Archive for August 2011
After enjoying our seaside dinner, we are eager to be at home with our furry charges.
The six o’clock feeding time will not go unnoticed by our pack of silken beasts! The food schedule is serious business. Any deviation from their feeding routine is a strike against us. To describe the expressions of both dismay mixed with delight on each of their faces is too complex for words. If you are lucky enough enjoy life with a canine friend, you know the look.
It is dusky as we merge with the on-ramp for I-16 that will lead us back to our cozy enclave and anxious pack mates. We are cruising along at the legal speed and only use the passing lane as needed to bypass a slower traveler, usually a big rig style truck.
With my appetite sated and the lulling sounds of the road in my ears, I slowly drift off to dreamland. Almost to my next dream, I jolt awake.
Andy is letting out a string of words in reference to another driver’s actions. I feel no need to repeat those words here just use your imagination.
Andy drives like an old man; no insult implied. I love his safety is no accident mind-set about all aspects of life.
While Andy is carefully passing a large freight liner fresh from the Port of Savannah, a vehicle appears to have magically affixed itself to our rear bumper. The car seems in a great hurry to destinations unknown. We cannot seem to get back over into the right lane quickly enough to please the little red box-shaped car.
The driver is frantic with the flashing of the bright lights almost blinding Andy in our mirrors. I try to discern why this guy is driving so erratically. He is most certainly en route to the hospital for a loved one is my best guess.
Andy merges into the right-lane on interstate 16 once past the cargo carrying truck. We realize the car is one of those Smart cars. You know, the eco-friendly, mega tiny and great on gas mileage kind of contraptions?
As the red cars pulls alongside us in the next lane, I sneak a look over at the driver. The expression on this big guys face is not the typical peaceful kind of look that I have assigned to people driving such eco-friendly automobiles.
I wonder if our gas-guzzling V-8 truck has sent him over the top? Or is he simply driving fast so the dashboard hula girl will wiggle faster? Whatever the reason, my concern about the safety of fellow travelers is reason enough to alert local authorities of Mr. Mad’s aggressive driving.
After Mr. Mad has just passed us, he whips his tiny tuna can car in front of us and kills his lights! My hospital theory about his speeding quickly dissipates. I am thinking of our well-being now several miles into this unfolding mystery of Mr. Mad. He is making hand gestures universally understood to imply ill intent. You know what I mean.
We are in shock. What the heck is Mr. Mad attempting to prove by driving so irresponsibly? Is he really Mr. Sad and has a death wish? We are discussing how to best disengage our interaction with the scary man in the little red car.
Instinctively, Andy decreases our speed in hopes of Mr. Mad taking his anger on up the highway. We realize that the irate man is not getting the hint as he slows down as well and turns back on his vehicles lights. The above picture is me trying to get a photo of the driver.
My camera is always close at hand. I grab it out of my tote. Focusing in on the license plate number of Mr. Mad’s car, I snap several clear photos. I also try to get a picture of his face with no luck.
For the third time in my life, I dial 911.
I explain to the 911 operator that my husband and I are suspicious of the driver in the red car. I describe how aggressive Mr. Mad is driving in detail. She takes down the plate numbers and county name from my photos to relay to law enforcement. She asks for our approximate place on the interstate for police dispatch. We are lucky to be passing a mile marker on an otherwise desolate stretch of highway for several more miles until the next exit.
As I am wrapping up my conversation with the 911 operator, our trucks gas light indicates the need for refueling. For the first time, I am happy to see that gas pump-shaped illumination appear. I see a green sign up ahead for the next filling station.
We can see the red car ahead playing the same crazed driving game with another truck. As we exit to refuel, I send positive energy to the poor people in the truck ahead of us. I hope no one is hurt by Mr. Mad in his tiny red death box. The little country store is a welcomed sight. Especially for my bladder, I have ‘you almost scared the piss out of me’ peeing to take care of ASAP!
With the gas tank full and our bladders empty, we are heading back up I-16 not wanting to encounter the livid driver in the red Smart car. It is already almost 10PM. We are
ready to be home with our dogs.
It is clear that the call to 911 is not ignored by those in charge of the highway patrol.
