Coffee Shop

gurley157fsAugust 28, 2006

I'm going to take a leap here and attempt to start a new thread. The point is to post whatever suits you. Daily ramblings, good coffee finds - just stuff. As mercer said in another post I enjoy reading all of your posts because they don't entail 'how to get my 7 year old to poop' - that just slays me LOL.

I am going to post todays ramblings that I usually keep in a journal. Thay are usually wacky and have no particular train of thought.

"Today is a good day to make me appreciate my job.

I have stripped the beds, washed the sheets and blankets and vacuumed the mattresses. Cooked a couple pumpkins to make a spice cake with, gone to the grocery store, treated a load of white clothes and put them in to soak and after I take a break I will clean up the kitchen so that I can make another mess.

If I did this every day I would be bored out of my mind.

I think this afternoon I will mow while I drink Captain Morgans IÂve learned that if you use a to-go coffee cup you can keep a drink going on the riding mower without getting dust and grass in it.

Remember those Âwhat I have a learned about life e-mails?

HereÂs mine so far:

IÂve learned that:

Bare Minerals is just a bunch of expensive crap

Gardens, just like models, only look like that in magazines; in real life they are just as ugly as the rest of us

Brand names are for insecure people

Playing cubis is not good for my computer but I do it anyway

We all take part in something that is unjust or unfair so none of us can afford to be righteous

Organic Sumatra Aceh Gayo coffee does not have a smoky hint of cherry and chocolate - It tastes like dirt

Preparation H does not reduce under-eye puffiness  it really was meant for your other end

If you try really hard you can see something positive in every one  or, if not the person, then the situation"

O.K. I have rambled enough for now  back to the land of domesticity. I think I am far less strange after a few Morgans  this has gotten out of control.

I hope someone will join me in an occasional rambling

Karen? Gene?

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Well, rambling sounds perfect for something I read on MSN site last week. "Does money makes us happy?" If I understood correctly, it said something like $30,000.00 income going up to $100,000.00 can change a personal happiness a bit but $1 million dollar going up to Billion won't have that much effect on happiness(something along that numbers and lines.)Well, I guess that might be true... Although I don't mind winning a lottery :)

I was thinking interm of relationship since I am single, if I can't be happy as an independent person, boyfriend or husband won't make me happy....

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 8:56PM
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I came to the conclusion that money cannot make me happy. Sure, I do enjoy a higher standard of living now than I did years ago but just money alone didn't cut it for me.

I met a guy that was loaded. Moved in with him, we planned and built a house (his money of course). We traveled and just in general I enjoyed a lifestyle that was way beyond something I had ever, or will ever, be able to afford.

After a year and a half I broke it off and moved out. I was very unhappy. He didn't treat me badly but he did expect his needs and desires to come first - and he felt that they were more important than mine. My personal possessions (that I had before we met) were kept in one of his wharehouses. They weren't as expensive as his and therefore not as 'good'.

I decided I would be a lot happier in a small apartment living on my own income surrounded by my own things than living in the lap of luxury that had started to feel like prison.

And I was a lot happier. I am sure that if he had treated me with more respect I would have stayed but just the money alone didn't cut it.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 7:15PM
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Well, the topic does say "coffee shop", doesn't it. I tried my Black Cat Expresso from Intelligentsia. A blend of caramel, chocolate, and fruits with a lingering taste? As I've mentioned on other topics my taste buds must be shot. Actually, I enjoyed the BCE. It is bold but not biting. That's good. Also, I didn't think it was very heavy. I've had some that seemed they might fall through the bottom of the cup. I've yet to taste the caramel, chocolate, or fruits, either while drinking it or for an after taste.

Gurley, some of what you said was a pure riot. Brand names are for insecure people. That is a classic. We all take part in something that is unjust or unfair so none of us can afford to be righetous. That, too, is food for thought. It kinda hits down home, huh.

There's a lot to ramble about but my oldest daughter is 44 today and will be coming over. We're having a four person birthday party: two daughers, a grandson, and me. I need to move some boxes off the dining room table, and so on.

Regards to all, Gene

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 11:11AM
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Hope you had a happy birthday party!

I went 'to town' today to do some shopping and stopped by Atlanta Bread Company for a coffee creation.

Asked the young girl if they had any sugar-free flavorings. She said "Uh, we have decaf". Then there commenced a great meeting of the mindless and I became sorry that I had ever asked the question.

I shouldn't poke too much fun though - they were all about 17 and at least they are at work on a weekend morning instead of in bed.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 9:43PM
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I walked into a Starbucks a while back to find an actual grown-up working there! It was so refreshing! I made a point of telling her that it was nice to see a grown-up working there for a change. She told me she got that a lot. Shortly afterward I noticed that she wasn't working there anymore. No offense to hard-working young people everywhere but it must be doubly hard having to work with people who are half your age. They're new to the workforce and basically new to the world -- sort of like working with aliens. :o)

Karen, who just finished a cup of Trader Joe's Ethiopia.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 9:53AM
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I have made a resolution for fall:

I will rake the yard this year.

A little while ago I raked just a small portion of my back yard (I live on an acre) and thought I was going to die.

Normally I just push the leaves around with the lawn mower. But this year I have resolved to rake. Since I can't bring myself to stick to a diet, won't take the alloted three hours a week that my job allows for excercise, and just sit at my desk all day growing butt - then I must rake.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 7:18PM
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Rake? Then why did they invent lawnmowers? I wake up in the morning on a guilt trip for not exercising. Over a couple of years I've gone from 185 to 205 and feel like I have lead weights all over. I handled the extra weight in younger years but now it's a different story. When I was on Yahoo Personals I mentioned I'd like to find a lady whereby we could encourage one another to exercise. I suppose that was okay. It was being 72 that shot me down, I guess.

We all get jokes. Recently, I got a list of "They walk amongst us".

One of them spoke of a couple of guys on a beer run. The store had a sign "10% off". They took two cases to the counter and mentioned the discount. The young person behind the counter acknowledged it and said two cases at 10% equals 20%. They got 20% off their beer.

Another was about a guy replacing his fridge. He put the old one in the front yard with a sign saying "Free Fridge". The fridge stayed there for about a week. Finally the owner put a sign on it "$50.00". That evening someone came by and stole it.

The "They Walk Amongst Us" jokes finished by saying "........and they're breeding, too".

Something else that came from somewhere gave me a chuckle. I don't intend to be rude in passing it along. It said can you imagine being at the beach 40 years from now and seeing 75 year old heavily tatoo'd women with earrings in their navel. The same can be said for men with rings in their ears, noses, and eyebrows.

I've drank more of the BCE and still like it as afternoon or early evening coffee. As I've said before my 22-25 ounces of morning coffee is usually basic: Maxwellhouse, 8-o'clock; Community; or one of the standards. I'll open my Ethopian Harrar in a day or two. These are half pounders. I put them in a plastic air tight cannister and place them in the pantry where it's fairly dark. I think this is okay. It seems to go along with Intelligentsia's recommendation.

Like most people I have a lot of "stuff" which I think has monetary value and I'd like to be paid for it. I'm thinking of selling on eBay. With due respect to them I have a difficult time understanding their selling instructions. I'm sure they are not geared to old folks. I don't wish to pay a commission to one of the eBay shops. Has anyone run across a layman's guide to eBay selling that's purely a no brainer?

Well, gang, I'll put on shoes and go to the basement and try about five minutes on the tread mill. That's a beginning. I also have a multi-function weight system and will give that about five minutes. Who knows. Anyone want to joint me. Maybe a week from now I might jump to six minutes. Anything will help.

This is Wednesday, September 6. It's around 10:30AM and the sun is shining in these Western North Carolina mountains for the first time in a week or more. Wow! It would be a great day for driving the Blue Ridge Parkway in the 5K-6K height area. Look at me. I'm already trying to talk myself out of the exercising .

Regards to all. I hope your life is going better than you actually expected. Gene

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 10:49AM
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I have never understood or been very good at relationships. This weekend I have a whole group of girls working with me that 'must' have lunch together, party together after work, and in general share every free moment and private personal detail with each other.

Then they proceed to say all kinds of nasty things about each other, put each other down, argue, etc.... you probably get the picture. And then they are all buddy-buddy again.

Why? I have never understood it. Are we so afraid of being alone, are we so afraid of our own company, that we band together with just anyone in order to be 'with' someone?

Their relationships with their boyfriends/husbands sound just horrible and I certainly wouldn't want to hang out with or share my personal problems with someone who is going to tell everyone my confidences or make fun of me.

I know I will probably never find the answer to this question but in the meantime I will stick to my plants and animals - they make awesome friends.

To give credit where credit is due I should say that I have one friend (in another state) that has been a true an honest friend for over 20 years now but I'll never find another like her. We love and respect each other and in all of these years have been there for each other when needed.

O.K., I think I got that off my chest. I get to sit and watch the 'show' in the office again tomorrow and then I'm free of it for a while. Thank Goodness.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 8:07PM
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And guess what Gene "........and they're breeding, too".

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 8:11PM
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Hello, All
It's been a really long time since I've visited here. Do hope all of you have had a great summer.

Gurley, I like the idea of this thread.

These past weeks I have been beset with almost overwhelming memories, musings, and mind ramblings. Have been writing 'em all down for those lucky enough to read them after I'm gone!! That will be the children, I suppose - so I don't have to worry about anyone else seeing such drivel - the kids will be too embarressed to allow that. (And they already know I'm weird)
Today I picked grapes - just a bowl to eat. Not enough for wine making this year, and I still have jelly left over from last year.
My pomegranate bush did not do well either - have a total of 6 fruits hanging.
Tomatoes and peppers were just so-so.
Seems the whiter my hair becomes the browner my thumbs become!!! To be honest, it's mostly due to my being lazy and tired, plus this summer was hottest in years.
Gene, is foliage turning yet? If I can talk a friend into coming along I want to do a Blue Ridge drive soon. Likely, I will start from near Blacksburg, VA since I want to visit my daughter there for a few days, then on to Linville to see a sister, on to Little Switzerland to visit a niece - and of course I have to go to Waynesville. God, I'm tired just thinking about it.
Just looked at the time. It's 1:56 AM. Midnight hour is long gone, I've already turned into a punkin' and little white mice are scurrying about my feet The rest of my household (3 dogs now, lost the 4th one recently) is sound asleep, so I may as well stay up another while and enjoy the quiet
Happy Grandparent's Day to any of you w/grandchildren. I'm expecting my two little ones to visit Sunday afternoon.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 2:05AM
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Good Afternoon Gerry, Gurley, Karen and Others. It's a rainy Western North Carolina day, so far. I hope it clears by in the morning because our foursome has a tee time at Etowah Valley. Rainy days seem to offer a built in excuse for doing nothing. Yes, you're right, I could be doing something inside but I'll not. As far as that goes I could be doing something outside - but I'll not. I believe I'll just have to think about it a little longer. And, I almost forgot I need to spend $3.00 gas to get $10.00 in stamps at the Post Office. If I can find a store to stop by that should waste an hour or two. By then it would be too late to start doing something inside or out. So, my day is planned.

I like the Shannadoah (where's the spell checker when it's needed) Valley. My wife's parents lived west of D.C. and we make the trip a few times each year. My last read book was The Battle of New Market. A lot of history in that area. To answer your question, unless an unexpected cold snap hits we're about four weeks away from the beginning of the color change.

There's something melancoly about the coming season with it becoming cooler, leaves changing color, and so on. I'm a Korean veteran. While there I tried writing a book (fiction) as I had time. After I came back to the states I gave it to someone who knew a publisher, or so they said. I never saw him or the manuscript again. The book was about half finished. To me it was a big loss and could have have been a life change. Anyway, the beginning was a Korean vet returning to Asheville. It was in the Fall and as he stepped from the bus the dried leaves swirled around his feet. The cold and breezy mountain air bit at his face and fingers. And so on and so on. I've tried to remember more than I've been able to.

Gerry, I go to Waynesville fairly often. It's a nice town. As I've mentioned before I play golf at Maggie Valley CC once a month. I use to travel all of Western N.C. I really like the Boone/Blowing Rock area all the way to the Linville/Spruce Pine section. About Waynesville, I live to the west of Asheville. When shopping or just driving I usually head that way. I have stopped at a coffee shop called Panecea that's in the Frog Level (natives call it that) section of Waynesville. Nice atmosphere.

Recently I opened a Post Multi-grain cereal box and in it was a sampler of Seattle's Best coffee. I tried it but was having a pastry at the time so no judgement call. I'll have to try it later on for true taste.

I wish everyone well. Gene

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 12:39PM
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Hello, All

Our ten hour deluge finally stopped today around noon. I started out the front door only to find the storm door stuck full of little green frogs. Don't know if they were seeking shelter from the downpour or if they were after a breakfast of moths swarming the light.
Gurley - re your fall resolution to rake the yard - for years I've just chewed up the leaves with the mower for an excellent all-over mulch. Seems to smother out some of the wild blackberry vines (although they eventually find a hole to creep through) This year, however, my mower has died!! Already, due to summer drought, the leaves are beginning to fall. I want NOT to rake - kills my back. If it were not for setting fire to the whole southeast I might be tempted to drop a lighted match. As it is, I'll have to either get the mower repaired or rake. Would they mat too heavily if I just pretend they aren't there?
Gene, I can understand your statement about the melancholy of Autumn. You see, my oldest child was born in late September (the 24th) - he would be 46 this year had he lived. He died at the young age of 21 years. So every year as his birth date approaches I become more and more depressed. I usually spend that day at my second son's home down in Charleston, whose wife, incidentally, has the same birth date. We celebrate her birthday with a huge backyard bar-b-que or Low Country Shrimp Boil (Frogmore Stew). To celebrate the day relieves the underlying sadness somewhat.

Speaking of Waynesville - yes, I know all about Frog Level. It's a little business area adjacent to Main Street and downtown and is about 1/4 mile from my friend's inn. In fact, coming back from downtown, if you look up, you can see the inn on the hill on Love Lane (it's a large blue house).
I understand that the Frog Level Merchant's Association is planning to soon do a complete revitalization such as has been done on Main Street. "Frog Level" got it's name from the flooding of Richland Creek.

Time for one more cup of coffee. I am so glad I can drink coffee just before bedtime with no ill effects (other than having to get up once around 3:00AM) - doesn't keep me from sleeping at all.

Night, All (OMG - sounds like a cold medication!!)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 10:57PM
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Oh, Gene - I meant to comment on your stolen manuscript. Had you perhaps given it a title? I read a LOT of books, so if I ever read one with even a remotely similar story, I'll sic you on to him/her.
Please start on another book. An author never has just ONE book in his head, you know.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 11:14PM
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Good Sunday Morning, Gerri and All. Since I read your foregoing note I've been rather tormented. It has been 50+ years since I wrote the book (or half a book). It's been a long, long time since I've even thought about it. Only now that the need to remember has surfaced do I realize I can't remember a lot about it. This worrys me. I don't wish anyone else memory problems but I hope it is not just me.

The main character was Zack, age 19. Zack was a day dreamer and sort of a visionary. He was a "what if I had done this" and a "what if I do this" sort of guy. He was drafted and got to Korea a few months before the war was over. He was shot at and he shot back. He saw people die but most were ROK army troops (Republic of Korea). Zack would see deceased's comrades tear open pockets; remove the belongings; and toss the body on a burning pile. Zack pretended the whole war thing was a dream and he wouldn't awake until he got away from there.

Zack always had thoughts running through his mind and never shared them. Some dwelt on humor such as why were village prostitutes called a moose. He asked the question of several as they would be lying in a field with nothing but a blanket below and the sky above. But rarely did his companion know more than a dozen or so words of English. Only at these times did Zack come back to the world of reality. The girls were what maintained Zack's sanity. They were clean and smelled good. They also had a few bottles of Osaki beer. They apparently understood a GI's stress. At times Zack would just lie with eyes shut; his head in her lap; as she offer a light massage to his head and face. She would speak softly in her language and Zack seemed to understand it.

