Saturday, June 24, 2017

PHOTO FUN

We're about to close on our house. Next week, as a matter of fact. Since the termite bond covered re-treating and repairing termite damage, all is fixed and we are good to go. So since we can't start on the work we want to do (replacing patio and bedroom French doors, remodelilng the bathroom, taking down wallpaper, et cetera), we've been kind of hanging around.

My guy got a new camera this past week so we went to the Georgia Botanical Gardens to try it out. He got some great pix, as usual.

There were several beautiful blue dragonflies and here's one on a pitcher plant:



Then he found some bees:


And when he leaned over to shoot a water lily, I couldn't resist taking a picture of my own. "Don't let me fall in," he said. Like I could stop him if he started to fall! And naturally my phone photo isn't nearly as sharp as the ones made with his new camera. But I thought it pretty entertaining!


I expect that once we close on this house, we won't have too much time for fun excursions for a while.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

HOUSE INSPECTION

So after moving to a new town and learning our way around, we think we've found a place to live. After being in a tiny apartment for three months, we are ready to get into a house! Not only do we need to stop stumbling over each other, but it's summer and my guy needs a place to grill.

After discovering houses in our price range were selling so fast we didn't have time to make an offer, a new one came on the market that we offered on right away. When our offer was accepted we had the house inspected.

My guy wanted the crawl space looked at and specified a thin inspector because the opening was only twelve inches high! And the main inspector was a small woman who certainly knew her job. Here she is, outfitted to go under the house. See the narrow white rrectangle at the bottom? That's where she had to enter!



And here is a photo of her entering.



Evidently, the space itself, once she got in, was about a foot and a half high. But she stayed under nearly an hour, going over every inch. I don't think I could have done her job if my life depended on it. I kept thinking of snakes and spiders and all that dark, claustrophobic area.

Anyway, she found leaks and termites but nothing structurally wrong. So we're waiting to hear what the termite bond covers and then we'll go from there.

I still shiver, thinking about her job!






Saturday, June 10, 2017

ART GALLERY

The county next to us has an art association my guy recently joined. They were having an exhibit of members' works so he was able to get a photo in. The building is a schoolhouse built in 1902, recycled as an art gallery. Here's the outside:



Members displayed all kinds of art, from paintings to photography to jewelry to pottery to books. Some were quite amazing.

These are a couple pix of the inside. First, a small gallery:



Next, the large gallery:


And here is my guy's photograph:


Great place but they definitely need a better hanging system. They have to drive nails to hang every show!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

BEAR HOLLOW ZOO

Exploring our new home, we found a great park almost in town. The Bear Hollow Zoo is comprised of 225 acres in woods and wetlands, and it offers a home to over twenty-five animals unable to go back into the wild. Many are injured in some way, but there were a few orphans saved and raised by humans (leaving them unable to survive on their own), and a couple of instances where the animal refused to go back into the wild. Following are some pix my guy took:

Here's a hawk:


Notice this owl has only one eye:


The noble-looking bald eagle has a wing injury and can't fly:


The bobcat is named Katie:


Here is the male of the orphaned black bears. Two others are sisters and are several years younger.


This turkey was fascinating! He strutted around like he owned the place, spreading his tail feathers and ambling toward us from behind his fence as if calling for attention. Handsomest bird in the zoo!


This placid deer kept the arrogant turkey company in their large enclosure:


And just to make us feel at home after leaving the island for the hills, the alligator had its own pond:


The zoo is free and the walking is easy! I think we're going to like it here!


Saturday, May 27, 2017

CANOPY

Once again we went to an exhibition of young aerialists from the Canopy studio here. As I sat watching, I thought how much like a gym it is. Though mostly for women/girls, more boys seem to be getting interested in the acrobatics part.

Anyway, it was fun to see the students perform.

The first act was a troop of older boys who did calisthenics and trapeze exercises to music. They were quite good, but I failed to get a picture of them. Too bad, because there was a floor-pounding sequence that was quite exciting. Afterward, the older girls demonstrated their abilities. This particular act featured six girls on what looked like a metal gate-like structure. They hung and swayed and climbed in perfect harmony while we watched from below:



This act garnered the most applause though it was not nearly as high off the floor. I believe the acrobat is from Canopy's Outreach program, and she did an amazing job. The other students seemed so proud of her, clapping and hugging her afterward. Notice she has her teacher on the side coaching and encouraging.



