Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spring is on the Way!

One thing we really enjoy about South Georgia living is Spring!

In Tampa, spring didn't look much different than any other season.

Here in Georgia, spring is already starting.  We are starting to see some of the Cherry trees blooming.  They are a dark pink bloom.  Here are some pictures from last year.  The next thing we will expect is the Pink Magnolias.  There is a huge one by the hospital.  It should be in full bloom in the next few weeks.

The best thing though is mid March when the Dogwoods, Azaleas and Wisteria are in full bloom at the same time!


Flowering Peach



Image017 Image015


Well, I guess I am anxious for spring!  It’s just so beautiful here.  I have noticed that my Daffodils are popping out.  They will be blooming very soon!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Beautiful Sunny Day....then cold front came in

It rained most all night last night, but when we woke up this morning the sun came out and it got real warm

We made a trip into Tallahassee where it was about 75 degrees, sunny and beautiful.  By the time we got back home it was 59 degrees!  The cold front had arrived.  Oh, well, at least we had a nice sunny warm day today.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wolf Moon

Tonight is supposed to be the biggest and brightest moon of 2010.  It’s called a “Wolf Moon”

Here’s why…

The moon is around 238,855 miles from us.

The moon orbits around earth and causes it to go through all it’s phases monthly. Since it’s not a perfect circle, one side of the orbit is 31,070 miles closer.

In each  orbit, the moon reaches this closest point to us, called perigee.  Once or twice a year this Perigee coincides with a full moon, making it appear larger and brighter than normal.  This is what will occur tonight.

Mars will be just to the left of the moon tonight. It will look like a reddish star like object.

Unfortunately, here in Georgia we have a storm approaching from the Gulf and it’s very cloudy. It’s doubtful we will see this beautiful moon! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Magic Jack Telephone

We both have cell phones and a land line with unlimited long distance, caller id, and all the bells and whistles. 

We really only use the land line to call friends and relatives long distance.  The calls are so much clearer than the cell.

I had heard about the Magic Jack phone which is advertised for $39.99 which includes one year service.

We picked it up at Wal-Mart, figuring we could return it if it didn’t work.

The instructions were almost non-existent but I finally got it installed…however it DOESN’T WORK!  I spent an hour online with their live chat people.  I ended up chatting with 3 different people, and the last one was  to connect to my computer to try and fix things (with my permission.)  I was hesitant to allow that, but I did, and of course we got cut off before she could get started.  I didn’t bother to try to get her back, by that time I had had enough fun. 

It appears I need to allow Magic Jack as an “exception”  to my firewall.  I’m a bit frustrated but will try to contact them later today if/when I get in the mood.

Our See’s Candy never did arrive yesterday and we had really been looking forward to it.  I checked the tracking number again through UPS and it is now scheduled for today.  I’m getting a little irritated about all the delays. It was shipped on the 20th.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Caught 2 mice

Al’s little humane mouse trap is working pretty well.  We have released 2 into the wild so far.  One got out of the trap somehow.  They seem to like the peanut butter I’m using as bait. I’ll continue to catch and release them until we don’t have anymore.

I had a chocolate attack last week and ordered myself a “Valentines day” present..early.

We just discovered See's Candy last year when someone gave Al a small sample box.  I love all chocolate, but this was by far the best chocolate I have ever had.  There are no bad pieces.  Each piece in the box is better than the last one. I gave Mom some for Christmas and she agreed. 

Anyway, I ordered myself a box last week and I just checked the online tracker, and it should arrive today!  Hooray!  Yesterday it seems my box of chocolate was involved in a train derailment.  Fortunately all is well now and it should be here today.  We can’t wait!


When I first saw the cute little mouse coming out of a hole to eat the bird food, I thought…”oh how cute”

Later I remembered how fast they can multiply.  I don’t worry about them in the house because of the cats but we don’t need a mouse infestation under and around the house. 

We had a problem with mice in the motor home last year and had a devil of a time getting that resolved.  So far no mouse poop seen there this year.

