Monday, December 30, 2013


We have a lot of landscaping companies here on the island. Most flaunt names like "Island Landscaping" or "Coastal Landscapes" or "Island Designs" or something similar. Some try to add a little flair: "Island Scapes" or "Almighty Tree Service" or "Coastal Greenery." Some go a little further: "Grounds Keeper" or "Pine Straw Man" or "The Lawn Ranger."

But this morning I ran across a new one. "Guess Who?" Yep. That was the name.

I said, "I can see this dude doing our lawn and coming to get paid, saying something like: 'Guess Who's finished with your yard,' and me guessing, 'Island Design? Coastal Landscaping?"

I laughed pretty hard at my own joke.

My guy said, deadpan, "I'd say: 'Guess who's going to pay you.'"

Guess his scenario's a little funnier than mine.

Friday, December 27, 2013


This year, we sent out Christmas cards depicting the Pier Village all dressed up for the holidays. My guy took this one last Christmas and did some tweaking. It came out really nice.

Everyone has been commenting on it. I like it, too!

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Doesn't seem like Christmas here on the island. We had a couple of cold snaps, but currently it's 73 degrees and a beautiful sunny day. That's supposed to change tomorrow. Rain and cooling off. Christmas Eve low will be  (shudder) 38 while Christmas Day will be 50 for the high!

But it seems I have some bright spots in the yard. Thank you, former owner! Below is the Christmas cactus, blooming despite my attempts to kill it this summer.

And in a secluded corner is a poinsettia. Flowered all by itself without my doing a thing, thank goodness. I'm not known for my green thumb. I always thought you had to put them in a dark closet and mutter incantations to make them turn red. Guess not.

Here's a blossom close-up.

And here's the whole bush.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to anyone who doesn't celebrate Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


The cats are quite excited that Christmas is here. And they're being pretty good.

Our Christmas tree has been up since Thanksgiving and only one ornament's been displaced! In previous years we couldn't keep ornaments on the tree, period. Also, only one present's been hijacked (the boy cat thought a gift bag's tissue would make him a nice bed); in some years, we had to stash the presents in the closet instead of under the tree.

My best guess is they're behaving themselves because they're waiting for Santa. I think they've finally learned he brings good little cats gifts, while bad little cats get fussed at. We're still keeping an eye on them, though.

Here the girl cat is curled up to the boy cat, letting him snooze on her. See how angelic she looks?

Wait. Maybe she's choking him. His head's hanging kind of... Hmmm. Better go break it up!

Friday, December 13, 2013


We walked down to the pier a couple of mornings ago. It was the first time we'd walked down there in a while. My guy's been a little under the weather and so we've been taking shorter walks. I'm glad he's feeling well enough to do our two-mile stint again!

The fog was unbelievable, but lovely, too. I took a couple of pix. This one shows the pier taken from the sidewalk. You can just see the end of it through the fog.

And this one is the Christmas tree at the pier park. You can see the palm trees behind but usually, you can see the Sidney Lanier Bridge in the distance behind them. Not this day!

Monday, December 9, 2013


I've put several pictures of old courthouses on my blog before, so I thought I'd add this one that we passed in our travels last week. I love the old buildings in so many of the Georgia counties. Their old clock towers must have seen a lot of history in their times. They were part of the inspiration for my Taxed To The Max mystery.

This one is the Fayette County courthouse that we passed in our travels last week.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


We went north for a few days. Coming back, we got on I-75 to go through Atlanta (and I won't go on and on about how I hate hate hate going through Atlanta!) and found they had changed a lane to a toll lane. Oh, they're calling it an express lane, but you have to buy a Peach Pass to use it. We saw maybe two cars using it as we went on down, using the regular no-charge lanes.

I'm wondering how they're getting away with charging fees on a lane of a road that's a federal interstate highway. Or am I hopelessly provincial and out of touch with the times?

Here are some photos I took. Sorry they're fuzzy but we were driving.

The sign telling you it's coming up, with the fee on the right to the first and second road exits listed:

The sign on the right tells you when the express lane starts:

And here is the sign over the lane, saying Peach Pass ONLY:

There are more signs, naturally, threatening the usual stuff when cars without the Peach Pass use this 'special' lane.

Well, we taxpayers paid for the lane once. I don't think we'll be buying a Peach Pass anytime soon!

Friday, November 29, 2013


Believe it or not, the little town of Kingsland, on the southern coast of Georgia, has a film studio (a location of Farragut Films) that boasts the largest freestanding Star Trek sets in the USA.

