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about sustainablity...

Saturday, April 30, 2016
...interestingly enough, there has been a great deal of talk about preserving the environment going into my ears and head this week. But oddly - some of those words have been focused on the natural world and what we should be doing to protect the things that have been living here on the planet long before humans came along and started taking over. While others have been directed at trying to create viable communities where small towns are loosing population to cities, and cities are dying due to job losses, infrastructure problems and financial collapse. And my thoughts - wondering how the two: man who is destructive of natural world, and seems to base existence on the principle of Imminent Domain, and the environment we seem to be bent of destroying for our own gratification of personal desires will look in the future.

So here's the definition of sustainability I wrote down on the back of my handout at the forestry program on Friday, as it relates to being good stewards of the natural environment. And wondering how it fits in with the theories the speaker I heard on Wednesday  suggested as his version of regenerating dying urban areas. If we cannot maintain a balance between what humans need and the life that was here before we came along as lord and master of our domain, there won't be anything left of the planet. But if civilization fails, we will be pretty much doomed regardless, back to survival of the meanest, or the one with the most weapons, or the most heartless, least compassionate.

Sustainable: 1.) the ability to be sustained supported, upheld, or confirmed. 2.) The quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long term ecological balance. The thing I heard on Friday was about sustainability being 'proven by meeting a set of standards or established criteria'. But that environment, economics and society are the sources of the 'proving', setting those standards acceptable levels.

And sadly: the reality is that price and occasionally quality take priority over sustainability.

forestry program...

.. over in Talbot County - just to the east of here. I picked up a flyer about it at the program at the Bradley Company several weeks ago. Where we learned about the process of blowing the dams on the river, including fascinating archeology. Along with plans for re-introducing the native shoals lily to some of the areas where the river goes over rocky, shoal-y places.

This event was sponsored by the GDNR/state forestry and local Chamber of Commerce. Oddly enough, this was how I choose to spend a good part of my day on Friday. It was definitely geared toward land owners, and I guess mostly people who lived in surrounding counties. There was a pretty good crowd of maybe sixty or so, not counting all the workers. This event would have been of special interest to farmers as well as the people who would already have, or be considering, planting pine trees to grow for harvesting timber, as well as straw for a short term cash crop.

A life-long forester who talked about the history and value of planting long leaf pines as opposed to different varieties that mature quicker to get to market sooner. A retired solider who talked about his business of eliminating unwanted wildlife: in particular feral/wild hogs. His talk was interesting, adding more to what I read in the newspaper. Making us all was aware of the problem nuisance porkers have become locally. I probably got more information that I wanted about how to eliminate these undesirables from land used to produce soybeans, corn and peanuts: major cash crops in middle and south Georgia. Also someone who is the area rep. for  The Nature Conservancy sharing info. about the value of preserving habitat for native species, both animals and plants.

I guess I went out of curiosity, interest in the environment, concerns about sustainability of our natural resources. There was a home-school family in attendance with two young sons, probably in their early teens; otherwise almost exclusively men in Carharts and camo., work boots and baseball hats with advertising for seed companies. And me in my sneakers, khaki pants and carefully chosen coordinating blue shirt.  Most of the females there were volunteers helping with registration and lunch, or young women who were with the environmental organizations represented. They will eventually be the leaders of these organizations, caring for and guiding preservation of our natural resources. Showing the world what caregivers look like, as they work towards sustainability.

They were going on a tour of the property after lunch, but I left to get back town, so missed out on seeing the forest land where the gopher tortoise lives, the place where the hog guys were set up with a demo. pen.. And a day of touring the piney woods. I did notice a place we passed between meeting facility and where we had lunch: where there had been a controlled burn and the ground was still charred, all the leaf mulch/duff had been burned off to bare dirt. It was covered with the growth of hundreds of bright green ferns -always the first thing to come back, showing signs of life after fire.

another funny tale...

...I brought home from visiting family in VA. My sister-in-law tells of the local high school making an effort to support the local animal shelter. Possibly related to a service project required of the students, who had gotten involved in volunteering at the rescue service. Apparently there was a competition between the different levels of classes at the school, with each grade attempting to collect the largest number of cans of food for dogs/cats. 

This youngest nephew came up with a brilliant scheme. He suggested that all the members of his grade level just provide cash, pool their resources and he would purchase for all the students who were making donations. He went to the store where the cheapest price was to be had, and used all the funds he had accumulated to buy as much as possible. I'm guessing he checked around, and possibly went to one of the chain stores, where you can buy these teeny little cans smaller than a silver dollar. Maybe a quarter apiece, and hardly worth opening, so you don't even want to get out the can opener and then have to wash the fishy smell off. Most now come with a pop top.

And: he waited till the last day of the event to take all those cans in. Meaning none of the other classes who had been collecting over the weeks would have an opportunity to dash off to the store or call home for reinforcements. I expect the numbers were being posted on a regular basis, so he had a pretty good idea of who he had to beat by bringing in more pet food. Needless to say: his class won.

Pretty clever is what I am thinking. I forgot to ask what the prize was for the winning class. I hope they got something good?

don't think i told you ....

Thursday, April 28, 2016
...about seeing the Space Station cruising across the night sky recently? Did I? Or maybe I did, in which case, you can just disregard the following...

Someone to whom I am closely related, gave her half her DNA, told me about this website you can hook up with that will give you a notice when you can view. The 'spot the station' site will send you an email when it is someplace close enough to where you live that you might see it. You gotta look pretty quick, and of course, be in the right place at the right time.

The site will tell the direction where it will come up over the horizon line, and how many degrees above the line it will be at its peak. Then where it will be going arcing across the night sky, and where it will disappear. Around here, there is so much light pollution, it is hard to get far enough away from artificial light sources to be able to really view the night sky. I can go out and look directly overhead in winter and clearly see Orion. But trees in every direction block the horizon, so all you really get is  a pretty narrow view, nothing anywhere close to being able to see out there to the edge of the world.

A recent email said it would appear in the north-northwest sky, maybe about 50 degrees up, and be visible for only about three minutes. Soon disappearing in the west-southwest. So you have to be able to have a pretty clear view of most of the sky to catch a glimpse. I went out at the appropriate time, around 9:15, so it was plenty dark. Hoping to see it, but not really knowing what I was looking for?