We both hate to kill anything so Al put out some humane traps out.  We caught one last night, so we’re going to take him on a golf cart ride to the far reaches of the pasture and find him a new home.  We’ll try this method a few more days before we put out anything more deadly. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

The rains have cleared

We got quite a bit of rain yesterday and were in a tornado watch, but thankfully never got any severe weather.

By around 1pm, it cleared up and the sun came out.  I thought this was supposed to be bringing a cold front but it was 72 degrees when I went to bed last night.

Our poor birds had a hard day yesterday.  Our “Nancy” (Carolina Wren) was in the front Oak Tree calling her family to come take shelter before the rain started.  She is such a smart little bird.  We have some hanging baskets on the front porch under cover and she always teaches her children to nest in the baskets at night.  Every night, just before dark she calls them, and is very loud when she does.  It’s the same call every night.  Yesterday morning before the rain started, I heard her calling them.  I’m sure she wanted them out of the rain.  I didn’t see any fly into the baskets but I did see one fly out later in the day.  We’ve sat on the porch in the evenings and watched the babies “go to bed”.  One year we had 3 babies.  One would go to it’s own basket but 2 would share a basket.  Each night after they got the call from their mother, they would fly into the basket.  The first one would fly in, and settle down and be quiet.  A few minutes the second one would fly in and then the two would “bicker” for a few minutes before they settled down.  It reminded me of 2 little’re on my side of the bed…you’re stealing the covers…that’s my pillow…, move over…  :)  It happened that way every night.  There would always be a little tiff!

Despite the heavy rain yesterday the poor birds were still hungry.  I noticed below one feeder a lot of birds eating the food that spilled onto the ground.

This is a photo of the many birds.  We have a LOT of birds on our property!!!

All those little brown spots are birds.  I had trouble getting the focus right on the photo because I was taking it through a window and it was dreary and rainy outside.




I did a photofix on this photo to see if I could clear it up a little.  Don’t know if it was any better or not!

P1010056 (2)

I walked up to the mailbox and found this Hawk…probably after a meal.  He flew up into a tree very high up so I didn’t get the best picture.


The pond was getting a little full.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thunderstorms on the Way

Our beautiful clear blue skies and upper 60’s are gone and we have some thunderstorms  coming, possibly severe.

There are tornado watches just to our southwest, so I expect we will be in a tornado watch real soon.  No warnings yet but I’m watching it.

Of course Al is in Tampa (as usual when we have severe weather) and I tend to freak out when the “T” word is mentioned.

Not to be caught off guard, we have an Oregon Scientific brand weather radio that alerts you to upcoming severe weather.  Of course it went off twice last night to alert me to possible flooding!

Also, since we are in an area that seems to get a lot of tornado activity January-March, we had an underground tornado shelter installed.  It’s underground and we feel it was money well spent, just to keep my apprehension down a little big. 

It’s pretty large so we have room for the kitties to come along :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Potato Planting Time

The locals here swear that you should plant the potato’s by Valentines day.  We have yet to get them into the ground by that date, but maybe this year.  The first year we were here we enjoyed the “taters” that the previous owner had planted. 

The second year, we planted them in the lower garden not realizing it was too wet down there in the winter months.  We didn’t get many that year.

Last year we planted them on the upper (higher) garden and we had good luck with them, but we we found we didn’t plant enough!  This year we intend to plant more.  You can dig them and then put them in a dry/cool/dark place and they will last for months and months.  We have an underground tornado shelter that makes a perfect place for our potato’s.

While I’m sitting here writing this I have a female cardinal on the back porch fluttering around.  We have a bucket of meal worms that we keep for our Blue Birds.  Our resident “Nancy” (Carolina Wren) knows they are there and frequently dines in the bucket.

It looks like the Cardinal may have also learned of the bucket and is working up her nerve.  I hope so.  We’re glad to feed the beautiful Cardinals!