We begin to spot various forms of law enforcement vehicles stationed along the interstate. We feel certain Mr. Mad, in his Smart car, motivate other worried interstate drivers to call and echo our concerns for his lack of highway safety.
I hope he arrived safely to his destination without hurting anything but his gas mileage. I went to sleep wondering if he was just trying to scare himself by trying to scare other people or if he was on drugs.
Lesson: Driving a Smart car does not qualify said driver an intelligent person.
Having a business meeting in Savannah on Thursday afternoon meant we would be treating ourselves to a brief visit to Tybee Island. On the drive down to Savannah, there are a few drops of rain, but downtown is sunny and a slight breeze makes for a pleasant day.
We arrive promptly at three in the afternoon. Andy goes to meet with our client. The meeting should take less than an hour.
I will take advantage of this time to capture the shifting shadows that dance along with the sun’s movement in the sky across the structures of the city.
The historic district is host to a hot bed of unique photo ops.
My camera-eye is already searching for the first picture.
The above photo is the first Savannah pic of the day. It is something about the lines and the light that made me pause to take this picture. After snapping a few more photos, I get distracted by a flash of color. A red dress on display in the window of a chic boutique across the street causes me to pat my back pocket to check for the outline of my debit card.
I love the dress plus one more. The small retail space holds my attention until I receive a text from Andy asking for my location. The picture below was home to my new red dress. You should visit “from Savannah with love” next time in the downtown area.
With all the paper work in order and a few new dresses for my wardrobe, we head to the beach.
After stocking up on drinks and a few snacks, we head to Tybee Island. We give no thought to the storm brewing out at sea. The sun is shining and a steady breeze keeps us cool and the mosquitoes at bay.
We find access to public parking, pay for two hours of parking and race each other to the beach. We find more people on the beach than anticipated.
Kite surfing seems to be the sport of choice on this windy afternoon. After watching a few minutes, I decide to take pictures instead of trying a new sport. Maybe, I would venture into the ocean but not out too far. You can see my apprehension in the picture below.
As you can tell, the ocean scares me a bit. Andy encourages me to be brave and not be such a chicken. Well I try to; just look at the expression on my face! I will take pics of others in the water, but I do not enjoy being in the water. Call me a chicken; I don’t care. Besides, a storm is brewing and her name is Irene.
After a delightful dinner, I want to take a few more pics before we get back on the road to home. Below are just a few pics of a lovely sunset on Tybee Island, GA.
So, Friday evening I am emotionally drained. I fall asleep with ease knowing tomorrow is yard work day at Mrs. Jones house.
Usually I have to give myself a pep-talk before donning my work gloves to target all offending weeds or pine cones in the award-winning lawn. This Saturday is different.
Andy has the tough job of mowing, edging, weed-eating and running the leaf blower. He completes his duties without complaint. While I also fill all the bird feeders and plant the latest flowers of the season; I know I have the easy tasks.
I awake earlier Saturday morning not only to beat the oppressive humidity that Georgia so graciously offers in August; I am also eager to see Mrs. Jones greet me at the door!
We decide to take our oldest dog along for a visit. Mrs. Jones has a special cabinet full of doggie treats in her laundry room just waiting for Fishfood.
We arrive a little after 7am. Fish loves visiting with Mrs. Jones. Not only does she get to escape the madness of the pack at home, but also is lavished with love and treats from Mrs. Jones. I am not sure which derives more pleasure from the visits, Fish or Mrs. Jones. I think today we will call it a tie.
After getting the yard work finished, we sit on the porch underneath the cooling fans. As usual, Mrs. Jones offers us ice cream. Fish gets the frozen treat too. Ice cream is not kept in our house, but one this day, it tastes sweeter than normal because it came from Mrs. Jones.
Before we left, Mrs. Jones told us that she expected us to keep her napping schedule and yesterday’s excitement under wrap. And for love’s sake, we will.
And in a flash, I go from angry head-stew involving a financial twist kind of flavor into a feeling of desperation and worry about someone I love.
As I sat reading all the e-mails that had flown back and forth these past two weeks, my internal frustration is boiling over into plotting my tactics to secure the funds due to our business. A strange and scary place, for a person such as myself. I generally am a pretty level-headed person, but our most recent project pushed a button inside of me that I did know existed.
