles long at its widest part.  Indians settled it first, then the Spanish, followed by plantation builders.  In the early 1900's the Carnegies bought a big chunk of it and built a mansion, Dungeness.  This burned down in 1959, but the ruins are pretty spectacular.  The beach is amazing, beautiful white sand and few people because the number of visitors is limited.
I hope to do some painting and Mac wants to hunt for shark's teeth and do some fishing.  
There are wild horses roaming the island and the last time we were there we saw wild turkeys.
Wild pigs and alligators are also found there.  I understand that wild pig season is about to begin, they're huge and I'm not sure I'd care to run into one.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Wonders of Nature


  While I putter in my garden Mac studies our yard with the wonder of a little boy and often sees things I would miss.  He knows when a "narrow" fellow is passing through, where the latest spider has spun its web, and which of his turtles is lounging on a log.  I see the flowers, note the weeds, mow the grass but all too often miss the small wonders.
One day he excitedly called me to observe two cardinals on our back deck. What was happening, he pointed out to me, was that the pair, who were eating the seed he had put out, would pause from time to time and the male (the pretty red one) would bring a particularly tasty seed to the female and feed it to her.  How sweet.  This is called mate feeding and is said to take place during mating season and continues till eggs are laid and incubated, but Mac says that it continues on past then.This photo was taken on our back porch.
The cardinals are said to stay together through the year and may mate for several seasons, Mac thinks the pair we have out back have been together for several years.  I think that's pretty wonderful.  By the way, this picture was taken on our back deck.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dancing


Went out dancing last night and it was wonderful, the most fun we've had in a long time. Friday had been awful and we almost didn't go last night.  On Friday there had been a load of children who were drinking shots and trying to see who could get drunk the fastest, dance the nastiest and be the most obnoxious.  We left after two sets.
But last night there was a good mix of older couples and younger ones.  The band was great.  We've gone through so many changes with them.  When we first met them they were Lightnin' Creek with Keith Gay as their lead singer and they were so much fun, they're the reason we started liking country music, we'd always been rock fans.  After a year or so they fired Keith and broke up.  Mike their keyboard player finally put together a band called Remedy and we went to see them a lot, after all Mike had gotten custody of us after the break up of Lightnin'.
Then after about 2 1/2 years the original band got back together, but now they were KGB (Keith Gay Band), as good as ever, and they lasted almost a year before they fired Keith, don't ask how you get fired from your own band, and they didn't play for about 4 months.  Then they found a new lead singer (decent singers and lead guitars are hard to find) Scott, and that lasted a few months before the lead guitar quit and took the drummer with him.
They didn't play together again until last New Year's Eve when KGB came together again.  That lasted almost 7 months till Keith left and the band had no singer and no where to play.  Some how they found a deputy sheriff (Rick) who could sing, promised not to arrest them for their bad habits and Black Water Station was born.  Friday was their first performance.
They were good Friday, but last night they were great, it all came together.  Lots of new songs, the lead singer kept the crowd involved, and load of good danceable music.  What a great time.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Light Bulbs


This week Britain began its ban on incandescent light bulbs, gradually banning the sale of all of them by 2011.  People are being required to use the new fluorescent bulbs even though most people don't like them.  The government has decided (isn't it nice when the government decides things for us) that they save so much energy that it doesn't matter that people aren't happy with the quality of light, the fact they won't fit in many sockets, take a while to come on (always nice in a dark room) can't be used with a dimmer switch, cause migraines, don't provide enough light for people with low vision  or the fact that they contain mercury and must be recycled not thrown in the trash (and I live in an area that doesn't have recycling, they're going to have to use them anyway.
This is happening in Britain and you say why do I care, outside of the fact that I travel frequently to England?  Well I'll tell you.  Under the Clean Energy Act of 2007 our Congress, who work so hard to take care of us and protect us from ourselves, has mandated the phasing out of incandescent bulbs  in the US too.  Beginning in 2012 the sale of 100 watt incandescent bulbs is banned, in 2013 the 60 watt is banned and in 2014 the sale of the 40 watt is banned.
Isn't that great, just as I get older and need more light what I'm going to get is less light.
We've bought a few of the energy effiecient fluorescent bulbs and we are not impressed.  There's one in Mac's closet and after you turn it on you have to stand there and wait for it to come on, and Lord knows I'm not the patient kind, when I want light I want it instantly.
And the issue of mercury concerns me too.   Experts say there is less mercury in one of these bulbs  than in a thermometer, but I don't turn my thermometer on a dozen times a day, my thermometer probably won't "burn" out and I've never broken a thermometer, while on the other hand I've broken loads of light bulbs.  It is recommended that if you break one of these light bulbs you put on rubber gloves, sweep up the debris and put it in a sealed bag and sent to be recycled, not put in the regular trash, and as I mentioned I'm in a no recycle area.  You're supposed to recycle them when they burn out too.  So I guess I'll just keep my burned out bulbs and decorate with them.
What we're probably going to do, h**l, what we're already doing is hoarding incandescent bulbs.  We paid, what amounts to, 60 cents a bulb for 100 watt bulbs.  The fluorescent ones cost 10 times that much, yes $6.00 a bulb.  Yes you can find them cheaper but consumers have discovered that the cheaper ones don't last as long and break easier.  So Mac has started a "bulb" closet.  
Wonder how our government will "take care" of us next?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Forty Fourth Wedding Anniversary