Gerri, there's some similarity to this and what I was trying to write. Within the book Zack often reflected on the past and, for example, especially of a special Korean girl whom he would see as regularly as he could slip away from camp. He had become so fond of her a thought entered his mind he might one day return.

Zack would think forward to how it would be when he returned to the States. When he left he had lots of friends, especially girlfriends. He knew he would have been gone over two years. He knew when he got back these friends would have gone their own ways. These thoughts caused his gut to start twiching a little. What will I do when I get back, he said to himself. About that time a bullet or shrapnel zinged into the foxhole, he didn't know which. That brought his thoughts to the present and his concern started being with staying alive rather than what would happen down the road.

Gerri, these are just bits and pieces. There's no way I could extract the exact verbage or chronology of events. Zack made it home. He had nightmares about war but pleasant daydreams of his Korean girls, especially one.
Zack was true to himself in that he still lived partly in the past and partly in the future. He lived with and was supported by a older, well know, and affluent lady while at the same time sewing more seeds, so to speak. They split but came together at intervals. She was a fair influence and listened and advised on Zack's visionary ideas.

This morning I heard it's USA week for those of us who are single, whether it be by divorce, widowed, or by design. The statistics were very interesting. It was on CBS's Sunday morning program. The SA stood for single and alone. I don't recall what the U was for.

Anyway, enough rambling. I hope today goes well for all of us. It was in the mid 50's in these Western North Carolina mountains this morning. The sky is Caroliina blue. I'll get out of the house shortly. Sorry about taking up so much space in this topic. See what happens when you ask a question. Gene

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 11:44AM
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Just a quick fly-by to say hello to everyone. Gene, sorry about your manuscript. That really sucks eggs. I hope you're able to recreate it.

Me, I'm off to real estate camp. Not really a camp. A series of four-hour seminars held over the next four weeks. Yeah...real estate. I know: yawn. lol But this training will get me where I need to be in my career.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 7:30AM
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Good Monday morning, All - Well, my former book and its recollection has me baffled. Some may ask how one could write a book (half of one) and not remember everything about it. Well, for the past couple of days I've been kicking that around rather seriously. Bits and pieces may come to the surface but nothing substantial. I've thought of trying to rewrite it but I doubt a similarity would exist and I just don't seem to have the desire. I'll pass the following along and, then, put it to bed, so to speak.

Back then I was a little radical in my thinking. I was influenced by Hitchcock, Hemmingway, Huxley, Spillane, and others. I felt they had a niche in that things were not always as it seemed. I tried to immulate this.

I'll offer an example. We see a firetruck and it's generally red. Why red. We've been told it was red. What if we had grown up with wolves and the first person we saw said it was purple. We find a mate who also grew up with wolves; we had children; and told them it was purple. And, so on and so on. Get the point.

Back to my book, Zack was actually shot in the head as he slept in a foxhole. He was in a comma for months. As I said earlier Zack seemed to live in the past and future but not much in the present. This carried into his comma. The older woman with whom he lived was actually his primary nurse from his subconscious. The "wild oats" thing was nurses filling in on week ends. He had been moved to a Tokyo hospital. The medical service providers thought all along he was bordering on being brain dead.

Stepping back to see the forest for the trees, Zack was already screwed up trying to live in a world of reality while at the same time living in the past and future. He continued living this life although it was carried on in his comma induced state. In other words, somewhere down the road Zack would be contending with six personalities: comma reality; comma past; comma future; and functioning reality; functioning past; and functioning thoughts of the future.

I think my book wording was more eloquent or at least I'm fooling myself into thinking it was. I do recall Zack returning home in the Fall and the dried leaves swirled around his feet as he stepped from the bus. I don't recall which of his six lives he was living at the time. I recall the way he presented himself was like a magnet to women who wanted to nurture and care for him. Zack went to college and some professors were World War II veterans. That didn't help when they would digress to their war experiences.

He did go back to Korea after a number of years only to be told his favorite girl had been killed. This was at a time when Zack thought his life was finally coming together. Needless to say some setbacks took place. Later, he learned his Korean girl friend had not been killed. He found her and life seemed as it once was with him placing his head in her lap, shutting his eyes, and she would talk to him quietly while massaging his face.

That's it, folks. I've done the best I can to remember. If a memory surfaces somewhere down the road I'll just make a note of it rather than passing it along. I wish all well and sorry for taking up so much space. For whatever it's worth think of a term paper you may have written in college or high school. Do you remember what it was about? The title? Who was the professor? Of course, with most of you it may have not been 50+ years since you did it. I'm glad for you. Gene

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 9:54AM
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Gene, It's probably best that you just let it go - at least for now. We all have those memory lapses as we get older. Fortunately, I have kept personal journals since I was just a child - started in 4th grade at the encouragement of a very great teacher. At that time I just did it on loose leaf binder paper - later graduated to the spiral bound college note books. Those little leather bound journals were too expensive, no lines to keep my writing from going up or down hill, and not enough room anyway!! Some years there's only 3 or 4 notebooks, some years 8 or 10, or even more, and there's 59 years worth of them. Have several large boxes of them stored. Now, I just keep it all in the computer, saving to disks periodically.
Of course, some of the things I read in those journals now I cannot actually remember!! That's bad!
I tend to become a little panicky when I can't remember things at times. I suppose that's because I cared for my mother during her late stages of Alzheimer's Disease. ( She died last October at age 89.) She always had such a brilliant mind.
On a more cheerful note - I made my "Fall List of Things To Do" today. Rather staggering - but some of it I will hire done - some I will coerce my son into doing - and there will be some things I imagine that will not get done at all.
I think my mountain trip will be around the third week in October. My friend can take time away from her job at that time and says she is more than happy to do the driving. Oh, my, another thing to add to that "to do" list - get a complete tuneup on my car. It's kinda old, but still in great shape - a 96 Taurus with 61,000 miles. (I don't drive much)

Take care.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 5:00PM
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Hello everyone, I'm glad this is turning into a meeting place of sorts. I love to sit down and read for a bit in the evening when people have stopped by.

Mercer, Real Estate camp actually sounds interesting. I firmly believe that learning new things keeps us going. I have changed or advanced careers more times than I care to think about, especially in the last 8 years but I am convinced it is the key to staying mentally and physically fit.

Gerry, will you take pics on your mountain trip? I would imagine the fall color to be spectacular. We don't get much fall color down here.

Gene, it could be that letting go of your book might be a good thing - but I have to admit that I have enjoyed reading about it.

A long time ago I was a very minor artist, mostly pen and ink. I sold my drawings and note cards for a little pocket money. Then I stopped drawing for over 10 years. Not too long back I decided to take it up again. I couldn't draw a circle. It was very frustrating. I stayed with it for a while and it did come back to me a bit but I found that I wasn't getting anything out of it so I gave it up.

My point(s) is/are that writing may have given you a satisfaction that you needed at that time ...and should you find that it is doing the same now then you should stick with it and you will recall or maybe improve on it. But if it no longer brings you that satisfaction then I would toss it in favor of something that suits you better now.

I was an avid horsewoman, artist and great cook. I don't even know who that person is anymore. Now I obsess over banana plants,finding new bulbs to plant and I am a terrible cook (and happy about that last part).

So now I'm going to ramble about my own little world for a minute:

Spent the entire weekend painting the outside of the house. Got on a first coat on the front of the house only. It is going to take a while but I like how it is coming along and I am enjoying the project.

Had two pre-cancerous areas on my face 'frozen' a few days ago. Walking around with a scab on the end of my nose and another in the middle of my forehead is just oh-so-pleasant. I mustn't complain too loudly though.
I was walking through Lowes feeling sorry for myself when in front of me was a woman with obvious severe physical problems being aided by her husband. I turned my head to the left only to see the self-service checkout aid sitting in a wheelchair, his problems he was apparently born with.
That ended my pity party in a hurry. Sometimes I think my maker takes great pleasure in swatting me in the back of the head at just the right moment.

I am gearing up for yet another career change. It is getting to be a habit for me. But it is a good thing - as I said before - I think it keeps one fresh and I am fortunate to have these opportunities so I am prepared to just buck-up and learn the new stuff.

Coffee anyone?
My latest is Caffe Sanora Organic. Antioxidant-Rich, Dark Roast. PUrchased at Earth Fare.
My review:
So smooth that you don't even know you are drinking coffee. As a matter of fact you might even think you are drinking water.

It has always been my understanding that true coffee connoisseurs would never lower themselves to drinking Starbucks and the like. So, in my quest to become a coffee connoisseur (am I spelling that right?) I have purchased only fair trade coffees that are organically grown.

As of tonight I have realized that I will never make it to that level. I am just a common coffee drinker after all. I absolutely LOVE Starbucks, sugar-free artificial flavoring, and, get this, Dunkin Donuts coffee.

O.K. I have rambled long enough and 5am is going to come very early in the morning.

Til next time

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 9:49PM
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Good afternoon, Gurley, Gene, Karen, Others

Yes, it really is quite nice to have some place to just ramble, reminisce, relax with good company, good coffee.

Gurley, hope you don't mind, but I have just spent a couple of great hours looking through your photo albums. You have such a lovely home and gardens. Those pictures of Lake Marion swamps - are they by any chance around Sparkleberry area?
That's my favorite swamp fishing area. You have to travel this awful washboard road to get to the landing. I haven't been in several years now.

Career changes are stimulating. My working career started in high school (after school and on Saturdsys,) as a salesgirl in a department store. Worked on commission and sometimes on a busy Saturday I could make as much as $20.00, which back in the mid 50's was one heck of a lot of dough!!

After finishing school, getting married, moving to Wash.,D.C., I did secretarial work in the claims department of an insurance company. Had been there about 6 months when my boss wanted to take vacation and left me in charge of the claims department, which consisted of him, myself, and a part-time person. He gave me his key to the pending claims files and said don't let ANYONE in that cabinet. So, one day the fire marshal came in and wanted to review a particular file and I refused - very politely of course. I suppose I could have been in a lot of hot water, but when my boss came back and found out about it, he was almost rolling in the floor laughing. He said he had learned that I sure knew how to follow orders, but that he hadn't meant to be that literal. A few months later, I was promoted to claims adjuster. I loved that job, but left there in 1960 for the birth of my first child.

Other jobs throughout the years have included: purchasing agent for a chemical/fertilizer manufacturing company, insurance underwriter, real estate/insurance agent, district manager for a pet/farm animal feed company, Stay-At-Home-Mom while I finished college. Later, worked as a kindergarten teacher, and as headmistress of a private school. It was all fun, but, God, I'm glad it's all behind me now.

Now I can sit on the porch in my favorite mustard colored rocking chair, wearing my ratty robe and even rattier slippers and drink coffee.

And, Gene, speaking of coffee, that sample pack of Seattle's Best you got in your cereal box? Well, I was disappointed a few months ago when I bought a pound of it on the recommendation of a friend, so it was OK if you ate the pastry with it!! Just my 2 cents!!
Y'all have a good evening.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 3:47PM
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good evening!
i'm not drinking coffee... but wine from the box! lol.. nothin but class! hehe
i work weekends... 12 hour days, and hate coming out into the dark to walk to my car.
thought i'd see what folks had to say here on this much-loved site that i used to frequent a few years back.
have enjoyed reading your musings and greetings back and forth.
keep up the fabulous work, with attitudes to match.
in peace,

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 10:13PM
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Good Sunday Morning, All. It's drizzling rain in my Western North Carolina mountains. It seems to add a bit of quietness to the environment. Yes, some leaves from trees that tend changed color sooner have fallen to the ground. Even lying on the ground they still offer something to the beholder, I think.

Although a particular e-mail has passed throughout the Net for years (I think) I received it only this past week. The background music is "You'll Never Walk Alone". The words and advice offered are significant and all should read them. Except for not wanting my e-mail address or anyone else's publicized I'd offer to sent it.

I'm still drinking the Black Cat Expresso in the early evenings. I like it because it emits a strong flavor. I have yet to recognize the chocolate, caramel, or dried fruits that it claims to have.

I'm glad the thoughts of my book are no longer monopolizing my brain. I was and am shocked that I don't remember more of it than I did. I liked From Here To Eternity. My book has similarities. At a time I often patronized Bill Leaders (sp?) bar on Hotel Street (in Honolulu) where they filmed one of Frank Sinatra's segments.

I'm enjoying reading what you folks have to say. I must not be "chatty" this morning.

I have four timeshare weeks banked with RCI and feel I need to go somewhere. My oldest daughter is usually my traveling companion since my wife died. One of her Great Danes had twelve pups a few days ago. Either I go by myself or wait for the pups to grow a little.

I just bought another lot which needs clearing before I offer it for sale. I recently sold one and it seemed to be a good place to put the dollars. No, I'm not a realtor. I just buy something on occasion and try to sell it. That only happens two to five times a year. It's more of a hobby than a job. The price of real estate around the Asheville area has gotten out of hand and almost beyond my means to deal with the prices. Oh, well.

I wish everyone the best and hope the Fall is pleasant. If anyone gets a break I feel a visit to our area for the Fall season would be enjoyable. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 12:19PM
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TWELVE puppies?!!! Oy. Your daughter and Mama Dane are going to be busy for a while. lol

There must be some kind of dog-flavored karma in the water this week. I just returned from a doggie cruise on the Chicago River. I was given two tickets for this cruise, good for two humans and their dogs. Nice little tour by boat of the Chicago Loop and nearby coastline. I think Emma enjoyed it. She sat on my lap and took everything in. Ironically most of the guests on this cruise were members of a singles group. lol

Maria, the friend who accompanied me, told me the story of how she and her husband acquired Molly. She's their English Springer Spaniel. They were living in New York. A friend invited them to a barbecue. During the barbecue the friend brought out nine puppies. They were all happy, healthy and ready to be adopted. Ha! Is that sneaky or what? lol Of course all nine puppies went home with dinner guests that night.

Sharing this story in case it gives Gene's daughter some clever ideas. :o)


    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 4:00PM
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Good Sunday evening,
Seems good to be back in my humble abode after being around hordes of people all day. ( Sometimes I think I may be turning into a confirmed hermit.) It was a difficult day - I felt so sad inside, but outwardly had to appear cheerful. I think I may make different plans for this date next year.

Did get an e-mail from my Waynesville friend just to let me know she was remembering and thinking of me - such a nice "warm fuzzy".

Glad to see there are more dog lovers here. I have three and they are a lot of company - plus this winter I will have dependable foot warmers!!

My wishes for a good week ahead for all.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 9:07PM
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gerry, back a post or two you asked about Lake Marion. I usually put in at Packs Landing or John E. Land (not sure of the spelling of either). It is my favorite lake but I never catch much there. I am sure that it is because I just don't where to go. I just like it because it is so peaceful and beautiful - unlike Lake Murray and Wateree which are both just giant overpriced subdivisions.

Yesterday I went to Low Falls, one of the few areas that is almost totally undeveloped. It is definitely redneck country (you can almost hear the banjos playing) but I suppose Iyam what Iyam. I don't have the pontoon boat anymore, the cabin cruiser belongs to someone else - I'm selling it as a favor. So currently I'm down to one small fiberglass sneak boat. It is easy to handle and suits me perfectly. I really want to get a Kayak - I enjoy the excercise and sight seeing more that the fishing and I believe the Kayak might be for me.

I broke down and bought the Starbucks, French Roast, and it is good stuff. I know for sure that I like it when I only want cream and no sugar.

Today is gearing up to be a bit nerve wracking for me. I have an appointment to do hair (camouflage the grey), then downtown to drop off a resume for YET ANOTHER job change; it is within my organization but still the application and selection process ties me in knots. Then on to have some (hopefully) minor surgery this afternoon. The surgery should not be a big deal - it is the recovery that worries me - it is probably going to be very painful and I'm going to be a whiney baby. Good thing I have the whole week off because I don't want anyone hovering around.

Well, I guess I should start getting ready for this day.