I surprised myself with the words that found their way from between my lips. Running a small business is intense, as well as, time consuming. My husband and I renovate homes. We learn something new every day from the inept work of those before us to the ingenious ideas of old not seen carried on into this new frontier. We enjoy fixing the broken home, as much as, converting an empty attic into usable space.
When starting our business, we brought a wealth of hands on experience of being a home medic. Just as our bodies serve to house the soul, a house’s main purpose is to protect those inside the dwelling from the elements. However, the business end of managing a successful small business are lessons hard-won. I say hard-won, because losing is not part of the equation. I have become aware that the hardest lessons learned; bring the highest yield in building a stronger business.
So, back to the to the point, as I sat creating new uses for bad words, I get a call from my husband. He expresses concern about Mrs. Jones, a client/Grandma.
Snap! In less than a second, I redirect my anger and frustration to valid concern for the well-being of our adopted Grandma.
He was working earlier in the morning on a small project in her living room and left to meet the realtor for the next project on work our calendar. Mrs. Jones gave the keys to him just in case she had already left for her Friday hair appointment at the beauty shop.
Upon return, her car is in the same place. But, Mrs. Jones does not respond to the ringing of the door bell, calling the land line phone or to the tapping on the windows.
Mrs. Jones is spry as an 80-year-old chicken should be. Although, she has had some recent health issues and takes 6 medications daily, she will keep you on your toes. She has trouble getting a good night’s rest is about the only complaint I have ever heard her utter.
She is at the local Lowe’s retail store as much as we. She tends to focus more on the garden department while, we are mostly in the building supply area. We do not often cross paths, but whatever she is purchasing we will be busy planting, replacing or completely redoing in the near future.
After, I attempt to reach her from my phone and get no response, I call Andy. We discuss the options at hand. We did not want to embarrass Mrs. Jones. After all, she most likely was getting ready to go to her appointment but after 30 minutes worry takes over the mind.
Getting into her house is like Fort Knox style security. She has so many locks affixed to her home and probably has locks to lock locks as well.
After breaching the first two locks, Andy realizes a key is missing to her storm door. I know right, who has two locks before a storm door…Mrs. Jones does. We are on the phone again discussing the next move. It is now 12:30 and Mrs. Jones always leaves at 1:30 to get to the beauty shop early to chat.
I have the awful scenarios playing out in my head not wanting any of them to be real. What if she fell in the shower? All the what if’s quickly turned to how to find a safe way inside to check on Grandma.
So, what would the paramedics do in this case? Breach the storm door of course to gain entrance to check on the welfare of Mrs. Jones. Andy found a screw driver to act as a makeshift key. With the door open, he unlocks the kitchen door. He calls out her name with no response. The living room is sealed off due to the project at hand.
An extra bedroom provided as a makeshift living room. The door is closed at the end of the hall. Her short hallway seems to grow into a mile long corridor as Andy, with his mind racing and heart pounding opens the door.
Mrs. Jones is lying on the bed with the television blaring in the fetal position. He watches to see if he can discern if she is breathing. Still unsure, he walks to the edge of her bed and puts his hand under her nose to hopefully feel her gentle breath. And, was damn glad he felt the slow inhale of oxygen!
With a grateful sigh, he steps out of the alternate living room to call for my thoughts on what the next step is. After all, she is breathing and he does not want give her a heart attack by surprising her upon waking.
I say that she will be late if he does not go ahead and try to wake her up from her slumber. He with some trepidation starts to call her name and gently squeezes her hand. Mrs. Jones is a sound sleeper when she does get her z’s. It took him about a minute to wake her.
She opened her eyes with a start and grasped his hand and said, “Well, honey, what time is it? Gosh, I hope I am not late.” The best words we could hope to hear on an otherwise gloomy Friday.
The universe has a wonderful way of helping me to realize what is of real substance for the happy life equation. And that is, people first. The rest will fall in place as it should.
Hey Leah! I love the photos! Enjoy your day, Anna:)
via Uprooted Magnolia
I love all rocks. Rocks are one of nature’s greatest gifts.
