Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Easter Crafts - Rain

I was thumbing through the online version of Good Housekeeping and came across these cute decorating ideas.

They have printable templates and directions at the article: Easter Paper Crafts .

There was also this video on how to make Tissue Paper Daffodils. They show them being used as a napkin holder. I think they would look lovely as the finishing touch on a gift package.


It is raining buckets here right now. That means more flash flooding in some of our area. Our home is on high ground. Many of our county and city streets / roads will have water across them. People will go around the barricades that block these areas and get stuck in the waters. In the 500 Year Flood we had back in 1994 a man decided to disregard signs and barricades and he and his family perished in the waters. Four lives unnecessarily lost. I pray that people will listen to the warnings. It only takes six inches of rushing water to sweep a car away. Tomorrow they say will be severe weather again in our area. So more flash flooding.


I'm off to have my endoscopy in a bit. I may be a bit loopy when I get home. Frank was that way for about 4 days after his endoscopy last year. It was funny... every day he asked me what the doctor said. On the third day I gave him the summary sheet the doctor gave me, so maybe I wouldn't get asked again... but the fourth day I was still asked. This was very unusual for Frank. He is usually back to normal by the afternoon. When he sorta had his colonoscopy a few months later he talked to the anesthetist and told her what happened last time, so she didn't give him as much of "the good stuff" that time.

Between being loopy and thunderstorms I may not be online for a couple of days... we'll see :-)


Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life. -- John Updike


In The Garden - Yeah!

I had the granola for breakfast :-)

In the garden -

Our garden is small and is in our side yard. Our yard is a triangle. The side yard is the largest part of the yard. It has three pecan trees and two plum trees and contains Frank's workshop, dark room and shelters for the travel trailer, jon boat, lawn mowers and yard tools.

My pictures aren't the greatest today. Right click on the pictures and open in a new tab or window for a larger view... that way you won't have to reload this page.

Along the fence are onions amidst the dollar weeds. The tall plants are what are left of the collard plants. Frank gave a couple of the workers who did the driveway a bonus of a mess of collard greens. The next area has carrots and a few volunteer mustard green plants. The next row are the potatoes... they are coming along nicely. The red stuff is leaf lettuce. The poles mark the spots where the tomato plants will soon be planted. Later okra will be planted. I think Frank has given up on growing squash. They always get blossom rot. There will also be pepper plants... not as many as last year.

The tractor is normally down at Stubbs Acres (my parents old homestead). Frank brought it here to do a little maintenance. He managed to get some of the work done before his surgery. I think next is some good used tires.

These are the carrots. Frank saw these pictures and said it really needed weeding. It has been too wet to do that. More rain expected over the next few days.

It looked so pretty looking up through the plum tree.


We just got back from the doctor's office and Frank no longer has the tube. We have to change the bandage a lot as there still will be leakage until the trench the tube made closes. If Frank starts feeling bad and running a fever we have to call the doctor. Hopefully all will be fine. We get a little longer break in him seeing the doctor... next Thursday instead of Tuesday.

The doctor also said that Frank could do anything that he felt up to doing. Even weeding the garden and changing the oil in the car and most important dishes ;-) He washed a few dishes a day or so ago... it sure helped me out a lot. Thank's Hon!


Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. -- Lindley Karstens


Monday, March 30, 2009

Pot Roast - Laundry - Lunch -Granola

I had a busy day today. Soon after I got up I got the slow cooker going. The pot roast is ready for tomorrow. It is a chuck roast. On sale for $2.50 a pound. That seems so high for a sale. It was nicely marbled and I didn't cook it until it fell a apart... so it should be good.

It was also garbage day, so I gathered the garbage and rolled the can out to the roadside. So much easier to do with the driveway paved.

Then there was laundry to do. I have them all folded...oops need to put that last load away. I also loaded the bags to give to the Salvation Army into the car trunk. I didn't get them there last week.... remember the driveway was being paved, so that made it too far to tote the bags to the car. After Frank's doctor's appointment tomorrow I'll drop them off. Maybe one day I'll take the time to wander through the store.