I notice  a blinking object zipping across the sky, but a few minutes too early, so persuaded myself it must be a high flying airplane. Waiting, while being anxious about sitting out there in the dark by myself. And a bit paranoid as cars come barreling up behind me at about 70 mph, while I am pulled off to the side of the road.  Waiting, waiting, waiting, wondering precisely what I should be searching for? When just according to schedule: there it is. A little blinking blip, zipping along, just where the email told me it would be... hurrying across the night sky, off to make another orbit.

I was so pleased to see it, know I had found it... and amazed about the technology that makes it do what it does.

book review: for one i have not read yet...

...but it is one that I think we could all enjoy. While laughing at ourselves for doing some of the same foolish things the author is making a mint on by telling on herself, while publishing a best seller. We should all be so clever?

I just read a few lines in the Reader's Digest article, excerpted from the book by Gina Barreca titled "If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?" Which is, of course, a hilarious take on the book by the CEO or COO or some other acronym at Google. The little two page article in the May issue of RD is titled: Spring Cleaning for the Soul. Making me think of those Chicken Soup books. This is definitely not Chicken Soup...

On page 18, you will read:
"No. 6. I will remember to send greeting cards by mail to friends and loved ones so that I might celebrate their birthdays, anniversaries and happy occasions in a timely fashion rather than relying exclusively on Facebook. This way, I will be able to acknowledge the happiest days of their lives before it is too late and without involving Mark Zuckerberg."

And if that does not strike a chord with you, here is:
"No. 7. While we're on the mailing business, I will also write thank-you notes by hand, and I will encourage any young people I know to do the same. I will communicate my understanding that a card's embossed "Thank you!" on the front does not mitigate the need to expand upon that sentiment in detail within the body of the text."

I get a lot of personal satisfaction from writing notes, postcards, letters to friends and family. And supporting the USPS buying stamps. While thinking of what a rarity it is in this era when most of our communication is through electronic device.What a thrill it is just getting something personal and hand written out of your mailbox. Something that is addressed to you that is neither a bill for services or a request for a donation.

And the little two page article gets more profounder all the time  - the next one is about supporting non-profits and charitable organizations. Telling us all to 'put your money where your mouth is'. showing the value and importance of being fully aware of daily blessings we usually take for granted. Things like a safe place to live (not being homeless) and clean clothing, warm beds, people who make the world a better place for all of us. Donate to NGOs that go places in the world you don't want to live and try to make a difference in people's lives - folks who don't have clean water, or hot showers or safe/stable housing.

That's my sermon for the day...

and then my brother said...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
... that he heard his father-in-law make a comment that made a huge impression on him. Something that really struck home, and caused him to look at the past forty years differently. After growing up in south GA, finishing an education in east AL and finding work in NC, they ended up in VA. He has worked for several different large corporations over his career, but in eastern VA for most of that time.

His wife had been trying for years to persuade her parents to relocate to be closer when they would need care. Parents began to have assorted health problems that come with aging: we were not designed to live forever, and parts will wear out. They went through some crises, and finally, when they were pretty much past the point of trying to move: they moved. Would not consider a condo, or assisted living or retirement center or apartments. But instead, bought a very large house. Her mom had dementia, and various health issues, died after they had relocated. So now her dad is in that big house - alone.

He goes to church with them, and recently decided he wanted to become a member. A requirement is that prospects go to classes that help them to better understand philosophy, theology and the workings of that particular congregation. My brother offered to attend classes with him, just to go along as a companion and encourager. The question that was asked as the potential members sat around and introduced themselves to fellow prospects: 'If you had your life to live over, what would you change?' He said 'Nothing'. That everything in his life had been part of the experience that lead him to the place where he was. Which was right where he knew he was supposed to be

My brother reported being astounded! He had been sitting there mentally preparing his answer to the question, then realized that what he just heard was so thought-y and profound, that it was his answer too! He had thought for years, likely looking back with regret, that he should have made the decision to move. Been willing to search, find a different job or ask for a transfer, get closer to family as his kids grew and parents aged.

But  in that instant he saw moving away, leaving where they were, would have changed the course of his life. And he would not have the sweet daughter-in-law who married the son, and created a new family, with precious grandchildren the grandparents adore. Blessings. And now there is another new family, with a second son who just got married to another sweet girl to create another happy couple.

talking to my brother...

... before they took me back to the airport where I would board a flight to return to Atlanta.

I heard him say back in  2009 that he did not ever plan to move south. His intention was to stay close to where his adult sons lived, as he desired to be nearby in the hope that he would have grand children. Saying that he knew his sons missed out on being physically close to their grandparents, like we were in our younger years. It made him sad to think they did not enjoy spending more time with grandparents, doing routine, mundane things throughout the year, as he recalled doing as a kid. He would make the effort to get sons to connect with both sets of grandparents when they could, but that generation was at such a distance, visits were limited to a week or so each summer, divided between south GA and central AL.

He said he had so many memories of times with grandmothers: spending the night, and going with them to church on Sunday mornings, just being together, doing the things grands and little people do. The granddad had a workshop that my brother as a kid loved to tinker in, poking  around, pounding nails, doing goofy things little boys do. 'Helping' Pa with whatever project he had going on, repairs, doing odd jobs, learning how to be a guy, from a granddad who loved to have him around.

He is getting his wish. Has two little grands he and sweet wife enjoy spending time with, helping parents when they get in a bind. Like needing a caregiver when one cannot go to day care, or just another body to be available to pick up or deliver a kid. Being there, close by, conveniently located minutes away, to enjoy seeing little ones often and watch them grow, learn, develop, turn into real people.

you would only get the slightest whiff...

Saturday, April 23, 2016
...that might smack of the least bit of a very minor form of dishonesty. But if I go ahead and confess, clear my conscience to make it squeaky, I won't feel badly or have any qualms about doing it again. And doing it again is very likely to occur the next time I have reason to go some place that requires passing through the Busiest Airport on the Planet. Hmmm.... almost certain to happen if I am not traveling with someone who would snatch me back, saying: "Mom! You can't do that!"

What happens is that when you print your boarding pass and get to the proper gate to await the call for actually getting on, the airline employee (hereafter referred to as Gatekeeper) will get on the public address system and announce it is time to stand in another line. Gatekeeper will call the people who have 'A' boarding passes making them feel Very Special. So they get up and get in line to be the first ones to get on and take a seat. While the rest of us mill around the margins, hoping we are not playing a game of Musical Chairs and won't be someone left standing when they slam the door.

