Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Popping In...

to dust off the furniture and shoo away the spiders around my blog...

like just about every one else, I've been busy scurrying about getting things together for the holidays...until this past Saturday when my back said "Okay, well, you do what you gotta do, but I'm gonna be sittin' the next several days out...or to be more specific, I'm going to be in the bed...see ya"...


[My Back is the one riding the bike]

so here I lay like a Beached Something...while the clock hands eat away the minutes until Christmas...let me tell you, there is nothing worse for a Back-Sliding Control Freak than being laid up in the bed...with Christmas just around the corner



Friday, December 08, 2006

'Tis the Season...

Mr G and I hosted our holiday open house this past Saturday...and we had a lovely time...but I'm not sure we'll do it again next year...

the pressure to get Number 17 even sorta dressed for the holidays by the first Saturday afternoon after Thanksgiving was a little much...

and what is it about having an open house that makes absolutely everybody (except for 2 lone souls who arrived about 1/2 of an hour early...but they're family so...) arrive within about 30 minutes of one another?...

made it absolutely impossible to see to each guest as much as I would have liked...and to keep the Men Folk from slipping off to check the Ga Tech game score...

I think we're going to have to come up with something different for next year...maybe a series of small potluck dinners...in January...after all the holiday pressures have moved on for another year (at least until Groundhog Day rolls around and all that craziness gets started)...time to sit, have some ordinary and yet still good food, maybe a glass of beautiful red wine...just talk...relax...

maybe that will be our new tradition: Potluck in January...or maybe even February...a lot of people I know are still wiped out physically, emotionally and financially in January...

we've gotten better about not turning the Holiday Season into All About Fripperies and Frenzies...but it took a long while for us to back down off that ledge...

used to, I'd be decorating the house right up until Christmas Eve (not Christmas Eve Day...Christmas Eve...)...wrapping last minutes presents I bought when I eyeballed the already-wrapped stack and thought there just wasn't enough! ...trying to create the Perfect Christmas...and never quite clearing that bar...

then came the freeing day when I realized there is no such thing as the Perfect Christmas...only bits of perfection tucked here and there amongst the Running Family Feuds/Disagreements, Overeating (and subsequent mental hair shirt wearing ) and Overspending...and the bits of perfection would be a whole lot easier to come across and savour if one didn't have to do all that fumbling about in the Muck for them...

ah, the sweet realization that pursuing Perfection is futile...and draining...

anyhoo...one unexpected benefit of having the open house so early is that the rest of the holiday season feels like a cake walk...no pressure...almost all of the gifts are wrapped and ready for gifting...the halls are as decked as they are gonna get decked...a little recreational baking may take place next week...but if that doesn't pan out, I'm more than happy to pass out the Claxton Fruitcakes instead of home baked biscotti and blue cheese wafers...

the season has appreciably slowed down...

and I like that...

the slow-down has given me time to start thinking past the holidays...what do I hope to find myself doing in 2007? I'd like to find just a couple of things that have been tucked away in my heart for a while, shake off the dust and see what they look like in the light of 2007...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"We Lost a Lot of Them That Day"...

is what my 94-year-old granma said when I casually mentioned that today is Pearl Harbor Day...

and then she began to cry a little...

































Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Frugal Tip of the Week:Coffee Creamer

I love flavoured coffee creamers...

I know, I know...they're really horrible for your arteries...and your waistline...if you have one...

so I recently went back to using half-and-half in my coffee...not all that exciting, but it'll do...

but the special holiday flavoured creamers were my undoing...I bought 6 in one fell swoop...

2 gingerbread, 2 peppermint mocha and 2 pumpkin spice...

I'd buy more & freeze them thus ensuring a steady supply throughout the year but I believe the labels specifically state "Especially Formulated to Blow Up Your Freezer"...dastardly marketing move...formulate the stuff so it can't be frozen and all the little Flavoured Holiday Creamer Junkies like myself are in withdrawals for the rest of the year...

yesterday, I realized I was about half way through my first container of Peppermint Mocha...and I was sad...until I realized I had 1 1/2 containers of half-and-half in the fridge...and decided to try mixing the Peppermint Mocha creamer with the half-and-half in equal portions...

It tastes good...the flavour isn't as strong, but it is still "there"...and now I'll have Special Creamers for longer with doing less damage in the area of Weight Control (the half-and-half has decidedly fewer calories per serving than the creamer)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Olive Tree Cometh...

Last evening when Mr G and I pulled into the driveway after our jaunt up to Atlanta, there was a sizable oblong box propped up against the garage door...

I was too tired to care...Mr G poked at it and declared the box to contain Our Olive Tree...

and we went inside, leaving right there...

But, today we went out to open up the box...

The pot that came with the olive tree is much too small for the root ball...but while the Cheap Fiend in me had to grouse about that for a bit, the Gardener in me was a Happy Camper...

Plus, what gardener doesn't have a GaBillion pots sitting about the place anyway?

Anyhoo...the manner by which one comes into possession of an olive tree these days




















































It doesn't look quite like this, does it?

Well, all good things in time...knock on wood...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Basset Hound Rescue of Georgia

in case you haven't noticed, there is a little link thingie on the left side of your screen for BHRG...Basset Hound Rescue of Georgia...

Mr G and I adopted 2 basset hounds from BHRG...Flossie who was not with us very long due to CHF and Suki who is wonderfully saucy and spoiled...and has a little spotted cow belly...

BHRG does an outstanding job of placing basset hounds who have been "turned in"...what are they? checked out library pets?...at shelters...or just found wandering the streets in poor condition...not uncommonly pregnant with little mix-parentage puppies (I swear if you want a little mix puppy, basset hound mixes and corgi mixes make some of the most adorable adult dogs you'll ever want to see)...

BHRG appears to have a core group of committed volunteers who are able to Make Things Happen and have kept their group afloat where many well-intended rescue groups go the way of the Passenger Pigeon...due to underfunding, lack of community co-operation and too few volunteers available for too many homeless animals...

so many animal welfare rescue workers/volunteers end up with their own homes stuffed to the gills with animals waiting for adopting families, taxing their own bank accounts and their neighbors' patience while tryin' to help out those who can't ask for help for themselves...

been there, got the Crappy T-Shirt...