Gene, you should post pics of the puppies! I love all FOUR legged babies.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 7:33AM
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gurley - I do hope your surgery goes well this afternoon. Be sure to pamper yourself the rest of the week
I think Packs Landing is the one at or near Rimini - the Sparkleberry Swamp is several miles further up, more toward the very tip end of Marion. There's a very nice boat ramp there, but no marina of any kind. It is very isolated and quite lovely. As I have mentioned, I haven't been there in years now. Last time I was there my fishing buddy and I were bombarded by ticks - lots more dangerous than the gators!! With no one to help me do a body search when I got home, I missed one, and wouldn't you know it was a tiny deer tick carrying Lyme disease. I didn't discover it until quite sometime later when the large red bull's-eye thing popped up and I developed a rash. I was fortunate because they told me at the emergency room that those symptoms don't always appear, so I was actually able to be treated before I became ill. Haven't been back since. Do most of my fishing now in Moultrie.
I lived up on Wateree for awhile in the early 80's. Rented a very nice 2 bedroom cottage unbelievably cheap because the owners were quite elderly and did not use it any more. Moved back into Camden when they finally sold it. I had some friends who built a beautiful home up there - absolutely huge!! (People kept asking them when the Holiday Inn sign was going up) They sold it a couple of years ago.

Gene, your Sunday drizzle has reached down here today. Today will be the perfect day to just stay inside and listen to a new book on tape. CVS was having a - great $4.00 sale on them recently so I picked up a couple. Normally, I had much rather read them myself - I really picked these up for the car. I bought "Winter Kill" by C.J. Box - it's a first novel described on the cover as "a classic mystery steeped in the sharp cliffs and the brutal wilderness of the Wyoming landscape" The other one is Anne Rivers Siddons "Islands". She is a local author (lives in Charleston) and has written a number of books on life in the Carolina Low Country. She has also written a work of nonfiction,"John Chancellor Makes Me Cry".

OMG, my keyboard seems to have diarrhea today!!!!

Bye, Y'all

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 1:47PM
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Hello, all - It's Wed. night and I'm dead tired. Helped my neighbor divide and repot several hundred aloe plants today. What on earth does one do with that many aloe plants? They are moving to a 75 acre homestead they have already purchased in Oregon soon as their place here sells and are planning to take all those plants (+ others) with them. They brought me over a pot of SOB stew so I didn't have to cook tonight. I will really miss them after they go - I've grown very fond of them, and will worry about them. They are both somewhat disabled. I wish them luck - they are still young.

Has anybody read a new best seller called "The Widow of the South", by Robert Hicks. I'm going into town tomorrow to see if I can find it at the library. It's a fictional account of a real life figure - lots of Civil War history. I rec'd an email yesterday from Becky (Inn at Iris Meadows in Waynesville) and she has asked a bunch of us to do book reviews to be shared with the writer as he will be staying there the weekend he is in Waynesville for a book signing. The book signing will be at the Osondu Booksellers in downtown Waynesville, Gene, in case you're interested (Sunday, Oct. 8, at 5:30 PM)

I have 2 dogs in "time-out" right now. They have been at each other all evening it seems, so I have one in one corner of the room and the other in another corner. My little JRT/Chihuahua mix with a Napoleonic complex, all 18 pounds of him, is the instigator. He seems to think he can push the 75 pound Collie around!! And sweet little Ess just sits by my chair and smiles. I love all three of them, but Ess is the light of my life. I call her "S" because her registered name is The Santee Swamp Sprite. She will also answer to the name "Brillo" which I sometimes call her. She is a Keeshond and looks sorta like an oversized Brillo soap pad!.
Gurley, I know what you mean about the Starbucks French Roast - it's my favorite. I buy it only now and then because around here it's $10 a pound and being on a fixed income, it's more of a luxury for me. SHHHHH - I usually drink a very COMMOM brand - Folgers - they have a dark roast, too, that is quite good.
I know I've rambled way too long, but just must tell you this little coffee tale. A few years ago I had on hand just small amounts of several kinds of coffee, so not being able to get into town for a few days, I mixed it all together in a quart jar. A little while later, before I had made a pot using the mix, my brother stopped by for a visit. He always makes himself at home when he comes, so he went into the kitchen and proceeded to make a pot of coffee. I noticed he kept sniffing it as he spooned it in. Now he is THE coffee connoisseur in our family, and after a few sips he said it was the best cup of coffee he had ever had and wanted to know what brand. I told him is was something new and very hard to find - it was called Gerriblend. He said he had never heard of it, but would look for some. He began writing the name down on an envelope he had in his pocket - then it hit him!! We both had a good laugh.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 12:51AM
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My last day of relaxation - ahhh - it was so nice.
The surgery went exceedingly well. The Columbia Skin Clinic is run by someone that I know and he referred me to one of the other doctors there. Top notch. If any of you ever have any skin 'issues' that is the place to go.

I stayed home an extra day to 'recuperate' and tomorrow it is back to the grind. Oh... tomorrow is Friday? Imagine that, only one day to go in the week :-).

I will work a couple of days of graveyard shift next week (which I love BTW) and then it is off to Fall Bike Week at Myrtle Beach.

The house is almost covered with it's first coat of paint. I have already done a second coat in the carport and that goes on pretty quickly. REALLY big job but it was a good decision. The gray looking color, for those of you who have seen the pictures, was actually primer.

The resume and job app have been delivered so it's fingers crossed for another month or so.

Gerry, I had to snicker picturing your pooches in 'time-out'. I can just see them with their little wet noses stuck in the corner.

My inside pet days are over. I have always had a pet in the house but it seems that the allergies of my youth are coming back to haunt me. I finally had to put my cat outside with the dog so the only inside 'pets' are fish. Dusty, the dog, is 15 but he doesn't know it. I have to face reality though - he has far outlived his brothers and sisters and his time is probably very near. I have struggled with whether or not to get another dog.

Dusty actually prefers to be outside. He was a rescue and just could never get comfortable in the house. I am not sure if it would be good to get another dog and just leave him/her outside.

Wow, I have really rambled on tonight haven't I? Well, I guess I'll get the coffee ready for in the morning and play a puter game to make myself sleepy.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 7:07PM
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I am still experimenting with lotions and potions to put on my face that really don't belong there. You would think that my Prep H experiment would have put an end to that (no pun intended).
My latest and greatest is Milk of Magnesia. Supposedly a very old fashioned remedy for shiny face. Well guess what? It really works! Now you can relieve heartburn, constipation and shiny face all in one bottle.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 7:12PM
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Shall have to try that MOM - I have heard about the Prep. H - just never got around to getting any.

Glad you're doing well after the surgery.

I WILL NOT ramble tonight. It has been a very trying day for me so now I'm going to take a couple of DAMNITOL and go to bed. Thats's a new drug - you take 2 and the rest of the world can go to heck for up to 8 full hours!!!!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 11:04PM
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Hey guys, ramble away! I'm not participating much in this thread because all I'm doing with my life is working and sleeping and walking Emma (b-o-r-i-n-g reading). But I love clicking on this thread and reading the musings of everyone else. Keep it up!


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 12:02PM
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Hi, again,
Tonight promises to be be a perfect night for sleeping - forecast is for temps in the 40's even this close to the coast. A blanket will be cozy.

Drove down to Charleston today to visit a Sears store. I'm shopping for a new refrigerator. Then back thru Summerville to the Lowe's store there. The prices reflected it, but for some reason I just couldn't see that gold plate anywhere!!

I have decided my fingers suffer from dyslexia tonight - already have had to make three corrections. Did you know that the word dyslexia is not in the Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary? Of course, it's a 1965 edition - guess they hadn't invented the word back then!

Coffee later - right now I am really enjoying a very cold bottle of hard cider. I learned to love it several years ago when a friend served it at an oyster roast. Will soon be cool enough to have an oyster roast.

All copies of "The Widow Of The South" were out at the library, so I've ordered it from Amazon. Should arrive on Monday as I requested the 2 day shipping.
I must spend tomorrow cleaning up and bringing in house plants. Just can't seem to get those gorgeous ferns to overwinter without a greenhouse, but they will look good yet awhile, even with the drier inside air. I'm going to put them in the guest bath. Then I can mist them every day. They'll take up most of the bathroom, but can always shift them elsewhere if I have guests - none expected until the holidays.

Gene, will there be frost on the mountains tonight?


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 9:44PM
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AAaack!! 40 degree weather!? When I saw your post I jumped right into bed so I could get up early this morning.

This morning I got my plastic put up in my garden room. It is a make-shift greenhouse built onto the side of the workshop. I don't do anything special in there but keep a few plants, start seedlings etc. Nice warm 'plant place' to go in the winter.

Finished the first coat of paint on the house after fixing the garden room and then went to a new Japanese restaraunt here in town. Used to be a little pizza place. Looks are very deceiving - you wouldn't think that this place could be all that great - but it is fantastic! I had a grilled shrimp salad with broccoli and three types of sushi. What a great meal - I will definitely be going back there.

Now I am just a piece of meat with eyes. I do have a few things left on my to-do list but after finishing off the White Russian ( my dessert) I am useless. I may get to a few more things - may not.

I do have a couple of bird houses I want to paint - that doesn't require much energy :-).

Gerry, I am going to have to check out Widow of the South. Have you ever read a book called 'Heart of the West' by Penelope Williamson? It is the only book I have read by her but I absolutely loved it.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 4:18PM
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Good Sunday Morning, All. Well, it will be morning for another fifteen minutes. Oh, well. Gerry, I rarely do anything social but I think I'll go to Osondu's next Sunday. I mentioned it to a daughter and she might come with me. I'll probably buy the book for her.

My wife was a reader of what she classified as "historical fiction". It seems Robert Hicks's book might be of the type. We went to St Simon's Island in Georgia to walk the old cemeteries. She spoke of the tombstone names and told me how they fit into the books. She read a lot and it seems she read a series called The Kent Family Chronicles. Was John Jake an author? The name rings a bell. I use to read for pleasure but while gainfully employed I read so much research material I got burnt out.

It could have frosted a place or two around Western North Carolina. I'm around 2500 feet and it was 39 degrees a few days ago. With a few cold nights I'm sure the some of the softwood tree's leaves will start turning. For whatever it's worth in the Fall the leaves turn to their natural color - brown. The chlorophyll (sp?) keeps them green, I think.

Gerry, you folks are starting your trip the third week of October? Do you know when you'll arive at Inn at Iris Meadows? Maybe we could put a faces with names. I've lost my ability to be social but will certainly give it a try.

My oldest daughter raises Great Danes to sell. I've offered her one of my digital cameras to take pictures. If she takes some pictures I'll see if there's a way to upload them to THS.

It's a perfect sunny Sunday in my area if one has the right frame of mind. Later on I may drive to the higher elevation of the Parkway to maybe see more color.

I wish everyone well and that life continues to be kind. Best regards, Gene

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 12:24PM
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I have most of my plants inside now. I cleaned them up by scrubbing off outsides of pots, picking out dead leaves and pine needles, flooded them with water to chase out little lizards, frogs, etc. I'm still chasing those little boogers though. They love to get up in the curtains, so are easy to see. I take them all outside and release them. I've had a little garden snake hanging around in my fountain garden all summer. Hopefully, he didn't come in with one of the plants.

Strange you shoud mention Penelope Williamson. The very dearest friend I ever had was named Patricia Williamson - she used to say she and Penelope were soul sisters. Pat had every book that Penelope ever wrote I think. I read some of them, The Outsider and Keeper of the Dream are two that I remember -don't believe I've read Heart of the West though.

Don't worry about your face. It's great that you're taking care of those spots. A couple of years ago my 33 year old son was diagnosed with malignant melanoma on his chest. They got it all with surgery and it had not spread to lymph glands. He still gets checked on a regular basis.. It has made us all much more aware of the dangers of overexposure.

Then, after all that work, the temps didn't go low as predicted - only dropped to 51 degrees instead of in the upper 30's.

I so love these warm days and cool nights.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 12:30PM
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Gene, We must have been posting at the same time.
To answer your question about John Jakes - he writes historical fiction - The Kent Family Chronicles, The North and South Trilogy, Charleston - among others. I don't think his latest book is on the shelves yet: The Gods of Newport. I'm anxiously awaiting that one.

Yes, our trip is planned for 3rd week of Oct.. Planning to leave here on 14th, headed for Blacksburg, VA. Will be there 2 or 3 days then began the Blue Ridge drive. Should be in Waynesville towards the end of the week. Will post more as plans firm up. Coffee at the Panacea would be nice. I haven't been there, but Becky tells me it's reminiscent of corner coffee shops in New York. I think you would enjoy meeting Becky and George. They're a little younger than we are (in their late 50's) George is a Hndersonville native, loves to play golf, retired from the newspaper publishing business. And Becky - well, she's definitely a breath of fresh air! They will likely drop in at Osundu's on Sunday for the book signing.

Have a good Sunday afternoon.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 1:25PM
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Cubis foiled me again!!! I had just got up to level 24 when it started slowing down and then had a 'windows error' at level 25. Drat#$@%!

I am trying very hard to keep my eyes open as late as possible. I am going to work at 10pm tomorrow night to work until 7am so I need to actually get my sleep tomorrow during the day. I am normally up at 5am every morning so my body is really not used to this.

I suppose I could put on a pot of coffee but I have a feeling that won't help.

Have a new garden interest; carniverous plants. I have been interested for a while but only after discovering that one poor neglected pitcher plant that I bought back in the spring has survived the summer did I take a real interest. My back yard has more than enough bugs to grow a good crop of them so I think I may just give it a shot. I could call it the Garden of Doom. That ought to keep the neighbors away!

I don't know why some of us just aren't 'people persons'. My best freind is the same way - she has to have her own space. I was in a book/coffee shop today and a man was standing right behind me - there was plenty of room for him to stand somewhere else but he had to stand less than a foot away from me as if someone else was going to steal his spot at the cash register.

I am not completely anti-social or I wouldn't enjoy this forum so much. But for the most part I just like the plants. They don't lie to you, try to impress you or judge you.

I'm going to fall bike week on the 4th and looking forwar to that. I have noticed that most bikers are pretty good about respecting another persons space. I can be in a crowd of bikers and not feel a bit uncomfortable but put me in a crowd at work and the next thing you know someone is trying to hug me or someone's wife is doing the 'kiss-kiss' thing on the cheek. Blagh!

Gene, I think I may get to see Oak Island while we are there. I believe it is about a 40 minute ride from the hotel so if the weather is nice a road trip may be in order.

Well, I just sat here and fell asleep at the desk so I may as well stop trying to write anymore. I'll give another puter game a try and then jusst give it up and go to bed.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 11:58PM
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Sorry, that was my southern pronunciation - I should have said 'carnivorous'.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 12:12AM
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Gene, Gardenweb has a forum devoted to posting photos. It would be the ideal place to post puppy photos. While it's not the appropriate forum in which to sell the puppies, nobody could deny you, the proud grandfather, this chance to show off the little ones! :o)


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 1:16PM
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Howdy, Folks - Gurley, if you go to Oak Island get a map from the Net, or something. Driving down the island is not scenic because you're in the middle. I suggest driving to Middleton Road (side road numbers decline as you and it's after 1st Ave). Turn left a couple of blocks to Beach Drive. Go right a half mile or so and stop at the Pier House Motel. Walk out on the pier (supposed to be N.C.'s longest) and look up and down the beach. It should be almost empty, but pretty. My last time there was when a daughter and I drove up from Cherry Grove. There and back, including stopping, was about four hours. I hope you enjoy it.

Three people were playing golf. The first hit a ball and it headed toward a narrow river. The river parted and the ball rolled through to the fairway on the other side. Another player said "That was a good shot, Moses".

The next player hit the ball. It landed on a lilly paid in the middle of the river. The player walked out onto the water and hit the ball landing it on the green. Moses said "Nice shot, Jesus".

