Monday, November 6, 2017

A Fun Weekend!

I had a wonderful weekend...boy it went so fast even though we got that extra hour compliments of yet another time change.   Saturday we had superb shorts and shirt sleeve weather as we headed to nearby Hartsville. 

Our weekend began on Friday night home baked pizza when sis arrived.  We totally solved all the world's problems if only we could get everyone to listen to us... lots of chatting, laughing, eating, followed by some quiet couch potato chillin' till bedtime.  It was a cool night, good sleeping weather, had me snuggled in till 8am when the dogs got me up as they always do!
We headed out around lunch time...our fist stop of the day was at McLeod's Farms about a 15 or so mile drive...for a cool treat, and to check out the seasonal trims and the foods they had out for purchase! We test drove the rockers on the porch  and watched travelers come and go.

                Ornamental gourds, raw p-nuts and sugar cane on this table 

This is a small local market conveniently located on hwy 151 that takes travelers to the coast and mostly Myrtle Beach.   This is a huge family farm operation with peach orchards, pecan orchards, they grow strawberries, blueberries, corn, and other produce.  They have a hay ride to the corn maze or to pick your own "punkin" which peaked last week before Halloween.  We were told a lady got lost in the corn maze so we passed on doing that. (they found her)

      Every color of pumpkin

        all are locally grown or milled...pecans, grits, 

and rice, honey, jams, jellies, chutney, all sorts of farm grown good stuff. 

Some cute locally made birdhouses too...

Let's rock!  No--> literally we 

Some nice Gulf Fritillary butterflies were around to entertain us while we rocked...

                     They love this flowering shrub, Lantana.

Once we'd had enough rocking to we hit their privately collected museum.  A really awesome FREE look back in time...from the divinely restored to the rusted and cool. We enjoyed this so much I hadn't been in here in a while so it felt all new like seeing it for the very first time! I continue to be amazed that stuff I have used is now in museums...YIKES! 

 Our movie theater had a phone booth like this one we used to play in it, now it's in a museum and I recall weighting myself on a scale like the one on the left in this photo.  

          My grammy used to make shift dresses for us out of cloth that started out as feed bags like these!

One of the Peach Orchards next to the store is in fine color.

                                      sis clowning around 

Afterwards we headed to downtown Hartsville and Kalmia Gardens, a Botanical Garden part of Coker College.  

            A 35 acre Garden and black water swampland. 

We had a really fine walk on a series of boardwalks, spying turtles at the pond, and great reflections at the Black Creek overlook. 

                                  a river cooter

                                                           the Black Creek

                                             The Lilly Pad and Turtle Pond

           The gardens had lots of variety of Camellia in bloom which we enjoyed very much!

                                                            some bold colors in the forest

                                                                 This could be pomegranate 

This land and the antebellum house built in 1820 belonged to Thomas Hart, who donated this place to Coker College, for whom the town is named, Hartsville, love these big live oak trees in the back...

And more rockers on the front..

                 the center of town, taken in 2016 when Mom and I did a Town Trip

Tired after all the walking we had an early dinner in town, got home in time to feed my dogs only a bit later than they normally get to eat...had a little rest followed by a couple of Margarita's I mixed up in my home bar and once the sun set we headed out to the fire pit.  A perfect balmy night just right for a little warmth while we watched the full moon come up behind the was such a great end to a great day!

Just wish all my family had been able to join us...

Every day is a new Adventure.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

SO, What's UP?

Okay October went so fast, and now it's November already? I've been laying low...doing what has to be done and resting when I need want to. I recently told my sis that I live a very exclusive life, meaning many things are me it's a luxury to have a couple good meals a day and a comfortable place to lay my head.  Simple is what I strive for, sometimes the outside world draws me off and destroys my tranquil existence. For now I have restored hozho, balance. 

