Sunday, August 19, 2012

Brian and I found Neptune in the center of the Disney "resort" area of Hilton Head.  There were lots of shadows since it was the end of the day.  The flat area that Neptune stood on was a huge sundial.  We enjoyed figuring out the time clock based on the shadows.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Appreciation of Tree Leaves...

So, when I typed that title all sorts of things came to my mind, other than where I am planning to take this blog. 
 First, was how intricate they are..(remember in grade school, gathering all sorts of different leaves and then pressing them in waxed paper? )  to observe their shape, color, and vein structure?
Second thought was leaves in the fall. While its a lot of work to rake them, I still love to jump in them! The beautiful colors they display in the fall makes me appreciate my sight. 
A month or so ago, the electric department came by our house and informed my neighbor that several trees would have to come down, because there were branches in the lines. (okay, yes I didn't get the tree trimmed last year - I was a little tied up with Sweeties back surgery.) 
Anyway, she called me rather panicked and said, "Brenda, they are going to cut your tree down. Now he said that they will chop it up and take it away for you at no charge. (as if somehow that made it all okay!) You might want to come home."
Come to find out, they said they didn't need my permission to cut down or not cut down the tree. Snarl. I left work as quickly as I could and hurried home. I managed to get here before they cut our precious front tree down. 
(I've never been a tree hugger, but wow! I was that day!) After having an animated conversation with the guy holding a growling chain saw in my yard, it went silent. I explained I wasn't moving and neither was my tree. I would get it trimmed myself. He then tells me I have 72 hours to take care of it. If he comes back within that time frame he will take care of it. OOOOHHHH! I was NOT scared. 
Once I explained to Sweetie what fun things were happening in our front yard while we were at work, he agreed. We will take care of it ourselves. As a matter of fact that very afternoon my awesome father in law came out and trimmed it for us! Ha! Less than 24 hours later! DONE!
See? Almost no leaves. Back to my precious father in law. See in the upper left hand corner of the photo? He left me a few leaves!

This, I love!  Picture taken a couple of days ago.The leaves are coming back!  Pretty strong tree! It wasn't ready to call it quits and neither were we! 
It hasn't been a month yet, and its already starting over! Looking forward to a full tree again in the spring.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Gazebo - Charleston, S.C.

 Each and every day time escapes us little by little. This trip took Sweetie and I down memory lane. Last time we were here Cory was almost 2. I haven't been able to place my hands on the picture that Sweetie took of little Cory and I 12 years ago. Come to think of it... I should have taken another one with him here this time. However, all I could think of was allowing the boys to explore it on their own. Letting each have time to enjoy it.
Cory walked around and pointed out the writing on the ceiling of the gazebo. "Nice Place."he said. Young man of many words..
His brother Brian, ever the entertainer...well the gazebo could be nothing else but a stage. I was thrilled to capture him dancing his time away!
We spent enough time in the park to watch a wedding party arrive and use it for their ceremony.  The whole process was rather quick as they were outta there in about 30 minutes or so.
The late afternoon shadows were creeping in as they rushed off to take photos all over town.
We also got to enjoy watching pelicans dive into the water after fish in the bay. Beautiful weather of low 80's and a slight breeze helped us during our walk about time.
It was a beautiful afternoon.

The Battery - Charleston Harbor

Ah! The Battery.  When Sweetie and I lived in NC, we would come to Charleston whenever we could. Once we brought Cory. (more about that in a later blog).
The huge battery surrounded by water holds many boats and a few cargo ships on the day we are visiting. Folks are milling around some having picnics, another a group of students on a field trip. Catching bits and pieces of the history lesson they were getting was informational.
It's hard for my mind not to wander when I'm in such a place. I believe if I lived closer I would use this as a place for inspiration - a place to write.
The grand trees with the ever present hanging mosses, the silent cannons, the statues of past leaders, history whispers to ya if you listen hard enough.

The boys enjoyed climbing trees, playing around the cannons, and were quite agreeable to allowing me to photograph them. This will truly be one of my favorite memories to look back on. Nothing electronic, just time spent together - laughing and playing. Sigh!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rainbow Row's Iron beauty

These are just a few of my favorite gates. I have taken many pictures, too many to share on here... but enough to give you a sampling of the beauty of Charleston.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rainbow Row, Charleston, S.C.

Wow! To say that this is one of my favorite places in the world, is an understatement. Just walking the streets of downtown Charleston I marvel at the architecture and historic beauty. The colors are vibrant and the stories from the locals are equally rich. The cobblestone streets, the horse drawn carriages, cannons, the battery, and the wrought iron! I am fascinated with all of it!

