Archive for May, 2009

I’m still amazed at all the stuff there is to do around here, if you just look for it. In Thursday’s paper each week there is a listing of the activities in the area for about a 50 mile radius. I read it thoroughly.

When Bruce and I first started dating in the late winter of 2005, we realized that neither of us in our former lives got to do all the weekend activities that we’d have liked. Work and Life and Housework and Household Duties hadn’t helped. Since we were both turning over a new leaf, we needed a new philosophy. Seize Saturdays! He was a full time student by then and it was the second semester of the school year for me, always a lighter work load. We started looking for weekend adventures. So far, the record for the most unusual find is — hands down — the Grits Festival in Warwick, Georgia.

First of all, I didn’t have a clue where on earth Warwick was located. And the truth is, I still don’t. We found it with mapquest and headed out fairly early, about 9 in the morning. We arrived about 1 PM after getting lost at least twice. Finally pulling over near a junction of highways just to find the location on the road map. Our state road number had literally disappeared. We soldiered on and eventually found Warwick. The whole town had turned out for the Festival — all 172 of them. It was in full swing.

The main event was a contest on who could hold the most grits. There were even two levels of competition — one for kids, another for young adults. They had a horse trough filled with Quaker Grits, the sponsor of the event. (yes, folks, a horse trough.) They weighed each contestant before they entered the trough and after they came out. The difference in weight was the amount of grits they were “holding”. The winner was the person with the most. You’d have thought the future of their family’s good name rested on the outcome. Maybe it did. Anyway, it was fun to watch while thinking “No way would you ever see me doing that! Even at age 12.” Truth is, neither Bruce nor I remember what the winner received, whether it was cash or a year’s supply of grits — whatever it was, it wasn’t memorable, but the contest sure was.

I ate my first corn dog in many years and enjoyed roasted corn on the cob, dipped in a vat of butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. Nummy! Somewhere Bruce has a picture of me with my ear of corn and a big smile.

The irony was we didn’t get to eat any grits, which Bruce and I both love. They were flat out. I guess we could have dipped some out of the horse trough. . . .

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Where Oh Where?

I’ve already written about the major renovation on the former septic system and new sewer hook-up here.  It had us busy keeping up with the progress with the sound of machinery grinding along and dirt moving with trenches and pipe everywhere.

In the midst of all of this, Bruce and I realized we hadn’t seen our calico cat, Rags, for several days.  I feared the worst as I lost another cat some years ago when the city did major trench work on the road along our street when they worked on the storm drains.

But two days ago, first thing in the morning when the house was quiet, I heard a faint mew from under the house.  I put on shoes, grabbed a flashlight and headed down to the crawl space.  Booger, our tuxedo cat, came along to see what I was doing, promptly going under the house.  Soon he flushed out Rags and I could see her back in a corner.  Knowing she hadn’t eaten for at least three days, I fetched bowls of food and water, putting them right outside the door to the space.  Booger, of course, helped himself to a snack as reward for his efforts in the discovery of his missing friend.  Rags has always been a bit spooky so I left her alone.  An hour later I checked and she had eaten, but wouldn’t come out!  Crazy kitty!  She wants to live there?  The place that is so musty that I, as an asthmatic, can’t go under there!  It has now been a day and a half.  The door is  propped open, but if she wants another meal she needs to see the people with  opposable thumbs.  And then, she’ll need a bath.

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We got back from our latest camping adventure earlier in the week. Overall, the trip to North Carolina was fun; we were able to set up our camp during a beautiful day, had rain and cold nights, were able to strike camp and move an hour further up the mountains to Hugh’s neck of the woods (literally) during good weather and return home on a sunny day. The rain, in between putting up the tent and taking it down, is incidental. We prepare for it.

However, we didn’t prepare for the music at the Lake Eden Arts Festival  (LEAF) to be sooo mundane. It was totally blah. One group thanked their mommies and daddies for their support. Well sure — they were all too young to drive! Of course, they needed their parents’ help. None of the groups really turned our collective cranks. Totally unmemorable.  There was such diversity that there wasn’t really a theme or any continuity.  Something for everyone can also mean not much for anybody.

So — to make up for the music deficit, I started hunting for another festival nearby. We found a Bluegrass festival in the north Georgia mountains next month. We bought tickets and booked a camp site on the grounds, and even booked Ginger for the kennel. Now I’m ready to tap my toes properly.

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Exciting Movie

The new film Angels and Demons came out yesterday and we, along with a theater full of other folks, were there. I liked this book by Dan Brown more than The DaVinci Code. I think I understood it better. Anyway, we’d read a review in the paper that panned it, as usual. I think film critics are way too jaded and go to see a film with the preconceived idea that they will not like it. Period. As usual, we really liked the movie. It was exciting and stayed true to the book. The characters were believable and the pace never dragged. Even the outside shots of Rome were accurate. In one scene, several characters are standing outside a building and in the background you can see a pipe with graffiti scrawled on it. Yep — that’s Rome. Graffiti is everywhere. Nasty stuff. The film crew probably had to work hard to position actors so they stood in front of that mess as much as possible.

I was on the edge of my seat most of the time. As the film ended I looked at another woman and said, “That was a lot of work!” She laughed, “Yes, it was.” Go see it.

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Well, we finally decided to bite the bullet and to connect the not-functioning-very-well septic tank/system to the city sewer system. It took a trip to the city utilities office and a hefty fee to a week or more of trying to get businesses to come out and give us an estimate (a Herculean task at best), to finally deciding on a bid from a young man with the know-how, equipment and initiative and right price. He is out there now connecting pipe up the 300 feet from the street to the house. He came yesterday with a back hoe and dug the trench. There’s nothing like a piece of heavy equipment in your yard to bring out the neighborhood men. Bruce talked to one guy we’d barely seen for several years. I guess it’s the Toys for (Big) Boys mystique. Errrhh.

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Leaving for LEAF

We’re off to the Lake Eden Arts Festival in Black Mountain, NC. This will be our third trip up there. Mountain air, lots of music, nights in our new tent, coffee and tea under the stars, Spam and grits for breakfast and fried egg sandwiches for lunch! Then we go further up the mountains to camp again and see brother, Hugh and sister-in-law, Sylvia. Hamburgers on the grill — what an elegant dinner! And so American. . . . .

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