Monday, October 30, 2017

North Georgia traveling

Home from my week long Georgia mountain trip with my family.  Big fun.  I did have an elderly woman fall that left my son-in-law thinking I'd broken my neck.  Mainly bruised hip and shoulder and my elderly ego.  Good news: rest of trip I barely had to carry anything but did have to listen to cracks about pun intended.

Saw my old stomping grounds near Gainesville, Ga. Visited Babyland General, which our family helped build, due to Lucy's obsession with dolls.  She got to revisit with 3 of her living dolls.  Boys were not much interested in all the dolls.  They did want a toy...$$$.  They came away with the teeny tiniest ever baby doll inside a cabbage.  We had to scoure the area the rest of the day to make sure the tiniest Real baby wasn't trying to choke on them.

Not trip to Helen Octoberfest complete without...The big guys introducing a brother to the joys of pooping in a port-a-potty.  Thankfully I got to miss that show.  Can you say hand sanitizer? Not to mention other parts that needed sanitizing!

Leaf colors changed overnight with the cooler temps and rain. Very beautiful driving home yesterday.
DukeBoy and I used a real life folding paper map.  Drove down some country roads and cute towns to avoid Atlanta traffic and see the sights.

Oh, speaking of sights. The Richard Russell scenic highway in North Georgia is a beautiful way to get across the mountains. Make sure your brakes are good and your gas tank full.

My favorite food on our trip was the banana bread from the Sweetwater Cafe in Sautee, GA. I went there hoping to catch up with my old friend, Carolyn Wood Hayes.  She is former owner.  Sadly it didn't happen. Bread was marvelous though. If you see this Carolyn let me know. Would love to catch up.

Best cabin experience: Still Waters in Epworth, Ga.  So lovely. Wonderful hot tub, porch, beds, great for kids, creek, swing, secluded. Found on Home Away by Cody.

Best view from dining room: Dillard House.

Best hikes: Tallulah Falls and Toccoa Falls.

Best place to buy apples: Mercier Farms

Good to be home. I like having a secluded spot to read, write and type.
Peace for your day.  Clicking my red place like home.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Early retirement is Grand x 3

Still loving that Pat Conroy book with reflections from his blog. Lucy promised she'd gather my journals and publish them after my demise.  I'm not sure this was a genuine promise.  She has inherited her DukeBoy Dad's flair for the sarcasm.

It took me longer to get blogging today. Made the mistake of checking email...It was good to learn to that I won't have to spend 30 minutes ironing the napkins for Thanksgiving. I can tie them in a knot. Thanks Martha. Not a joke except the ironing part. The knot looked pretty.  Becca, if you read my wanderings please take this free tip since you are the Thanksgiving hostess.

Took the trek to Columbus yesterday to discover there are no Affordable Care Act options available to DukeBoy and me.   Sad to lose the subsidy.  I know many of you are fortunate to have coverage through work or retirement and don't struggle with the cost of health insurance.  We are fortunate that we can return to DukeBoy's previous employer, but at double the cost we were paying.  Choosing to retire before 65 has afforded us time to play with our grands before they head to school on a daily basis. It's worth  it to us to double up on our insurance payments to pay for this luxury.  Of course, it will come at the cost of making other decisions about how we spend our money.

 Some of you reading this aren't able to make these choices...I'm sorry.  $ can't replace grand #2 yelling to me from the other room before going to bathe, "Sughar, don't forget!! I love you!"  Or "Ugh, Ugh, Ugh" that grand #3 serenaded his parents with at 5 A.M. He's learning to say, "Sughar".  Smiles.  Or Grand #1 asking to go to my house and play with me while his brothers are sleeping and Paw and his Momma are cooking.  Of Course, we Can!!

Ok, I'll get off ACA but I am sad that the plans I made for retirement are sidetracked by those who don't have to buy their own insurance.

It's another gorgeous day on the Hooch.  My grands are waiting to make my day grander.

Another great pleasure I receive daily is Garrison Keillor reading to me the Writer's Almanac.
Such a wonderful voice. ( Decided to leave on the underlining because it's making me a little crazy removing it!)

Only thing better Comparable love affair with Sean of the South especially the videos.  Whew!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Inspired by Pat Conroy

My morning read: A Low Country Heart by Pat Conroy. My Beach Music was signed by him during a  good-bye Talladega party in the mid 90s.  Our family was again following me to a new locale.  Pat was charming and "became the room "as Sandra, his wife, describes in her introduction to this new read. Sandra, is the sister, of Nancy, who is now one of God's saints like Pat. Nancy, provided much love and light while we were neighbors in Talladega. I have a great story about bathing a cat that occurred at Nancy's house.  Another day.  Let's just say, "I don't ever have to bathe a cat again!!"

He's inspired me to blog again because this book is a collection of his blogs.  He too wasn't enamored with technology. However,  I do have a leg up on him with journaling.  Lucy said when we were packing up my Mom's house. "I bet your Mom said every Christmas,'oh thank you, Karen, for another journal'." All the journals I'd given my Mom were neatly gathered and bereft of words except the ones I'd inscribed in my annual inspirational Merry Christmas sentiment.  I took those journals home and am currently using them for myself...I always give ones that I'd like to have. Method...When we moved Lucy recently from across town to be my neighbor...guess what? Journals with inspirational messages that were given as Christmas, birthday, congratulations gifts.  All bereft sans the page or two where she appeared to have truly tried to "get into" journaling.

While I'm typing my figures are itching to pick up my pen.  Recently my thoughts have turned to creating a library spot for my journals.  Ha.  I must have read somewhere that someone did that.  My Mom did but of course her's were empty. Most of mine are very well written perhaps even somewhat Pat Conroyish. Funny, filled with interesting antidotes that will later fill my books, right.

Perhaps the best thing about blogging is that you get to hit that publish button and others do read it. You, my blog followers, aren't the ones who approach me in Wal-mart or the halls of the nursing home and tell me that you miss my News articles.  Those accolades inspire me.

We have a new editor at the Valley Times- News. He isn't aware of what a gifted columnist I am.
Our champion challenger of all things sacred, Cy Wood, is no longer editorializing Valley life. He is the reason I'm doing my "read through the Bible in a year". He threw down the gauntlet.
 I'm in 2 Chronicles, started August 1st.  Here's your challenge...It's pretty interesting and let's you know the world does go on despite our inability to follow God's lead.

Life is grand xs 3 here on the Hooch. DukeBoy aka Paw plays with TNT everyday.  Swinging has nearly replaced car riding as a way to get these guys to nap. Luckily they are still young enough for bucket swings. It's quite sweet when their little heads finally drop into the coma of swing sleep.
Our newest sweetie is crawling and "being the room" with his charms and dimples. We have a plethora of dimples on the Hooch.

Peace for your day. Pat, I hope you have met my Dad and he's telling you some of his stories. I regret that I didn't listen as much as I could have.  Glover, DukeBoy's Dad, has some great ones too.
Thanks for the inspiration.