Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas

This weekend we shopped for our first real tree for the SC foxhole. We found a local gentleman selling pre-cut trees or you could cut your own. He had many varieties and he also had some wreaths and garland. The air was cool and the smell was wonderful.

His father has a grist mill and we also bought some fresh stone ground grits. What a wonderful way to spend the morning. As you can see we put the tree up as soon as we got home. We dug out some decorations and the place has a nice, not too overly done, Christmas spirit about it.

We hung the dogs Christmas stockings on the fireplace mantel but will wait to fill them until Christmas morning. The dogs are curious but not bothering it at all.

We called Pa while we were decorating to wish him a happy birthday. We are looking forward to Christmas vacation to just hang around the house and chill out for a couple weeks.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be greatful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.....
George Washington.

Eight days until family arrives for Thanksgiving. We are really looking forward to it. It's getting very chilly later this week, lows of 25, highs in the 50s. Brrr. Hopefully it will warm up some for our Thanksgiving week, can't have company coming South and have them freezing!

I had planned on working from home this next week to tend to fall chores but the boss is not so willing. I have a presentation Tuesday and an all day meeting Wednesday. It looks like I will not be able to use all my vacation this year and there is no carry over. In these times though I am glad I have a job.

We find that in these frightful times for our country that we still have many things to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Out of the Fog

We will rise again.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gearing up...Come what may

Beautiful day today for a long drive in the country hills of South Carolina. Headed out to a range and met some nice people with about six dogs! The owners told us they all came to them. Nice folks to take them in, then again they have almost 400 acres! They did not have everything we needed but it was a pleasant drive. We are enjoying the cooler weather.

Our home is full of political talk of course, more than usual considering we are only two days away from the election. Frightening prospect but we are ever hopeful. Tuesday is going to be a long, long night. I already voted for Sarah in Georgia and Sam will vote here on election day.

On the domestic side, the dogs have been tearing up the new grass and frustrating Sam. Sarge likes to kick his hind legs after a pee and Scarlett likes to dig little holes. Beat up grass is still far better than sand. The grass has proven to be a great big door mat, no more sand in the house. Yippee.

We're looking forward to company for Thanksgiving, we've already acquired the bird and most of the fixins'. Having the time off work will be an added bonus!

The leaves are just starting to turn here so it should be a pretty show for a couple months. If gas prices stay low we may be able to get out and scout around a little more. There is so much we have yet to explore around here.

Sam is reading about the Italy campaign, the book is concentrating on Anzio and I am re-reading Mary Chestnut's Civil War. I recently finished Lone Survivor, the true story of a Special Forces (Navy SEALs) operation in Afghanistan. Incredible book.

We received an early Christmas present from Ma and Pa in Chicago, Polish sausage, sweets and Tamales. Good stuff always!!

Hugs to all and stay safe. Those willing, please join us in prayer for our country this election day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Southern Georgia Pine - 1 Acre and Home for Sale

One Acre Southern Georgia home for Sale

We finally have our Georgia home on the market with a great realty company. We really hate to sell it but we must. We like our place in South Carolina but someone looking for a great place to relax and hide away will love it and love Georgia. My favorite part about it was that you couldn't go in any room without seeing pines outside every window. The stars at night are awesome, it's the darkest place I've ever lived at night so the stars seem really close. It's rural but only 10 miles from town. Wonderful.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Grass is indeed greener...than sand. Life in South Carolina

We love it, the dogs love it (see their blog for a review) and I am certain our home will be much cleaner because of it! Finally after almost a year we were able to get some sod laid. No plants or flowers yet but that can wait. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing but the grass acts like a giant door mat by keeping the sand off the dogs before they come inside. No more rolling around in the sand and dirt, they are enjoying the grass and so are we. Of course our water bill will be through the roof but remember my earlier blog about creature comforts, well this is one of them.

Of course there were trials and tribulations along with it but that's normal isn't it? The guy unloading the sod ran over the water line out front after Sam and our builder Josh warned him where not to drive! So Josh and Sam spent a couple very hot hours repairing it. That is the fourth, yes FOURTH time it has been run over and broken. We high tailed it to Lowe's and Sam found some ornate wrought iron fence about 4ft high by 4 ft wide, we bought two pieces and angled it over the water pipe so the next person to run over it will have to drive right into the fencing to do it! We also put a rather ugly "Welcome" sign we had left over from the store beside it, it has a picture of a big red poinsettia on it, no one should be able to miss it now.

Gnats seem to have come with the sod so they are very thick out there, plus they are attracted to water which we have to do regularly. It's been in for four days now and I can already see a difference in the house. I sweep it and it actually stays clean. We can walk around in our bare feet and not walk on sand indoors. It's wonderful. It makes the yard look so much better so we have lots of blessings from putting it down and are grateful to be able to finally have it.

We did get one good day of rain thanks to Tropical Storm Fay and the Lord, thank you very much!

We have two hummingbirds visiting the feeder and the sprinklers. The birds love it because of all the watering. Everybody is happy!