The next player sliced the ball and hit a parked car's windshield. It bounced upward to the top of a building where it bounced around hitting chimneys and so on. Pretty soon the ball came to a gutter downspout, rolled down it to the ground, and proceeded toward the aforementioned water. When it got to the water a frog grabbed the ball with its mouth but at the same time an eagle swooped down and grabbed the frog. As the eagle was flying with the frog and ball it flew over the green where the three players were heading. As the eagle passed over the flag/hole the ball dropped from the frog's mouth and landed in the hole for a hole in one. Moses looked at Jesus and said "Sometimes I just hate playing golf with your Dad".

Gerry, that was funny we were writing about the same time. Thanks for the information about John Jakes. I hope you enjoy his new book. A picture in today's Asheville newspaper showed the Graveyard Fields on the Parkway. There's more of a color change than I expected. That area is around 5,000-5,500 feet.

I wish everyone well. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 12:08PM
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Good afternoon everyone. I just rec'd an email informing me that today is "Online Buddies Day" - So Happy online buddies day.

Gene, so glad you posted the golf joke. Love it.Although I think the Man upstairs meant us all to have a sense of humor (and I really think He has one), I have always hesitated to post anything like that on a public forum. You've given me courage! == When my children were growing up I always told them I was on a first name basis with God. One day my son asked me what God's first name was. I told him it was Howard - as in "Our Father who art in Heaven, Howard be Thy name......" Since then, whenever an important decision needs to be made, or when prayer seems the only place to go, we all still say: "I need to go talk with Howard awhile"
Got a sweet little note from my sister in Linville yesterday. She wrote it this past Friday - said it was windy and cold there. She doesn't live there full time, mostly long weekends. Before the winter snows begin they usually close up the house (drain water lines, etc) Their home and business is in Florence, SC, though I imagine they will eventually retire to Linville.

Weather here is quite lovely today. Actually had to turn on the A/C. You know you're in South Carolina when you have to switch from heat to a/c in the same day. We still have four seasons, though: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Christmas.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 3:11PM
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Well, here it is Friday evening - where have all the people gone? Guess Gurley is in M.B. living it up at Fall Biker's Week, Karen must be studying, Gene playing golf. Sure wish more of you would join us.

Big weather change coming this way - our local forecast for tomorrow is for a high of around 68, and windy. Windy I can do without. It means afterwards I'll have dead limbs and pine cones to pick up. I suppose I could bundle them up to use for fire starters - that is, if I'll go buy that outdoor fire pit I've been wanting! You know, those cast iron things on legs that have the wire covers.

The new refrigerator was delivered yesterday. Isn't it interesting how you can sometimes meet people? Turns out the delivery guy grew up in the same N. C. county I did.

I spent a lot of hours reading Robert Hicks book this week.
BTW. Gene, he is also doing a book signing in Asheville tomorrow afternoon before going on to Waynesville. I forget which book store Becky said though.

Spent most of today abed. Moved a heavy piece of furniture yesterday (actually just shoved it across the floor). Now I have a "catch" between my shoulder blades. It only hurts if I move, so I try not to move! Finally, the dogs insisted on being fed, so I had to get up. Then decided to feed myself. Settled on a slice of cold pizza. Not bad.

Gurley, do you have some Venus Flytraps? They grow wild in the swamps up around Wilmington, NC - I've never tried growing any.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 8:18PM
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Hello, Everyone. I'm sorry about your back, Gerry. I suppose rest is best. Having chores that must still be done is only of one of the many downfalls of being alone.

I was to attend the book signing at Waynesville. The daugher who was to accompany me now has other plans. A friend of hers raises minature donkeys. One was just born and for some reason she felt is was a must she go there. There's got to be a joke in there somewhere. Anyway, I'll not go alone to the book signing.

For whatever it's worth leaves are changing color rapidly. I have a few maples in my front yard and am already chewing up their fallen leaves with the lawnmower (couldn't find the rake, Gurley ).

As for traveling this time of year packing is tough. I recall my wife commenting that one must take almost twice as many clothes. Gurley, your seasons were very funny. I've traveled your area different times of the year and can understand your reasoning.

I'd heard the Howard story. I think it's funny. I never felt the name mattered.

Regards to All. Gene

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 6:43PM
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Hello everyone,

I am back from Fall Bike Week at Myrtle Beach and it was a nice time. Left on Sunday just as the rain set in.

Took some pictures, as usual, I'm always taking pictures, and I will include the link to them. Just click on the 'slideshow' button and it will cycle through automatically.

It was nice to get back home to my familiar surroundings. This afternoon I planted more daffodils and grape hyacinth. One day I will have a sea of daffodils in the spring. At my old farm (from my other life) I had thousands of daffodils. The previous owner(s) had been gardening buffs for generations. I simply divided up all of the old clumps and brought them back to life. I say 'simply' but it was actually many days of planting daffs for eight hours a day. But I enjoyed it and hope that one day whoever owns it now or in the future will enjoy it.

Tomorrow is back to work. The usual stuff.

Found some non-fat half and half for my coffee in the grocery store. My new kick is getting rid of all of the hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated foods that I have been eating. That includes all of the non-dairy creamers that I love. It's not bad. I have found though that the half and half tastes even better in my white russians than it does in coffee.

Getting bored with my hairstyle so I am going to spend the rest of the evening looking up 'hairstyles for older women' on the internet. I keep telling everyone else that women who age gracefully are more beautiful than those who keep trying to look younger than they are. But I'm having one he*& of a time being graceful about what I see in the mirror. Hard to take one's own advice ain't it?

Here's my link for those who want to look at pictures of motorcycles:

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 8:08PM
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Biking has changed so much in the last 20 - 30 years. I can remember when people used to say, "There's a biker gang in town, lock your doors, and ladies, don't go out alone." Now, bikers are very likely to be business executives, construction workers, postmen, good ole boys -- and they do such wonderful things like raising funds for charities, etc. Now, we hang our hands out the car windows and wave as we meet them on the roads. Change is great, isn't it? ---- Hope you had fun. Did you take Dusty with you?

Today, my collie bit a neighbor - not bad, just a nip really. So out of character for him and I am so upset. She was absolutely drenched in strong perfume, so he may have assumed she wasn't human! I've noticed before when she was over here that he watches her very closely, She's a teenager, so she may have teased him at sometime. In any even, I must call tomorrow for a refresher course in obedience training.

Today I learned how to get muscle rub in the middle of my back: put a glob of muscle rub on the back of a long handled wooden spoon and proceed to rub it where needed.

Today I also learned how to say "NO" politely but firmly. I got a call from an acquaintance. She was calling from her car phone, said she was about an hour away and wanted to stop in and spend the night. I am not usually anti-social, but I really don't like her very much, so I just told her her that this was not a very good time at all. I just do not like having unexpected overnight guests especially when my house looks like it does right now. I have been doing some heavy fall cleaning and everything is out of place, stacks of books all over the living room, no linens on the bed in the guest room. Plus she hates my dogs! Last time she was here she insisted they stay in my bedroom area. Hey, THEY live here!! And with my back still slightly out of whack I was not up to rushing around to get things in order. I probably won't hear from her again - HURRAY!!!

Really close friends or relatives are a different story. They are welcome at any time - but as I think about it, there's not a close friend or relative that I know of that would even do that.

Do I sound cranky tonight, or what? Oh, well, tomorrow will be a better day.

Happy Columbus Day!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 1:16AM
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I have a neighbor whose 'friend' does the same thing to her. I'm with you - I think that is quite an imposition. Especially the part about the dogs.

I cannot stay in someones house who has dogs anymore but it is THIER house. If you are going to be a guest you should remember that you are just that - a guest.

I learned today that - yet another - spot on my face requires surgery. This one tested positive. Ugh! Oh well, might as well get it over with. I should find out in a day or two when they will perform the procedure.

I can't really get motivated to jump into my usual projects that I normally have going on. I just feel like being lazy and sitting in front of the TV or something.

I actually cooked dinner tonight after work! Let me tell you that is quite an event. I baked cornbread and everything. I must really be ill or something. First I want to sit and watch TV all evening and next I'm baking bread. I'm not really sure what all of this means. Next thing you know I will be volunteering to babysit someones kids (not).

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 6:08PM
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Good Morning, Folks - Thanks to an inept surveyor and Buncombe County bureaucrats yesterday was more stressful than normal. So, to relieve tension I took a nerve pill and drove to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I walked the path to the Devil's Courthouse which is steep but not too long. It's around the 5500 ft elevation. The walk helped the stress but it's back this morning.

From my observation the Fall leaf season is here. There's a lot of yellows and orange. I don't recall seeing much red so the hardwoods may just be changing, or may go from green to brown as I've seen before. I drove about twenty miles of the Parkway and was surprised at such little traffic. Many of the overlooks were vacant. One could walk around by themself; have views of 100 miles; and try to acquire what little serenity they might have left. I imagine weekends might create more traffic so if anyone has a chance to go during the week I suggest it.

I've been drinking the Ethopian Harrar. After the Black Cat Expresso it tastes like water. Well, maybe I'll take that back. It's a clean blend and it seems they were looking for a clean after taste. I needed to add a little more coffee to my second batch to boost the flavor. My taste buds (which I've previously informed everyone they might be shot) rate it about a 6.5. I rate the Black Cat Expresso around a 7.5. I have Intelligentsia's Summatra and rate it about a 7. Starbucks Summatra I rated about an 8.

The unannounced party wishing to spend the night seemed completely wrong. Apparently she must have felt a deeper friendship existed or, on the other hand, she is in the habit of imposing. Maybe I shouldn't speak ill of the dead but my sister and brother in law, both in their 80's,use to have a couple stop by to see three or four times a month. The couple also were in their 80's. The couple always came about a half hour before lunch time. The couple was known in the community for being tight. They were also known to buy real property with paper bags full of money. When they passed on their holdings were multi-millions.

A widowed lady who owned most of a small town nearby was to have company for Thanksgiving once upon a time. For some reason the company could not come but the lady had already cooked the turkey. She took the cooked turkey to the grocer and demanded her money back. Since she probably owned the building he was in he refunded the money and took the turkey home to eat.

I wish everyone well. I ran across a poem/prose entitled "I'd pick more daisies". The author is unknown. If you get a chance to read it, please do.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 8:32AM
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For Candler and others:

If I Had My Life Over - I'd Pick More Daisies
Nadine Stair
If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 11:29AM
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Good Wednesday morning, All
Plans are to drive up to Virginia Saturday to visit my daughter. She just e-mailed me this AM that she is being invaded by box elder bugs and wanted to know how to get rid of them. I have seen a few from time to time, but never had a problem with them - no box elders or silver maples in this area. I've sent her some web sites to visit, also suggested she talk to the people in the botanical department of Va.Tech. (She works there at the veterinary hospital where her husband is interning)

Gene, that Devil's Courthouse you visited yesterday - is that up above Chimney Rock? A natural outcrop of rocks that forms an overlook? I recall visiting such a place in 1966. Don't remember that it was call Devil's Courthouse, but it did have the word "devil" in it. I thought it was ironic that my 6 year old son made the remark, "We're pretty close to God up here, aren't we"?

Actually, the lady who wanted to drop in for the night is a very distant cousin of my late husband. I have allowed her to do this to me for years on her treks southward down I-95. I'm only a few miles off 95 and it saved her the price of a hotel room. Not that she needed the savings - she always arrived in her BMW, Mercedes, etc. dripping with diamonds, and very picky about her food, etc. As they say, you can only be taken advantage of if you allow it. I choose NOT to allow it any more! (I have always wanted to have the nerve to hang a little sign that says: If you are unexpected or uninvited, you are probably also unwelcome) I agree - that's not very nice!!!

I must groom the dogs today. Can't have them not looking their best when I leave them at the boarding home.

Gurley, that baked cornbread sounds good. I tend to cook a lot when I cook, then freeze it in individual portions to pop in the microwave later. I still find it difficult to cook for just one person. I learned to cook back in the late 40's and early 50's. Grew up on a large farm with 4 sisters and 2 brothers, so often cooked for our family of 9.
Then during harvest season, also had to cook for up to a dozen day laborers. It all seems so very long ago......

Oops! Make that a good afternoon - I just noticed it's past the noon hour.

Hope you are having a better day today, Gene.

Gurley - keep us posted on your surgery. Hope all goes well for you.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 12:13PM
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Gene - Do you subscribe to Our State Magazine? (North Carolina) Or do you ever buy it from a local news stand? (Single news stand copies are rather pricey) I never see it on the stands around here so sometimes order a copy on line when it has something I want to read. Today I have just ordered the November issue since there is an article about the area where I was born and grew up. Soon as December issue is out I will order that one also.
If you happen to see the December issue browse through it for a piece called "A Perfect Weekend in Waynesville" It features some of the downtown shops and The Inn at Iris Meadows. One of the downtown shops (can't remember which one) carries a lot of Becky's nature photography as well as her stained glass. Exciting! Now, I'm gonna make a pot of Starbucks Dk French Roast and lift a toast to North Carolina:
Here's to the land of the long leaf pine
The summer land where the sun doth shine
Where the weak grow strong
And the strong grow great
Here's to back home
The Old North State


    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 5:04PM
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"Now, bikers are very likely to be business executives, construction workers, postmen, good ole boys."

Man, that ain't no joke. I knew someone who used to be the CEO of the Chicago Stock Exchange. (Ironically he's a North Carolina native!) This guy has about five Harleys and a BMW bike or two. He goes to Bike Week every year. Now he's got himself a slightly younger wife. She goes with him to Bike Week. They claim to have an amazingly good time every year! Wouldn't be surprised to learn that they were back at this year's Bike Week. Anybody run into a fun, outgoing couple named Clair & AD? :o)

Gene, congrats on your adventurous coffee spirit! IMHO Intelligentsia is just about the best there is. Yes, Black Cat is powerful stuff. I'm not surprised you're finding other stuff "weak" compared to it. Ethiopia Harrar isn't as strong. To my palate it seems more multi-leveled in its tastes. I like that. Right now I'm drinking some organic breakfast blend beans from Target. Good stuff. Unfortunately I discovered too late that my half-and-half has gone bad. So I'm sitting here typing, staring at a nearly full cup of undrinkable coffee. It's criminal! :o(

Anyway I'm off to work now. Working an open house on a gorgeous vintage condo in Lincoln Park. Wanna buy it? :o)


    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 9:26AM
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Good Morning (Sunday), Folks. Yes, it has frosted in places (like my back yard) in the Western North Carolina area for the past couple of nights. And, the leaves are falling like they are lead. This morning is very sunny with a Carolina Blue sky.

Devil's Courthouse? It is a tall and large rock outcrop with some sheer cliffs just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. A popular legend for the name comes from the area being part of the greater Cherokee Nation. As the story goes it became a meeting place for main councils of various tribes. The councils would often "hold court" for those wrongdoers (thus, the Courthouse). If the wrongdoer was determined guilty, and if the offense warranted harsh punishment, he/she would be tossed off the cliff (thus, the Devil's Courthouse). They didn't mess around, huh! I feel certain it is the place you visited in 1966 and I can see why your son would say that.

Mimi, I thank you for posting "I'd Pick More Daisies". I think it has advice for all of us regardless of age. I like to read it and afterwards shut my eyes to imagine I was 18. It does't work very well but I give it a shot. I wonder about the claimed author, Nadine Stair. One Net site casts strong doubts she wrote it. I have had a folder entitled "Advice" for years. I started it about twenty years before I retired so let's say I've had it since 1970. Even back then a few people I to whom I furnished copies said they had read it many, many years before. My copy says the author is unknown. From the Net article Nadine Stair was 85 when she supposedly wrote it. But, I've never seen when she claimed to have written it. It makes one wonder, doesn't it?

Gerry, my sister subsribed to Our State Magazine and passed it along to me. She no longer subscribes. This may or may not be humorous. Years ago I ran across a package that contained memorbelia (sp?) from the 1939 World's Fair in New York. In there was an issue of Our State Magazine. I offered it to the publisher in exchange for a year's subscription. The publisher never replied. I still have the 1939 magazine and some other 1039 publications. If I get to that folder I'll probably send the publisher a letter offering it without anything in return.

