Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pigly Wigly in the Sun

Just in case I get homesick for my semi-family roots of North Cackalackie after we move to The Bahamas, I can always visit this little food store at Harbour Island. Just a hop, skip, water-taxi, golf cart ride away is a Pigly Wigly.

I would like to give a shout out to all of the Piggly Wiggly's of the greater Southern States.

Who knew you were so well franchised!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Preacher's Cave

Things have been a bit hectic around here lately. In consequence, I have not been as photo-snappy-happy as I usually am and so I don't have much new to talk about.

Funerals, airplane flights, and thunderstorms aren't too terribly interesting to talk about.

So when I'm all stressed out with nothing else interesting to talk about, my thoughts go back to my island.

I hope you don't mind my occasional forays to The Bahamas. I'm practicing for future blogs.

There is a tourist destination on the far north point of Eleuthera, called Preacher's Cave. Legend has it that a group of people searching for religious freedom set off from Bermuda looking for a new home. They crashed here, at the beach just to the north of this cave, and the survivors took refuge in this cave. Overtime, the survivors where rescued and others settled on the island, now called Eleuthera after that first group of freedom seekers, The Eleutherian Adventurers. Eleuthera means "freedom" in Greek.

Inside the mouth of the cave there is ample space to walk around and imagine yourself hunkering down during rain, hurricane, cold, and wind. And sermon.

There is a plaque carved by someone, sometime, that reads, "William Sayer, Shipwrecked at Devil Backbone, Found refuge here, Sermons held 100 years". I don't know anything about Mr. Sayer, but it is said that Christian religious ceremonies were held in this cave for many, many years. Thus the name, Preacher's Cave.

If you're brave enough to walk up either side of the hill that surrounds the mouth of the cave, you can find some spectacular portholes to look down. (With my luck and fear of heights, I would slip, stumble, or discover a new hole and go crashing to my demise.)

Hey Jerry and Jimmy!

Sure is holey in here, isn't it? Get it? Holy? Holey? Oh, never mind.

Looking past the graffiti and up into the hole above, the kids were all very excited to see some familiar faces peeking down at them. "Hey, Dad! How'd you get up there? Can I come?"

Absolutely, no way Jose, not on your life, not over my dead body, you must be crazy, ain't NO WAY you are going up there, kid. Period. End of story. The end.

Somehow we managed to get all of the kids and adults to sit nicely for a picture during our picnic lunch at the cave. (What you can't see is the good goosing I'm giving Jerry when the camera went off. We were bickering about something. I can't remember what, but the goose he got will forever be remembered.)

Until next time, you are dismissed. Go in peace.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I've discovered the mystery as to why Native Americans put feathers in their hair. You know how they all had long hair, including the men? (Maybe not ALL, but in our stereotypical, Native American prototype, they all had long hair.)

Well, they had long hair but nothing to put it up with. No elastics, no scrunchies, no ribbons. Just feathers!

Phoebe's hair falls directly into her face if it is not pulled up. And when she's eating a honey-gooed biscuit for breakfast, her hair MUST be up. But I was in a hurry and couldn't find an elastic. Looking around I found a large feather on the ground.

Twist, tuck, stuff, and pull and VIOLA! a pretty good little bun held in place with a vulture feather!

"Feathering" is all the rage anyway. This is "feathering" to the extreme!

What do you think of your new "do" Phoebe?

Yes. Just lovely.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Burn Ban

Over Labor Day weekend, we went camping at Canyon Lake. Across the lake from our park we spotted this brush fire. After talking to someone who had seen it start, we learned the fire started suddenly and within an hour the entire park was gone.

The eye witness said that it looked and sounded like the Fourth of July when a tree caught fire. The ground and trees are so dry that everything exploded in a loud popping hiss of flames the second the fire got close.

The fire burned for only a few hours before fire crews had it contained. Luckily the part of the peninsula that burned was only a forested picnic and day-use area and not full of RV's and campers like our park was.

Later we learned someone was cooking lunch over an open fire in one of the fire pits despite signs all over the place saying, "Burn Ban in Effect. No Fires, Even in Fire Pits". I guess that ban didn't apply to them.

