Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Coping mechanisms, In the Southland, Oh for pete's sake, Oversharing, solving personal problems
You know how when you have an itch- bug bite or whatever- they tell you “DON’T SCRATCH IT!” and so you try not to. You can find all sorts of hints and tips like “rub it gently with a dry washcloth” or “Put a dab of vinegar on it with a q-tip.” and there’s some granola-head from Oregon who knows of a tree in India where if the roots are chewed by a Punjab Swami and pasted on the itchy spot, not only will the itch go away but it’s possible you’ll be reincarnated as a Siamese cat. Which, now that I think about it, might not be so bad. I digress.
I do not tolerate an itch. Ever. At all. I would rather pour lemon juice into an open cut than have an itch and I am not exaggerating. How do I know this? Because an intractable itch on this hide of mine is best dealt with (thank goodness I am not a Victoria’s Secret thong model…for more reasons than this but this one works for the topic) by scratching the damn thing open and dosing it with rubbing alcohol. Yes, I howl for a few seconds, but the afterburn is easier to live with than a niggling little itch.
One of the symptoms of kidney disease, which I have, is itchy skin. There was a while, back then when it was new and not quite controlled, that we went through a lot of isopropyl.
Now that it’s under control, that is no longer an issue. However, now that it is Summer and I’ve spent some time outside in the Country, there’s ticks. I hate ticks. They creep me out and with the whole Lyme disease/Deer tick thing, they are even creepier. Little crawling 8 legged dealers of doom and misery. Festering plague delivery devices. With creepy crawly little legs and eeeeeyuh…..brrrr.
And I found one.
In a spot where no one ever looks. And it’s not publicly acceptable to scratch if it itches there. What the hell. The tick was removed as best I could considering I’ve never been a contortionist with Cirque du Soleil, but alas, the head is probably still in there and well…you know.
So a search through the medicine cabinet and a bit of Southern Ingenuity came up with a plan. And you know what, it works. Not only does it work, it’s good for about 10 hours of relief, enough for a decent night’s sleep or a trip to Savannah free of having to hide behind men’s Izod rack at Belk. You want to know what it is?? Of course you do!
and you’re going to laugh…but I’m telling you, it’s the best remedy since a nurse told me to use Preparation H on a sunburn..
Orajel PM. The stuff for a toothache. A little dab of that, rubbed in. It tingles for a second, and the itch increases for about 10 seconds (control yourself,deep breathing or something!) and then…nothing. Numb, no itching. Wow! I saw the stuff in the first aid kit and thought “numb is numb, right? Right!”
Here’s where someone jumps in and tells me how wrong that is, but I think it’s probably better than having an open wound (because I scratched it to pieces during the night) in a place where open wounds aren’t the best idea.
There’s your Helpful Tip for the Day.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Home and hearth, In the Southland, perspective, responsible adult
Gearing up for Summer is occurring. #2 is out of school for the semester (straight B’s across the board, y’all! SO proud!) and will soon be put to work de-landscaping the yard. The current tree-and-shrub situation is a solid 45 years old and just needs to be gone. As soon as the 54 pine trees (on 1/3 acre…no idea how that was managed) are gone, he’ll get cracking on the overgrown holly and yaupon, the ugly and weedy looking azaleas, and all those redtips along the back. When everything is gone, new shrubs, blooming things like camellias and sasanquas and hydrangeas and little blooming trees like dogwoods, redbuds, and Japanese magnolias will go in. And maybe fruit trees in the back. And the vegetable garden will be expanded and maybe even the back yard landscaped as well! That will happen in the Fall.
I am ready for Summer. I am ready for the relaxed pace and the not having to get dressed by 7am and hot days with iced tea and ceiling fans on high, the evenings of peepers and frogs on the window screens and salads for supper. Come August, I’ll be ready for cooler temperatures and chili and blankets, but those will still be 2-3 months away. Come August, I’ll be complaining but for now, I am ready for the heat.
Things don’t hurt when it’s hot. Arthritis takes a vacation. I can sit in the hot sun and soak it up and aching hands and feet…just don’t ache. Headaches don’t happen as much, and sleep is easier.
I remember as a kid, sleeping with the windows open and the attic fan thrumming, sucking air through the house and making it positively windy. I remember a box fan in the window, blowing directly across the bed, and needing a light blanket. My favorite one was a flannel sheet Mom had bound in satin blanket binding. It was white with purple pansies on it, and exactly the right weight for the almost-but-not-quite cool North Georgia Summer nights.