Frank wanted steak for today... mmm sounds too much like the pot roast to me. Well it taste a lot different. Different cut of meat and different seasonings. We had a microwaved baked potato on the side along with baby carrots. The carrots were beginning to grow whiskers, so time to use them. I boiled the carrots, drained and added a bit of butter... well Smart Balance... and a little bit of brown sugar and simmered... oh and Frank wanted a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg in them. They turned out pretty good.

I made biscuits today. It has been a while since I've made any. Most of the time I just poke some Pillsbury frozen biscuits in the oven. They just aren't the same as a homemade buttermilk biscuits. I made the biscuits a bit smaller today... a better portion size for Frank and probably me too.

I also made granola today. It has been a while since I've made it too. The recipe is over in my recipe blog: Zaroga's Granola. I really think the recipe would be just as good with about half the oil. I've made a note to try that next time I make it. It is good with milk or it could be used for a yogurt topping.

Here is a picture of the granola and the leftover biscuits.

I had granola tonight for my supper and it was good. Tomorrow morning will I eat granola or will I cut a couple of biscuits in half and slather with butter (Smart Balance), sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar and pop under the broiler... stay tune :-)


Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime, and too sleepy to worry at night. -- Leo Aikman


Saturday, March 28, 2009

After the Rain - Ramblings - White Flowers

We had a stormy day yesterday. Five inches of rain fell at our home. Surrounding communities had as much as nine inches of rain. I think the Florida panhandle,the SE corner of Alabama and extreme SW corner of Georgia got even more. We had so many alerts for severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes. There was a lot of flash flooding.

The rain has only left a few blooms upon the dogwoods and azaleas in our yard. New growth is happening... Tree leaves are appearing; Canna Lilies are rising up and so are the mexican petunias and the angel's trumpet. In a few weeks they will bloom. The seeds I scattered in a pot are popping up. I found some seeds I harvested a couple of years ago. I know coleus is one and I think the other is probably zinnia. The pot grew vinca (periwinkle) last year and usually they reseed themselves.

I want to go sometime this week and look for flowers for my flower pot garden and for the flower beds.

From Mama's yard; Sweet Mock Orange.
My sister-in-law calls it English Dogwood.

Sweet Mock Orange, English Dogwood "Philadelphus coronarius"

This morning we did a little shopping at Wal*Mart. Frank drove; his first time driving since his surgery. We went in the big truck, a diesel Chevy Silverado. Frank said he felt comfortable driving it.

Yesterday I fixed slum goodie, my version of chili. I simmered it for about four hours. You can simmer for just 30 minutes if you want, but it is best if it is cooked slow for a few hours. Frank said it was the best I had ever made. I agreed... but I have no idea what I could have done differently than I usually do. There was cornbread left from the day before and that really went well with the slum goodie. Today was left overs and I don't know how the slum goodie got even better, but it did. There is still a bowl full left and I wish I could share it with y'all, but Frank has laid claim to it :-)

I'm not sure what is for dinner tomorrow. We eat our big meal at midday, so I call it dinner instead of lunch. Lunch is suppose to be light, just like our suppers are suppose to be. I read somewhere that breakfast should be our biggest meal of the day and then our midday meal lighter and eat even a lighter meal in the evening or nothing at all. I just can't bring myself to eat a big breakfast.

I do plan on slow cooking a chuck roast tomorrow, but we will eat it Tuesday and Wednesday... the days I won't be able to cook because of doctor appointments. Oh.. I forgot to tell y'all. The gastroenterologist's nurse called us Thursday and she said the doctor didn't want me to wait until the end of April for the endoscopy. So now I have it on the schedule for this coming Wednesday.

Frank is at his parent's home doing their taxes today. So I dusted and vacuumed and got very tired. I took a break and called Mama. Her right leg is still swollen. I'm hoping she will make an appointment with the doctor. We had a nice talk. Then I mopped the floors.

Oh last Friday we called Sonja for her birthday. She was doing okay... as she says "hanging in there". Brian was fixing her tacos for her birthday supper. She said she had a good day. Thank y'all for all the birthday wishes for her.

