Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good Old Days...

I think you already know I grew up in the country. I have absolutely wonderful memories of my childhood. As far back as I can remember and until the day I married and moved away, we lived by the most amazing family. I have one sister that is three years older than me and the neighbor family have three girls and two boys around our same ages. We spent countless hours together and what one didn't think of, the other did. I have so many great memories but a few really stand out in my mind. We lived pretty far out of town but there was a highway in front of our homes. Each Fourth of July and New Year's Eve, our Dads would purchase fireworks and divide between all the kids. Each child would get a small paper bag of fireworks and a lit cigar to light their fire crackers with. (guess they thought that was safer for us than a lighter or matches) We thought we were "oh so cool". Our Dads would use sling shots and shoot cherry bombs over the occasional car that would pass by on the highway.
Saturday nights were a blast in my neighborhood! We were very fortunate to have parents that were so family oriented. When you live in the country you learn to be creative with your entertainment.   You might say we were a  little bit mischievous but it was always good clean fun.   Our Dads would take an old worn out purse that belonged to one of our moms and tie a very long string to it and put it in the middle of the road that was in front of our house. There were pine trees between our home and the highway so we would all squat down behind the pine trees and wait for a taker. It was an old country highway so a car may pass by every 10 or 15 minutes. When someone would pass by the purse, they would hit the brakes and back up. Just as they opened the car door and reached down to pick it up, our Dad's would start reeling it in. Some of the nicer people would just take off but others would yell out words that we weren't used to hearing. Our Dads were always coming up with fun things for us to do.
With our neighbors, we roasted oysters on the grill, churned ice cream, and sometimes (without the parents knowledge)  had BB gun fights. (I accidentally shot one of the neighbor boys in the mouth and the BB wedged in a cavity he had in his tooth.) We ran in the house and got tweezers but we never could get it out so we had to tell his mom. She took him to the dentist and we got a good talking to. We rode go karts, horses and bikes for hours on end. We would pick peas and cut corn in our Dad's garden, then sit around in lawn chairs shelling  and shucking  so our moms could put it up in the freezer. We had sleep overs and would sometimes put tents in the yard and sleep outside.  We had talent shows and invited the few neighbors that lived close by.

Times have certainly changed and even though our kids and grand kids have many more opportunities then we did, I think they miss out on so much.  The good ole days when it was safe to let your kids roam the neighborhoods are long gone.  Life has gotten complicated and everyone is busy and stressed with jammed packed schedules.  I am very fortunate to have grown up in that small country town with such a loving and happy family. We really did grow up like the Cleavers and I loved every minute of it!!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's Time For Planting!

This week, the little guy got a lesson in planting a garden.  We spent a couple of days getting everything together before we started.  It has been several years since I had a garden so we decided to start out small and see how it goes.  I wanted to plant a couple clay pots of flowers to add to my flower bed and some paper whites to have on my table for the Christmas holidays as well as a few vegetables.  I ask the little guy to pick out three vegetables that he would like to grow and that is what we got.  He selected three of his favorites, cucumbers, okra and lettuce and I picked videlia onions.  The lettuce he picked out is actually Swiss Chard because he said the picture on the package of seeds with the red stems was beautiful.  We decided since we were using seeds for his three choices we would plant them in the little starter cups until they became plants and then we could replant them in the ground (cups and all).  We started out by visiting Maggie's Herb Farm outside of St. Augustine and selected six herbs.  Parsley, oregano, dill, rosemary, cilantro, and thyme.  He had a wonderful time talking to Maggie's parrot and didn't want to leave.  I finally talked him into leaving there and visiting a couple of nurseries, a feed store and a hardware store.  I must say, those are now his "favorite" stores because they all had a "store dog" and a "store cat" that he fell in love with.  I literally had to drag him out of the feed store because he didn't want to leave the big old lab.  He said Cocoa (the lab) looked so sad when he told him we were leaving and he was afraid he wouldn't have another little boy to play with him.   I had to promise him we would come back to see Cocoa soon to get him out of the store.

Well, we have our garden started and in the next few weeks we hope to see some little plants pop up.  (That is, if we don't over take care of them!)  It is hard for a three year old to understand exactly what takes soooo long for them to grow but he had a great time and a wonderful lesson in planting.  Now hopefully we can watch them grow and actually eat something from our little garden.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Beautiful weather for outdoor reading!

The weather has been perfect for sitting outside and reading a good book (or two or three).  My reading seems to come in spurts but when the mood strikes, I have several books going at the same time.  Right now I am into four books.  I talked about my self-help book (healthier eating) in my last blog.  I have started the transformation by purchasing healthy and mostly organic fruits and produce.  I have switched from soy milk to rice milk and I am trying to rid my house of sweets and processed foods.  More to come in a later blog.  You know how much I love my Gator football team so you know how excited I must be for Tim Tebow's new book to be released in April, 2011.  While I am waiting on it, Mike Yorkey wrote "Playing With Purpose" about the lives and faith of the NFL's top new quarterbacks. (Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, and Tim Tebow)  The main thing that sets the three quarterbacks apart from their peers is their boldness in sharing their faith in Christ.  It is a great book by a Christian author that has more than 70 books under his belt.  The third book I am reading is "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan, a pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California.  He challenges Christians to take the Bible seriously.  I find it eye-opening and soul searching.  The fourth book I am enjoying is "When God Winks at You" by Squire Rushnell.  It is a great book about how God speaks directly to you through the power of coincidence.

If you are not enjoying a good book outdoors, I hope you are spending time doing something else you love on these beautiful days. 


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Temp is FALL-ing!!!

I guess you could say I'm as happy as a tick on a hound dog.  It is going to be our first cool weekend of the season and I can hardly wait!  Cool, as in, nice crisp air and sweater weather or possibly a cup of hot tea curled up with a good book (there is a chance of rain beginning tomorrow).  High of 60-65 Friday-Sunday!  Yeah!  It has been a long hot summer and I think everyone around here is looking forward to fall.  Everyone except my daughter, that is.  If the temperature drops below 80 degrees she heads to work in her ugg boots and some sort of sweater or jacket.  Might just be why she chose to live at the beach. 

The book I will be curling up with (rain or shine) if I can sneak in a couple of hours is a self-help book I picked up last week.  I consider myself a healthy eater but I am no longer a "spring chicken" and it is time to quit kidding myself and take control of my health.  It makes me happy to be in the kitchen and now I must begin eating with my head instead of my heart.  This is a blog in itself and you will be the first to know when I officially begin the transformation.  (which will be very soon indeed!)

Right now, I am happily transforming my daughter's home from Halloween decor to Fall.  You know how I feel about those "spooky" things hanging around.  A couple years ago, we took the oldest grandson to the mountains during this time of year and had a wonderful time.  We brought home pretty leaves and delicious apples but unfortunately hubby can't take vacation time right now so we have to make do. (Boo Hoo)  I went to the grocery store this morning and came home with beautiful organic produce and organic fruits for the table. 

I think a pot of homemade chili and grilled cheese sandwiches will be in store for my weekend.  I might even whip up some yummy pumpkin bread.  I think you are supposed to "pig out" before you begin a new weight loss program.  Right?  Happy weekend, happy fall!