Apparently the system works in a manner that allows the first ones to 'confirm' their reservations in that 24  hour window prior to flight, to be assigned a lower number that permits them to be the first ones on - also the first ones off. This last time I failed to confirm, waiting until I got to the airport about an hour before take off, so I was lagging, in the tail end to get on for seating.  Causing me to end up in a middle seat crunched between two people who were not communicative at all.

But here is what usually happens: I ease myself into the first boarding group, and just somehow neglect to patiently wait for my number to be called. In the chaos of scanning boarding passes, and people jostling in line, babies crying, drinks spilled, luggage mis-put, sandwiches gobbled, phones snatched from wall sockets, it's really easy to insert myself in with the first group called to trot down the gangway and onto the flight. It has always worked in the past.  I assumed my subterfuge would work again.

But not today: Mr. Gatekeeper, scanning passes to let people past the desk and into the tunnel leading to the airplane said: "Your pass says 'C' and this is 'B', so you will have to wait." I said: "Oh, sorry." And turned around to insert myself (inappropriately) in the middle of the line of sheep patiently, calmly waiting their turn.

Then, when I finally got on board, dragging my suitcase and whacking into people on both sides of the aisle, the stew. person said it is all open seating, so you are welcome to take any empty spot. Now I ask you: why do they make such a big deal about boarding 'in the proper order' if there are no assigned or reserved seats? You better believe I will be trying my 'early-boarding' trick again the next time I get ready to go off into the wild blue yonder....

happy earth day...

Friday, April 22, 2016
... in the rain. Nice steady soaking rain that will be beneficial to all the people who are deliberately growing things to feed families, or providing nourishment for livestock that will feed families.

If I was at home, I would have been out planting things myself, getting dirt under my nails to celebrate.

one hunderedth anniversary of NPS....

...(National Park System) this year has me thinking it would be a grand idea to visit one of 'my' national parks during each month. I started off behind, and must admit I cannot receive any credit for actually accomplishing this -yet. And seems that I am so far behind, there is small likelihood of getting it done in the next 2/3 of 2016. Good intentions: definitely, but getting there...  only marginally successful.

I wrote about going to Horseshoe Bend Battlefield in eastern Alabama back in January - pretty interesting little slice of history there, in a well tended park that is a good bit off the beaten path. And I've looked at trying to get to King's Mountain in up-state South Carolina, but not sure when that might happen. It is not so far from Greenville, where I visit fairly often, so it's do-able, but makes for a lot of driving. Causing you to think: shouldn't pose a problem for someone who seems to be willing to commit to excessive driving to attain a foolhardy goal.

I am pleased to announce progress is being made. If you are willing to consider visiting of historic sites and battlefields as 'qualifiers' towards the goal of twelve in a year. I've been to two today. The site of the biggest hospital in the world, in 1862. And the location of one of the few battles where the invading army was soundly beaten by the defenders in 1864. I am, of course, referring to events that occurred during the War of Northern Aggression.

The hospital was located on the eastern side of Richmond, and served over 70,000 soldiers, along with a number of other smaller hospitals throughout the city. One of the first complexes, consisting of over 150 buildings, designed for the specific purpose of treating the wounded war casualties. Most of the doctors/surgeons had no experience whatsoever treating gunshot and war wounds. The staff available, consisting of slaves, freed men and women, as well as citizens of Richmond were equally inexperienced in providing care for men maimed by cannon fire or bayonets. But care they did, with compassion and on-the-job training, with a remarkably low fatality rate, considering the limited training, medical knowhow and drugs available.

Then on to the battlefield of Cold Harbor. Where the Rebs and Yanks faced off over dirt and log-reinforced embankments. With men on both side tired, hungry, under nourished, poorly clad and shod, sick of war, and sick from dysentery, still battling it out going into four years of battle. The Confederates would like to think they won that particular event, and judging by numbers it is true. But sadly it seems to be a prime example of 'won the battle and lost the war', as the Union troops merely outflanked them after a temporary defeat, and went on to capture the Capitol after the siege of Petersburg to the south of Richmond.

well, now, isn't that the neatest thing...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
... is what I said to myself after I spent a little time in the yard digging holes and planting things late this afternoon. I worked (at the underpaying, paying job) about nine hours, then went to Sam's Club to get the stuff on my list from church, random things they were low on and would need soon. Got it delivered and went back by the store to get some steamed shrimp. Made us both a salad and peeled the shrimp for the shrimp-eater.

I was pretty desperate to get some of the things I have bought in the last couple of weeks in the ground. It is a sad commentary that I have so little control when it comes to being tempted by things that grow, especially bloomers. It's not all bad, totally hopeless, as I have gotten pretty good about persuading myself to not look at annuals. They are pretty, and really glorious when they put on a show. But just don't last past the first frost. I try to keep a firm grip and only purchase stuff that will come back year after year. Just planting perennials that rebloom over time.

One of he things that just went in the ground is a brilliant yellow gerbera daisy plant, that will hopefully make bright sunshine-y flowers all summer long. And some butterfly weed that the monarchs love, planted out near where I put some in last summer that might come back and bloom again - or not. And a couple of other things from the plant sale that were desperately calling my name, urgently asking for holes to be dug, and roots to get started in good, rich, homemade dirt.

Until I see the first humming bird and all my good intentions go out the window, I dash off to the garden center and buy annual red-blooming salvia to tempt the hummers to come back and visit. To plant in clumps all across the front of the house in between all the perennials to lure the butterflies and little tweeting humming birds back again and again. I used to put out liquid bird feeders, but realized I am remarkably unreliable about keeping them filled with good, clean, fresh sugar-water. I think they would be better off with me planting things that bloom all summer and provide a steady source of nectar than haphazard liquid feeders that may or may not have sustenance when they flit by.

What I just got finished with: that is the neatest thing, happened by accident. I had purchased some blue blooming salvia at the plant fair at Callaway a couple of weeks ago. With the intention to put it out near some perennial red salvia that has been coming back for several years. So I got it planted after we ate tonight. And then realized that along with the red salvia, and newly  planted bright, royal blue spiky salvia, the daisy plants are in bountiful bloom, so: Red, White and Blue blooming out in the bed between the drive way and the house.

I am so happy. Almost as pleased as I was when someone figured out how to put the John Phillip Sousa march "Stars and Stripes Forever" on my phone for the ring tone. Yay!

today is the day ...

Monday, April 18, 2016
... we have all heard about in the poem, by William Wadsworth Longfellow.

"Listen my children, and you shall hear
of the midnight ride of Paul Revere
on the eighteenth of April in Seventy five.
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day..."