On December 7th this year, they are hosting Farragut Fest. Attendees can meet some of the cast/crew of the internet series and admire the sets: bridge, transporter room, sickbay, shuttlecraft, and more. These sets are used in the production of "Starship Farragut" and "Star Trek Continues" internet series, with more series planned.

Hard to believe we'll be having Trekkies from all over coming together in this little place! If you're a Trekkie and aren't too far away, come on down!

Here's a picture from an article in the Jacksonville Times-Union:

The bridge set of the USS Farragut during the recent filming of the next Starship Farragut episode, Conspiracy of Innocence. Many of these actors are scheduled for Farragut Fest, the Dec. 7 open house at the studio in Kingsland.  DAN SCANLAN/The Times-Union

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Yes, I know it isn't Thanksgiving till tomorrow, but I couldn't wait till after it to put our tree up.

A few weeks ago, I got an unexpected package in the mail. In it was a handmade Christmas ornament from our former neighbors! I've been chomping at the bit ever since to get a tree and hang it. (Our old tree bit the dust last year and I failed to buy one during the after-season sales, alas.)

Finally my guy gave in. Well, not so much gave in as got bulldozed into buying one and putting it up. Not a pretty tree, mind you. More like an artificial Charlie Brown tree. But it's up and my ornaments are on it, waiting for the finishing touches when we finally find our last Christmas box that somehow got lost during the moves.

I took a picture of the ornament. See the little bird with its eggs? It's lovely and all the more for our ex-neighbor thinking of us!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Been busy for the past couple of weeks with company and a virus. Finally got back to normal this weekend and visited the local stables where a friend boards her horse. We didn't get any photos of the stable itself but maybe next time. It's a lovely, well-kept place.

But here are some of the horses:

This pretty guy??? gal??? was curious when we came up and looked out to welcome us.

When we went over to check out the training rings, these people were just coming in from a trail ride. Looks like fun, doesn't it?

And this handsome fellow was getting hosed down by his owner after they'd had a hard training lesson. He wasn't too fond of the water but he behaved like a gentleman!

A very nice day!

Monday, November 11, 2013


Every Veterans Day I marvel at the sacrifice so many men and women have made for this country. From the French and Indians Wars, while we were still colonies, to today's wars in the Middle East, our people have fought and died--are still fighting and dying.

Some restaurants are giving free meals and some stores are giving discounts to veterans and others in the military. They deserve it.

The rest of us can only add our thanks and try to show our appreciation in other ways.

Happy Veterans Day!

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Our little airport has been busy this week. First all the jets coming and going, bringing people in before the GA/FL football game and taking them out again. Also planes bringing people in before the McGladrey Golf Classic that's next week. Seems like no sooner does one get off the runway than another takes its place!

But more interesting is the plane here for the weekend. My guy had to hustle to get a picture before it moves on to Savannah. It's an old Ford Trimotor. If you could zoom in, you could see the writing on the body: Eastern Air Transport! Remember Eastern, anyone?

Anyway, rides are $75 a pop. It can hold up to nine passengers, each with its own window. Cool, huh?

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Well, tonight is the night we have to set our clocks...

Let me think now. Spring forward in spring, fall back in autumn.

So I guess we'll be setting the clocks back tonight. That means tomorrow morning, when we get up at our usual internal time, it'll actually be an hour later.

So we could sleep for an extra hour if we like! I'm all for that!

Although to be perfectly honest, I don't know why we must go through this every year. I don't really feel we save that much energy, no matter how many early risers keep chirping they get so much more done in the summer because of the daylight savings hours.

Pooh on them.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Our town on the mainland had their annual stewbilee this past Saturday. Besides the Brunswick stew tastings, they had arts and crafts and games for the kids, a few vendors, an old/classic car/truck exhibition and a Pooch Parade!!! My photos didn't turn out too well but we had a great time! Here are some of the doggies:

This one was dressed as a devil.

This one was a ladybug, as was her owner.

This was my favorite! A shepherd disguised as a sheep!

And this one wore a tutu as did her owner. They won the grand prize, I believe, but unfortunately I couldn't get a good shot. They went by too fast!

Friday, October 18, 2013


A few weeks back, I blogged about a wedding at the old courthouse. The bridal couple were beautiful and so was the setting beneath all the great oaks.

A few days ago, part of a tree on the grounds fell and they had to take down the rest. And it seems another one is coming down, too. This will make six in the past six years that have been lost in this vicinity. If the county doesn't start taking care of them, they'll lose the one thing that distinguishes them from thousands of other courthouses throughout the country.

Here are some pix I took earlier this week. First one is the stump. See my shadow as I hold up my camera to take the shot?

Here's a better view of the stump. It's about five-six feet wide.

