Sunday, July 29, 2012

How smart is your refrigerator?

Do you know how smart your refrigerator is? 

Until this morning, I never gave it a thought.  It keeps cold things cold and frozen things frozen.  It automatically makes ice so we don't have to fight over who didn't fill the ice trays.  That's a nice marriage saving feature.  This one that we bought about a year ago also has that nifty little feature that most people have enjoyed for years - a water and ice dispenser.  Love it!

But, I discovered this morning that I didn't really know my refrigerator at all.  She is such a surprize!  Yes, she has to be a she because she multitasks and is very efficient.  Don't argue with me, this is my blog.

Anyhow, I was fixing breakfast... bacon, eggs, toast, fresh from the garden tomatoes and cantalope (unfortunately not fresh from my garden).   I'm standing at the stove frying bacon.  I hear a beep.  Actually 3 beeps.  I look at Jim and say "what was that"?  He doesn't know.  I grab the eggs that I had just gotten out of the fridge a few minutes earlier.  And we hear it again.  Beep, beep, beep.  And that's when we realized just how smart our fridge is.  I had not gotten the door shut all the way.  Beep, beep, beep!

How smart is your refrigerator?  Do you really know for sure?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

This Rocks!

A week on Hilton Head Island, SC is a great get away.  The cast of characters was Jim, Deanna, Greg, Alicia, Allen, and Reagan. We flew out of St. Louis on Saturday morning, had a layover in Atlanta, and then on to Savannah, where we rented a car for a relatively short drive to Hilton Head.  We originally thought about flying into Hilton Head.  That thought was very short lived, once we checked on the cost.  They are very proud of that little jaunt.

After checking out our condo/apartment, we headed down to the beach.  Allen immediately did a little writing in the sand.  This Rocks.  Then he summed it up with "I Love Summer Vacation!"  That about says it all.

I Love Summer Vacation!

It was a relaxing week away from everything.  The fine white sand was great for long strolls, or just sitting and gazing out over the water while listening to the roar of the waves. 

As I strolled along the beach at dusk, we were trying to get a "Footprints in the Sand" picture.  We failed. 
The sand was great for digging and buiding sand castles.  Allen happened onto this hole someone else dug. 

The Island has one winery. So of course we had to check it out. We all agreed that the wine was pretty darn good. 

We all thought the "locals" were somewhat snobbish.  They weren't very friendly and at times were downright rude.  It was like they resented the touristy presence, and yet their entire economy depends on tourism.  It was very confusing.

Hilton Head Island is known for its fabulous golf courses.  We even played a round of golf.   As far as we were concerned, it wasn't anything to write home about.  Maybe that is because it was put-put type golf?  It sure was fun.  I had forgotten how bad I am at that game.  Reagan started out slow, but by the time we were nearing the end, she was giving us all a run for our money - including Allen.  It is amazing how quickly kids figure these games out, while us grownups kind of plod along.

We toured Savannah, GA on the hottest day of the week.  In hindsight that was a mistake.  We all ended up a bit tired and cranky by the end of the day, and called it quits before we had done all of the sight seeing we had wanted to.

We were in awe of the architecture and beauty of The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.  We were lucky enough to get there just as a tour of Girl Scouts was leaving (the Girl Scouts were founded in Savannah, did you know that?).  Just as we were leaving, another tour bus showed up. 

Did you know that Forrest Gump was filmed in Savannah?  The bench where Forrest sat telling the story of his life to anybody who would listen, sat right outside Chippewa Square (there are many squares in Savannah).  The bench has been moved to a museum.  What we found strange is that Savannah doesn't seem to capitalize on the Forrest Gump presence at all.

Since they didn't replace the bench with a replica for us to sit on, Greg and I positioned ourselves in about the right place.  I was trying to tell Greg that "Life is like a box of chocolate..."  But then he already knew that.  Another tourist actually had a freeze frame shot on his phone of Forrest sitting on the park bench.  That way he knew where to stand to have their picture taken.  We followed their lead and had ours taken there too.

 Because of the heat, we didn't see near what we thought we would. The beach was calling. 

We all promised each other that we wouldn't post a bunch of tasteless swim suit clad pictures of each other.  But I don't think Greg and Alicia will mind this family picture.  They look so happy.  I believe we were at Harbour Town when this one was taken.

