Saturday, June 30, 2007

Prayer for Direction -- UMH 705

Direct us O Lord, in all our doings,
with Your most gracious favor,
and further us with Your continual help
that in all our works,
begun, continued and ended in You,
We may glorify Your holy name,
and finally by Your mercy, obtain everlasting life,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord

We pray
Amen and Amen.

UMH 705 after the Book of Common Prayer

Friday, June 29, 2007

Facinating Newspaper Article

QG (too lazy to link to her website) posted a link to this article.

I found this article fascinating -- a month of Sundays. 30 different places of worship; thirty different reporters. I recognized the Methodist churches. Really. I've been there -- not in those buildings, but congregations just like them.

I'm going back to read it again...

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Seney Hall at Emory at Oxford

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Chaos is gone to Music Camp again this year. Here's the plaque outside of Old Church in Oxford.

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See no evil?
The cat, post surgery.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Death and Taxes -- Interlude; Rosie and Doc

After service on Sunday her first year when the church’s only inter-racial couple has just left, Fiona reentered the Sanctuary and sat in the back pew. Before long, Miss Mabel came and sat next to her.

“So, preacher, you’ve never asked.”


“Doc and Rosie. You’ve never asked.”

“No, I haven’t.” Fiona decided to wait because she knew that the information would soon be forth coming. The two women sat in silence for a moment. Miss Mabel started to tap her foot.
“Well do you want to know?”

The wait had gotten to Miss Mabel. Fiona just looked at her and remained quiet. After another moment, Mabel decided she had implicit permission. “Well it started back in the depression….”

Rosie sat on a suitcase outside the local saloon. Well, it wasn’t exactly a saloon, it was more of a speakeasy, but perhaps that distinction was just a splitting of hairs. She sat outside in the dark of a hot Georgia night as her future was decided within. Her Mama and Poppa had moved on a few months back, with the little ones. Her entire life had been spent on the road as her parents chased one ephemeral job after another. Her early memories were centered around the old Model T that her father had converted into a sort of house on wheels, with benches and beds for sleeping and storage. There never was any money, much less food. She had a string of siblings across the south that had been placed as domestics as soon as her Mama could find places for them. She had been with Mister and Mister’s family for 4 months now, but Mister had defaulted and the bank had come and taken his house. Now Mister’s family was going to be living in their car, just like her family did and there was no room for Rosie. Mister had come to the speakeasy to try to barter Rosie away.

The door was roughly opened and a few boisterous white men stumbled out.

“Girl! Girl! You need to come with us. You’re gonna to live with Doc now.”

Rosie rose to her feet, trembling. She was not naturally bold, and she was frightened. She followed the white men and their lanterns at a distance, lingering in the darkness. Her suitcase bumped against her calves and her feet made little clouds of dust as she shuffled along. One of the white men was obviously quite drunk and was being half carried by his companions. His fancy schmancy dress shoes made parallel tracks as the toes drug along in the dust.

They didn’t go far – just about half a mile down the dirt road before they turned down the once elegant drive of one of those old southern mansions with sagging porches. This one, though, was much bigger than Mister’s and much more depilated. It was dark as pitch outside the building. No lights were apparent in the house, the scene was lit only by the moon. The world seemed perfectly still. She heard the howl of a dog and the wail of a distant train. The trees and shrubs were overgrown and hunched protective-like around the immense house. Her reverie was interrupted by the creak and slam of the screened door. “Girl! Come get Doc settled down.” She hurried along to her new fate.

The men had placed Doc in the only bed on the first floor the house. The house was extremely cluttered. Rosie had never seen so much stuff in all her life. Wide-eyed she gazed in wonder at the random and haphazard piles in every room and on every piece of furniture save three – an easy chair in the parlor, a table next to the easy chair and the bed. The sheer amount of it was overwhelming. One of the white men said, “Doc takes things in payment. Should be food in the kitchen.”

Rosie sat her suitcase near the door and wandered off into the house. She realized that what Doc was using as a bedroom was actually the dining room – maybe for convenience?

The kitchen was full as well, and there seemed to be plenty of fresh food on the counter near the sink. There was also one of those Hoosier cabinets. Rosie peeked and it too was full. Flour, sugar, milk, bread, potatoes, corn, beans and in the icebox, meat, cheese and eggs. A bounty! Rosie had never seen so much food altogether in one place except for a general store. One of the white men entered the kitchen.