I knew he left Boston on the 18th of April to try to out run the British regulars. Spreading the word to the colonists that the Redcoats were on the move, attempting to confiscate weapons and gun power to avert insurrection. I did not remember that he was captured before he finished the early morning ride, and was unable to reach his goal. Longfellow apparently researched topic pretty thoroughly then adjusted the facts to suit his preferred version of the event. Poetic license, I suppose.

Yes, sorry, I've been looking at YouTube stuff. There is a really good one that is a dramatic reading, with various illustrations taken from history while you hear the man's distinctive voice telling the story. And though this is serious subject matter, a pretty amusing one filled with Muppets playing parts of the rebelling patriots, including a light-hearted song by Steve Martin, who happens to be an excellent banjo player.

there is not a day...

Sunday, April 17, 2016
...that goes by that I am not oh-so-very thankful for my family. Every day is another opportunity to consider how blessed I am that daughters are healthy, happy productive adults. I'm forever hearing of adult children who come back to roost, or have some sort of problems that causes them to need some form of propping up by parents. People who have grown up, left the nest and for any number of reasons had to return: relationships gone sour, employment gone south, health issues piling up.

It gives me a pain right here, in the middle of my chest, behind my sternum when I hear friends, acquaintances and casual passersby tell of their adults children who are struggling. Because we all know that the way parenting is supposed to work: you put everything you can into them and open the door, let them fly away. Hoping they have all they need to survive and get along as they make their way in the world.

I was a late bloomer, and I am sure my parents thought I would never get to the point of being a fully functioning adult. It did take a while, probably longer than average, and certainly longer than my patient parents expected. But I will occasionally surprise myself by having a random thought like: 'Oh, this must be what it feels like to be a grown up?' Or maybe: 'Hmmm, I do wish someone else would make this decision for me so I could blame him/her when things go awry'?

I was talking to someone about this today. A casual acquaintance I have known for years, and someone who has known my sweet daughters for most of their lives. I asked about her family, a daughter with little ones I see occasionally shopping. She said she has decided that grandchildren is God's way of rewarding us for not screwing up too badly raising our own progeny. We agreed there is not a single day that goes by we do not to count our blessings. So grateful for capable, happy, (mostly) well adjusted young adults. People who are caring, compassionate, and carrying their own weight in the world.

I know all this could change in the span of a heartbeat, yet I am constantly thankful for the people they have become. Blessed, blessed, blessed.

it seems to me...

Saturday, April 16, 2016
... like I spent more time going and coming than actually being there? Another of those 'flying low' drives to south GA and back in one day. I got up about 5 am and was out the door by 5:30, and walking back in shortly after 7:00 pm. So though I readily confess to being acutely and chronically math impaired, it seems to me like 'way more time on the road than actually there?

I had been planning for months to see a couple of friends from school daze. Half of the people I have kept in touch with over the years. So perhaps it qualifies as a mini-class reunion. Or not. They both brought spouses and I get places a whole lot faster unencumbered. (Does that word look strange to you?) We had a pleasant lunch together and parted ways.

I was a little surprised, thinking they would want to drive over and poke around, do some reminiscing. But no: we talked about who we had for teachers in the first grade, but there was no fond remembrance... guess there was not much  fondness - or perhaps our remembering ability is so poor we don't have much recall from the era when we all thought we were bulletproof.

out there in the...

Friday, April 15, 2016
... mud and the blood and the beer. Well, no, not really, just wet, and muddy and chilling wind. Cold and damp and clammy weather, intermittent misting rain, blowing in and steadily soaking everything and every body. Just general all purpose miserable weather.

Other than that, it was a really pleasant day.  Every day is a good day when it has blooming things, cheerful, smiling flowers in it. Brightly colored perennials, flats of blossoming annuals, brilliantly colored foliage plants, all begging to be adopted, taken to a good home and planted in the landscape to provide beauty-full blooms all summer long.

Volunteering at the Botanical Gardens Annual Spring Plant Sale. It goes on for three days but just this one was all I was prepared to donate. I wanted to get there well before the crowd, as I expected parking to be a major problem; and arrived fairly early only to discover Me to pretty much be the first worker bee there. I knew my 'assignment'/job would be helping people who wanted to pick out bedding plants and have someone put them together in a pot/planter. As it turned out: no one wanted that all day long. There were several put together with an assortment of pretty bloomers and colorful foliage for demonstration purposes, but not sure any of those samples sold.

And once other volunteers started arriving, and I became aware of the other workers in the shed where we would be making planters, I knew it would not be workable for me. Women who will bulldoze right over anyone with ideas or opinions different from their definition of The Right Way. So I politely suggested a relocation plan, with me being moved into a different area, working with people who are much more amenable, agreeable, and with a cooperative spirit. It turned out to be a good day. Working with a new volunteer, plus someone I have known for years. She may or may not be a Know It All, but one I've worked with before so we get along swimmingly.

Which is what it felt like we were doing, as it had rained so much in the twenty four hours previous to the beginning of the sale. Mud, mud and more mud. Partially from all the feet stomping around on the lawn, and partly due to the members-only party the night before. I expect it was a profitable event, especially with everyone getting their member discount. But there was plenty left to tempt the rest of us who showed up for a day of slogging away in the saturated back yard of the Gardens. Tomorrow will be sunny and hopefully the crowd will buy every last little plant to take away and enjoy.

I accidently bought two native azaleas that I will try to get planted the first of the week. I don't even know what color they will bloom, but will plant them in the leaf mulch out under the trees and hope for the best. I'm guessing they are the pale pink ones I used to see growing out in the woods as a youngster. Living in the highly acidic soil under the pine trees and saw palmetto of south Georgia. I talked to a couple of experts during the course of the day, and hope they will thrive and grow, be showy next spring when they bloom and stick around for years to come.

book review: "Ashley's War"...

Thursday, April 14, 2016
...by Gayle Lemmon. The subtitle is:' the untold story of a team of women soldiers on the Special Ops. battlefield'. I have not read it, but already know I would recommend it to all females and especially anyone with a daughter.  An amazing lesson for anyone who doubts their abilities, and a sweet story of women who care, love and support other females.  It is about female soldiers embedded with Special Ops. teams in Afghanistan. Women who could go places men were not allowed, and talk to the portion of the population males were not permitted to speak with.