We don’t have lightning bugs here. It’s too warm or the soil is too salty or something. I remember millions of them when I was little and lived in Illinois. There were some in North Georgia later on, but here in Deepest South Georgia, you only see one rarely. Green frogs on the window screen are more common. And blue tailed skinks. Anywhere that’s close to fresh water (which is basically everywhere, due to the abundance of creeks, ponds, and swamps here) loud peepers start screaming as soon as the sun starts to go down and the air cools (a little). Whippoorwills and Chuck-Will’s-Widows are soothing night noises, or maybe the hooHOO of a barn owl.
#4 goes off to grandparents’ for the Summer. He’ll stay with one set much of June, then go to Boy Scout Camp the last week of June, then to the other set much of July, and be back home around the first of August, then the whole school year thing starts all over. I intend to spend as much time as I can doing as little as possible. Maybe pick a tomato, or pull a weed.
I remember the first Summer after graduating high school and I was working. The sudden and appalling realization that Summer Vacation no longer existed was…appalling. Horrifying, even. No more late night kickball or spotlight tag. No more long days spent poolside or mornings that started at the crack of 10 (or even noon). Oh sure, work meant things like having a car and being able to buy clothes or even a quarter or two of college, but the Summers, those long, lazy, bone-idle Summers just weren’t happening anymore. Now that they kind of are, I want to be in bed as early as possible so I can get up as early as possible and take advantage of the cool of the morning for the outside stuff and somehow, even at 48, that seems wrong. Maybe I’ll try to recapture a bit of that this Summer, but probably not. It always seems to work better if someone else is doing the laundry and cooking, and there really isn’t anyone else to do that around here. I guess I’ve turned into my mother.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a weekend away, Being Southern, In the Southland, NASCAR, Talladega
I am trying to type this on the laptop, when the cat has decided SHE is the laptop and the laptop is the armchair armtop. Sure as taxes there is a back pain thing coming, but one does not argue with nor displace a Siamese lest one wants poo in one’s shoe.
Anyway, last weekend was RACE WEEKEND. Or rather DIG-A-SEWER-LINE-THEN-RACE WEEKEND. We went to Mom and Dad’s Friday night, spent Saturday digging and laying….ok Terry and CJ spent Saturday…ok Dad, Terry, and CJ spent Saturday….ok Dad was contrary and in the way and bossy while Terry and CJ spent Saturday digging a 30-ish foot long trench and laying pvc pipe to the septic tank for CJ’s new place while Terry tried to keep Dad occupied by sending him out on errands fetching this and that to keep him out of the way but that only goes so far. eventually the pipe got laid and CJ was might impressed at Terry’s ability to get it exactly where it needed to be right to the very inch (flexible joints help). I was impressed at the amount of mud, but then it WAS raining most of the time. Which made the hard clay easier to dig but wow…clay mud is messy and sticky stuff. However, I know the menfolk in this family well enough to know that if a little dirt is good a lot of mud is even better. Viva la oldboots.
Thanks to the productivity of Saturday (the entire job was done except for burying the pipe, and that needed to wait anyway), we were all able to go to THE RACE IN TALLADEGA with a clear conscience. WOOHOO!
Ok yeah. Way fun….with PIT PASSES. I am glad we got to go into the pit. I am not interested in doing it again, unless there’s drivers there because I want to see if they really are as short as everyone seems to think. The cars are pretty small so I guess you’d have to be. Except for Michael Waltrip whom I understand is rather tall, or maybe it’s because he’s always next to Mark Martin who isn’t tall at all. But the pit is cool and interesting and it’s easy to tell which racing team has the big sponsors and which ones don’t. I kind of like underdogs. Do you? also, how the tires are all laid out for the changes and how some of the tool boxes are so fancypants they had touch screens in them and others are just…tool boxes. big ones, but nothing fancy at all. The well-sponsored teams had many sets of tires and the not-so-well-sponsored teams just had maybe 6 or 8 tires.
The race started with all the obligatory prayers and National Anthems (why can’t they just SING the song without all the “Listen to what I can do and I’ll hold this note so long that the flyover comes too early!”) and introductions and such…and honorary this and honorary that and no one will remember who got to drive the pace car anyway except the person who drove the pace car and maybe his mother but that’s ok because I wouldn’t turn it down if they offered it to me….where was I?
