Saturday, December 26, 2015

GOODBYE TO CHRISTMAS

Christmas has come and gone. It's time to think about taking down the tree and putting away the little doodads and packing up the Christmas cards so I'll have them next year to know who to send cards to.

Gooebye, angels with too-tall candles!


Goodbye, little bird-that-brings-good-luck on the tree!


Goodbye, old beloved Opus with festive Christmas antlers!



Goodbye, Christmas, goodbye!

The football bowl games have already started, but I can look forward to their ending soon.

A new year is nearly upon us, so hopes for the future loom large and gratitude for seeing it arrive is downright overwhelming.

Then we're back to the ordinary life of roof leaks and plumbing problems and stringent diets!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

DANGEROUS PLACE TO LIVE

We live near the airport. No, the planes landing and taking off don't bother us. Most of the air traffic is in the daytime and the runways are parallel to our neighbothood so the planes don't fly directly over us. Even when we first moved in, we seldom noticed the noise.

But last year, a plane fell as it was taking off. It landed on a house beneath the takeoff runway path a few blocks away from us. Sadly, the pilot was killed. The house was damaged but no one was home at the time.

Okay. These things happen. Right?

Then a few days ago, another accident. This time the plane was en route to Savannah-Hilton Head Airport but the pilot had engine trouble and headed for our little airport. He didn't make it. Instead, he landed on a roof some distance from the end of the runway. (And from our house, thank goodness!)

Here's a picture of the plane on the roof


.
The homeowner was out in the yard when the plane alit on his roof. His wife was on the back patio relaxing. Can you imagine their disbelief? 

There was a happy outcome. A paramedic was nearby and rushed to help set up a ladder to get the men down. Neither the pilot nor his passenger were seriously hurt. Some scratches and cuts to the legs did lead to a hospital visit but it was brief.

The pilot must have been very experienced and very lucky to have pulled off this landing!

As for my guy and me...

We look up everytime we hear a plane going over. Just to make sure it's staying in the air, you know?

Friday, December 11, 2015

CANDY

I don't cook except for making candy. I make the old-fashioned kind. Like fudge:


And divinity:


And pralines:


And my favorite that my mother used to make when I was a kid, peanut butter candy:



Tomorrow I get to cut them and parcel them out. It's hard to know who eats candy and who doesn't nowadays but I've never had anyone refuse it. My petsitter gets a package and also the vet's office for their loving care of my sweet cats. Then my critique partners and some other friends.

I try to give it all away--yes, I do, I really do!--but somehow there always seem to be a few pieces left over.

Guess they'll take care of those pounds I've struggled to lose.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

COMMUNITY BAND

Forgetting our whining about all our tiny disasters, we went over to the mainland Thursday for a concert by the community band. This one had a theme of classics. Like the William Tell Overture. That always make my toes tap. The medley of Beatle tunes was familiar while The Klaxon March wasn't. (This is a salute to the car horns, or klaxons, on old classic cars.)

The band's members come from three counties. Since anyone who plays an instrument is welcome to join, they have senior citizens, high school students, middle school students, and everyday business people. Several are band/music teachers at different schools who have some of their children playing.

They believe music should be free to everyone though a donation is always welcome. There was no one in the lobby to take it when we left, but I will see if I can send a check this week because the music was well worth it. The hour went by very fast.

This photo was taken before the place started filling up. I thought from the red shirts it might be a Christmas concert, but it wasn't.



Anyway, the evening was a nice interlude before the man comes to see about the leak in our roof.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

POST THANKSGIVING

Tuesday night, relatives came down for Thanksgiving. Wednesday the toilet refused to drain. We called our great plumber who showed up about lunchtime.

The outside pipe is overgrown with tree roots. He freed the stoppage but said it would probably need a bigger auger and to call him this weekend if it happened again.

We took showers, washed dishes, flushed, and checked the sewer pipe gauge. The water seemed to be going down a little at a time so as long as we stretched things out, it was working.

Thursday morning, we got up and no, the gauge was still too full. We hated to call Mr. Baker on Thanksgiving so we didn't shower, flushed sparingly, collected water from washing dishes by hand in a pan and threw it outside. (I suspected long ago I'd never make it in the good old days when everyone had outside toilets; this collecting used water and taking it out convinced me for sure.)

Friday morning we called Mr. Baker first thing. He came right away with a friend and a larger auger and evidently (I didn't see it) got out a huge wad of tree roots. So the water is flowing again--for the time being. We will still have to have the drain dug up and replaced.

So another tiny disaster to add to last week's list.

Along with the sweet potato souflee that tipped as I set it on the table. Marshmallow topping slid right off along with some of the sweet potato mix. We put more marshmallows on and toasted them though, and it was still delicious.

Once we got the table cleaned up.

Oh, well. The year is coming to a close. Maybe our luck will change.

Hope everybody had a happy Thanksgiving, too.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

TINY DISASTERS

We've had a strange year. Unexpected things keep happening.

