BULLIES come in all ages

BULLIES come in all ages
(click to see movie trailer)

Surround yourself with positive people,
energy, and situations;
always avoid negativity.


Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So, love the people who treat you right.

Forgive, and then forget about the ones who don't.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Why is this huge truck turning around in our yard? They delivered our new freezer from Lowe's yesterday! YAY!!!

Buddy hopes it's full of fat free vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, August 30, 2008






Are You Ready for Some Football?

I love college football, especially SEC football. We've been traveling for the past 3 years during football season and I've "rooted for the home team", depending on where we happened to be each Saturday. Consequently, I'm a big fan of the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies.
But my heart will always be with The University of Georgia Bulldogs.

Today's GA vs GA Southern game will be a historic occasion as Uga VII will make his public debut in pre-game ceremonies.
According to the Gainesville Times, "The new mascot succeeds Uga VI, who died in June of heart problems. He will be escorted onto the field by members of the Frank W. "Sonny" Seiler family of Savannah who have owned the continuous line of mascots since Uga I took up the mantle in 1956."

Whether you cheer for the Dawgs, Tide, Vols, or even Gators, SEC fans are the most loyal and passionate fans anywhere.

Oh Yeah, did I forget to mention that the Dawgs are ranked #1?????

Extra, Extra, this just in: North Hall Trojans defeated Johnson High with a final score of 28-6.

Good game #12!!!! http://www.nthfootball.com/

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Labor of Love Day

Sugar and Spice


Everything Nice

I'm happy to announce the birth of Little Miss M.

She was born August 26, 2008 at 3:42am (8lbs. 2oz., 20" long). Little Miss M is special to me because I taught her mother in 2nd grade and her grandmother is a dear friend of mine. She is a lucky little girl to be born into such a wonderful, loving family. Congrats and much love...

For you, Momma S...

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.
She never existed before.
The woman existed, but the mother, never.
A mother is something absolutely new.


In more baby news, it's official: LUN LUN IS PREGNANT!!!!
Zoo officials said she could give birth anytime now. Maybe she's waiting until Labor Day!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sharing is Good

The hummers have been in a tizzy since the rain stopped. They buzz around like a colony of bees, zig-zagging, dive-bombing, and dueling in mid-air flight. I think they feel the change in the air and know that their long journey south is imminent.

I find it is interesting that there is evidence that fewer Ruby-throats cross the Gulf of Mexico in fall than in spring, most instead following the Texas coast back into Mexico. Perhaps the hurricane season is a factor, and the genes of many birds with a tendency to fly over water were lost at sea during storms.

So it's time to enjoy the final days of watching the hummers for the 2008 season.
It won't be long before the only occupant to be noted on the feeders will be bees and wasps. Then it's time to clean the feeders and store them until next spring.

I caught this pair in a rare moment of sharing a feeder on the front porch.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Frogtown Vineyard 8/26/08
"After the Rain"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

7 Inches and Counting

Why are these frogs smiling? Because they haven't had this much attention in a long, dry time. I emptied the gauge yesterday when it read 4" and it's close to 3" now.

I read in the newspaper that from Sunday evening to Tuesday morning, Lake Lanier rose about 6 inches, according to the weather service.

Enjoy this much needed rain and remember what Longfellow said:
"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."

UPDATE: As of 4:00 PM we have had 9" of rain. We went out and took some pictures of our creek and road. Our county is under a Flash Flood warning.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Chuckle

Here's a "funny" to help make your Monday easier to handle...
Just remember, you're working toward a long, Labor Day weekend.
Thanks for the chuckle, J.

There was a Baptist Church in North Carolina that had a very big-busted organist. Her breasts were so huge that they bounced and jiggled while she played the organ. Unfortunately, she distracted the congregation considerably.

The very proper church ladies were appalled. They said something had to be done about this or they would have to get another organist. One of the ladies approached her very discreetly and told her to mash up some green persimmons, and rub them on her breasts and maybe they would shrink in size, but warned her not to eat any because they are so sour they will make your mouth pucker up and you won't be able to talk properly for a while. She agreed to try it.