As a youngster growing up on a small family farm, one of my chores before the planting season started was to help gather stray rocks freshly unearthed by the horse and plow. The rocks were not welcomed in the family fields. Rocks pose many dangers for farming tools. A broken plow blade is the worst. I took my job seriously because a poor family like ours did not have the means to replace any of our hard-earned farming implements.
Being the oldest of four, I was also expected to supervise my younger siblings. The two youngest carried small buckets for the ‘baby’ rocks. I would pull a cobbled together wooden wagon while my other sister added the larger rocks in the cart. When we all filled our designated rock containers, we simply dumped the rocks in piles along the outside perimeter of the field.
Even though it was not yet summer, we kids tired after several hours of toting rocks. Mom would carry the water bucket and dipper up to us from our spring house to quench our thirst. With the water depleted, we got back to the task of de-rocking the new field for our tobacco crop. I started to really take notice of the rocks shape, weight and size. I began to appreciate the uniqueness of each rock.
By lunch time, all rocks we collected from the ground seemed to outline the top edge of what was to be the new tobacco field. As I sat and ate my PB&J and apple, I had an idea of how to use the unwanted field rocks for a useful yet fun project. In years past, the collected rock piles remained mostly in the random piles running along the top and the bottom of any new farming space.
I decided to keep this thought to myself until all the work of removing the offending rocks was complete. With three six-hour days and eight small hands, the tobacco field was rock free and ready for cultivation. Our parents would double-check the entire section of land for any hidden or overlooked rocks. After they had completed their inspection, I decided to share my idea.
I saw the rocks as puzzle pieces just waiting for me to fit them into place. I realized that my parents only concern was no rocks got near the plow. So began my passion for using rocks to accent my life. I sorted the rocks by size, shape and texture. My young imagination was brimming with ideas for the rocks to be seen as I saw them.
Small cairns began to pop-up all over the farm. I soon recognized the usefulness of stone. For a Mother’s Day gift, I used stacked field rocks to form a round flower bed. Before long, not a single stone was left from our three days of work.
At almost 36, I am still collecting rocks and creating my style of rock art around my home and for friends who admire my work. I imagine my love of rock art to continue expanding. Go out and rock it up! Read the rest of this entry »
Fishing has always been part of my life. I recall countless fishing trips with the family down by the river or the occasionally pond fishing. As a kid, I remember thinking what a waste of time for the promised results. At the end of the day more often than not, the fish stringer was not needed.
I started to believe that my parents just wanted to be in the outdoors and used fishing as an escape route. As an adult, I realize that they not only wanted to enjoy the weekend, but also did not have the necessary skills to reel in the catch. I think the art of catching a fish is information dealt out with time with your line in the water.
I have started to become quite the avid angler. The lake has proven to be my prefered body of water of for catching fish. I have caught more fish within the last six months than all my combined years.
Learning the basics of fishing is simple. Catching the fish is the challenge. I have learned to go with my gut. Fish are smart but need to eat as well. I love to feed the fish, as they in turn feed me. I save bread scraps from the table along with various other tasty treats for the fish to sample. I have noted that fish species are much like people from around the world;everyone has specific taste buds. I can catch a yellow perch with small piece of earthworm. I feel lucky to have the privilege of catching a decent sized yellow perch in middle Georgia! My catch stunned the two guys fishing with me. As you can see, I am beaming in the above photo. The yellow perch found it’s way back into the lake to surprise the next angler lucky enough to set the hook.
As you may note in my photos, I wear my lucky My lil Owl tee-shirt. In fact, I ordered another tee-shirt in green. Owls are wise. I sure do reel in plenty of fish while I am wearing either of the owl shirts.
My biggest catch to date is a blue catfish in the above photo. I was fishing late at night close by the dock with a small segment of worm. Before I knew it, Big Blue was on my hook. I never would have thought that a fish could have such attitude and taste so delightful at the same time.
I caught the biggest channel catfish of my life on a tasty bit of french fry on the first cast of the evening. Note the picture at the top of the page and you see the 21 1/2 inch fellow already on my stringer. The fish safely in the freezer and awaiting to be fried up with some cole slaw and more french fries is inspiration for more angling from the dock. What will be my next creative bait?