There were other acts, but the less experienced acrobats had to wait till the next day to have their moment in the spotlight. These younger students (I'd guess anywhere from four to twelve) were just as entertaining as their older colleagues.



Hard not to marvel as the strength and grace of all these students!


PS - If anyone wants to help Canopy's Outreach program that enables kids (who normally couldn't) to participate, donations are always welcome.

Canopy Studio
160-6 Tracy Street
Athens   GA   30601

Saturday, May 20, 2017

THE BOTTLEWORKS

Met a friend for lunch this past week at the Bottleworks, a mixed use community of several buildings in Athens. Here's a map:



Dating from about 1900, the site once included a bakery and livery stable. In 1928, the Athens Coca Cola Bottling Company was built. That was sold in 1985 and the buildings were abandoned. Rehabilitation began and sputtered in 2008 when the economy collapsed, but in 2012 the project was sold and brought back to life Now the compound includes condos, offices, shops, and restaurants.

We ate in one featuring Argentine food:


I meant to take a picture of my spinach and mushroom empanada but when it came, I, unfortunately, out of habit, began to eat. So you'll have to take my word that it looked good. And tasted better!

We ate inside because it was hot and the pollen has been bothering my head, but diners outside didn't seem to mind:



Can't wait to go back!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

ARTS IN OUR NEW HOME



This is Lyndon House Art Center that we visited a few weeks back. Photography, painting, pottery, and other arts are taught and practiced here. My guy signed up for the photography group as he's anxious to find some friends to go out shooting with.

This is the view as we approached from the sidewalk on the street where it sits.



And this garden photo is taken from the side as we walk around to the left:



And going on around, here's the entrance to the actual art part:



The original house has a history but I won't go into it here. Suffice it to say that a lot of artifacts from the owners and some period furniture make it well worth touring. The artists' addition was thoughtfully planned and the entire structure is very impressive.

PS - My guy joined the association and we've already been to our first photography group meeting. I think he's going to like it here!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

BICYCLE RACES

Last Saturday in this college town featured a day of bicycle racing and music. All ages get to participate in smaller races, ending with the big one that night. We didn't stay for that one, but here's the beginning of a race for smaller people:


And then we have the start of The Gambler. The contestants race to specified points and pick up playing cards at each stop. When they get to the finish, the best hand wins! Kind of neat, huh? Gives everyone a chance.


And all day and night, there are musicians. This is just one band:


Seems a great time was had by all!

Oh, and thanks to my guy for his pix.

























Saturday, April 29, 2017

DANIELSVILLE COURTHOUSE

On our way to check on our lot at Lake Hartwell, we went through Madison County and its county seat of Danielsville. It was a pretty little town, with the road parting as we got to the courthouse so as to go one-way around it.

This is my picture of the front. Hard to see it because of the trees.


And this is its photo from the side, courtesy of my guy:


The Romanesque Revival structure was built in 1901 and is on the Historic Places National Register.


The county is named for James Madison, our fourth president, while the town is named for Allen Daniel, who served in the state militia during the Revolution and donated the land for the town. You'd think one of those men would be honored with a statue, wouldn't you? But no. The statue is of Crawford Long, the doctor who first used ether as anesthesia and who was born here. Okay, I guess he might deserve a statue, too.

One thing I noticed: There was much more traffic than I expected for such a tiny place, and I counted three law offices around the courthouse. Must be a very litigious town!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

GEORGIA BOTANICAL GARDEN

Now that we are settling in, my guy is looking for places to photograph. We went this past week to the nearby Botanical Garden. Just a few pix:

At the entrance were several clusters of gardens including this water garden:


We went inside to a gift shop, then went through this greenhouse area before entering the actual garden:


Then once we were outside, there were acres of flowers. Here is a statue--called Peace--from one of the small area gardens:


Walking on up the path, we came to this vista where we could look down on all the plants:


And turning around, could look up:


So this gives you an idea of the place. These are not-so-great pictures from my phone, but the garden is extensive and we stayed maybe an hour. My guy is eager to get back with his good camera and tripod and spend the day.