“Girl. When Doc wakes up, let him take it slow. I understand he has a mean temper. He likes his coffee black and strong. Have it ready when he wakes.” He turned to leave. “Oh, and help yourself to something to eat. He never can finish what people give him.”

Rosie’s mouth began to water. She began planning her meal before the white man left the room. She heard the door shut and she began to cook --a three-egg scramble with cheese and milk and toast with butter. Paradise!

After her meal and a sketchy wash of the dishes, she felt bold enough and strong enough to wander a bit. She had the lantern that the white men had left behind, but the immense size and darkness of the house was frightening. Cautiously, she opened doors and discovered several over filled rooms on the first floor: a library, a dining room sans bedroom, a parlor, the kitchen pantry, the butler’s pantry and a glorious bathroom with running water. After using the toilet, she eyed the bathtub. She turned on the water and felt the pipes shudder for a moment and then a gush of water. Cold, of course and no matter how long she let it run, it stayed cold. An idea hatched. If she could use the stove in the kitchen, she could heat water and take a real bath in a real tub. There was plenty of soap and towels left over from an earlier age. Did she dare?

She hurriedly heated water and took her suitcase into the bathroom. After barricading herself by locking the two doors, she stripped and sank into the silky smooth water. Considerably later, as the water began to cool; she washed her hair with the scented fine soap and scrubbed all over. She exited the tub and decided to wash the clothing she had been wearing. They were threadbare and faded, but she scrubbed until they were threadbare, faded and clean. She hung them to dry and dressed in her spare dress in the suitcase. It was time to leave the sanctuary of the bathroom.

Taking the lantern she decided to see if she could sleep in the parlor. She curled up in the chair and twisted this way and that, finally finding a comfortable position, but sleep eluded her. She could not shake the feeling that there was something looking down over her as she squirmed in the chair. Half picking the chair up and half sliding it on the wood floor, she wrestled it over to the Dining Room so that she could see the sleeping man and hear him breathe. She could not remember every sleeping really alone. In Mister’s house, her bed was in the dining room. She went to bed last and woke up first because of the lack of privacy, but she was never really alone. She couldn’t decide if she liked alone.

Lulled by the man’s breathing, she finally slept.

She awoke to moaning. Doc wasn’t really awake – just moaning. The house was bright with late morning light. After a few minutes, she went to the kitchen and put a pot on for coffee. After it brewed for a while, she retreated back to her chair and waited wide-eyed for the man to wake up.

After a few more moments, his eyes flung open and met her full on. “Great God Almighty!”

“Great God in Heaven!”

There was an odd gurgling noise and sudden movement. Rosie stayed petrified in her chair. He flung back the covers and ran, stark naked to the bathroom. It seemed the white men had removed all of his clothing. Rosie heard the sounds of someone getting very sick, running water and then silence. After a moment she heard, “Young woman, if you would be so kind, would you please fetch me a few articles of clothing? You will find them in the chifferobe next to the bed.”

Rosie rose from the chair, found the necessary items, minus socks and timidly knocked on the door. An elegant white arm with exquisite proportion reached out to take the proffered items and Rosie fled. Out of the house and into the yard.

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I purchased this cross with some of my graduation money. I really like it...

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My sister.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

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Shrimp Boats

Note: It's the 178th day of the year, so I've 23 pictures to catch up...

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Shrimp boat

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More pictures of the surf in the early morning.

A Prayer by John Wesley

We offer up again our souls and bodies to you to be governed,
not by our will, but yours.
O let it be ever the ease and joy of our hearts,
to be under the conduct of your unerring wisdom,
to follow your counsels, and to be ruled in all things by your holy will.
And let us never distrust your abundant kindness and tender care over us;
whatsoever it is you would have us to do
or to suffer in this world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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(Note: Please click on the picture for the full resolution pictures -- most of these are so much prettier in the full resolution. Thanks.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

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From St. George. I love this picture. It's almost impressionistic.

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Look! Up in the sky! It's Jesus!

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The Hermitage Youth Group.

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The Hermitage Van in front of New Hope, too stinking early in the morning.

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Jonathon and myself. My husband managed to get the picture where BOTH of us have an open mouth. Lovely.

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One Single Picture from Conference.
Hard to believe that it was almost 2 weeks ago. I've lost time!
I also discovered I have no stomach for Conference (a joke, y'all, it's a joke! like you know, Conference could REALLY cause appendicitis...)

I actually enjoy Conference -- I love seeing the people.