From Mama's yard; Spirea (I think)


I have had a couple of comments on my Makes Three Coconut Pies recipe recently; which is a simple and great tasting recipe. One comment was from Linda C of Seasons of Life who has a blog that I love visiting. Nazarina A of Giddy Gastronome also left a comment. Nazarina's recipes look absolutely scrumptious. Her presentations and photographs are superb. I hope you will pay her a visit.

From Mama's yard; Oxeye Daisy

Oxeye Daisy

Garden Magic
This is the garden's magic,
That through the sunny hours
The gardener who tends it, Himself outgrows his flowers.

He grows by gift of patience,
Since he who sows must know
That only in the Lord's good time
Does any seedling grow.

He learns from buds unfolding,
From each tight leaf unfurled,
That his own heart, expanding,
Is one with all the world.

He bares his head to sunshine,
His bending back a sign
Of grace, and ev'ry shower becomes
His sacramental wine.

And when at last his labors
Bring forth the very stuff
And substance of all beauty
This is reward enough.


Friday, March 27, 2009

One Last Birthday for March - Faithful Fridays With Joy

March is one of our family's busiest months for birthdays. Today is Sonja's birthday. I cannot believe she is 39 years old... it seems like only yesterday that I gave birth to her.

Sonja doesn't want me posting pictures of her, so I will respect her wishes.
Sonja is the oldest of our two children.

Sonja was quick to learn to talk. She had a wide vocabulary by time she was one year old. She writes wonderful stories and poems. She always made good grades in school and took honor classes.

She is a great fisherwoman, but hates to eat fish. When she was little she used to love to eat fish. When we went into Burger King she would order a fish sandwich... never a hamburger. Then for some reason she not only decided she hated fish, but her brother did too. Many of her dates with one of her boyfriend in high school was fishing at Lake Chesdin.

When she was about five years old she loved to draw on her wall. I finally got her to draw on paper bags. One time she drew a tarantula. Frank was in his 'I cannot stand spider stage' and didn't appreciate that drawing hanging on the fridge. There was a year or so that she refused to wear any color but purple. Good thing I liked purple :-)

Sonja has a compassion for children and those that have the mind of a child. She has a love for the elderly too. Sonja is a 'people person'. She has her shy moments though. Sonja is a lover of animals and has two Boston Terriers, Otis and Stella. She used to have three (the offspring of the other two), but Lucy became sick and died.

Sonja and I have butted heads over the years, especially in her teen years... which I guess has happened with many other mothers and their children. We have had good times together too. We had fun hiking on trails... one time having a foot race on a trail. We worked on many school and church projects together that were fun.

We worked together for a while at the Family Dollar Store I worked at in Virginia. The manager of the store was having the same problem I had when I moved down here (see Color - My Employment) of not finding good employees. Both my children worked with me for a while. The district manager said that was too much family in one store, so Sonja was transferred to one of the stores in Richmond. The district manager always praised to me of Sonja's work ethic. Of course that made me proud of her.

When we moved from Virginia to Georgia Sonja stayed in the Richmond area where she worked at a respite camp. Later on she moved to Sharon Pennsylvania where she worked as a nurse's aide in a nursing home. Then she made the decision to move to the Albany Georgia area. She worked in a couple of different nursing homes here and just finally burned out. Then she moved to the Canton / Woodstock Georgia area where she worked in a veterinarian's office for a while... again she burned out. She just becomes too involved with her patients.. whether human or dog or cat.

Sonja still cannot find a job. The economy just seems to get worse and worse here in Georgia. Not too many days go by that you don't hear of a store or a plant closing.

Sonja was a wonderful child for the most part ;-) and she is a wonderful woman. Happy Birthday Sonja!


Please join me and others for Faithful Fridays With Joy. Just click on the button below to go to Joy's (Doodlebug) post.

Faithful Fridays

My prayers have been answered many times while I have raised my daughter. Being a mother does not end when your child leaves home. There is still guidance needed. There are still times to console. I pray often to have the right words to say to my daughter and do the right things for her. HE has walked beside me every step of the way and sometimes has carried me through rough times. I will admit that there have been times that I have ignored HIM and made mistakes. You would think after the first time of not listening that I would learn... but I am still a child of God and like a child I sometimes make the same mistakes over and over. I am forgiven each time by my Heavenly Father for my mistakes. I am not always as forgiving with my own daughter.