I'm glad you, too, are still doing the coffee thing, Karen. Half and Half - Boo! . I've been following your lead on a lot of coffees but I'll pass on that. Even with my late afternoon coffee and pastry I usually try to drink about a half of a cup first (always black) just to establish the taste. A month or so from now, when I finish what I have, I want to return to Caribou to see if the taste is as good as when I first tried it last Winter. I think that we coffee tasters have come to the conclusion that humans don't have the longevity to try everything that's on the market.

I enjoy reading what everyone says. The biker information brings back a thought or two. I had an Indian and rode it primarily at night. I had no tag and even without inspection restrictions any sensible law enforcement person would have made me take it to the nearest scrap metal yard. I enjoyed it only at times. I spent a lot of time nursing injuries that came from it. Soon after I got my draft notice in 1953 I had another wreck. There was a tall and wide hedge row nearby. I pushed/pulled it into the brush and left partially bleeding and limping. I never looked back. Yes, I did enjoy a beer or two back then.

I wish everyone well and I hope everyone continue to post notes. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 11:49AM
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I learned on Friday morning that my travel companion had a family emergency and could not make the trip to VA, N.C. I seriously considered going alone, but only for a minute! I just don't do well traveling alone unless it's not over a 2 hour drive. I'm disappointed that we didn't get to go, but on a positive note, it saved me a lot of money not having to board the dogs, buy gas, etc. Am still hoping to make the trip though before the snow flies.

So I have just moped around all weekend - did some reading (in keeping with Halloween I'm reading "Haunted America") - worked on an autumn wreath for the front door - baked a butternut squash - ate too much - vacuumed up all the dog hair - stayed up until all much for the exciting single life!!!

Mimi- I enjoyed reading "I'd Pick More Daisies" again. Another of my favorites is the one about wearing purple:
WARNING - When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, with a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells and run my stick along the public railings, and make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain and pick the flowers in other people's gardens, and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat, and eat three pounds of sausages at a go, or only bread and pickle for a week, and hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we musgt have clothes that keep us dry, and pay our rent and not swear in the street, and set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now, so people who know me are not too shocked and surprised when suddenly I am old and start to wear purple. (written by Jenny Joseph)

I'm not too set on learning to spit though. Some things one cannot do with dentures, at least I can't. I sneezed the other day and my top denture flew out and hit my little dog, Murphy. It scared the pee out of him - quite literally! He actually peed the floor when he saw my teeth lying there!!Then I laughed so hard I almost did the same thing!
Poor pup - tonight he got his head stuck in a yogurt cup.

Ain't life grand?!!

Goodnight, All

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 11:40PM
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Good Saturday (21st) Morning, Folks - When I woke yesterday my lawn had maple leaves from one end to the other. I must have dozed pretty well. Oh, well, just another job for Mr. Deere.

I have a sugar maple that's beginning to turn on the top. For color it is the best I have. The family use to travel to Northern Virginia through the Shanandoah Valley. I commented about the beauty of the sugar maples throughout those mountains. A few weeks later, after we got back home, I saw something that looked like a broom stick with a sack at the bottom leaned against the garage door. My wife had bought one of the trees. At the time I planted it I wanted to be sure I was far enough away from the house. After, I suppose, 30 years, I'm afraid some trimming will be in store in the not too distant future. The tree is outside two of the bedrooms. When the sun is shining on it after the leaves turn yellow the reflection looks like a spotlight is being shined on the windows.

Gerry, I'm sorry you didn't make your trip. I'd planned to try to make connection at the B&B. Maybe they'll be another time. We played Maggie Valley CC two days ago. I was having trouble with my contacts. The ground was wet. The ground was fertilized. My golf ball rolled on the ground. I picked up the ball. I rubbed my eyes. The fertilizer got in my eyes, and so on. I'd brought regular glasses anticipating a problem. I scraped my eyes removing the contacts. I had tried to clean my hands with water from a bottle but it must not have worked. This was around the 7th hole. I kept playing but had blurred vision in one eye. Maybe I learned something. I hope so.

More often than not I don't go back to reread some posts or I wouldn't be asking this. Gerry, do you live in Virginia? And, Gurley, do you live in South Carolina? Virginia is so historical. I've seen more historic places there than anywhere else. I like coastal area of South Carolina. Once out of the Myrtle Beach area and heading South one can begin to enjoy it more. I use to like to check out the small towns.

I'm back in the fold with the surveyor, I hope. I'll know Monday. I can't say that for the local government bureaucrats. I try to be decent if they are decent. They seem to enjoy their authority and that's all it takes.

My grandson just turned 25. I'm going to propose a thought to him. He or I will write the first chapter of a book. Then we'll alternate chapters and see what we can come up with. I casually mentioned it the other day but we didn't discuss the content. I have a couple of thoughts. We'll see. Back in the early 90's I was on Prodigy and was connected with an Internet group comprising of around 100 people. I proposed something similar to them and it went no where. I thought it would be interesting to take a fairly large group of people and write a book. After the first chapter is written it would be sent to the second. They would do a chapter and send it to the third, and so on.

I like the panhandle area of Florida. There's an area called Tavaare (sp?) Beach, I think. It was isolated and picturesque. I'm with RCI and may try to go there next month. Last year I kept extending and finally went to Tybee in February, I think.

I wish everyone well. In my "Advice" folder I found an old copy of the bricklayer's lament and get a good laugh every time I read it. With Buffalo getting the early snow storm I've been looking for the story about the fellow moving from Florida to there but must not have kept it. It, too, was very funny. I hope today is a very happy for all. Gene

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 7:59AM
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Greetings, all,

Gene, I live in South Carolina. Click on (My Page) by my user name for more info. It's not quiet current in that I now have only 3 dogs. My 13 year old Heinz 57 passed away in July.
I was born and grew up in southeastern North Carolina. I do have a daughter living in Blacksburg, VA

That Maggie Valley CC course is tough!! I always golfed on fairly flat or slightly rolling courses. Played MV only once many, many years ago - end results looked more like a bowling score than a golf score!!!!

I've participated in those "write the next sentence" games, but a whole book? - (chapter really) - I'm really not much of a writer. Have no imagination when it comes to plots - just can't think of enough stuff for "filler". I write some poetry now and then when I'm moved to. I suppose I could take my lifetime collection of journals and do something with it - a fiction based on fact, perhaps.

The leaves are falling fast and furious here today also. It's a bit windy and cooler than usual. It will still be awhile before the gound is well covered though. Yesterday was 86 degrees and I had to run a/c - today will maybe reach low 70's. I turned on the heat for a few minutes early this morning to take the chill out of the house.

My Keeshond was spayed this week. She will be 7 in Dec and is past her prime for showing, and when showing, dogs have to be "intact". I only did local shows. Her breed is rare in this part of the country. Actually, the weather is much too warm here for them unless they are inside dogs or have airconditioned kennels. I get annoyed at some of our locals who insist on calling her a Keesh Hound.
Correct pronunciation is "case-hond" - also correct is the slurring of "case" so it comes out "caze". It is the national dog breed for Holland - long ago called simply barge dogs. I bred and raised Keeshonden for several years. My little Ess was from the last litter I bred, then I signed my breeders over to my brother, but he is no longer raising them either.

Yes, I was very disappointed about not being able to make my planned trip. I guess I worry too much about traveling alone.

I would like to go take a walk in the woods, but with it being deer season, I'm afraid some over eager hunter might mistake my white hair for a deer's backside. A couple of years ago my brother and I were walking in the woods at his place up near Sanford, NC, when we heard a shot and a bullet whizzed by so close we could hear the little whistling noise it made. I dropped to the ground and he jumped behind a tree. Turned out to be some neighboring teenager claiming to be doing some target practicing from his yard. He couldn't have seen us, so we knew we were not his target. We did report it.

Have a nice fall weekend.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2006 at 11:46AM
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Good Morning all,
A rainy Sunday morning in a cozy warm house has me feeling, well, downright lazy. I am tempted to light a fire in the fireplace and just sleep the day away. I had an eleven day work week so I am really enjoying this weekend. Have my Nora Jones CD and some classical playing and some aroma pots going life is good! It is all the more appreciated after the last few hectic days at work.

Yesterday I finally got my old van back from having her painted. She looks like a brand new girl! Need to take her to the mechanic tomorrow and then she is back on the road again.

I am on a mum planting kick so I have pots of mums sitting around all over waiting to be planted. Never could get mums to do anything since Ive moved south until I moved into this house. They seem to like it here. Bought a stag horn fern yesterday peculiar looking animal I have never been able to get houseplants to do anything but Im going to give this one a try. I have a sunroom that I dont heat, it never gets too cold and it may be just humid enough to work out. The garden center had one hanging from a chain that was the size of a medicine ball looked like something prehistoric.

Got bored with coffee this morning so I made a concoction of fat-free half and half, chocolate, caramel and coffee. Great stuff!

Gene, yes I am in South Carolina. Went to Oak Island as you suggested and it is a very nice peaceful beach. Does it stay that way in the summer as well? I went to Tybee earlier this year and loved it! Not as commercial as many of the other beaches.

I am getting closer to getting a kayak. Just have so many other projects going but it is something that I really want to do. I fantasize about paddling through a quiet swamp with my music playing softly and the herons and Spanish moss all around me.
I have always said that when I die I want to be cremated and have my ashes spread in the swamp it is one of my very favorite places to be.
I tried bringing Spanish moss home to put in my trees but after 3 years I am giving up. The birds keep stealing for their nests. I may give in and get some more for the winter though I love to see it hanging in the trees when they are bare.

Well, I think I will go sit and just nap for about an hour. Our stores dont open til after noon on Sundays and I have a little shopping I want to do today.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 10:52AM
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Good lazy Sunday afternoon,
Gurley, we seem to be on a parallel train of thought today. I guess it's the cool, rainy weather. I'm drinking hot chocolate and wishing I had a fireplace in which to build a fire. Instead, I have the central heat on just high enough to keep warm, a few candles burning, and am listening to baroque style music. Spent most of yesterday getting the house looking more like fall - did a centerpiece for the dining table, hung the fall wreath on the door, broke a large bunch of goldenrod from the roadside. I have a couple of limbs of real cotton bolls I got from a farm last year just before they harvested which I stuck in a canning jar, a basket of winter squash on the Hoosier cabinet, some pumpkins on the steps. Changed the cushion covers on the sofa and chair to something more fall/winter. I have a shaker style loveseat and chair with the loose cushions so I have made several sets of covers for them and change with the seasons. A pot or two of mums would be nice, too.
(Can you tell I have a country cottage?)

Sometimes I feel that it would be nice to have someone to share my simple life style - I don't have the outlets with work as you do, plus I'm a good many years older than you. (will be 68 on 11/17)
Mind you, I said SOMETIMES. Mostly, I think I have adjusted quite well to being alone these past three years. I talk to the dogs, sometimes even read poetry to them. They listen attentively, but I think it's the rhythm they like!!

I love the Hazelnut scented candles this time of year, and they are also a good color for the Thanksgiving season - sorta the color of Dijon or brown/spicy mustard.

If your dog is long haired, scatter tthe loose hair in some corner of your back yard when you brush him and perhaps the birds will use that instead of stealing your Spanish moss. I have noticed that the moss seems to grow better in oak and crepe myrtle trees. Tupelo trees are good hosts, too, but most people don't have them in their yards. Around here the swamps are full of them.

My Weather Bug Severe Weather Alert just flashed on monitor - it's an Amber Alert - two young children abducted in Columbia yesterday.

Gene, I'm glad to hear you and the surveyor are back on the same page.

I just made a fresh pot of coffee, which should last for most of the afternoon. I've decided two cups of hot chocolate is my limit.

I agree - it's nap time. Rain is falling heavily right now.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 1:17PM
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Good Sunday (29th) Morning, Everyone. I don't have a pet and, for the time being, don't want one. I've had dogs and cats in the past but there were two of us to care of them. I like animals and the outdoors. On occasion I see deer, turkeys, coons, skunks, fox, and, of course, possum. I enjoy seeing them all. I'm no longer a hunter. I have a son in law that begins in September and finishes in January. I'd like to go with him to take photos but don't think I'd care to see him shoot animals.

I've had times over the past couple of months that I've felt very alone. It's odd but the moments may come at any time whether it be day or night. Having a pet wouldn't cut it. It would be nice just to know someone was there to whom I could comment, should I care to do so, and get a comment back, should she care to do so. Have you ever felt that way. I have a small gram nerve pill that helps. I've sometimes wondered if these moments may work themself into longer periods and if I might be prone for full scale depression. Who knows!

I talked to my grandson about each writing alternating chapters. I told him of a story I'd congered up in my brain many years ago. It's along the Stephen King line. I didn't get much of a response. He reads a lot and I thought a reader would just have to have a desire to write. Maybe I'm wrong. I may mention it one more time and if nothing positive comes that'll be it.

Gerry, I thought about writing and needing "fillers". I had to smile when I had an immediate thought. Use large fonts and double space. How's that for a quick solution . I have single book, Gray's Elegy Written In A Country Church Yard. It is laid out in a format that I'll use if I ever finish and publish my poem.

Most leaves have dropped from the softwoods. Yes, Mr. Deere did clear the yard. I go forward; back up; go forward; back up; keeping the leaves going in one direction. Most wound up under the maples where I put a rock perimeter several years ago. I imagine they'll rot and supply some type of nutrient to the soil.

I'll be taking the tag and insurance off the Miata at the end of November. It almost seems a waste of money to have it on the road from May through November. I've probably not driven it more than a couple of dozen times. As I said before, driving it alone is not much fun.

Gerry, Gurley, and Others, it seems you're acclimating yourself and your environment for the winter. I've done nothing. I began moving things around in the garage in thoughts of once again having a functional work area. I've been going at it a week a few hours a day. I've got a bunch of tools and stuff to either sell or take to Goodwill.

I'm expecting a call pretty soon. When one comes in it may kick me off the Net and this site. So, I may write more in a day or to - or not! Happy Halloween to all. I enjoy reading your posts. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 10:17AM
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Good Sunday afternoon.
It is an absolutely lovely fall day here - sunny, 67 degrees, slight breeze. Only one problem - the leaves that are falling are just all brown. We just don't get much of the color here.

Yesterday, I drove over to a little town (Moncks Corner)to visit a friend. I passed a field that had a lot of those huge round bales of hay and remembered how my daughter, at age 5, had seen some across a field many years ago and had called them buffalo. Since then we have always called them that as a joke. The very next field (pasture) I came to had a herd of REAL buffalo. I might have missed them except that the truck ahead of me almost came to a stop so the people in it could look. I just couldn't believe it. It's rather hard to imagine that 200 years ago those rugged creatures roamed our western prairies by the thousands. On my way home I pulled over to the shoulder of the road and watched them a few minutes. Just made my day!

Gene, I know how you feel about thinking your grandson would be interested in writing. I have a son I wish would do some writing for others to enjoy. He has such a wonderful grasp of the English language. In high school he won an essay contest for this area, went on to state finals, got to meet the govenor. He was also on the National Forensics Debating Team. He has a definite gift of gab, yet actually talks very little unless he feels the need to expound upon a particular subject.

I suppose most of us get that alone feeling at times. As you mentioned, there are times when one needs so very badly to share a moment in time with another person - a sunset, the first rose of summer, a sudden change in the weather, how good the coffee is this morning, etc. It's a different feeling than being lonely though, don't you think? I don't know as I ever feel lonely, but yes, I do feel alone some times.

Veggie soup simmering on the stove, and should be about ready to eat. I plan to take a container of it to my neighbor who had surgery earlier in the week. I really should bake some cornbread, too. Ummm, Southern Comfort food.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 3:15PM
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Howdy, Folks. I have six ewe bushes beneath a window. They're now 6' tall and I wish to prune them almost to the ground. We're having 60 degree days and 35 degree nights in the Western North Carolina mountains. Would this be a proper time time for pruning? Any suggestions or thoughts? I don't have a green thumb. Yes, I posted this question under shrubs in the gardening section. There was limited discussion about pruning and some of you seem to be more willing to share knowledge. Thanks, Gene

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 9:01AM
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Good morning, Gene
I really don't know much about yews since they don't tend to grow well here in the heat. From things I have read about them, they are very slow growing. I am assuming you have the hedge type yews rather than the ones that grow into tall trees.