 Here's what's up in my little world...with some photos of a recent soul soothing walk around my local State Park, Goodale.  My version of the Navajo's Blessing Way. 

   calming water

After dinner Laptopping:
Most of my net time is spent creating a blog post, reading and commenting on your blogs, uploading photos to Flickr, arguing politics on Facebook, reading and responding to email, and visits to Find A Grave, Ancestry, and eBird. That and a few searches sums up my interaction with the outside world! 


             good reflections 

daylight hours:

Are mostly used up doing chores around the homestead, chopping wood for the nightly fire, keeping twigs picked up  out of the yard, and doing some painting at Mom's, getting her screen porch spruced up a bit, so when she returns home she will be super surprised!  Speaking of Mom she is doing very good, still in good health and recently celebrated her 93rd birthday!  There's  the occasional trip to town for supplies, I always have bins full of twigs to drop off at the trash dumpsters and occasionally I bump into people I haven't seen in a long time. 

                                  Bright cheerful colors

New Toys:

A new angle grinder is now in my shed! (thanks Mom for the birthday money) Very handy for sharpening tools, and I'm sure I will find many more uses for it.  Got it for 20% off at Harbor Freight.  It is an inexpensive one but I don't figure to be using it on a daily basis so it should serve me well. 
For my birthday I received: the complete box set of all 6 seasons of Breaking Bad! Absolutely loved/love that is fun to go over it frame by frame. The fact it was filmed in beautiful New Mexico is a bonus too.
AND: a new portable DVD player to take along when I 'm out traveling...if you recall I blew the other one up in a charging mishap.  The new one has blue tooth earphones! SO if that jerk (you know the one I'm talking about) is running a generator I will still be able to hear my DVD of the night!

                  a peacefull Eastern Phoebe 

 Some recent evening activities:

Watched almost the entire PBS series on the Vietnam War.  I knew classmates who were drafted and sent away to Vietnam from my high school back in '69 and '70.  I wore my POW bracelet, and I just wanted the war to end.  This documentary put the entire era into sharp focus... conclusion: It was a complete waste of life on all sides.  :o(

Currently watching the PBS Frontline Report on Russia and Putin I hope this can help me understand that issue more. Being informed is important to me.  

AND just for the hell of it....watching The Walking Dead new season (8) has begun!! YAHOO.  It's a wonderful hour of mindless mayhem, where one can cheer for the good guys even tho the line between good and evil is very blurred.   Our heroes are fighting back  against Negan and his authoritarian regime.  

The leader Rick made a speech.  
"those who would kill, take, steal, and carve out the world only for themselves, we will destroy"

Wow, we need someone brave enough to say that in real life!  I'm wishing for a super hero? 

           a  quiet still cormorant 

 I'm having a visitor! It's going to be wonderful, my baby sister is coming for the whole weekend!! I am excited! It's kinda quiet around here these days just me and the some laughter, and some chatter and to actually have someone speak back when I'm talking will be kinda nice! We have planned a day trip for Saturday so hopefully I'll find something of interest to put in this blog!

Next thing you know it's gonna be Thanksgiving, and then the silly season and then a new year. 2018 wow.  In February I will celebrate the 10th anniversary of this blog! I must do something mindblowing to commemorate that milestone. 

How's your daily grind going?


Every day is a new Adventure.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

This Land is Your Land?

What is your dream??

This arrived in the mail the other day I've hardly put it down just drooling all over it.

on the cover the yellow billed magpie found only in central and southern Cali. 

The Costa Rica trips would be my dream first choice...$2,754 includes air fare based on double occupancy for 10 days they also provide your meals, lodging, all ground transportation, and guided bird trips with expert naturalists...They have trips going to Cuba, Mexico, the Andes, Southern Africa, One includes Victoria Falls!!  There's domestic trips too, Texas, Virginia, NC, Wisconsin,  CA and some to New Brunswick Canada.  I like that it is chock full of location information so if you find yourself in the area you will know some good spots to check for birds!  I'm holding onto this, and holding onto hope that some day   
NOW , what if the next time this catalog arrived to my mailbox and these prices have increased by 133.3%
What would I think about that?   What if the things we need to keep our modern every day life increased by that amount...say Fridges, your electric rates, groceries....what would you say about that.  Would you think it's normal? 

