Showing posts from October, 2022

Vodka and Vanilla

  Life goes on. All my flower beds are looking empty and brown. I have removed all my ferns and geraniums and such indoors to live through the winter. Only thing thriving is my patch of collard greens and my peas. The peas are still blooming and I have picked a handfull for my eating pleasure. HeWho is not a big fan of peas and I will only eat fresh or frozen peas. I ordered some Madagascar vanilla beans and am now making my own vanilla extract. It will make about 4 cups and cost about $30. Price the 4 ounce bottles in the store and you will be impressed. I used the bottle from the vodka to make it. I took the 25 beans and chopped them into 2 inch pieces and put them in the bottle, then topped them with 4 cups of 80 proof vodka. I was feeling thrifty and noble. I could actually bottle this and give some as gifts! I hunted for glass bottles online. Harder to find than you would think. I wanted 10 to 12 ounce bottle with tight lids or corks ..... that don't cost a fortune. Just as we

Heavy Hearts

  We have both avoided looking down into the ravine for the past few days. I can't stop hearing my cat calling for me and I relive the entire event. I have been using sleep aides to be able to sleep. Unfortunately this does not prevent dreaming. This is where we finally got to Martha. I was snapping pictures and then enlarging them to try to find him. He was covered in mud and leaves and was a dark gray color that looked like a rock. Can you see him? He is on the other side of the log laying on the ground. Still hard to see. I knew it was him only because this is where the dogs dropped him when the owner finally called them. I kept my eye on him until HeWho crossed the creek so I could direct him. I assumed he was already dead because he was not moving and no longer responded when I called his name. Martha never responded to "kitty kitty". He knew his name and would either come to me or look at me if he could see me. At least he knew I was trying to get to him and I hope


  My mother used to say that bad things come in threes. That popped into my head last night as I was trying to go to sleep. I pulled Eddie closer to me and rained kisses on his head and told him how much I loved him. Sensing something out of the normal, Bo crawled out from the covers and actually snuggled next to me and allowed kisses to his head. Toni Louise lay there, her head partially under her master's pillow, and stared at us. I reached a hand to her and she gave it a quick lick and burrowed deeper. My foot explored the bed without any obstacles. Martha used to take up residence at the foot of the bed in the center of my side. I could either put a foot on either side of him or maneuver to one side or the other. He was not one to move after he settled in for the night. I used his body heat to warm my cold toes. I am out of tears. My mind will just touch the edges of the horror that was watching my pet be mauled. Cujo dying without me holding him was enough to deal with. I was

Over The Rainbow Again

  Cujo will have company today. Martha joined him yesterday. Not a peaceful death, though. He was mauled to death by two pitbulls whose owner thinks it is okay to let his dogs roam this mountainside. Martha rarely left the parameters of our property. He did like to go down the ravine to the stream for a nice cool drink and this is our property. He must have been doing just that yesterday afternoon. We heard a commotion, dogs barking and a cat yowling. We immediately looked around to see if Martha was in the house, he wasn't. Looking down near the stream I could see two white pits attacking a cat. I could not tell if it was Martha. It sounded like him and he was putting up a good fight, but there is a stray that looks like him. I started down the ravine and it was slow going. All the leaves made it all the more treacherous. I had my walking stick and I had to stop frequently and push leaves out of the way. I was yelling at those dogs the entire time and I picked up rocks and sticks


  As we head closer to the date to cast our vote, the ads are coming in non-stop. I live in North Carolina, but we get our news out of Georgia. This means that I hear a lot about the Georgia candidates. I don't know a lot about North Carolina, haven't been here that long.  I have done my research and know who I will cast my vote for. None of the candidates are notorious enough to get national coverage like the ones in Georgia. It is easy enough to look up records and check facts about the reliability of the candidates word. Lest you think I am going to get all political and post my views to try to convince others to believe what I believe, that is not what I am up to. I was just sitting here relaxing after raking leaves and heard a message for Georgia voters and it struck me funny. In this ad the voice over starts by telling all the listeners that your vote is private and you do not have to share your choice with anyone. I think everyone is already aware of this .... or maybe t

