Saturday, October 6, 2018

Random Thoughts

Our weather is still quite warm and above normal but the humidity levels have dropped.  It's really gorgeous outside now.  As I've been driving around the last week I've been reminded of just how much I love living here in the north Georgia mountains.  I look at the valleys and hills and it just makes me feel good.  My husband and I sit in the mornings with our coffee and talk about how the foliage on the trees changes. 
Not this year but the view from our deck
We love our bird feeders and I'm an avid birder also, so we keep tabs on the activity around the house every day.  We've had both male and female rose breasted grosbeaks this week along with summer tanagers.  I still have at least one ruby throat hummingbird.  

We've had some erosion control/drainage work done lately.  Its the kind of job that couldn't be delayed.  We live on the side of a mountain and our lot is quite sloped so when a small erosion site develops it has to be stopped immediately.  We had several new french drains put in along with drain pipes from them down the hill.  We also had covered gutters put on the back of the house to match the ones on the front of the house.  We've not had a lot of rain since the job was finished so we'll see how it works.  

As much as I hated to do it, we also had to have some saplings removed and a couple of larger trees that had developed what I call root rot.  Its where the trees develop cavities near the ground and weaken the tree.  One was on our downhill lot and was threat to the neighbor's house should it fall, so it came down.  The other one was beside our driveway and would block us in should it fall.  Truthfully, if you didn't know the trees were removed you'd never know.  

I got a new laptop several months ago and still haven't transferred the photos from the old one.  Therefore, I don't have many pictures to choose from to add here.  And for whatever reason I haven't taken many pictures lately.
We visited Crater Lake earlier this summer
Hope you're all doing well.   Y'all take care. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Uh Oh

Well, when Blogger knows I haven't posted in a long time and wants to know if I still want to get notifications about comments, I guess its time to fish or cut bait.  I'm not ready to cut bait so here we go. 

I'm still doing the same old - same old around here.  My quilting hobby keeps me fairly occupied and I still read voraciously.  

We took a trip to the west coast in July to visit family.  My stepdaughter now lives in Redmond, OR.  I went to the Sisters, Oregon quilt show while we were there.  That was the very first quilt show I ever attended back in 1996 long before I took up quilting myself.  It was hot, but then I expected that.  I and many others showed up about 7:30 in the morning while quilts were still being put out for display.  I met up with a couple of friends, one from here in the mountains and one who lives in Portland, OR now but used to live here in the mountains.  
Quilt Shop that sponsors the show
It had been many years since I'd been to Bend, Sisters and Redmond, Oregon.  Hard to believe how they've changed since we were there.  At one time I would have loved to live there but no more. 

After leaving Redmond, we drove up to Lummi Island, Washington to visit more family.  The drastic difference in weather was so welcome.  We left 100 degree temps in Oregon and arrived to the low 70's on the island.  
view from the deck Mt. Baker 
Also, the day after we left Oregon, wildfires erupted again covering the very highway we had traveled the day before.  They don't seem to have let up a lot since then.   The smoke from inland fires reached the Island a few days after we left. 
look close, afternoon snack 
While there, all four of us went up to Victoria, BC to visit Butchart Gardens.  Had a great trip up there.  Pretty gardens and good food and lively downtown Victoria. 

I'll do my best to be back without too much delay.  Hope you're all doing well. 

Y'all take care

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Homemade Doughnuts

I've been lax with my own blog posting but I've been keeping up with others on a regular basis.  Leigh at 5 Acres and a Dream asked me to share my mother's doughnut recipe.  We didn't make doughnuts very often but they were scarfed up readily by the three teenagers in the house along with my parents.  It was a production to make them because they ALL needed to be made, rolled out, cut and left on parchment paper or waxed paper ready for cooking before starting cooking any of them.   Mama did the cooking, I did the shuffling from table to stove and then took care of the sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg when they were done.  YUM. 

Buttermilk Doughnuts
4 cups all purpose flour, sifted before measuring
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg & cinnamon (proportions to your taste)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup shortening
3 eggs beaten
1 1/4 cup buttermilk 

Sift all dry ingredients together.  Add shortening and cut in.  Combine eggs and buttermilk.  Work liquid into dry ingredients.  Knead for one minute.  Divide dough into 2 parts.  Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thick.  Cut out.  Place cut outs on waxed paper or parchment until all are cut. 

Fry in hot oil about 1 1/2 minutes per side or until golden.  Drain.  Shake warm doughnuts in paper bag with sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg mixture.  Enjoy.  

This is from an old recipe book she had and no oil temperature was given nor the number made but it's a bunch.   Hope you enjoy them.  Let me know how you like them. 

Happy New Year, friends

Y'all take care 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Evidence of Progress??

I went to northwest Florida last weekend to attend a family gathering.  Since we don't have ready access to good seafood up here in the mountains, my hubby and I wanted to take advantage of the proximity and headed down to the coast with my brother for dinner on Friday night.   It had been a long time since I'd been the south end of the county where I grew up so I figured we'd head out early and see what was happening, even getting to see a few birds along the way.   

Well.......let me tell you.  I got the shock of my life.  I knew south Walton County had been growing in popularity for years but nothing prepared me for what I saw.  Every single foot of the gorgeous white beaches I grew up with and loved has now been  plastered with condos, houses, restaurants and shops.  Public access to the beach is almost non-existent.  I was driving so I didn't get a single picture but you can go to some websites to find out just exactly what I saw.  Rosemary Beach   Watercolor  Seaside   and others including Sterling Properties.  Some of these have been in existence for many years, but the spaces between have all filled up.  