Oh yeah the race…43 cars with a total of 39,000 horsepower goes screaming by with all the woohooing and beer cans possible…it’s kind of invigorating, really. The first lap is watched with no earplugs and that results in a couple of hours of bleeding ears but hey…everyone is doing it so it’s ok.
Occasionally there’s a crash and of course I never have the camera ready for those but I can get pictures of some aftermath.
A little over 100 laps into the race it started to rain and we forgot the ponchoes, so packed up and headed home along with about half the other fans (some of whom forgot clothes entirely. Bless their hearts). Apparently after a 3 hour delay there was much excitement and the race was eventually won by someone who was not even noticed by the press until then- Front Row Motorsports. David Ragan and David Gilliland blew past the front runners who were bickering with each other over the first spot, and failed to notice them. Here’s to a young team and their first NASCAR Sprint cup win! First and Second place for 2 team members! We wouldn’t have seen it anyway, as all the excitement happened on the other side of the track.
As per usual, a NASCAR race is ripe for people-watching. There was the gorgeous young woman who kept wanting to do the Talladega thing and watch the race in her bikini, but the temperatures were fluctuating between 50 and 60 degrees (depending on the cloud cover) and she’d get cold and have to redress. There was the young man (who’s arm you can see in the photo above) who had no idea where his seat was and drifted all over the stands. There was the occasional whiff of ProbablyNotTobacco and the gravelly voices of 3-pack-a-day smokers cheering their drivers then coughing alarming, rattling lung-upbringing coughs. Stellar race-track hotdogs and hamburgers, beer, etc. The cool thing about a race as opposed to any other sport, is that there are 20 teams instead of 2 so there’s little (if any) animosity toward any other team. It would be logistically exhausting to boo 19 teams. Except for Kyle (Kurt?) Busch. Apparently no one likes him, and there were boos a-plenty and also rude hand gestures when his sadly crunched car was towed past.
Thanks to the wisdom of parking way out at the far end of the field, we were able to get out fairly quickly. And thanks to the logistical smarts of the whoever-does-the-planning, traffic wasn’t horrendous. Apparently they’ve dealt with it before, and all 4 lanes are one way. Also, lots of tractor-pulled trams, because the track is quite large. I also got a hat. I am fond of the Waltrip Brothers because they’re funny, and also Mark Martin because even though he’s the oldest driver in the world (at 54) and likely to retire soon, he’s a gentleman and I like him. Thus, I am following the Aaron’s/Napa Michael Waltrip Racing Team and bought an appropriate hat. Each driver/team has a huge trailer selling
paraphenalia stuff like t-shirts, hats, and autographed things.
We are discussing where to go next year (once a year is plenty). Maybe Bristol and it’s Gladiator Roman Colosseum-like experience, or maybe Charlotte, wouldn’t it be cool if they had drag racing the same weekend! That would be fun! Who knows…there’s time to figure it out.
Now, at a race I feel a little bit like a tulip in a turnip patch, as I possess no tattoos or bikini tops (that I am willing to wear in public), nor do I smoke or drink (heavily) (in public)but there is a definite thrill about it all and I come away from a race wanting very badly to drive one of those cars around a track, at 190 mph, just to say I did it.
I almost have Will and David talked into going to one with us.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a weekend away, In the Southland, NASCAR, Talladega, Who does that
Agnes McCalvinox has been banished to the basement. Or attic. Or wherever it is you banish disapproving and judgmental inner voices.
I am preparing for some frivolous activities. For some non-productive relaxation of the sort many people think is dumb but only because they’ve never done it. Well, except that one young lady sitting next to Terry at the race in Atlanta who was so bored I thought her teeth were going to fall asleep. How do you read Kant while 43 cars roar past you at 190 miles per hour? I am sure she was faking it but I felt sorry for her boyfriend who wanted badly to enjoy himself but obviously feared her palpable disapproval. They were there with someone who appeared to be the young man’s father (looked just like him but 30 years older and 100 pounds heavier). I wondered if it was a test by the father, something to see what the young lady was made of (apparently starch and goats milk lentil loaf. She drank her Coors with distaste and more disapproval. Bless her heart.) I also hope that the young man allowed her to take him to a jazz club/poetry reading. Fair’s fair, after all.
Anyway, all I’ve got to say (well not ALL, obviously…but about this particular topic above) is “Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.” Oh sure, I know the arguments. “How exciting can watching 43 cars go in circles possibly be?” Well if that’s all it were I would agree. But it’s more than that and you have to kind of follow it.