Mr G and I worked several years with a rescue group in Savannah...and then we burned out like so many others...our small home contained not just our small family of 3, but my maternal grandmother and one of my brothers...and his dog...along with our collection of dogs and cats...I think our house was somewhere between 1400 SF and 1600 SF...3 bedrooms, 2 baths...

we had reached maximum capacity...physically, emotionally and financially...

a strong spiritual backbone is required to work rescue...it does not matter how good of a week your group has...if that 3-legged dog finally, after months and months of attending adoptions where person after person walked on by and after you (tryin' as hard as you could not to) came to love that dog with all your heart, got a wonderful home...and 5 cats were adopted...along with allllll of those black lab mix puppies who went to good homes...there are always more little furry faces waiting to be pulled from Kill Shelters...and picked up off the streets...and taken from non-caring owners who kept them chained in the backyard regardless of the weather...

Sigh...

Mr G gets angry when he sees yet another pitiful creature in need of a good home...he can't understand why people toss animals away without any thought...like yesterday's trash...

I ask Mr G how can he expect a society where so many children and old people are cast aside like old worn-out shoes to care about four-legged ones...ones without voices...and fewer laws to protect them...

anyhoo...back to my point...yes, I'm Southern and yes, Digression is My Middle Name...Wednesday morning, I got a ring from BHRG's Rosemary...seems there was a basset in the county pound and Rosemary (the BHRG rescue coordinator?) asked me to run over to verify that this little girl was a basset hound (BHRG has taken basset)...if she was a basset to pull her for rescue...

now, another digression...there is a Very Real Reason why all the years Mr G and I worked rescue that I was never tagged to make the trips to pull from the pound...I simply am not strong enough for those little faces behind the wire to not just rip my heart out...I expect those faces rip every one's hearts out, but some of us are better equipped to keep that boxed up so it doesn't affect the good work ongoing...

but I would have been consistently draggin' the Worst Case Scenarios out of the pound...

so if there had been anyway to gracefully refuse, I would have...I knew what it would cost me emotionally to walk down by those cages, with all those eyes focused on, tails wagging...

you know, there really are good reasons to evict people from the Gene Pool...those faces are right up there on the Top of My List...

the good news? the dog in question is a Basset...so I pulled her on Wednesday afternoon, drove her to our vet where she began treatment for skin wounds, bad tick infestation [shudder] and got on the roster for a bath that afternoon...because Basset Girl was one stinky customer...phew...man...we're heading off in a few minutes to pick up Basset Girl for transporting up to Atlanta where she will go into the BHRG adoption pool...and, knock on wood, get a wonderful family and a new home...

We got to pick Basset Girl's new name...

We choose "Liberty"

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thank You


I've read some beautiful blog posts about Thanksgiving...and I have this overwhelming urge to stick my oar into that water...

But with thoughts of sticky egg-and-bread goop waiting to be made into dressing...and cranberries not yet made into cranberry sauce, I'm not feelin' especially poetic this morning...thankful, yes...poetic, not especially...




I'll just keep it simple:


1. When you wake in the morning, say Thank You...and let that Thank You encompass a whole lot of things...Thank You for waking up...again...Thank You for the chance to Brighten/Lighten the Coming Day for Someone Else...Thank You for Indoor Plumbing (I say Thank You a lot for that one...I'm really not one of those people who think things were all rosily Hunky Dorey in the 15th century...I'm one of these people who think it was probably pretty much an emotional challenge to just get out of your bug-infested straw in the morning...ugh)...whatever...Just Say Thank You

2. Keep saying Thank You throughout the day...Thank You that while Democracy in Action is a whole messier than Democracy in a Textbook, you still have a whole lot o' options a lot of other people in this world don't have...have never had...and will go to their graves having never had...Thank You that Your Significant Other(s) made it safely through the Crazy Traffic to work/school/where ever...Thank You for Any Other of a Possible Thousand Things in Your Life that maybe you haven't said Thank You for lately...or ever...Just Say Thank You

3. After you've made it through another day...after the kitchen is wiped down for the night and the coffee maker set in place for the crack of dawn tomorrow...after the dogs have had their umpteenth last Look I'm Not Opening This Door Again Potty Break...and after your Freshly Scrubbed Teeth are settled in bed, about to commence Sawin' Logs...Say Thank You one more time...for Another Day Completed with Your Loved Ones Intact...for the World Makin' It Through One More Day Without the Crazies Winning...and for All the Burdens Shouldered By God that you didn't even know about, much less think about...Just Say Thank You

Now...Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Retraction

Today, at Wal-Mart, I saw more Tarted Up Poinsettias (these were blue...and then there were the lovely shade of purpley red ones)...and felt so badly when the young check-out lady said how pretty she thinks they are...

so now I like them just fine...because, without getting into Deep Philosophical Waters about it and into Signs of Our Decadent Times Talk about it and Blah-Blah-Blah-Blah about it, if a little paint & a lot more glitter on a plant that is not long for this world anyway can give pleasure to someone...well, far be it from me...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Three Loves Has He...


Fred, Suki and Wilma (from your left)...they came with those names...*

our rescue basset hounds...

we rescued Fred & Wilma from the Spalding County pound (okay, animal shelter/control...)
and Suki came from BHRG (Basset Hound Rescue of Georgia...link on the left side of the screen)...


can you believe I actually got up from the sofa last night so Fred could have a spot on the couch with his sisters?

can you believe we're actually considering buying another sofa so we'll have somewhere to sit?


you'd believe it if you had to listen to Fred's Whine...never, I say, never have I heard a dog sustain such a loooonnnngggggg irritating whine...and repeat without ceasing until he gets what he wants...kind of like a child in Wal-Mart...after being out shopping all day...and not gettin' a nap in...that kind of irritating whine...


I do have the acquired parenting skill required for raising one's offspring without serving time...the skill of Tuning Out (that's just awful, isn't it? oh well...got DS of Teenager Hood with all body parts intact...although there were some dicey moments)...but even if I can successfully Tune Out Fred...Mr G, well, he is just a push-over for those bassets...and don't even ask about the murder Gillie the Corgi Princess gets away with...

our favorite vet used to chide Mr G for allowing Bad Behavior (because, yes, I ratted him out...especially when I was getting lectured for having rotten misbehavin' furry children)...but now she just shrugs, realizing that Mr G simply does not possess the genetic material required to actually keep the fur babies in line...and it is all wasted breath...