The following Sunday morning the minister got up on the pulpit and said, 'Dewto thircumsthanthis b'wond my contwol, we will not haf a thermon t'day.'

PS....It's pouring here this morning...YAY!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tropical Skies

We have been dealing with the warm, breezy, dry side of Tropical Storm Fay for over a week. Tropical skies aren't the norm in North Georgia, so the change in weather has been interesting.

I consider
myself somewhat of a "Weather Freak". I challenge anyone, anytime to a game of "Name that Meteorologist" on the Weather Channel.

We've been experiencing a drought of historic proportions in North Georgia and there is nothing interesting or exciting about a drought. It has been heart-breaking to see our beautiful Lake Lanier and Lake Hartwell evaporate before our very eyes. I'm not sure how many years it will take the agricultural economy to recover.
This storm looks like our best chance for any appreciable rain. I hope the weather forecasters are correct when they say we should get some relief from Fay soon.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Panda Watch

Have you heard the exciting news? Lun Lun, the female Giant Panda at Zoo Atlanta, might be pregnant again. Lun Lun gave birth to Mei Lan in September 2006. Attendance this year at Zoo Atlanta is up 32 percent from the same time as last year, thanks in large part to the little panda.

I've been to the zoo 3 times since Mei Lan's birth. My first visit was for the official naming ceremony. We knew we wouldn't see the pandas, we just wanted to be a part of the celebration.

Much of the excitement surrounding a panda's pregnancy is the fact that you can't know for sure if a female is pregnant until she actually gives birth. The vets are able to observe changes in her behavior, such as sleeping more and eating less, which are indicators that she may be pregnant.

When Lun Lun cooperates, the trainers are also able to perform ultrasound, monitor her progestins, and visually check her vulva.
Since Pandas give birth to twins about 50% of the time, the chances of Lun Lun having double bundles of joy are good.

To keep up with her progress go to :

To see Lun Lun giving birth to Mei Lan and other cool panda videos:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Signs of Fall #3

I know what you're thinking, "Oh No! Not Ragweed!"

No, it's not ragweed. It's Goldenrod (Solidago), a completely different plant. The appearance of fields of goldenrod, a beautiful perennial herb that is usually about 2-3 feet tall, signals the end of summer.

Just about every insect with an interest in flowers may by found on goldenrod in autumn. The predators of those insects will be found there also.

Goldenrod gets mistakenly blamed for the agonies of hay fever sufferers in autumn. It blooms at the same time as ragweeds (Ambrosia sp.), which are the real culprit. Ragweeds are pollinated by the wind. People suffering from allergies in September look for a flower to blame and goldenrod gets the rap because it is so visible and abundant.
Goldenrod is the state flower of Kentucky and Nebraska.

PS...Happy W/E, everyone....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Home-Grown Mater Sandwich

Oh My! Is there anything better than a home-grown tomato sandwich? Anyone raised in the south knows the recipe: 1 large, freshly picked, sliced tomato; 2 pieces of Sunbeam white bread slathered w/ Dukes mayo; pepper (I don't add salt) sprinkled heavily.

Lean over the sink and let the juice run down your chin.
I didn't plant any tomatoes this year. I've been getting mine from Ms. Green Jeans.
Thanks Lyd.
I love this song written by one of my favorite songwriters, Guy Clark.
Click here to hear John Denver (RIP) sing Home Grown Tomatoes:

There aint nothin in the world that I like better
Than bacon n lettuce n home grown tomatoes
Up in the mornin, out in the garden
Get you a ripe one, don't pick a hard 'un

Plant 'em in the spring, eat em in the summer
All winter without em is a culinary bummer
I forget all about the sweatin and the diggin
Every time I go out and pick me a big un

Homegrown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love and home grown tomatoes

You can go out to eat an that's for sure
But there's nothin a home grown tomatoe won't cure
Put em in a salad, put em in a stew
You can make your own tomato juice

You can eat em with eggs, eat em with gravy
You can eat em with beans, pinto or navy
Put em on the side, put em in the middle
Home grown tomatoes on a hot cake griddle

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be like without home grown tomatoes
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love and home grown tomatoes

If I was to change this life I lead
You could call me Johnny Tomato Seed
Cause I know what this country needs
Home grown tomatoes in every yard you see

