Saturday, July 30, 2016

JULIETTE, GEORGIA

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

INVADING TOADS

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

CRIME BLOTTER

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

CORNEA TRANSPLANT

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.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

INDEPENDENCE DAY

The county has been readying for the Fourth of July for weeks. On the island, we will have our own celebration that naturally includes fireworks. But other things are going on, too. Here are some of the old cars showing up:



A close-up of the first one:



This little biplane takes passengers on rides over the area:



Not to forget the ships that have made our port so busy, here's a distant shot of three of them. You can barely see the tops over the trees:



And here is one going out (the one on the left) and one coming in (the one on the right);



Oh, how busy we are! Especially with the tourists already loaded up the streets and restaurants in preparation for the holiday!