Monday, May 31, 2010

Laundry Doesn't Take A Holiday! And A Tribute . . .

I have found that there are two jobs that are endless.  Dirty dishes and dirty clothes.  If you eat, you are going to  have dirty dishes.  If you live you are going to have dirty clothes!  And in my house, laundry usually doesn't take a holiday!  And you may be wondering to yourself right about now 'well, why not?' and I'll happily tell you!

The main reason is that we are almost always home on holidays!  Way back, even in our dating days, we never went anywhere on holidays.  Crowds, crazy people, crowds - hubby hates crowds!  And then after I retired and we moved here to Camellia Cottage Monday was just the best day - for me - to do laundry.  And eventually, holiday or no, the tradition stuck.

And trust me, there are benefits to doing laundry on holidays! 
  1. First and foremost, on holidays, hubby is home.  And if hubby is home, when the dryer buzzes, instead of taking out his clothes and folding or hanging them up, I call him to come help and then he folds them and hangs them up, thus freeing up about 1/3 of my laundry time.  Cool how that works, huh?
  2. If the laundry is done on the holiday, it isn't carried over to Tuesday and therefore Tuesday is set aside for doing other chores, and thus not putting my oh so tight (NOT!) schedule behind a day.  And that allows me to spend the day doing something I'd rather be doing, or that needed doing ages ago and I never got around to before now.
So, since the laundry will be done today, and hubby will be  back at work tomorrow, I have given my self a gift of tomorrow - a day that I can spend any way I choose.  It's a win/win, people, a true win/win!!!

Hope you are having a safe,happy, fun and memorable Memorial Day!  Becky

PostScript:  The man in the picture above, the one holding the gun, is D. and this picture was only taken about 3 weeks ago.  He is a co-worker of my hubby, and he is now in Afghanistan, in an area where some of the worst fighting is taking place.  This is his second or third time to be called up since he's been working with hubby.  He and thousands of men and women just like him are not doing much celebrating today.  They are working, giving up their days off and their barbecues and their time with their families to protect our freedom.  Freedom isn't free, folks, and that is what today is all about - remembering D. and those like him who have served and are serving, and especially those who didn't make it home alive - and giving their all so that we can stay home today and enjoy time with OUR families and OUR barbecues. 

And though many people don't pay tribute to them, there is a whole other group of people who don't get a day in their honor - the FAMILIES of these brave men and women!  Moms and dads, wives and husbands, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters and friends who, because their loved ones chose to serve US (us as in you and me), have to sacrifice so very, very much! 

I am so grateful, and so proud, there just aren't the words to express it, so please, if you are one of these I've just mentioned - a soldier or a loved one of a soldier, please accept my deepest and most heartfelt appreciation and love.  Thank You!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!  The sale yesterday was 'OK', but although there was tons of traffic going by our little corner, not too many stopped by.  I did make a few sales, but it was mostly the junk from around the house and not so many of my treasures.  But I'll be right back out there the 4th Saturday of June for another try!

Today I've been just messing around the house.  I made a small freezer (Krups counter top type as shown above) of homemade pineapple coconut ice cream with FRESH pineapple and have it in the freezer firming up.  I roasted a few heads of garlic for garlic bread for tonight and tomorrow night, and I have a rack of baby back ribs in the oven.  My favorite thing about bb ribs is that I bake them a day, or several days, ahead and keep them in the fridge until I'm ready to throw them on the grill.  You can find my recipe HERE where I posted about them last Memorial Day weekend.  I did add one new ingredient this time, and I can't wait to taste them tomorrow and see how it works - I added 2-3 cloves of the freshly roasted garlic to the rub right at the last.  The grainy brown sugar just pulverized the soft garlic, and you can't see it there, but I bet it will taste good!

That's about all from here today.  I'll check back in with you sometime this week!  Blessings,Becky

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Buckets of Joy!

Hi Folks!  Just wanted to stop in amidst the madness and say "HI"!  Yes, things are kind of crazy, but good crazy! 