*************************************************************************

*however, we have adjusted those names a little

Fred is still Fred...but with a twist...Freddie Frou Frou (I don't know...nicknames don't always make sense)...and sometimes Mr. Wonderfully Ridiculous...
Wilma is now Fleebie Weebie...
and Suki is Baby the Woo

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Little Happy Things

Yes, I am a Coffee Mate Seasonal Flavours Pig...oink, oink...













and, yes, I love Claxton Fruitcake with an intensity that could be considered frightening :)















and these bulbs are 50% off at our Lowe's...so I got 2 packets....




















and this is the pattern I picked up for 10 cents on Saturday...after the holidays are over, I plan to try to actually make this skirt...not with the pleats...believe me...a pattern with pleats, my lack of sewing skill and my patience level...well, jail time could be involved...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Things I Don't Get...

Color me Out of It

But I don't "get"

Upside Down Christmas Trees...

...Why???





and I don't get Purple Poinsettias...okay, confession...I would have loved these Purple Poinsettias* when I was 13...but now they are a shock to the system...














I'll recover...

**********************************************************************************

*photo of exotic purple poinsettias taken in Lowe's Garden Center...for all of you who would never confess to, but are going to, go buy yourself one [vbg]

and in case you want to ramp up the poinsettia level of excitement but aren't quite willing to commit to purple shiny paint to do so...
silver & gold glitter poinsettias :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Sooooo...guess who could not resist Wayside Gardens' marketing ploy (e-mail)?

and guess who ordered an olive tree?!

I've been on the lookout for an olive tree for months now...no such critter around here...

and the ones I found on-line were prohibitively priced...

I'm so Garden Happy right now :)

before any one becomes frightened, I don't plan on brining any olives...I just love how mature olive trees look in a garden...

I almost ordered two...

I should have ordered two...

hmmm...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Turkey and Tofu

Do ya'll realize Thanksgiving is only, what, 10 days away? I think it is 10...but I'm far too lazy to get up to check the calendar...all the way in the kitchen...on the other end of the house...

Mr G ordered our turkey from Brighter Day...their last free range turkey...I'm hoping since we're payin' two-something a pound for Mr. Tom (are all turkeys that make it to the table males? I've always thought of them as *males*...but perhaps not) that there will be a marked difference in taste...of course, the best turkey I've ever had was smoked turkey...but other than than, turkey is kind of like chicken, isn't it? it only tastes like what you put on it...sort just...bland...

(and trust me...it absolutely about killed my cheap self to give the nod to ordering a turkey for two-plus a pound when deep down in my heart I know that the grocery stores will be selling them for next to nothing this coming week...and even cheaper after the holidays...this turkey better taste beyond very good...)

One of these days, I hope to completely eliminate animal products from my diet...I've not eaten cows or pigs for years now...but I just don't seem to be able to make that step to completely eliminating flesh products from my diet (that is gross sounding, I know, but let's call a spade a spade)...

About two months ago, I actually bought a small container of organic lite (that is how they spelled it..."lite"...drive me crazy too) something-tofu...and I fully intended to use that pricey little container of stuff...I checked out tofu cookbooks from the library...looked through my issues of Vegetarian Times (check out their Tofu Turkey...just cracks me up)...and yet I couldn't make myself peel back that film atop the container...I don't know why I'm just so hesitant about The Stuff...

days passed...then weeks...until one day I decided it was into the breach...I was going to serve tofu-something that night or there would be no dinner at Number 17 (please read that last bit in the manner of Katherine Hepburn's character reciting "Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight" in The Desk Set...I love that movie) ...

but I couldn't find the Tofu...

at first, I thought I must have just not looked everywhere in the fridge (I know...that is stupid...but you know how you keep looking in the same place for something...it isn't there...it isn't there...it isn't there...and then, ta-dah, said object(s) magically reappears...and you wonder if that, um, extremely brief experimental period* in high school is comin' back to haunt you...or if another discussion with your gyn about HRT isn't such a bad idea...)

but as finding the Missing Tofu wasn't all that high of a priority on my List, for several days, I would wander to the fridge, open the door and peer a little hopefully into the disarray, thinking I would see The Stuff...

Then, I began to think Mr G had pulled a fast one on me and tossed The Stuff...I had thought about the possibility of this as I put the groceries away the day I brought Tofu into our happy home...and so made sure the Tofu wasn't positioned front-and-center at Mr G's eye level...

but fielding an accusation like that requires concrete evidence...I had none...

so even more time passed...once in a while I'd still wonder what happened to that Tofu...and then one day I decided to clean the veggie bins...and discovered our top bin has a space behind it...

just perfectly sized to hide a small white container of tofu...


****************************************************************************

*said extremely brief experimental period may, in fact, be referring to the day we [several close high school friends and myself] piled into my orange VW bug...appropriately nicknamed "Orange Blossom"...drove to every McDonald's in the city, ordering caramel sundaes with nuts and eating them until we were all sick

Sunday, November 12, 2006

CrumBum

This past week could pretty much have been described as "crummy"...Non-Relenting Crummy

I usually rise above Crummy without a problem...Crummy can be dealt with...Non-Relenting Crummy will wear a body down...

Run-of-the-Mill Crummy gets cast to the side by laughter and thankfulness...some looking outside of one's self...and resolution...both internal and of the external...Goofy cats, spastic little House Wrens, deer in the back yard ...bossy bassets...E.L.O. on the stereo...thoughts of friends...our son...and a little back-bone straightening...all of these can handily rout Routine Crummy...

Unfortunately, NRC often comes knockin' where there is no foreseeable resolution...of the internal or of the external...maybe of both...of a Big Problem...

NRC can be a side symptom of Control Freak (Out)...sometimes the problem that wants resolving cannot be Put on a List or Researched to the Nth Degree or Reasoned With...sometimes you just have to go along for the ride...do the best under given circumstances...and remember to breathe...

While trying to remember that someone, somewhere, has it worse than you do...usually a lot of someones in a lot of somewheres...

(yes, that old there-are-starving-children-in-_ _ _ _ _ line your mom fed you at the dinner table along with something green, slimy and inedible was/is true...and no, it doesn't often make one want to eat the green, slimy and inedible stuff any more than that type of reasoning can often pull one out of downward travelin' NCR)


Unfortunately, as Mr G and DS will assuredly agree, my memory skills are, let us say, lacking...

