Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blogging - A glimpse into another person's life

My mother was a friendly person and she always said that you can't have too many friends - there's always room for more.  She loved to travel and had friends all across the United States.  She would be proud that I now have friends all around the world.  I get a daily glimpse into the lives of people I would have never met if I had not started blogging my way into their lives.

I write my blogs and correspond with readers all over the world.  I read their blogs and get an insight into their lives and cultures.  I recently enjoyed seeing wedding photos of a blogging friend's daughter and felt like I was sitting in her garden in England.  I didn't know Southhamsdarling existed six months ago - now I count her among my friends.  An English Girl Rambles is a fantastic photographer and always delights her readers with her photos of flowers, birds, butterflies and bears with a pesky squirrel thrown in for good measure.  4 the love of wood gives me hope that someday I too will find the time to bring new life to old wood.  Orchid's Daily Voice, is my Japanese blogger friend who is sharing her beautiful country's culture with the world.  Maggi @ Just add Glitter and Stir is an amazingly talented young mother who takes life and runs with it adding laughter and sparkle to everyone about her.  Between Naps on the porch gives us a glimpse into the life of antiquities, old homes and tablescapes.  Kelsie @ Our Country Home recently let us peek into her china cabinet.  All Things Farmer, who has about a million followers, has a new book out, can make your mouth water with his tempting Southern cooking and should be in Southern Living with his gardening and decorating if he isn't already.  And my friend Jane @ A New Start / Scribblings of a Messy Haired Woman has led an exciting life and has some of the most fabulous tales to tell in her unique style of writing.

There are so many blogs that I follow and love, but I would be writing until midnight and not get anything else done if I tried to name them all.   Take the time to click on a few of those I've highlighted in red above.  You'll chuckle at their humor, marvel at their talent, and may just come away with a lot more knowledge than you had going in. Great summer reading - enjoy!  My mother would have loved it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What would you do?

What a beautiful weekend we've had at the coast.  It was a working weekend for us and an extremely hot one.  103 degrees farenheit today. Our business was off today and I'm sure the heat had a lot to do with it.  Just going from the house to the car is miserable.  Then getting the car remotely cool is another problem when just going short distances.  I can see why everyone wanted to stay inside today.

I'm praying that the tourists who traveled in to Holden Beach today for their vacation will get some relief from this intense heat this week.  There's always the ocean breeze; however 103 degrees is still 103 whether you have a breeze or not. 

There's blessings to have in every situation.  I am thankful that we have a nice cool place to call home.  I pray for those who don't.  I've read that there have been many heat related deaths in the Eastern part of the US this week which is where we reside.

What would you do in this situation?  We have an 87 year old acquaintance who sells produce at the open air market that we're a part of.  I've noticed lately that he's not quite himself.  When we drove down on Thursday evening, we saw him sitting in his van at the market all by himself - it was 8 p.m.  I told hubby to pull in since I was worried about him - it was in the high 90's still at that time of the day.  I got out and went to the driver side window and said hello.  He said, "wonder why no-one's here yet - it's almost 8 a.m."  For some reason I knew that's what he would say.  I said "Fulton, why are you here at 8 o'clock at night?"  He said, "Oh my goodness - I thought it was 8 o'clock in the morning."  He had already been there that whole day to sell produce and had gone home at 2 p.m.  He took a nap and got up thinking he had slept all night and got ready again for the market.  I told him to go on home and get some sleep and I would see him in the morning..  He asked me not to tell anyone what he had done.  I made no promises. 

We followed him home to be sure he made it ok but I couldn't comply with his request not to tell anyone.   I called someone who knows him better than I know him to get his son's phone number back in Lumberton.  The person I called said she would call his son, but she had called him several times about him being confused and doing other things like that and he didn't seem to be very concerned about it.  Should I call Social Services down here?  He travels back and forth every weekend from Lumberton (about 2 hours away).    What would you do?  Do you think his behavior calls for more intervention than a simple call to his son?  Tell me what you think. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Political lines drawn in the sand disappear - wouldn't it be nice?

