Good Will Bunting. Rutledge, Georgia.

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Memorial Day 2015.

I’ve got my bunting on. Have you?
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This is a photo from my porch.

Yesterday, I was riding my bike through nearby Rutledge and took note of all the bunting displayed.

This would make the perfect blog post. Timely, local and easy. 

If you want to know the unvarnished truth coating the mind of a busy person who blogs. That’s it.

So I rode down there today to capture patriotism for you this Memorial Day weekend. After perusing the vegetable transplants at the hardware store, I headed onward deep into the heart of downtown Rutledge.

 

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The stop can.

 

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Yes, fiddling with my filters, hopping in and out of my car.

 

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I witnessed a quiet town’s patriotism.

 

 

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Birds chirping and cars passing by on the way to other places. Other spaces.

I’m afraid that my first thought on Memorial Day is yay the motorcycles will pass the house and it will be summer!

But with the passage of time, the more I reflect on the young soldiers who never had another hot dog or waved a flag as floats ferried past on a parade route.

 

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Those who never again watched the joy of a child playing in a sprinkler’s spray.

Never got another chance for ice cream at The Caboose.

 

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Never again played hide-and-peek with a ballon.
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Or had a chance to draft an easy peasy Memorial Day blog post.

Nothing else to say but thank you.

Thank you so very much.

Who Moved Ireland?

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It’s 10 a.m. on a Tuesday. Do you know where Ireland is?

 

I’ve got a pretty good sense of direction.

If I’m sitting in a spot with a vague point of reference, I can easily point north, south, east or west. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Just did it.

I also absorb a lot of useless trivia — geographical tidbits included. So I clean up in Trivia Crack Geography.

 

Yet once every decade, I get thrown a terrestrial curve ball. A few years ago, it was Costa Rica.

Which I thought was an island floating somewhere in the Caribbean. BTW. I know that islands don’t float. That they are attached to the earth’s crust. Or at least I hope they are.

Costa Rica is not one of them. It’s in the Central American chain of countries. I learned that from a Facebook post from one of my son’s friends. A young woman who happened to be valedictorian of their high school class.

I bet she knows where Ireland migrated.

You see my son is over in England studying. So like a good mum, I pulled up a map to see where Manchester is in the United Kingdom. That’s when I saw this.

 

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Ireland spooning the western coast of England.

You can see the outline of how long, long ago in a galaxy far, far way Ireland nestled into Liverpool. How Dublin and Manchester must have smooched all cozy in their down English before-the-dawn-of-time bed.

Then there must have been some major lovers’ spat or Church battle or something.

Crazy. Ireland broke off and moved to the left side of the trundle.

Who knew?

Last time I checked Ireland was up here. Sitting there like a soccer ball ready to be eaten by the Scottish dragon.

 

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When did it get coughed up like a giant hairball/fireball and land way over here?

 

 

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Obviously, I need to get out more.

This was not intended to indict the Orange County School District circa 1970s.

So what’s the purpose of this post, other than to question my superior ranking in Trivia Crack Geography?

Well, my son is over there to the east of Ireland (rather than to the south of Ireland) and that makes me happy. That I know where he is.

And where all the Irish people are.

Where they have been for quite a while it seems.

Wonder if the dark side of the moon is really the   . . .???

Am I the only one that missed Ireland’s move?

 

I’m Not Strong on Pinterest for Pest Control.

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Don’t ask me to choose between going all summer without sex or without a squash casserole.

That would be a poser indeed.

Waking up countless times the other night, the same image was in my head.

A squash vine with a borer hole.

Since I’ve been preoccupied with keeping borers from decimating my squash this year, I assumed that was the reason behind the dreams.

Then I read about bugs in dreams how that means something’s worrying you. And vegetables in dreams, spiritual nourishment. Of course there could be a sexual connotation to bugs (they might represent sexual thoughts) and squash (fertility and abundance.)

All I want is a squash casserole this summer.

Or maybe I am subconsciously chewing the cud of withered fertility, Sahara sexuality and something drilling holes in large green fertile vines.

Really all I think I want is a squash casserole.

 

Last year those d@nm bugs, left me with one yellow squash and about five zucchini.