Isn't this beautiful? I'm relaxed just looking at it!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Shark fishing - Part 2

Our guide, John was a lot of fun! He grew up around boats, and shared his story with us as to how he got his own boat and business. It was a good lesson on hard work paying off.
For the first batch of bait we let him handle the super slimy squid. Honestly those things were so icky that I didn't feel bad about hooking them at all.  It didn't take long for us all to put our own squid on the line. (even Sweetie)
It didn't take long for the first bite..a small tug, then the game of giving slack and slowly winding the string back in.  The first catch for Brian was a stingray.

Then came the sharks! Wow! We had fun. Mostly we got babies...but then Cory, Sweetie, and I got some that were more than two feet long and three-five pounds!  Catch and release! Three hours went by fast! We even got to meet a dolphin named Nick. What a great day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Shark fishing- Part one!

Shark Fishing..

So, we decided that we would splurge a little on our vacation and plan one big activity while we were visiting Hilton Head, S.C.
That one activity: SHARK fishing!
The boys and I were so excited, we couldn't hardly wait! Sweetie well!  He was wondering what his family was so excited about.... see he doesn't like fish...he doesn't touch fish... he doesn't even eat fish. So, when his family suggests this activity, he was outvoted. Ever the trooper he got us to our destination. A little company tucked into some oak and maple trees thick with hanging moss. Coming through the tall metal gate, one is greeted by the owner, a fisherman tanned by hours in the sun. Motioning toward a small picnic table under a canopy of sorts he handed us a clipboard with some maritime rules and regulations.
The next order of business was gathering the chum. Chum we found out is a parts is parts mixture of ick that is thrown out into the ocean to attract sharks to the area.  (Are ya excited yet?)

I found out the boxes of chum are so nasty smelling that they keep them frozen! Several boxes of bait (which we later found out was squid) were loaded onto the small boat. We were blessed as we were the only group on the boat!
It didn't take long for us to really enjoy just being out on the water! We got to see the HarborTown Lighthouse, and a party boat! This boat sells ice-cream and beer to anyone who pulls alongside.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


On a recent trip to Hilton Head, SC we got to experience alligators. There were signs everywhere asking folks to "Please don't feed the Alligators."  This pond was in front of our grouping of condo's, so we looked for this guy every day. Most of the time he spent sunning himself, he didn't growl or move toward anyone that got near him.
This is as close as our traveling gnome would go...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Playing in the Atlantic, Hilton Head, S.C.

The Atlantic Ocean.
Our family has visited the Atlantic more than any other ocean. It's funny how the beaches along the eastern coastline of America are different. This beach was flat. Meaning unless we dug into the sand, we had no problems with it.
We learned all about high and low tide and when to go catch a wave and when to go looking for shells.
On Hilton Head, in the early morning when it was low tide at its farthest out point, we went out to the beach with high hopes of scoring some shells.
It was pitch black out there except for a few stars. Armed with flashlights we spooked many crabs scurrying back and forth on the beach. We found several small broken shell pieces, a pair of goggles, two pairs of sunglasses, and a toy turtle.  We walked quite a bit of the beach before we all agreed there wasn't much there. We headed back to the condo, and back to bed!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Oh- the Teenage Years!

Sigh. For anyone who knows me.. I am not fond of staying up much past 10pm. I will gladly stay up a little late for a good ole hockey game, but for procrastination? UGH! (this was not in the Gerber video!) However, since he is our teen - we are the lucky ones who get to sit up and help him work through it.
 I reserve the right to be a little 'snarky' tomorrow.
What time is it? Oh, almost 2 a.m - and by the time I'm done it will be 2:20ish! And since I believe in tough love - I will not do it for him! I am busily working here on my own computer as he is digging for facts and just enough fluff to fill in the necessary space required to pass! No, we usually wouldn't be working this late, but due to band practice- he was busy from after school til 8pm tonight.
The teen we are speaking of managed to "forget" a paper due today, (insert sigh). UHUH! A whole paper!  Ya know the kind where ya have to site your sources, run it through the program that checks for  copy cats - typed, ect, ect! Sweetie and I are up to ensure that we are getting quality work out of our disgruntled teen!

Once he gets to bed, it will only be for a couple of hours before the "RISE AND SHINE!!" team greets him warmly. We do want him to get started on the right foot! As I pull the finished paper off of the printer ... it is now 3..nite nite!
Since I did get one of these nice "love you!" gestures, it made up for it...mostly!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"Help! My record player is not working!"