Dolphin watching was on our agenda, and we did see a lot of Dolphins.  They were especially active when a small fishing type boat would happen by.  They know where there is food... they are smart like that.  They are also smart enough to not pose for pictures.  I'll spare you the black humps of a back, tail fin, or snoot sticking out of the water. 

It seemed that within a blink of an eye, the vacation was over.  The kids were troopers from start to finish.  It was so much fun to see their faces as they played in the sand or "rode the waves" on their boogie boards.  Now, where are we going next, kids?

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Last night we spent a little time trying to save what few plants we have left.  While Jim watered the flowers and ground cover around the house, I took to the orchard to tend to the blackberry bushes, grape plants, and fruit trees.  I moved from plant to plant with the hose set to a shower spray, pretty much lost in thought as I completed this mindless task.  All of a sudden I realized a hummingbird was hovering at the spraying water, catching the mist.  What a thrill.  As I sprayed, it hovered.  Absolutely amazing!

Animals are desperate for moisture and food.  I don't even begrudge my greedy little squirrels the feed they scarf down.  The bird feed, meant for BIRDS. 

The Finch's are giving this feeder a workout.  Last year they didn't give it the time of day.

This empty suet cage, and another one just like it, was loaded with a new suet cake a day and 1/2 ago. 

Loaded and ready to go again.  We are buying these things by the case!
We've seen some relief in the temperatures, but it is still desperately dry here in Missouri.  I am amazed at how quickly the water evaporates from the bird bath.  All of the birds are giving it a workout.  I wish I could get a few pictures of the beautiful red birds dipping their pretty heads into the water.  The bath is positioned in a spot where I can't get a good shot without them getting photo shy on me.

How is the weather in your neck of the woods?  Are you feeding any wildlife?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Of birds and squirrels and all things in between

Our fine feathered friends, and all of the animals, domestic and wild alike, are struggling in the dangerous in excess of 100 degree temperatures we have been having.  It is nothing to look outside and see five or six squirrels and many more birds fighting for a chance at the bird feedes and bird bath.  The deer are enjoying the cool benefits of our new pond - full of water for the first time this Spring.  So is the blue heron that we see perched there all too often.  We are hoping he leaves some fish for fishing when the stocked fish mature enough.

The birds are desperate enough for food that they don't really care that we are sitting on the front porch watching them.  The red birds are a bit "cagy" and keep their distance.  But the finches, titmouses, and hummingbirds, are braver, providing some pretty good photo ops.  I've been one to mostly post my photos as taken.  Cropping is about all I usually do with them.  Today I played with iPiccy photo editing software ( - it's free!).  Oh what fun.

Here is my little Titmouse before photo editing.

And here is the same picture after editing

Here is my brave little Charlie before photo editing

Charlie in a cage

And here he is after editing. Try to get in my feeders now, you little devil
(Tori, I edited a mesh cage around my squirrel and distorted him a bit)

I am definitely enjoying the possibilities of photo editing.  Stay cool out there!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Love, Hope, and Decency

Happy Birthday America! 

An American icon passed away yesterday.  Andy Griffith is a symbol of America.  He was part of a show, The Andy Griffith Show, that depicted a way of life that we probably all wish we could exprience first hand.  I'll bet there are very few Americans alive today, including my grandchildren, who hasn't seen the show. What a humble, unassuming human being.  Rest in peace Andy.

God Bless America!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Rust be gone

When we bought our antique bird feeder at my Uncle Ivo’s auction, one of the things that attracted me to it was the vintage look. It was weather worn and had a little rust around the edges. We began to notice that rust was growing and had to accept that without a little intervention, our treasured bird feeder would be, well… a pile of rust.

So we did what any Grandparent would do, and called for help. Help! After a few late night discussions, we decided Dakota was the perfect candidate for this job. We called him to offer the challenge and he accepted. What a kid!

First step was to go to the hardware store and get a wire brush that “fit his hand perfectly” (so Grandpa said) and was small enough to get into all of the small crevices.

Good thing that rock was there…

A larger brush for the top. Did you get that spot on the side there Dakota?

Pride in a job well done. Thanks Dakota for my new bird feeder!
We ran out of paint, so the second coat was done later. Bird feed was added and now the squirrels birds have their rust free house back.