Six squash. All summer.

Honestly, if I hadn’t witnessed it myself, I wouldn’t have thought it possible. My June usually consists of carting supermarket bags of squash all over town — to people who are too kind to say they have their own car full of supermarket bags of squash they are carting around town to give away.

Not last year. Nothing.

Annie at our local extension office was most helpful and forwarded me information on organic control of vine borers. One of the suggestions from a well-known university was to make aluminum foil barriers around the base of the plant — or something like that.

I’m not strong on Pinterest ideas for pest control. I’d just want to spray the cr@p out of something and be done with it.

Here is a nice healthy zucchini.

 

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I started inspecting the green fellow like I’d opened up a preschooler’s book bag and discovered a note heralding there’s a slight case of lice in the class.

 

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What is this? An egg?

Whatever it was, it is no more. Crushed between my fingers like a wee beastie should be.

It probably was nothing. From what I’ve read the borers don’t come out till later in the process right after the blossoms. Or is it right before the blossoms?

Well, that’s the state of my squash and of my dreams.

I really started this post with the intention of asking advice for rabbit control.

So . . .

Off to check my traps for any collected coyote teeter for my Pinterest post on rabbit control . . .

 

Any advice on the squash?

Ten Things Thankful for my mom. Who looks 44.

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Ten Things Thankful about my dear mother.

I can’t just dive headfirst into this post without saying my mother and I are very different in some ways.

She came out with a T-Square clutched in her bitty fist.

I hyperventilate at the thought of having to draw a straight line. Now I love to draw, but the thought of having to draw anything precise sends me searching for a brown paper bag.

Sooo.

Ten Things Thankful about my Dear Mom:

 

10.   So thankful  you stopped asking when I was going to host coffees.

 

9.      That you used your powers for good and wallpapered countless walls, in countless of my houses. Painted countless cabinets and helped me clean out all my cr@p when asked. Though my albums were not such items. Nor did they need to be donated to the Orlando Rescue Mission to hang on the wall of some other midlife crazy woman and not mine.

Jesus says to forgive and I have.

 

8.    Jesus. You always took me to church and modeled faith.

 

7.   Let it go. You can’t let things go, but darn it. I love you for saying that you can.

 

6.   Can I let things go? Seems I have a little problem about you asking if I’ve hosted any coffees or the owner of my complete ZZTOP and Gap Band LP collection.

 

 

5.  Thankful that you were the best mom in the history of moms in cleaning up throw up.

For that I am in awe.

 

4.   You were the best mom at ignoring my mess and let me super glue pictures of Carlton Fisk, Affirmed and Rod Stewart to my walls. My room was papered from ceiling to floor in everyone from Bucky Dent to Ron Guidry — heck, I’m sure Bruce Jenner was up there. This collage of cr@p must have killed you.

 

3.  Thankful that you held it together when I got crazy bit by our dog when I was 12. All the surgeries that took. As a mom now, I admire how strong you were.

 

2.  That you stopped making my clothes when I got to junior high. #thankGod.

 

1.  That you were always there. To clean up vomit, make fried chicken on my birthday and field those sobbing calls from college when whats-his-name would break up with me for the 1,00000,001,0002.5  time.

 

You are such a strong woman. You need to relax at bit –– but you are the best.

And look 44.

 

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Ten Things of Thankful

How Old Do I Look? Apparently, an average of 74.

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As if I didn’t need another colossal time waster in my life?

Today was the day to start training for a summer Half Century ride. A mile down the road,  something was wrong. Stopped at a friend’s house and he saw I had a broken spoke on the rear wheel.

Came home and ate a bunch of pretzels slathered in peanut butter.

That drove me to my newest brain freeze — the How Old Do I Look site.

Have you heard about this? You upload a photo and it tells you how old you look.

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I scratched out my friends’ ages because it didn’t seem fair to post without asking them. And I certainly wasn’t wasting more time getting them to sign media image releases.

Their ages were decade younger than mine anyway, promise.

It got even better.

Kim and I at a birthday party.

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Kim and I at a football game. BTW Kimmie, you were in your 30s. 