Yesterday (Tuesday) I spent the whole day going through stuff for the flea market this Saturday.  I have vintage linens, hankies, post cards and other miscellaneous 'old stuff', handmade crafts, household 'junk' like really nice, but old curtains I will never use, an old weed whacker and leaf blower, and all kinds of stuff out of the garage.  I also ironed 40 - yes, forty - vintage hankies, folded  them and put them into cellophane envies to keep them clean, and priced them.  And I ironed a stack of vintage linens and priced them.  And there is still so much left to do!

Then today I had to go to the Opthalmologist (sp?) for an eye checkup.  I hadn't been in toooooooo long, and I went to a new Dr. a friend recommended to me. And she actually took me to the appointment. 

In case you didn't know, I have been blind in my left eye since birth.  Both eyes are also severely crossed.  In the last few months I had noticed that my right eye was a bit blurry, so I went to get a checkup.  The tech did a thorough exam, and when I read the eye chart, she couldn't believe I read all but 2 of the letters in the 20/20 line without glasses.  Then the Dr. came in and completed the exam, then she said "You don't need me!" 

Then she went on to tell me something I didn't know.  When someone has crossed eyes, plus a bad eye, you never know whether the eye is bad because of the crosses, or if the crosses are because the eye is weak.  Well, I now know the reason for the blindness is that the optic nerve in my eye never fully developed.  We 'think' the reason for that is that my mother was exposed to the measles when she was carrying me.  In the early 1950's that was a big deal!

But as for my 'good' eye, it is very good!  No glaucoma, no cataracts, no sign of macular degeneration, and the 'over the counter' readers I'm using are all I need.  She did give me some lubricant drops and told me to use them twice a day, and that would probably help the blurry-ness.  For my age, that is very good!

When we left the Eye clinic we went to a few places, shopped around a bit, mostly for food and food stuffs, and after leaving @ 8 this morning, I finally got home about 4 this afternoon!  It was a good day!

Tomorrow is more boxing up, pricing, ironing and such for the flea market until time to leave for the Henhouse for Thursday Night Craft Party!  You won't believe this, but Mary Ann and I are having a 'Pimento Cheese Throwdown'!  We each think we make the best pimento cheese, so we are both making some and will let the other folks there do a blind taste test to pick a winner of the throwdown!  Could be interesting!

And I'm also taking some scrapbooking supplies, my cricut, cuttlebug and other tools and we are going to start on the Farmgirls scrapbook.  I'm not much of a scrapbooker, but we'll see how it goes.

On Friday, if I can get most everything done tomorrow for the Flea Market, I hope to go to some yard sales - you know, to buy some MORE things to take to the flea market, lol!

Friends, I want to share something with you.  Most of you who have visited me here for a while know the last 2-3 years have been rough.  And the 2-3 years before that weren't much better.  But right now, in this minute, I have a life, and a joyful life at that!  Tonight I was working on some things, and started tearing up for no reason.  And it's because I felt JOY!  I feel like the heavens have opened up and God has just poured a bucket of joy over my head.

Now, I know this won't last forever, but I do know this!  I am going to enjoy it while it lasts!  And I am going to be grateful for every moment of the ride!  To God be the Glory!  

Now, I'm watching American Idol and we are less than hour from finding out who will win.  GO LEE!!!  You probably won't hear from me again until Sunday or Monday - it's going  to be a busy few days - but I'll ..................................

Sorry, but Bret Michaels just started singing with Casey - way to go Bret!!!  ..........................

Anyway, I'll take pics of the flea market and post them as soon as I can.  Talk to you later!  Becky

PS - It is Memorial Day Weekend here in the US.  May I just say how thankful and grateful I am for every single person who has ever served our country in the past and those who are serving today, AND how thankful I am to the families and loved ones who are making huge sacrifices while their loved ones are serving their country.  We are blessed to have such wonderful people protecting us day by day.  Thank You!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Just so you know . . .