Wouldn't it be nice if we all woke up tomorrow and discovered that while we were sleeping, our elected officials had come up with a wonderful plan?  They had all agreed not to run for re-election until they had fulfilled their obligation of working "for the people" instead working for their own political gain.  Political lines drawn in the sand would be wiped away.  The capitol letters (R) and (D) beside their Senate and Congressional titles would simply disappear and until they accomplished all that needed doing, they would simply be called an "official"of the American government.  They would work on fixing our current problems and accepting solutions that have merit without worrying about which political party suggested it.  They would be prohibited from accepting bribes campaign funds from the rich, middle income or the poor so they would not be accused of making decisions based on getting re-elected.  They would make tax laws based on income and who could afford to pay the higher taxes and the word "loophole" would in no way be associated with paying taxes - at least until we're on surer footing.

I don't know how to fix our country's problems, but I do know that some of the comments from the Senate and the House recently show an irresponsible effort to put politics before people and the economic well-being of the country.  And I dislike being in debt as much as the next person, however, the reason for raising the debt limit is to authorize what is needed to pay for the debt we are already obligated to pay because of laws passed by Congress in the past. This is nothing new, but it is being made to look as if it is.   Raising the debt limit is routine and the same procedure that has been approved by Congress 78 times since 1960: 29 times under Democrat presidents and 49 times under Republican presidents.  I just can't understand why they are hesitating to pay for what they have already authorized to spend.  Of course they shouldn't have authorized to spend so much but they did.   I'm obligated to pay my bills and I do it.  Should the US government not do the same? 

America's political system is broken - it's full of irresponsible and ignorant people who are not doing the job they are being paid to do.  We are paying our elected officials to run our country responsibly.  Both parties are guilty.   If they are not doing their jobs, shouldn't they be fired like other employed people who bicker and fight on the job?  Shouldn't they all be fired for not putting forth a team effort?  Most employers would agree that they would have to let an employee go for just the same reasons that are keeping our elected officials from doing what we elected them to do.

I would love to wake up tomorrow morning and find that they have put all political differences aside and work for what is best for our country.  What dream world am I living in?  But wouldn't it be nice?

Monday, July 18, 2011

HOT NOW - A dieter's dirty dozen

Krispy Kreme's HOT NOW signs seem to haunt us.  Every time we pass by one, the glowing red light seems to be on and today was no exception as we traveled home from the coast.  As we exited off I-95 in Florence, it seemed to be a beacon signalling us to pull over for a quick sugar fix!  I never stop at Krispy Kremes and would not have today if not for the company I keep.  I love sweets but can normally resist them, but the hubby cannot. He would have probably driven on by, but we stopped at the Arby's for lunch and the sign below was just two doors down.    

All of this happened simply because I was looking for a nice low carb lunch.  I love Arby's Grilled Chicken Salad on Wheat sandwich and was so proud that I had only eaten half of it along with my unsweetend iced tea.  Hubby kept staring out the restaurant's window the whole time we were eating with a "glazed" look on his face.   The sign seemed to take control and I half expected to see him walk out of Arby's in a zombie-like state with his arms in front of him crushing everything in his path while muttering "hot now - hot now - hot now".

When we got back in the car, instead of turning to the right to go back onto the highway, he turned to the left.  He just couldn't resist and when I saw him walking out of the shop with a large box of a dozen, I knew we were doomed!  He quickly plopped the warm box on my lap.   I slowly opened the box as if I expected a rattlesnake to jump out at me and it was just about as bad.  I was dead meat!  The heavenly scent filled the car.   In an almost "out of body" experience, I saw myself taking deep breaths and in slow motion lifting a beautiful, warm, mouth-watering, awe inspiring, perfectly round puff of pastry right out of the box and devouring it in three insatiable bites.  Before I knew it, I had devoured another!  In the time I had eaten two, Henry had eaten three and I smacked his hand as he reached for a fourth.  "Enough!", I said, hugging the box.  "What good is 'hot now' if you don't eat them while they're hot?", he said.  "We must resist", I said as I licked the sugary glaze off my fingertips and closed the box. 