Humana Strikes Again

  If you hang out here much, you might recall my battle with Humana shortly after we moved here. We have our monthly bill to Humana automatically deducted from our checking account, always have. We chose our supplemental insurance plan before we turned 65, so that everything went into action without a big hassle. We had a broker handle everything and it was super simple and easy. Everything was going well until we switched to mail order from Humana. Oh, we got our prescriptions in a timely fashion and I was grateful that it was in place during the Covid lock down. My problem with them was ordering refills. It should be a simple task done on the phone or online. It was anything but simple. Their website was a nightmare to navigate. Everytime I tried to log on to handle refills, my password would not work and in order to obtain a new one I had to call Humana and wait through an arduous prompt before reaching a person. Then it was transfer after transfer until I could talk to the "ri

Punkin Chunkin

  We set out to attend the Punkin Chunkin contest around noon. They have food there, so we didn't bother with lunch. It wasn't that far away, sixteen minutes according to Siri in Brasstown, NC. We turned too soon onto someone's private drive and were hunting for an easy turn around when we came upon a mechanic's garage with a couple of dogs hanging out. The man was nice, but he had dogs, so .... He gave us better directions than Siri had provided and we were on our way in minutes. In minutes we were turning onto the correct road. A small two lane country road, very picturesque. We weren't going fast, but when we got about here, we came to a full stop. It took 30 minutes to navigate this mile and a half road to get to the venue. It was stop and go and we inched along. Every few minutes HeWho would question me and ask if we should just turn around and go somewhere else. I declined his offer and told him I was determined to see some punkin chunkin! And it was not an un

Allergies and Dreams

  I was unable to sleep for the past two nights. Not my normal insomnia, but a persistant headache for nearly three days. Feels like a big drill bit going through my eye socket to the back of my head. Of course, I tried every pain killer in the medicine cabinet. Last night was awful. I gave up on sleep and got out of bed at 1 AM and took 2 Tylenol and 2 Ibuprophen. I sat down on the couch to wait for some relief. Eddie was right next to me. Bo and Toni Louise joined us until they realized it was not morning and treats were not forthcoming. I was still in pain at 3 AM, but went to bed anyway thinking to try to sleep the pain away. I finally drifted off some time after that and at some point I dreamed of Cujo. In the dream he was in my bedroom and I was in the kitchen at the end of the hall calling him. He appeared at the doorway and looked at me with his little gray face before he came out completely. I called to him, as I have done a million times saying, "You better come here to

Colors Of Fall

  Fall colors are here. Even through the misty rain on an overcast day, the view from my bedroom window is impressive. No reds yet when looking down into the ravine. It hasn't been weed whacked in awhile, but I like the fern patches growing. Hoping wood prices come down soon. This is where we plan to build steps going down to a deck to be nestled at the base of the trees. I can see it in my minds eye. Can you? Plenty of red here outside my kitchen window. I love autumn colors. Makes me want to bake things like pies and cookies and bread. Like I am doing right now!

Life With Charming Eddie

  Do we have to go in now? I want to go exploring! Please, can we go exploring? {Who could deny that sweet face?} Where would we like to go, Eddie? Are you thinking? Anywhere, Mom. I just want to be alone with you outside. Check out the strawberry plants. They smell good, like strawberries. Look, I see a strawberry! Where?? Right here! Do you see it now? I thought you said strawberries were in the Spring!  Crops are so confusing! I have so much to learn about the world. I will be your best friend and protect you while you teach me. Okay, let's go in now. I think we need a nap.

Where There's Smoke?