If by some slim chance you're into conservative politics and still read this blog, (I'd be amazed) you best leave now!  Yes I'm dead serious.  It is not my intention to insult anyone but it is my intention to fight against ideology that is in direct and blatant conflict with creating a society that is inclusive and progressive, that uses fiction not fact to make policy and is trying to destroy the Democracy and the America that our fathers and mothers have left to us to protect and to build upon and to extend into the World freedom for all.  

Because yesterday I heard this on the news:  And it's REAL news not FAKE FAUX NEWS. 
So WTF are they thinking planning to raise the entrance fee into a National Park to $70????  That's  more than double a $30 entry to $70 is an increase of 133.3% ?  Have you ever heard of such a ridiculous plan?  What if you're the only one in the car?  That is wayyyyyy too high.   We own these parks, now the current regime is trying to steal these parks right out from  under us....Clearly it is a ploy to stop visitation and to then sell off or lease out, our forced into bankruptcy and defunked National Parks and Monuments, to BIG Gas n Oil to be used up ruined and destroyed.

ZINKE has got to go...the man is a CROOK along with most all of the so called CABINET, and the man and vice man in the Oval office are liars and  crooks they do not have the best interest of Americans at heart.
So what can we do short of an uprising?  Everyone can write a letter to the NPS! At least let your voice be heard.  I've already written mine... they've already raised the Senior Pass to $80, my sis lost hers when she lost her pocketbook, so it can't be "replaced" it has to be repurchased at the new TAKE good care of your pass don't lose it!
Why do I say this...okay think about it, since WHEN does the GOP care anything about our National Parks?  They have been trying to drill, frack, strip mine, and pollute the Parks all along,  and now all of a sudden they raise the fees so "The parks can be repaired, and modernized."  Yeah Right!!  It simply is not and never has been part of their agenda!!

The GOP is ruining our Nation.  REALLY!, this is good how?  Just like the EPA they have destroyed it, and now they are onto the Parks Service, they want to destroy it too.  We did nothing for so long on cleaning up the environment we were just beginning to realize the changes we needed to make, and now they are doing everything a Communist Regime would do deny the science, tell you your own eyes lie to you...and SO Many believe it, I've had people on facebook, scream at me that Climate Change is a myth....if so then why are the Glaciers melting, ever so fast, okay one guy said the Earth is's normal, so I asked him why doesn't he sit in his garage with the door closed and the engine running then, if having all this CO2 in the air is normal, it may be normal after a huge Volcanic Event, there is nothing normal about what we are doing it is Anti-normal our job is to use our heads to Neutralize the Threat WE have Become to the Planet.  I'm not saying  we can't have modern life I'm saying we put the cart before the horse now we need to correct that.

Where will this insane type policy lead us?  We will soon be a nation of the poor down trodden, I hope somewhere a nation will open its arms to US as we USED to do for others when their government constant took away and never gave back!  Look at how they are treating Puerto Rico? A $300 million bid went to a company in MT one that Zinke has ties with and the company has only 2 full time employees, how the heck does that add up to anything but corruption???
Of course this is not the only thing they have done that made my blood boil so far EVERYTHING they've done has been in direct conflict with my thinking of what should be done, but this one has broken the camel's back so to speak.
Why do we politely say nothing?
It is UP to US to  STOP THEM!! One thing I'm doing is fight fire with fire, ActBlue is a Progressive Super Pac, they accept donations as small as $3 and you can pay via paypal, I have supported them in the past and if they can help get the right people in office it may be our only hope.

You can call me a liberal, an out of touch hippie, an opinionated lefty, but no one will call me Silent.
I will go back under my soap box for a while but I won't remain silent while parts of the Nation I love so much are dragged into darkness.
Viva' la National Park System!  We must fight to save it.

Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fall, Revisited

When I arrived home it was cool and blue sky, marvelous....then changed,  had a couple weeks of sucky weather,  fall out from Nate. It gets really crazy during Hurricane season in the never know when the weather will turn on you...I'm only just now getting a handle on all the dead wood and over grown shrubs and hedges around here.  I have been making busy with lots of  trimming of branches and other stuff...and even the gate is overgrown...

                                                      filling up the trailer with trimmings

Another chore: a large limb fell and smashed a section of my aging yard fence.  I headed to Lowes for supplies to fix it up...found out it was cheaper to buy this damaged section than to start from scratch so that's what I broken picket made this 8 ft section half price...fine by me cause it will blend in better,  other sections have broken pickets...

                                                   once it's weathered it will blend right in

                                                             eastern bluebird

       I can tell from this shot the new door panels I put on the bird houses have been squirrel chewed!! WTH??

Here is another hunt n seek shot for you, the Northern Parula I mentioned,  they summer here so it's not rare to see one...but rare for me to catch a photo of you see it?

                                                                female northern parula 

A DIY project I'm glad to have behind me:
The storm door that enters the screen porch had to have a doggie door.  There was an old doggie door missing the flap in the X removed the metal bottom panel of this storm door and got rid of I put screen in the bottom and that worked for keeping bugs out but the dogs couldn't get out without me coming out to open it, I used to keep it slightly ajar, but then a bird got in and that was that didn't work out.  I made a new bottom section of scrap wood...and fashioned  a flap from a vinyl place mat! It works!  Another $80 saved, more like $180 in this case you can purchase a storm door sporting a doggie entrance but it is not cheap. I did it for $1 for the place mat at the Dollar Store.

                                                  dogs can get in and out and no birds and no mosquitoes 

Hard to get a crisp shot anymore with my ailing camera...even a still bird close as this Northern Cardinal is blurred! BUT for now I'm still using it! With all the car repairs I had this past year, I'm trying to wait as long as possible to replace this camera...and that means the one I want to get is getting older and cheaper :o)

              Three deer sneaked into the pasture the other day I sneaky shot of one. 

                                                               white tailed deer

So after almost 2 weeks of HOT humid horrible weather, it improved, chilled down in fact I've had to use the heat!  I'm  outside again tending to chores and cutting up firewood.  

                                                                 I have a lot in common with beavers 

Overhead I saw this Yellow Throated Warbler,  Got this really bad awful photo but at least I can add it to my yard list.  

                                                   Yellow Throated Warbler
It was so backlit I ran it through an editing program just to see what it was...glad I did cause I thought it was a yellow rump which is pretty common here, but after the editing I could see the yellow throat, the wide bright white wing bars, and the black face line including the a new yard bird for me. Normally I see these when I walk around Goodale State Park in the spring. 

Picking birds outta the twigs is hard with any camera! 

                                                    ^ northern cardinal female  >

See that dogwood tree trying to bloom? That's how warm it got; the buds that should wait till spring started to open...the birds love the red berries in fall and that's what the cardinal is after.

I've enjoyed reconnecting with my yard's our Carolina Chickadee...looks like a Coal Tit to some of you I'm sure!

I get daily visits from our State Bird the Carolina Wren. is one I don't have to go far to find, just check my feeder and he will be there the Tufted Titmouse with his ink black big much more colorful than the Juniper Titmouse I was seeing in Colorado...but not as cool looking as JO's Bridled Titmouse down in Arizona!

Another common bird (but not in large numbers in my yard) is the Eastern Phoebe...a couple have been hanging around fighting over the best mosquitoes...

e phoebe

The Eastern Phoebe

Today I was chasing Ruby Crowned Kinglets around the yard I counted 5 in the Holly bush out back...they can hover almost like a hummingbird and they are super small...

Then up on the dead limb the Red Bellied Woodpecker was knocking quite loud...pecking out bugs..this shots shows why it's called Red Bellied!  

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Wow... he is gorgeous!!

My winter yard birds have not arrived yet, it will be good to see them again!  

Every day is a new Adventure.