Working itself into a Sermon somehow....

Have you ever noticed that most casseroles are made of the same "stuff"?
  • Meat
  • Starch
  • Veggie
  • Sauce
  • Seasonings
  • Topping
  • 350 for 30 minutes.
Tuna casserole = Tuna + Noodles + Little Green Peas + Cream of Mushroom + black pepper + cracker and cheese topping. All mixed together but the topping and baked.

Curried Chicken = Chicken + Rice + Spinach + Cream of Mushroom with Mayo + curry + cheese topping. Layered (rice, spinach, chicken with sauce, cheese) and baked.

Chicken and Stovetop = Chicken + Stovetop Dressing + small can of corn + Cream of Chicken with milk + sage and pepper + cheese topping. Mix all but topping and baked.

Sometimes elements are missing, but the casserole is still perfect

Vidalia Onion Casserole = crushed crackers + chopped Vidalia onions + sauce (2 eggs, 1 stick melted butter, grated cheese) + cheese topping. Baked.

Pineapple Casserole = pineapple + (cheese, flour and sugar) + cracker topping. Baked.

All somehow the same, but all different and for different purposes.

Christians = Bible Study + willing spirit + Holy Spirit + Prayer + Mission or Service + Fellowship + Worship for an hour in Community

Are some ingredients always necessary? Are there optional ingredients? What's our seasoning? Are WE the seasoning?


Monday, June 25, 2007

Shrimp and Grits

  • 4 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup grits (stone-ground are the best, but quick grits will do in a pinch)
  • 3 or 4tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
Cook the grits in the usual manner: boil water, salt and pepper. Slowly add grits, stirring as you add. Cover and cook for recommended amount of time (remember quick grits are different than “real grits” – quick grits cook in about 5 minutes, real grits take about 30.) Remember to stir as you are cooking. When they are at the 'lava bubble’ stage, add the heavy cream and cheese and butter. Stir and let finish cooking – set aside.

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined -- about 20
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped or 1/2 cup tasso ham (hard to find, you can use prosciutto)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced leeks (or scallions, or MILD onion)
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons diced green peppers
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
Sauté the shrimp in about 1/4 cup olive oil or butter (don’t scorch!) until nice and pink. Remove from pan and then either cook bacon or tasso in the pan until browned. Remove and add to bowl with shrimp. Saute the aromatics, saving the garlic for the last minute or so (or else it will become bitter.) Sprinkle white flour over the aromatics when they are transparent and stir well. Slowly add wine and cream, stirring continually until thickened. Remove from heat and add back into the pan the shrimp and bacon. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Place one cup of the grits into a rimmed soup bowl and top with a quarter of the shrimp (about 5) and a quarter of the sauce. Serves 4.

Serve with oyster stew, fresh baked bread with garlic spread, green salad. Yum.

Garlic Spread:

Roast 4 heads of garlic in oven for a nice long time. Remove and let cool. Set out a pound of butter to soften and place in big bowl. When cooled, break apart the garlic heads into cloves. Snip the tip of each clove and squeeze the roasted garlic into the bowl Add a dash of salt and pepper and about a tablespoon of grated cheese. Mix with flat spatula until and chill until use.

Crabby Soup

  • 1 pound of crabmeat (I like chunk and claw, both, but NO SHELL)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry (or 1/4 cup white wine if you have no sherry)

In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the flour and stir until smooth and bubbly. Do not make into a roux -- just cook until "smooth". While stirring with a whisk, pour in the milk and cream slowly and cook over high heat until the sauce comes to a boil and is smooth and slightly thickened.

Stir in the crabmeat and seasonings. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until heated through and through. Stir in the sherry or wine, taste for seasoning (especially salt), and ladle the soup into bowls. Serve with crusty french bread.

In Florida this year I did vary the recipe slightly, making it into more of a "Gulf Chowder" by adding a hand full of fresh corn cut off the cob and then cooked in the soup base, a boiled potato chopped into cubes, cubed white fish (cooked, it was grouper), a couple of chopped boiled shrimp and topped the soup with split grape tomatoes. Yum.

The leftovers thickened in the refrigerator and so I tossed some hot cooked pasta with butter and ladled the warmed up soup over the buttered pasta. Yum again.

Morning Prayer -- Rising in Darkness, Psalm 89

Note: I love the line in the middle of this hymn

Rising in darkness,
let us all keep watching
let psalms provide our source of meditation
And sing with all our strength
hymns of adoration
to our Creator bring.