Here's the stump from a few yards away. The courthouse is to the left, in the background.

Here's a longer view of the empty place on the lawn. It's in the middle, behind the tiny tree.

 And this is the tree that's doomed. They say it can't be saved so down it will come. Sigh.

I think I must have been a druid in a previous life, so upsetting to me is this sad affair.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


My back yard is currently quite beautiful. No thanks to me and my guy. The people who lived here before us must have had green thumbs.

Anyway, we don't know what the flowers are. People come over and exclaim, "How lovely! What are those?"

I can say, "Jasmine or day lilies or azaleas or amaryllis or hydrangeas," because those are the only plants in our yard I know. For these two, I have to shrug. I thought maybe someone out there might recognize them so I'm posting pix here and on Facebook.

These are tall purple flowers that I see in different yards and places around the Village. They look kind of like morning glories but they aren't vines and their leaves are skinny:

This is a spreading bush, about five feet tall, with lavender flowers:

And here are some of the lavender flowers up close, tiny little flowers in clusters:

It'd be nice to know what they are.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


We've been under the weather a few days. Ventured out today but didn't walk down to the Village. Instead, we drove down, sat in the sun, and walked around the lighthouse before driving back.

When we got there, the new tour trolley was sitting waiting for customers.

For years, there was only one tour on the island. It's been around for years. In fact, there's a quote on its side from Eugenia Price: "I highly recommend the ... Trolley tour." And she's been dead forever!

Well, a year or so ago, it got some competition. Now there's one you can call and reserve, that a lot of wedding parties use. And just recently, we got another one. The Colonial Island Trolley tour. This one bills itself as the only air conditioned, wheel-chair accessible trolley tour on the island.

The thing is, this latest one comes into the Village right before the old trolley. We got there after ten, when the new one is supposed to leave. It was still waiting. Here is is:

Then, we saw the new trolley come wheeling in. Look at the end of the cars on the right and you can see it:

It's supposed to come at ten thirty and leave at eleven. Anyway, it parked in its place and waited for customers:

But the new trolley had scooped up a bunch of people and was off. I bet the old trolley owners are steaming at having business stolen out from under them. Today it wasn't too bad. There were several people who waited especially to go on the old trolley. But I bet some days, people get on the new trolley thinking it's the only one.

Ah, the woes of small business owners.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I love our local paper, not least because it gives a list of the crimes reported in the county. Yesterday I had to shake my head in disbelief.

This guy saw someone beating up on a woman in an apartment complex parking lot. He rushed into the fray and pulled the man off the woman. The man started beating up on him but finally ran away. The police came.

Turns out the woman knew who her attacker was but refused to press charges. So now the attacker is free to come back and beat up on her some more.

Are we raising stupid people or what?

Saturday, September 28, 2013


A friend stayed with us for a few days. She wanted to go to Savannah, so we drove up even though it was a drizzly, depressing kind of day.

I don't think she cared though. We went to the river front, ate lunch, raided the Peanut Shop's samples, and generally enjoyed ourselves.

Here's the street scene:

And here's the Savannah Queen paddleboat:

This last was taken at Old Fort Jackson. This is the admission center and you can see the fort itself in the background:

All in all, a fun day even if we did get rained on!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


GabbyPhoto of sweet Gabby taken from the Jekyll Island blog.

A favorite of ours at the Turtle Center on Jekyll Island is saying her final farewells to visitors and staff as she prepares for a new life.

No, she won't be striking out into the ocean; she's going to Utah.

Gabriella, a five-year-old loggerhead sea turtle, came to the center in 2008 and was treated for various ailments. After paying for her medical care by going to Athens GA and educating inland people about loggerheads, Gabby came back to the center to be prepared for release.

Unfortunately, doctors found she has a spinal deformity that makes her bottom float higher than her top. Weight therapy and other treatments haven't helped. If she's released into the wild, she probably won't make it.

So the center has found her a permanent home: The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy, Utah.

A long ways from the beach!

Bye bye, Gabby! Hope you enjoy Utah. You've given us a lot of pleasure in the past years.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I think I mentioned in an earlier blog that our new house was near the Bridge Center. Took me weeks to realize it meant 'bridge' as in the card game and not 'bridge' as in the Golden Gate and other bridges. In fact, I only discovered it when we went by one day and saw cars parked on the road with signs directing people to where the tournament was being played.

Naturally, the Bridge Center being so close to us and all, when an ad came out for beginning bridge lessons, I signed me and my guy up. Despite his rather vocal protests.

Good for the brain, I told myself. A chance to socialize and meet new people, I told myself. One day a week for two hours can't be that bad.