It also cooled down from the upper ninety's to the mid 80's which helps. It's been quite pleasant and we are sitting out on the back porch much more often. I hope the worst of the heat is finally ending.

Happy Birthday to Tim and Ma this month. Pa sent us a picture of himself in front of his Hall of Fame photo that is really nice. Talked to Ma on the phone today.

That's it for now, we hope everyone is doing fine and in good health. Hugs to you all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

For Just One Day

We saw a sad soul laying under the pickup truck. This cat, actually still a kitten, extremely emaciated, with ants swarming on it's back leg. It was timid at first, then immediately friendly, not feral at all. It's back leg had no fur left, it was just a large open wound, along most of the leg all the way up to the thigh. We dreaded the thought of introducing a cat into our lives with the two dogs but we also knew we were both suckers for animals. The least we could do was to care for it until we could get it to the vet in the morning.

We were stingy with food for fear of harming the young cat, reminding ourselves of what we new about the history of concentration camp victims. We gave it just a little milk and a teaspoon of tuna. We did not want to bring it into the house, not knowing what other problems it might have and worried the dogs would upset it.

We took Scarlett's cage outside, put in a sheet and a towel and a container with water. It was going to be in the upper 60's and dry. We set it by the front door, facing the door. We were concerned that other critters not bother it. Sam would go out periodically during the night to check on it. It was resting fine.

The vet would open at 8 this morning and we transferred the cat into a box and headed out. It seemed to enjoy the ride, looking all around, crying occasionally.

There is only one vet in this rural town, very good people and they are always busy. Saturday is first come first serve. We pulled up at 7:45 and found 5 or 6 people already waiting. At triage we found out it was a girl. I said we should name it Sally. I don't know why except that it began with an S and sounded southern.

We finally got in to an examining room at about 10 o'clock. Sally weighed in at under 4.5 pounds. They guessed she was about six months old. The vet was puzzled some by the wound and how Sally may have gotten it. She asked us if we were going to keep the cat. We couldn't imagine what else we could do. The vet suggested before we put a lot of money into all that would need done that they do a feline leukemia test there in the office. It would cost 45 dollars. We said of course knowing full well the list of shots and care she would need would be great.

While they took her away for the test Sam and I discussed what would be the best way to introduce Sally to the dogs, how would we keep her away from them while she healed, should we keep her separate anytime we were away, how would the dogs behave and so on.

The vet came in and told us the bad news. Sally in fact tested positive for feline leukemia. Our hearts fell to the floor. We had barely cared for this cat for 12 hours and yet it broke our hearts. There is no cure. To best describe the condition is to compare it to AIDS. It is an autoimmune deficiency. Now the vet understood the way her leg was, it was not healing because of her low immunity.

I had a cat die of this 30 years ago before the vaccine was discovered. It was too late for my cat 30 years ago and because this cat never had been vaccinated, it was too late for her. I know what it is like to watch a cat die from this and I didn't want to do it again. It's not fair to them and I honestly don't have the time needed for the commitment. We sadly made the decision to have her put down. It was an awful day for all of us.

Reassured by the vet we had done the right thing and that she at least wouldn't have to die alone or in the wild we could at least find comfort in that. We cried and we drove home in silence. God sent us a cat to send home to him. We did what we could.

We gave each other a little love for just one day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

July Foxhole Update

It is still hot and I expect that won't change until October. For the long holiday weekend we did a lot of relaxing and hung a ceiling fan on the back porch, thankful for Father's Day gifts. More than cooling, though that is good, it keeps the bugs off you. Wonderful!

It rains nearly every afternoon. It either pours down like a torrent or we get lots of lightning and thunder and barely a drop. Today we had a quick downpour and had 4 inches in our rain gauge! In case your wondering, no the rain does not cool things down. It only gets more humid.

We had to take the car in for it's 60,000 mile work up, that hurt! But have no fear we are blessed and we know it and take nothing for granted. Despite it all we are happy. Having reached this age, we both can still remember a time in our own lives when we were worse off.

Sam has a dentist appointment this week and we should both be done with that for awhile, yippee.

Work continues to fill most of my time. I enjoy it but these type of projects are alwalys time limited and it seems we are always on a critical path for deliverables.

We have a new bluebird nest in the box out front, this will be our second brood this year. We imagine we'll get at least three sets of baby birds before they stop for the winter.

Sarge turned 3 on the 4th and he still acts like a pup! We spoiled him all day long. The neighbor has gotten more cows and they have been quite noisy in the mornings. It's fun to listen to them. I took the dogs on a walk to see them and neither of them wanted much to do with them. Those cows are awfully big close up.

Crops are already being harvested down here so we recently got some wonderful tomatoes and some sweet plums from a co-worker. I'd love to grow a garden but I would be battling the bugs and pests all the time out here, not to mention all the time it would take.

That's all I have for now, not very exciting but I figure that's a good thing. Y'all stay safe. Hugs from us both.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dixie Land Update

It's warm, the air is thick and humid. Trees and flowers all fully bloomed and the baby bluebirds have left the nest. Sam cleaned it out in hopes for another brood. We've been getting spotty afternoon thunderstorms, some hits, some misses so we still have to water. We are only allowed to water three days a week.