Christe sanctorum Anonymous (18thC)
Words: Gregory the Great (6thC)

Psalm 89
1 Your love, O LORD, for ever will I sing;
from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
2 For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever;
you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
3 "I have made a covenant with my chosen one; *
I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4 'I will establish your line for ever,
and preserve your throne for all generations.'"
5 The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O LORD,
and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
6 For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD?
who is like the LORD among the gods?
7 God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones,
great and terrible to all those round about him.
8 Who is like you, LORD God of hosts?
O mighty LORD, your faithfulness is all around you.
9 You rule the raging of the sea *
and still the surging of its waves.

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Excitement Abounds

Entropy now has a violin. The sounds coming from the Dining Room are so very ... interesting.

Imagine this.

Does any one know a wholesale source of earplugs?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Current Excitement

Jonathon Norman's youth group needed a place to stay tonight (at the very very last moment) and so they are staying at New Hope. It's good to see JNorm and I'll post pictures.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ha ha ha ha

Look at this.

Little Kitty

Went to the kitty hospital yesterday for emergency surgery on her little kitty face. Seems she got a scratch, it got infected and started to abscess. The vet drained it and is flushing it twice a day with an antiseptic, as well as put her on IV antibiotics. They are keeping her for a couple of days. Poor kitty. She's almost 19 years old and both the LH and I were afraid that they were just going to say, "It's time to put her to sleep."

Get this -- I have an appendectomy and they keep me about 7 hours after surgery. The kitty gets to stay at the animal hospital for 3 days for a skin abscess. Is this skewed reality or is it just me?

mood - puzzled.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

OK, When's this going to end and

when am I going to feel normal?

I started to cough last night and strained one of my incisions. I had decided to get up and move around more today, but may have to revise that plan. I'm getting really tired of being dizzy and coughing and sore. I'm ready for this to be over and NOW. And I'm sure people are getting tired of my whining, so I'll stop.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Instructions for a DIY Appendectomy

For the DIY kind of person, here's the surgical steps for an appendectomy.
Isn't the internet grand?
From this website.
  1. Make a skin incision. Incise the adipose tissue and retract with Army/Navy retractors.
    Clamp, cut and tie the vessels in the adipose tissue.
  2. Dissect through the adipose layer, and grasp the fascia with two kellys and incise with the deep knife.
    Gelpi self-retaining retractors can also be used.
  3. Dissect through the muscle. Pick up the posterior fascia with two kellys, incise with the deep knife and extend the incision.
  4. Grasp the peritoneum with two kellys, incise with the deep knife and extend the incision.
  5. Grasp the appendix with a Babcock clamp. (Cultures could be taken at this time.) Crush the base of the appendix with a clamp and place an O-Chromic tie at the base.
  6. Excise the appendix. Pass the specimen with the dirty instruments to the technologist. Place a purse string suture around the stump of the appendix. Tighten the purse string stitch, tie and cut.
  7. Close the peritoneum with suture of choice. (Drains may be placed at this time.)
  8. We recommend that the fascia be closed using an inturrupted stitch with an eyed needle. This gives the student the opportunity to practice threading and passing eyed suture.
  9. Close the adipose and skin layers in the usual fashion. Skin staples or steri-strips may be used if desired.

My response? OUCH!
(Also? Do NOT Google for Appendectomy pictures. URGH.)

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Maybe this one is better.

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Christmas Card Picture.... or not.

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Handfull of shells.

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The Geek face. From the same sponsor who brought you the Emo face. So goes the 13 year olds.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Lessons Learned

1. An appendix can hurt more than active labor.
2. It can take longer to recover from an appendectomy than childbirth.
3. Make sure I tell the anesthesiologist that I tend to be "fiesty." Seems I tried to walk from the operating room to recovery...
4. I don't like oxygen masks. My first word in recovery was "cannula" (as I was ripping the mask off....)
5. Tell everyone it's OK to tie me down. Really.
6. I don't like being a patient.

Actually, it was my sister who insisted that I go to the hospital. I was in the operating room just a scant few hours later. If it weren't for her, I probably wouldn't have gone until it burst, so she saved me a bunch of fuss and bother. For some reason I got called stubborn.

OK, I'm tired now. Please continue in prayer, OK?