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So I then spent more time looking for pictures where I didn’t look 10 years older than I was.

Two hours later . . .

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It seemed like 34 is about as young as I’m going to look according to Microsoft.

Nope.

I didn’t get my bike ride in.

I didn’t get my 2000 words on my first draft written.

But I guess I got a blog post done, filed it under a new tag — Vanity and hopefully got this silliness out of my system.

Going outside to the garden and be productive after quick selfie and see old I look before I’m productive.

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78 and male.

I bet I hit 80 — sex to be determined — before 9 p.m, no sweat.

Have you tried this thing?

 

 

Strengthening Your Immune System — fortifying the body’s healer.

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One of the great things about having this blog is letting folks know about interesting happenings — globally or locally.

Next Thursday evening, May 7 at 6:30, Strengthening Your Immune System will be one of those events.

Most of us around these parts know and love Drs. Elise Faust and Vince Campbell through their chiropractic practice, Madison Family Chiropractors.

The immunity workshop is the brain baby of Dr. Elise and will be held at her Madison office. RSVP 706-342-7115.

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I have been a regular visitor to Elise since early fall — and it has changed my life. As a runner for over thirty years, I had accepted pain as part of the aging runner package. I still have aches and squirrelly knee, but everything is so much better especially, my neck and back pain. I would not exaggerate about something this important.

When I heard that Elise was planning a holistic immunity workshop, I welcomed the opportunity to help spread the word.

The evening is geared to parents of children, though Elise said, “The talk will be focused on caring for children but really children of all ages.” She will discuss common sicknesses and ailments and how to address them with food and herbs, and other tools. And strengthening the body before it becomes sick. Heck yeah.

 

 

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I remember those mommy, early childhood years. Constant runny noses, ear infections, sore throats. And that was just meMy oldest caught every stomach bug known to humankind and then some undiscovered Amazonian types.

In discussing ways to strengthen the immune system, Elise hopes to empower parents. “The only option people (especially mothers) feel they have is to do the pharmaceutical route.”

Strengthening Your Immune System will outline:

* How the body self regulates and self heals.

* How symptoms speak to us, and how we don’t listen.

*  Food, herbs, supplements, essential oils, chiropractic and acupuncture — and other things available to help the body heal. All things that are respectful of the body, have no side effects and help strengthen the body and fight off recurrent, chronic aliments.

Elise has two grown daughters, a child bride that girl. She raised her daughters practicing this healing mind, body and spirit lifestyle. And they are gorgeous, strong, intelligent women (like their mom). 

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A chiropractic and nutrition/wellness counselor for over 19 years, Elise is currently finishing a program on Ayurvedic Wellness. A manner of healing focused on food, herbs and lifestyle to create health, vitality and wellness.

At this point in her life journey, Elise feels led to share her knowledge with the next generation of mothers.

Mark your calendars. Thursday, May 7 at 6:30. The program will last an hour and a half and there will be handouts to take home. So please RSVP : 706-342-7115.

Strengthening Your Immune System. Expand your mind about the body. How physical, intellect, emotions and spirit weave together.

Call Elise today and let her know you’ll be there.

Besides, she is such a cool lady. You’ll thank me just for getting to know her.

Yeah, you most certainly will.

 

Fine Arts Extravaganza. One performance, 600 performers. Yeah.

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If you live in Morgan County, if you live anywhere remotely near Morgan County —

You don’t want to miss this.

 

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Tuesday night, April 28 at 7 p.m. the MCHS gym will be transformed into a theatrical venue for a Patriotic Fine Arts Extravaganza featuring over 600 Morgan County students grades PreK – 12.

Karisa Seymour, Morgan County Middle School Band Director, came up with the ambitious idea after seeing a event by an Avon, Indiana student fine arts program. “This performance has been in the works for over a year,” said Seymour. “It’s designed to showcase the outstanding work being taught every day in the four Morgan County schools.”

The patriotic Extravaganza will feature Pre-K through 12th grade performances including: Middle and High School Bands, Chorus, Dance, Drama, Art, R.O.T.C. and Color Guard. Special lighting and sound will transform the gym into a theatrical venue. A prism performance allows for seamless transitions without waiting for performer or set changes. One act flows into the next with entertainment positioned around the venue. A dramatic monologue might follow a swinging jazz quartet, which leads into lyrical dance. Student art banners will serve as backdrops enhancing the red, white and blue theme.