This past week, Thursday to be exact, a flock of Canadian Geese flew low and fast over our backyard...pretty much over the back deck...for a few exhilarating moments, my heart soared up along with those honkin' geese...NRC fell away...

Wouldn't it be loverly and warm if I could say the moment that chased the darkness away with a relentless light brought me to my senses and all was well? I wish I was that spiritually evolved...but I am decidedly not...

The moment was glorious...but quickly I fell back into Crumminess...ah, shame on me...

That reminds me of that old joke about the man/woman/whomever prayin' that asked God for a sign...and while the thunder rolled, the angels heralded and the flashin' lights flashed, the person continued to pray "just a sign, any sign"...

Maybe if the geese had been in formation spellin' out "It's Okay...God Has Got This One"...

But then again...maybe not...because I'm dense like that some times...I'd have probably been busy fussin' at Callie for chewing on Mikey's ear, dumping basset drool out of the water bowl and talking to Mr G on the cell...because he's a Lucky Man, that's why...

You Are Not In Charge Of Fixing All The Problems All The Time (or, to keep it short, Y.A.N.I.C.O.F.A.T.P.A.T.T....why is the word "fat" in there?...yet another message from the Universe?) is a lesson I keep having to re-learn...

We all have life lessons that are hard for us to absorb...Not trying to control everything within drivin' distance and remembering that, sometimes, there is not a Happy Ending...only an Acceptable Ending...(or even a Well, I Did The Best I Could ending...) appear to be be 2 of the biggies for me...

well...those two and Pastries Are Not A Health Food...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Come Home, Little Reindeer, Come Home

Try as I might, I couldn't do it...I actually dragged my two pitiful looking reindeer (in my mind, Mama Reindeer and Baby Reindeer) down to the end of our driveway and left them there for any fellow Curb Shopper to pick up...

All afternoon, upon hearing a car coming down the road (and that's a lot of cars), I peered out of the kitchen window, craning my neck to see if some one was rescuing Mama and Baby (and that was a lot of craning...our kitchen window faces about 90 degrees from where the reindeer were sited)...

Finally, in the late afternoon, I could no longer stand it...

That's right...I went back down the driveway and dragged them right back up to the garage...

I'm going to Make Them Over, give them a new lease on life...they're officially positioned on The To Do List

Honestly...I did try...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

You Are a Boston Creme Donut

You have a tough exterior. No one wants to mess with you.
But on the inside, you're a total pushover and completely soft.
You're a traditionalist, and you don't change easily.
You're likely to eat the same doughnut every morning, and pout if it's sold out.
What Donut Are You?


I love these goofy little quizzes...but I despise Boston Creme Doughnuts...now a chocolate-covered creme-filled doughnut is a cat of a different colour...

oh...it is true...I do pout if the variety I want is sold out...in fact, I've been known to throw a hissy fit about it...not proud of it, but there it is...

in fact, I once fired off a bitter angry e-mail to Dunkin' Donuts about the sad habit our local DD had of running out of Bavarian Kreme doughnuts on Sunday mornings...they no longer run out...

don't mess with a chubby gal and her doughnuts...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pansies

Just some pics...

I realized it had been a
while since I posted...

things have been in an uproar around here for the past week or so...

but with this splitting headache, I'm thinking I'll save Reasonable Thought for some other time...


can you tell that I desperately need a tripod for my up close plant photos? I hate using a flash for plant photographs, but without it, my photos look as if I've got a serious case of the DTs...or as if the plants do...little boozers...

anyhoo, Santa has been notified that a tripod figures high on the Wish List...even a used one off e-bay is fine with me...

here are some of the pansies we picked up over the weekend...about 7 6-packs were already installed when I dragged the camera outside...I don't usually plant my pansies this early...to me, pansies are plant language for Winter Is Really Here...and so it is a rite of seasonal passage for me to plant my pansies the weekend after Thanksgiving...but 2 factors got me moving a little early...Factor Number One...we're hosting an open house the first Saturday of December...and while I would enjoy mucking about out-of-doors while Mr G mops and dusts and
does all the other insane things we do when company is comin', I feel sure there would be Rebellion in the Ranks were I to pursue that line of action...Factor Number Two...an old and dear friend who happens to be a stellar gardener (I have 3 amazing gardener friends...the dust beneath their beds is probably verdant...just makes me sick) and lives just up the road a bit puts her pansies in just around Halloween...so I decided "when in the country"...

Anyhoo, I digress(I can't help it...even with a killer headache the Southern Storyteller gene just won't cut me a break)...I give you the Pansies...
The dark ones go by the name "Halloween"...

they are truly and deeply purple...

but that freakin' flash...

The multi-coloured ones are, of course, my darlin' Johnny Jump Ups...I love Johnny Jump Ups...in our first home, they seeded themselves all throughout the front lawn...and I enjoyed them so much...

so I'm hopin' for some seedin' action here even tho' Mr G scowled a bit when he saw me loading them onto the little wagon...

I don't know why...we don't use lawn chemicals anyway...the most the lawn gets from me is some hand weeding, compost application and some water when it looks extra-crispy (ummm, fried chicken)...

there is some dusty miller in there...love dusty miller tho' I know it has been Done To Death...and some little white violas...

well...gotta scoot...Mr G just came home with a gift for me...Nashville Star daylilies and Sea Oats...landscaping work at the office necessitated these coming out and Mr G put my name in the pot for any homeless daylilies (I'm thinkin' "What?"...people aren't brawlin' in the parking lot over these? Are they crazy?")






Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bloglines

One of these days I'm going to post a list of all the blogs I visit...Blog Visiting has rapidly become a large part of my days...In fact, I'm going to count all of the blogs I have saved in my Favorites folder right now...hang on a sec...

whew...89

I'm seriously going to have to consider setting up a blogline account so I can just click in when new posts are added to sites...

a big part of why I click to add yet another blog into my favorites folder is I find people's lives just fascinating...the day-to-day stuff...

true, I have saved some blogs whose writers boggle me by their intellectual range...others that amaze me with their ability to make beautiful objects...and yet others speak boldly about religious matters...

but the ones I find myself visiting as often as I sign onto the 'net are mostly, like I said, day-to-dayers...some religion or gardening...some crafting or other endeavors may slip in and out of the threads...but by and large, the blogs that manage to interject their writers' beliefs, talents and practices in amongst the grit of daily life speak to me...and give me a cyber-thump on the head to be mindful of the days...