There’s Plot Lines akin to pro-wrestling, with feuds and arguments and this guy helping that guy because the other guy pissed them both off. Occasionally Tony Stewart will throw his helmet at a car, or Jeff Gordon and Clint Bower will indulge in gentleman-like fisticuffs.
There’s strategy like a chess game, with teams and this team guy is close enough to the lead in points that the other team guy (who is nowhere near close enough) will do things to help the first guy out, like cutting drivers off or “accidentally* (it’s always accidental doncha know) bump someone from another team into the wall…unless it’s Joey Logano whom NO ONE likes because he caused Denny Hamlin (whom EVERYONE likes) to crash and suffer a broken vertebra thus possibly be out the rest of the season, so Mr Logano (who’s a young punk who needs to learn some manners anyway) keeps getting crashed…
See? There’s a lot more to it than driving in circles.
And it’s all about timing. When to pit for gas and a tire change…
/aside Speaking of tire changes….WHY can a pit crew change 4 tires in 15 seconds, and it takes 3 hours at Neville’s? If I wanted to, I’d open a tire store and staff it with former NASCAR pit crew people, and advertise 15 minute tire changes. (I know, I know…pit crews don’t have to deal with taking old tires off rims and putting new ones on the same rims…but I’ve seen that done and a good tire person can change out a tire on a rim in 3 minutes.) /end aside
Where was I…strategy. it’s there. Not only is it there, if you understand that it’s there and all happening at 190 miles per hour with 43 cars packed into a small space, and not just 190 mph but at about 130 decibles (to compare, a jet engine is about 120 db) (don’t believe me? check out the link from the CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), it’s quite a rush. We ALWAYS wear industrial ear protection.
But…but…what about the FANS?? All those uneducated sweaty-armpit beer swilling toothless rednecks?? Oh. You mean the ones who anonymously hand a beer over your shoulder when they hear you say “oh shoot the cooler’s empty.”? Or the ones who open a bag of peanuts and pass it down the row, even though they don’t know anyone? How about the ones who are wearing t-shirts that say “F**k YOU! I’m from Nebraska!” and invite you to their truck where they’re grilling burgers and have more than they need? All I got in the luxury box at the football game was ignored.
Here’s what a (former) Formula 1 afficianado, Richard Hammond from Top Gear, has to say about it all.
Also, the crashes are Quite Dramatic…The speed shown on the video is slowed down significantly. They are a LOT faster than this.
ok that’s enough for now. I will be back probably Tuesday or Wednesday with photos and more gushing about how wonderful it is.
Also? Oh y’all…PIT PASSES
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a weekend away, Disease and infirmity, In the Southland, NASCAR, Talladega
We have a Big Weekend coming up. The race is in Talladega, about an hour from my parent’s, and also on the same weekend as MY BIRTHDAY. AND we have TICKETS to the race and also PIT PASSES. Did I mention that IT’S MY BIRTHDAY. and we have PIT PASSES. Did I mention that? I did? Ok.
Anyway, this big weekend coming up (TALLADEGA! PIT PASSES!) and of course…I’m coming down with a cold. This Is Not Acceptable. Normally I’d be all “oh welll, it’s an excuse to not do the floors and to watch movies all weekend” but not this time. I am fighting this tooth, nail, gin, and Zicam and seem to be…if not winning…the cold isn’t winning either. Y’all, that’s the remedy. Gin and Zicam. As soon as that first weird tickle, drip and headache try to manifest (it helps that #4 has a cold we thought was allergies but ended up not being due to it’s apparent contagion) I start downing the Zicam,and sipping the gin. Gin is the only thing that the Zicam doesn’t make taste weird. Himself opines that gin already tastes like paint thinner so Zicam could only improve it. I suppose that is rational. My theory (supported by my father the veterinarian) is that if your blood alcohol is high enough, the virus gets fried out of your system entirely. It makes sense to me.
Now, I am not saying go get plastered irresponsibly and use disease as an excuse to do so. I am pretty sure any police officer or judge who queries your decision would not accept it as a reasonable excuse. I also want to clarify that this remedy is ONLY employed when there is another responsible adult in the house, because I do not believe is driving under the influence of alcohol under ANY circumstance. I have seen firsthand the results of driving while drunk, and anyone who does it deserves the most serious consequences possible.