It appears there will be lots of photo opportunities in our new home.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

US POST OFFICE




Image result for post office signs


So we sold our house--and furniture--and moved. The house closed earlier than expected but I'd put in an address change the week before. We'd already rented a post office box in our new city so we'd have a forwarding address and thought we were all prepared.

The nice people at our island post office took my address change card and stopped delivering mail as per my request. (This happened two or three days before closing.) We assumed in a week or so, we'd be getting our forwarded mail in our new post office box.

Not so.

A week passed. No mail. Then ten days. No mail.

I went to the post office branch where we had our box and inquired.

Seems for some reason, a hold had been put on our mail. A hold? What kind of hold? Why? Was it because of my Indivisible activity?

Everyone denied responsibility. We were advised to wait a few more days and see if it showed up.

After two weeks, we inquired again. Nope. Still no mail, they said. Sometimes it takes a while.

I had gotten a couple of emails saying they'd sent confirmation of our address change to our old address and our new address. Then I got an email saying my online account was locked, but if I'd put in the confirmation code listed in the letter, I  could access it again.

By this time, I was getting paranoid. I went back to the post office and complained that our mail was being held and told them about the email saying I had to put in a code that I wasn't able to get. A visiting supervisor promised she'd look into it and call me no matter what she found out.

After a few more days, I printed out the email and took it to the post office, telling them that I'd be happy to put in the confirmation code except that the letter sent to the old address had probably been forwarded to the new address.

And I couldn't get mail at the new address because someone had put a hold on our box.

Maybe I came across as a little unhinged. Anyway, the clerk looked a little alarmed. He sent me to the main post office but promised he'd look in the back and if he found our mail, he'd personally put it into our box. I believed him.

The supervisor at the main office was the same one I'd encountered a few days before at the branch. She said there was nothing she could do, that our mail hadn't shown up, and suggested I call the old post office and make sure they were doing their job.

I knew they'd done their job but I called. It was so nice to hear a friendly voice! Yes, he said, the address change was in the computer. He took several minutes to go to the back and check the carrier's mail. No, he said, there was no mail in it for us. Our mail was being forwarded as per my instructions.

On the off-chance the branch clerk had found our mail, we went by the next morning and checked our box. And there it was! A big wad of junk mail, bills, and two refund checks from utilities we no longer use.

We're still expecting a couple more checks and a car title, but at least we have hope they'll eventually show up.

I hate complaining about the post office--this president's as likely as not to cut its funds out of the budget and I do use it a lot. But some branches go out of their way to help while others...



Saturday, April 8, 2017

I LIKE YOUR SHIRT



I first wore this shirt for a reenactment weekend and a fiftyish woman trailing after a man, maybe her husband, sidled up to me and murmured, "I like your shirt," before going on. I barely managed a quick acknowledgement. Maybe her husband/significant other had different political opinions?

Then in the Village, a fortyish woman came up to me and said with a smile, "I like your shirt!" I was enthusiastic in my thanks.

I've had a few more women approach, read what's on the shirt, and say exactly the same thing. "I like your shirt." Some are like the first lady, speaking softly as if afraid to be overheard. Others are bold and outspoken.

Resisting is hard and sometimes lonely. It's easier when we can connect with others who are frightened at changes relating to the environment, healthcare, personal freedoms, and future military adventures. I never paid much attention to politics until now, but the election made me look closer at what's happening and I don't like it. Evidently, more people than I expected, feel the same way.

I bought the shirt online through Teesprings. I don't usually pay so much for a tee shirt, but profits from sales of this one go to support the ACLU. Teesprings has other shirts that benefit other charities, too. An easy way to support your cause.

PS - The shirt is resting on our new sofa. We now have a bed, washer, dryer, TV, and sofa. We're getting there in our move!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

WOMENS PURSES

(We are still moving so I am reverting to a blog written some time back.)

I have a hard time buying purses. Years ago, a relative told me to look in the luggage department. I did and found the most wonderful bag from Swiss Army. You know. The knife people. Only they also make little bags for travelers.