I am thankful that I was entrusted with such a great soul as my daughter to raise and to love.


Of all the haunting moments of motherhood, few rank with hearing your own words come out of your daughter's mouth. -- Victoria Secunda

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Doctor Visit -- Chives

Well... one more doctor visit down. The gastroenterologist just wanted to see how Frank was doing. I wanted the gastroenterologist to check my stomach out. My stomach has been doing some better since the family doctor added some meds... so many meds now. I always thought that I would never be on as many meds as my Grandmas and Mama. I'm heading that way though. I have an endoscopy schedule for later in April. I asked him if I was due my colonoscopy.. I was thinking he said 5 years, but he had said 5-10 years. He asked me a few questions and he said lets try for the 10 years. If you have these problems.. he named them ... and I said I would let him know if any of that stuff occurred.

They had called and upped my appointment to 2 and Frank's was at 2:30. We thought there would be a lot of papers for me to fill out because it had been a while since I had been in, but I only had to sign a couple of things. We were there by 1:30. There was an elderly lady in the waiting room that was waiting for her ride back to the nursing home. She will be a 100 years old on Easter Sunday. Her body was frail, but her mind was keen. She had some wonderful stories to tell of her life. We managed to get home by 3:30.

Avatars & Icons

The above icon is what the next couple of days will be like. We need it, but it makes Mr. Arthritis flare his ugly self.

Avatars & Icons

Onion Chives have become one of my favorite plants. They have beautiful leaves that I use in my cooking. They are super in an omelet. Nothing like making an omelet and having freshly snipped chives to sprinkle in it and over it. My kitchen scissors seem to cut the leaves better than my knives. I use them in soups and other dishes too.

Right now the plant has flower buds, but soon will look like this:


And then they will look beautiful like this:



The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Busy - Plums - Wisteria - Peaches

Allergies have me down a bit or maybe it is the antihistamine or perhaps the combination of them. We've been a bit busy too.

I did a bit of weeding this weekend. I weeded the flower bed that runs alongside the driveway. It is about four car-lengths long. I worked in 15 to 20 minute sessions over two days.... two session each day. My back is okay, but my legs, butt and right hand ache. I cannot tell you how good it felt to have those achy muscles. It has been many years since I've been able to weed the flower beds. I have more weeding to do, but it will wait until next week.

Frank had his CT scan on Monday. They were running behind, so a long afternoon.

Tuesday morning Frank had his appointment with the oncologist surgeon. The doctor pulled the JP drain out about 3 inches. There is somewhere between six and eight inches to go. So, maybe in two or three more visits the drain will be out.

Tuesday we also had the rest of our driveway paved. (Frank, David, Tom, and the man that brought the concrete did the first portion a few years ago.) This company was so happy (or I should say desperate) to have work. Frank was getting more than one estimate and this company's owner would call Frank back every couple of hours Monday evening asking if Frank had gotten the other estimate and if he could do the job tomorrow.

Our yard is full of our vehicles (large truck for hauling the rv, Frank's small truck and our car) while the concrete dries. It is a bit of a pain to park the car in the yard. A gate has to be opened and closed each time. We are suppose to have rain over the next few days and we are hoping some of the pollen will get washed off the vehicles... and that there is no hail.

This morning we had to go the Marine base to get my ID card renewed. My face is slightly swollen from allergies especially under my eyes... so you know that made for a pretty picture smoking alternative We picked up some meds at the pharmacy on the base and did a bit of grocery shopping at the commissary. Frank did well in the commissary. He only started venturing into stores a few days ago. We were tired when we got home. We had a quickly made lunch of hot dogs and macaroni and cheese.

Today I put a bit of fertilizer on some of the flowers and plants in the yard. Just before a rain is a good time to do that.
Rain Smiley

Tomorrow afternoon we both see the gastroenterologist free smileys Just a checkup. We are a bit tired of visiting doctors.

scuba diving pictures

I appreciate all the nice comments on my header picture. The dogwoods have been so pretty this year. The blooms are almost gone from our trees and the leaves have appeared.

I really haven't felt like taking my camera around the yard so here are a few oldies...