When a person is driving drunk (or under the influence of any other sort of relaxing/mind altering substance), they are very, very relaxed. If/when they collide with another vehicle, they continue to be relaxed. Consequently, rather than tensing up and getting injured in the wreck, they tend to just flop around. This is why the injuries in a DUI accident happen to the people being hit, and not to the intoxicated person. It’s not fair, but there it is. Thus, driving drunk/high…is not just stupid and reckless, you are going to likely be fine, but seriously hurt or kill someone who is just going out for a pizza or coming home from work and wants to see their family and watch a movie. So don’t be an asshole and drive intoxicated.
I didn’t intend to go into a lecture, but it is something I feel strongly about.
Anyway…where was I? Did I mention that my birthday is this weekend and we have tickets to Talladega?? AND PIT PASSES? I did? ok, sorry. I’m a little excited about it. The pit passes were completely unexpected and the idea of being able to get up close and personal to a real genuine stock car is a little heady. I want my picture made with Mark Martin’s car, if possible.
An autograph on my hat would be an unexpected and pleasant but unnecessary bonus. Word is that Dale Jr and Brad Keslowski (that punk) will be available for the fans, and I am not interested. especially since Dale Jr is doing that Wrangler ad that essentially says he needs Wranglers because his Package is too big for Levi’s. what ev er! And Brad Keslowski is a punk. I’d get a Jeff Gordon autograph for #4′s friend, if I could. He’d fall over. And Jimmy Johnson, because he’s winning a lot these days and is a really nice guy. Also Kasey Kahne because his eyes are almost as purty as Himself’s. Anyway…whatever. Going to a NASCAR race allows me to put on the Redneck hat for a while. I can set aside the ladylike chicken-salad eating demeanor and drink beer and eat hotdogs and peanuts and all that…for an afternoon. It’s fun.
And…I am going to do EVERYTHING I can to kick this incipient cold in it’s tiny viral butt because its my BIRTHDAY (did I mention that?) and we have PIT PASSES (I think I mentioned that). and I am not going to let some creature that can only be seen by an electron microscope screw with my weekend!
Also? This is the best part. I get to go with Himself, AND 2 of the boys. Because the other 2 would rather have root canals than be seen at a NASCAR race. They don’t know what they’re missing.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Being Southern, Coping mechanisms, Home and hearth, In the Southland, Oh for pete's sake, responsible adult, Spouse
I woke up at 4 this morning. No particular reason but something said “get up” even as laying back down seemed like it should be inviting, but wasn’t. Fresh coffee is extra special at 4 am, especially when there’s a small curly dog snuggled next to you, and a cat who is pretty sure you exist to provide her with a lap.
Last night, Himself gave me a glare and said “May 1st, the air conditioner is coming on.” He was very stern and as I opened my mouth to protest he cut me off and said ‘MAY FIRST”. Am I the only one (barring Canadians and those nearby) who think May 1st is kind of ridiculous? I know, he’s hot. I see the sweat, hear the grumblings, and was on the receiving end of a lecture from #4 about Pride and Inflexibility Concerning Air Conditioning. I am accustomed to these arguments ’round about May 20, due to an ingrained belief that A/C before June 1 is Self Indulgent and Ridiculous.
O for an old house with high ceilings and an attic fan. O to live out in the country where there’s pecan trees shading the roof and breezes. O for a family who understands my inflexibility on such matters. O for some consideration for my husband, who earns the income and deserves to be comfortable in his own house. Sigh.
So ok fine. I will close the windows,
cutting off the honeysuckle scented morning breeze, blocking out the evening song of peepers and martins, cloaking us all in the artificiality of climate control, and be considerate of Himself, who earns the income and deserves to be comfortable in his own home. He spends all day in the confines of a hot textile mill, or walking around in the South Georgia humidity outside. I will do it. yes I will. But I won’t be very happy about it.
And I will be happy that I am doing what I can to make my husband comfortable in his own home. Because I love him and he bends over backward to make me happy. I can do this one thing that will make him very happy. And I will be happy about it.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Being Southern, cats, Coping mechanisms, Home and hearth, In the Southland, NASCAR, perspective, responsible adult
The past few days have been those incredible Southern Spring days that us folks in the Wiregrass Region like to fall back on during the scorching, gnat infested Summer months. It’s what we get smug about to our friends in Northern climes like North Dakota, because they’re in Mud Season and we don’t really have a Mud Season. They, however, don’t have 115 degrees with 80% humidity and
tiny demons from hell gnats and no-see-ums. It’s a trade-off, I reckon.