When I die don't bury me
In a box in a cold dark cemetery
Out in the garden would be much better
Cause I could be pushin up a home grown tomatoe

Homegrown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What would life be like without home grown tomatoes
Only two things that money can't buy
That's true love and home grown tomatoes

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Only the Strong Survive

I was happy to see this butterfly yesterday. I had spent 45 minutes trying to get it out of the greenhouse Sunday. If I forget to close the screen door, butterflies, birds (including hummers), chipmunks, and all kinds of critters get in the greenhouse. This spicebush swallowtail injured itself when it got stuck between pieces of shade cloth. I wasn't sure it would survive, missing the lower left wing, but it looked quite content sipping on the butterfly bush.
BTW, the butterfly bushes' dilute nectar is sweetest in the midday sun. Good time to watch for butterflies and an occassional hummer.

ps...I was asked if I took the picture of the Queen Ann's Lace from yesterday's post. Yes, I took the picture in the backyard with my trusty Nikon Coolpix.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Queen Ann's Lace-Not "Just a Weed"

The Queen Ann's Lace (AKA wild carrot) is prolific along the roadsides of North Georgia. Not many people know that QAL is a member of the parsley family. The seeds are used for many medicinal purposes.

According to holoweb.com:

"The seeds are a beneficial antiseptic diuretic useful in the treatment of cystitis and prostatitis. Also, the seeds are used for the prevention and washing out of gravel and urinary stones. As a diuretic, it helps with dropsy and the elimination of uric acid from the body (thus, used for gout). The seeds, which are high in volatile oil, are soothing to the digestive system, useful for colic and flatulence. Some herbalists employ the seeds as an implantation preventer. The root is very high in Vitamin A and minerals. The juice is reputed to have anti-cancer activity. The root helps to expel worms and is an effective antacid for heartburn and gastritis. A poultice of the root is excellent for first aid, especially for itchy skin. CAUTION: Queen Anne's Lace has several poisonous look alikes. Do NOT use this herb (seeds) with pregnancy."

Have you ever noticed the tiny purplish-black floweret in the center of the otherwise white flower? The black floweret is sterile and will not produce seed. It is not known why nature put it there, perhaps to attract pollinators.

I love this version of the origin of the purple center.

"Queen Anne was tatting white lace. (Tatting is the all-but-lost art of making lace by hand.) The beautiful white lace she was tatting became the white lacy flowers of the wild carrot plant. She pricked her finger and one drop of blood oozed out. This became the central dark red or purple sterile floret that is present on some, but not all, Queen Anne's Lace flowers.
Legends disagree as to which Queen Anne was tatting such lovely lace. Some say it was Anne (1574 - 1619), the first Stuart Queen Anne, who was brought over from Denmark at fourteen years of age to be a Queen to King James of Scotland. Others argue it was Anne (1665 - 1714), the daughter of William and Mary, and the last monarch in the Stuart line. Both Annes died in their forties!"

Hopefully, the next time you see Queen Ann's Lace on the side of the road, you won't think of it as "just a weed".

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hummingbird, Don't Fly Away, Fly Away...

I'm seeing fewer and fewer male hummingbirds at the feeders. They have started their migration south. The males generally leave 2 to 3 weeks before the females and young. This allows the young more undisturbed time at the feeders in preparation for their own migration.

Fall can be one of the more exciting times for hummer-watching. There is a sense of urgency and purpose as migrating birds stop at the feeders. It is extremely important to keep the feeders clean and full this time of year.

According to bird-n-garden.com:

"Keeping your feeders up and full will not keep the birds from migrating. Remember, they eat lots of protein in their diets too and that doesn't come from sugar feeders. They need insects! Shortened days, not lack of food, will tell the hummingbirds when to begin their journey. Leave the feeders up at least three weeks after seeing your last bird. This will help migrating birds that pass through your area. It is important to leave your feeders up and full. Migrating birds need all the quick and easy nourishment they can find to sustain the incredible energy demands of migration. It is vital that hummingbirds fatten up for their extended trips, particularly those crossing the Gulf of Mexico."