We have gone to two lessons now and his protests are fading. As for me, I must have been out of my mind.

There are rules in bridge. Me being the tell-me-I-must-do-something-and-I'll-immediately-do-the-opposite kind of person I am, discovering this has been a big shock.

And you have to remember things. Counting points is fine, but figuring out what to do with them...

I can't very well quit if he doesn't though. Not after I forced him to go.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


I blogged a few days ago about the wedding that took place under the great oaks at the historic county courthouse. I even put in a picture of the gorgeous bride and handsome groom. I didn't put in a picture of myself, you are probably happy to know.

I will tell you I wore my "vintage" dress, though.

I keep most of my clothes until they become ragged so I have quite a few old dresses. One Thanksgiving when we were alone, I wore this particular one out to a nice restaurant. This well-dressed couple finished before us and as they walked by our table, the gentleman stopped. "I have to tell you I just love your dress. Is it a vintage?"

I started to deny it hotly, then realized: 1) It wasn't new. 2) He wasn't being facetious. 3) "Vintage" sounded a whole lot better than "Uh, no, I've just had it for years."

So I smiled graciously and said, "Yes. Yes, it is."

After his wife chirped her admiration, too, and they left, I started eating again. "Imagine that," I told my guy. "Vintage. Why, that means it had to be made in the..."

I counted back to when I'd got it and realized the awful truth. It was indeed vintage.

I feel so old. But at least when I wear it for special occasions, I know at least one couple thinks it's stylish.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Uh, not exactly.

It seems her grandson and the company responsible for her book rights have decided to bring in a ringer. Sophie Hannah, who writes mysteries under her own name, will pen the new Hercule Poirot mystery. This despite the fact Agatha Christie finished her Miss Marple and Poirot (actually killing him off) series so no one could do this very thing.

Christie isn't the only one being exploited this way. Gone With the Wind had a sequel by a romance writer, Alexandra Ripley. Eric Van Lustbader is singlehandedly keeping Ludlum's Bourne series going. The James Bond series has had several writers since Ian Fleming's death. One of these trying-to-be Flemings is Sebastian Faulkes, who is also -- da da dum!!! -- penning a new Jeeves book!

Say what? How do you reconcile Fleming's voice with Wodehouse's?

As an author, I detest the idea that some other writer would take characters I dreamed up -- sweated over, brought to life -- and do whatever they like with them. And I hate it for these other dead authors. Especially when one of those characters is the beloved Poirot.

I didn't buy Scarlet O'Hara's imitation and I won't buy Poirot's. In fact, I try not to buy anyone's work who exploits that of another writer.

So take that, HarperCollins!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Fort King George celebrated Labor Day with one of their living history weekends. People camped from Thursday night to Monday, with visitors welcome in the daytime Friday through Monday. Thought I'd focus on the cooking and game stuff.

Some pots, tea kettle, and coffee pot:

Turkey roasting over a colonial type grill:

These belong to the nine pin game. Don't know what happened to the two balls the players use.

And here are the hoops. One little boy got pretty frustrated because he couldn't keep one rolling.

Not cooking or games, but had to get in the cannon being loaded. Those things are loud!

Hope everyone else had a good Labor Day, too!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


I was fortunate enough to be present when a young couple exchanged vows in front of the old courthouse on the mainland. They fell in love on our island and wanted to marry down here so they eloped -- kind of. Relatives and friends knew they were going to do it but since they've thought about it for years, no one was really sure what would happen.

It was a gorgeous day, not too hot but sunny. When the probate judge came out of her office, the bride chose the patio surrounding the stone-walled planter for the ceremony. There, under the magnificent oaks dripping spanish moss, the bride and groom said their vows as their daughter watched.

The bride was beautiful, the groom handsome and the little girl an absolute doll.

Oh, and before the ceremony, we had to have an obligatory whale picture of little Miss Julia!

A shame they couldn't stay with us longer, but pre-K awaits the little one and a cruise awaits the honeymooners.

All good wishes go with them. May the rest of their life go as smoothly as the ceremony.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


I stepped out into the garage this morning to put out recyclables. (So thrilled that now we can separate them!) Started to step back inside and noticed this huge, quarter-size-body, spider right in the doorway. I hyperventilated but stepped on it.

It was a her. Hundreds of tiny little spiders went scurrying everywhere. I started stomping here, there, everywhere... Squealing all the while.

No one came to my aid. My guy was in the bathroom. My girl cat who chases and eats insects had, unbeknownst to me, slipped into the garage when I opened the door. My boy cat is blind and I think he's hard of hearing, too. (Except when it's mealtime.)