Al is in Tampa so I am trying to get motivated and get some clutter cleaned and get a load to take to Good Will. I promised my old desktop computer to the girl that pet sits for us.  I need to fire it up and make sure it works.  We are doing a barter. I have the tower computer, large 19” monitor (not flat screen) color photo printer and computer stand.  It will be a nice computer for her and it will be good to free up some room in my office.  I never use it since I got my laptop.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Warm Weather

After nearly two weeks of below average weather, we have finally gotten out of that pattern. It's been in the 60's during the day and not below the 40's at night. 

We got over 2 inches of rain over the week-end so everything is pretty soggy, but it's sunny out and 65 degrees so we can stand it.

Al is in Tampa (again) and I am trying to so some housecleaning and de-cluttering.

Al put a lot of white millet out for the birds before he left.  We put some on a ground feeder by the bedroom windows so that we can get a close view of the birds.  It seems to attract Doves, Cardinals, and Chipping Sparrows.  I was looking at them a little while ago and saw 2 little mice eating alongside the birds.  Oh lovely, now we're attracting mice!  One of them was coming out of a little hole in the dirt.  We'd seen these holes around but wasn't sure what was making them.   I guess as long as they stay out of the house and especially out of the motor home, I can tolerate them.  As long as they don't do any damage.  They were actually kind of cute..little bitty guys.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fluffy Mockingbird

It appears that this Mocker is a little cold this morning and has fluffed up his feathers.

Isn’t he cute? 




Interesting Observation

This morning I was reading the

Rv-Net Forum , as I always do first thing in the morning.  Someone asked about a campground in Georgia they could stay while visiting their son who is in the military and stationed at the submarine base in Kings Bay, Georgia.

I knew there were some websites that listed campgrounds on military bases for active and retired military personnel, so I did a little search for these sites.  Others beat me to it so I never replied to the thread.

However this morning on this blog there are multiple ads having to do with the military. Isn't it amazing how this internet thing works?

The Deep Freeze Continues

This morning was the coldest so far.  Our thermometer read 18 degrees.  They said Tallahassee was 15 degrees and they are about 50 miles south of us.

There is a nice coat of frost on the grass which makes it look a little like snow.



Al keeps the critters well fed.


They are saying this is the 10th day in a row below freezing.  The record freeze days was back in 1966 where we went 13 days in a row with freezing temps.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Arctic Freeze Continues

This morning the low was 21 degrees.  It’s 1pm and the temp is only 35 with little warming during the day.

Tampa is supposed to only get up to 43 and down to 25 tonight.  It’s not warm anywhere in the south east.

I remember cold weather in Tampa, especially back in the 1980’s, but I don’t remember it lasting this long.

We went for a ride this morning.  Al had mentioned to his cousins in North Dakota that the ladies here wear these very fancy hats to church on Sundays.  They didn’t believe him so he was determined to get some photos. We didn’t find any today but will get some to prove it!  We did ride by an interesting building outside the town.  It must have been a rocking club in it’s day!


and next door is this recording studio?


We got home, bundled up and took a walk around the property. Things have sure changed in the past few weeks.  All our pretty green yard and pasture has turned brown.



People here like to spray water into a tree and make icicles.  Isn’t this pretty?


The motor home is safe and sound.


While most of the yard is brown, the front yard near the house is still green and pretty.


We feed birds and I mean a LOT of birds, especially in the winter months.  In the winter we have masses of Gold Finches and Chipping Sparrows.  We buy 50 pound bags of white millet and we go through it pretty fast.  We have literally hundreds and hundreds of birds in our yard at any given time.  Of course we have a big yard, but we have lots of birds.

Here are a few.





More bird pictures later.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow in south Georgia?

It has been freezing all week except yesterday and it was 59, sunny and no wind.

Today they are predicting rain ahead of a cold front and then into the teens this week-end.  The rain could turn to sleet and possibly snow?  We're expecting some icy roads.  Too bad I have to work today.  It would be a good day to stay home.