This past week has been…idyllic. Scary so, in fact. The boys are all behaving. I’ve made no calls to a bail bondsperson nor had any calls or visits from a Sheriff’s deputy. #4 is passing all his classes and is, in fact, doing VERY well in a couple of them. AND is actually working on 2 projects due May 17, ACTUALLY WORKING ON THEM…instead of waiting until May 16 to remember he has them and bashing out something in a panic at 9 pm. I love the kid, but 13 yr old boys…well, my experience with the 4 of them is that forethought isn’t a characteristic that I’d credit them with having.
This idyllic Southern Spring, tho…it’s spilling over into everything and that has me worried. Because, according to the preacher’s wife, I have a disconcerting lack of faith when it comes to accepting the good as well as the bad. The bad, I can take it on the chin every time. I can handle calls from Sheriffs and trips to emergency rooms and dead cats in the road and midlife crises. I expect them, and am generally prepared for most anything.
Spring, tho, is so hopeful. It’s walking out on the patio and seeing a rose bush covered in buds, or having the 13 yr old greet me at school with a huge bag full of Spring onions he grew in the school garden, or seeing an older son make plans for the future- real plans.
It’s also taking a Friday,with the windows open and a movie from Netflix, and eating almost an entire bag of Doritoes and drinking fresh iced tea and doing absolutely nothing productive, because I do productive things all week long, but something about the breeze through the window and that weird noise the cat makes when the mockingbird is…you know….MOCKING her through the window. I honestly think that bird stuck it’s tongue out at the cat.
However tonight, because it’s Friday and we can, will involve adult beverages and a tasty sandwich that simply looks too good to pass up. because I am going to soak up this good feeling like a dog in a sunbeam, and take it as it comes, and not worry about what might happen in the future. Or try not to anyway.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Home and hearth, In the Southland, Oh for pete's sake, responsible adult
Our front yard is starting to look like a wildflower meadow. Oxalis with it’s pink 5 petaled flowers, Florida Betony (hissss) with it’s mint-like stalks of lavender blossoms, grassy stuff, etc. It really needs to be mowed. Really. Only…
Due to the rain and the geology that means the drainage from the 10th hole of the golf course winds up in our front yard, we have a big soggy spot. Also, thanks to an unnamed member of the household who did something unorthodox with the riding lawnmower last Fall, it has a bent shaft and a broken blade. Also the other (push) lawnmower’s engine wasn’t drained so the fuel system is clogged somewhere Oh, and the first lawnmower was also left in the start position all Winter so the battery is deader than a bag of bricks. Now, I COULD probably hire someone to just cut the bit in the front, but it’s so soggy in one spot and I don’t want tire tracks in the yard. And he/she might lose a boot in the much.
So I am waiting for 2 weeks of dry weather to allow the soggy spot to dry up. Only, we wont see 2 straight weeks of dry weather until October, and the lawn probably should be mowed before then. I have also been looking at ideas for simply planting the soggy spot with stuff that will grow in soggy spots. You know, roll with it. that sort of thing.
In the mean time, the oxalis spread and the betony takes over and every couple of days some guy with a Yard Care sign on his truck stops and gives up a free bid. I have 5 business cards now.
Maybe if I start wearing bandanas, quit shaving my legs, and change my name to Raindrop they’ll start thinking of us as Quirky Free Spirits. Really I am just waiting for a weekend day where Terry can fix the mower.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a weekend away, Being Southern, Coping mechanisms, In the Southland, Oh for pete's sake, perspective, Talladega, Who does that
I will admit it. Living in a small town in South Georgia isn’t the most stimulating thing in the world. But that’s ok. It’s enough for me. Reading the headlines about bombs in Boston and limbs flying around and how hard it is to treat the types of wounds caused by that, it makes me thankful that the most exciting thing to happen here in YEARS was a while back,when someone strapped some bottle rockets to his chest and yelled from the verandah of the local courthouse. Then there was the time when George W. Bush drove through, we don’t know which vehicle he was in, but it was one of several big black Suburbans. I remember that because Will tells of sitting on his second-story front porch and making socialist comments as the motorcade went by. He got a dirty look from the Secret Service, and that made his week extra special.