Oh, and Jen? Picture 138 will most definitely NOT be a scar. Really.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

This is Chaos

Mommy had emergency surgery for her appendix last night, so she's not going to be blogging for a couple of days.

Please pray for a fast recovery and send her some email. She likes email. :]

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

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the emo face

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We always do puzzles in the trailer. It's a good family activity for late night or rainy days. We all enjoy it.

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Cleaning the trailer. Sure goes a lot faster than cleaning the house!

Morning Prayer -- Heavenly Sunlight, Psalm 72

Walking in sunlight all of our journey;
Over the mountains, through the deep vale;
Jesus has said, "I'll never forsake you,"
Promise divine that never can fail.

Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight,
Flooding our souls with glory ablaze:
Hallelujah, we are rejoicing,
Thankful for blessing, singing our praise.
-- Words: Henry J. Zelley, William Kirkpatrick , Henry Gilmour (19thC) adapted

Psalm 72 Deus, judicium
1 Give the King your justice, O God, *
and your righteousness to the King's son;
2 That he may rule your people righteously *
and the poor with justice.
3 That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people, *
and the little hills bring righteousness.
4 He shall defend the needy among the people; *
he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.
5 He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure, *
from one generation to another.
6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown field, *
like showers that water the earth.

Deut. 31:30-32:14 (NRSV)

30Then Moses recited the words of this song, to the very end, in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel:

Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; let the earth hear the words of my mouth. 2May my teaching drop like the rain, my speech condense like the dew; like gentle rain on grass, like showers on new growth. 3For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! 4The Rock, his work is perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God, without deceit, just and upright is he; 5yet his degenerate children have dealt falsely with him, a perverse and crooked generation. 6Do you thus repay the LORD, O foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

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Morning Surf

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Thunderstorms rolling in the final. Rain, blessed rain!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

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Crowded beach.... St. George style


I've been meaning to blog, but my Emory account is going away really really soon and I'm trying to get all the stuff on there migrated over and it's taking longer than I anticipated.

I'm at conference for a good portion of this week. Hot, crowded, sticky, thirsty.

I made eye contact with QP, but he snuck out before the session ended, dern his hide. We need to do lunch. (Isn't that what all good Methodist should do -- lunch?)

I posted the Lectionary Leanings early tonight.

I need to finish my Thank you notes.

Later, gator.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

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Two birds.

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The Indian next to the Fisherman on the Bay. The pictures are not exactly in order....

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The Beach. The temperatures were just right -- not too hot and not too cold. The water was a little rough for me a couple of the days, but the kids loved it.

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A Fisherman totempole on the Bay in Apalachicola, near the old Sponge Exchange.

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Food while we are on vacation is important! The Blue Parrot has been on St. George for a long long time and is a favorite. Good family atmosphere, a bit pricey.

Boss Oyster is tops in Apalachicola -- good food, pretty good prices. Bathroom is in a weird place, though.

Also in Apalachicola is the Apalachicola Grill. Open Tues to Sat from about 11:00 to 4:00 pm. Excellent fresh seafood at an excellent price. And Chez Funk is almost next door.

In Eastpoint is "That Place on 98" -- a must every trip. They were almost completely wiped out by Dennis. Most of the small oysterhouses on 98 are gone because of Dennis in 2005, as is the Grouper population. The area was hit by Category 5 flooding, but only Category 2 winds, but the flooding devestated the dunes on the barrier islands as well as many of the smaller businesses. The older houses suffered a lot of damage and there are people who still have not rebuilt or returned to the area. 2005 was hard on all of the Gulf coast.

Gone as well is Julia Mae's in Carrabelle. This restaurant was an institution. I remember going there as a kid and I really miss it.

Friday, June 08, 2007

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Fifth Grade graduation. Such a fashion sense -- seafoam green and aqua blue with a pink handbag and flip flops.

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Fighting over the Wii -- Entropy lost.
(Staged -- she gave it back...)

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Chaos liked it too....

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Here's Entropy opening her present -- Whee!! or is it Wii!!

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It was Entropy's birthday the week we left for the beach. Here's Chaos warbling "Happy Birthday" to Entropy. (And it was indeed a warble...)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

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A Laughing Gull early in the morning.

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Laughing Gull in Summer plumage. The coloration will shift as they get ready to migrate in the winter.

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The reason I had so many opportunities to take pictures of gulls. There must have been 30 of them swirling around waiting for the girls to give them something to eat....

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Laughing Gull decelerating for a landing.

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Laughing Gull landing.