The first of the year, we lost one cat and soon after, the other. Then I had a broken tooth that had to be crowned. Then the transmission of my car broke and needed replacing. Then both cars needed new tires. The plumber had to come because the toilet tank would ony fill when the bathroom sink faucet was turned on. We got a rat in our bird feeder and had to take them down. My eyes started acting up again.

The first of this month, my guy's old car started having problems just before a trip to north Georgia. At thirteen, I guess it had good reason to fall apart. I wish it could have waited another year but...So we bought a car.

Then the back bedroom sprung a leak after a record rainfall that had streets impassable and the backyard flooded. Then our door from the garage to the house decided it didn't want to be opened. My guy took off the door knob but the lock wouldn't come out. The door didn't budge. The locksmith fortunately had tools and said, yep, the mechanism was broken but the knob was okay. So he replaced the innards.

Finally, up in north Georgia, waiting in the eye doctor's office seven hours from home, the lights went out. We sat there two or three hours, refusing to leave since we'd have to reschedule and make another trip. Luckily, the lights did come back on and several people had left so we were able to get out about dark.

None of these things were terrible calamities but when they just keep coming, I can't help but wonder if I'm living wrong! I'm hoping next year will be better.

And the back bedroom still has a trashcan under the hole in the ceiling for water to drain. We've not yet been able to get anyone in to check out the leak.

Sigh.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

OUR FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME

The movie people have wrapped up filming and are out of here, but we locals are still impressed with what they did in the old part of town. They not only brought in old cars and hired locals as extras for the twenties era story, they also packed in dirt to make the town street (in the movie block) look like an old-fashioned dirt road!

Here is a photo of the town. Don't we look like Ybor City, Florida? All the hispanic names on the stores and the spruced up storefronts add to the illusion!



A lot of local actors scored roles. I think this is where they waited for their shot at fame:


I have no names but their costumes were great! They kept walking back and forth in front of where I sat in one of the squares. Don't know if they were going for make-up or snacks or what, but it was exciting to see them. One man claimed he was having such a great time that he'd have paid to be in the movie!








Alas, all is over. Our moment of excitement has come and gone much too quickly.

Thank you, Ben Afflect, for picking us to play a part in Live by Night! It's given a much-needed boost in the economy and let us see how beautiful our town can be when it's all dolled up.

I don't know when it's coming out but it's bound to have a big local audience!

CLASSIC CARS

At the Stewbilee a couple of weekends ago, we had a classic car show. There seemed to be more pickups than usual. Here are a few:







And there were some outstanding cars. Like this pink Cobra, which the sign says is a memorial car:



And this 1967 BMW. According to the sign, there are only about a hundred fifty of them in the US!



And I loved this station wagon. Wonder if the surfboard on top comes with it?



This picture doesn't fit in with the classic cars but I thought I'd put it in. As we were leaving Stewbilee, railroad tracks cut us off from the parking area. Guess what we heard approaching? Yep. A train. We had to stand and wait while the train stopped and the engineer got out and switched tracks. Took about fifteen minutes before we could get across to town and our car.



But the day was well worth the inconvenience at the end though!


Friday, October 30, 2015

FAIR

I know I promised pix of classic cars this week, but the fair happens to be in town. County and regional fairs are always nostalgic for me. I remember the ferris wheel and exciting rides like the Hammer or Tilt-a-Whirl as well as the booths testing throwing skills or shooting skills or whatever. It was at a fair I lost all my ride money in an inexplicable urge to pitch a ring over a dish. That's when I learned I was no gambler!

Anyway, my guy went to the fairgrounds with his group of photographers and ended up with some great shots.

This is the entrance:


This is the midway. A little blurred and he didn't want me to use it but I wanted to show the crowd:


This photo, taken at dusk, is one of the two ferris wheels:



This is the ferris wheel after dark:


This is one of those rides where people sit in swings and then the thing starts going around until everyone is swung out with their feet hanging out in space:


 And this is the second ferris wheel:


Ah, so much fun to recall being a youngster and eating hot dogs, funnel cakes, and cotton candy! Pitching darts at balloons and winning trinkets! Rushing from ride to ride! Getting sick behind the merry-go-round...

Well, maybe not the last.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

STEWBILEE's POOCH PARADE

Today was our annual Brunswick Stewbilee. We have Brunswick stew samplings from all kinds of different vendors. One little man was working feverishly at his table by himself, handing out samples, but there were no signs to indicate who he worked for. When I asked, he said, "Myself!" Turns out he's running for Clerk of Court next year! His stew was pretty good, but I think he neede better advertising around his table if he wants to get any votes.

There are also other activities: booths selling various things from cupcakes to jewelry, music from several bands during the day, a classic car show, children's activities, and -- my favorite! -- the Pooch Parade. I'll go into the cars next week but today we'll focus on the doggies!

Here are a couple. Not sure what they're supposed to be, but one of them looks like he's in his pajamas.


This sweet mastiff wore a wig and tutu. She won a prize for best big dog costume.


And here we have a clown with her yellow jacket. I thought she would have gotten a prize but was evidently beat out by a little dog with a cat on his back! Wish I could have got a picture of that but I never did see it.


