Friday, September 18, 2020

 Hurricane Sally roared through Wednesday night. No damage, no loss of power, lots of water, no tornadoes. It went well for a powerful storm in central Georgia. There weren't many trees downed due to softened soil and the high winds. Of course the gulf coast had a more violent experience.

One of my cats spent the night out. She was tormenting a 3 inch long grasshopper when I took the animals out. Thursday is garbage day. My merry crew and I took the trash truck to the road. I have some very large Pecan trees close to the road. I was pleasantly surprised that there weren't very many limbs from the storm tossed to the ground.

We had about 8 inches of rain. I was wakened about 2 am by an alert on my phone. Afraid it was a tornado warning, I got up to read that roads were flooded. I would think flooded roads would be secondary to a lack of visibility due to the amount of water that was falling in the darkness of night with no stars or moon to give light. I finally lay back down about 3 am. 4 am, the same alert. Wide awake, I made a pot of coffee in case the power went off. I drank the pot of coffee and made another pot for the family when they woke up around 8 and 9 am. 

I expected to see large pools of water that morning. It had been dry the week before so I think the plants and Earth could handle the water better. You could see the tall grass bent from the flow of water. So I guess the rain was what they would call a gully washer versus a trash mover.

We've seen a shopping plaza on one of the weather channels. That shopping plaza was a marsh about twenty years ago. The Flint River is not exceptionally high. Where I live, we have storms but not a lot of damage or flooding. You do need a good roof on your house.

View of an overgrown pasture.

Cotton, The bolls will get bigger and there will be more of them on the plant in about two weeks.

Soybeans. When the plant has died back and the pods are dry, they will be harvested.

It is a small gray dog that is rolling on the driveway. The brown dog is her sister. The rest are cats.

I like this picture.  Two of my cats have stub tails. The black one, Cassiopeia, is the mother of the others.

Buzzards on a Cell Phone Tower.

Magnified view of the buzzards.


I hope your week has gone well. 

As I finish this post, it is all over the news that we have lost Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She was a remarkable woman. I would like to write something profound; but, like many, I am stunned and saddened by her passing. 

Friday, September 11, 2020


One of my favorite sounds of summer is the Whippoorwill at night. During the day, we hear the Bobwhite Quail. When the Whippoorwill is outside your window, it can be a problem for some.

This year was different, the sound of the whippoorwill was much further from the house. We have a pack of cats. So I guess I will never slip up on one sleeping. They are between the size of a Robin and a Crow with deeply camouflaged feathers. They are difficult to see in plain sight. In fact I have never seen one. We have had one quite active near our house (BC) before cats.

The whippoorwill is native to the southeastern United States and a member of the Nightjar family. Being insect eaters, they are not predatory birds like hawks or owls. Nightjar is made up of over 60 species. In the Western United States, a related species is the poorwill. The call of a poorwill is "poor will" which loses one syllable of the whippoorwill's call of "whip poor will". 

Eastern phoebe in GWC (12314)Now my home is quiet. Autumn has arrived. When I lived in Canada, I had a hard time adjusting to the lack of animal noise at night. The frogs sing loudly most nights.

I've got a bird's nest built on the side of my house. I had seen the handsome bird on a metal fence post. I now know it is an Eastern Phoebe which are flycatchers. My cats were aware of the nest. The babies were getting larger. The parents are quite agile. And they moved one evening, boom. But before that, both mother and father would eat the flies attracted to the cat food on my deck. The photo to the left is a phoebe that I got from wikimedia commons.

The guest cat, Gladys, brought her babies out about in May. I had a chair turned on the side on my deck. I was going to move it to the road to be hauled off. The babies crawled into the upholstery. They sounded like snakes hissing at me. Now they are thrilled to see me. They love their food. I've gotten the two female kittens spayed. I will get the two males neutered. I don't want one running the other one off.

I'm not made of money but I gots lots of cats and dogs. The cats are all under two years old and so they are quite youthful and beautiful. My dogs are mostly 8 and 9 years old. One is about three and three are around 16 years old. When my population of animals goes down, I plan to sell this house. It's not a perfect house but I love my property. It is just the upkeep and the difficulty finding people to help you. I don't mind paying someone what they are worth. The problem is people want to be paid well and do very little. I'm not an arguer or good at getting the most out of people.  Plus, the sort of person you want is a very valuable commodity. I know of two friends who had a big falling out when one stole the other one's maid.

My life is a bit of turmoil in that I am getting my brother's house ready to sell. There is a sadness in seeing his house go. We all had a lot of happy memories there. I remember a cousin of mine was a bit cavalier giving away her parents things when she cleaned out their apartment. I get it now. Experience is a cruel teacher.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Hello Autumn!

Beauty berry.   The berries are not very tasty raw; but they do make a nice jelly or gelatin dessert.