Things are really good here at Camellia Cottage!  And yet there's not much to tell, and that doesn't make a bit of sense, now does it?

Since I last posted . . . Thursday night's craft night at the Georgia Farmgirls 'Henhouse' was a wonderful success, with 4 farmgirls and a guest.  We had chicken salad, roll-up sandwiches, veggies and dip, fruit and a cream cheese pound cake.  And we shared with 'the girls' in the beauty shop.  Yes, our henhouse is shared with a couple of ladies who do hair part time, and Thursday is one of the afternoons they work.  We enjoyed listening to them talk so much that we shared our goodies with them.  They were so much fun! 

I showed everyone how to make one of my mini pin-cushions and I also did a door prize of a tin filled with lavender.  I carried a jar of buttons and had a 'guess how many' contest.  It was lots of fun!

Friday Mary Ann and I ran to the store to pick up a few things and I got some pizza dough for dinner.  The whole thing had caramelized onions and leeks on it, hubby's half had bbq chicken, and my half had artichoke hearts, and sun dried tomatoes.  It was so good!

Saturday I messed around in the kitchen most of the day.  I made a 'Marguerite' pasta salad for Sunday - it had penne, EVOO, finely diced onion, fresh basil, seasonings, sun dried tomatoes, mozzerella and parmesan cheeses.  For dinner I made homemade burgers from ground chuck, A1, worcerstershire sauce, finely diced onions and jalapenos, and shredded cheddar cheese.  Then I topped them with leftover caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and bacon.  They were so delicious!  I also made a small batch of homemade pina colada ice cream with canned pineapple, cream of coconut, half and half, sugar, vanilla and coconut extracts.  It was so creamy and good!

Sunday we packed a picnic and drove up to TN for a picnic and rode around the mountains of TN and northern GA.  It was a beautiful day, and while hubby was driving, I made one cotton crocheted dish cloth, and started on another one.  Busy hands, you know!

And today, as usual, it is laundry day, and I need to go get clothes out of the dryer and do the process all over again.  Have a wonderful week folks!  Becky

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This, That, and the other Thing!

I'm sorry it's been so long between posts!  I actually tried to do a post mid-week last week but couldn't get blogger to let me load some of my pics.  Actually I did the whole post, published it, and blogger only chose to publish 1/2 of the post and I lost the rest of it.  So that kind of bummed me out for a while.  Because of that, and because loading lots of pictures is easier to do with slide shows than with blogger, I am doing this post with two slide shows.  That being said, here's what's been going on here!

Not much!  But I do have a few pics of flowers blooming in my yard these days.  I truly believe my Daddy has been tending my garden, and everything (but mostly things he gave me or that I know he loved) has been doing so very well!  (I love you, Daddy!)

Here is the slide show of flower pics . . .


I have also been shopping, online and at yard sales and estate sales, for more things for my shop.  You may have noticed my Etsy shop is no longer on my side bar.  That is because I am working on re-vamping it and trying to get new things listed, and it's easier if I don't have it open at the time.
Through my online shopping I have bought a number of postcards, mostly Christmas and New Years, and all from between 1900 and the early 1920's.  If you remember, the ones I had before sold VERY well at the craft show, so now I have more to sell.  I have also bought a great vintage linen lot with some of the most gorgeous embroidery I have EVER seen!  There are even a couple of pieces that may never make it to a sale, but into my collection instead!
And at yard and estate sales, I have bought an old painting, some books, magazines and the best deal of the day, a brand new, in the box Martha Stewart 'Favor Packaging Kit' which has 25 tins that are to be used for wedding/party favors.  I am going to decorate the tins and fill them with organic lavender to sell. 
Here are the pics of vintage things that will soon make their way either into my Etsy shop or to the next Georgia Farmgirls (GAFG) 'Flea in the Field' flea market sale . . .

We are having our 2nd GAFG craft night this Thursday and I will be teaching a class on making a pincushion similar to this one . . .

