Monday, April 30, 2007

Latest Addition to Jardin du PeachPod

I have seriously been busy the past few days. Take today, for example, I walked 2 miles on the beach, came home and painted the porch, showered for the 2nd time, visited a friend recovering from surgery, set up a hammock on the porch I painted earlier and set up a brand, new hammock chair in the garden. This is an awesome hammock chair and I totally recommend it to anyone who likes to spend time in the yard and has big trees. I've been looking for one for a while to replace an old tire swing, but here in the stores they cost between $80 and $120. I have a problem paying that much money for what is basically string (Have I mentioned that I'm cheap?). I got this one from ebay for less than $40 with shipping. I love this thing. Monkey Boy loves this thing. He immediately claimed it as his!

As you can see, it's a great spot for a nap! And this thing is so generously proportion that I can sit with my feet up in the same way that you see Monkey Boy sitting. So far Monkey Boy has pretended that it is a nest, a net and a web.

I have to share a classic privileged, only-child moment with you. Monkey Boy was sitting in the hammock chair while I was grilling hot dogs (yum!) and suddenly popped out of it and ran into the house. He comes out with his laptop, crawls back into the hammock and proceeds to check if he can get a connection to our wireless Internet from the hammock chair! By the way, he can!

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Surviving a Zombie Attack

I was checking out the myspace page of a woman who is reading a book called the "Zombie Survival Handbook" by Max Brooks. The title itself made me giggle (my senses of humor is on the dark side these days) but she also posted a list from the book of the Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack which I am sharing with you because you never know when you'll need this kind of info (my personal favorite is #4):
  1. Organize before they rise!
  2. They feel no fear, why should you?
  3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
  4. Blades don’t need reloading.
  5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
  6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
  7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
  8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
  9. No place is safe, only safer.
  10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Photog Friday - The Future

"When you make a mistake, don't look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. "
-Hugh White


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

And Now We Bring You a Green Moment

I read a blog called Simply Green written by Danny Seo who has written several books on living the 'green' lifestyle. I thought his entry today was very cool. At the Westin he stayed at in Pittsburgh they have installed a new system to minimize electricity usage. Check it out.

Liv: I know what you are thinking. I drive a big, stupid SUV that consumes huge quantities of gas, devastates the ozone, and is probably responsible for the death of a rainforest or two. Satan bought it for me. I did not pick it out. Yes, my eco-conscious little soul is filled with guilt, but honestly I don't have the money to replace it and probably won't for a couple of years. I live in constant fear that Al Gore is going to hunt me down and bite my ass.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Don't Let Them Cancel This Show!

If you haven't seen Drive yet, you have to watch it. It has an interesting story, fast cars and the seriously yummy Nathan Fillion. What more could you want? There's talk that it may not make it past its first 7 episodes so I'm hoping to get someone -- anyone-- to watch it. If you want to see the previous episodes, go here.


Strep is BACK in the House

Monkey Boy has strep again. Satan failed to notice that he was running a fever and had a sore throat during his visitation weekend, so he took Monkey Boy to the mall and swimming. Great. The good news is this bout of strep isn't as bad as the last one. His fever isn't that scary high fever. The bad news is he's out of school during a major standardized test and will have to make-up two days worth of testing in just one day.

On a more upbeat topic, my garden is looking gorgeous. I planted a small herb and tomato garden this year and already have flowers on one of the tomato plants. I added new cushions to the swing in the arbor and the confederate jasmine in just starting to bloom. And the converted grill works great!

Go over to my sis-in-law's blog and tell me what you think of the header. I created it out of a photo I took of her horses.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Why I like living in a small town

  1. The cops know me and my truck on sight (we only have two officers on the island). If they see me speeding, they just wag their finger at me.
  2. I never have to eat by myself on Saturday nights or Sunday afternoons. I just sound really pathetic when I call my friends and one of them will invite me over.
  3. If I'm buying something and realize I forgot my wallet or don't have enough money on me, I'm told to catch them next time I'm there.
  4. I can get really good barbecue.
  5. I can lock my wallet and keys (I have a touch keypad on my door) in the truck without worrying about someone breaking in.
  6. I know all the kids in my neighborhood.
  7. If someone hasn't seen me in a couple of days, they call to check on me.
  8. I don't have to tell waitresses what I want to drink, they already know (coffee in the AM, Diet Coke in the PM).
  9. Many of the stores here still set up accounts. It's so cool to be able to run and pick something up in a hurry and just say, "Put it on my account."
  10. This is really part of #9: When I say "Put it on my account.", I don't have to tell them my name. They already know it.
  11. People know my truck and wave when they see me driving by.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Photog Friday - Friendship

Photo taken at Hunnicutt Farm, April 2007
"Friendship is like a prism through which the many variations of beauty are revealed in our lives."