You can crush a cup of the leaves and allow them to soak in rubbing alcohol for about two days. Remove the leaves and pour the infused alcohol into a spray bottle. It makes a very good mosquito repellant.

The berries can be eaten raw. They aren't very good raw; but, they do make a nice jelly or gelatin desert. The leaves can be crushed and soaked in alcohol to create an insect repellent. Essentially you crush a cup of leaves and allow them to soak in a cup of alcohol, rubbing or ethyl. You filter out the leaves. You can rub the solution on your skin or better yet, spray a bit on yourself.

Poke Salad. When the berries are all gone, I plan to chop it down . It will come back next year. The berries and plant are very poisonous to eat at this stage. Remember beauty berries are not the same thing as poke salad berries. Although pretty, poke berries are very poisonous.

In a week, overgrown fields will be covered in the yellow blooms of Goldenrod.

I love a break from the heat. My hair and clothes become saturated with sweat from just a wee bit of work in the middle of the day. 

I had a water leak under my home which damaged some of the subfloor in my home. A water restoration service put their humidifier and a two fans in to prevent mold. I was never quoted a price. So I am sweating the bill. I did file for insurance. Luckily, this is not an incredibly expensive repair. The son of the man from the restoration service is taking up the subfloor and installing a new subfloor and replacement hardwood flooring for $600. So maybe the bill will not be so rude. 

I don't like not getting a quote. What I learned from all of this is never be in a hurry. My air conditioning repair man found the leak. He called his friend who is a plumber who had it fixed before I got home. I took his advice about the water restoration because I am hoping birds of a feather flock together in this situation. The air conditioning repairman is the salt of the earth sort. 

This time of year, I feel the bills in that I pay for house insurance, car insurance and property taxes. My property taxes are about $3000 a year. My homeowner's insurance is about $1500 and my car insurance is about $1200 for a year. The fact they come at one time is the biggest burden.  I know, I know I should lay aside a bit each month. But it is always a bit of catch up for me.

My mother worries about her money incredibly. I had been letting her pay for some of the groceries and the electric bill. I've got to stop. In her mind, I am spending her money up. Caregiving for an elderly parent is one of those things that is very rewarding but you pay a price. In AARP they had an article about caregiver's having suicidal ideation at times. I don't have that problem but I do feel intense loneliness at times. My mother is not greedy or stingy. She is 90 and grew up during the depression. My dad left her well taken care of. At this point, I am the heir so it is not like I will not be repaid. 

At my age, as long as I can cover my bills, I don't fret about money so much. It's not like I am going to be able to whoop it up anyway. My grandmother lived on a very low social security payment when she become older. It was quite admirable how she made it last every month. Where she lived, there were those who spent their entire monies as soon as they got it. Then they worked to get people like my grandmother to give them food and money. She might have fed a few; but, she gave them no money. 

This part of my life feels like life in my twenties. There is so much to deal with. With Covid, I have been able to cope with the pressures in that I've dealt with a lot of uncertainty in my life. There is little you have control of. At 64, I feel very lucky to be alive and in good shape health wise. 

I am a type II diabetic. I read where they are recommending shakes and soups for diabetics in the UK. I find this interesting in that when I did my DNA, my ancestry is 58 percent English , 7 percent Swedish, 5 percent Norwegian, 3 percent German, 27 percent Celt. So they are my people genetically.  I was surprised the Brits were a hefty lot. I thought that was an American problem. Surprisingly with the DNA analysis is that I was dark completed with dark hair and eyes in my younger days. As my hair has turned white, my eyes are more dark green than brown.  

Although I am a situational homebody, (you know I would be on a slow boat to China elsewise); this shelter in place and social distancing is a huge bore. I'm someone complaining but I do not know why. I don't go anyplace anyway. I've read about people going to wineries to sample wine. You can go to North Carolina and buy a Cherwine soda to sip. I can't imagine going somewhere to drink wine. I love to travel; but, I am more of a museum and nature loving sort of visitor.

The restoration man clearly disapproves of my rural home. He lives in town in a two bedroom townhouse which sounds quite nice. I get his message that my home is a lot to keep up with. He is wrong about some things being more expensive. My  electric bill is cheaper than my bill for a home I owned about half this house's size and way cheaper than my parent's bill. Their house was build in the 1940s when houses here were built to be cooler during summer and heating your entire house was not done. If you wanted to be warm, you stayed in the kitchen or wore several layers of clothes. 

Our winter is about six weeks. However, the days are not consecutive. You get four or five days here and there mostly between December and February. But if it snows, it usually happens in late March curiously enough.

It is the first week of September. The high temperature is around 90. In two weeks, that high will be in the low 80s.  Good days. Plus, I don't watch the news, much.



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