 . . . and when I finish this post I am on my way to make THIS cake to take to the meeting.  Mary Ann is taking a few savory things and I'm bringing the sweet!

I have to tell you, too, about our latest adventure.  As some of you may know, I never learned to ride a bicycle.  When I was about 4 years old I was riding with one of my Daddy's sisters (on back) and got my ankle caught in the spokes and was always afraid to try on my own.  As an adult I could rationalize that fear, but those voices in my head just wouldn't let me do it! 

When we were in Florida a few weeks ago, hubby and I saw a tandem (or built for two) bicycle and wanted to rent one but could never find a bike shop that had tandems available.  After we got home, hubby strongly suggested I get online and see if we could find one.  He had the faith in me that if we could do the tandem bike, I could learn to ride.  We found one for a very reasonable price at Walmart, ordered it 'site to store' shipping and it came a week or so ago.  We took it to a bike shop to have it checked out (we are NOT bike mechanics) and started riding it on Saturday.

First time up, we did pretty well.  We rode once on Saturday and twice on Sunday.  I will say this - I am not convinced that I could ride a bike alone yet, but we rode, and it felt so good to finally be able to do something that I've been wanting to do for over 50 years!  And I give all the thanks to my sweet hubby who had faith in me, and encouraged me so much.  (I love you sweetie!)

So that's all from me for now.  But I'll be back soon with more of what's going on here, at Camellia Cottage!  Blessings folks!  Becky

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What A Glorious Day!!!

Wow!  The Georgia Farmgirls First Arts and Crafts Show was a wonderful success!  We had 15 or more vendors and lots of folks stopped to check us out, and I had such a blast - you have no idea!  Hopefully tomorrow I'll have pictures of everyone's booth on the Georgia Farmgirls blog, but it may be longer. 

Hang on!  This is gonna be a Looooooonnnnngggggggg, picture filled post!

First, I have to thank my sweet hubby who gave up his overtime hours on Saturday so he could help me get everything set up.  Then he had to come home and wait for the DirecTV guy to come fix our satellite, then came back and helped me pack up and help Mary Ann close up the Henhouse.  He is such a sweetie - after 25 years I will definitely keep him!   Oh, and I forgot my cell phone, so he went home to get it (5 miles) and while he was there I discovered the tablecloth I had was too small, so I called and had to direct hiim to where to find a larger one.  He done good! 

On Friday I went to help Mary Ann get the food for the concessions and get things straightened up at the Henhouse.  Also, hubby and I had put most everything in the truck Friday night, so we didn't have to do the packing up in the early morning.  

Here is the day as best I remember it! . . .

Up by 6:00, showered, dressed, got the last of the things (camera, money, ME!) in the truck and we were at the Henhouse before 8 am - we were the first ones there!  I had already staked out my space on Friday, so I went straight to 'my' space.  I chose it because I knew it would get the morning sun, but be shady in the hot afternoon.

We started setting up, and before long we were joined by two ladies who were selling jewelry, and then Mary Ann got there.  We kept having rainy looking clouds going over, but thankfully we didn't have a drop of rain!  After a while it was sunny, but very windy with strong gusts.  I had to keep chasing my small things that flew off in the wind!

Hubby sitting at my booth.

Eventually things were really  hopping, with folks setting up booths all around the perimeter of our little 'field'.  There was a wide variety of canopies set up and an even wider variety of goodies up for sale.

Don't you love my pennant banner???  It's vintage (70's) corduroy.

I don't know how, but 10:00 got there in a big hurry!  Soon we had people walking all over the place, talking, laughing, shopping . . .

Pincushions - the small ones sold pretty well.

Pins/brooches - I sold a few of those.

My 3 tiered basket with fabric flower pins in bottom, pincushions in middle, felt/fabric pins in top.

My Mary Janes Farm magazines - they were a great conversation starter, and I did a lot of talking to ladies, trying to get them interested in joining our chapter.  I think I probably have 4-6 people who will come to either our craft night next week and/or our June meeting.  And I had a blast doing it!!!