They volunteered for a special mission, were tested both physically and mentally to find the most qualified. Two hundred applied and about fifty finished the course. Trained at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, and sent to the mid-east to military bases around Kandahar. Embedded in ground troops who went out in  night missions. Men who were Green Berets or Seals or Special Ops., searching out insurgents in towns and villages across Afghanistan. The women could go into homes, and meet with the women, talk to them in privacy and get information they could use to help find the rebel forces. Or find out where IEDs were being planted, to warn the troops prior to movement. Providing intel. and vital info. to US and allied forces that the male troops would never have access to.

Ashley White was one of the first women who was killed in the Afghan war, there on the front lines, serving with the Special Ops. team. The men were initially reluctant to accept women thinking they were not qualified, and would be a burden, someone who would hold them back, or need protecting. But soon found that these female troops were more than capable: able to hold their own and provide information the men could not other wise access.

The DOD did not publicize her death, and attempted to down play the importance of the women who were there serving their country, on the battlefield. When Lemmon first heard about Ashley and began to ask questions, it was difficult to get information. Commanding officers did not want the American public to know, and did not want to talk about what these females were doing. But when Lemmon finally got enough information to go and talk to Ashley's mother, Mrs. White was waiting and willing to talk. Opening the door to provide Lemmon with contact information for many of the other women who had trained and served with Ashley.

I went to the Infantry Museum to hear Lemmon talk about the book. I think it was just released in the past month. She is a professional journalist, and though married to a Navy vet., with a home in California, says she lives mostly on airplanes. She also wrote the best seller: "The Dressmaker of Kahar Kahana: five sisters, one remarkable family, and the woman who risked everything to keep them safe".

even though i was not involved...

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
.. and had nothing to do with the story, it is sweet and worth re-telling so I will share it here.  I went to the 'thank you' lunch for the tutors. Us folk who volunteered to go into several elementary schools and devote an hour each week to reading with four year olds. Demonstrating/modeling how one goes about reading a book, with age appropriate materials. Talking about what we were reading, looking at the illustrations and getting 'clues' for what was going on in the story, learning about front to back and left to right, colors, counting, following instructions - all the things they need to master as pre-literacy skills.

The actual reward won't be seen. But that's not why we do it. Helping them to inch upward in there abilities, and improve incrementally with the basics as they develop and grow. Hopefully the time spent reading a different book each week over the two months was beneficial to those little people. And they will have adults or older siblings in their home life who will continue to read with them, and devote time to helping them improve even more. The coordinator of the program somehow measures progress and reported they averaged an improvement of about seven months in language skills.

The story she told of some adults who attend a literacy program two afternoons a week was really profound. I assume the goal is to get to the point of having the skills to take the GED. One woman had been struggling, feeling like she was not progressing, and reportedly frustrated by thinking she was not having success. The instructors/tutors noticed the woman had not been attending, so someone contacted her. She reported she had applied for a job and been hired. A fully grown adult, getting her first ever paying job. That would have to make everyone involved in the program feel so gratified. And give them such a sense of success, even though she was a dropout. Be encouraged to be encouragers, help others to learn and to believe in their ability to reach their goals.

return of the shoals lily...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
...sounds like a possible title for a short story? It was an informational talk I went to as part of the Spencer Environmental Series. The other one, (which was not the first, meaning I missed out on what ever came before) was the film about long leaf pine habitat. Produced by Rhett Turner, son of Ted, but with lots of big money corporate sponsorship. Meaning he did not use his own plentiful cash to make the movie.

The event tonight was about efforts to reintroduce the native plants to the Chattahoochee River in the area where the experts think it these particular rare plants were prolific before dams were built for energy generation. Two large dams, about a thousand feet in length, spanned the river from Alabama to Georgia. When the two biggest dams were breached, they discovered a number of smaller, wooden dams that had been underwater, built previous to the masonry ones, dating back to the early 1800's. All used to harness the energy of the river for manufacturing: foundries and then textiles.

There has been a white-water rafting area, engineered and designed, laboriously built in the space where the dams had water impounded for over a century. A big tourist draw, and money maker for the man who runs the local outfitter. You can rent equipment: life vests, helmets, inflatable rafts with guides. Who will take visitors down the river through scarey, man-made rapids where most get a good soaking, literally, after paying for the experience: so actually 'soaked' twice!

The two men who were the program were an archeologist: hired by the Corps of Engineers to document the destruction of the two dams, and what they found when the water level lowered. And the man who will be instrumental in planting the lilies in the river bottom in a effort to repopulate the river with native plants. The nursery man reports seeing vast swaths of the gorgeously blooming remarkably fragrant lilies along the Cahaba River  and Catawba Rivers in AL and SC, and believes that the current environment in the Chattahoochee will be very conducive to growing the lily plants in the shoals here.

He took a team out in the creeks where the lily grows, and harvested seeds: they look like large bright green olives. The seeds have been sprouted, and planted in a medium to grow for a couple of years, get established before transplanting into the river, where they will hopefully spread and grow. He reports the lily is very attractive to insects: butterflies, moths and other pollinators. And the insects attract the shoals bass that is a very desirable fish which will hopefully come back as well, now that the water is both active and shallow.

Shoals: rocky places in shallow running water.  So Shoals Lily: growing in those places of shallow fresh water, along the Fall Line where the water is only navigable by a shallow bottomed vessel, like canoes or kayaks. The photos we saw of the lily plants growing in their native habitat, wild in the scenic rivers of the southeast, were absolutely breath-taking. And if they are as aromatic as he said, being out there in the beauty and fragrance is going to be amazing!

I am adding a canoe trip to my bucket list.

sitting here...

Saturday, April 9, 2016
... at my little round dining table in the late afternoon on a beautiful spring day. I have worked, long: 10 hours, going in at 6 a.m., and leaving at 4:30. So it has been a long day, and sadly, inside the building instead of out there enjoying the pleasant weather. A bit breezy, but sunny with a gazillon shades of green as trees begin to leaf out.

The is a flower bed about fifteen feet away from the table, when I look out the big window into the yard on the north side of the house. There are ferns and hydrangea plants beginning to green up along the edge of the screened porch, under a wide roof overhang. The ferns I see from my vantage point are of the Autumn variety, and stay green all winter long. They are just beginning to put on new growth and there are tall slender curliques of fronds shooting up from the base of the leaves. Dark brown fiddleheads that will soon open up and begin to take shape, with bronze leaves that become green as they mature.

And a couple of holly ferns I can see out there along the edge of the lawn as well. These started from a plant my mom brought to me, given by a neighbor, who said I should plant it in my yard. I have watched it grow over the years, and divided it a couple of times.  Relocating the 'children' of the mother plant to spots nearby filling in the bed that runs the length of the screened porch.