It's actually warmer here than at our place in Georgia. Doesn't make sense to me. As you can see by our new widget on the sidebar our absolute favorite TV show will soon be in it's fourth season. It's the only show we really watch regularly and it is only on for about 10 weeks. Sam has a couple others that are also short season shows, Psych and the Sarah Conner Chronicles. Television isn't something we watch much of at all. When it is on we tune it to GAC and listen to country, although CMT still has some good stuff on, it's always just background music to whatever else we are doing.

The downside to living in the south is that most of the time it is too darn hot to get out for walks unless it's really early in the morning and sometimes even then it's stifling.

I found a short cut to the mall near work so that has become the lunchtime activity. It is too hot to sit in the car for lunch and this way I can get a little exercise in too. Just window shopping and staying cool. There is no shade in the parking lot at work and the car is super hot at quitting time.

With the price of gas so high we've lessened our weekend trips out to town. I think it has been three weeks since we made the trip. Tomorrow we will go in and stock up at the grocery, yippee! We really enjoy the morning as funny as it sounds, a trip to the local dump and then off to the grocery. Every other trip we treat ourselves to a Starbucks coffee at the Target in town. We're living large. LOL.
The folks across the road from us have been increasing their supply of cows and calves. Cute buggers. We'd like to take the dogs over to see them. They hear them all the time but can't see them through our privacy fence. Scarlett would just love to herd them. I'll get some pictures and post them later this weekend if I remember.

That's it for now. Sarge's birthday is the 4th of July, pronounced 'JOO-lie' down here in Dixie. He will be three years old though he still thinks and acts like a puppy. Hugs to everyone.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Day at the Lake

This past weekend we were invited to a get together at the local lake around here. Lake Murray. A gentlemen from work and his wife have some lakefront property they are developing and invited the Project staff out for an afternoon of food, music and boat rides.

It's been quite warm here so the breeze from the lake was welcome. We took the first ride down the river in a co-worker's pontoon, very pleasant. We were over dressed for the weather. We wore jeans when we should have worn shorts! We'll have to rethink that next time we go out to the lake. The food was catered in, fried chicken, veggies and folks brought homemade desserts. Sam made brownies. We spent about 3 1/2 hours and then headed for home. It was about a half hour drive but quite hot. Sam was smart enough to wear a hat but I didn't. We got home and immediately took a nap. Old farts.

Sam was quite pleased on Father's Day that all three of his children gave him a call to wish him Happy Father's Day. He of course gave his father a call. I wish we could get up to Chicago again but I don't know how or when.
That's about it. We're staying cool inside and it was in the sixties overnight so the morning on the back porch was pleasant. We should get down to the sixties again this week so that makes for a nice break before hitting the 90's by lunchtime. Hugs to all.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Was I complaining about the cold a while back?

Not now. It is hot, hot hot! On average it's been 100 degrees at quitting time. There is virtually no shade in the parking lot at work so the fact that our car is black is not a good thing. The nights have not gone below 70. That would be fine if there was a breeze at least but that's not happening. We get afternoon storms almost daily, more lightning than rain and still no cooling off. It's like August up north.

The snakes are out, you can view our It's a Dog's Life blog and see an update there from the dogs about that. Spiders, boy howdy have we got spiders. Fortunately they are staying outside. We have black widows out front and all kinds building webs out back.

Plenty of birds visiting and bringing their babies to the feeders. We are going through a box of suet a day. We have baby blue birds in the nest out front. Today we had a baby red-bellied woodpecker visit the backyard suet holder, he was soooo cute. We have baby finches galore, baby downy woodpeckers, nuthatches and I'm sure the cardinals and blue jays must have some nearby though they are harder to spot from the adults.

The baby squirrels are out and about driving Scarlett crazy. She loves to stalk them. She lies in wait but alas can never catch them. Southern living is great but without those hard long freezes the bugs won't die.

We are hoping to take a little trip to the coast soon. We haven't been yet and would like to get down to Charleston and Fort Sumter. It shoud be about a two hour drive. Between the price of gas and the heat we haven't ventured out much. It so nice to just hang out around the house on weekends we really don't mind not going anywhere. Lazy weekends in rural SC, almost as good as Georgia but we still think we like Georgia better.

Check out the dog's blog and catch their update and we'll see you all soon. Hugs!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's been a month since we wrote on News from the Foxhole. We've been having our teeth worked on and not felt much like writing. What a wonderful way to spend your free time and 'stimulus' check. We may never get grass in this yard, Boy howdy the price of dental work has gone up! We both maxed out our dental benefit in what will amount to two visits for each of us. As much as we hated to we had to get the dental work done but it sure did hurt in more ways than one.

Not much else going on, the birds are eating a suet block per day, feeding their young. We have five bluebird eggs in the nest box out front. It's been quite warm and we've enjoyed cool mornings.

Along with the price of gas we notice chicken went up a dollar since our trip to the grocery just two weeks ago. I expect other things have as well and will continue as the costs to get things to market will rise just based on fuel costs.