I sold this pretty vintage hankie to a lady who was going to give it to her daughter who was getting married.  It would be her something old and something blue - how sweet (and cool) is that!

I sold the postcard plaque, several greeting cards (in box on left) and about 1/3 of my hankies (in the basket on right).

I had about 6-8 packages of early 1900 postcards, and sold every one!

And I sold a few lavender sachets.  One lady even wanted my sign so she would know what they did!
She also "LOVED" my presentation and  how I had everything showcased.  Did you notice the vintage dish pans, old baskets, etc? 

The same lady also bought these wheat plates.  I paid $1 for all of them at a yard sale, and sold them for much, much more!  :o)

No one wanted KOS.  {sigh}

Sold the doilies on bottom, didn't the pillow . . .

 and the mesh basket held free sweets.

An old Pyrex refrigerator dish held my business cards and pens.

I carried a bouquet of roses and herbs from my garden, but the wind kept blowing it over, so it made it's way into the Henhouse and our chapter table.

I eventually hung the vintage aprons from the canopy.  They looked cute, but blew in the wind all day long!

A former neighbor "GAVE" me the antique oak desk and told me to sell it if I couldn't use it.  I did.

A few highlights: 
  • I met Libby!  She purchased some things from me on Etsy a while back, and when I found out she was local (like 12 miles from here) I told her about  our sale and she actually had a booth, and plans on joining our Farmgirls chapter.  And I so enjoyed meeting her - she is such a sweetheart! 
  • Another highlight was getting to know another farmgirl, Nancy W. a lot better.  She is a nurse at the local hospital and I really enjoyed spending time getting to know her. 
  • AND, one last special moment was when one of our farmgirls brought her children over to let them shop my booth for her mothers day presents.  They were so sweet, and I even worked out a deal with Audrey for a special gift for her mom.
Over all I sold a good blend of crafts and vintage.  I was pleased.  In fact . . .

My Goal: I took $50 in small bills ($1, $5) and quarters to have for change for folks paying cash. My goal was to bring home the $50 plus another $50. Instead, I brought home . . . get this! $162.50! I sold $112.50 in crafts and vintage goodies. I was so excited and proud!!!  Not too shabby for my first ever time as a vendor!

I have to say I had such an incredibly fun time, talking to people and making money and talking to even more people - it was so much fun!!!  But until we got everything packed up,  the canopy down, and had helped Mary Ann put things back in the Henhouse and I sat down in the truck I didn't realize how tired I was.  It was like all of a sudden my body was able to relax, and I was sore all over, and just exhausted beyond belief.  But it was a good tired!

I could not have put in a request for the day to be any better.  And do you know what???  We are having a flea market in a few weeks right there in the field beside the henhouse, and I'm going to take a bunch of 'junk' from here at home, but I'm also going to start shopping yard sales, estate sales and ebay for more things to carry to that sale.  Yep, 100% of what I made this weekend will be going right back into 'the business'. 
I am pleased, and I am happy.  And I thank you for caring and being interested!

Blessings friends!  Becky

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Stressed and Obsessed!

So, I've told you about the Georgia Farmgirls Arts and Crafts Show this weekend, right?  It's the first official community event for our chapter, and it means a lot to me on several levels. 

The first level is I am hosting my own booth for the first time ever at a craft show as a vendor.  Hooray!  I have an assortment of handmade things from pincushions to lavender sachets to a few vintage things such as handmade aprons, hankies and Victorian post cards.  I think I have a really nice assortment of things.

I have spent this whole day sorting and pricing my items, plus looking for things to display them in.  I have vintage hankies and post cards in a square basket that they stand up in very well - I have them in cellophane envelopes to keep them clean and separate.  I have a big enameled wash basin that I am displaying the lavender sachets in, a smaller enameled bowl that I'm using for some smaller things, and a 3 tiered wire basket for little things.  Everything in the top tier is $1, middle tier $1.50 and bottom tier $2.