I've learned nothing is going to be really happy growing in the red clay that is all around the house, where the topsoil was removed before building began. Which makes me willing to dig holes, often dispensing with the clay entirely, and filling the hole with good dirt, fertilizer, enriching the spot to give the transplants a good start. I used to have the attitude that I would dig the hole, put in the plant and hope for the best. Telling the newly situated transplant: 'You are on your own.' But realize that does not give optimum results, so I know to put some effort into giving it help to adjust adapt and thrive.

I brought home three big pots of shabby Easter lily plants and got them in the ground before it got too dark to see. Most are in a little space up near the street, where other oddities have been put out over the years. Various bulb plants, and some iris corms someone passed on to me. I thought it would be neat for passers-by to see them bloom in the future. They got good dirt mixed in with the red clay, along with fertilizer to get them started, so hope they will get established and come back year after year, with happy blooms to greet travelers/commuters as they hurry to and fro.

getting lost in Harris County...

Friday, April 8, 2016
...when I was looking for the house of my friend from church. I had called K. yesterday asking about getting together for lunch. She called back and we made plans for me to drive up to see her someplace in a subdivision they moved into back in the late fall. She used to run the café at church and was managing the church kitchen for several years. Providing meals for groups meeting at various scheduled events in our building, and keeping the kitchen going with short order meals, coffees and exotic beverages.  Finally decided she had enough, after some mysterious symptoms and strange cluster of undiagnosed-able ailments that were overwhelming. She thought heart problems, then something awry with her immune system, and finally settled on beginning menopause complicated by adult onset of asthma.

Anyway, she is considerably better and concludes some of her disabling symptoms were due to job-related stress. They moved out of a house that was going into foreclosure and into something much more affordable. I think the place they could not manage was bought and built during the bubble, and they were paying literally thousands of dollars on a mortgage, feeling swamped. When they decided to make a move/change, she quit her café managing job and now a stay at home mom. Except for all the trips into town with kids and after school activities day after day.

I took a couple of frozen pizzas and a quickie lemon pie, for us to have for lunch. We had a good visit once I finally got there: numerous U turns plus asking for directions from two different people on the way. One guy was jogging along the road and extremely inconvenienced to have to remove his ear-buds and hear my question. The other was a grandmother, stopped at an intersection on two county maintained country roads,  passing off a sleeping baby in a car-seat to the mom. Even though the locals were knowledgeable and  helpful, it took several more false starts to finally get there. Crossing over the interstate twice and roaming around in the woods on gravel roads for miles.

But it was a gorgeous spring day, with bright sunshine, clear blue sky and trees covered in palest green leaves. Driving down country roads, with the windows open and tires humming. Thankful to be alive.

really unusual occurance.....

... and about as unlikely, infrequent as the 'blue moon'. Which occurs when there is a full moon twice in one month, a rarity that might happen a couple of times each year. So, I withdraw my claim, and take back that statement. Mine is related to how uncommon it is that there is a square on my (old school) paper calendar that has nothing written on it. No work, no appointments, no obligations. Nothing. Pristine, bare, glaringly brightly blank.

I'd thought I should try to find a substitute teaching job. The days when I can commit to spending eight hours in a classroom are so uncommon, I felt like I should try to squeeze in another in an effort to accumulate the minimum number the school system now requires. I actually made contact with a school that often calls me looking for help. And told Gwen I was looking for work on the rare day I did not have another commitment. Without results, so the day is still wide open.

And then on second thought: I wondered 'why I would do that to myself?' So, No, I have not made any effort to do the research and find myself a job that feels somewhat like the misbehaving Puritans felt during the Colonial era. When miscreants were pilloried and put in stocks, confined for all the passers-by to see, mock, throw rotten tomatoes, harass.

My two most reliable lunch buddies are out of town, so not an option for hanging out and laughing at the Taco Bell - which has somehow become the place I am most likely to 'eat out'.  I'm all about perusing the 99 cent menu, then always, invariably ordering the same thing. Which indicates the refinement of my taste buds, and sadly shows how educated my palate is....

I could work out in the yard every day for a week and not get it all done, so guess I will devote my day to puttering around with my wheelbarrow. One of the things I have been looking at since early spring when things started greening up is some unwelcome wild onions. They keep popping up in the flower bed across the front of the house. Pulling is a mistake, as they come back, multiplying from the bulb below ground. Each wee pin-head sized individual one has to be carefully, annoyingly, irritatingly dug up and deliberately thrown away to prevent it from reappearing. So that's project one.

And tree trash is number two. A never ending job, as there is always more stuff falling out of the trees that needs to be loaded in the barrow and hauled away.  When I get tired of digging onions I can pick up a load of limbs. And when I get tired of trundling the limbs up to pile along the street for city to remove, I can sit down amongst the bloomers and dig up more wee onion upstarts. None of which sounds like great fun, so I will see who I might find to meet for lunch on this gorgeous spring sunshine-y day.

majik...

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
...that freaked  me out so I had to leave.

I thought I wanted to see the show that was playing at the RiverCenter last night. And certain I did not want to pay the price of admission, where tickets usually start at fifty bucks for seating in the balcony, so far away you can't see the performance. So I did what I would normally do: sneak in the back door!  Not really, I volunteered to 'work' so I could get in the show for free. I've been doing it for several years. Being a greeter, or door holder, or a 'hope you enjoy the show' person.

Then when the lights go down, you tiptoe into the empty seats in the back row. And watch the show for nearly free, except that you got there an hour early, and expected to stay after all the patrons leave to clean up their trash. But there were no empty seats last night, and after I stood there for about an hour, I began to say to myself: 'I've already been on my feet for eight hours today', and 'I'll be going to work at 6: 00 a.m. tomorrow', and 'I'll be on these same tired feets all day again on Wednesday'.

Which means I was obviously in the attitude to persuade myself to slip out and go home early, before 'The Illusionists' actually concluded. What I saw was really impressive - how in the world do that do that? So smooth and slick and baffling, you don't want to blink. Thinking if you can just keep your eyes open the whole time you will catch them putting the scarf up their sleeve, or pulling the dove out of a pocket.

But when they got to the part where the man was going to do the Houdini trick, I wussed out. It was just too intense for my tender little heart to take. He was handcuffed, then his feet were stuck in stocks, and he prepared to be lowered upside down into a clear tank of water....I am sorry. That is all you get. I had to leave. I'm pretty sure if it was not successful, we would have read about in the daily news.