Yes, I believe the grass in the backyard will have to wait. We've been very busy at work and we are on a tight timeline so I've been working some every night and weekend at home, another reason I haven't blogged much.

We're both enjoying and bemoaning the election cycle as the chaos continues. The sleep number bed is still wonderful and the dogs still love it. I think they are in it more than we are.

Scarlett has been stalking the squirrels in the hopes that she can herd them all into a corner. Sam bought her a stuffed squirrel toy and put it in the ground feeder. LOL. She stared at it for four minutes trying to see it move. Sarge just moseyed up to it and grabbed it. The chase was on then! Just another reason why I love him, he keeps me laughing. Sam is truly provides my anchor and my balance in this crazy world.

We sent Pa's father's day card out today. Ma and Pa sent us some Polish ham and some of the great sweets they like to send. Yummy! Oh, Pa sent Sam a book that he is reading now on WWII. I'm reading a painfully awful book on Lee's Army, the writer is obviously a yankee and the book is very biased against the South. I don't mind reading both sides but this writer is too anti-south. I prefer just the facts please.

We are anxiously awaiting a friend of ours to get published. An excellent author who is writing a fictional book, an alternative history on the Army of Northern Virginia. We read the first manuscript and fell in love with it and the writer! Sam will go down in history as she has made him a Captain with his real last name in the book!! That's just icing on the cake because the writing is wonderful.

Speaking of cake, Sam baked one today (another reason I love him) and I think I'll go grab a piece. Hugs to all from both of us!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Birding in the Back Yard

Wow. If only my camera would have been charged up. Today we had a flock of Cedar Waxwings visit our yard. As we sat on the back porch all at once about 10 of them came from the trees where we had been watching them down to the bird bath. The bath was encircled by them and more were in the trees. It was a beautiful sight.

We also had an Indigo Bunting as a vistor for a few days.

Of course we have our regulars to the yard, Cardinals, Goldfinch, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, Titmouse and Chickadees.

The Blue Jays have also taken up somewhere in the yard. We used to see them only occasionally but now we have quite a few and they are staying close to the yard and coming to the feeders.

I'm sure I've left a few out and visitors come and go. Spring and warm Southern temperatures are now getting pretty regular so we hope to see many different birds as they migrate to the North and hope many birds will "summer" here from further South.

Our very favorite so far has been this guy...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Warmer Weather and Longer Days

Hurrah for Springtime. It's no longer dark at dinner time and it's been warm enough to enjoy time out on the back porch some mornings and some evenings. Soon it will be nice enough every morning and evening.

Sarge is back to normal though the vet does not know what was causing his problems. If it flares up again we will have to have x-rays taken of his teeth and jaws.

We nearly got run off the freeway the other day. A woman in an SUV bigger than ours was right beside us and decided to change lanes. This is at about 80 mph. Sam saw it and warned me (I was driving at the time) and I did my best (Thank you Jesus) to not over correct. She never even noticed us. Thankfully the car behind me saw it and slowed down so as I pressed my brakes and moved to the edge the guy behind me didn't hit us. All was well and I of course, being of Irish temperament, sped up, drove up beside her and promptly gave her "what for"!

The driver's down here are truly horrible. All the newcomers to the Project here remark on it no matter what State they are coming here from. You must always drive defensive and expect the worst.

The pollen these past couple of weeks has been very heavy. Everything is covered in green pollen. I'll need to hose off the porches and everything on them this weekend or next. It's good to see all the colorful trees blooming and leaves arriving on the oaks so I guess it's worth the mess it brings. We don't have any colorful plants or trees on our property and Sam and I would both love to plant some. We do have some fragrant white flowers blooming on our plants out front. Our trees are oak and pine but before we can spend any money on trees we really need to plant some grass. First things first.

Life is good and we continue to be blessed. Love, it's a beautiful thing! We hope this finds all readers well and happy in their lives, too.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He is not here for He has risen!

We have a friend, an aspiring writer, who has a wonderful blog Headquarters: Army of Northern Virginia.

I was reading her blog and the title of our post today "He is not here for He has risen!" was a reminder from her. I will take the liberty to quote her here. "For someone who desires to be a writer, I will confess, that no greater words can be written than these words -- for they contain the hope of mankind and the revelation of God that He has gathered us unto Himself."

It reminds us that we are nothing save for what we celebrate today. Without Christ's sacrifice on the Cross we would have no hope. This bears remembering especially in the world we live in today.

We should remember to stop and consider God in our daily lives and to continually give thanks for His Grace.

Happy Easter everyone. There is still hope. Amen and Amen!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wishing Dogs Could Talk

Poor Sarge had to go to the vet today. He starting having some kind of trouble Sunday with not being able to open his mouth without pain. He was also very tired and we could tell he didn't feel good. We called the "on call" vet and once he ruled out snake bite he had me check a few other things, determined it wasn't life threatening and suggested we watch him closely and bring him in Monday morning at 8 a.m. The vet said we could leave him there for the day and they would examine him as soon as they could since we didn't have an appointment lined up.

When I called to see if there was any news later in the day the gal at the office just said, "Sarge is okay but the doctor wants to talk to you about what he may think is going on when you get here". That scared me.