I glared at him all the way home.   "What?" he said,  "you would have been mad at me if I had come out with only one donut for myself".   He had a point there.  Now there's seven donuts in my kitchen, but as long as the box doesn't glow with a "hot now" neon red sign, I think I'll make it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dust Bunnies and Daredevils

I've been on a housecleaning kick lately.  About a month ago, I decided to make a commitment to get my house thoroughly cleaned and organized - something I've put off for far too long.  I vowed to have a place for everything and keep it in it's place and whatever I don't have room for, I'm having yard sales, giving to charity, or throwing away.  I recently started another blog chronicling my achievements and in the process giving a tip or two on what I've learned along the way.   My first post was titled "I'm charging my house with disorderly conduct".   I've got to admit that writing this blog has motivated me to do some deep cleaning that I wouldn't have got done otherwise.  I'm such a procrastinator and even more so since I retired - I'm always thinking that if I don't have time today, I can put it off 'til tomorrow.

It's true, when I make a public commitment to do something I'm much more likely to follow through.  One thing has led to another and I find myself doing much more than I had planned to do.  For instance, this week I was going through the house trying to come up with some storage solutions with the things I already have instead of going out and buying new things.  I've been meaning to organize my magazines and throw out the old ones.  I had stacks of recent magazines beside my reading chair in the den that I had been intending to clip recipes, craft ideas and room designs from, but somehow I don't seem to get around to doing it.  In my new frame of mind, I realized that clipping magazine articles is not very important to me, so finding a storage solution led me to getting rid of the clutter that was piling up.  Once I got the magazines off the floor, I noticed the books that I've also stacked up waiting to sort out to read, keep or give away - so I tackled that project next.  Once those stacks were gone, there were dust bunnies everywhere, so that led to sweeping, then vacuuming, then moving furniture around, then dusting, then mopping and before I knew it, my entire den was the cleanest it's been since we painted it about two years ago.  The foyer leads into the den so my cleaning frenzy spilled over into the foyer.  Wow, I got so much done and I actually had fun doing it because I made pictures along the way of some of my storage solutions.  This very same thing happened last month when I posted about cleaning my pantry.  The pantry looked so good that it motivated me to clean my entire kitchen.  I've become a regular little daredevil - daring myself to push further!

Putting it all out there for everyone to see my progress has been a big part of why I'm being successful in this project.  I'm very competitive and I don't want anyone to think I'm a failure, so come on over and read my new blog.  It's called 'From Chaotic to Orderly' and you can get to it by clicking the preceeding title in blue.  I have one friend who is following closely and when I do a project, she does it also - sort of like a big internet housecleaning party.   I don't have many followers yet, so sign up to "follow" while you're at it.  Who knows, it may spill over into your psyche and you'll be in a housekeeping frenzy too - and just maybe a laugh or two along the way.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Housework if it's done right can kill you

Housework!  I have a lot of it to do this week.  Vacations wreak havoc with my schedule and I've not got around to unpacking everything yet.  How can a house get dirty when there's no one home?  Dust just happens with or without you, doesn't it. 

I'm not having much time to blog, so run over here and read about "Being single in a married world - One sock's story".  It may make you smile.  Have a wonderful Monday!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

From the mountains to the sea.....or vice versa

This week, we went from this on Monday:

         to this on Tuesday:

That's what I love about the Carolinas!
The small black dot in the center is where we live.

If you look at a map of North and South Carolina together, our small town is about smack dab in the center.  A three hour drive one way and you're on the coast with sand between your toes and the sweet warm Atlantic Ocean at your feet.  A three hour drive the other way and you'll be beside a cool mountain stream catching a rainbow trout for dinner.  At noon on Monday at the beach, the temperature was in the mid 90's.  At noon on Wednesday in the mountains, the temperature was 69 degrees.  What a difference!