I remember when I cruised amazon.com looking for a book to help me out with monkeying around with the templates here on blogger...and I came across this book...No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog...and I have kept thinkin' about that book...

one reason is, as a Southern Gal, my first reaction to the title was "how freakin' rude"...my granma used to say "If you don't care, you're nothin' but a pile of dog doo in the corner." Honestly, I have no idea where she got that from...but whenever I'd say "I don't care" about one thing or another, that is the response I, invariably, received...

and I guess it stuck...

the other reason must be that I do care what people have for lunch...I'm especially fascinated by tales of elaborate sandwiches made with lots of cheese and condiments...

and I care what colors people want to put on their new kitchen walls...

and I care about that finished knitting project..and the new mums just put in...and the latest read...

now, don't get me wrong...I don't lose any sleep about such things...but I do care...

a final reason for why there are 89 blogs parked in the Favorites Folder...what fascinates others fascinates me, too...not necessarily what the object of their fascination is, but that they are fascinated or deeply invested in said object...and then I just have to see what all the fuss is about...

I'm a sucker for someone else's obsession...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Littlest Japanese Black Pine

The latest plant addition at Number 17...
Mr G's Charlie Brown Japanese Black Pine...
Mr G has a *thing* for black pines...I don't know why...but he does...

anyhoo, I looked all spring for a JBP to add in here...and couldn't find one...

Mr G ran across this pitiful thing while on an errand at one of the big box home improvement stores...

It does appear to have been literally run across, doesn't it?

ah well...I planted it around the corner of the house to add some screening from our neighbor's loverly pool stuff...so I won't see it often (if it survives) ...the neighbors will, but I reckon we all have our burdens in life to bear...

The plan called for the root-ball to be planted so that the truck would be more tree-ishly upright...but I decided "what the hey"...lets go with that Zen-Garden- windswept`pine thing...upon reflection, perhaps not the smartest move...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Little Jack

Boo!

Our son and his girlfriend (I have got to come up with a better way to reference her..."her" is so impersonal..."girlfriend" doesn't quite cover the 2 years they've been together and all the family time she's spent with us...I'll have to give this some thought...it has been buggin' me for a while) spent the evening carving jack o' lanterns...

Anyhoo...


The fascination of Halloween and all the customs that go along with it has always eluded me...


When I was a child, I recall being apprehensive about dressing up in funny
clothes, marching up the walk to a stranger's door (these were different days...children were allowed to trick-or-treat at the homes of people without said people having completed a background check in triplicate), knocking on the door, holding out my plastic pumpkin and getting candy(these days it doesn't bother me quite as much...I'm joking...)...

I don't know if it was the free-no-strings-attached candy thing that threw me or even if at that age I worried too much about the reactions of other people...people I didn't know and quite probably would never seen again until October 31st rolled back around again...

Wasn't that a little early to be worrying about perceptions and such, you ask? Well, while I can be pretty sure I didn't know what the word perception was all about until a little bit further on...


I was a real Pudge as a child...my granma decided I was too skinny as a little one and decided to fatten me up...and she evidently did a bang-up job because I turned into a roly-poly little girl...and I was blind as a bat (I realize bats aren't truly blind), but no one knew until I was in the 5th grade...

So, I was *stout* (speaking of the word *stout*...who on earth decided it would be good to name a clothing store The Stout Shop?...what a trial...if nothing else in society has progressed, I'm glad little chubby girls don't have to shop at stores called that any longer...I hope), pretty much limited to seeing clearly what was within about 10 inches of my face, and shy...

Hmmm...no wonder Halloween was a trial...Blind Pudge stumbling around in the dark with vision-obscuring mask begging for more fatty foods...

and the whole Pumpkin Carving Thing...ewwww...it is southeastern Georgia...it can be 90*F on Halloween Day...and bugs love to mess with decomposing produce...ewwww...and cleaning out pumpkins before you carve them...man...that is just nasty...Pumpkin Guts...


But, DS & DGF seem to have heartily embraced Pumpkin Carving so I sat, smiled and enjoyed their enjoyment...although a few times when big clotty clumps of membrane came out, I did feel a little queasy...

Say what you will, when just plopping a few uncarved pumpkins out on the front stoop became de rigueur for au courant Front Porches...well, I was one happy camper...Pumpkin Carving seems to be back with a vengeance (I know...it never really went away...kind of like Big Hair and Big Shoulder pads) and that's okay because there is room for all sorts of Pumpkin Displaying...

Here is my contribution to the neighborhood fall decorating thing...



Okay, I just realized I did participate a little in last night's festivities...I drew the face on a little pumpkin and Mr G did the honors...Mr G looked so disappointed that he didn't have a pumpkin to carve that I sacrificed my cute little pumpkin I sat on the bookshelf to the cause of Pumpkin Mutilation...

This thing actually startled me when I opened the fridge last night...if only Little Jack's presence would keep me out of there (and the stuff in the bottom container to Jack's right is Mr G's leftover wonton soup...not a science project)...



Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Little Rhythms


What are the Little Rhythms of your home?

There are little things I do in the morning that help me feel as though I'm waking up the house...little things like turning off the Chicken Lamp on the buffet...drawing aside the curtains in the living room...opening the kitchen shutters...

and little things to be done in the evening to help the house make ready for the quiet night...

well, relatively quiet nights...we do have Cats and Dogs...you never know what is going to startle you awake in the middle of the night...one cat shoving another off the kitchen counter (I promise, I have tried to put a stop to this whole Cats-On-The-Counter stuff...but...) and the ensuing ruckus...or someone barfing up all the acorns eaten on the sly...or just someone having a late night call of nature...and then going out to eat more acorns...or to lick a toad, swell up and require a trip to the emergency vet clinic...

But...little habits help ground me to our home...I feel it (as strange as I realize the rest of this sentence is going to sound) is important to establish a harmonious relationship with one's home...when given the choice between having a *house* or a *home*, I'll chose a home every time...

A home has been tended to...blessed...loved...

A home comforts, protects and enhances...

A home makes one happy with simple little things...the way a sunbeam bounces off the kitchen countertops...or the way a breeze passin' through lifts a curtain up into a friendly swirl...or makes one sigh with pleasure just turnin' in at the driveway..."I'm home"...