The high caliber of the system wide fine art instruction and programming not only enriches student life, it brings recognition to the schools and profits the community as a whole. MCMS Art Teacher Marjean Meadow pointed out that many Morgan County students go on to fine arts studies at the collegiate level earning degrees in all areas of: theater, dance, music, graphic and studio arts, voice, art education and architecture — just to name a few. As for long-reaching effects of the Extravaganza, Seymour hopes a dreamed-for performing art center would come a little closer to reality. “Having a state-of-the-art performing arts center would not only benefit the student population, it would allow us to bring in other quality performing and visual arts for the entire community.”

See you there!

Okay, maybe I won’t actually see you there because there are gonna be a TON of folks.

Get there early. Not like 6 a.m. early, but you can figure it out.

 

 

Do all cats go to heaven?

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I’ve been wondering about cats and death this week. We decided to end our Oreo’s suffering on Tuesday.

Oreo. The cat my daughter slept with every night the last eight years. For as long as I can remember she would periodically announce, “When Oreo dies, I’m taking a week off of school, you know.” And there was the time, we almost lost him in the spin cycle.

I’ve read that adoptees often develop intense feelings for animals. Pets filling that bottomless unconditional love tank.

So I was worried about our daughter when it became clear that cancer was so entrenched in Oreo’s neck, he could neither eat or drink without suffering.

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Oreo and Hannie in January before he got so very, very sick.

Tuesday, leaving the vet with Hannie in tears and Oreo at rest, taking one final ride home, I said I’d take care of burying him and go pick out a plant to place over his grave like our vet had suggested.

I decided to bury Oreo by the garden fence and bought a climbing rose which hopefully gravitates to the wire.

* * *

I missed the ornery furry cuss myself and had shed a few tears.

I wondered about our other pets. Our dog and cat, Daisy, must realize something is up?

Daisy had to have known how sick Oreo was — did she wonder why he disappeared?

Yesterday out tilling up my garden plot to plant tomatoes, peppers and squash, I saw this.

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Daisy had been hanging out by me, then I realized she was on top of the spot I buried Oreo.

Yes, there’s the rose bush and the rocks I’d gathered around the new plant, not so much to enshrine the grave but more to keep someone from mowing the rose down. That kind of stuff seems to happen around here.

 

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The rest of the afternoon, Daisy came back to that spot and lounged.

 

 

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I can’t help but wonder if she knows that’s where her buddy is?

Thoughts?

 

Linking up with the Finish the Sentence Friday gang.

Today’s prompt: I wonder  . . .

Finish the Sentence Friday

To-do Lists. It’s in the 3×5 cards.

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This was me last Saturday.

 

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I debated whether to post this pic. Full disclosure — In cropping out my thighs, my beer also disappeared from the photo where it rested a few inches from my left arm.

This is what I do well. Sit in the sun while reading. A reformed magazine-o-holic, my mother brings me all hers and the few I do get pile up. Then when I get away, I binge read Good Housekeeping, SELF, Oprah, Country Living, Southern Living — the assorted Anything Living magazines.

Part of me likes to think it helps me write a smidge better since I write for print. How other writer’s handle interviews and home redo stories interest me.

The other part of me likes to veg. Check out. And a good magazine helps.

When I see a recipe, self help or house idea I like I rip the page out old school as in the days before Pinterest.

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Like this article on to-do lists in Martha Stewart’s Living. Which is ironic to me, since every issue of her magazine can be considered one big TO DO.

Martha Stewart does. And she does whatever she does well. Dang, she even did her stint in prison better than I did some 5-year-old birthday parties.

Not that I don’t try with the to-dos.

 

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Just like the beer was in my wingspan out by the pool, this stack of 3 x 5 cards stays at my right elbow on my desk.

I recently purged the piles on my desk but that said, these were the to-do cards I found scattered about his morning.

 

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Just looking at the photo, I can already tell the chance of that swim happening are about nil.