So there I was. Dancing and stomping and screaming with no audience and no rescuers. Just me.

Once I didn't see any more gnat-sized spiders scurrying, I grabbed the insecticide and sprayed wildly. That's when I saw my cow-cat, sticking her little face in the door, wondering what the commotion was about.

I dragged her in and closed the door. Looks like I may need to get another bodyguard.

Monday, August 19, 2013


A Florida RWA chapter I'm in sponsors a contest every year and it's time for it again. It offers really good feedback so if you're interested, here's the announcement:

*Permission to forward granted and encouraged!*
> *Hear ye, Hear ye! *
> Is your manuscript ready to submit? Are you looking for a contest with a
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> Finalists will have an opportunity to revise based on judges’ comments
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> Final round judges are subject to change when unavoidable.****
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> THE BEACON—Unpublished Division Contest for 2013—accepting entries August
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> All finalists notified the week of October 22, 2013.
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> RWA membership is not required for entry. Contest is limited to the first
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> *Fee: *$25 FCRW members, $30 RWA member (not FCRW), $35 non-RWA member****
> ** **
> Our Beacon_Scoresheet_Sample<> is
> designed to provide detailed critique and feedback. Per RWA rules, this
> contest will NOT be extended past the midnight on 8/31/13 barring acts of
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> fires, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes. *For a complete list of rules
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> *Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit or Mainstream Romance*
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> Questions? Contact our contest chair at****
> ** **

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Walking down to the village yesterday morning, we went by the ball field/park and saw what we think may be an osprey's nest atop a light pole. Kind of hard to make out but...

Then down at the pier, George was looking for bait. Here he's standing ready with his net...

And here he's tossing.

We didn't stick around to see if he caught enough to fish with.

Saw a shark fin up near the shore as we walked on up the waterfront but couldn't get a good picture. Darn.

Not that I really wanted one. The less sharks around the better!

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Went to a living history event at Fort King George last weekend. (Evidently, they get a little irate when called reenactors so I try not to.)

The blacksmiths were there, demonstrating their craft. The weather was over ninety degrees, no shade except for the huts around the fort perimeter, and a wood fire where they worked.

Looks like they may have been wearing linen clothes but the soldiers had on wool uniforms as per conventions of the era. Glad I wasn't around then!

Got to admire these people, even if they only wear the clothes and work the trades for a few hours/days!

Friday, August 2, 2013


So the cats were looking puny. The boy-cat had been treated for a urinary infection a few weeks back, but I suspected the girl-cat was having the same problem and made her an appointment. Then, I noticed the boy-cat wasn't using his litter box as he should so I called the nice lady at the clinic who said, "Bring him in, too."

We loaded them both up in one carrier and went to the vet's office. Once inside the examining room, my boy-cat, who is always a gentleman, came out with a feeble meow of protest and a reproachful look at me, got looked at, gave his sample, and yes, his infection wasn't completely cured.

Then the vet reached into the crate for the girl-cat.

Such hissing and screaming and unsheathing of claws I've never seen!

Evidently, the vet had. He hopped way back and said, "Oops. She's a little anxious." Then he looked at me. "Maybe you'd better try to get her out."

So I soothed her, reached in and got her. But she was still unhappy at her predicament, hissing and threatening, making the poor vet very cautious in catching her by her scruff and holding down her back end. Once he got his sample, he put her in the crate with the boy-cat and jumped back while my guy slammed the door.

He wiped his forehead and looked at the crate. "You know, he's got to be thinking, 'What! You've made the bitch mad and now you're putting her back in here with me?' I bet she takes it out on him, and he didn't do a thing."

And she did, hissing at the poor boy-cat all the way home like it was his fault, not even giving him a chance to protest he hadn't liked being handled either. Once out of the crate, he hid for the rest of the day while she stalked around and muttered to herself.

I hate taking them to the vet. I don't think the vet likes it either.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


We've had company this month and finding time to even power up the computer has been challenging. I think our busy season is over for a while though. And I find I miss it! No hurrying to go to the beach or the pool or the Village. No going out to eat. No biking around the neighborhood. No engrossing conversations.

Not that it isn't nice to have the house back to ourselves. The cats are of two minds: they've had people spoiling them, whipping out the brush at the first pitiful meow, petting them and calling them beautiful. On the other hand, they can roam through the house without being picked up and hugged, and they can take their naps in peace.

They can't decide whether to be happy company's gone or sad. So she wakes up and looks around expectantly to find her admiring audience.

And he peers around corners trying to see if he needs to make a grand entrance in case someone's waiting to fawn all over him.

Yep, I think we're all suffering from withdrawal!