This is one of the things I made for the show.  His name is KOS, short for Keeper Of Secrets.  He has big ears to hear all you want to tell him, but no mouth, so he can't tell your secrets to anyone else.

I found some vintage (70's) brightly colored fabric my mom gave me - bright red, white, royal blue, teal/peacock blue, green and black HUGE floral design.  I have enough to put on my table and I made a pennant banner/bunting from the same fabric that is about 16-17 feet long.  It will go around the top of the canopy I'll have over my table, at least on the front and sides.  The show is outside in a small 'field' beside our Henhouse.

I've even got my wardrobe planned!  I know, but I did say I was obsessing!  This is a farmgirls event, so I'm wearing jeans, white tee shirt and a red smock type apron with pockets that I can keep my money in. for safe keeping.

The second level on which this is really important to me is that I am new to the group, and the group is fairly new, and I would just LOVE to see this event be a huge success!  Our fearless leader, Mary Ann, has some wonderful ideas, but participation and willingness to help hasn't been a strong point with a lot of the members.  So I want to be a worker bee for this chapter and help get it going strong!

I have only been a member since March, but already I am doing our blog, and helping on the group's Facebook Page.  I think communicating with members is huge, and will help toward getting more people involved.  I am also planning on teaching a class on making pincushions at one of our Craft Nighs in the next few weeks.

So, yes!   I am stressed and obsessed, but in all honesty I am having a wonderful time!!!  I am living again!  My new friend Mary Ann is making me get out of the house more often and getting me in trouble with hubby because I tend to forget dinner more often.  (Nah - he really doesn't mind so much!)  And I am so thankful that after many years of praying for a real, true neighbor, I now have one!  Honestly, one left out of our subdivision, 4 miles or so and left into her driveway!

Thank you for listening to my ramblings.  It means a lot to know I have friends all over the place who care about me and even understand how things have been the last couple of years.  I am one super blessed gal, and I am grateful!  Blessings folks,  Becky

PS - can you believe this is almost a picture-free post???  Never fear, I'll make up for it after the show with pics of my booth! 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

April 2010 Vacation - Grayton Beach State Park, FL

Sorry it's taken me so long to get this post up!  It's been a crazy few days between catching up on laundry, putting away all the camping gear, and working on my booth for the Georgia Farmgirls craft fair coming up this Saturday.  Anyway . . .

Last week, April 24th - May 1st we went for a week long camping trip to Grayton Beach State Park, between Santa Rosa Beach and Seagrove Beach in the Florida Panhandle, aka the Emerald Coast.   You can find a great video about the state park HERE.  You will need to scroll down toward the bottom of the page to see the video, but the pictures are beautiful!

So, this is our home away from home that we take wherever we go!  What you see is hubby checking out the ultra fancy (NOT!) breakfast station.  We keep the coffee pot, toaster, etc. out on that table so we can do our own thing for breakfast.  I have to say one of the really special parts of this trip was sitting outside drinking a large cup of coffee in the sunshine each morning.  I'm not a huge coffee drinker - I love it, but I don't make it just for me - so I was surprised I enjoyed it so much this trip.

The blue bucket is where the water from the shower goes, and then we take the gray water to the dump station.  We find that both of us can take a nice shower with less than 5 gallons of gray water.  Pretty 'green', huh?  The gray/bronze plastic bins are what we took food and stuff in, but while there we had to use the bins to keep outside stuff so scorpions couldn't get in them.  Yep, scorpions.  But they weren't the only critters we saw - oh no!

This is a view of the lake from the beach/bath house.  They have nice picnic pavilions around.  And the cool thing - I was standing at the beach house between the ocean and the lake!  The state park is on Western Lake, second largest coastal dunes lake in the Florida panhandle.

