Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Long Arm of Hurricane Sandy

I will be the first to admit that South Carolina has been lucky.  Hurricane Sandy took a run at Florida, then waltzed around us like we had the plague before making a beeline for North Carolina.

We've experienced lots of gusty wind and have had wind advisories which began last Friday afternoon and run until tomorrow night.  Halloween...how appropriate. We've also been forbidden to burn anything as things are now extra dry.

I've been shocked at some of the photos I've seen of damage...having been through Hurricane Hugo, I understand exactly how those people feel.  The flooding, though, has been beyond comprehension.  I actually saw a photo today of a home near the New Jersey coastline where a small SHARK was swimming in the front yard, right past the front porch.

This afternoon, as I approached home, I realized the long arm of Sandy is still trying to reach out and smack us.  Click on the photo to get the full effect, as I took it in panorama mode.   The dark is the storm...the blue sky was what it looked like over my home.

And there's no place like home.

If Sandy is visiting in your neck of the woods, be safe!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Friday 55

So did you write something spooktacular or just write a story in 55 words?  Either way, make sure you share with the G-man.

“Did you see them?” he asked, voice quaking.


“The eyes.  
 Glowing eyes!  
 I came home, 
the house was dark and…
we’re haunted!”

“Yes,” Jen agreed quietly.  
 “We have ghosts.”

  Stepping forward, 
she dodged his attempt to slow her down.

“Been here for a month.   
Every  October.  
 For 17 years,” she grinned, 
flipping on the lights…

 Happy Halloween from me and my ghosts on the dining room table.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tis The Season....Almost

Ah yes, almost Halloween and the Christmas decorations are already starting to crowd the next aisle.  No wonder folks don't feel "Merry" by the time Christmas gets here.

That said, you know there's always that ONE person on your list who either has everything or can buy anything he/she wants.  I had one relative who fit in that category and I would spend months trying to come up with a unique gift idea.  I'd listen to each conversation, mining it for tidbits of a hint of something which might bring her joy at the holidays.  I'd discover an idea, squirrel it away and never take the conversation in that direction again.

A week before Christmas, she would go out and buy it. It was like she had Gift ESP.

This week I received the most unusual catalog ever...and I've gotten quite a few over the years.  But it made me think...if that relative was still alive....

Here, take a look.
First, how could you ignore such a title?
Secondly, look at what it allows you to....purchase.
Go on, click on the picture so you can see it better. 

This group appears so dedicated to helping make the world a better place, 
even the catalog is made of 100% recycled materials
 and printed with "eco-friendly vegetable inks".

So if you have someone on your gift list 
with literally has EVERYTHING they need,
this is a way to give a gift twice.

Just a thought.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sign of Surviving Monday

I'll admit it.  I am NOT a Monday person.  I don't go rushing into work, roll up my sleeves and dive in.  Well, that's because I begin the day buying groceries, then go to the kitchen to do prep work for the Lunch I cook for my senior citizens on Tuesdays.

But the Monday thing, right now, is driven by frustration of the work situation itself.  Nope, not another one of THOSE posts.  This one ends nice.

Driving home in a thunderstorm this afternoon, I looked across a field and saw the most brilliant, as in BRIGHT, rainbow I've seen since we moved to the country.  The sky was that angry purple/blue color and the rainbow looked as if it were powered by a kleig light!  Not only that, it was a double rainbow.
Now granted, cell phones have come a long way, but a professional camera it's not.  The colors aren't anywhere near as vibrant as the reality of the moment.  The amazing thing, for me, was that it was an entire rainbow that curved from an angry sky to...well, you'll see. 

 Just above, to the right, is the "2nd" rainbow, shadowing the first.
 The curve ended against blue skies, 
complete with fluffy white clouds.