" My wife bought me a new record, can Chad come over and help me play it? I can't seem to get the record to play."
This was the main quote from a recent phone conversation I had with our older neighbors across the street. These precious folks, as I have mentioned before ask for our help occasionally. We are glad to give it.  These two have been married for half a century plus some, so they know each other, and which buttons to push and when.  Today, the MRS. bought the MR. a new record, or so we were told. Somehow even when we go over to help, we are the ones that get blessed. Tonight that was with laughter.

When Sweetie went over to "help" this is what he saw:  FOR REAL!  He and Cory laughed so hard, and begged to take a picture - just because no one would believe us.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

War and Rumors of Wars

Watch your local news channel and you will see that war and rumors of wars is always touched on, even if only an update on another country's war.
I remember in high school having to write a paper on Iran. I learned a lot about that country then, and fortunately remember some of the details. Basically in the late 80's early 90's we were concerned about Iran then too.  It seems that there have been quarrels that turn into fights, that turn into battles, that sometimes lead a whole country to war.
How very fortunate we are to live here in America. Being an US Army brat I've lived other places, and in other countries. As an adult, I've traveled to many other countries on mission journey's. I am but one of several that have been able to experience other cultures, foods, and ways of life. My eyes have been opened to seeing folks just like us, go without food, shelter, and clean water.
America, land of the free has opened its borders to others so they may also have a chance to experience such luxuries. America has lent money, time, and soldiers lives so help other countries experience democracy at some level.
After listening to the morning news last week, I was struck by the fact that after I turn it off, the situation that is currently going on, the angst of another country and its turmoil are closed to me and the family.
I'm so thankful. When I turn on the water, it runs clear, there is food in the cupboards, and we can drive down the streets safely. It is a true blessing for us to be able to go about our business working, sending our children to school, and traveling about. We don't have to keep our children home because of wars breaking out in the streets. Our homes are secure, there aren't bombs going off, and militia running the streets with machine gun fire being a constant background noise.
I could really ramble from here, but will not. Bottom line, I'm just thankful for our country. Please pray with me for our leaders and the election processes. No matter whether you are democrat or republican, our leaders and the one who is finally picked need to be covered in prayer. Our county is great because of God's grace - freedom is not free!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Broken Finger

Well, pictures are worth a thousand words, so you can see we have a broken bone.  This is the first for Brian.  He was playing tag with his friends, fell and rolled across his pinky bending it backward toward the wrist.  That isn't a good thing.  Little man that he is..he didn't complain. Just mentioned his hand hurt. We put ice on it and hoped for swelling to go down. When it looked worse in the morning, we headed for an X-ray machine.  Yep, a salter-harris fracture of the left pinky.  He has been fitted for a cast and will wear it for a few weeks, then wear a buddy brace. (meaning a type of velcro strips that will tie the ring finger to the pinky for support).    

A TRIP TO TACO BELL MADE HIM FEEL BETTER! I'm sure we will have more mishaps in the future, but until then.....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spring Soccer season 2012

It's a new season, soccer season that is. The weather may be cold and the skies grey, but for a group of 6-8th grade boys all that matters is surviving the next three days of tryouts.
Coach calls them out on the field, and the training begins. After running back and forth across the field a few times, the whole group drops to the ground and begin sets of sit-ups and then flipping over to perform push-ups.  For a solid 35 minute regiment the boys move around non-stop.  Then it's time for a few minutes to hydrate. Then the boys are back at it!
Coach wants them to build endurance, he doesn't want exhausted boys at half time.
Today everyone found out that the 6th graders didn't make the team. Boy, were they bummed. However, they are all smarter for the experience and have learned what will be expected of them next year at tryouts.
On a positive note, our soccer player has new shoes!  Bright orange!!!!
And since we still involved in recreational soccer with the city, the team he has played with (most of the players anyway) is gearing up to start in March!  LET's GO STRIKERS!!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A little bit of FAITH goes a long way!

Meet Faith. Yes, okay so I named my orchid. I've never named a flower or plant before.
Why this one? Because Best Bud and I wanted to use an orchid in a terrarium.  We both had a good time selecting a special orchid.
The little orchid I picked out was not picked out because of its color, or little tab that foretold us what it would look like in the future. In fact, Faith was the smallest orchid in the whole bunch. She wasn't blooming and looked very dry in her half dollar size round little pot. Her only redeeming quality was that her leaves are two colors.
Looking her over, I decided she was the one I wanted. With her being so small, she would fit in my little apothecary style jar.

So far she is doing well, and as you can see blooming beautifully!