On our drive down on Saturday we got to stop in Dothan, Alabama and pay a visit to a very dear friend (Hi Fay!) who I used to work AND go to church with before she deserted me and moved back to Alabama.  But I still love her even though she did desert me!  :o)  I hadn't seen  her in several years, so it was wonderful to spend a little time with her.

As we got closer to the beach, the weather got worse, and we ended up cutting our visit with Fay short because my Mama called from north GA saying her sister (my aunt) had called her and told her that Dothan was under a tornado watch and she knew we were stopping in Dothan.  So we skeedaddled on south!  As you can see by the picture above, the gulf waters were very rough.  The waters of the Choctawhatchee Bay were also rough, and the winds were CRAZY!  As we were just about to cross over the bridge across the bay, hubby and I both looked in the rear view mirrors at the same time and saw the canoe (which was strapped to the top of the camper) slide far right, and almost go off the camper!  We were able to pull over and straighten the canoe and tighten the straps, but believe me, it was an experience!

Sunset on the beach.  The wind was kicking up sand, so the pictures were blurry.

But we made it across the bay and on to the campground.  We got everything set up, ran to Destin for a bite to eat and went back 'home' and collapsed.  Oh, and by the way, the campground didn't have cable, so we had no TV for a week.  And believe it or not, we really didn't miss it a bit!

Sunday morning we got up, walked on the beach, went to WalMart to pick up a few things and spent the rest of the day at the campground.  Mid afternoon we were sitting next to the camper enjoying the breezes off the ocean, hubby snoozing in his reclining chair, and I was crocheting a dish cloth, when a brown thrush flew out from under our camper, under hubby's elevated feet, and landed a few feet away, looking back under the camper.  I looked where the bird came from, and there, just under the edge of the camper near the 'breakfast station', was a snake.  It wasn't large, only about 2 1/2 feet long, but it's head and tail were small and pointed, and it's middle about the size of a half dollar or larger.  My first thoughts were a)I HATE SNAKES!!!  b)pygmy rattlesnake.  Hubby disagreed, and thought it was another kind of snake.

Anyway, in my book the only good snake is a DEAD snake, so it had to go!  I told hubby to go get the rangers to get it out of there, but he wouldn't do it.  We walked away from the camper, and the snake turned, went back under the camper and into the swampy/marshy area behind us, never to be seen again - thankfully!  And a couple of hours later hubby was out riding his bike and ran into a ranger, and told him about the snake.  The ranger confirmed my suspicious and said the snake most likely WAS a pygmy rattler.  So there!

On Monday we drove west to the Florida/Alabama state line to visit the Florabama, a restaurant and bar that crosses the state lines, thus Flor Abama.  But I forgot they had been destroyed in a hurricane a couple of years back.  They are planning to rebuild, but right now it's a mess and they were recovering from the mullet toss the weekend before, so we just headed back and found somewhere else along the way for lunch.  We walked the beach at sunset again.  My favorite time of day on the beach!

Almost full moon just after the sun set.

On Tuesday we pretty much stayed close to home (our camper).  We did take the canoe out on Western Lake, and paddled to the beach.  Yes, there is one pont on the lake where a 40 - 50 foot stretch of beach is all that separates the lake and the Gulf of Mexico.  It was gorgeous!!!  And it was the only place I have ever seen where the state park rangers put cones out and allow people to bring their cars and trucks onto the beach and put them in the water right ON the beach.  Too cool! 

Oh, and we ran to the Publix a few miles away and got some things and I put together a one pot meal for dinner.  Frozen Obrien potatoes, chunked ham, cheese, scallions, diced tomatoes - delicious.  We did a lot of nothing folks!  And it was wonderful to sleep, read, eat, craft, sleep, read, etc., etc., etc.!!!

