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Archive for November, 2008

Thanks for Stuffing Me

Who can not love a holiday that requires people to sit and eat? We have had our family dinner today and everyone got to eat their fill, chat with the others and watch a little football. The kids couldn’t have their tractor ride — it was raining, but Andrew sure remembered it from last year! The grandchildren got to meet Patty Ann — Christine’s kitty, and Ginger, our Corgi-Beagle mix. Ginger was delighted; Patty, not so thrilled.

With Bruce’s excellent taste buds, the dressing was great. I kept it simple. But we have it so rarely, it is difficult not to pig out. I went a bit overboard on the veggies. Bruce loves Ambrosia and Watergate salad. Good balance to the turkey and mashed potatoes. I wish Pecan Pie were lo-cal — it’s not but, really, how often do we have it? Not frequently enough to worry about. I’ve gotten so I like Sweet Potato Pie more than Pumpkin. Even though I forgot to get out the Cool Whip.

We’re now almost ready for a recycling — the supper plate! Oh, boy . . . .

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Does Not Run Like a Deere

We often drive down a back road to get from home out to Fort Gordon. At one time I’m sure it was a country road. Now it’s only a connecting road, as about half of the houses are empty and deserted. Along the way we’d frequently see a man on a lawn tractor at the sign installation business. We assumed he was the owner. He would just be sitting there, on his tractor, generally with an adult beverage in his hand. He wasn’t mowing or anything — there is no grass there in the driveway or around the piles of wooden pallets or the junky-looking house. He was just sitting there. For a long while we didn’t see him and Bruce and I wondered about the man, even worried about him. It’s odd, isn’t it, to miss someone we don’t even know?

The other day, there he was again, sitting on a brand new lawn tractor. So I’m here to report — John Deere 2.0 is alive and well — and still not mowing. But his new machine is shiny and new. He’s ready, just in case.

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No Campin’

This was the weekend we were supposed to go back up to the North Georgia Mountains to the Cloudland Canyon State Park. We were looking forward to another camping adventure. However, as we kept checking the long term weather we realized the temperature was going to be way toooo cold to camp, so we booked a cottage at the park. Then we realized that the cottage was rather expensive for two people, plus we’d have to drive 45 minutes to get up to Lookout Mountain to the Civil War living history programs we planned to attend. So we canceled that and booked a room at a motel only a few miles from the battlefield. However, as the week progressed, my cold got worse, Bruce felt like he, too, was coming down with a cold. So we canceled the room and the trip. Obviously, it was not meant to be.

Ever notice how it seems too much work to go have fun when you’re not feeling well? We had carpet cleaners come yesterday; we’re spruced up for the Thanksgiving gathering. So we’re sitting in a clean house, coughing and taking cold meds. i was totally worthless today. I had about two hours of energy and after that was used up, I headed back to bed. Blogging was about all I could do this evening. Now it’s time to refill my cup of tea and curl up with my Shakespearean murder mystery.

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Gone to the Dogs

We dog sat over the weekend with Koga, David and Darlene’s Carolina dog. Carolina dogs are hounds, long legged with long upright ears. He is twice as tall as our short little Ginger. I was struck by the similarity to having humans visit to having animals visit. We had to have a sleeping place, arrange meals and entertainment, and get the “children” to settle down when they started to roughhouse too hard.

Koga and Ginger know each other from the summer of 2007 when D and D kept Ginger for us for a month while we were in Europe so she didn’t have to stay in the kennel for a long time. They still knew each other and had a frolicking good time. Once I looked over and Ginger had gotten up under Koga; they looked like a double decker dog. Wish I’d had the camera handy. Or a video camera. We could have sent it in to America’s Funniest Videos.

I was feeling under the weather with a head cold so it was a good weekend to hole up with the dogs and settle in. The cold rainy weather was another reason to snuggle in. A good reason to curl up on the sofa with a dog — or two.

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We’re back from the North Georgia Mountains — and yes, it was cold, especially the first night, but not horribly so. However, MacKathy, earlier in the week, made flannel pillowcases for our camping pillows. I found an old flannel sheet that had too many holes to mend, but too much material to toss. Those warm pillows felt extra nice as we snuggled in. The showers had lots of hot water and the bath houses were even well-heated. Between that and our own electrical hook-up and water faucet, we were set. We get better, and faster, each time we set up. We can set up camp in an hour and break down and load up in two.

The second night we had a nice campfire in the fire ring. We even sang the first line from all the camp songs we could remember, ending with “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”. (Good place to stop. . . ) No marshmallows to toast and no chocolate bars, hence, no some-mores. although we did have graham crackers. Next time we’ll remember all the ingredients. However, the Irish coffee was delicious . . . .

Cloudland Canyon State Park is lovely — mountains and forests, and yellow, orange, and red leaves this time of year. I watched a documentary last summer about Georgia’s state parks and CCSP came highly recommended. It is located about a 30 minute drive west from the Chickamauga Battlefield. One year, when I was still teaching American Literature, my classes did such a thorough job of studying Red Badge of Courage and Ambrose Bierce’s short stories about the Civil War, the American History teacher whizzed right through that period in her class. The students did projects and led discussions over Bierce’s stories. It was great stuff! Chickamauga was one of the battles in those works.

The gift shop had all kinds of potential material for a bulletin board. (Sorry — old habits die hard — Aunt Wanda said she had trouble breaking the lesson-plan-gathering-habit after she retired from teaching. She gave away all her accummulated stuff, as did I. If someone could use those things, good; if not, I wouldn’t know if they tossed it!) We’re going back up later in November to visit nearby Lookout Mountain Battlefield for a day of living history programs about the Civil War.

Even though we had to drive through Atlanta, the drive was relatively painless — as painless as that ordeal in traffic hell can be — thus an easy 4 hour trip plus an hour stop at a Cracker Barrel, both going and coming. We’ve now had our CB fix for awhile. We’re getting good at running the gift shop gauntlet. Don’t look right or left; just head for the hostess’ podium. My fried catfish was tasty; Bruce’s meatloaf was cold.

The new memory foam pad?  It was wonderful!  Our sleeping bags stayed in place without sliding around.  And let’s face it — there is no such thing as too much cushion for the ol’ bones.  We slept like logs.

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