My Photo
Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spice's BD and outback

A couple of weeks back the Spice had a birthday and it was mutually decided that we should spend that day together out and about town. We left the ‘maison’ that morning to eat b’fast at a very good local spot – the Sunrise Grill – a good spot for a birthday breakfast or anytime. After that we had a couple of errands to run and then we took off for the Augusta area to generally do what struck our fancy.

We decided to go to a movie, admittedly a ‘chick flick’ but after all it was her birthday. Then we went to about three stores shopping for furniture, lamps and etc. In the late afternoon we went to the ‘Chop House’ for her special meal – a very nice restaurant, belying the image and idea that the name might conjure up. They were so high class that they wouldn’t even gather round and sing “Happy Birthday” – did give her some cake though.

The freebie birthday dessert was a piece of double or maybe even triple chocolate cake with ice cream. The small bite that I got to taste was very yummy – I was too full for a separate one. It was then decided that we should go to another movie – we try to go to at least two movies a year, whether we need to or not. This one was “Race to witch mountain”, a remake from years ago.

The flick was a fun sci-fi and a sort of knock-em-down-drag-em-out type but with no gore. When the movie was over it was way past dark-thirty so we headed on home, having thoroughly enjoyed our day together.

It occurred to me that I had not sent any photos of the completed “outback” storage building. Let me remind that my older bro and I poured the cement, laid the blocks, put up the frame, rafters and OSB. After I trimmed out the eaves and installed the drip edge, bro came back and helped me put on the shingles. The siding was installed with help from SSIL and BIL. Recently completed outside caulking was the finishing touch.

One photo is taken from the front with the other from the back, this latter one shows the retaining wall I built to help prevent erosion. All remaining to be done now would be some racks and shelving on the inside, about which there is no rush. It is a great sense of accomplishment to realize that the only thing that any outsider did was to install the door – I just didn’t want the hassle of that.

I’m so much enjoying the flowers and new green leaves of God’s creation – Spring is my favorite season, with all the other ones very high on the list. God is good!! ec

Friday, March 27, 2009

GM snippets

All grandchildren seem to do funny or endearing things, at least deemed so by their grandparents, and my gruntmonkeys are no exceptions to these type antics. GM5 recently was riding with the family and once again told his favorite “knock-knock” joke, his sister gave a somewhat tired laugh that indicated she had heard this one too many times. GM5 told her not to laugh like that but to laugh like someone was tickling her.

Another time GM5 (keep in mind that he is 4 years old) had been sent to his room for misbehaving and when his Dad went up later to have a talk with him, he was saying, “I’m just so angwy, I’m just so angwy”. His Dad asked him who he was angry with. He said, “With myself, because I keep getting in twouble evewyday”.

GM3 (in first grade) seems to have some artistic tendencies that are expressed with crayons or any other coloring medium – some of which bleed through to our countertops – much to the consternation of the Spice. Many of these colorful offerings have come to us over the past couple of years. The latest is now taped to our frig – by him – probably to make sure it was put in the right spot.

GM4 has skills in hunting/gathering, this shown by the things he finds outside and wants to “save”. Some time back he brought me seven tiny pebbles that he had found on his kindergarten playground and asked me to save them for him. These are now in a small plastic envelope and resting on the note pad beside my laptop. I think of him every time I see them – how could I throw them away – even if he forgot these ‘precious stones’?

GM1 is in the high school band – plays the clarinet – and we went to a concert by their band just last week – outstanding quality sounds. She is also into texting, ‘face-book’ and other teen ‘thangs’. GM2 is a studious one and any grade below an ‘A’ is just not acceptable. This leaves GM6, a charmer with a shy smile almost constantly and normally very calm – unless he is sick or very sleepy, and then it’s volcano time.

I consider our ‘grands’ to be joys and blessings, even though occasionally they do make me lonesome for peace and quiet. Our God is an awesome God, and good, all the time. ec
PS - The photos are of: OD and GM5 (doing his 'see no evil, hear no evil') I didn't have a good one on file of GM2. And the other is of the SC GMs - L to R - GM1, GM4, GM6 and GM3 (notice the blue icing around the mouth of GM4).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Since being back from Texas my life has sped up considerably due to the many tasks needing to be completed before spring arrives. On one of the days that had intermittent showers my task was to go to the block place to get more concrete blocks for the building of retaining walls in my garden. These blocks weigh about 33 lbs. each and I limit my load to 30 per trip – about 990lbs. I hauled three loads that day and unloaded by hand.

My garden is made up of four beds on a slope that are 37 feet long and 6 feet wide. To this point I have built three retaining walls of blocks stacked two high and an upper border of one layer of the same material. The only wall remaining to be done is the bottom border wall that will be several layers high. This wall has been postponed until next dormant season because of many other tasks demanding attention with time running out.

Somewhere in the mix were sinus problems that slowed me to about half speed and several sessions of rain. After getting some bales of pine straw I re-strawed the blueberry bed down the driveway and have started on the berry beds on the bedroom end of the house. These require much more time because I am cleaning out all the weeds and grass as I go. This requires screening to separate the dirt from the weeds and grass.

Although a good start has been made in the bed cleaning out process, it is necessary for the dirt to be relatively dry to fall through my screen or a muddy, gummy mess results. This means that I have to wait 3 or 4 days after a rain to start the screening process again. After several rains now I have had to go on to other chores. One of these was to go to Wally World to pick up a “few items” – ha – I was lucky to have enough money!