The plum trees are blooming. We have two plum trees in our yard. The plums make good jam and wine. I like to use the wine in cooking... especially a pot roast.

Plum Tree Blossoms

The wisterias are blooming. We don't have any in our yard. This one is right across the street hanging amongst the cherry laurels, pecan trees and some trees that I don't know what are.


Frank cut our peach tree down. It just did not make peaches. I will miss their blossoms.

Peach Blossom - Explore 28 March 2007 #482

scuba diving pictures

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place. -- Mark Twain


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Color - My Employment

The first color wheel has been attributed to Sir Isaac Newton, who in 1706 arranged red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet into a natural progression on a rotating disk. As the disk spins, the colors blur together so rapidly that the human eye sees white.

I remember spinning a color wheel in elementary school. It looked something like this.

Color Wheel

I used my knowledge of the color wheel when I worked in retail. I worked in Nichols Department Store in Colonial Heights Virginia for about three years. I worked in the men's and boys clothing section and domestics. When needed I also worked in ladies and children's wear. I would arrange clothing by style and color. Bolts of fabric were arranged by type of fabric and then by color... solid colors first and then prints. My supervisor's liked my work :-)

Color arrangements sell products. That store display just pulls you in! When you planned your home decor you looked at the colors and coordinated the colors. When you work on a knitting or crochet project that requires more than one color, you coordinate those colors. All this is part of the color wheel. You can explore more about all this by typing color wheel or color theory into your search engine.

After a few years I quit Nichols so I could take a course in bookkeeping at the local community college. I worked at the college bookstore while I took my course. There were still things to place in the proper color order and to coordinate colors of... shirts, bandannas and towels and of course books.

Then I needed to go back to a job with more hours. A Family Dollar Store was opening up in Petersburg. I went there and got a temp job stocking the store. I did the baby outfits and the area supervisor was very impressed, but they had all ready filled all their positions for the store. I got referred to another store in Dinwiddie county just outside Petersburg and a few miles from our home.

I worked in this store almost three years. It was a wonderful place to work. The work was hard, but the employees were a good team. I worked myself up to the assistant store manager. After a couple of raises I was making $6 an hour :-) Doesn't that amount sound pitiful now?

We made our decision that when David graduated from high school that we would move to Georgia to be near family. I really wasn't too keen on the idea, but Mama and Daddy didn't have any of their children living close to them and they might need someone around when their health started to fail.

I transferred my job to Georgia, but Frank and David had to get jobs after we arrived. Frank had promises of work before we left Virginian, but it did not pan out. The only store that they could tranfer me to was in Dawson Georgia about a 35 mile drive for me one way. We lived with Frank's parents for two months. It wasn't easy finding a home. We were just going to rent to start with, but there was just no suitable place. Somehow we made it through those two months. When we bought our home my drive became about 23 miles to work.

The area supervisor was not keen on me having such a high wage. I had to go to a store in Albany for a while to help restructure it... I was assigned the shoe department. I got bursitis in my hips from all the up and down in arranging the shoes... by style and color and doing markdowns.

I made the mistake of taking the manager job at the store I worked at. It was awful... the employees were lazy and I couldn't find replacements any better than them. I had two good workers and they were over the age of sixty. My hips got so bad that I could no longer stand the work, so I quit and took a few month's rest to help my hips heal.

I then worked at Allied Clothing and then at a uniform place. I herniated a disc while plugging in a vacuum cleaner at the uniform place. I had surgery and I tried to go back to work, but it just hurt too much.

Well that is enough on my work in retail... oh my first job was not at Nichols but at the post laundry at Ft. Story and before that babysitting... and there are some stories there :-) but they will wait for another time.

We use our knowledge about color in our everyday lives... we may not realize it though :-)

I took this quiz Test Your Color IQ a couple of years ago and got a 5 I think and this time my score was 14. I blame it on the LCD screen :-) Oh... 0 is a perfect score. The quiz takes some time.


Violet will be a good color for hair at just about the same time that brunette becomes a good color for flowers. -- Fran Lebowitz


Friday, March 20, 2009

Faithful Fridays -- Patience

Please join me and others for Faithful Fridays With Joy. Just click on the button below to go to Joy's (Doodlebug) post.

