Saturday, August 20, 2016


This week, we had a ninety-two-year-old veteran finish his cross country run here on the island. He started October 7, 2013, in San Diego by touching the Pacific Ocean. He finishes today, August 20, 2016, on our island's East Beach when he touches the Atlantic Ocean. Oh, and yesterday was his birthday, so he's actually ninety-three!

Ernie Andrus is running to raise money to benefit the last operational landing ship used in World War II to land on the Normandy beaches. He and fellow veterans brought the ship back from Crete in 2000 (the History Channel had a documentary on their effort: The Return of LSD 325). Ernie was part of the crew on that voyage. They were going to take LSD 325 back across the sea in 2014 to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the landing but couldn't raise enough funds. Ernie originally intended the money he raises on this ocean-to-ocean run to be used to take it back in 2019 for the seventy-fifth anniversary. Unfortunately, the funds have not come in as he'd hoped.

But he's happy just to break even, he says. He looks on this trip as his last hurrah. And what an amazing hurrah it is!

And on a somber note, the restaurant who volunteered to cater a free lunch for Ernie and his supporters Saturday is based in Lousiana. Because of the flooding, they had to cancel. So our local restaurants, Halyards and Southern Soul, stepped up to help. Great people and great food! Almost makes me want to brave the crowds and go out Saturday for the party. Almost.

You go, Ernie Andrus!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016


So I open the local paper to the headline "Robber Shoots, Victims Shoot Back" and am immediately drawn to read what happened.

Seems an armed robber came into a barber shop demanding money. After the owner, worried about his customers, quickly complied, the intruder left. One of the barbers grabbed a 9 mm (registered) he kept in the shop for protection and stepped outside. The robber fired at him so the barber fired back. Then he, joined by another barber and the owner, gave chase. Residents along the way helped direct them as they trailed the robber and waited for police to get there.

Finally, the robber went to ground, but a K-9 and his handler soon found him and arrested him.

"We've never had any problems at our shop," the bemused owner said. And he's been at the same location for twenty years.

I'm glad no one was hurt. I'm even gladder the neighborhood residents stepped up to the plate and helped catch the guy. With so much distrust between people and police nowadays, it's nice to hear about a small town like this where the two groups can get along

Barbershop pole isolated on white

Saturday, August 6, 2016


Well, we got to the eye doctor in Atlanta last week, and he took out stitches. Two. That's right. Two out of...sixteen? He says the others will come out 'when they're ready'! Kind of a downer since I'd hoped to get more out but that's okay. I can see and that's the important thing.

With all the travel taking up time, I thought I'd show a few more pix from Juliette, Georgia, where they filmed Fried Green Tomatoes. Again, these are photos I made with my own little phone so don't blame them on my guy who is really a great photographer!

This is the police station (closed), I guess for unruly crowds of which there were none on a lovely Thursday.

And there was an old country smokehouse. No one was around to ask whether it was still in use.

The old railroad terminal is now a gift shop and was also closed. I suspect they don't have too many tourists during the week.

Here is an old mill or factory that was quite picturesque.

And here are some sheep, grazing in their pasture across the railroad track.

A lovely little town!

Saturday, July 30, 2016


Going up to Atlanta to have stitches taken out of my eye, we stopped by Juliette.

No, not as in Romeo and Juliet. The town Juliette. You know! The place where they filmed Fried Green Tomatoes.

I must confess I never saw the entire movie, but the town--more like a wide place in the road--seems to still be a draw. Even though we were there on a Thursday, a few tourists hung around looking at the stores (all 6-8- of them!) of which only one gift shop was open.

The restaurant was also open. In fact, the Whistle Stop Cafe was busy despite it being two thirty in the afternoon.

One booth was open and I slid in. While my guy was off taking photographs*, I ate...What else? Fried green tomatoes!

In front of the stores, we came upon some guinea hens, pecking away at their food. They weren't skittish but didn't let us get too close.

