Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Althea's Question of the Day : Why Did You Crack The Egg

Baking Cookies today, pumpkin sugar cookies with green sprinkles and pumpkin white chocolate for the adults... as I cracked an egg into a bowl I heard a little voice ask "why did you crack the egg?" Suddenly we are having a discussion with a 2 year old about baby birds, baby eggs and nests... needless to say after 10 minutes it became clear we would never convince her there weren't baby chickens in the eggs... this explains her sudden dislike of scrambled eggs.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Up Stairs Down Stairs - I'll Take the Elevator

I'm not much on climbing stairs, or mountains heck not even the bleachers at the football game. It's not the climbing part that bothers me, its the view from the top and the trip down!

As a long sufferer of vertigo you won't find me off the ground much of the time; however I have made several treks skyward this year with the help of my loving and understanding family.

Back in late winter as I was visiting my son Andrew and his wife Julie in Alabama we took a trip by The Vulcan that has stood guard over Birmingham for generations. As a young child we always drove by on our way home for family reunions or vacations and Andrew and Julie thought I'd enjoy seeing its new home and the museum. They were wonderful.

When I found out there was an elevator that took you too the top with a short bridge I thought okay I'll give it a shot... noone told me it was open gridwork and although I did cross over it I wasn't too happy doing so.

Andrew and Julie

The Vulcan tower and the elevator with bridge.

Skyline of Birmingham AL

The bridge we had to cross and the Vulcan with sun behind.

My next trip skyward was not so bad and I am proud to say I made it half way up the 129 steps of the Saint Simon Georgia lighthouse before the heat of Summer and the fear of climbing any higher grounded me on the second landing... I didn't mind waiting for the rest of my family to make the climb as I had a beautiful view and a some what cool breeze through the small window.

When Dorie (who climbed all the way up and down on her own) came out of the door she told me her legs felt "weird", I bet they did....

The Saint Simon Light
Saint Simon Georgia

View from first landing... so I climbed some more.

View from second landing... my resting place.

Dorie and Althea in front of the light.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Summer Vacation Part II Saint Simons Island

Warning! Saint Simons is addicting... if you've never been and you have a few days it is well worth a trip. Our granddaughters, Althea and Dorie fell in love with it at first sight and two months later are still talking about the lighthouse and the beach. I look forward to making a trip there every year to explore old favorites and discover new places of interest.

Dorie and Althea in front of the lighthouse.

A view from the second window of the lighthouse.
 I made it this far and stopped but Dorie, Althea, Frank and Becki made it to the top.
When they came down Dorie said her legs felt weird - I bet they did!

The light at Saint Simons.

The girls trying on sailor caps at the Coast Guard Museum.

 Althea under an ancient Live Oak at the waterfront park.

Dorie, she looks so much like her mom in this photo.

Becki and Dorie just chillin.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Summer Vacation Part I

I have missed blogging; I have tons of stories and photos piled up around me and just have not had the time to share them. Finally fall is here, kids are back to school and the heat is slowly, very slowly leaving us here in the South.

I had the wonderful experience of spending two long weekends back to back with my granddaughters Althea and Dorie along with Althea's mom Becki and my husband Frank this summer.

Our first trip took us girls to the upper state where we stayed at the cabin, spent time at the lake watching fireworks, visiting Hollywild a animal preseve for retired show animals and getting back to nature.

Along the way we stopped for photos with the Turkeys in Edgefield SC and some beautiful topiaries in Greenwood, SC.... hope you enjoy the photos as much as we did our little trip.

Dorie and Althea with Tom

 Dorie and the Dinosauer

 Feeding the baby goats

 Feeding a Water Buffalo

 Beautiful Fallow Deer

 Mother Zebra and her baby Zedonk

Blowing Bubbles


Waiting for the fireworks to begin....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

FMTSO - Fishing


I grew up fishing with my dad...