A house is just somewhere to be when you're not somewhere else...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Little Treasures















I love thrifting...if I had a little heart emoticon, I'd put it right in the middle of that sentence...in fact, I need a bumper sticker to declare my love of thrifting to the world...or whatever portion of the world has the misfortune to wind up behind me on the road...particularly as I s-l-o-w down to eye particularly promising-looking trash heaps curbside...


Every Saturday, Mr G and I have what we call our Saturday Morning Ramble...generally, this includes a stop at the Habitat for Humanity thrift store (although it is really a warehouse...a seriously falling down warehouse, but oh well...just be careful where you step...and about which wall you choose to lean upon...or where you stand when it is raining...but all of these defects add character...much more fun to shop where you take your life into your own hands than in a brightly lit linoleum-tiled glass-fronted space in a soulless strip shopping mall)...then we drop by the library...maybe head to the diner where locals gather for breakfast...sometimes we head by the nursery for some plants...or by Goodwill...it just depends...

But today! Well, the Episcopal church just across the road held their rummage sale...and while the sale wasn't monstrously large, some loverly things were to be had for a song...we arrived pretty early (right after 7 a.m.) since I awoke around 2 a.m. for some strange reason having to do with a certain husband crawling over me to turn off the fan that he insisted be on...the fan that combined with the ceiling fan to turn our bedroom into little freezer...the fan that I said would make the room too cold...Mr G kept taking my part of the quilt since he decided to sleep on top of it...being the gentle and kind wife I am, I'd wake up freezing and snatch it back...

I digress...above you see a good portion of my treasures from today...excluded are the shutters I talked Mr G into dragging home from Habitat to make a door at the place where our bedroom corridor intersects the front hall area...also excluded are the tarts and the tart warmer...

Today's Finds:

a lovely soft old delicate quilt...for the unbelievable price of fifty cents...the lady who donated it to the sale said it belonged to her grandmother...while I can't see myself handing over such a thing, she remarked that you have to start letting things go...obviously, I haven't reached that level of evolution yet...the quilt now covers our small dining table...perfect

a print-on-board of dogs playing cards ($1)...sometimes I can't help myself...I have started collecting (among other things...many other things) old paintings of dogs & cats...and while this is a print, those dogs just won my heart...I'm afraid this dogs-playin'-cards thing may get out of control...

a duck towel holder ($2)...to match my pig towel holder...and my cow towel holder...that are lined up over my laundry area...I'd share a pix (because I think it is pretty darn funny), but I realized as I was editing my photo that shelf needs some serious attention...

an unopened box set of the first 5 Mitford books ($5)...a timely buy since my copies are getting a little ragged...it was about to be scotch tape-on-the-pages time...

a darling little print of 3 tigers taking tea ($1)...on the back there is a strip of paper with the words "Three thumping tigers are taking their tea" or something along those lines...Tigers are cats so I bought it...

2 nice older very large baskets in pristine condition ($3 and $4)...the largest one Mr G insisted I buy since I love baskets...it really is so large I'm not sure what I'll do with it(the picture doesn't do it justice)...but I expect the cats will help me out with the decision-making process...one or two...possibly three...have probably set up housekeeping in there anyway...

an older jelly strainer with stand (75 cents)...at least that is what I'm callin' it...the same lady who donated the quilt donated this old jelly strainer...I have no idea what I'll use it for, but I can see it sitting on a dresser top, holding the crazy little things I pick up...

a non-fiction book about cook-offs($1.99)...Mr G and I just watched a show about the Pillsbury cook-off...and I was fascinated...

and a darling, never-been-used, electric tart warmer($3)...with 2 tarts, one being pumpkin pie-scented and the other apple-scented...

oh...I almost forgot a cute little starburst/compass rose type rhinestone pin($1)...all stones present and accounted for...

All in all, a quite satisfying haul...

Thrifting for me is not just about getting a bah-gain...I feel like I'm rescuing cast-offs that have outworn their welcome in other parts...and I love that Mr G has gotten into the spirit of thrifting...and may one day give me a run for my money in hunting down bargains that we can drag home to re-purpose or just to sit about the place...Mr G used to laugh when I'd drag something sorry lookin' home...until I came up with a plan to re-use it...and then take great pleasure in explaining...in great...lengthy...detail how much said item would have run us picking it up retail...

Actually, he did more than laugh...he christened me and one of my old junkin' buddies The Trash Monkeys...little did he know that we would embrace our inner Trash Monkeys, and indeed revel in our Trash Monkeyness...[insert loud and irritating laughter]*

So, I cannot wait for the day when I can crown Mr G prince consort of Queen Trash Monkey...I feel confident I have some things lurking about to make up a loverly scepter and crown for my Mr G...in fact, I know I have some old pieces of wood from that shutter I took apart to make.............

*I have not, nor shall I ever, knock on wood, dumpster dive...well, the ittybitty one outside of habitat where they put things for people to look through...but other than that...I don't have the nerves...or the upper body strength...to vault myself into a large strange dumpster...not sayin' it is a bad thing, just not a Mrs G thing...

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's Gray and It's Green

Friday afternoon, as Mr G and I sat on the front porch, looking into our little courtyard area I realized just about every plant shared 2 characteristics: grey-ness and spiky-ness...and with a full sun situation, that makes for a washed out and dry looking garden...I have no idea how I let that situation evolve except for perhaps thinking I would have this garden area heavily depend on herbs that could take a full day of Georgia Summer Sun without being watered every day...but regardless of how things got into this sorry state, the courtyard begged to be saved from Perpetual Grey Spikyness…

Can you see where this is heading? After all these years of wedded bliss, Mr G saw it coming…but as we all do in marriage, he has learned to not fight the inevitable…resignation is not necessarily an evil thing…I myself am a Practioner of Resignation when a military-inspired holiday rolls around and old military movie after old military movie airs on the television…On those days, I let Mr G be to enjoy his Man T.V. while I putter about the house doing girlie sort of things like re-arranging books by their colors (within topic areas, of course) and re-arranging my shelves of collectible stuff…and I try not to sigh...too often...and too loudly...

Anyhoo...


After a couple of trips to my favorite local nursery and a couple more trips to our home improvement chain store, we had the beginnings of a Do-Over for the courtyard area...