Like this one. See? Two zippered pockets on the front. Two slide in pockets on the back for cell and business cards or loose dollars. And inside, all kinds of places for paperwork, credit cards, pens, driving license... I loved it. So much that I've had three in the past fifteen years.

.

After I went to Washington and stuffed it with crackers and energy bars and even a bottle of water, this one was on its last legs. The strap was beginning to fray and some of the stitches were coming loose. So I looked for a replacement. And guess what? Evidently, Swiss Army no longer makes this kind of bag. I searched the stores where I'd found the others I'd bought, but no bag. I Googled them. No bag. Not even on the Swiss Army site. Just like a bra! You find one you like and they stop making it!

So after a few weeks of searching, I ended up buying this one:




Nice plain bag. Soft leather. Looks good, doesn't it? And sure, it's got a couple of zippers on the front, and some compartments on the inside. It would actually work just fine if it were about two inches taller. As it is, stuff kept falling out.

So after nearly losing my sunglasses one time and my billfold another, I started searching for a purse again. I found this one. I don't particularly like it, but it holds my stuff. Unfortunately, it has three compartments besides the one on the front that holds my phone. All are deep and roomy and unorganized. I can never find anything.




I'm beginning to hate it. Guess I'll have to start looking again.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

CRIME SCENE

Just a short blog today because I'm in the middle of moving. Yes, we are going back up to a new area in North Georgia. It'll be closer to relatives and my doctors. Much as we love our island, we're tired of 6 hour trips each way, every two or three months to get my eyes attended to. So we're moving closer.

The local paper had a few interesting items this week, besides people getting picked up for DUI or outstanding warrants.

A woman got bit on her finger when she tried to pull an attacking pit bull off her dog. Neighbors intervened and held the pit bull until Animal Control arrived.  Brave neighbors!

People called police when they saw a man punching a pregnant woman in the face. Police arrived but the woman was uncooperative. Police found she had a Florida arrest warrant out on her and would have taken her to jail except she complained of stomach pains. I'd take a hospital to jail any time!

Someone reported a man riding a lawn mower and wielding a shotgun. He was also throwing rocks. And he was drunk. He got carted off for disorderly conduct. I can't help wondering how he managed to wield a shotgun and throw rocks at the same time. 

A woman called police when she saw a man lying in her front yard. Police determined he was unconscious and intoxicated. Since he was too drunk to walk, they gave him a ride home. Hmmm. Easier for him than calling a taxi, I guess!

A man called police when he heard a loud bang. Police discovered the cause: another man was crashing his bicycle into a parked vehicle. He got arrested for DUI. So he thought he was sober enough to ride a bicycle, huh? Guess he learned different. Don't know if he got a ride home, too.

A family dispute "got physical." One sister was hitting her mother; the other sister called police. One sister was taken to jail. No problem figuring out which!

A naked man was sitting in a car in the parking lot of the local Walmart. He gave the police a false name. Unfortunately, that person was wanted for arrest by the city. His real name had no better history; it sent him to jail because of an outstanding warrant from Florida for drugs. Should have picked a better person to impersonate! 

Finally, an inmate of the jail was caught with two kinds of illegal drugs. He was in jail for felony theft and violating probation. Now added to those charges are two counts of giving drugs to inmates without the consent of the warden. Boy, he's determined to spend his life in jail, isn't he? And now I'm wondering: if the warden gives his consent, does that make dispensing drugs legal?

So that's all I have to share this week about the people I'll never understand.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

MAKING OUR VOICES HEARD

The exclusive island next to us hosts an annual conference for the American Enterprise Institute, a collection of billionaires and millionaires and other well-heeled right-wing people. Current or former members include Newt Gingrich, Betsy DeVos (no longer listed on the board), Dick Cheney, et cetera. There are also business officials from such companies as Coors, International Paper, American Express, Dell and others. People attending this year possibly included (they are very secretive) Mitch McConnell, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, George W. Bush, the Koch brothers, Paul Ryan and other government officials.

Anyway, there were over a hundred corporate or private jets parked at our little airport. Here's a photo of the ones parked on the back runway.