Sarge has written about his adventure on our other blog "It's a Dog's Life" if you want to hear his side of the story.

Suffice it to say the vet says the symptoms are similar to having a "pus ball" behind the eye and showed us how the skeletal system of a dog works and why that would prevent him from opening his mouth.

The vet said the dog "cried" when he tried to force it open but showed no sign of infection in his white blood cell count and was able to press on his eye and not have any pain so the doctor was confused.

To be on the safe side he gave Sarge a shot of antibiotic with pills to follow up with and some pain medication. I suggested maybe we caught it early enough and the vet said he hoped so, otherwise he wasn't sure what was wrong.

We are hoping and praying he gets well. For a dog that loves to eat this is really sad to see him this way. We are glad that so far it doesn't seem to be anything major and hope with the antibiotics and time it will pass. The vet said sometimes they have to go in and drain it from behind the last tooth up toward the eyeball, ugh!

All that was enough to cause a stressful day for us. If dogs and babies could talk and tell us what's wrong we'd all be a little better off. Oh, and cats and other animals. :-)

We'll keep you posted. Don't forget to take a look at Sarge's blog, he has such a sense of humor in all this.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Raining like Hail!

We were hunkered down in the only interior room we have, the laundry room. We knew a tornado was down and headed our way and Praise God it passed by us. We had lots of hail and for a few minutes I thought the garage door was going to come off but we had no damage and only quarter size hail and lots of rain.

Sam said it best while looking at the back yard, "It looks like the tide came in" and of course went back out and took our sand out to the woods with it. It was neat to see the fog rise from the warm ground with the ice on it.

We got one more heavy rain after that and it's now calm. The backyard is flooded in little pools and the storm washed some sand away from the side fence that Sam will have to work on tomorrow when we get some daylight.

The dogs didn't like being in the laundry room but we only had to be in there about 15 minutes.

All clear and tomorrow is supposed to be warm and sunny.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Spring Ahead!

This weekend we spring ahead and sure enough real spring weather will be close behind the forwarding of the clocks. Spring begins on March 20th and down here in the South I expect it to arrive on time.

Flowers are something we are lacking here at the Foxhole. We really haven't had time to plant and aren't really sure of the seasonal shifts yet. Already we have been surprise at the cooler temperatures here and the duration of this "Southern" winter season. Since we arrived in the fall to sweltering temperatures and humidity it will take a year before we've been through all the seasons.

The first thing we'd like to do once we can afford it is get some kind of lawn going in the backyard. We are thinking the least expensive way to do it is have it sprayed on. We could buy a few wire fence posts, some wire and cordon off an area with a path for the dogs to get to the woods and keep them from trampling the grass as it grows. Once the grass has taken hold we can remove the fencing and buy a few squares of sod to cover the path made for the dogs. We really need to do it so we can curb the sand traffic that comes in this house.

So here comes spring, we'll lose an hour of sleep but gain some sunshine at the end of the day which will be enjoyed.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Foxhole Gets Company

FReeper U S Army EOD Flies In for a Visit

Today we were fortunate enough to have our first fly-in visitor to our place in South Carolina. U S Army EOD (aka Major York) flew his Quicksilver GT 400 in to a private field a few miles from our home. Of course we had advance notice he would be in around 12:30 or shortly thereafter.

We mapped the field out on Google but had no address thinking we would be able to see the field from the road or something indicating the private field. We were wrong. We knew we were in the right area so after much discussion we finally park alongside a small rural road and looked to the sky.

We watched about 30 goats go through a barbwire fence to the other side of the road. Sam with his quick wit commented, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the road". LOL. No sign of our FRiend in the skies yet.

We began another discussion on where the field might be. My cell phone rings at about 12:45 and I answered, "Where are you"? Well, U S Army EOD was in a field somewhere but he didn't know the address either, he knew he was west of one highway and 3 miles south of a nearby town but didn't know for sure as he looked at his aerial map.

We headed toward the town and then turned around to head south 3 miles, basically back to where we were. Meanwhile Major York made it to the field owner's house but no one was home so he headed for the road. It was at that time that he gave us some description of the place and Sam recognized it and we picked up the Major about 2 minutes later. We had been at the South End of where we determined the field would be, we just couldn't see it from the roads.

All is well so we headed back to the runway and picked up EOD's supplies and headed to our Foxhole. Sarge and Scarlett behaved themselves with the Major much to our surprise and we were able to have a very nice visit. We sat out on the porch while Sam grilled up some steaks, made mashed potatoes, corn and rolls for a nice afternoon dinner. After dinner we sat out and talked some more.

I had my camera hoping to catch the landing but we missed that. I nearly forgot it when we were leaving but didn't so I have a few shots of the departure. Wheels up at about 5:18.

We had a nice visit and as we have always said, Foxhole FReepers are the best. We really enjoy getting to meet FReepers. Now if we could just all plan the same vacation from work we could have a really good "get together".

It is 6:23 and US Army EOD just called to say he was wheels down and putting her in the barn! He had a good flight home and it only took about an hour.