I am nearly certain he is doing that same stunt in another venue in a different town tonight. If I were there, I would have walked out again. Guess we'll never know, huh?

credit card fail... :(

...but it was a good idea, right? The guy who does the leg work for the contracting company said they will not take my plastic in payment for the Amazing, Astounding One Day Roofing Project. I was so in hopes of racking up huge rewards points as a result of putting a Major Purchase on my card. Really sad, and disappointed. Due to thinking that I could buy lots of gift cards for Christmas gifts with all the excessive rewards they would have to give. Rats.

So, I guess we are back to little jars of strawberry jelly and the recipe for super easy biscuits. Season's Greetings....

a new roof here...

Tuesday, April 5, 2016
...in this house where we have been living since 1981. I know we have put a roof on once before now, after purchasing the house when it was less than a year old. Therefore I can tell you with considerable certainty that premise of shingles lasting for thirty years is a bunch of malarkey. The guy who came and brought the samples has convinced the guy who will pay for it that it is a great deal and an excellent choice. I was lobbying for metal, but got outvoted, mostly due to cost. Plus the one person consensus was that we will not be here long enough to have to purchase another.

I came home to at least a dozen men stomping and hammering with air guns on top of the house. I would not be surprised if they get it done today. An absolute beehive of activity. I was sort of anxious about how it would go- knowing I was going to be distressed at all the people stomping around in my flower beds. Mistreating things that are starting to green up or just beginning to bloom. But amazingly practically everything was covered with big blue tarps, and hopefully they will not crush all the things I planted and nurtured in recent years.

As it turned out - they actually did get the entire thing re-reoofed, including putting some more decking down in several places where the wood was bad. I am amazed. And now we have a new roof- that we have to pay for. I'm obligated for half of it, and have called the credit card company to let them know my portion is going on the credit card, to get the rewards points!

thinking about glue...

Monday, April 4, 2016
...when I was at work yesterday, talking with the guy who was making the yogurt parfaits. We have been making some with just plain old ordinary, every day yogurt for several years. Add some fresh fruit, and put a little packet of crunchy granola in the bubble top to add when you open it up for a tasty treat. A bunch of different flavors, like pineapple and blueberry or banana and strawberry, plus some seasonal things I would not recommend like peach (I guarantee it won't be ripe and sweet like south Georgia are supposed to be) or apple, with a little tub of caramel sauce to stir in.

The newest thing is using Greek yogurt. I don't like it. I don't like the smell. I don't like the texture, I don't like the taste. And yes, I know it's good for me. With lots of protein, that I will always lack as a result of not eating animals. But I still do not care to eat it. And now I see  how tenacious it is, like glue. You could probably actually use it for glue. There are places at work where it gets dripped, or spilled or splattered -like the carton that got dropped in the watermelon bin and nearly permanently attached the melon to the side of the bin. And someone went to answer the phone with some Greek yogurt on a glove, where it stayed on the receiver for weeks till I cleaned it off.  Just like glue.

Which got me to thinking today, when I was at work about making glue when I was a kid. The recipe had me mix a tablespoon of flour with a tablespoon of water, to add to a broth for thickening. Pretty much the recipe for glue when I was making some sort of last minute, due-the-next-day project for school. Desperate for something that would hold stuff together - and, quite truthfully, before you could run to the store and get a bottle, jar, tube of glue. It just did not exist. You didn't go to the store and get it because the store didn't have it. So you just had to make your own. Flour and water: presto!

blueberry bushes...

Saturday, April 2, 2016
...planted in the back yard are blooming. The smart, useful, industrious guy who planted them should get at least two-thirds of the credit, since he invested all the labor to get them in the ground. And will certainly get the first batch of muffins if they produce enough this first year to make a recipe. I have had such huge fat ones in the past (before the demise of the prolific bush that I kinda, maybe, sorta', possibly killed with excess coffee grounds) the muffins were more berry than bread! Which ismy definition of perfection in blueberry muffins.

It was my desire/plan to purchase different varieties that would bear over a longer period of time. As opposed to getting all the same type that would produce a bounty, but all at the same time. Which is great if you want to make jam and need a quantity. But not so great if you just want to go out and pick to put on your cereal every morning.  Or hang around and pluck to pop in your mouth to turn your teeth and tongue dark blue. I understand a great way to have naturally blue dyed Easter eggs should you choose to forgo artificial coloring.

The bush that was intended to be the early bearing one already has wee little pin-head-sized berries on it. The one that was purchased to be the late bloomer is just beginning to do so, with pretty white lantern shaped flowers patiently awaiting bees to pollinate. The one in the middle might have some berries but they are too miniscule to see, plus it is getting a bit dark out there to be inspecting the crops today. So, though I am hopeful, don't get your napkin tied around your neck just yet...

volunteering, day 2...

...at Callaway Gardens. Not doing another weary dull day at the plant fair (that was probably not nearly so weary-ing or tedious due to more foot traffic on Saturday), but spending the day doing kids' crafts with another couple of volunteers. We were making paper flowers. Sort of amusing, kind of fun, but as it turned out the adults did the making and the kids stood and watched.

I was pretty disappointed to realize that we were the hands that were 'making' the craft, while the kids observed - but it was pretty simple and easy enough so that they can go home and beg mom for some colored paper and make their own by the bushel. Here's what you do: (or read about it on the internet where you can find every child's craft project in the universe). Trace around the childs' hand, draw a line across the bottom of the outline at the wrist to connect the two sides. Cut it out. Curl the ends of the fingers on the paper cut out of the hand like you would do with curling ribbon, using the edge of the scissor blade. Wrap the wrist end of the hand around a plastic drinking straw, with the fingers curled out, and secure with tape. Add a pipe cleaner stamen into the open end of the straw. Cut out a couple of green oval shapes for leaves and attach to the straw taping or stapling in place.

Hand to the child and say: "What a smart clever person you are to have made such a pretty lily for your mom!"

amazing, sweet story, part 2....

... and this is the Really Good Part. Showing how blessings can multiply. How people can become aware and realize what little effort it takes to make a huge impact. The way our seemingly small insignificant acts can be so powerful and meaningful to reciepients of the small favors. One person CAN make a difference.

The incident in the grocery store parking lot continued to weigh so heavily on F.'s heart, she told it to the people she sees every day in the work place. And they were moved and touched by it as much as she. So decided they should all buy an extra box each month when they go to the store for the necessities. To donate to a women's shelter. And provide for those who are unable to help themselves.