Also the write for an hour. On my book. That needs to become a priority and here I blog.

The Living article stated the point of writing things down is to get them off our minds. To make things less overwhelming.

It also said to find a system that works for you. I need visual reminders or I run to the brightest, flashiest object and forget the dull, yet extremely important task — like pay the water bill before it gets shut off. Who remembers that stuff when there are posts to write and seeds to sow?

There are the tasks, I move from day to day. Mail off my racing medals to Medals-for-Mettle. And tasks that don’t seem pressing but need to get done or it will be too late, like putting in my summer garden.

Am starting to get a little antsy because I need to draft a column for magazine. That needs to get done today. But so does a trip to the bank, and dinner and I want to pick strawberries with the kids this week they are out of school.

The article promises to help us “get control of our to-do list — rather than the other way around.”

I’m not sure that applies to me. How can I be controlled by a list when so much is left undone each day? The only thing it controls is my stress level by causing it to skyrocket.

What about you and to-do lists? Help.

 

The Perfect Glass of Sweet Tea.

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Dolly Parton called sweet tea ‘the house wine of the South” in the movie Steel Magnolias. 

Just between you and me and a box of Tetley, when I came on the scene, my mother was a iced tea sweetened with Sweet-n-Low drinker. Therefore I became same.

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It wasn’t till a couple of summers ago writing a piece for local magazine — that I began to question why had my South Georgia momma sweetened iced tea with Sweet-n-Low? For in researching my story, seemed like everyone else with a South, North, East or West Georgia momma had a pitcher of sweet tea in their refrigerator.

In talking to my mom when writing the earlier piece, I learned that my maternal grandmother did have a pitcher of sweet tea in their fridge, but that my mother — when pregnant with me in the 1960s — turned to Sweet-n-Low to save calories.

In the 60s, doctors told women to gain only 6 ounces during pregnancy. Thank you 1960s obstetrics. You are why I grew up deprived in the iced tea department.

I had to learn the ways of sweet tea from my friends.

*  The brand of tea is important. (Though depending on who you talk to, the best kind changes like Falcons fans after a loss.)

*  Color is important.

*  Clarity is important.

Yes, it sounds like we are talking about diamonds.

Wanting to give up soft drinks, I started making sweet tea that summer and was baptized in beauty of steeped tea leaves.

I picked up a few things from my sources for that article that have grafted their way into my sweet tea mystique.

Heather — Tetley is king. Therefore I use Tetley. And this is the only reason I use Tetley, because Heather says it is smooth. Not sure what smooth means to tea but it seems to be an important factor.

Bob — Bob was big on clarity. Therefore I always look to see just how clear a batch is. Some people say a pinch of baking soda is the key to transparent tea.

Mom — Talked about the color of her mother’s, my grandmother’s, tea: Amber. I know. Sounds like a exotic dancer, but it’s a color you strive for in tea. Not sure exactly what Amber tea is but as Justice Stewart said about hard-core pornography in Jacobellis v. Ohio, “I know it when I see it.”

You just know if your tea is the right color.

Pam — I have Pam to thank for the half sweet/half unsweet rule. She grew up with sweet tea in the fridge as did all my sources, but now she cuts it in half.

That’s what I do. I order it way in restaurants. Fix it that way at convenience stores. And in my home.

It still tastes plenty sweet for me and saves a few calories.

Today was the day to make the first sweet tea of the season.

I dug out my two pitchers and fixed me a glass.

I use a recipe from Allrecipes. It’s pretty standard operating procedure from listening to all my sources and it works for me.

First, put the kettle on.

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Have your pitchers waiting with six tea bags. You can put a pinch of baking soda in the bottom.

When the water boils, pour two cups on the bags and let steep 15 minutes.

Once that is done — you are almost there.

Take out the tea bags, stir in 3/4 sugar in the sweet tea container.

Then put six cups cold water into the concentrate in both pitchers.

 

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Now that’s the color I’m talking about. Untouched photo, promise.

 

Then I poured half sweet and half unsweet.

 

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Cheers.

 

 

What about you?

Sweet or unsweet?

Any secrets to share . . . ?

 

 

 

 

 

           

           

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