Thank you Major York for taking the time and expense of flying in to visit us. We hope you come back real soon.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Life Is Good

Sleep is good and we are getting a little bit more of it now. The new bed is comfortable immediately and we can all fit in it! I'm typically a flip-flopper but not anymore. This bed is so comfortable I pretty much stay in one spot and both of us are not waking up as often during the night as we did in the older bed.

The older mattress is only 4 years old and it's a good Sealy but it is just too firm for us. This is much better and will have been worth the expense in the long run. A good night's sleep is very important especially when you are older.

We decided not to go to Aiken for the reenactment, it ended up being damp most of the day and with the flu in high season it was probably best.

Work is good and interesting. It is nice to not dread going into the office everyday for a change. I'm starting to feel a little better on my second round of antibiotics so I've started exercising a little in the evening. I put on too much weight the last year and really must get it off. After enough weight loss I'll start thinking about quitting smoking. I really need to do that. Sam is thinking of it also. We really must mentally commit ourselves to make it work.

We have a couple cold evenings to get through yet, we'll have frozen bird baths the next couple of mornings. Soon warmer days should arrive. The guard at work is a local and he says it can still be cold the first couple weeks of March but we should get warmer after that. I am looking forward to it. We miss being able to sit on the back porch in the early mornings and late evenings. We're also looking forward to longer days.

Next up, tax time..Ugh.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Our battle about the Battle of Aiken

The Battle of Aiken, SC

The day will start out with drizzle after two days of steady rain. The ground will be wet and muddy. The rain ends in the morning with drizzle over around 9 a.m.

We are in the height of flu season here and I am on my second round of antibiotics for bronchitis which won't help at all with the flu. Yes, it's been about 6 weeks since it came on.

We are wondering if it's a good idea to be around a crowd of 17 thousand people or not. Sam started having doubts a couple days ago and then I began to wonder if we should go. Nearly everyone has been sick at the office and we have about 100 people there, it just keeps making the rounds.

Spring and warmer weather can't come soon enough. We are having highs in the 50s-70s and lows from freezing to 40. The drastic daily change isn't helping. The warmest weather lasts an hour in late afternoon. We have 30 degree flucuations during the day and then right back down by nightfall. And nightfall is still early.

We shouldn't complain. Ma called last week and the weather in Chicago is horrible, so bad Pa hasn't been able to go out. Pa misses church and they were going to go last Sunday, the best day in the forecast. It's too bad they can't fly, we keep telling them they need to come down here for awhile but Pa doesn't want to be so far away from his doctor. I hope we can get up there this summer or fall.

Back to the Battle of Aiken, though we really want to go, we are thinking maybe we should wait until next year. If we go we'll post about it, if not, y'all will have to wait til next year or read about it on their web page which I've linked at the start of this post.

We will be able to report on the new bed tomorrow. Tonight will be our first night trying it out. It sure looks big enough for us and the dogs, let's hope so or we're going to have to kick them out so we can start getting a good night's sleep.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Weekends in the South

Weekends here are trips to the dump and the grocery. It's not a chore as much as an adventure. Down here as it was in Georgia the trash is deposited at a dump site. Manned by a couple older guys and kept quite clean the dump station is either a weekend trip or at least, every other weekend. It's great, we take in our recycling and garbage as well as absolutely anything else you are throwing out. No need to call for special pick up, no cans to roll out to the end of the driveway, and it's free! Can't beat that.

Considering the cost of gas we try to plan our trips away from home to get the most out of the trip. The dump is always first then the grocery, either in the nearest small town Walmart or off to the bigger suburban area to an upscale grocery.

We have a freezer so we try to stock up if we are headed into suburbia. We probably only venture out that far every couple or few weeks as needed. To be truthful the upscale grocery is probably never really a "needed" trip, it's one of those creature comforts I mentioned in another post. They have some good sales and some things we cannot get at the nearby Walmart.

Once that outing is over then it's home for the household chores. Because the sun shines more often that not down here it's actually quite pleasant to do the chores. I guess when you're happy and in a good mood nothing really seems like a chore. Cranking up the country music helps move the weekend tasks along and set a happy mood. The dogs rarely let us sleep late but since there is no trip into the big city we are just happy to be together and home. Hooray for weekends!

Life is good and we continue to be Blessed.

Next weekend it's the Battle of Aiken. It's going to be a great outing. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Creature Comforts

I believe in comfort if I can have it. That's not necessarily a cherry amoire or a set of china. For me creature comforts are things that make my life easier or more comfortable. A good bed, comfortable patio furniture and a dog door. I don't care what my coffee table looks like, or my dishes as long as they are functional.

Mind you if I was wealthy I'd have the best but when you have to pick and choose what you spend your money on, I have priorities.

I'm looking forward to getting some grass for the backyard, right now it's partly wooded with pine needles and leaves on the ground, the rest is sand. The dogs track sand into the house constantly, they can't help it. Spending money on having the yard seeded will go a long way toward me not having to sweep every inch of this house on a nightly basis! Now that's a comfort.