On Monday and Tuesday this week the highs got to only 41 degrees!  I froze Monday at work so I got out my
Cuddle Duds and wore them under my work clothes.  They were a life saver. 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rest in Peace Uncle Kenny


We got a call yesterday that Al’s uncle Ken had passed away.  He had been in a nursing home for about a month, but previously had been living on his own with his loving wife Arline.  His health declined pretty rapidly, but until a month ago he was completely self sufficient.

Uncle Ken was the reason Al braved a trip to North Dakota in the middle of the winter.  He is very glad he was able to get there when he did.

Ken was 92 years old. 



The obituary

Kenneth E. Lueck
Birth date: March 18, 1918
Death date: January 06, 2010

Kenneth E. "Ken" Lueck, 91, Jamestown, North Dakota, formerly of Spiritwood, ND, passed away Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at Ave Maria Nursing Home in Jamestown.
Ken was born March 18, 1918 in Jamestown, the son of Elmer and Hilda (Johnson) Lueck.  He was raised on the family farm north of Spiritwood and attended Rose School #1 for eight years.  Ken graduated third (class of three) from Spiritwood High School in 1936.  He worked on the family farm. 
In 1941 Ken went to Seattle, Washington and worked in construction.  On January 10, 1942, Ken enlisted in the United States Merchant Marines Maritime Service and trained in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Ken was honorably discharged May 1946 from Norfolk, Virginia.  He returned to North Dakota and farmed with his father and brothers.
On February 27, 1966 Ken married Arline Erickson in the Ypsilanti Lutheran Church.  Ken and Arline lived on the family homestead, where he was a dedicated farmer.  Ken retired from farming in 1981.   
Ken enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, bowling, traveling, and was an avid Twins and Vikings fan.
Ken was a member of Concordia Lutheran Church, American Legion, North Dakota Farmers Union, and was a board member of the Clementsville Elevator for many years. 
Ken leaves to mourn his devoted wife, Arline, of nearly 44 years; sister-in-law, Polly Lueck, Spiritwood, ND; two nephews, Alan (Karen) Lueck, Cairo, GA and Jack (Karen) Lueck, Spiritwood, ND; one niece, Wanda Jean Walker, Jamestown; two great nephews, JP (Lexie) Lueck and Nathan (Amber) Lueck; two great nieces, Lenae (Joe) Bear and Lori Walker; a great-great niece, Markell Lueck; and Arline's family, many friends and neighbors.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Mildred; and two brothers, John and Gerald.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

23 degrees this morning

Another 7-10 days of very cold weather according to the weather channel.  Palm Beach has 31 with a high of 58 degrees.

Phoenix Arizona has a high of 70 degrees today.  It appears the west is the place to be. 

At least the cold weather is keeping the tornado threat at bay!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Georgia is cold

25 degrees this morning and have only seen mid 40’s during the “warm” part of the day. The wind is blowing so it feels very cold.  Al is even freezing and he has been in North Dakota!

We went to O’Neils Buffet today for some good southern home cooking.  It’s good to have Al back so I can go out to eat!

We’re bringing in some firewood so that we can get a fire going.  The house is getting cold.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

North Dakota-trying to leave

Al was scheduled to leave North Dakota this morning at 6:45 am.  He awoke to a temperature of –27.  He said it takes your breath away and burns when you breathe.  I have experienced –14,  but never quite that cold. 

His flight has been delayed and now he has missed his connecting flight in Minneapolis.  He only had a 40 minute layover there to begin with.  It appears that the plane into Jamestown was coming from Devils Lake, ND and may not get there at all due to mechanical issues.  Might it have something to do with the temperature????  Anyway they are now talking them by bus to Bismarck, ND, for a flight to Minneapolis.  They (Delta) is still trying to work it out.  Sometimes these things happen for a reason.  Maybe he was supposed to stay in Jamestown another day?