The people across from us started a fire in their fire pit later that same day, despite burn ban signs up all around us. Jerry was over there in 2.3 seconds telling them to put it out. It was quite windy that day and we didn't particularly want to burn to the ground, thank you very much.

In our neck of the woods we call this an awning "fail".

Told ya it was windy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Phoebe in the Sun

Ooh, girl. Don't you look stunning in the late afternoon sun! You're hair is like fire, your eyes like sapphires!

Let me take your picture. Say "honey"!

No? You won't say "honey"? You won't smile for a picture? Not even one measly little itty bitty smile?

Alright now, missy. You can just put that nasty face back where it came from. All I wanted was one teensy weensy smile.

Is it that hard to smile? Just once? Please?

You know I won't give up until I get a smile. You are stubborn but I am MAMA stubborn so I will win.

Oh, there it is! What a pretty smile! (That I will later realize has been overexposed! Drat!)

Yes, you're done. Go back and finish watching soccer practice, Mrs. Pouty Von Pouterson.

Get used to it, girl. You're too cute to stay out of the spotlight for long!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Flight into Space

Over Labor Day weekend, we went camping with some friends of ours and their two adorable girls. There were three 7 year old girls with us. There was a lot of screaming.

One day we rented a boat and went (slowly) for a cruise around Canyon Lake.

At one spot we stopped to check out the geological formations. I promise I was not piloting the boat so you can't blame the sudden interest in science on me.

Whatcha lookin' at, Honey?

Jerry? What are you doing?

What in the world did you do that for? A water "pH" test?

Now where are you going? You don't have to go so far from the boat to adjust the water temperature do you?

Um, babe, I think that's private property. If you're thinking about leaving behind "something" we can just go back to the marina. It's just over there.

How's the view?



What is it about my family that makes them want to jump off of things into unknown waters below?

It must be me that drives them to do this. I have NO inclination of jumping off of anything.

Nice splash! You OK? Any impalement?

Hi, honey! You feel better now? OK, then get in the boat so I can beat you up for acting like a fool!

(For some unknown reason, I sure do love this ridiculous Man-child.)

Can we all just stop jumping off of things now? Thanks.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


You know Jerry and his almost obsession with our backyard birds? Since we have 284 bird feeders now and we live in a small house, I find bird seed stored all over the place.

A lot of the seed lives on the shelf directly above my washer and dryer. As you can imagine I spend a lot of time standing there looking at the sorted mess on that shelf above the machines while I wash, dry, and fold laundry.

There is one box of suet that looks like this:

Yes. I took a picture of bird suet in a box in my laundry room. Trust me. I have a point.

This box is nothing special. Just a big box of beef-fat infused with bird seed.

But that's not what I see every time I glance in it's direction.

All I see is............



....wait for it..........



Yes. Royal a$.


Really, it's not too far off the mark when considering doing laundry. That chore really is a "Royal" pain in the whoop!

Happy folding!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Click Your Heels

Josh? What in the world are you wearing on your feet? I know all of our stuff is still packed away from our camping trip, but certainly you could find some other kinds of shoes to wear?

Red, glitter, Dorothy shoes for eating cereal?

Maybe there really is "no place like home"!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fishing at the Golf Course

One fine morning this summer, the golf course opened it's doors? gates? greens? and allowed the children to fish in the heavily stocked pond.

We loaded up our fishing poles, tackle boxes, fish sock*, and water bottles and took the long walk over to the base golf course. We sure were tuckered out after walking 25 yards over to the greens! Phew!

*Fish sock - a sock you wear on your hand while holding a fish so you don't have to touch the fish directly. Fish are slimy, pokey, and smelly. Socks are abundant, often without mates, and conveniently available on your feet in case you forget to bring one along on a fishing trip.

Phoebe caught a few little fish with her princess fishing pole. Do princesses fish? According to Disney they do.

Paige also caught quite a few fish. She was using a new adult-sized pole as she is now officially too "old" for princesses or "baby" fishing poles.

Do babies go fishing? According to Paige they do.

As this day was in fact a fishing derby, there were prizes awarded for the most number of fish caught and for the largest fish, per age group. Paige's bass was the biggest we had so Jerry set off to have it weighed and entered into judging. We are a competitive bunch.