Cutting them almost to the ground seems a little drastic since it would take a long time for them to look good again. It would not hurt them to prune out any weak or dead branches, and clip off straggling limbs, clip to shape it up a bit. These things can be done at any time.

Don't know how high your windows are from the ground, but if the shrubs are beginning to grow up higher than your windows you can keep them trimmed so they don't get that tall. It wouldn't hurt to do that much pruning now.

Wish I could be of more help. Hopefully, someone in your gardening zone will be able to give you more information.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 10:06AM
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After doing the above post, I began giving some thought to your pruning problem. So I Googled "Pruning Yews" and found one site that says that pruning junipers, aborvitoaes, yews can be done anytime from mid-April to mid-August. Pruning later would likely leave unhealed wounds that could result in winter damage. This came from the ag dept at NDSU, which I guess is No. Dak. and it gets a lot colder there than in the NC mountains. Still, you might want to wait for a reply from someone in your area with more knowledge about yews before you get out those hedge clippers.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 11:01AM
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Gurley, I think in a post above you mentioned you had just acquired a staghorn fern. If you haven't seen it yet, over on the Tropicals forum someone has posted pics of a very large one. Interesting.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 7:33PM
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Good Morning, Folks - I appreciate the helpful information about the yews. I'm in my home office looking out the window. A third of the view is blocked by them.

Where did the addage go that stuff was to be trimmed when the sap was down during the winter? I guess yews, and maybe some other evergreens don't fall into that category, huh.

While I'm guessing I may as well confess I actually thought they were called "ewe's" (not to be confused with a female sheep, as I was told). I recall helping my wife plant them but never gave them much thought afterwards. I'll try to remember the proper name.

To keep them from blocking the window I might do some light trimming as has been suggested. In the Spring I'll do a little more but after reading what's been said it'll not be as dramatic. It has taken them a long time to get as big as they are.

Gerry and Gurley, I've been seeing a house for sale on Lady's Island that's a little north of Savannah and maybe not very far from Paris Island. The land is so flat the inspector's report said water will run neither toward or away from the house (1700 square foot double wide mobile home). From the map it seems there would be decent inland waterway boating and good fishing.

I hope all are doing well. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 9:47AM
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Hey everyone!

I have been in a funk lately and didnt feel like posting but I have enjoyed everyone elses posts. It is one of the things I look forward to when I come home at night.

I finally got my interview for a job I had applied for. Looks like I am a shoe-in. It is a bit complicated but the jist of it is that the pay is the same but in todays world of budget cuts and downsizing the move would help to guarantee me a retirement check and at least part-time work after retirement should I so desire.

I turned one half of my sunroom into a work out area I am really enjoying that. We are allowed one hour 3 times a week to work out but generally I am too busy and/or I just really prefer to work out by myself away from prying eyes.

Chili is on the stove tonight. I read that the small red bean is one of the best anti-oxidants so I have been trying to think of ways to use them. I made a pot of low-fat chili using ground turkey browned in olive oil but I cheated and used a pre-mix chili seasoning packet. It tastes pretty good so far but I made it just a little too salty so I threw a small potato in to help absorb some of the salt. Chili will be a nice comfort food this weekend as it starts to get a little cooler.

I bought my tickets to the Colonial Cup in Camden today. For those of you who are not familiar with it, it is a steeplechase race that is held here twice a year. A small group of us are going and we will tailgate out of my van. I think it should be a lot of fun.

As an ex-horse trainer I am generally opposed to horse racing just because I had to train so many too-young horses and watch so many get ruined for life before they were even 2 years old. I dont mind steeple chasing though because it generally relies on the strength and stamina of the older horse. At this stage of my life I can really appreciate anything that glorifies older J.

Well I think I will wrap this up before it turns into a novel. Goodnight all!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 6:49PM
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Gurley, I'm so envious! I lived in or around Camden from late 1979 until 1985 and never missed a cup race. Always attended both the Carolina Cup and the Colonial Cup. I would so love to go again, meet up with old friends, neighbors. That was definitely THE social event of the season, spring or fall. I met the love of my life there at the Carolina Cup the spring of 1980. Married him in December of that same year. We were married for 23 years (lacking 3 days).. When a Cup race was being held we always had a house full of out of town guests, sometimes even bunked down on the living room floor. Those tail gate parties were great fun. Ah, it all seems so very long ago.

Interesting coincidence - I was married to my first husband for 23 years also. Now if I could just find the third one and stay married another 23 years I would only be 91 years old.

Gene, I received snapshots via e-mail today of fall foliage around Waynesville. Lovely, though I have seen it more vivid in the past.

Today is my daughter's birthday. She and her husband left early this morning for a long weekend retreat in the north Georgia mountains. They're staying in a lodge near Chatsworth.

Guess I better go pull out the old red long handles for sleeping in tonight. Does anyone know why they call them long handles? Actually, mine are 2 piece red fleece P.J.'s.

Best of luck in your new job, Gurley, should you decide to accept it.

Speaking of horses - don't know if I've mentioned it before, but my daughter works in the OR at the vet hospital at Virginia Tech. She was on call last weekend and said she had to assist in two horse colics. Gurley, I'm sure you know what that entails (no pun intended), having trained horses. DD said she got sprayed and doesn't think she can ever get rid of the odor. I think that was part of the reason she felt the need to get completely out of the state for this weekend!

Hope everyone has a good fall weekend - weather should be perfect.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 8:53PM
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Good Sunday Morning, All. While leaves were in their Fall color I only took one scenic drive and that was more to relieve stress than enjoyment. Still, on occasion, I travel the Blue Ridge Parkway as a main highway connector which is colorful. And, I can see mountains through some windows and from the yard which, too, is colorful. The leaves still hanging on are primarily varied shades of brown which has an appeal.

Speaking of appeal yesterday I bought a painting. It was $30.00 and from a Salvation Army thrift store. For those nearer the ocean you might understand why it grabbed a mountain person's interest. It is of a semi-hazy day when one is standing at the ocean's edge looking to the sea. The waves are breaking somewhat heavily. The sun is trying to peek through and its light penetrates the thinner area of the wave's top. In the distance three gulls soar. Someone, maybe the artist, painted the frame. Around the part closest to the painting they trimmed it in green to highlight the water and in blue to highlight the hazy sky. I buy things like this and, like now, have no idea where I might put it. But, it will bring some moments of enjoyment for at least a while.

Gerry and Gurley, it seems you folks have and are having a life. I enjoy reading what you have to say. I appreciate your helpful information whether it be about Yews or an insight to life.

I have a Catch-A-Call and think someone tried to call. My youngest daughter (38) often calls on Sunday morning. Sometimes we drive out to a mall. I get her to drive so I can just look. That's just another pitfall of being alone. Driving literally causes one to not see the forest for the trees, huh.

I hope everyone is well and that life is good. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 9:54AM
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Good Sunday evening to All,
This has been a very productive weekend for me. Yesterday I went into town and got my monthly grocery shopping (including Thanksgiving) done. Then paid all my bills that have come in.

This morning I took a long, long hike thru the woods. Of course, I took the big Collie with me on a leash, of course, so he didn't wander off and leave me. I found some pretty pine cones. Also, underneath a cedar type tree I found cones(?) that look like beautiful little wooden roses. There is a tree at my mother's old house that has those. I don't know if they are called cones, but that's my name for them. I can add some nuts - walnuts, brazil nuts, etc. - and make a wreath for the holidays by gluing them to a grapevine wreath.(I make my own grapevine wreaths each year when I trim the grapevine) May also use some of the little swiveled up pomegranates that never matured and are still hanging on my bush.

This afternoon I gave my SLOW computer a good dose of technical M.O.M. - defragmented, ran a virus scan, cleaned hard drive of a huge plate of "cookies", removed a pocketful of "Cache", removed all those temp. internet files, etc. etc. etc. I was a little behind on performing maintenance, so there was a lot to do. Now it's running like it has had a shot of B-12 or something! And I installed that patch to fix a flaw in Internet Explorer. I don't use it as my default browser, but do use it sometimes.

Gene, I'm sure your painting is lovely. I have a canvas (not framed) of a swamp scene. Can't tell if it's sunrise or sunset, but has some pink/peach/blue tints just above horizon. It has lots of cypress trees and knees, Spanish moss dripping from the trees, and an old wooden fishing boat pulled up on the bank. It even has a dirty rag hanging over the side that looks as if some fisherman was wiping his hands on it. For lack of a proper place to hang it, I have it hanging in my hallway. It's so peaceful and serene - (and Gurley would probably love it since she likes canoeing around in the swamp) Many years ago when I had a den-type room, I had the picture hanging on a wall with some cane poles and other fishing paraphernalia (sp?) I got that idea from my mother - she had a similar wall on her closed in porch. I have a sister who is a decent artist and was studying art in college. At some time when she was home she had stored a large flat box under her bed with some art supplies, etc., in it. My mom found it when she pulled it out to vacuum underneath the bed. There on top was a large sheet of art paper with what Mom thought was a painting (it was actually where my sister had been cleaning brushes) Anyway, Mom salvaged it, framed it, titled it "Canoe in a Canebrake" and hung it. When one looked at it a moment, it actually did look like there was a brown canoe partially hidden in some canes. Mom could see beauty in the most common things, and she instilled that ability in us. It's very touching to see my brother - all 6' 4", and 240 lbs -stoop down and cradle a tiny, scrawny meadow flower in the palm of his hand.

We all have a life. It may not be what we would have chosen had we had more say-so in the matter, but it is what we have been dealt. I feel sometimes that I fail to make the most of mine. I used to get so involved in community things - even ran for town council once back in the dark ages- but I just don't feel the need to do those types of things anymore. I joined a local senior singles group a couple of years ago. Discovered that wasn't for me either. I belonged to a gardening club for awhile, but felt pressured about having to host get-togethers - like GW better! I have a few close friends that I see now and then. I cannot abide these drop-in-for-coffee-everyday type of friends, or the "where were you all day? I called you four times" type. It's really none of their business where I was and some days I choose not to answer the phone. I like the kind of friend you can sit and talk with now and then, go weeks without talking at all, then just pick up where we left off before - like it was only yesterday. I like the kind of friend that I can confide in if I feel the need, and know that what I say will never go further. Those are rare.
I no longer feel the need for "busy" stuff. I can weed in my yard all day, or I can sit and watch the weeds grow and elect to call them wildflowers.....I did a lot of that this summer.

Does anybody have a copy of "Fall Is For Looking Back"? I don't know who wrote it, but the last few paragraphs read:

What is a beautiful fall? Is it only the one with vivid leaves in brilliant colors? What happens when the rains wash the leaves down from the trees before they ever have a chance to float on autumn's winds?

What is a beautiful life? Is it only the one with a vivid career and a colorful success story? What happens when the rains of adversity wash out years of our lives before we've had a chance to live out our dreams?

The sun is setting now and the leaves are black against the autumn sky. They look the same as they did in the lowering darkness of the green nights of summer. I know they are dying only because today's light told me that by showing me their fury of colors.

I wonder...when my own leaves fall to the earth, will anyone remember how beautiful my colors were?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** *

Enough rambling already!!

Good night and may your dreams be pleasant.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 8:49PM
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Gerry, you struck a note with me, probably without meaning to.

We have the upcoming holiday 'parties' at work and the only one that I was thinking of going to is two days after my surgery on my nose. I had planned on not going because I really didn't want to go with a big bandage in the middle of my face.

I had finally remembered some of my own advice - "nobody really cares what you are doing or what you look like". So I had decided to go. As I have mentioned before I am very much a loner and this is the only work function that I ever bother going to all year - so I am going to go, bandage or no bandage.

When you wrote 'will anyone remember how beautiful my colors were it made me think of that. Nine times out of ten people don't really notice us at all - we just think they do - so I try to spend my time absorbing as much as I can that gives me some sort of pleasure.

I worry much less now days about 'projecting' any thing at all. I do still wear make-up every day but now it is because it is fun to put on (don't ask me why - I just think it is fun).

I don't have any need to hang out with the group even when they openly call me anti-social; they only want a larger crowd around so that they have more people to impress.

I am over high heels and cleavage - thank goodness I don't feel the need to do that anymore.

My furniture stays put forever - no rearranging to create a 'new look'.

Now that I see this in print I am wondering just what it is that I do that is interesting .... well

Coffee - the taste is very pleasureable - if I were given a last meal request it would just be a good cup of coffee.

Walking - I absolutely love to walk and am always looking for excuses to walk more.

Horses - I am finished with making them a lifestyle but I still love to watch well groomed horse perform. I love to visit the stables of well-kept horses. Something about shiny tack and clean stalls gives me a good feeling.

My home - it is very modest but very comfortable. I just like being in it.

I love to just relax with a good glass of wine and reflect on how good I have it now. It wasn't always this way and I enjoy the fact that, generally speaking, I am at a place in my life where struggle is not required to put food on the table. Who knows? I may have to again one day so I want to enjoy it while it lasts.

Chocolate - I absolutely LOVE chocolate. Coffee beats chocolate but not by much.

I do some charity work but it is more material than anything. I don't want to be personally involved with the children that I give to but never the less finding out what their needs are and providing for them gives me great pleasure.

You know, I keep seeing more and more of myself in this coffee shop. I am learning more about myself by writing and I am beginning to see that I may be somewhat dysfuntional socially. As I have said before I am married but we are basically like two porcupines that know how to co-exist with out pissing the other one off.

But as for everyone else - I am not unhappy with out a zillion people around me - so I will just hope that there is nothing really wrong with that.

Was there an original point to this post? I think I have rambled out of what ever it was.

Oh yes, Gene, Gerry is right. We all have a life. I admit there are days when I just ramble around and don't know what to do with myself.

And there are very many days when I wish that I could be a part of some 'group', belong to something. But I already know, because I have tried it too many times, that it doesn't work for me.

My best times come when I am alone in the woods, or in my garden room with some music playing. As I mentioned above I am going to the Cup but everyone knows that I have the van that they can put food in - but I will be off doing my own thing. There are a very select few people that I know that realize that about me and are O.K. with it. I like to be around them sometimes.

The place that I have come to enjoy most as of late is right here. I can do a bit of socializing with people who are friendly. And when I am feeling out of sorts I can just read up on what you all are doing for a little interest and nobody cares if I don't have any input.

Well this one HAS turned into a novel. Time for a subject change.

Gene I am going to bid on some property tomorrow. Not on the scale that you do but a quarter acre that backs up to my property. It is landlocked and not large enough to put a septic on so I am figuring that no one else will have a use for it. I just want it as an extra buffer around me. I would dearly love to buy a little cottage that is right next door to me but they won't sell.

The property that you mentioned sounds fantastic. I will have to check out Lady's Island. I love the Savannah area. If you decide to buy maybe you could rent it out for a weekend here and there? :-) Taking the sneak boat through the salt marshes is on my list of things-I-have-never-done-but-am-going-to-do.

Well I think it is time for me to wrap this up - have to be at the assessors office bright and early - I just found out this evening that I have to stay there ALL DAY.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 9:41PM
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I have been watching some other discussion forums on the topic of this book;

"Party of One - The Loners' Manifesto" by Anneli Rufus.
Has anyone read this? I have seen conflicting reviews on this book and am trying to decide if I want to order it or not.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 6:44PM
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Gurley, I haven't read it - in fact hadn't even heard of it until I read your post. Have you visited the author's website? It's interesting what she says about how a "loner" is perceived. (Sounds like a few people who post here) :)

It has rained here almost constantly since late last night. Coffee is just the best ever today - I think this is cup #4 - or is it #5? In any event, I just had to make a 2nd pot. It makes 10 cups, I use a large mug, so only get 5 cups out of it. Somehow, coffee always tastes better on a rainy day.

