Tag Archives: iPod

Weekend sightings: snapping turtle, geese and — maybe — blackberries

Yesterday before the onslaught of rain arrived, the water in the creek near our house was still low enough to see whatever creatures were swimming. That’s when I saw a HUGE snapping turtle, his lumbering body swimming upstream. Of course, I had no camera, not even my iPod, but the body (not including the neck and head) was roughly the size of the horseshoe crab I found on Tybee Island earlier this summer.IMG_0514[1]

Later we went by to see if he might be hanging around but the creek was full of muddy, rushing water. We did see a cute little frog who appeared to be riding the rapids on his back.

Today, I was ready with my iPod. No turtle, but the geese that hang out at the local quarry seemed to tolerate my presence far longer than usual. One of them began a halfhearted attack but even he seemed to agree that a Sunday morning stalemate was called for. Phew. Hissing geese can be a little scary!
Leaving the geese to hiss at the next innocent passerby, I headed off to check on my blackberries. Here’s the thing. They’re not really mine and I’m not really sure if they’re blackberries. Are they black raspberries? I’m not sure…maybe someone out there can identify these for me. They grow wild on low-growing bramble bushes and are just slowly turning black.
Oddly, I’ve never like raspberries or blackberries until recently when I discovered some wild patches  on one of my running routes. I brought some of the raspberries home and my husband — who likes them — was hesitant to eat them. I think he thought I was trying to poison him.
Anyway, last year I decided to try the blackberries, which are huge and tart. I love to eat them off the bush — especially when I’m really thirsty on a hot, sweaty run.
So…who knows what these are? Please tell me!

Four-legged creature leaves trail of unstuffed toys

It is true that time dulls the memory. Once the kids leave home for college, we quickly forget the shoes strewn around the house, the backpacks covering the couch, iPods plugged into various outlets, and the Lego piles left in a corner. Well, the Lego sets really disappeared much earlier than the shoes, backpacks and iPods, but you get the picture.

A few months later they pop in for Thanksgiving break and new items appear in random piles around the house, only to disappear a few days later when off their owners head off again. Eventually, they move on to their own homes and somewhere along the way, learn to deal with their own piles of stuff.

What I didn’t realize was that a 15-pound four-legged creature can manage to make more of a ruckus that two teenagers can. Most days I return from work and pick my way carefully through what looks like a war zone.

The first clue is a path of bits of stuffing that, when followed, lead one to the little mutt’s favorite half-stuffed (or is half-unstuffed), one-legged lavendar bear. Although, at this stage, what was once a bear resembles not much more than a mostly chewed-up piece of fabric.

Nearby is the missing leg, which has oddly become a favorite toy of the aforementioned mutt, more formally known as Ike, the mini Schnauzer.

Lest you think I’m exaggerating, here is a photo lineup of the ravaged toys….all leading to the furry culprit, digging through his toy box for yet another well-chewed favorite.

Honey, vinegar and moonshine…sure cure for arthritis

Do you know that one of the suggested remedies for arthritis is to drink a mixture of honey, vinegar and moonshine? Okay, here’s the first problem. Moonshine is technically a distilled spirit made in an illegal still and since my brother had to dismantle his experimental still back in the ’70s, I’m not sure of where to get some…short of a quick trip to the Appalachians.

I know this because my Christmas stash included the first nine volumes of Foxfire, a vintage set, thanks to my Half-Price-Books- manager-daughter. For the uninformed, too young to remember, or non-readers, Foxfire magazine was begun in the 1960s by Eliot Wigginton and his students at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, a private secondary education school in Georgia. The Foxfire books are a series of compilations of the magazines.

Got a headache? Tie a flour sack around your head. Suffering from a cold? Boil pine leaves to make a tea or put goose-grease salve on your chest.

One of my all-time favorite remedies for a cough (which I have right now) is to “Put some ground ginger from the store in saucer and add a little sugar. Put it on the tongue just before bedtime. It burns the throat and most of the time will stop coughs. This I might try. Actually, I think my husband may actually administer this himself. My hacking might be a bit of a bother.

I should re-read this set in order, but it’s more fun to leaf through random volumes, reading ghost stories, learning the art of shoemaking, faith healing, snake handling, and “other affairs of just plain living”.

And that, exactly, is what Foxfire is about — plain living. Long before iPods, iPads, cell phones, computer games, Wi, and all those other electronic gadgets, invaded our lives, there were games like Please and Displease, Poor Old Tom, and Shakespears (not to be confused with Shakespeare).

I figure I have eight more days before returning to work. If I read fast, I might get through one volume a day. There’s one problem, though,…there are all those other books that said HBBooks-mgr-daughter deposited under the tree…so little time… so many books.