Plant material purchased Friday and Saturday:


a 3-gallon pot of yellow ginger lilies (wonderfully scented & chosen especially for Mr G)

a fall cassia tree

2 dwarf gardenias 'Radicans' (for Mr G because he loves scent in the garden as much as I do, maybe more, because I would never again try my hand at growing gardenias...they despise me)

5 Toffee Twist sedges (okay...the name was enough to earn them a spot on the cart...but I love the color & fall of these plants)

2
Crimson Pygmy barberries (I really would like about 3 more, but I snagged the last 2)

1 pot of purple
ruellia (I should know better, but I planted it in a bottomless pot to control this little thug)

1
Morning Light Miscanthus (along with a gorgeous deep green pot for its home..off the clearance rack, no less)

2
dwarf Gulf Stream nandinas (to flank the 1 princess nandina)

1 big
Elegant Marjorie mum (one of my my favorite color for mums)

and 3 little rosemarys for that brutal spot beneath the kitchen window...that spot has the most gorgeous dogwood I've ever seen (and I don't even like
dogwoods)...but the roots make planting in that spot next to impossible..

along with 3 loropetalums for the bed next to the woods

and many bags of Jungle Grow (I believe that is the name)


Mr G earned a lot of
Brownie Points this past weekend...he did not grouse or gripe or whine once...I'm going to try my best to recall this when the next Military Movie Day rolls around...I think that'll be Pearl Harbor Day in December...I should probably go ahead and just circle the date (in bold SHARPIE) on the calendar to remind myself...

Some pixs from the courtyard and from other spots in the front (my goldenrod volunteer (yea!), a magnolia pod with amazing curliques, and a red leaf from a crape myrtle)


well, crud...apparently, Blogger has decided I will not be uploading photos...I've been trying for about an hour now...I give up...Maybe I can edit them in later..

(okay, apparently, the secret is to use mozilla firefox to access blogger instead of IE)

This is the Morning Light miscanthus...in the loverly green pot that came home from the
clearance shelf...
Toffee Twist to the left and Fall Cassia below

Token Red Leaf from a Crape Myrtle
Volunteer Goldenrod Elegant Marjorie lookin' good in her pot
Magnolia seed pod


















Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"October's Party"

In Honor of Fall, I give you George Cooper's "October's Party"

October's Party
October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came —
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.
Then, in the rustic hollow,
At hide-and-seek they played,
The party closed at sundown,
And everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly “hands around.”
- George Cooper
*************************************************************
and the forecast for Saturday has already been amended to "around 80"...I knew it...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Channelling Fall


Even in southeastern Georgia we can pretend Jack Frost is just around the corner...

There is nary a red leaf or a brisk wind to be found in my backyard, but I can still dream about crisp nights, blazing fires, needing a jacket to go out...stuff like that...

And I can order Fall in a Box to be delivered right to my front door




I dragged The Bread Bible out earlier today to drool over recipes...and to make plans for the contents I knew would be shortly arriving from The Baker's Catalogue...don't you love how they spell "catalogue"?

My postman, who probably has a hernia from the number of boxes he has to tote across our lawn, through the gate, and up to the door...and who will probably have a cardiac incident from the dogs going ballistic when he does, dropped off my lover-ly Fall Play Boxes today...bless his heart...I will remember his hard work when the holidays roll around...

You see before you:

  • poppy seeds
  • bread base sample pack
  • minced ginger
  • a 5 oz. bottle of natural almond extract
  • a 2 lb bag of organic white whole wheat flour (and the bag is even autumnal colored! can you stand it?)
  • a set of flannel gingham sheets for the bed in my office/second guest room...and, hold onto your hat, the color of the sheets is Maple...

Honestly...only if I had ordered a ton of fall leaves to be artfully strewn about the front lawn (pin them down? hot glue? Liquid Nails?) could I possibly be more Fall Content...

Okay, that is such a lie...but I'm tryin' hard to channel Autumn so just play along with me...

The newspaper tells me that this Friday and Saturday our highs should only be in the middle 70s...as we actually move closer to the weekend, I expect that will gradually morph into low to mid-80s...as it almost always does...funny how temperatures around here are never lower than forecasted...

I have scheduled Serious Baking for this weekend, trusting that if I move ahead acting as if I do believe we will have temperatures only in the mid-70s, then the forces of nature will be duped into providing said forecasted temps...

Kind of like when you get on the scale, close your eyes and believe that you have lost 5 lbs this week...even taking in consideration the pot o' cheese dip eaten last night @ 10 p.m. by the light of the open fridge door...and you have lost 5 lbs! you did it!

Naw...that never happens to me either...but take it as a sign of my continued determination to outwit Reason that I continue to run that scam in various areas of my life...

Now, turn up that AC, put on a sweater and think "FALL"...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Big Bug World


It Came for Supper...

If this isn't the strangest bug I've ever run across, then I hope to never recall what was...

I planned to post a lovely photo of my dragonwing begonia, early-day-away-from-autumn sun shining through its beautiful leaves...

But, G. G. A. pre-empted that photo...I'll let you figure out what "GGA" stand for...let's just say it is what flew out out of my mouth when I stepped out into the courtyard this afternoon finding this Thing having set up housekeeping right next to the walk...

{{{big ol' shudder}}}

Mr G prophesied that I will have nightmares about this bug...and I expect he's right...many a night I wake him up talking about snakes or worms or lizards on the ceiling...

And since, apparently, the countryside where we've set up housekeeping grows some of the biggest bugs I've seen in my 41 years on this planet, he gets woken up by that sort of foolishness quite a bit...

I kid you not, two days ago when our son came up to visit, the biggest reddest spider that probably ever sucked air came out of nowhere to dangle above his head as we relaxed on the back deck...very coolly, I suggested DON'T MOVE...THERE IS THE WORLD'S BIGGEST SPIDER ABOVE YOUR HEAD!!!! [okay...I can kinda giggle now because the look on his face was pretty funny...and because he doesn't read my blog]

And not 3 weeks ago, a skink so big I could see daylight under his shiny belly (that's how high he stood up) ran out from beneath my van...and then stopped, looked at me and just gave me a considering look I don't care to think too long and hard about...when I set Mr G after him with the shovel, he (the skink, not Mr G) ran up the big pine next to the drive...as he clawed his way up [stop for a second for deep breath and shuddering...vague feelings of nausea], pine bark fell off the tree...

Pine Bark Fell Off The Tree...

Do you understand how big this skink is? I could see his knees...his knees...