(I love Paige's expression in this photo. I'm sure she's fussing at Jerry saying something like, "Dad! Wait! I want to pet/sketch/hug/coddle/poke/love my fish to pieces!" He was not deterred.)

(We didn't win by the way. Some dufus had a fish almost a full pound bigger than ours. The dork.)

Do large mouth bass really have large mouths? According to this photo they do.

And what about Josh? According to this photo he has his daddy's fishing skills.

Keep trying buddy, and one day you'll catch something bigger than bait!

Fish on!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Organic Ant Killer for Gardens

One day last week I noticed there were ant piles growing up all over our yard. The ants were red, but bigger than the typical fire ant, and they were building piles much differently than I've ever seen. And the ants were leaf-cutters as I watched them carry pieces of cut up leaves into their mounds.

At first I tried fire ant killer, but then I noticed a few mounds inside my raised garden. I don't know much about gardening, but I'm pretty sure it's a no-no to put ant killer inside your garden.

So I googled organic ant control solutions, and there were tons to choose from. But the only one I could try was using plain, white, table sugar. It was the only one that I had the necessary ingredient on hand.

What you do is to take a cup or more of table sugar and pour it directly into and around the opening hole of the ant mound. Use a LOT. I don't know the action, but something about the sugar drives them away. (I don't think they are killed but simply relocate.)

I tried it and poured sugar in little piles all over my yard.

I even tried it on the large mounds growing under our privacy fence.

Conclusion: The sugar worked!

Kind of.

Within a few hours of applying the sugar to the small and medium sized mounds, the ants were gone. But the largest mound, seen here on our chain-link fence, was too large and the ants just moved over and started a new opening.

I have tried everything to get rid of this large mound, now about 2 feet in diameter. I've tried all kinds of pesticides but nothing works. Time to call the guy!

But on the small mounds, and the ones in my garden, no more ants!

Table sugar! Who knew?

(Oh, I wouldn't suggest using this trick too close to the house if you are in an area with the small, black, kitchen, sugar ants. We don't have those here. Every ant here is some type of stinging ant. We are so lucky.)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Nap in Paradise

Life on the island is pretty laid back. There's not much to do except spend all day on one beautiful beach or another. But this past winter while we were at Eleuthera, Phoebe was still only 2½ years old. 2½ year olds need naps.

Two years ago when we spent three weeks on the island and Phoebe was only 6 months old, I perfected how to get her to sleep while on the beach. I would hold her in a half-cradle-half-football hold and walk her until she fell asleep. Those were nice moments for me.

When she would fall asleep I would gently lay her down in a port-a-crib we would have set up, all the while holding my breath and praying she would stay asleep. Most days it worked like a charm.

This past trip I was concerned how, or if, she would fall asleep with so much action around her on the beach.

But the first time I "walked" her to sleep, she was hooked! Every day after that, when she would get tired and ask for a nap, and not ONE SECOND earlier, I would hold and walk her until she fell asleep.

Two years ago she weighed about 18 pounds. This trip she weighed 34 pounds.

After walking her to sleep and laying her down on her pre-made bed, I was free to enjoy the quiet time myself.

But not before ensuring she was fully covered from the sun and still had a good "air hole" so she wouldn't have to breath in all of her own hot breath.

Jerry would tease me about the pains I took to create the perfect air pocket for her. But he wouldn't understand. That is something a mother does.

This is me struggling to carry her away from a nap up an incredibly steep hill. Here, Jerry was really pushing me up the hill because either my arms or legs were about to give out. (Why didn't he carry her you may wonder? When he tried carrying her, she would never fall asleep. He doesn't have hips and thus no sway to his walk. He swaggers. Think George W.)

Sometimes she would fall asleep covered with sand at the beach, sleep on the drive back home, and stay asleep after the transfer to her blowup bed. The sun, sand, and surf really wore her out!

Here's another day, another nap. She has napped in some of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Morning, Phee!! How was your nap? Ready for round 2?

Let's GO!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bahama Rainbow

A different take on a typical rainbow.....

I love the purple sunset, though the blue is pretty much true to color.

What color sunset do you like?