Faithful Fridays

As most of you know Frank and I have been going through a bit of a trial of late. We have both been impatient. We sit and fret and begin to wonder will this ever end. Our impatience gets us nowhere. We need to take each moment as it comes. It does no good to worry. We have control over only so much. The rest is up to the doctor and God. A burden is lifted when you just put things into God's hands and have patience.

I was reading in the bible (New King James Version) of what James in his epistle to the twelve tribes had to say about patience. He writes:

1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into various trials;

1:3 Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

1:4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

And then he talks of how we can ask God for wisdom.... we have only to ask in faith, with no doubt. Do you ever ask God for Wisdom? I haven't in a long time.

1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally, and without reproach, and it will be given him.

1:6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting. For he that doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.



Spring has officially arrived!

"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month." -- Henry Van Dyke

No matter if you have your car covered in pollen or snow I thought you might like to see a few Spring pictures.

Here pine, redbud, bradford pear and dogwood trees are blooming along with azaleas, camelias, dandelions and many other wildflowers/weeds. The colors of our cars have changed to a yellow or yellow-green color. We are sneezing; our noses are stuffy, but yet leaking... always wondered how that worked. Fortunately I'm doing pretty good because I started my antihistamine before the pollen got bad.

Pine Tree Bloom

Pine Tree Blossom

Dogwood Blooms.
They are beginning to fall and look like snow upon the ground.

Dogwood Blossoms

Wren Eggs
(These are from last year)
Birds are looking for mates and a place to build their nests.

Carolina Wren Eggs

Northern Cardinal Chicks
(from years past)
Soon their will be new life.

Northern Cardinal Babies

Baby Squirrels
(from years past.)
They are the pesky little critters that eat the birdseed and dig holes in the flower beds and eat the roots of our favorite plants. They are the critters that we love to watch play with each other. Yes, there are two squirrels in this picture. The second is just behind the others butt :-) Their Mama built a nest in a five gallon bucket in a cabinet down at Stubbs Acres (my parent's old homestead). She tore up some rags that Frank had in the cabinet and added it to the nest. Frank has since sealed the cabinet and so far squirrels haven't made a nest in the cabinet again.

Baby Squirrels

I hope your first day of Spring is a great one!.. That as nature renews itself that you too will renew yourself. Sometimes we get in a rut of the same old thing. Do something different. As my friend Grammy says: Remember to Laugh and Play .


It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! -- Mark Twain


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Award - First Letter Name Game

Today I've cleaned out my closet. Those things in good enough shape to donate are bagged and other stuff is in the trash or rag bag. I may add more to the donate bags... I have a few things I'm thinking about what I want to do with. I will probably drop the bags off at the Salvation Army next Tuesday. It is near the doctor's office we go to that day.

Yesterday I washed the toppers over the windows in the living room and washed the inside of the windows. I did the outsides a couple of weeks ago. I also vacuumed. That sure did perk the living room up. It would have even looked better if I could have taken the blinds down and washed them.

Frank's parents came over for a visit after lunch.


Berry Sweet Blog Award

I received this award from Joy at Doodlebug. Thank you, Joy!

This award is given to those whose blogs are full of sweetness, thoughtfulness, and kindness. :o)

The rules are as follows:

1) Put the Berry Sweet Blog Award logo on your blog or post.
2) Nominate 5-10 blogs that show sweetness, thoughtfulness, and kindness.
3) List and link your nominees within your post.
4) Let them know they have received the award by leaving a comment on their blog.

My nominees are:
Any of my followers that will accept the award. I enjoy each of your blogs so much. Each of you are sweet, thoughtful and kind.


I saw this game at A Mellow Life is a Good Life Make sure you stop by and read her answers.

Let's play a game! It's harder than you think!

Use the first letter of your name to answer each question. They have to be real things, names, places, nothing made up. You can't use your own name for the boy/girl name question. Post your answers on your blog and then invite 5 other bloggy friends to do the same.