I'm going to do something about sleeping also. If I don't sleep well I'm not a happy worker. I need to be a happy worker to pay the bills. It's such a vicious circle. :-)

I'm going to spend some of my not yet earned money on a Select Comfort bed. Yep, I'm going 'whole hog' as they say. I've spent good money on regular mattress only to be disappointed within a few years. This time I'm going to do it right. After all we spend 1/3 of our life sleeping and the amount of good sleep we get corresponds with the the other 2/3rds dramatically.

Over the weekend we went to the mall in the city for the first time since we've been here. We don't live in the city so this was a big deal. I love living in the country but I will admit that going to the city to do something other than work was quite uplifting. Civilization! Guess what, the mall had a Select Comfort store. Oh yea! My sleep number is 35 and Sam's is 45. Ahhhh. By the end of this month we will have a new bed and both of us can start feeling better. Our backs have been miserable and we seem to sleep only a couple hours at a time in this mattress we currently have. Hopefully things will improve.

Creature comforts. I had to laugh. We have clothes with holes in them, tables that have chew marks from the dogs, electrical tape on the vacuum cleaner but dang it if we won't sleep good!

Life is good. We are madly in love and God has blessed us in so many ways.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Waiting for Warm Weather

According to the guard where I work, we will continue to have cold temperatures until about the second week of March. I've been watching the Georgia temperatures and sure enough it was warmer there than it is here in SC. Averaging about 10 degrees cooler here than in Georgia and believe me, it makes a difference.

I know it is nothing compared to up North but dang it all we are in the South and I hate anything below 60. I have had this bronchitis for a month now, yes it is better but not completely gone. I'm sure it has to do with the colder temperatures.

Hurry up Spring.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Hush Puppies

Not these:


Well, I figured I'd try my hand at scratch made Hush Puppies.

Tried a couple of different "added spices" to the basic recipe. I think next time a little more Tabasco for the hot ones.

They ended up tasting great although the first batch were anything but round. I'll have to work on my "dropping" technique.

The dogs sure love em! We could have washed the kitchen floor with all the drool Sarge left. He also made sure to sit and guard them while they cooled, we had to put them in the fridge before he gave up and left his guard post.

Beau's Prophesy... Hallelujah! Early Spring!

No Shadow at Georgia's Yellow River Game Ranch

LILBURN, GEORGIA, Feb. 2, 2008 /SUNRISE - General Beau Lee, Ph.D., Georgia’s Official Weather Prognosticator and internationally recognized furry forecaster, roused by "Scattered, Smothered and Covered" Hash Browns and legions of Beau Boosters in bleachers, yelling, "Go Beau" – waddled thru the swinging doors of his Southern Mansion at 7:58 A.M. EST in balmy 28-degree weather at The Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn, Georgia, a 24-acre animal preserve.

After conferring with the huddled crowd, Game Ranch CEO Col. Art Rilling proclaimed Beau’s prediction, "Muff the EAR-MUFFS y’all. Beau did not see his shadow. Look forward to an early spring!!!!”

For the 28th Annual Celebration, eighteen-year-old Beau was awakened by the repeated ringing of an antique farm bell. Performing his once a year occupation, Beau reluctantly left the comfort of his plush "Weathering Heights Mansion" to brave the cold in performance of his civic duty. Beau has an extraordinary 94% rate of accuracy.

Beau has been recognized by four Georgia Governors including the Honorable Sonny Perdue who issued a Proclamation, which … “recognizes Beau as ’Georgia’s Official Weather Prognosticator’, and further pays special tribute to him for his precise, annual prediction which enables Southerners to effectively prepare for the coming season.”

Beau’s Bio and the history of Groundhog Day may be perused on the Game Ranch web site at

Friday, January 25, 2008

Got Him!! And other news...

Yesiree we got that little mouse last night. YeeHaw! Sam captured him with the trash can and I helped. Then Sam hurried out back in the cold and tossed him. It was quite comical. We listened for the mouse during the night and since he is still alive we'll just have to see how long before he finds his way back in. For now though the house is peaceful.

In other news...

Our DVD which is built into the TV is broken. Ugh. Reminder to self, don't buy a built in DVD. We have to watch movies on the computer for now.

We've been watching the temperatures and it is as we suspected, 10-15 degrees cooler here than it was in Georgia. That's the winter. The summer looks like it's about as hot.

TGIF. It was a long work week trying to get over this bronchitis. I'm looking forward to rest, rest and rest. Tomorrow is the democratic primary here, who cares?
Plenty of time for sleep and it is expected to be cloudy and cool all day. Good sleeping weather.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Crawling out of a hole

Monday I felt so bad at work that I went to Urgent Care and they had to give me a breathing treatment and a cortisone shot. Finally diagnosed properly, I was feeling better emotionally. I didn't feel too bad that night but I couldn't sleep because of the cortisone and had a headache, mostly what felt like pressure all night.

Tuesday during the day at work my head still hurt and my sinuses began to swell, then my face got real red and hot. After several phone calls and hours waiting for call backs the doctor said I was having an allergic reaction, to what he never said (I assume the breathing treatment), but my instructions were to get home and start on Benadryl. It worked but I again didn't get much sleep.