I think you have an interesting life, Gurley, and I enjoy reading about it. Keep talking about it. And of course, the Coffee Shop just wouldn't be the same place without Gene's input. It's good to have some male perspective.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 1:03PM
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I pickup up a copy of Party of One - The Loner's Manifesto
today. So far I have read the introduction and the first chapter. Already I have recognized several "loners" I have known in my lifetime - and they are NOT scarce as hen's teeth! They aren't (quote) "crazy, cold, stuck-up, standoffish, aloof, afraid, lacking in social skills, bizarre, unable to connect, incapable of love, freaks, geeks, sad, lonely, selfish, ungrateful, unfriendly, serial killers". Instead, they are people who tend to be self-confident, at peace within themselves.

If you get a chance to read it, I am sure you will like it.
It promises to be an interesting read.

I'm starving. Have left-over pot roast in the refrigerator so I will slice off a piece of roast (prefer it cold), then nuke a dish of the veggies. May also get into that container of Breyer's real vanilla bean ice cream. Maybe then this dreadful headache will go away.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 5:26PM
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My BF, who lives in Alabama, is sending me the book. I am excited and that was very sweet of her. We have been friends since we met in 84 while in W. Germany. Somehow over the years, kids, divorces, and career changes we have never lost touch or grown apart.

I was sitting here trying to find yoga classes in my area - nothing! I may try to find a video. Actually I was looking for a fitness class to go to. I thought it might be a good idea for me to schedule some sort of routine activity away from home other than work. Why? I don't have a clue - just seems like a good idea.

I'm still in kind of a funk - a bit on the cranky side. I think it has a lot to do with winter. I really enjoy time outside and in the winter it is always dark when I am home. Well tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 80 degrees, that should be a nice pick-me-up!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 8:31PM
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Hello, everyone. Without going back I'll just say I took someone's lead and downloaded WE 7.0. I have Juno for my ISP. How was I to know they are not readily compatible with it. I can no longer use their e-mail system to send or receive. A while back I took AOL up on their free e-mail and was able to voice my thoughts to Juno. Maybe it'll get resolved. I've been with them years and years.

We played the local public golf course yesterday. Around the 15th hole I must have done something to awaken a chronic back problem from an operation a long time ago. I've sat at my desk most of the day.

There's still leaves on some trees. From the past I recall reading a poem that contained wording of Winter's last leaf to fall. Maybe I'll do a Google search one day. I tried to find Fall Is For Looking Back, Gerry. Google was completely loaded with references but none seem to refer to a poem or a ? (what do they call it when someone writes something like I'd Pick More Daisies). Senior moment here!

I've not had the Miata out in a month. At the end of November I'll take the tag and insurance off, put it in its cover, and wait until next May. With the way my back is hurting today I couldn't even get in it.

The Lady's Island property was being sold by HUD. It was too far away for me to be interested. I have no idea what prices exist throughout that area and it was just a little high for me to think a dollar could be made. Plus I don't deal in property that's out of my league.

It's been a pleasant day (75) but I've stayed inside. I'll bet in the lower S.C. area it hit mid 80's, at least. I hope everyone is enjoying it.

I need to move around, folks. I know it will hurt but no pain no gain, I guess. I hope everyone is well and looking forward to the Thanksgiving holidays. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 4:59PM
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Good evening, All

Gene, I'm so sorry to hear about your back. Please take the same advise you gave me abut resting. If no relief, see your doctor. I'm taking a Rx strength Aleve for arthritis pain which helps immensely. I feel so fortunate in not having to take any other medications - no high BP, heart problems, etc. Just do some vitamin supplements daily.

High temp here today was 76 - did not get quite as warm as had been forecast. Didn't catch tonight's local news, so I have no idea what is was right along the coast. I am approx. 50 miles inland.

Tonight's dinner was soooo good. Broiled flounder fillet with a lemon-dill sauce, tossed salad, a couple of garlic bread sticks, and a glass of wine. I try to treat myself good now and then and fore go the leftovers.

Gurley, I've just started the "Malboro Country" chapter in the book.

Gene, the "Fall Offers a Good Time for Looking Back" is a bit long for a post so I will start a new thread and copy it for you. That way you won't have to scroll all through the Coffee Shop. Then if you like you can copy and paste or print it out.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 8:07PM
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Good Evening everyone,

I am excited to announce that I finally got the new job I was hoping for. No pay raise - it is a lateral move - but it is a job I enjoy very much and gets me out of the office frequently. Also gets me away from the office clique - Hooray!

I have already been working in the job for a while unofficially so am well aquainted with what all it entails. My first day was a whirlwind of activity which is exactly what I love. I go to work for only one reason - to work - so I get frustrated when I'm just tapping my fingers or watching someone goof off.

Finally got out this weekend and really finished the winter prep for yard and garden. After all was cleaned up I planted some Swiss Chard that I found on sale at Lowes. I have never planted it before and am fascinated by the brilliant colors. The previously unhappy plant is looking very well so far so we will see how it goes. I am hoping for some good salad greens out of it but if not my pet bunnies will enjoy a treat at least.

Lowes had tons of plants and bulbs on sale so I got YET ANOTHER large bag of daffodils. I don't know why I do that - well yes I do. I have a poem saved somewhere and if I find it I will share. It is about a woman who changed her world one bulb at a time.

I broke down a bought a large can of regular Folgers coffee. I was missing a good old-fashioned common cup of coffee so Folgers it is, at least for a while.

The other night I was reading a Southern Living magazine and came across a recipe for a caramel/chocolate cookie thingy and decided to make it. Really dumb move. I know that when I do that stuff that I can't resist eating it - all of it. I took two plates to work but still ended up eating the ENTIRE plate of cookies that I had at home. Seriously ill. I am hypoglycemic (spell?) and that is just not a smart thing to do and totally wasted my diet progress as well. Well it is another day and I can start it with a brand new set of good intentions. You know what they say 'Never Look Back'. Kind of hard not to do when I'm tossing my cookies. :-) Sorry - couldn't resist the 'sick' joke.

I noticed in another thread about Christmas decorations - to put them up or not. I don't anymore. I have a closet full of them so that I am not tempted to buy any. Maybe one Christmas I will have some reason to want to decorate but not now.

First of all I go out of town to somewhere different every Christmas. This year the plan is St Augustine, Fl. If I stay in town I feel 'obligated' to go buy stuff and/or entertain people at my home. Or other people find out that I am at home doing nothing and they feel 'obligated' to ask me to join them, or stop by with little trinkets and food to cheer me up. One day I think I am going to tell everyone that I am out of town and then just secretly stay home.

I love to get up on Christmas morning and just enjoy the peace and quiet. And at this stage of life know that there are no real responsibilities, no unrealistic expectations, and no where that I really have to be. Wow, now that I think about it I am really looking forward to the holiday. I only buy gifts for a local childrens home and those will be dropped off by the first week of December so all my preparation - at least all that I am going to do - will be done.

Well that about does it for todays ramble. See ya!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 9:11PM
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This day has not started out quite as I'd like - but that's life. I took the bag out of the kitchen trash can, tied it up and set aside until I could take it outside. The cat decided to tear a hole in it, then the dogs decided to join the party. A few minutes after I broke up the party and had cleaned everything up, mopped the kitchen floor, one of the dogs threw up on the clean floor. They have been banned to the yard for the rest of the day. They will have to come in later - we are in for stormy weather this afternoon and evening.

Gurley, congrats on your new job. It's good to be happy in your work.

Nothing wrong with Folger's. I drink it about all the time as a regular everyday coffee. I like the dark French roast.
Now and then I get a bag of Starbucks.

Back to chores - a good day to all

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 10:50AM
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Gerry - what a day! I do hope it got better.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 6:02PM
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Thanks - the rest of today went pretty good until a few minutes ago. We have just gone under a tornado watch for this area. Already I can hear distant thunder and we have had one quick downpour. It's rather windy which frightens me since I have lots of tall trees all around the house. Last spring I had several pines taken out that were dying, but the man who did it couldn't finish and I haven't found anyone else willing or able to cut the rest of them. So strong winds terrify me. I'm planning to sit up all night if necessary. Heck, if a tree is coming down on top of me I want to know it.

Now I have to shut down this machine and unplug everything. Already have lanterns and flashlights strategically placed. I do have the TV tuned to a Charleston station.

The weather bug map looks like severe weather is hitting most of the state.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 12:14AM
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Good Saturday (18th) Morning, All. Got my flu shot this morning at the Dr's office. They open a couple of Saturdays in the Fall strictly for this purpose.

My morning coffee is normally a staple such as MH's bold french roast. I'm not sure if I've tried Folger's. I might give it a shot.

We played Maggie Valley CC Thursday. The last hole is a par 5. I hit a good drive; fairway shot; and about a 120 yard iron to the green with the ball landing 12 feet away from the hole. I putted it in for a birdie. I don't know why but playing the last hole decently seems to mentally redeem what screw ups were done on the other 17.

We're heading to play in S. C. next week because it's beginning to stay colder during the day here in the mountains. Thursday it was around 45 and windy. I stayed fairly comfortable but one or two in our foursome didn't.

Congrats on the job change, Gurley. Having the ability to get out of or stay away from the office is certainly a perk. Back in my gainful employment days I was to stay away from the office most of the time. However, in the latter years what I did created so much in depth paper work being there was demanded. Regardless, come Friday at lunch the office would clear out. Except for a clerk and manager the place would be empty. Everyone else was at the courthouse, or somewhere? Keep this in mind for Fridays, Gerry.

Gerry, I hope the weather treated you kindly. I watch more of the upstate news than local and generally am informed of SC weather. That was a riot about the trash. Still, one has to love them. If the kids new I said that they would have a dog or cat here in a moment's notice. I'd better be careful.

Years ago I had trash in bags at the road. I'd left them there the night before. The next morning trash was all over the place. I had to pick it up, of course. I knew a few people had dogs around but these were usually fenced. But, I thought they might let them out at night. A week or so later I got up early on trash day. There must have been a dozen or more crows just having a great time with my trash. That day I bought an extra large trash can at Lowe's.

I've read what others said about decorating for Christmas. I don't but the kids drag out a thing or two. My wife and I were married in 1961 and lived in an apartment just outside D.C. The first year my wife wanted our tree to have all colbalt blue balls. A couple of friends were over the evening she decorated. After a while, as she would put a ball on the tree, I would sneak around; remove a ball from the tree; and put it back in the box. It took a little while but she finally caught on. She laughed and so did we.

The Holiday Season gets a little tougher with each year. I thought it should become a little easier but what do I know. I look forward to December 21. Somehow, just the thought the daylight hours start being longer is a little uplifting. It seems to cancel out the fact that the primary winter months are still to come.

I hope All are well and happy. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 10:57AM
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The worst of the storm missed me fortunately. I had lots of limbs down, the yard turned into a very shallow lake, wet leaves were stuck fast to the windows, but no trees were uprooted, no yard furniture blown away. I was up most of the night though. Up in southeastern NC (area near where I grew up)the folks were not so lucky. A tornado hit a mobile home park in Reigelwood (near Wilmington) and 8 deaths were reported. I have family up in that area so on Thursday I spent a lot of the day either on the phone or online trying to make sure they were OK.

Late Thursday afternoon a nephew arrived, bringing me a beautiful German Chocolate cake for my birthday (which was yesterday) and rib eye steaks which he prepared for our dinner. He stayed overnight so we had a great visit. Then yesterday (Friday) an old friend brought me a small bottle of Crown Royal. I had forgotten that the bottles are actually crown shaped and come in little purple bags with gold lettering! He said he remembered how my mother and I, many years ago, loved a drink of Crown Royal - exactly 2 tablespoons mixed in coke or ginger ale and several maraschino cherries dropped in it. Then when we finished our drinks we would eat the "drunken cherries". I shall have to try that again some day....I received cards from all my siblings, cards and phone calls from both my children..
So it was a very good birthday - mostly because no one asked or even mentioned AGE!!

Yesterday the UPS truck came to deliver a package and when he opened the gate my little terrier escaped, making a bee line for the woods. I spent about an hour looking for and calling him, but I guess he was pretty far down in the swamp. Being early in the day, he had not had breakfast yet, so I knew he would soon be hungry. I took the leftover steak from the night before, chopped it up in tiny pieces, and did the Hansel and Gretel thing ....dropping little pieces from the edge of the woods back to the open gate. Then when I saw him come out of the woods and find the meat scraps, I started "working" in the iris bed just outside the gate, pretending not to notice him. After he ate his way through the gate I pushed it closed. That would never have worked with the other dogs since they have been taught to "leave it". But then the other 2 dogs would never have run off into the woods. This little dog definitely suffers from ADHD
(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and can't stay focused long enough to learn anything it seems. But he knows how to give kisses and cuddle, so I guess he's worth all the trouble.

Gene, where in SC will you be golfing next week? I know you sometimes go to Santee area. Weather for next week (thru Thanksgiving) is forecast for daytime temps of 50's and low 60's with only 20% chance of rain for the lakes area.

It should be a quiet weekend - I have 2 new books to read.

If I don't get back here before then, I hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 2:07PM
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I went out to get in the car and drive to town a few minutes ago. Quickly changed my mind - it's sleeting!! I definitely do not want to drive 27 miles on a country road with such weather. It's 39 degrees so no ice is accumulating, but I'd still rather be inside.

Sorry about the weather forecast I gave you in the last post, Gene. We have a standard cliche here in SC - "If you don't like the weather, stick around for a few minutes and it will change".

Time to make another pot of coffee - I think I will drink Starbucks this afternoon.

I've just finished reading "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan". It takes place in 19th century China - beautifully written, yet disturbing, heartbreaking.

A long winter's nap is in order for this afternoon.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 1:17PM
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I have plenty to do this evening and have to get up early for work. My work day is starting at 6:30 am now (ugh).

But I just wanted to do a quick check in anyway. I can hear the wind whipping outside and it is so nice to be in where it is warm and have a fire going. Very tempting to call in sick tomorrow :-) but I won't.

The Cup was a lot of fun and the weather was great. I don't usually hang out with co-workers but one of them that I do like I met up with at the Cup and we had a very pleasant time. She is normally a fairly serious type but I found out that when she gets a little 'toasty' she gets very happy and smiley. I did take a few pictures which I will get around to posting in a day or so if anyone is interested.

Not much else going on here - guess I'd better get to my few chores before going to bed.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 7:57PM
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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I'm not into the whole cook for a million people thing but I did make a couple of pumkin pies just because I like a good pumkin pie. Mostly I just enjoy the FIVE days that I have off - what a luxury!

A co-worker has given me a metal pergola that I will go dismantle and bring home, I am planting more daffodils, and I guess that's about it for any real plans for this holiday.

Other than that I'll just putz around and enjoy the time off. Hope everyone else has a good holiday too!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 8:27AM
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Happy Thanksgiving, Folks. Gerry, we don't make it further south than around the Spartanburg/Greenville when it's too chilly to play golf in the mountains. That's not to say there's not some die hards still playing around here but I don't think any of my group is included.

Today there were nine of us at my house. It certainly made it come to life. One of my daughters started a book three years ago in which we all write about what we're thankful for. It's interesting going back to read what I said and what others said. A lot of it is redundant but sometimes things appear which have new meaning. By tomorrow or Saturday they'll be back at their homes. Only one of my children live away from the area and that's only a couple of hours away. Still, the quietness will seem strange as it usually does after a visit.

I thought I liked strong coffee but I think whoever made it for dinner over did it. It took at least two pieces of pumpkin/walnut pie to offset its taste. Maybe it was the whipped topping I put on it, too.

I've been trying to read about GPS's, especially their ability to read elevations. I'd like to find someone who has a real in depth knowledge of them.

Regards to all, Gene

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 5:55PM
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I awakened this morning to the sound of silence. For four wonderful days this old house was filled with the sounds of love and laughter (and a few tears), but now the children have returned to their own homes, lives, routines.