And here we have a beekeeper, though you can't see him very well since he's standing behind his two bumblebees. Keeping them from escaping, no doubt.


You can't see the sweet little puppy very well, but the lady in red holding him is a volunteer. He wore a red bandana with ADOPT ME on it as he frolicked around. Several people were petting him so I hope he finds someone to take him home.


And the young people in yellow standing in front of the band, are members of the Boys and Girls Club. They volunteered to be judges for the Pooch Parade and did a fine job. I have no idea how they picked the winners because there were too many delightful costumes for me to show here. But the kids did finally decide, and then huddled around each winner and petted it and cooed over it.


I couldn't believe all the cutie pies and how well-behaved they were! Not a single fight or even a threatening grrr!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

LOVERS OAK

In our mainland town, there is a tree called Lovers Oak. I have no idea why. I'm sure some of the oldtimers could tell me if they would.



According to the plaque, it was alive at the time of the signing of our Constitution in 1787. Other sources put it close to nine hundred years old. I have no idea of the real truth.


This view shows off the trunk.



And here is the entire tree.


Impressive, isn't it?

And wasn't is the operative word.

A too-big truck went by the other day and tore off a branch. You can see the stub in the next photo. The huge limb, about a foot or more in diameter, hung directly above the Lovers Oak sign.


But the tree is still there, minus one of its appendages. I hope the county arborist will put some tar on the broken place to keep insects and disease out.

I think we ought to become a sanctuary for trees. Then when something like this happens, someone would have to pay a hefty fine. Maybe then they'd be more careful.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

MOVIE

As you may know, Ben Affleck chose our little mainland city as setting for scenes in his new movie based on the novel Live by Night by Dennis Lehane.

The whole county's been agog.

This is an old town. Most of the businesses have moved out to newer shopping centers and outer areas, leaving the core to fall into vacancy and disrepair. To their credit, some farsighted mayors and other people have been sprucing it up. If their efforts continue, they should succeed because the area has a lot to offer, including beautiful Victorian homes and nineteenth century buildings.

But the book's setting is Boston during the twenties. We scratched our heads? We're to stand in for Boston? Does Boston have palm trees? Will we have to disguise them as sugar maples?

Our fears were ungrounded. The movie people want us to look like Ybor City, Florida, where part of the story takes place.

Ybor City? Home of cigars and a blend of Latin cultures?  Okay, even if our area was the southernmost outpost for Anglo-Saxon settlement before the Revolution, we'll take our moment of fame however we can get it. Lucky we have lots of empty buildings and space for the filmmakers to work their magic. And a lot of actors who can impersonate Cubans. Just remember when you go to the theater that we're really not Ybor City. We aren't even in Florida!

 Now, some pix of the sets being built to turn us into...wherever.

This is the area of downtown they're working with. The road is blocked off and you can see a few of the old buildings they're putting new fronts on. Yes! They're actually making them look good!



This was once the old Bluebird Cafe.


The beige building is being worked on, getting ready for make-believe shutters and sign.


And this is an entirely new structure. The lot was empty, the business torn down years ago. So they're putting up the kind of building they want. Or at least the semblance of one.


I hope this set-building/touching-up helps people remember what downtown used to be like. If the movie stirs up interest in restoration, it will be well worth the trouble of rerouted traffic and noisy construction!

Hollywood, welcome to Brunswick!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

COMMERCIAL

I realized I'd better get this in before the deal goes off so...

My Kindle ebook, The Warwicks of Slumber Mountain, is on special for 99 cents through October eleventh. It's a romance, kind of a gothic, with magic realism and fantasy elements.



Amazon Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/Warwicks-Slumber-Mountain-Cheryl-Dale-ebook/dp/B00NLRXLXW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1444331823&sr=8-1

Saturday, October 3, 2015

FIRST FRIDAY

Each month, the Downtown Development Authority has an event on the first Friday of each month to encourage people to come to the older section of town. Shops stay open late. Some offer refreshments or other entertainment to people wandering by. Musicians play, restaurants offer samples, and there are crafts or other things for kids.

On last night's First Friday, people were encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. We were there early and left as the crowds began to gather, but there were still things to see.

The kiddy corner held the play castles. We watched them being blown up.


And here is a cute little ladybug with her mom, ready to start having fun.


This exotic beauty handed out samples of fireball shots (some kind of liquor with coffee) outside The Southern Table and Bar. The woman on the right had just drunk one. The one on the left was about to take one. I haven't tried this restaurant but it's on my to-do list!


Here are people wandering on the sidewalk by one of the squares. The table on the left, if I remember correctly, was giving out literature on a no-kill animal shelter.


Across the street, at another square beside the restaurant Tipsy McSway's, a band played jazz.


This is the front part of that square. I didn't realize it at the time, but the bending woman on the right, was trying to get a response from a man who'd been listening to the music. Evidently, she had noticed him having problems.
.

The response was quick, within a few minutes. Here you can see the yellow emergency vehicle over the bushes.


I don't know the outcome but I hope it was good. Other than that, we enjoyed the outing!