Most weekends of my youth were spent at a creek or river in North Florida fishing for Bream but often we would head to the pier on the beach and fish for Red Fish and whatever else we could catch.

Growing up on the Gulf of Mexico we had our pick of what to fish for and fish was a staple of our diet.

 (Buoy from our time in Maine)

I was taught at an early age that respect for the land, water and catch were a priority and we were always encouraged to leave a spot cleaner than how we found it.

(The dunes at Port St Joe on the Gulf of Mexico)


My dad not only taught us how to bait a hook, but how to remove the same hook in a humane way. We always cleaned our catch and never wasted a fish that we caught.

(Crappie we sent back to  his Momma.)

I can honestly say I was a fair angler on land but I never developed my sea legs... Sadly I grew up in a family that owned a 30-40 foot cabin cruiser and no trip to Boca Grande was complete without a trip on the open ocean. I spent more time chumming than I ever did fishing and was quite glad when my grandfather finally sold the last boat. I have found that I can tolerate fishing out on the lake as long is the water is calm but still don’t do open water.

(Fish basket holding the catch of the day...)

In 1979 I met a young man whom I later married. To say he was a fisherman does not come close… many of our dates were spent at the local lake in Barnwell, SC and I still treasure those few times we are able to get away from it all and fish.

Some times I fish, many times I take a book or better yet my camera and I enjoy the day, the catch and the quite time.

(Frank again, on the dock at Fair Play and in the boat at Hi-Ki Pen.)

All our children fish or have fished at some point in their lives, we were known to pack the play pen and 3 toddlers up and head out to the lake or even for a weekend trip camping and fishing somewhere… nearly 3 decades later we find our selves doing the same thing...

(Dorie's first catch.)

(Althea in her fishing hat!)

Some of them have kept up the tradition with their families and although Becki does not camp or fish, her daughter Althea is a born angler. At 2 years old she already knows how to hold a rod and cast it and loves fishing from the bank with Dorie and their Papa.

(Fishing on the bank with Papa.)

My dad would be proud....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Out of The Office

So, for those of you who follow my blog I must say I am sorry as I have been away from it and the computer for way too long. Family emergencies have kept me busy...

Miss Althea cutting her finger on a can of green beans sent us to the doctor for liquid stitches and bandages and then Miss Dorie decided she was going to scare 10 good years off my life and her mothers too when she woke up last week and was paralyzed from the waist down... 

She is all better now but had what they call Tick Paralysis and gave us all a really good scare. Thanks to all those involved in her care at Barnwell County Hospital and MCG Children's; we couldn't have asked for better staff at both places.

I am ready to get back in the swing of things starting with this week's FMTSO - Fishing!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Floral Findings - FMTSO

Field of Wild Verbena near our home

I remember as a child watching my mother plant seeds she had ordered from a catalog... the thought of seeing a green flower filled me with hope and wonder. My brother Brad, our mom and I waited for those first little buds to open and to our surprise, yes they were green. Those little green Zinnias sparked something in me and from that moment I was hooked on flowers.

My love for flowers and plants grew as I was just getting ready to leave high school; finding myself needing a class and seeing nothing I wanted to really take I followed the advice of my younger brother and signed up for a class in agriculture. Under the guidance of Mr. Christmas and Mr. Myers I learned about many things, cattle, various types of seeds, insects and soil judging to name a few. That same year our dad built my brother and I a small greenhouse and we grew seedlings to sell to the public.

My father also Roses throughout his life and I never see a yellow rose that I don't think of him... as a farewell tribute we covered his casket with a spray of the most beautiful yellow roses I've ever seen; years later our florist said that it took her 3 calls to find enough to fill the order but she loved our dad so much she wouldn't give up. I have a piece of an old climber that he moved 4 times to where it now sits at the side of our house and I treasure its scent and the memories it evokes when I see and smell it.