The traffic was unbelievable, both on the 4 lane divided highway parallel to the coast and on the inner roads, and this was on a random Friday in early November!  Knowing what happens in the summer, you couldn't pay me enough money to go there then.  Makes me so sad to see places I loved become inaccessible to a whole lot of folks who actually live in that county.    Perhaps had I not grown up in that county I wouldn't look at it as a bad thing, but I did grow up there and it hurts.  

Since I got no pictures on this trip, let me see if I can find something in the archives, so to speak. 

Hubby with friends from Germany

Oh, well.  I'll just stick to my little town in the mountains and proudly proclaim I've become a curmudgeon.   Oh, and there wasn't a bird in sight.  

Y'all take care

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fall in the Mountains

I wish there was some way that I could share  accurately the breathtaking beauty to be found here in the mountains at the moment.  We don't have as many maples as New England so we don't have as much red color, but the oranges and golds certainly make up for it. 

Every one of these was taken without getting off my porches and deck.  When you look out the windows, you are looking into a sea of shades of gold, yellow and orange.   Sadly, though, this peak color also means that leaves are falling.  We're enjoying them every day because soon there will be long months of bare limbs.   

Winter months provide their own beauty with lacy limbs, sometimes outlined in snow, and allowing views in directions not seen while leaves are on the trees. 

I grew up in northwest Florida where so many of the trees did not shed leaves.  The area is covered by pines and though they do shed needles, they are never bare.  Even the oaks there mostly shed part of the leaves in the fall and the most of the leaves in the spring as new growth appeared. 

For many years I dreamed of living somewhere with rolling hills, hardwood trees and four seasons.  I've got those here and I'm a happy camper.  

Strangely, there are very few acorns this year.  Gonna be a lean year for critters that rely on them.  I'll bet that means that the squirrels will be flocking to our feeders even more than usual.  I don't mind supplementing their food supply, but being the primary source gets tiresome, particularly as their feeding keeps the birds from the feeders.   

Y'all take care 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Impact of Irma

At the moment (Monday night, 8:15 p.m.) we're experiencing light rain and gusty winds as a result of Irma.  We've had the rain off and on all day but the winds have kicked up only in the last little bit.  I'm expecting and hoping that it'll just be these little gusts that I'm guessing are somewhere around 30-40 mph.    No loss of electricity yet but that doesn't mean much.  It's not uncommon for us to lose power up here.  In fact, just a bit over a week ago it was off for about 7 hours due to a blown transformer.  So, it goes.  As long as we're safe otherwise, I'm good. 

My blog pals across the pond can rest easy for now.  And thanks for being concerned about me.  

Y'all take care 

From earlier this summer 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bird Pals and Trips

You know, if you dug out your trusty Webster's dictionary and looked up the word "procrastinator" you'd find my picture right there.  'nuf said. 

I did make my trip to Texas in April for the spring bird migration.  It was a different trip in that my Birdlady friend couldn't go because of her health.  Unfortunately, her Parkinson's disease will no longer allow her to hold binoculars steady enough to view birds.  Her heart is broken as is mine.  She was and is such a mentor to me when it comes to the birding world. 
Birdlady in green fleece
She taught kindergarden and second grade all her teaching career so she knows how to impart information well.  Dang, I miss birding with her.  We rambled all over northwest Florida, southern Alabama and on trips to Texas, Mississippi and northern Alabama.  Many happy days were spent in the Blackwater State Forest on unnamed roads, not seeing another vehicle or person for hours at a time.  Our lunches were packed along and we ate wherever looked good.  

Anyway, my friend, Larry, was also along with us on most of those outings and he went with me to Texas this time too.  We didn't have much luck seeing raptors at all.  Then, one day on the way back up to our motel we were cruising along when I noticed "something" out in a field.  Since I was buzzing along about 65 mph at the time,  it took me a minute to get pulled over and stopped after I registered what it was.  I then threw the jeep in reverse and buzzed back down the road to get a good look.  Yeah, I made sure no traffic was coming behind me before doing that.  Anyway, it was a great horned owl being dive bombed by mockingbirds. 
Photo by Larry Goodman
Larry took this shot from the car.  It's obvious to me that they had a nest in that bush and they wanted no part of an owl being nearby.  

We usually also see Crested Caracaras some time on the trip.  I think it might have been the same day as the owl, but as we were scooting down that same highway toward the gulf, there on the shoulder of the highway was a caracara just strutting toward us on the ground like he owned the place.  Didn't even fly as we passed each other.  

We didn't see any unusual birds on the trip but we still enjoyed seeing the same old, same old.  We never get tired of them. 
Laughing Gulls 
Yellow crowned night heron 
Red-breasted Merganser
Rookery in full swing

Nesting birds decimate any vegetation under trees 


Black bellied plover

Great Blue Heron 

Least Bittern, little thing and a bugger to catch
One of our favorite birds that are just wonderful in their large flocks is the American Avocet.
American Avocet
And no trip would be complete without seeing the nesting swallows on the bridge over the Intercoastal Waterway.
Bank swallows

Lots and lots of swallows
At the end of Bolivar Peninsula where it meets up with Galveston Bay, here's the view across the way.   We do our very best to avoid looking in that direction.

So, who's up for a trip next April?

Y'all take care.