Okay, I just like all the different lines in this one.
Just to the left of the tree, it touches down.
The coolest part?  
That last road is almost home....
and I got to drive "through" the colorful arch.
If that's not a "Welcome home" sign,
 I don't know what is.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sharing with the Chef

I won't tempt you with the luscious vision of words the Chef employs when sharing his kitchen delights.  No, I'll let the recipe speak for itself, and give credit to my assistant, the "Old Gal" out front....a.k.a. the Pecan Tree.  For those of you across the pond, sorry....didn't have time to convert the measurements for you.

Pecan Pie

1 cup white corn syrup
1 cup dark brown sugar (although I prefer Light Brown Sugar)
1/3 cup Melted Butter
3 Eggs
1/3 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup Chopped Pecans  (cup of shelled pecans)
9" pie shell, unbaked (This is when we cheat and buy pre-made pie crusts)

Mix corn syrup, sugar, salt, butter and vanilla.  Add eggs, slightly beaten.  Pour into unbaked pie crust.  Sprinkle with pecans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

My only "trick" is after pouring the mixture onto the crust, I use whole pecans and lay them end to end around the inside lip of the crust: this keeps all that gooey mix from trying to spill over. Plus it looks nice.  I then sprinkle the rest of the pecans as evenly as possible over the mixture.  And yes, having a tree outside makes me a little heavy handed on the pecans.

But she's such a sharing tree.  Just to give you an idea of what the Old Gal looks like, and she's probably close to 150 years old, this is the base of her alone.
It would probably take 2 men to get their arms around that base. And those limbs are about the size of say...an elephant's leg.

But how can I not love a tree that offers food and shade,
plus has a sense of humor?
 We have 4 pecan trees, 
but she's not only the senior most,
she's the only one
with a belly button.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday 55

Okay, a little late in the day but it's still Friday morning.  Make sure you share your 55 word work of art with the G-man.

The old camp stool blended into the background,
dropped with other castoffs as they ran off to play.
Figuratively speaking. 
Most of them didn’t run anymore.

“There you are,” a male voice sighed lovingly.  “Let’s go.”

Grabbing the stool he clarified, 
“My traveling partner.   
Two tours in Iraq. 
You see a stool. 
I see home.”

Thursday, October 11, 2012

So There I Was...

...sitting silently in my office, in a self imposed "Time Out".   I was avoiding my Supervisor who is giddily telling anyone who will listen about the ribbon cutting ceremony for the NEW Center.  The one they broke ground on 2 weeks after we arrived in "Temporary Land" and built from the ground up in a few months. I've been hearing about it for weeks.

I woke up this morning disgusted, frustrated and unhappy.  I tried to shake it off.  I realized my failure when, walking out the door this morning, I said to Hubby, "Have a good day.  I'm off to hell."

I gave myself a pep talk on the way to work.  You know, the one where you try to remind yourself that people can't make you feel bad, it's your reaction to what they say that rules the day.

Apparently, I wasn't listening to me.

So I sat in silence, trying to focus on something positive.  Anything.  Maybe one of those breathing exercises from the seniors' Tai Chi class.  I was almost there when a co-worker walked through mumbling under his breath how he hated the witch.  With a capital B.  I am ashamed to admit that we shared a silent, yet enthusiastic high five.

Then Inmate D. came into my office to see if there was any help I needed with set up.  He graciously carried the two card tables across the hall and up the stairs.  Oh, I can carry them...it's the up the stairs part that's literally a pain for someone so short to conqueror.  I swear those are the tallest 4 steps in history.

When he finished, I handed him a couple of small boxes of Halloween candy as his next job was to go to another site and wax floors. A thankless task around here. I understand thankless.  With a capital T.

With a smile D.  nodded in appreciation, then added, "You are a Gentle Lady and a Scholar."

And that's what finally put a smile on my face.  Gratitude from someone who doesn't know me, but understands that "Thank you" goes a long way.

Thanks D....I needed that. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Who Knew?

I had no idea you could go out and purchase this.

this was the last remaining container of
"Peace of Mind".

But I'm checking back next week.

Just in case.