Next Thursday the 10th of September is our 44th wedding anniversary and Mac and I have both looking for gift ideas, though our trip to St.Mary's and Cumberland Island is our main gift to each other.  While looking we discovered that there are no traditional gifts for a 44th anniversary.  The 10th gets tin or aluminum ( oh buy me a can!), the 15th crystal, the 25th silver, the 30th pearl, the 40th ruby, and TAH DAH, the  44th gets groceries!  I'm excited, pork n' beans, caviar, corn on the cob, steak, spam, grits, succotash, the possibilities are endless.  Even though I'm a picky eater Mac is not, so no telling what I'll get him, but he knows NO SNAILS!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Love Bug


Love is in the air, sort of.  It's that time of year, again.  Love Bugs are here, again.  I know they have a scientific name (Plecia nearticlcia), but everyone here just calls them Love Bugs, because they mate, all the time, flying through the air cojoined.  They stay mated for 12-15 hours as they fly through the air, never looking where they're going.   I have never seen a lone Love Bug they're always in pairs.
I've  read about them and they say they're recent invaders, originally coming up from South America they've spread across the Southeast and made it to Georgia and South Carolina about 20 years ago.  And scientists say they're here to stay.   They come twice a year, in April-May and again August-September, and they come in swarms.  This year hasn't been as bad as some years,  I don't know if it was because of the heavy rains we've had, but it's been bad enough.  My pool gets covered with them and you'll frequently feel their tickling feet walking on you, but don't smash them they stink.   At times you may drive through swarms of them, clogging up your radiator.  They can cover your car and if you don't clear them off they can permanently damage the finish.
Few things will eat them, earwigs and centipedes being among the few, they must really taste nasty.  We have lots of lizards but none of them go near them.  The only thing we've found that slow them down are old-fashioned fly strips that we hang outside our door to keep them out of the house.
It's been said that love stinks and in this case I believe it does.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

California Fire


We're from California living  east of Los Angeles for about 13 years,  and saw more than our share of wildfires.  There's a reason they always have such intense  fires out there, the land is nothing but brush and scrub.  Southern California is basically a desert existing  on the water they steal from elsewhere (Northern California, Nevada, Arizona).  It does not rain in Southern California between April and November, at all!  Then throw in the Santa Ana winds that blow this time of year (that's a hot wind that blows in off the desert) and you have all the makings of a disaster.  We always said there are only 3 seasons in California, Summer, Earthquake and Fire.
Where we lived 7 inches of rain was considered a good year.  We had a huge fire one year that burned many houses because people had been unable to remove brush from near their houses.  The reason for that, Kangaroo Rats, a protected species.  Environmentalist will always take the extreme position and favor an animal over a human.  Insurance companies stopped this from happening again.
So I feel sorry for the folks losing their homes, but when you build or buy in a fire prone area don't be surprised when it burns.  
By the way, where's the President, isn't he supposed to speak out in times of disaster?

Another Sign of Christmas

My Christmas cactus is blooming, well at least one of them is, I don't know what the others are doing, planning on being Easter cacti pe...