For more interesting migration facts: http://www.hummingbirds.net/migration.html

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Signs of Fall #2

The pyracantha berries are turning orange. In the winter we are always visited by a flock of Cedar waxwings who love the berries. The waxwings will descend on the holly and pyracantha shrubs in a large group, stripping the berries in minutes. If the berries have fermented, the birds can actually get drunk and will flop around until they get sober. But their digestive systems are amazing; the seeds of berries are eliminated within 45 minutes following ingestion.

We only see these beautiful birds when they come to eat the berries.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Friday

I'm sure everyone is ready for the weekend. Of course when you're retired, the weekend means one thing: STAY HOME! We try to get all of our errands and running around completed before Friday. Us retired folks operate too slowly to compete in traffic, stores, restaurants, etc. with working people who are always rushing, rushing, rushing.

When you find time, check out this link for an adorable puppy lullaby-
Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy it.
Thanks, Maddie's and Lillie's Mom:

I received this Blonde joke from my good, old friend, Ms. Cindy-O and had to share it... Remember, it takes more facial muscles to frown than it does to smile!!!!

Happy weekend!!!!

An old, blind cowboy wanders into an all-girl biker bar by mistake.
He finds his way to a bar stool and orders some coffee.

After sitting there for a while, he yells to the waiter, 'Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke?'

The bar immediately falls absolutely silent. In a very deep, husky voice, the woman next to him says,
'Before you tell that joke, Cowboy, I think it is only fair, given that you are blind, that you should know five things:

1. The bartender is a blonde girl with a baseball bat.

2. The bouncer is a blonde girl.

3. I'm a 6-foot tall, 175-pound blonde woman with a black belt in karate.

4. The woman sitting next to me is blonde and a professional weightlifter.

5. The lady to your right is blonde and a professional wrestler.'

Now, think about it seriously, Mister. Do you still wanna tell that joke?'

The blind cowboy thinks for a second, shakes his head, and mutters,

'No...... not if I'm gonna have to explain it five times.'

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I am thrilled to announce the engagement and up-coming wedding of our niece, Melissa and her fiance' Dave.

According to Melissa, "Thanks to the friendly Human Resources department at Ernst & Young, Dave was set up as Melissa's "primary contact" while she was being recruited to the firm."

Dave proposed to Melissa while they were vacationing in Colorado this past July.
An October wedding is planned. We haven't heard any information about Honeymoon destinations yet.
We wish them both much love and happiness.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sassy's Pool Date

Sassy enjoys some time in the pool. Hopefully, next summer we will have a "grown-up" size pool.

Monday, August 11, 2008


The sounds of the woods come from a great variety of wildlife including birds, squirrels, insects, pets, and sometimes the neighbor's "target practice".

One of my favorite sounds this time of year is the raucous katydids. I read somewhere that their song sounds similar to alternating accusations and denials of "katydid - katydidn't".

However you describe it, these cricket-related insects create so much noise on midsummer nights that their din makes our woods sound like something out of Africa.

Katydids produce songs by rubbing a "scraper" (the sharp edge of a front wing) against a "file" (the rough edge on the bottom of the other front wing). This process--known as "stridulating"--makes a series of chirps (as in the cricket), or results in that self-naming phrase of the katydid.

As with crickets, calling rates among katydids varies with the temperature, so you can always get an accurate weather report by solving the equation T=(C+161)/3, with T being the Temperature and C the number of calls per minute. This won't work in winter, of course, since all the stridulating katydids will be dead, so unless you're a classroom teacher helping students with math skills, maybe it would just be easier to buy a new thermometer.

Enjoy their evening songs while they last. The first frost will quiet them until next year. I found this noisy visitor on the kitchen window.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Perseid Meteor Shower-Coming Mon. August 11

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? PILGRIMS
(sorry, that's a first grade joke)...

Seriously, what do August showers bring? METEORS!!!!
The Perseid Meteor Shower, to be exact.

