Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mom's Dry Creek Bed

Okay, it isn't always a "dry" creek bed. And it isn't purely landscaping. At times, it is a raging river when we get runoff from the peanut field trying to find its way to the lake.

But as a pure drainage ditch, it was kind of an eyesore. So we filled in behind the car where it used to be a hole filled with weeds, brought in sod, and dug the channel deeper.

Rock is scarce here, so we robbed as much of our drainage rock as we could spare and lined the sides of the ditch. We used some of the left over brick from Mom and Dick's house to line the stream bed, and planted bulbs and shrubs along the top edges of the ditch. It should be easy to maintain and pretty once it all settles in. It will even have a waterfall when the water is raging through.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oyster Run to Carrabelle, FL

We are about 150 miles from the Gulf, so we make a trek down there at least once a year to pick up oysters. Yesterday the swimming pool where we swim laps in the morning was so cold that we decided it was an omen telling us this was the day to make our oyster run.

Here we are at Carrabelle beach for the first stop of our trip.

We found an oyster house that was open and that had oysters, so we picked up a dozen pints in East Point, and then headed on into Apalachicola for lunch.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Providence Canyon - Near Lumpkin, GA

Here we are blocking the view to the canyon. It was a beautiful day for winter in Georgia. Amy and Dan are heading on to Savannah, so we had one last outing with them before they continued on their way.

The canyons were formed when stabilizing trees were cleared from hillsides to create more farmland according to the Georgia parks department.

Still not finished forming....every 12 inch rain event adds to the erosion. They are truly beautiful in spite of the ecological implications of clearing hillsides in an area that gets deluges of rain on a regular basis.

The canyon was formed in the past 60 or 70 years - not thousands of years ago, also according to GA parks department.

It is possible to hike on a good trail to the bottom of the canyon and walk along the base of all the sculpted hillsides.

Rural Quitman County December 2009

What on earth? Anyone familiar with this kind of a growth? It is on a big oak tree, and is firm, but not hard to the touch. It almost looks like what we call a coral mushroom at home, but is too solid for that.

We took a walk along the peanut field when Amy and Dan were visiting this week.

Amy and I on the dock looking back toward our houses.

The brick house on the left is my parents, the cypress sided house is ours. My brother-in-law and sister came down from Alaska in 2005 to help us build both houses. The neighbors were amazed at how fast they went us, it seemed agonizingly slow at times. We were able to build both houses in 4 months with a pretty strange crew though, thanks to Scott's great supervision of an oddball crew. We all learned a lot!
Amy and Dan on the dock looking west toward the Alabama side of Lake Eufaula.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Georgia back roads and hidden places

On a side road along the Chattahoochee River on the Alabama side, we came across a female wild hog foraging for food.

The covered bridge over Coheelee Creek near Blakely, GA, is the oldest covered bridge in Georgia. The creek was just raging today.

For real southern cooking, there is no place finer than Magnolias on Main in Blakely.

My daughter, Amy, and her boyfriend, Dan, went with my folks and Ron and I so they could try the fried corn bread.

We polished off the meal with butterscotch, chocolate, pecan, cream pie. We can't even think about how many calories we took in this day.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Water, Water, Everywhere

My folks are really into the Christmas spirit in spite of being away from their home in Alaska where there is a ton of snow.

Scott, my brother-in-law from Alaska, says if they got the amount of precipitation we did last week (over 10 inches of rain) it would be equivalent of 10 FEET of snow.

Amazingly, a few hours after the rain stops, the ground dries out and you would never suspect we had been blessed with that much rain. If it rained 10 inches at our Washington home, our house would slide into the lake.

The hay in the peanut field that has been carefully rolled into bales with plastic coverings, now sits in the middle of a small lake.

The lake is really high....all the rain that hit us this past week has moved north, and the rain that falls north of us normally finds its way into the Chattahoochee River, which forms Lake Eufaula, seen here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Feeling Crafty

This morning, Mom and I made collage greeting cards. Isn't she cute....she is the most active 90 year old woman I know! Very artistic too!

Here are a couple of the cards we made. Collage is so much fun. Very forgiving, and anything goes. Our specialty is the dried flowers and weeds we collect. I think pure collage uses only paper, but the real plants add a special touch.

Martha says you need to spray this sweet gum wreath with white paint, but the colors were so beautiful that I didn't spray it. We have an abundance of Sweet Gum trees here in SW Georgia, so on this beautiful day I gathered the cones(?) - Martha calls them "Fruit" but they sure have more the consistency of cones than fruit. So in addition to a wonderful walk in the warm sunshine, I have started my Christmas decorating. :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Some Assembly Required :)

The trumpet vine was still blooming a couple of days ago, but we got our first frost yesterday and it is looking pretty sad now.

Today we tackled our Christmas present to each other....saves a lot of shopping to just order something on line, but the assembly is always a challenge!

Aah, success!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Blogging Notes from an amateur

I am new to blogging....introduced by my daughter, who is a wizard at all things internet. I have hopes that when I return to Washington in the spring I can get her to jazz up my blogspot.

In the meantime, I have been doing some exploring on my own and love the "Next Blog" feature. I have found so many interesting and incredibly innovative sites. I only recently discovered how to FOLLOW the ones that really catch my eye (mostly gardening and crafting sites). I am trying to not be too obsessive by adding every site I visit, even though most are certainly interesting enough to follow. Thanks to every blogger who shares life and ideas with us all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Some favorite family recipes

Thumbprint Cookies
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 slightly beaten egg whites
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup jam
Beat first 5 ingredients together. Chill dough
Roll small balls (1 inch) in the egg whites and then in the chopped walnuts, place 1" apart on greased cookie sheet, make a dent in each with your thumb, and bake for 10-12 minutes at 375. Fill depression with jam.

Fruit Bars
Cream 1/2 cup shortening and 1 1/2 cup white sugar. Add one gee, 1/4 cup molasses, 2 TBlspoons milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Cream well then add dry ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmet and 1/4 tsp cloves.

Mix well and add 1 cup raisins. Bake in greased 9x13 inch baking dish at 350 for 15 min. Cool and cut into squares.