On a long ago Friday night, GM1 spent the night with us – as did MIL and you might say that we stayed up much too late. Next morn we were dragging around a bit but finally got it together by the PM. The Spice and I attended the wedding of a friend from church – it was a time of joining together – OK, you know what I mean. The reception afterwards was fun on two counts – 1) food and 2) lots of yakking with friends.

Keep in mind this writing is from the past as I am trying to catch up to date. This catch up is because I have been putting max time into the yard and garden and min time into email – not good. Will fill in on more recent times later. God has been good even through sinus problems and feeling crummy – I’m glad. ec
PS - Still new at this - the photos are: Paw paw flowers (strange little blossom) - blueberry bush in bloom - the blueberry row down the driveway - the garden showing the block walls.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Photo on the left is of GM6 at his family birthday party. Next, L to R is GM3, GM6, their cuz and GM4.

GM pix

Still learning how to do this - the photo is of GM5, the Texas 'grand' and he doesn't look very happy - a)because he doesn't want to wait for the photo to be taken before he slides down the slide and b)his young friend wants him to get out of the way.

TX 0209 6

This installment wraps up our Texas trip narrative – just as well since we have been back home over a week.

All too soon Wednesday the 25th of February came into recorded history and we finished packing, loaded up and headed to the Houston airport. I sat in the back with GM5 so we could talk about ‘guy’ stuff. On the journey my mind once again went to thoughts of earlier in the week about the lack of pine trees in their area.

Only a very few pines were noted between OD’s home and the airport. It’s not that I am such a fan of pine trees because they are so easily damaged in a storm but they are so much a part of the landscape around our home turf that it was very different. Many years ago we had all of the ones near our house taken down for safety sake. We do have a few along one property border and down near the pond.

When we arrived at the airport main entrance we put the finishing touches on our good-byes and went in – the main hugging and all was done before we left her house – to minimize the time of unhappy partings. We got checked in and made it through security OK. The flight to Atlanta was routine and we even had a layover at that location – not a problem at all considering our rush there on the flight out.

We had plenty of time to relax and get a bite to eat, even if the hotdogs did have the toughest skin either of us had ever encountered – not bad other than that. We checked when we deplaned and our departure gate had changed and by the time we finished eating it had changed again – not a problem as long as we do leave. We just sat back and relaxed a bit. Ask me sometime about the loud flirting a guy was doing in the hearing of all.

The Augusta flight was on time, short and uneventful. Our airport is not a huge one and we were surprised that we actually walked across a ramp to get in the terminal – usually we go down the steps of the plane and back up into the terminal. When we landed we called YD and she was in route. We got our checked luggage, went outside and after a short wait, YD and her young crew came for us.

They were glad to see us and of course the feeling was mutual. We did see many pines on the way home, a landscape that was familiar and welcome. It was so good to get home and each return seems to get better as I get older. I don’t think the trip was long enough to result in jet lag but we were both very worn around the edges. As the Word says, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” ec

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

TX 0209 5

Though we are home now, the trip narrative continues.

The day somewhat magically became known as Sunday – February 22nd – and as is our custom we attended church. OD and clan went earlier because both of the adults teach a Sunday school class and we came later for the morning worship service. The service was youth related since they were finishing a weekend youth gathering – Disciple Now. The music was from a younger group but even us oldsters enjoyed it.

The youth minister gave the sermon and it was outstanding. The theme of the whole weekend was “The Born Identity” – a takeoff from a movie by a similar name and the message was somewhat related to that. The movie, “The Borne Identity”, depicted a man that did not know who he was, why he was there or where he was going. He wasn’t aware of the things he could do but found out he could be very dangerous.

The minister's main point was that many Christians do not know who they are in Christ and from scripture he told who Christians really are in a spiritual sense. I also received that some Christians don’t know why they are on earth or where they are going. And further, many Christians aren’t aware of the full extent of their abilities in Christ nor do they realize that they can and should be very dangerous to satan and his hordes.

Left unsaid by the youth pastor but occurring to me was the fact that a Christian that doesn’t know who they are can cause more harm than good. FSIL and OD showed us around the church after service – quite a large facility. We went home to a great meal from the hands of OD and afterwards just enjoyed being together the rest of the day. I find much amusement in the antics of young ones and that day was no exception.

On Monday the ladies had some errands to run so it was just GM5 and me again for a while, so it was “guy stuff” once more. All the meals have been good, as have been the desserts but the apple pie OD prepared on Monday evening was one to praise from high atop a soapbox. I don’t know exactly what was in the pie except for the apples but on top was pecans and caramel – it was good enough to make my lips slap each other silly.

On Tuesday OD kept a friend’s two-year-old daughter for the morning for her mother to attend a funeral. The girl and GM5 really had a great time on the swings, slide and the sand table. It was a bit tricky to make sure they didn’t hurt themselves, particularly the two-year-old but a good time was had by all – so much so that when her Mom came for her, she was ‘reluctant’ to leave – or maybe you could call it a bit of a meltdown.

After the evening meal on Tuesday I asked if we could all have prayer together, they agreed and we stood in a circle, held hands and communed with our Lord a few minutes. It’s not that God can’t hear long distant prayers; it is just different when we are touching as we pray. As the evening wore on, the Spice and I started packing for our departure on Wednesday – the leaving is the saddest part of the trip. TBC ec