This sweet little mountain cabin sits right beside the North fork of the French Broad River and belongs to my youngest daughter's family and her mother-in-law.  It's such a sweet place to go and relax and pretend that it isn't the hottest month of the year in the South.

More photos......

This is a Rhododendron bud.  You'll see the full blooms below.
 The next few pictures are of the Rhododendrons.  They are a natural native plant to the Carolina mountains. 
In a good year a single bush can have hundreds of clusters of flowers while thousands of bushes spread out over the mountains.

 We caught two different species of trout.  This is hubby with a small rainbow trout on one end and a LARGE rainbow trout on the other end of his stringer.  This is just a small sampling of what was caught.  He and my son-in-law and grandson caught enough rainbow trout and native brown trout for us to have a splendid meal on our last night there.

Paradise!  This is a photo made from the their patio made of river rocks built right on the banks of the river in front on the cabin.  You can see the "rocky" patio in the 3rd picture from the top.

It was a wonderful sixteen day vacation, but I'm ever so glad to be home!  It's true what they say - there's no place like home.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Click to enlarge picture.  This picture was made of our flagpole in the snow.  The tip-top of the flagpole has a big round ball.  Check out how the snow has piled up on the ball.  It seems that it should have slipped right off, doesn't it?
Happy Independence Day!  With our temperatures in the high 90's today, I thought everyone would enjoy a little "cooling off".  Just looking at this picture I took during a snowstorm in 2001 makes me shiver a little - even in all this heat.  I'm so very proud of our country - even during our economic woes, we still stand strong!  God Bless America!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Silly Olive went to town, walking backwards, upside down

Last night, I had a glimmer of hope when we got a call from our neighbor and friend who is so graciously feeding our animals while we're on vacation.  Another neighbor had been feeding them, but when he left for vacation on Wednesday, Richard and Linda stepped up to the plate in an emergency.  That's what good friends do.  Richard called to say he had found a note on one of our cars saying that a Polish hen had been found at the brickyard, and they had brought her home.  Assuming it was Olive, he looked around last night, but didn't see her.   I was so afraid to let that glimmer of hope grow just to be dashed all over again. You can't imagine how overjoyed I was when Linda called back to tell me that OLIVE IS BACK!

The brickyard is not very far away - on the other side of the railroad tracks from our property line.  I would have never thought to look there because in order to get there, she would have had to walk down the busy highway which would be nigh-impossible without getting run-over by a car - or she would have had to run from our yard, go through our neighbors yard, fly down a steep embankment, cross the RR tracks and end up on the brickyard's property.  Either of these scenarios would be totally out of character for our scaredy cat, never fifty feet away from the house Olive.

My dear Olive - how many tears have I shed over that silly chicken?  I was convinced that she was dead and had even accused, tried and convicted the neighborhood dangerous dog for killing her.  I'm still pretty sure that Dangerous Dog had something to do with it.  Our neighbor, Ken, told me today that he saw him again on the day Olive disappeared.  When Olive is faced with dangerous situations, she can run pretty well, and can fly for short distances.  She was probably chased through Ken's yard and flew off the steep embankment.  Once she got down, it would be difficult to get back up through the thick overgrown brush. 

Fifteen days she was gone!   They must have been feeding her over at the brickyard - how they knew she was mine, I'll never know.  Now I can't wait to get home and baby her.  She loves bread as you remember from one of my blogs back in May (Olive on Youtube).   A blackberry pie will be in the making for the sweet soul who brought her home - I will be forever grateful!

I am going to find some way to protect her without caging her - even if it involves fencing in our back yard - which will be a chore.  I can't let her die on me again!  She's deserving of a series of children's books with her exciting adventures.   I could feed off the style of Audrey Wood's children's books - you know, like "Silly Sally Olive went to town - walking backwards upside down".  No, I think they call that plagiarism, don't they?  Between the two of us, we'll write some good stories, Olive and I.  Like a Facebook friend suggested yesterday, the first one may be called "Olive Goes on Vacation".