The comet Swift-Tuttle passed through our solar system in 1992 (as it did in 1863) leaving behind its trash; tiny grains of ice, dust, rock, and other debris. As the Earth makes its trip around the sun, we pass through this debris field with some spectacular results (The Perseid Meteor Shower). Although there are several meteor showers annually, like the Leonids, Lyrids, and Geminids, the Perseid Meteor Shower is the most reliable, and still very spectacular as they create 50 – 150 meteors an hour on average, and increasing at times as high as 400 – 1000 an hour. It can be a most spectacular display.

The exact time of maximum should be about 7 a.m. EDT on Aug. 12, according to Margaret Campbell-Brown and Peter Brown in the 2008 Observer's Handbook of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. If so, the timing is very good for meteor watchers observing before dawn in North America, especially in the western states. The waxing gibbous moon sets around 1:30 a.m. local daylight-saving time, leaving a dark sky for the next 3 hours.
I'm giving you a days' notice in hopes you can catch some extra sleep in preparation of staying up late Monday night. Right now the weather in our area isn't looking good for meteor watching. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Signs of Fall- 1

The days continue long, hot, and dry in North Georgia. The poor flowers are baking no matter how wet you keep the roots. Yellowjackets are swarming everywhere they find water. The dogs don't have the energy to do much more than "their business" when they go outside.

However, if you look closely you can see signs of fall, as I discovered on my daily walk. I'm looking forward to spending fall at home this year, as we have been traveling in our RV the past 3 years. This area is one of the most beautiful spots in the world to enjoy the splendor of the autumn season.
This small, insignificant (out of focus) leaf is a reminder of the magnificent display of colors to come.

Note: Interesting article from the Gainesville Times about yellowjacket swarms:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Back to School???

Yesterday was the first day of school in our county. Although this is my fourth year of retirement, I still experience a bit of "Back to School" excitement and anticipation.
However, those feelings are fleeting...I take a deep breath, relax, and assume the "retired position", as depicted in the picture above. I hope all my girlfriends have a wonderful school year....
(Thanks for the use of your beautiful pool, Sister S.)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sakes Alive, Snake # Five

As mentioned previously, we see plenty of wildlife around our house. Unfortunately, it's not always cute and furry critters. D caught the fifth copperhead of the season yesterday. I hate snakes!!!! I wish I didn't. If they would stay in the woods, where they belong, I could handle co-existing much easier. But, no, they have to come around the house and make themselves obvious. My husband doesn't kill snakes (or anything for that matter)...he catches them, transports them to an undisclosed location, and sets them free.
Sassy was bitten by a copperhead that was warming itself on the hot driveway one evening last summer. I've never witnessed any living creature in so much pain. The poor dog literally ran around the house, attempting to escape the pain on her paw. She suffered greatly for weeks and will always have her black "snake tattoo".
Tread Lightly, my Friends.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I'm not sure how or why "Wordless Wednesday" got started, but MB does it on her blog, so it must be correct. I promise next Wednesday will be wordless...

Buddy, Zack, Sassy, and me
Tillicum Beach, OR Oct. 2007

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


One of the best things about living in the woods is all the wildlife we see. It's not unusual to see deer, foxes, bobcats, or hear coyotes at night. However, having 3 large dogs keeps much of the wildlife from getting too close to the house.

I am excited to announce that we have a bear in the neighborhood. Our neighbor got this picture yesterday as Baby Bear came exploring. I'm sure Mama Bear is close by keeping an eye out.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

Everyone talks about "dog days of summer," but few know what the expression means. You might be surprised to learn the story behind the phrase. Some say it signifies hot sultry days "not fit for a dog." Others claim it's the weather in which dogs go mad. But the dog days are defined as the period from July 3 through Aug. 11 when the Dog Star, Sirius, rises in conjunction (or nearly so) with the Sun. As a result, some felt that the combination of the brightest luminary of the day (the Sun) and the brightest star of night (Sirius) were responsible for the extreme heat that is experienced during the middle of the summertime. Other effects, according to the ancients, were droughts, plagues and madness. Explains a lot, huh?

Meanwhile, Buddy is working on his diving form, in anticipation of being called at the last minute to serve as a member on the U.S. Olympic Diving Team. GO USA!!!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Play Time

The dogs love the new fenced in exercise area D built for them. He's a great Doggie Daddy!!!

Buddy's tennis ball has become permanently attached to his mouth.