Well, now he’s supposed to be leaving North Dakota at 1:30 and will arrive in Tampa around 11pm.  He’s staying the night in Tampa at Mom’s house and will drive home in the morning.  Sure will be glad to have him home.   He’s had a real nice visit with all his relatives.  He even got to see where they ice fish.  I’ll be anxious for his pictures. 

another update on Al’s attempt to leave North Dakota….

The plane leaving Fargo had to land in Devils Lake ND to pick up a bunch of passengers also heading to Minneapolis.  They sat on the runway trying to burn off extra fuel to get the weight down, then flew around a while to burn off additional fuel.  The passengers were picked up and then they found they had a problem with the landing gear.  But now they also found they did not have enough fuel to get to Minneapolis so they went back to Fargo???  Does this make any sense?    By this time Al had a raging headache and was very frustrated and tired.

He was finally able to catch another flight out of Fargo to Minneapolis Northwest flight, which is actually really the same as Delta.. He had been flying Delta previously (and their affiliate puddle jumpers). 

The flight was supposed to leave around 1:30 pm but of course it was delayed as well.  I think he finally left sometime after 4:30.  He finally landed in Minneapolis and was just about to miss the connection to Tampa. There was no gate info on the ticket and no screens to tell him what gate he needed to go to.  He finally found someone who could give him a ride to the correct gate, just in the nick of time….

……however..of course there was ANOTHER delay.  He called me from his cell while on the plane.  Apparently they can use the cell until they close the door and prepare to take off.  The plane finally took off and he was on his way to Tampa…at least I hoped.

I found a website where you can actually track the flight.  It was kind of cool.

Flight Tracker

Once I keyed in the flight number, I was able to see that the takeoff had been delayed.  Of course.  Finally it took off and I watched him fly right over Tallahassee and about 5 miles west of our house!  It told the flight speed, the altitude, the miles from Minneapolis and the miles to Tampa.  It also gave the estimated time of arrival.  I watched it until he landed at Tampa International.  What a relief.

…baggage issues??  Actually they did not lose his checked bag!  What a shock.  He is extremely disappointed with the puddle jumpers Delta used.  We hated to have him use those planes but in Jamestown North Dakota, there are few options.  He ended up with a $10 food voucher that is only good for 24 hours.  Of course, he had no time between flights to get any food.  It’s a good thing his cousin Jean made him a few sandwiches.  He would have starved to death from the beginning of his journey at 6am to his arrival at 11:30 pm…without food…or beer!

He left Tampa about 11 this morning to temps in the 40’s.  Cold for Tampa but it felt balmy to him.  He’s on his way home.  Pork roast in the crock pot for his dinner.  Will be very glad to have him home.  I can’t wait to see his photos of the snow.  He even took some out on the lake where they ice fish!

Our temperatures are very cold this week. It was 25 degrees when I woke up, and now at noon only 41.  No warm up for a few days either.

…well Al’s back home.  Sure am happy to have him home.  I Tivo’d the Bucs game so he can watch that.  I sure hope they won!


Got Al’s pictures downloaded from his North Dakota visit.  He did pretty well, even though he doesn’t take many photographs.

The streets are plowed but still a lot of snow.




Aunt Arline


Karen & Jack, Polly, & Jean


Jack, Jean, & Al


Arline, Jean, and Polly


Jerry Iverson and Al


An old photograph of Uncle Ken and Aunt Arline


This is the house that Al’s Mom and Grandmother lived in in Jamestown, after his dad died.


This photo was taken from quite a distance and it was hard to tell what this was.  His cousin Jerry Iverson swore this was a herd of deer.  Looks like a bunch of signs to me!!  




This Buffalo statue was built in 1959. It’s a tourist attraction in Jamestown.



The Blue Moon



The ice house. People actually build a house on the ice, then drill a hole in the ice and fish!  In 35 below zero temperatures!



The ice hole.


These are some cute little birds that lived a very nice in the nursing home where Al’s uncle Ken is living






Al had a real nice visit with his North Dakota relatives.  They treated him very well and he enjoyed seeing them all again. We hope to be able to get up there sometime in the motorhome and in the summer.