I suppose it goes without sayin' that both of the above instances automatically default into the GGA category accessorized by NSN (Nightmare Same Night), free of charge...of course, GGA followed by NSN only occurs after a loud piercing shriek to alert the neighbors that 1) someone next door is being slaughtered by a gang of roving crack-addict bowie knife-wielding demon-worshippers...or 2) that chubby lady saw a bug again...

Frankly, Mr G and I stay just about worn out from lack of sleep and adrenaline rushes brought on by exposure to the wildlife in this place...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

well, I'm back...sorta...here is another one of those quiz things I love...I promise a real post in the next day or so :)

Your Power Color Is Lime Green
At Your Highest:
You are adventurous, witty, and a visionary.
At Your Lowest:
You feel misunderstood, like you don't fit in.
In Love:
You have a tough exterior, but can be very dedicated.
How You're Attractive:
Your self-awareness and confidence lights up a room.
Your Eternal Question:
"What else do I need in my life?"

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Off Mode

Sometimes you just gotta shut the computer down, step outside and process life without the aid of Wi-Fi and a beautiful enticing luminous screen...

I worry about living through point-and-click links to others and their point-and-click lives...I worry that our son (the Bird) whose precociousness had him sitting on his uncle's lap playing video games when square-cornered figures loaded from floppy disks ran across little bitty computer monitors that could have been black-and-white displays knows more about connecting to others via electronic hums than he does about just looking up, catching someone's eye and establishing a human link...


I've watched DS and his girlfriend of a couple of years sit for hours...on end...in the same room, facing opposite walls and opposite monitors, *talking* with friends not just around the U.S. but around the world...

and yet when I actually see them across a table whether in our kitchen or a restaurant, put forth a question, simple or complex, involving, I thought, both of them,I routinely get two markedly different answers or blank stares...sometimes both in varying combinations...I just wonder...okay...I wonder and then being the total Alpha I am, I just ask "do the two of you even talk to one another?"


when Bird lived at home, amid much grumbling...yes, that means "outright rebellion and witching"...which I quashed without a qualm...we had Shut It Off nights...oh trust me...Mr G contributed as much on the ORAB front as Bird...and once in a blue moon I would come across something tempting in the t.v. listings and wish Shut It Off night were some other night, too...

But, almost always, once the disgruntleds settled down, the night would be pretty good...aided in large part by a key standing guideline being that take-out or a restaurant dinner was a obligatory check-mark item on Shut It Off nights or other family night events...

a note to self sat firmly in place reminding me that these nights were not to be used for furthering agendas about clean rooms or missed homework assignments...those sorts of conversations could be much more handily pursued while Bird was captive in the mini-van during the morning commute to his school...then I could drop his behind off at the curb , proceed on my way and by the time rolled back around for Bird Pick-Up, we'd both have settled back down...

I realize that technique will probably draw limited rave reviews, but you do what works for you and yours...with two hard-headed mouthy people having to interact with one another to get where at least one had to be (and one, not to point any long bony fingers, decidely not a morning person), mornings weren't generally pleasant anyway so why not use the situation as best possible? Sing-alongs and Kodak moments did not show up regularly on the passenger list for the Mega Mega Mini-Van as it pulled out of the drive...

so I used the already unpleasant times to discuss matters I knew could be guaranteed to bring indignant Outrage, Sulking and General Unpleasant Behavior rushing to the forefront of DS's character...that way, when the afternoons arrived, honestly, we were all better...DS had time to decompress and get over the Injustice of It All and I happily received my darling son whom I would have even more happily pulled over and let out of the MMMV beside the highway earlier that day back into the Realm of Not Hormonally Crazed People...

all of this to say I'm about to enter another one of my self-imposed computer exiles...I'm going to shoot for a week...the first few days are always rough...I think of something I want to check on-line...or I want to check my e-mail...I'm like a caffeine addict...I'm okay for the first couple of hours and then I start to Need It...well, that is only addiction besides pastries that I really have to reference...but after a couple of days, I r.e.l.a.x...my mind stops scampering around from random thought to random thought... I can actually concentrate long enough to think a complete thought that contains more than 5 words...not to say complete thoughts have to be in lengthy sentences to be stunning in their comprehension, but being able to connect complete thought to complete thought and actually move beyond a one-sentence concept is an enjoyable thing...and something I find myself not doing as much of as I'd like when I spend my days pointing and clicking...

Things I hope to do during my Computer Free Days to come:

Bake something...try a new recipe & eat at least 1 piece before heading to the mirror to berate myself about my large, um, personality

Dink around with my sewing machine and the manual (which I downloaded off the internet)...perhaps I can get the whole thread-breaking-after-5-stitches-and-lots-of-profanity thing taken care of...or at least realize the thing needs to go to the shop...

Pursue one of the crafts I enjoy (even if I'm not stellar in any craft area), but am usually wound too tightly from hours of internet use to enjoy...seriously...when I've been on the computer for hours without end, I get wired...*wired* like *wired after 5 or 6 cups of coffee...in the space of about 4 hours...with nothing to eat*...Throw Up Wired...

Read something...from cover to cover...that I haven't read before...and doesn't involve recipes and large glossy photographs...There are about 30 books waiting on me while I spend hours P & C'ing (maybe I'll just call it *Plicking* from now on...), checking e-mails and posting on a board with friends...and checking a few more boards...and then checking e-mail again...and then remembering I wanted to check LL Bean's site for flannel sheets...or the library for a book on Christmas Crafts...or The Weather Channel's site to check and see if that prayer about temperatures in the 60s is being answered in the next couple of days (well, crap...shudda been more specific and requested "daytime temps of in the 60s")...

Right now, as I type this post, I'm also checking out Autotrader for a used Volvo stationwagon (which I obsess about almost daily...)...and which Mr G insists I do not need...actually, he has been insisting that for several years now...I'm considering doing some insisting of my own here shortly...

See? the trouble with having all this lovely information of every imaginable sort right at my fingertips is I get lost in the prepping...I research something to death...like planning a trip so thoroughly I don't really even have to go on the trip...saves some cash, yes, but sorta defeats the whole purpose behind the trip...

You can safely assume this process repeats itself across a broad spectrum of subject matter...

Now...as soon as I check my e-mail again...I'm signing off for the week...I'll leave with a photo of the swan-neck gourd on the deck...there must be 500 miles of gourd vine supporting this one gourd...gotta admire the sheer Over The Top-ness of it all...

it's all about the journey...