My form of excitement involves things like pine limbs falling on a neighbor’s roof, and the fervent hope that no one in the house was harmed. Once I find out that everyone’s ok and the only casualty is a 35 year old La-Z-Boy that she was wanting to replace anyway, I can cluck like a hen about how pinetrees are the cockroaches of the plant world and should be limited to non-residential areas.
Now that my children (with the exception of one) are grown and have developed some sense of self-preservation, what little excitement I had in the past has calmed down to the point where finding out about “Spanish pesto” makes me giddy, and I can see things like Boston bombings from a distance. My reaction is more in the form of clucks and mutterings about how sometimes, humanity sucks.
It doesn’t take much to get excited around here. I don’t know if it’s the deficit of exciting things, or that, as a person who doesn’t respond well to sudden change, I have put myself in a living situation that could be considered incredibly dull. I like dull. I like predictability. I like getting worked up over 20 rows of ruffles and have absolutely no desire to hurl myself out of airplanes or surf in Maui or drive Formula 1 racecars.
NASCAR…that is another matter. That is rapidly becoming a once-a-year dose of adrenalin, shared with the family that might just lead to a 50th birthday personal gift of a driving lesson, Stock car style. I know. I am more the Library Book Club W/ Cookies type of person, than the Race W/ Beer And Tank Top type, but one needs excitement in a relatively safe environment where someone else is in control of most of it and there’s a sweet fellow with few teeth who will hand a beer over your shoulder when he sees your cooler is empty. True story. Where did this come from? Our tickets came yesterday. Talladega Aarons 499 both Saturday (Nationwide series) and Sunday (Sprint Cup) AND (drum roll please…) PIT PASSES! That’s Right. Ms Calvinist Librarian w/Thick Glasses And Family (well, 3 of them, anyway) are going to be in Talladega for a weekend and even get to be up close and personal with some race cars!
And that will be enough excitement to last us well into 2014.
It’s that time of year, here in the Deepest South, to get crackin’ on the Spring garden. I’m making plans. There’s 4 4×8 raised beds here. Cinderblock beds filled with a mix of potting soil, composted cow manure, and this incredibly…um…aromatic organic fertilizer. Whoo…
The decision I have to make now is precisely WHAT to grow. Last year I got all Organic-Heirloom stuff- Indian golden snow peas, Black Krim tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, all sounding like lovely stuff and would make us all Healthier and Closer To The Land. Only…
There’s a reason why there’s hybrid new fangled varieties. Disease resistance, productivity, special qualities like size and flavor and meatiness. Mind you, I love the idea of using heirloom seeds, keeping the old things going, all that. I like old things!
Anyway,the productivity on all those heirloom things was disappointing. Maybe I was doing something wrong,but I’d never had those issues with the standard Burpee normal seeds. The golden snow peas were lovely, and were fantastic for picking because you could SEE them easily…but…barely a handful a day (out of 60 plants) was disappointing. I got a grand total of 5 tomatoes from 6 plants- 2 each of Black Krim, Brandywines and one other kind I don’t remember. 2 lemon cucumbers (delicious!!) from 6 plants.
So. This year, going against everything all the gardening magazines and online organic people, etc, I am going to get nice modern varieties. Big Boys and Better Boys and Sweet 100 tomatoes. I see these new Heatwave 2, might try those, as they’re supposed to hold up to 95F, and it would be great to have tomatoes in August!
It’s a philosophical quandary, it is. The whole “back to the old ways” gardening movement, I can appreciate that. Really I can. But I get frustrated easily and need tomato plants that are going to reward my hard work and the bit about getting over the squishing of hornworms because MAN, those things are gross. I have to use tongs to pluck them off, then squish them with a brick because I don’t want to get that nasty stuff on my shoes. If I am going to endure squishing worms, I’d darn well better get some BIG tomatoes for it.
So…here’s what’s on the list:
The third bed will be filled with herbs-parsley, cilantro, chives and garlic chives in the cinder blocks. The fourth bed will have sunflowers in it. It is up against a fence, and the flower stalks can be tied to the fence. Possibly also cantaloupes, as the fence can be used as a trellis for those as well. I grew some accidental cantaloupes one year, from compost, and they did VERY well in that bed.
The garden isn’t big enough to provide produce for putting up, but hopefully eventually we can get all the pine trees out of the back yard, and have enough sunny space to quadruple the size of it, then I’ll start canning tomatoes and freezing beans.
I will not, however, grow okra. Ever. Not happening.