There were other buildings that my guy took pix of: a smokehouse, an outhouse, the old bank building, the old mill...Here's the Opry House.

And as we were leaving, guess what came rumbling right by the parking lot of the cafe! A train!

The perfect end to our visit!

*Please don't mistake this photos for any my guy took! These were taken with my phone and he assures me they look like they were taken with a phone!

Saturday, July 23, 2016


According to headlines in our local paper, the town south of us is being invaded by a poisonous toad.

What? We already have escaped pythons and boa constrictors in the Everglades, along with the ubiquitous fire ants, deadly killer bees, and occasional armadilloes and coyotes. So now we must look out for dangerous toads, too?

Reading further, I found a description likening it to our native Southern toad. But our innocuous toad has ridges and knobs on its head while this pretender is smooth-headed. The Southern toad is also much smaller than the cane toad (also known as a marine toad or giant toad) which can grow up to NINE inches! The poisonous toad is known to eat pet food and drink pet water left outside, leading to attacks by territorial pets.

Descriptions were given of both toads to help identifying them (like I can remember which is which if I'm actually confronted by one!). The article also had detailed instructions for tending to pets biting the toad, which included rinsing the mouth and gums off with water, holding the pet's head downwards to keep it from swallowing the tainted water, and rubbing the gums...Hmmm. I can't quite imagine Fido's reaction to having his mouth doctored, but maybe some dogs are better behaved than mine ever were.

Anyway, after reading the whole scary thing, it turns out the toads were deliberately brought into south Florida to control insects, and the farthest north they're usually found is Gainesville, Florida. Quite a long ways from us. Speculation is that someone had this lone cane toad as a pet and released it. Or it escaped its owner. Or that it hid on board a landscaping truck coming in from Florida.

But, buried in all the text was this ominous tidbit: One female toad can lay thousands of eggs at a time. And the article failed to tell us the sex of this toad found in the next county.

I think Donald Trump needs to hear about this dangerous immigrant.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


Not much in the local paper's crime column this past week. Most of the problems dealt with drivers being stopped, then being arrested on outstanding warrants. Or fleeing a traffic stop and then being arrested for DUI, drugs and/or other offenses. One encounter did kind of stand out though.

Seems a woman called police about a man who'd sold her some crack cocaine. He then threw a beer at her. She also complained he owed her some money for personal favors.

Hmmm. Wonder what they were.

When police arrested her for possession of cocaine, she managed to escape her (double-locked!) handcuffs and flee.

Must have been related to Houdini!

But, alas for her, she was recaptured. Then she was taken in for booking after a side trip to the emergency room to be checked out for injuries incurred while fleeing. Or maybe it was injuries from the thrown beer. That was a little unclear.

Personally, I suspect she was sufferings from delusions of innocence!

Ah, goodness. The local police have so much to put up with. Although I suspect they do get a few laughs now and then.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


I've had eye problems for a long time and earlier this year, I had to have a cornea transplant. If you look closely in the photo below, you can see the light flashing off some of the stitches on the right. Dr. Hays used a row of sixteen stitches around the outside, then four tack stitches on the inside. Every eye doctor who's seen it admires his work!

The cornea takes awhile to adjust to its new eye, but this one has done quite well. Now Dr. Van de Vere (my doctor down here who's been supervising my recovery) says it's time to consider taking the stitches out.

I am quite excited. Maybe once the eye gets settled down, I can get my glasses prescription and finally be able to see (well) again.

Until this happened, I'd never thought about cornea donations -- that was something for other folks. But since I had one, I have a new appreciation for those people who choose to leave their corneas to the eye bank, and to the relatives who allow their loved ones' corneas to be donated. Without someone's generosity, I would be blind in this eye by now. And my other eye is getting to be almost as bad.

Unlike a heart or kidney, the cornea is mostly collagen tissue. There is a chance of rejection but it's far less than for other organs. I hope when at some point, you're asked if you want to donate your or your loved one's, cornea, you at least think about it. I know I will be grateful the rest of my life to my anonymous donor.