On Wednesday we drove the 35 or so miles to Panama City Beach, just for old times sake.  That was where we went on our first trip together in 1984 when we were dating.  Some friends of hubby's had rented a condo - 3 girls and 2 guys - and I got to tag along.  And that was the ONLY time until last week we ever went to PCB together.  It was bike week (motorcycles) in PCB and so we didn't hang around long.  On the way home we stopped at a place called Cocoons for lunch.  Hubby got a BBQ Sandwich, but I got a salad sampler, and man was it GREAT!!!  My favorite meal of the trip!  I got chicken salad, marinated artichoke and tomato salad, greek pasta salad with feta and spinach, and marinated fresh mozzarella mini balls with grape tomatoes.  It was just a wonderful meal - and my favorite type of meal, too.

The water closest to you is Western Lake, but the top edge, just above the beach where it meets the sky - that is the Gulf of Mexico.

Thursday we stayed close again, but hubby took his bike across 30-A to the bike trail that was supposed to be 4.5 miles long.  I made him take his cell phone in case he got lost.  Not long after he left I called him to ask where he had put my keys.  A while after that he called me and said he thought he was lost, but was going to follow the wrong signs.  MEN!  I tried to get him NOT to turn and follow the orange signs, but he did anyway.  A long while later he called again and said he was at the Point Washington State Forest, Eastern Lake trailhead.  Fortunately I had seen that place as we drove by the day before, so I knew just where he was, and took the truck to pick up  him and his bike.  We guess he had  probably been 12 - 15 miles instead of the anticipated 4 1/2!

Doesn't that look like snow?  And yes, the sand there really is that white!  And you can see the gulf just beyond the dune.

Friday we drove around a bit - up to Defuniak Springs, and around some small communities in the area, making a large loop.  As we got almost to Panama City, the rains started.  Now bear in mind, the radio weather guy said 'a few sprinkles on the beach and a little more rain inland'.  If that is his idea of  'sprinkes', I really don't want to see a downpour!  We had to pull off and wait for a long time for the rain to slack a bit, and watched many motorcyclists pull over to wait it out, too.  It rained for about 11 to 12 hours straight, without stopping.

The house on the left was our favorite of the ones we saw on the lake at Grayton Beach village.

When we got home there was tons of water collecting in the awning and hubby had to keep using the broom to lift up the canopy so the water would run off.  Finally I adjusted one of the canopy supports so it was shorter, and it took care of itself the rest of the night.  On Saturday morning we started packing up and closing down the camper to come home.  Thankfully it wasn't raining any more, but it might as well have  been because it was so HUMID! 

Lake/Beach/Ocean, in that order.

Hubby had to use the blue bucket to bail water out of the canoe, which had been under the bushes beside the camper.  It had probably 50 - 75 gallons of water in it, just from that one day's rains.

Me and 'Red' the canoe.

The trip home was uneventful, although we did have to stop once and tighten up the straps holding the canoe on top of the camper. 

Pelicans over the beach at Grayton Beach Village.

We have a trip to Savannah scheduled for October, but we loved this place so much that we may change and go back to Grayton Beach instead.  We are just waiting to see what this oil spill does for the Florida beaches. 

So there are the 'details' (Tara, Janean!)  Overall it was a wonderful trip.  Very relaxing, and isn't that what vacations are for after all?  And if you are interested, Grayton Beach State Park also has cabins you can rent if you aren't into the camping thing.  Thanks for taking this journey with me!  Blessings, Becky

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Home Again, and incredible video!

Hi Folks!!!  Did you miss me???  We just got home last night around 7:30 from a wonderful vacation trip to Florida!  I didn't tell you about it ahead of time for obvious reasons, and left the two posts from last week scheduled to run while we were gone.  Right now I am wading through tons of laundry and need to run to the store and pick up some basics, and then I will tell you all about our rrip.  For now, let's just say it was wonderful, but not without it's adventurous moments!

Also, I wanted to share this video with you!  As you probably know, I love 'my' birds, but the hummers are my very favorite, an this video just melts my heart!  Take a look, and I'll be back soon with pictures and more about our trip.  Blessings, Becky

So sorry, I couldn't figure out how to embed the video in this post, so you'll have to click on the link, but it's well worth the click!  B.