1. What is your name: Zaroga
2. A 4 letter word: Zero
3. A boys name: Zarone (my brother)
4. A girls name: Zellean (Frank's Aunt)
5. An occupation: Zoologist
6. A color: Zinc White
7. Something you wear: Zories (I don't wear them...just not my kind of shoe)
8. A beverage: Zinfandel wine (I'm not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages) Is there a Z Cola?
9. A food: Zuchinni or Ziti
10. Something found in the bathroom: Zinc Oxide
11. A place: Zebulon Georgia
12. A reason for being late: Zzzzzzz or Zero movement in traffic
13. Something you shout: Zounds! or Zippity - Do- Dah!

Please join in the fun!


I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I've written for myself, and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part. -- Shirley MacLaine


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chickens - Dixie

When we were stationed at Ft. Story Virginia (located by Virginia Beach) we lived in a cottage. Behind the cottage was a wooded area and we had a chicken coop there. The Army did not know this as far as I know.

I was not fond of raising chickens. I don't remember the types of chickens we had. We did had some that laid colored eggs. Boy did we ever have eggs! A lot more than we could eat. We sold some, but we had to give some away just to get rid of them.

We had a brown hen that was Queen of the Chickens. Sonja and David named her Snubby Nose. The top part of her beak was broken. She was a good mama and boss of the yard. She liked to peck at the kids heals. They didn't like that much, but they grew fond of Snubby Nose anyway.

We eventually sold all those chickens. The children were sad for Snubby Nose to go. They were happy not to have their chores of feeding, watering and gathering eggs.

One time while we had the chickens we had one of those Nor'easters come through. The wind blew very hard. The chicken coop door latch broke and the door blew open. The chickens got out and scattered. It just ain't easy herding chickens back into a coop in a wind storm!

In the picture below you will see our little dog Dixie. I wanted a different picture of her, but I haven't finished my on-going project of sorting pictures and the picture I wanted had not made it from the box to the album. I can't lift that box yet... so you get this lousy picture of her and... there I am with my mind who knows where. Sonja, our daughter, is in the background. We were camping in the Shenandoah National Park on Labor Day weekend in 1980.

Now back to my story... The chickens are loose and the wind is blowing hard and rain is soon coming. We all start herding the chickens. Dixie was the Queen of herding that day. She just seemed to naturally know what to do. She looked like one of those sheep herding dogs. Dixie was just wonderful to watch that day.

The chickens were rounded up... thanks to Dixie. The door was nailed shut until the storm passed and we made it indoors before the heavy rains hit.

Dixie was a wonder companion. As you can tell by the picture... Dixie was my dog most of the time. She was usually not far from me. She was a cherished member of our family for eight years.

Back in the 1960's, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources stocked Burmese chickens all over the state as an additional game bird to be hunted like pheasant or quail.

Flocks of chicks were released several miles from Fitzgerald at the Ocmulgee River. Populations of the bird never took hold in other areas of the state, but for some reason, they left the river site and made their way to downtown Fitzgerald, where they have propagated and prospered ever since!.

There are a few of the chickens here in Albany. A few living in my neighborhood as a matter of fact. But is nothing like the population of them in Fitzgerald.

Every year Fitzgerald Gerogia has a festival to celebrate the Burmese Chicken. It will take place this Saturday, March 21. Follow this link for more information: Fitzgerald Wild Chicken Festival .


It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! -- Mark Twain


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Frank - Fire Ants

Today was Frank's appointment with the oncologist surgeon. He said he wants to remove the tube a little at a time. So today the doctor deadened around the tube entrance and pulled a bit of the tube out and resutured. Frank got a bit shocky, but made it through all right. Another CT scan next Monday afternoon. Frank said his body is going to be lighting up soon from all the radiation.

I decided to heat a couple of Healthy Choice dinners in the oven instead of the microwave for our dinner today. I have to wait an hour after taking carafate to eat, so I had the time. I think the dinners taste a bit better in the oven than microwave. I'm not real fond of them though. Do y'all have a favorite frozen dinner or entree you like? I do freeze leftovers for times when I don't want to cook or there is no time to cook.

After dinner I went out and put poison on the fire ant mounds. They are easy to spot after a good rain. I don't think I've ever seen so many fire ant mounds in the yard. Frank normally does this job. Sometimes I feel all we do is move the fire ants just a few feet.