If every one of those young women will do that, follow through with what they have planned, continue to make that small purchase each month and get the goods to the shelter, it would make a huge difference. Ease the worries of those who live in backseats of cars, under bridges, on park benches. Make the load of daily concerns a little lighter for those deserving people who have come upon hard times, the people in our society who tend to fall through the cracks, often through circumstances they cannot control. Adding a thousand boxes of much needed supplies to the pantry of the shelter that provides for the needs of women down on their luck, stuck in a bad place.

amazing, sweet story...

...you really need to read. About a caring compassionate daughter who seems to have absorbed some lessons I don't recall having taught.  I'd love to take credit, and constantly tell these daughters how proud I am of the capable, remarkable people they have become.  But they seem to have become better people than I am, could have ever dreamed of or hoped for.  We hear so much about the younger generation who struggle in our world, it makes me so thankful that the two I was given to guide have turned into fully functioning independent adults.

It started on Thursday night, when she called and told me a story that will hopefully touch your heart as much as it did mine. Just a casual, happenstance event that occurred in her life. As well as provide a tutorial for anyone who does not count their blessings every single day of living and breathing.

F. stopped in at a big chain grocery store to pick up some small item, maybe for work or personal use. When crossing the parking lot she was approached by a young woman who asked if she could have a couple of dollars. Telling that she had three and needed two more to have enough to go in the store and make the purchase she needed. Her period was about to start and she did not have enough money to buy the needed feminine items.

We cannot assume she was homeless, indigent and without resources or even unemployed. But for what ever reason she had a problem and needed some help. I've heard F. tell of being stopped in a grocery parking lot and pulling cash out to give away before, but this story from a young female seems so heart-wrenching. It is so humiliatingly personal, and would be such a difficult thing  to request. Were it me, I would definitely have a huge problem with going up to a complete stranger to ask for help of this nature; and most certainly could not ever ask it of a male.

So she gave the young woman five dollars and they went their separate way. But the desperate need stayed with F., and she called me to tell the story. It continued to tug at her heart. She called me Friday morning to say she was distressed that she failed to give the woman every cent in her wallet. I told this colliding of circumstances was a way for her to see something she was oblivious to: an opportunity to realize how blessed she is and how much she has to be thankful for. Home, job, income, security, personal hygiene products when needed. Along with washers, dryers, potable water, toothbrushes, clean underwear, dry place to sleep, etc.., etc.., etc.......

Moral number one: Count your blessings. Open your eyes. Be thankful.

volunteering my time...

...at Callaway Gardens yesterday and again today. Their annual plant sale is this weekend. I have been doing this for several years, as a result of  a fellow gardening getting me involved. I was certainly not dragooned, or forced into doing it, but yesterday felt like a jail sentence. It was a blustery, rainy, thunder-stormy day with practically no customers that made it seem like it would neeevvvver end.Just interminable and dull and tedious and dragging, and going on forrreeeevvvver.
One of those days when you look at the time so often you start to wonder if your  clock/watch has turned into a cartoon, and the hands are going backward?

It was a sort of chicken-and-egg day: are there no customers because of the weather (which was really threatening and soupy) or does the paucity of vendors with plants cause the patrons to stay away? It's hard to say which of a multitude of things would have caused it to be such a dull, slow-moving event. All those people who were diligent with their phones, observing the weather patterns and making pronouncements said today would be sunny and clear, so hopefully it will be a good weekend for the growers who hauled many plants great distances in hopes of a profitable weekend.

If it had not been for the excessive  number of volunteers milling around with nothing to do except poke around in the plants, there would have been hardly anyone buying. I'm sure sales were really lean, and the majority of what walked out the door was purchased by people like me. Us who were totally ineffective in our practice of self control and could not resist, even though the consequences result in having to come home and dig.

Though I practiced saying 'No', and did not take the funds to bring home more than I could carry, I accidently bought a big bucket that has several small flowering almond trees in it. My plan is to re-pot, and keep them watered, let them grow for a couple of years and then decide: where? Or I could just re-sell. There was a new vendor who was selling lots of herbs and medicinal plants. And scented geraniums, which I find very interesting, attractive, delicious and tempting. But I bought a couple of salvia/sage and an Artemisia instead. The sage plants have bright blue blooms and will go out in the area where there is perennial salvia that is blooming right this minute with bright red flowers, enticing bees and butterflies to stop by. Plus a couple of tiny little milkweed starts, to go with the others that were specifically planted to attract monarch butterflies - the host plant and only place where they lay eggs for the caterpillars to feed on before they spin a cocoon.

Even though I practiced  my 'No', I spent all  my cash. And made the mistake of going to the checkout and asking if they would take plastic. Which of course they were delighted to do, and smiled brightly at me while ringing up my excess purchases. But I will get them planted and hope they will grow and bloom.

making a move...

Friday, April 1, 2016
... after lots of discussion and pondering. I thought we were going to downsize some years ago when we had a lot of stuff done to the house we have been in for nearly thirty five years. Everything painted, floors redone, bathroom tiled, kitchen updated. It looked so clean and fresh and desirable, which was my plan: we'd put it on the market and move closer in, to something with lots less yard and half the square footage.

But when it all got done, and the closets sorted out, furniture settled back into place, the man who also settled back into the recliner decided he liked it so well, looking all shiny and new, the move never happened. I was so pleased with all the closets I cleaned out, stuff that was sorted through, donations made as belongings were pared down, I was thoroughly prepared to box it all up and relocate.  Never happened.

But now: we are moving into a Tiny House. I read a book in the past year or so, written by a woman who built her own tiny house, on a trailer frame, carefully planning and designing to make it as user-friendly and efficient as possible. It will take some time to finalize plans and get to the finished product. We will be selling, donating, giving away, begging people to take stuff as we begin the process of getting rid of accumulated belongings. Not too sure how this is going to work, with a man who is so large he will barely fit through the door, living in a seriously pared down space the size of a small RV or mobile home. We should probably start practicing by living together in one room now.

Should be interesting if we can get rid of all this stuff. Everything has to go: all the furniture is built in in the Tiny House, to make the best use of space.  We will be living in just over hundred square feet. I think I have owned vehicles, during the era of station wagons and car seats, with more room than that! What we now use for a garage/carport will be bigger than our new house. I'm not sure what we will do with extra clothing that is seasonal, with practically no storage space - hope we can forgo renting a storage unit just to use for closet space! Or maybe we could just move into the U-Stor-It space?

It will certainly be a big change. Especially now on April First.