  When we first moved into our 400 square foot mansion on the mountain we discovered that cooking would be a challenge. Not just the tiny kitchen and lack of counter space. I had cooked many a meal with less space in the RV. It wasn't the boxes of the unlabeled variety or the path to navigate through. No, it was the smoke alarm. The first time it blared out I yelled that dinner was ready. Ha ha. We made light of it, then launched a search to find the device. Should have been relatively easy. How hard is it to search 400 square feet with very few walls and lots of windows? We walked around with our hands over our ears, acompanied by the four canines howling their own distress. Finally located both the smoke alarm and fire detector in the hallway. The crowded hall that housed the fridge, washer dryer stacked next to it and a closet housing a dishwasher and pocket doors to the bedroom and bathroom. The ceiling is vaulted and the center is 10'. The inner wall is situated at the cen

Heating With Cookies

  Took a stroll through my gardens. I planted early peas again, hoping for at least one meal. They have been growing and blooming. And look! I have found 10 pods so far. I might get my wish. While most plants have stopped blooming, this one just keeps going. This begonia, too. The begonia has some special help. This is where the dirty water from Dora" turtle tank gets drained. It is some power stuff! Dora has started eating night crawlers! She has a discerning palate and prefers live food now! Just as I expected, this will be the only gourd to harvest. It will be another year before it dries out completely and I can drill a hole to make a bird house. There you see four babies, but they haven't grown anymore in the last month. The vine is dying, so they won't make it. Maybe next year will be better. Getting ready for winter, we put safety treads on both sets of steps. Today we purchased insulation for the water hydrant. It occurs to me that we made it through last winter wi


  My phone rang earlier this morning. I didn't recognize the number, but answered anyway. It was my vet. I was totally off guard as she told me that Cujo was ready to be picked up. I didn't say anything for a few seconds, then thanked her and hung up. I got dressed and we went to pick up my sweet boy to bring him home. Doesn't seem like he should fit in such a small box. There was a little bag full of stuff besides just the box containing his ashes. I want to go sit somewhere alone and cry, but I can't. I feel awful that I can't. It is like telling him I am too busy to think about him. This from the crematory that took care of his little body. But, this is what made me unable to speak as I walked out with my little guy. Hard to see in the picture, but they got an imprint of his paw. I confess that I sniffed it to see if it smelled like his paws. It didn't. Then, the hair they snipped for me.  I have paw prints and boxes of ashes a plenty, but have never been giv

Hospital Adventures

  Yesterday's adventure took us to Piedmont Hospital in Jasper, Ga. It was a pleasant ride, despite the day being dreary. A straight shot on 515 took us directly to the facility. A sort of small hospital, it was the place assigned for the imaging of veins in the legs of HeWho is in need of new arteries. The other Piedmont hospital is another 55 miles into Atlanta. This is where the surgery will take place.  Noting this fact, I suggested to him that perhaps we should take a different route when we have to head to Atlanta. He insisted that it only took an hour and 15 minutes the last time we went. The man is delusional! It might have been shorter in distance by just a few miles, but the route took us through Helen and to Gainesville. A treacherous ride through the switchbacks in the mountains. And, having been the driver on the return trip, it took the bigger part of 3 hours, what with the reduced speed limit and slow traffic. He insisted that it did not, so I consulted Siri and she


  I seem to lack the ambition to do anything. I split and re-potted my boston fern into three smaller pots. I still have one to do. I planted some tulips with high hopes about underground critters leaving them alone. I should go up to the She Shed and do some organizing, but as I was putting the ferns to bed for the fall in the back yard, before I have to bring them in, I ended up walking past the spot where Cujo died. It all went down from there. Just the thought of him dying on the cold ground before HeWho picked him up and brought him to me is almost more than I can bear. He was limp and cold and HeWho loves me looked devastated to have to tell me that my sweet boy was gone. I would take a nap, but I am not sleepy and would only cry into the soft fur of Eddie and miss Cujo and his warm comfort next to me. Eddie has been stuck to my side when he wasn't outside searching for his brother. He will wander around the yard, his nose in the air sniffing, then down to the ground. He alwa