The red fire ant was accidentally introduced into the United States in 1929, when a cargo ship that had used soil as ballast arrived in Mobile, Alabama from South America. They initially spread throughout Alabama and Florida, but it did not take them long to invade twelve of our southeastern states and Puerto Rico. In recent years, the fire ant has spread as far west as California and as far north as Kansas and Maryland. Today the fire ant habitat in the USA covers 300 million acres and it is growing all the time.

Fire ants like to make their mounds in open areas, but they do make them in flower beds and next to trees. They have killed some of our plants. They mostly feed on young plants, seeds, and sometimes crickets. They will eat most anything though... just like a vulture.

Fire ants are very organized. Each ant has a job to do.... from old to young.

Young fireants help the queen deliver her eggs and tend to the larvae.

Tunnel diggers dig new tunnels as the population grows, making room for increased traffic and new rooms for eggs and larvae.

Guard fire ants stay near the entrance of the mound, blocking strangers from entering.

Winged male and female fire ants go on mating flights in the spring and summer and start new colonies. Shortly after mating, the male dies and the female becomes a queen. She flies anywhere from 100 feet to 10 miles to start a new colony.

And foragers, the oldest of the colony, search for food.

Below is a picture of a fire ant. I did not take the picture. I try not to get that close to them.... but maybe sometime I'll try with a zoom lens. Their bite is very hurtful. If you ever step in a mound of them you can quiet the burning with straight chlorine bleach (or keep a bottle of half water half bleach... I usually just grab the bleach bottle from the laundry room and then I rinse the bleach off.) If you you have an allergic reaction take benadryl (use an epi-pen if you have one) and go to the emergency room if the reaction is severe.

Ashburn Georgia, a town about fifty miles east of us embraces the fire ant and has a Fire Ant Festival every year. The dates of the Festival are the evening of March 27th, and all day on March 28th, 2009. For more information on this festival go to Fire Ant Festival. They have a lot of good, fun activities. I've never been able to go... something always happens :-(


Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. -- Proverbs 6:6


Monday, March 16, 2009

Frog - Rainy Day Memories

So far we have had about an inch and a half of much needed rain. It has been the good kind of rain for the most part... the kind that has time to soak in. My chives look like they have grown six inches. The potato leaves have popped up in the garden pretty good. The carrot leaves are looking a lot like my hair :-D

The rain made me think of tree frogs. I think this one is a squirrel tree frog. It was sitting on one of the elephant ear plant leaves last year. I blew the focus on this one, so I tried to turn it into art :-D For a larger view right click on the picture and open in a new window or tab.

Rainy days bring back childhood memories. On rainy days we played card games. We played Smut, Gin Rummy, Spades, Spoons and War. There was a game we played with two decks of cards, but the name is not to be found in my brain today :-D We sometimes played Match-Game with the cards too.

We played a lot of Monopoly. I don't think we ever played by the rules. We played checkers and on the flip side was Backgammon, but I never got the hang of that game. Do you remember Chinese Checkers? That one was fun too. There were more board games... Clue and Casino Royale and a few I can't remember the name of.

When my sister and I were younger in age we would sometimes play bowling on the front porch... plastic milk bottle pins and plastic bowling balls. As we bowled and heard thunder in the distance we would recall the story of Rip Van Winkle and say that it was Rip Van Winkle up there bowling.

We did sometimes play in our rooms with our dolls and tea set. My sister and I also played jacks. My three brothers played with their soldiers and cowboy and indians in their room... yep five children divided amongst two very small bedrooms. My brothers were in really close quarters. The only times we were allowed to play in our rooms were when it was raining. Everything was put away before time to get ready for bed.

We also did jigsaw puzzles and crossword puzzles together. Sometimes we looked up crossword clues in our Funk & Wagnall encyclopedia set that we collected from the A&P grocery store. We also had a huge Webster dictionary... real thick and probably weighed in at 5 lbs. I think the pages of it were collected from one of the grocery stores too.

Now didn't me and my siblings have a great time on rainy days...

If you hold a four-leaf shamrock in your left hand at dawn on St. Patrick's Day you get what you want very much but haven't wished for. -- Patricia Lynch