Benadryl makes some folks sleepy, apparently not me. At least that seems to be over with, now if I could just cough and clear up my lungs. Time will tell.

No red burning face but my feet are hot. LOL. I think my nerves are getting the better of me.

Fortunately Sam's cold was a passing thing. Praise God.

In other news, our unwanted house guest, Mr. Field Mouse refuses to enter the traps. He remains elusive. We can hear him at night but can't catch him!

We watched an old movie tonight, Jack Benny and Robert Stack. Comedy set in Poland during WWII about a troupe of actors who get caught up trying to get out of Poland by acting as Germans. It was pretty cute. Nothing like the old movies. Pure entertainment.

The locals tell us this weather we've been having is typical for winters here. Not so great. It fluctuates too much. Gets down to 17 and up to 45 then down to 34 and up to 53 then back down to 17 and only up to 39. I thought we were in the SOUTH! Give me back Georgia's weather. Oh well, we have to go where the work is.

Poor Sam, keeps thinking he's in North Carolina I've moved him around so much the past couple of years.

This job will hold us though, we'll be okay and should be able to work here until 2010 at least.

Lord only knows where I'll go when this project is over. Hopefully now that the company has been bought out by a bigger corporation I will have more choices. I hope we never have to go up North! Then I really will complain about the weather.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bad News Good News

Bad news first.

Turns out Snippy has bronchitis, took a second doctor (Actually a Nurse Practitioner) to figure that out. Needless to say Snippy is looking for a new doctor.

Our heat exchanger started making noises last Friday. The guy who came to look at it determined that the compressor is bad.

Fred Thompson dropped out of the Presidential Race and broke my heart.

Now the Good news.

I have a wife who loves me very much and whom I love very much in return, it feels great! Sometimes the second time around is better.

We're gonna get an entirely new heat exchanger at no cost. It'll take a couple of days but "free" works for me.

With Fred out of the race, I can ignore this entire political season. Time to catch up on my movies and reading.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Country Music and Getting Well

I didn't make it to work. Managed to get into the doctor, what a fiasco. All I know for sure is I don't have pneumonia. Other than that, she was no help so I just came back home and have been resting, drinking tea and more rest. Today I feel much better, thank goodness because I absolutely have to return to work before they give up on me. I think it is a bout of bronchitis without the cough. I hope so.

Sam thought he may be getting a cold, I pray not. He feels a little better this evening. We both need some time to be well.

Country music. I think this is consistently the best music to make you laugh and put you in a good mood. Sam is playing the video "How do you like me now" by Toby Keith on his computer several times a day. LOL. My Christmas presents from him were all three of Josh Turner's Cd's and Dwight Yoakum greatest hits. What a difference in the work day when I can listen to a few good country songs while working on excel spreadsheets!

We like country music best because it tells the truth. All that life is, the good, the bad, and the humor of it all.

Of course we still like the old music, the music our parents listened to. That never goes out of style. I just can't imagine folks 50 years from now opining about the old days of rap music. Of course we try and forget the days of disco!

Winter here has been 10 -15 degrees cooler than Georgia and we don't really care for it. Yes, it's better than up North but darn it we are in the South after all. Brrrr.

It's been getting down in the teens and lower 20's and 40-50 during the day. Too cold for me.

Scarlett turned 2 this past Thursday, Sarge will be three on Independence Day. Sarge still acts like a pup.

Life is good, especially since I'm feeling the best today than I have in the past 12 days. We plan to take a stab at quitting smoking soon. Our insurance is willing to pay for it. We have to fill out some paperwork to get them to pay for it and then we think we have to coordinate with our doctor (I need to find a new one) on what plan we are going to follow, patches, pills, who knows but we at least want to make the effort.

Prayers for successful attempts will be appreciated.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Goings on

I love my husband, I love my dogs and I give thanks for all of them.

The birds have been flocking to the feeders and surrounding ground like crazy. Sam has had to go out several recent mornings to break the ice out of the bird baths.

It snowed here last night, what a surprise for us. Thankfully by this morning it had melted and just rained all day. It will be cold still for a spell, below freezing lows over the weekend. I hate this type of weather. I prefer sunshine and warm temps.

So I whine and feel yucky until it gets better.

I'm finally crawling out of this bout with what I think was bronchitis. It hit me last Friday and I've been working from home since. Tomorrow it's back to the office I hope.

Tomorrow I think I'll opine about country music. I love it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sarge and Scarlett

Our two wild and crazy dogs.

It's colder down here that we'd like but still better than most of the country. The dogs love the sand in the yard, easier to dig!

I wouldn't mind the sand if I had an ocean in my backyard, but all this sand and no water, what's the point? At least when it rains it doesn't stay wet as long as dirt does and except for always sweeping, it doesn't make as much of a mess as mud does.

With the onset of cold and damp weather we find we have a new addition to the family. A field mouse. The dogs could care less and don't help in chasing it down. We set out humane traps (not for the mouse, but for the dogs) and the mouse just isn't playing into the plan yet. Time will tell.