Our yard is blessed with flowers from various family members, some of them long gone such as my parents and my grandparents. Crinum lilies that were moved 30 years ago from Florida, Wild Violets and Four o clocks, Iris and day lilies. Then there are those that the birds gave us such as the beautiful Pear tree and a Magnolia in the front yard.

I carry not only my camera, field guide and seed collecting kit in my car when I travel, but a small bucket and shovel as well because you just never know what you can collect on the side of the road. I have saved Jonquils, Lilies, Butterfly-weed and more from a cruel death by a piece of road equipment and given them a new home in my yard.

And although my yard seems full and overcrowded at times (think Cottage Gone Wild) I always seem to find room for more...

Our one and only Azalea

Apple Tree Blossom
We planted this the Spring my mother died... I remember her singing that old song...
Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree...

Queen Anne's Lace
Bought from the local Garden Club

One of MANY of the Violets that bloom in our yard each Spring

An Apple Shrub/Sweet Shrub I found blooming in the South Carolina Mountains

A native Azalea I found in Fair Play SC at Carolina Landing

Althea in her flowered Easter dress holding one of my Daisies she just picked

Dorie holding one of the largest Dogwood blossoms I've ever seen, we found this specimen
at Issaqueena Falls near Walhalla, SC

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Change is Good

I keep telling myself this as I order new carpet and shudder at the price; clean out my cupboards and streamline my baking/cooking collection of pans, pots, etc; and redesign my blog... which has been the hardest, lol.

I have now spent 45 minutes changing background, templates, colors, etc and well I hope you like it. I believe it reflects what I am attempting to find - a simpler, calmer me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Taken by Daddy way back when... Brad, Momma & Me 1966

I adored my mom growing up, she was a wonderful mother and although we fought quite a bit when I became a teenager I am thankful that we became friends later in life.

Mom, in the "early years" was June Cleaver times 10! Not only did she help with Brownies and Cub Scouts but she was the President of our PTA. She did all this while going back to college at the old age of 40 and graduated at 42. Oh I forgot she was already a grandma by this time too.

Long before Craig was born she was Granny Jean to the neighborhood kids who always seemed to be at our house which was always open. She made cookies, decorated Easter Trees and Christmas Trees with candy and homemade goodies so the kids could grab something when they came by.

Even as we became teenagers she kept traditions going and added new ones... several years she took groups of us girls and the boys (Brad and Steve) camping at Fore Lake during Spring Break. I cannot imagine doing so but she loved it and we all loved her.

As I grew older and married she adopted Frank and I thought at times she loved him more than she did me :) She was a proud and loving Granny to my three children and we still talk about Granny 13 years after her death, sometimes with pain and tears and others laughing at her many antics through the years.

She was an avid reader, loved Days of Our Lives and had the wander lust of travel which she passed down to me! Not only did she travel to Europe several times, she also took numerous cruises and trips across America has Brad, Frank and I were often lonely and sent for her to come visit us as we were away from home working. She also loved flowers and was either ordering from some catalog or trading with friends; my yard is filled with her many prizes and Spring always brings me joy as the plants she loved so much remind me that she is always with us.

As I look at my daughters Beth and Becki, both who are young mothers I can see my mom in them and their girls... time goes on and now I'm the Granny!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

FMTSO - Earth Day

Earth Day brings back memories of high school where we celebrated big with music and picnic lunches outside. Games and gossip, friends, sunburn and of course the message of saving the Earth.

As a child of the late seventies and being a some-what hippy turned tree hugger I love Earth Day and the thought that we can and should save the world. Dorie talked about Earth Day all week and I loved it and am glad that she is being taught at such an early age about our natural world. She is in the photo to your right planting Pumpkin seeds with her Papa.

I am often found telling fellow humans that we (mankind) were an afterthought and placed here to enjoy what God made before us, plants, animals, sea and land and it is up to us to protect it.

Hope you enjoy these photos that were taken in and around Fair Play, SC were I just spent 3 lovely, quite weeks visting my hubby who was working in the area.