The bunch of conservative attendees came to the attention of a new resistance group I've joined. The island they met on is private, so on the last day, our leaders set up a protest at the airport gates where limousines enter to drop off passengers. A young relative helped make my sign:


Since our area is mostly conservative, we were unsure of the turnout but eighty to a hundred protesters showed up, some for a few minutes, others staying for over two hours. We were thrilled, especially since we had little time to let people know. Here's a picture taken before the limos started arriving:


After a few SUV limos went in, they stopped coming.

Ah, but we had someone following them out from the exclusive island who tipped us off: the limos were detouring to another entrance to the airport.

So a few of us ambled down about half a mile down the road to that gate. Here we are with our signs:


When we got there, a guard in a truck got on his phone and soon the limos stopped coming in there, too. So we went back up to the front for a while. Ended up coming back to the second gate. Finally had to give up about two or so hours.

Drivers in passing cars didn't know what to make of us. We had several go by shouting "Trump!" or "Make America Great!" or "Go home!" The nicer people among us called back "Thank you!" to every one of the jeers. I just hid behind my sign. One diesel pickup got up close to us and revved his engine, sending black smoke all over white outfits. But we persisted. And then people started driving by honking horns and giving us thumbs up. I didn't know we had so many sympathizers on our island!

I'm sure the bigwigs took little notice of us, but we got to voice our disapproval of what's going on in our government. And that's democracy, isn't it? That's what truly makes America great!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

CHILI COOK-OFF

So the local Rotary Club had its annual chili cook-off last weekend. This is kind of like our annual Brunswick Stewbilee except we eat chili instead of Brunswick Stew.

This is the entrance. The group of young men on the right gave out sampling packets to those who had tickets and made anyone without tickets go back and buy one.




Then we head for the street lined with booths where, with our paid stickers slapped on our chests and armed with napkins and spoons, we begin our sampling.



Working our way through people clustered around each booth, we grab more samples and continue eating.



Finally, filled to bursting with chili (and a few corn muffins and oysterette crackers), we leave to gaze back beyond the lonely cedar barely saved when the park was renovated.



The chili samples were off this year. If the chili wasn't way too spicy-hot, it was way too bland. We ate and ate and never did find the perfect mix. In fact, we were a little sick because we ate so much.

But the corn muffins were good.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

CRIME BLOTTER ITEMS

Oh my! This week had some doozies in the local newspaper. There were the usual DUIs, outstanding warrants, and shoplifting charges the police dealt with, but among the more interesting items:

A "lousy" thief broke into an apartment and stole $230 made from sales of Girl Scout cookies.

Well! That...that... LOUSY thief!

A resident woke up in the middle of the night and went into his kitchen to find... A stranger was sitting at the table eating a pot pie from the freezer. Police were called and the intruder taken away,

The paper didn't say whether the pot pie had been cooked or was still frozen. I'm strangely reluctant to ask.

Someone called the police saying a couple under the bridge were "making whoopee" under a blanket. Police arrived but decided they were only huddled together under the blanket to keep warm.

??? And they decided this how???

A quick mart clerk called police about a customer who, after heating a sandwich in the microwave, left without paying for it. Police caught the suspect but watched a store videotape to find... The man had brought his own sandwich in and heated it in the store's microwave. He didn't get arrested.

And just who's going to pay for all that electricity used?

A teenager didn't like the shirt his mother put out for him to wear to school. (He let his mother choose his clothes?) Police were called as the argument got out of hand. The policeman calmed both parties down and gave the boy a ride to school.

Well. Wasn't that kid special?

Another woman called police about her son stealing her necklace. Seems he even posted pictures of himself wearing the necklace on FaceBook.

That's right. Let your close friends AND EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD see you wearing a stolen necklace. From your mother! Have you no shame? Or is it good sense you're lacking?

Sometimes the stories in these short paragraphs amaze me. Makes me glad I'm not the subject of one of them!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

SPRING HAS SPRUNG

As I noted in an earlier blog, the Georgia groundhog says spring is here. In our area, that's certainly true! Azaleas are blooming like crazy.

A few pix:







Then some pix of plants in my back yard:




You know it's spring when the croquet players put on their whites!



Finally, not really a spring picture but one of our car carriers going out just before sunset:


I really love this area. It'll be hard to leave it.