Now the Christmas holidays officially begin. I'll be busy a few days finishing Christmas decorations. We got the tree up yesterday. What a beautiful time we had - I usually do it alone, but this year there was lots of help. Of course everyone had comments to make as they hung an old favorite ornament and sometimes those remarks were made with tears streaming as old memories surfaced.

Come now, Gene, was the coffee really that strong, or were you just looking for an excuse to have that extra piece of pumpkin/walnut pie? :)

Saturday afternoon I got a call from a first cousin that I have not seen for almost 25 years. I plan to drive up to see her later this week. We were very close during our growing up years and into our young adult year, but as children were born, and our families moved around, we never saw each other except at family reunions now and then

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 2:09PM
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Howdy, Folks - I've not acquired or thought much about coffee for a while. I sort of gave up my late afternoon/early evening cup. I started having trouble falling asleep and thought that might be it. Although I quit, more or less, it didn't help my sleeping. Still, I haven't started it back. Oh, well.

One of my daughters did a little Christmas decorating when she was here for Thanksgiving. I can't say it cheers things up but seeing even a little decoration is a visual relief from the ordinary.

Yes, Gerry, you caught me. I grab any excuse I can get when it comes to having more pie or cake. There's probably a lot of us doing it. I'm 205 but recall how much better I felt around 180. However, that was due to being in the hospital with Pancreatitis. I'm usually around 200.

After seeing so many of the ads I succombed to NutriSystem and got a month of their food. When it came in I had just developed a very bad cold. I don't know about others but when I'm ill I like comfort food. It wasn't a time to start eating smart. So, it's still in the box.

So now I must be pretty much over my cold. I'll give it a shot in a few days. I played golf today at a local course indicating I must be feeling better.

I hope everyone is happy and well and that you're enjoying the Holiday Season.

Regards to all, Gene

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 7:46PM
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Well, Christmas decorations are finished for the most part. The house looks warm and cozy. I still have to do the tree for the birds. Usually I just use a large bare branch or a small dead tree stuck in a larger planter filled with dirt,which tend to blow over - but this year I want to make one I can take up and use from year to year. I'll be building it myself, so will have to get lumber I can handle. I plan to make the "trunk" out of an 8' 2x2, sinking the bottom 1 1/2' into a pipe in the ground, then screw or nail "branches" horizontally, getting shorter as they go up - you know, shaped like a Christmas tree. From these branches I can hang apples, pine cones stuffed with peanut butter and rolled in bird seed, suet cakes, etc. I really enjoy putting out goodies for the birds every year. Of course, I already have the regular bird feeders out.

I am giving some serious thought to selling my place here and moving nearer to town. I am thinking about the Summerville area - it's a beautiful little town and they now have a medical center there.

My step-daughter and her husband will be visiting me tomorrow. My step-daughter is such a dear, sweet person. I was married to her dad for 23 years, so she feels like one of my own. She was in her 20's and already married when I first met her, but we have always been close.

Gene, you are so brave to attempt a diet with all these holidays. I have never known anyone personally who has done the NutriSystem, but their meals look very good on TV. A few years ago I went on the Atkins low-carb diet and lost over 40 pounds - though it took me almost a year. Even now, I try to curb the carbs - try to stay within 100 grams per day) If I catch my jeans getting too snug, I cut out the bread, homemade biscuits, pastas, etc. And I never have gone back to eating refined sugar. I use Splenda even in my baking. I still haven't reached my goal of a size 10 though!! But I don't feel so bad about my 12's. Being tall helps, too.

The dogs have finally completed their refresher courses in obedience training and are doing quite well. I decided to put them all through it.

Gurley, I ran across the story about the lady who planted all those thousands and thousands of daffodils, one bulb at a time, and I thought about you.

I watched Miracle on 34th Street for the umpteenth time last night. Enjoyed it all over again.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 11:43PM
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Hello all,

I am home from work today recuperating from my surgery. I had a spot of basal cell carcinoma on my nose. I thank my lucky stars I have access to such a good doctor, he had to take out quite a bit. It took eight stitches to close but I can see that it will heal and still leave me with a decent looking nose. Its a little scary to look at right now though should have done this for Halloween I could have gone as Frankenstein! It hurts like the devil right now so even though I am very much up and about I am staying home because Im afraid that I wouldnt be very patient with anyone today.

My friend sent me the book The Loners Manifesto Party of One and I have started reading it. I LOVE this book. It received mixed reviews and I can understand why. This lady says some things that can certainly rub a person the wrong way but that is sort of what being a loner is about. We dont necessarily flow with what the mainstream likes or dislikes. The book doesnt really enlighten me in any way it is just an affirmation of the many of the thoughts and feelings that I have. It is kind of nice to know that someone else feels the same way.

Gerry, I really like your idea of a Christmas tree for the birds! I may have to copy that idea. I have 4 birdfeeders and two bird baths but more is better when it comes to the birds. I dont know all of the names of the different birds but it would be fun to learn. I do recognize the tufted titmouse, that is one of my favorites. We also have lots of blue birds. I have been surprised to see so many. When I had my farm they would come to bluebird houses that I had on fence posts in the pasture but they were rather solitary and stayed well away from the house or other busy areas. Here they are all around and I will see 8 or 9 at a time.

I looked up Summerville and that is 79 miles from my house according to the map. I cant really remember what Summerville is like but I do remember thinking that I like the place each time I pass through. Actually I like the whole area as you head towards Charlston.

Gene, I will have to do some research on Nutri-System. I really dont know anything about it. I really slacked off on my weight program. I am maintaining but have not lost anymore weight. I hate to have to obsess about it all of the time but it is a requirement in my line of work. Weight has always been a problem in my family so I guess I will have to continue the struggle for about 10-14 more years. Then I can retire and have chocolate fudge sundaes for breakfast J.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 6:14AM
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Gurley, I ordered a pretty good book on birds through Amazon. It is published by the Univ. of North Carolina - called "Birds of the Carolinas". I keep it on a table by my chair so it's handy if I see a bird I don't recognize.

And speaking of birds --- the greatest bird picture I didn't get was the one of a red-headed woodpecker hanging on a small hummingbird feeder and sipping nectar!!!

I had an unknown visitor last night. I was awakened by the sound of a phone ringing and realized it was a cell phone just outside my bedroom window. At about the same time my dogs started raising heck, so I jumped up and started turning on lights inside. Had an outside light already on at the back door, could see there was no one standing there, so opened it enough to let the dogs get outside. They were really upset. Then I heard a car start up and speed down the driveway - it hit the corner of the fence where the drive takes a turn, but kept on going. So now the police are looking for a car with damage to it's right front and/or right side. I don't know if it was someone who was intent on doing mischief or just a Saturday night drunk confused about where he was. But if he was planning on burglarizing the place he made a big mistake by not turning off his phone.

Here's some advice from an old farmer:
* Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
* A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
* Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
* Forgive your enemies - it messes up their heads.
* It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
* You cannot unsay a cruel word.
* Every path has a few puddles.
* Don't judge folks by their relatives.
* Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
* Always drink upstream from the herd.

Hope the coming week is kind to you.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 3:55PM
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gerry, that is just awful! I do hope you called the police. I can only think that who ever it was was up to no good. Perhaps if you called them they could include you on thier nightly checks. When I lived in Richland county the local sherrif used to do that for us.

I am working long hours in my new job so can only stop in briefly now and then.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 8:32PM
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Yes, I called the police even before the person (people) got completely off the property. By the time the police arrived the vehicle was no where to be seen. The police also came back after daylight to see if they had missed anything in the dark. I think they took some tire casts, they took a lot of pictures, and they are checking repair shops. The damage to my fence is below my homeowner's deductible, so I won't be filing a claim for that. In fact, I don't think I will even report it in case it makes my premium go up. (They don't have to pay out, you know - all they need is to know there was a potential claim)

There is always so much crime this time of year - criminals wanting to do their Christmas shopping, I suppose. And some of them have the mistaken idea that old people tend to be wealthy and stuff their money in old socks under the bed. Bah! Humbug! If they only knew how little money most of us have, and what we do have is not hanging around in the house anywhere. I always write checks or use my bank card - seldom have over $20.00 in cash.

I asked the police about doing drive-by, and they said they would whenever possible. It's a large county and each officer has as lot of territory to cover. So I've done what I can: made sure my guns are loaded and where I can get to them quickly, have posted those tacky Beware of Dog and NO Trespassing signs, have added another outdoor flood light, and have had a relative park his old beat-up pick-up truck in the back yard. I will continue keeping all dogs inside at night - am afraid they might get some poisoned hamburger tossed to them at night if they were outside. Having them inside would likely be a deterrent to someone attempting entry since my male collie weights about 75 pounds - he's huge and very protective. They seem to have been patrolling the house more than usual last night and the night before. Listening to their nails clicking on the wood floor, it seems they are taking turns making the rounds I guess Saturday night was a wake-up call for them, too.

Anyway, I need to quit obsessing over it. I need to send a few cards out this week. My list is always short. I just can't get into the sending of cards to people you don't really care about just so you can get a bunch back. I only send cards to people I really care about and won't see or talk to over the holidays

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 11:46AM
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Good Morning, Folks - Gerry, it's been a long time since I've heard such a story directly from someone. I'm sorry it happened. I'm glad you have dogs. I glad it turned out with nothing more serious. I hope they find the person and throw him under the jail.

This is for whatever it's worth and you may already do it. I have a 38 S&W. The first two bullets are loaded with snake shot. The rest are regular hollow point. The snake shot spreads quickly and will generally stop someone within fifteen feet or so. It may or may not kill them but the likelihood of a good hit and stopping them in their tracks is good. At that distance one's target area grows to, I imagine, around five to seven feet wide.

Motion sensored lights have been tauted as one of the strongest deterrants, along with dogs. Sometimes they are hard to keep adjusted to movement of larger bodies. I've had possum and just about everything else set them off.

Subject change. There's a web site called coffee fool. They claim to have very fresh coffee and claim freshness is the overall key to flavor. Duh? With one using that as their key one would think their coffee would be fresh if ordered. I haven't ordered anything from them but may order a sampler pack (if they have it) after the first of the year.

Regards to all. Gene

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 9:26AM
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Good evening - or should I say "Good Morning" since it is a little past midnight now.

I seem to be having trouble sleeping these past few nights - guess I'm still a little on edge about the prowler. I find myself staying up until all hours, or if I get to bed at a decent hour, I wake up, then stay up for several hours.

Gene, how is your NutriSystem going? Is the food tasty? I need to lose a few pounds myself, but I think I will wait until after the holidays. The Nutrisystem sounds easy, simple, but I cannot spend that amount for food each month, so I will likely just go back to watching carbs, fats, calories. I do quite well eating lots of veggies, fruit, fish, chicken. Since Thanksgiving, I have been a little careless about watching my diet very closely - food just tastes so good!!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 12:45AM
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Good Tuesday Morning. I had a cold. After a couple of weeks it seemed to be over. A few days later it came back in the form of flu like symptoms. I've still got it. It's been going on about a month. Crummy!

About Nutri-Sytem, Gerry, I'm not mentally ready to start the program but have been "nibbling" on a few of the packages. I don't like food very salty so I ordered low sodium. I've also got the cold. So, either one could affect how my taste buds react. My comments on their food would be unfair to make.

I've already canceled future orders (they do an automatic shipment if you don't). I had some questions and called them and was referred to a DVD that came with the food. I don't have a DVD player and they seemed shocked. It would have helped a little, I suppose. I told one of my daughters to take any of their food she wished. I'll ask what she thinks of it. I suppose if I try another weight loss program it'll have to be with regular food.

I picked up some Newman's Own organic French Roast coffee. It's a little pricy. I was surprised the grainular smell, texture, and taste was so close to Intelligensia's Black Cat Expresso.

Gerry, I hope things remain uneventful around your place. Unnerving experiences stick with me for a long time and it would be especially true with an attempted break-in. I hope yours wears off quickly.

Regards to all, Gene

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 10:35AM
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Please take care of yourself, Gene. Chicken soup really does tend to make one feel better when they have a cold. If you don't feel up to making your own, or don't have any in cans, a couple of bullion cubes in a mug of hot water makes a half-way decent substitute. Just make sure it's the low-sodium. I made some really good chicken soup last week. Boiled the chicken (I used both white and dark meat) with lots of onions, grated carrots, chopped mushrooms, garlic, diced celery, salt, pepper. I took the chicken out, deboned and chopped it, then refrigerated it. Also refrigerated the broth until it was cold and the fat had congealed on top. Skimmed that off, added the chicken back in, added about 3/4 cup rice and cooked it until the rice was done. Even after sharing with a neighbor I had soup for several meals.

Today's mail was so uplifting. I received a Christmas card from a very dear old friend with a wonderful little note enclosed. Also a card from my 2 granddaughters with a very recent picture of them enclosed.

Oh, dear, here I have been out and about all morning, filling bird feeders, walking to the mailbox, etc., and just now noticed I have my tee shirt on inside out!! No matter - I haven't seen anyone anyway, but I am glad I discovered it.

Gurley, if you get a chance to stop by - I just finished reading another of Penelope Williamson's novels - "The Wages of Sin" - takes place in New Orleans in the roaring 20's - a very gruesome murder mystery - definitely not what I should be reading right now.

It's quite warm here today - 78 degrees. Rain is predicted for Christmas Day, so hopefully it will be cooler.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 4:26PM
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Hello all you good people,

Here it is - the Friday night before Christmas on Monday. I have finally completed my chores for the day - No, still have a load of dark clothes to wash. Heck, they can wait until another time.

I just prepared a late afternoon/early evening snack and plan to relax for a bit. I'm having a glass of white zinfandel, two kinds of cheeses, a few wheat crackers, some of those little hot sausages, a couple of chocolates - I definitely will not need to think about making dinner - unless it's more of the same. Hehe!!

Tomorrow I'll be going upstate to have lunch with my stepdaughter and her husband. Will be doing some cooking after I get back home in preparation for Sunday's Christmas dinner. My son and his family will be here. Daughter and her husband both have O.R. duty from tomorrow thru the 26th and won't be able to make it. Then Monday (Christmas Day) I'll have a quiet day at home alone eating left overs and reading.

So, to all of you, Gurley, Gene, Karen, and others, with whom I have shared my life these past few months, and who have shared yours with me, I would like to wish you the happiest of holidays. May the Peach, Joy, and Love, that is Christmas be with you throughout the holidays and the coming year.

Merry Christmas

E-mails are welcome.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 5:29PM
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Good Morning, All. First, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy Holiday Season. I hope the Holiday Season is very peaceful. I wish for you that 2007 is a very kind year.

Gurley, by my count this will be post number 97. Sometimes accessing new posts is almost like watching a turtle walk - verrrrrrrrrrry slooooooooooooowly. What happens when we reach 100. Since you started this topic it's up to you. Should we begin a Coffee Shop 2?, too?, Two?, II?, or whatever? Admittedly, you, Gerry, Karen (on occasion) and I have been most predominent. Still, I enjoy reading what everyone has to say.

My brother is giving a Christmas present of six months of Charter Cable high speed internet. It'll certainly be a new experience. I don't use the Internet a lot. I've heard there's a lot out there for people to enjoy and/or learn but they are reluctant to mess with it because of slowness. We'll see.

I hope to get some Caribou coffee for Christmas. It's good and is rated the highest among those who do that stuff. Either the Caribou or Summitt Coffee House Kilamanjaro (sp?) or Timor. Summitt is located at Davidson, N. C. and sells primarily organic coffee, I think. I've liked what I've gotten from them. I prefer the Kilamanjaro (sp?) a little better than the Timor.

The family comes home for Thanksgiving. The family goes to one of my daughter's at Christmas. She has three children and that makes Christmas Day brighter.

Regards to all, Gene

    Bookmark   December 24, 2006 at 11:14AM
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Good call Gene

We're going to get dumped soon - kind of like a date - so we had better do the dumping first :-)

I'll start a new one as I have grown quite attached to you guys and don't want to lose the connection.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 5:08AM
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