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Photo Memories

For those of you that are further down the road of divorce, I have a question: What do you do with the photos of the ex? Right now I can't open my wedding album; it makes me ill. I am a scrapbooker and have tons of albums filled with photos of the evil him. I hate looking at them. Do you just keep a couple of photos and box the rest up to give to him or do you put them away thinking that some day in very, very, very distant future, you'll want them? Or do you have other suggestions?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mastectomy Hospital Bill in Congress

A mastectomy is a procedure that removes a woman's breast in order to remove cancerous cells/tissue. If you know anyone who has had a mastectomy (my mother being one of them), you may know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards. Insurance companies are trying to make mastectomies an outpatient procedure. Let's give women the chance to recover properly in the hospital for 2 days after surgery.

Mastectomy Bill in Congress
It takes 2 seconds to do this and is very important. Please take the time and do it really quickly!
Breast Cancer Hospitalization Bill - Important legislation for all women. There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the "drive-through mastectomy" where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition drive to show your support. Last year over half the House signed.

PLEASE sign the petition by clicking on the web site below. You need not give more than your name, email and zip code number. This takes about 10 seconds. PLEASE PASS THIS ON to your friends and family, and on behalf of all women, THANKS.

Monday, April 16, 2007


I passed my teacher certification exam!!!!!!! I actually have to wait until I get the official copy of my test score, but they posted on the exam site at 5:00pm today whether or not you passed, and I did!!!!! I just need to make sure that the state of Georgia has my transcript with my SAT scores and I can start interviewing. Excuse me while I spend the rest of my evening playing music really loud and dancing like a fool!!

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Hunting you down with your phone number

A friend forward me this email and I tried it and yes, my address came up. I didn't find it quite a scary as the originator of this email, but I don't like personal details about me out on the public domain. I also removed my number as per the instructions listed below.

Google has implemented a new feature which enables you to type a telephone number into the search bar and hit enter and you will be given the person's name and address. If you then hit MapQuest, you will get a map to the person's house. Everyone should be aware of this! It's a nationwide reverse telephone book.

If a child gives out his/her phone number, someone can now look it up to find out where he/she lives. The safety issues are obvious, and alarming.

Note that you can have your phone number removed or blocked. I tried my number and it came up along with the mapquest and directions straight to our house. I did fill out the removal form for myself, and encourage all of you to do the same. Quite scary.

Please look up your own number.

In order to test whether your phone number is mapped, go to: google
( ) Type your phone number in the search bar (i.e. 555-555-1212) and hit enter. If you want to BLOCK Google from divulging your private information, simply click on your telephone number and then click on the Removal Form. Removal takes 48-hours.

Check your own number and although this may not apply to you if you have an unlisted number or cell phone as primary contact, but you may know someone who needs to know this.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My Celebrity Look-alikes

I saw this over at Terri's site and had to jump on the bandwagaon. Total fun!

My cool celebrity look-alike collage from Get one for yourself.

The Purse

Gigi and I were out at lunch with her hairstylist a couple of weeks ago and we began discussing purses because I had knitted one and given it to Gigi as a gift. Her hairstylist didn't know that there is, as far as true Southern women are concerned, a difference between a purse and a handbag. The difference is that a purse is smaller. I realize that some dictionaries and encyclopedias would beg to differ, but in the culture she and I grew up in, a handbag is bigger and more of an everyday carryall and a purse is smaller and more for special events and church. So here is the purse I made for Gigi:

This purse was knitted and then felted. It was one of the featured projects at the knitting retreat I went to in Boone, NC.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007


Reggie and Gigi are about to lose a long time family member, their horse, Lady. I want to share a photo I took of Lady and their other horses when I was visiting them a couple of weeks ago. Lady is the one closest to the camera.

"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. "
~Winston Churchill


Garden Report - April 14th

Rick asked in a comment about how my garden was doing so I thought that a picture would be the best way to illustrate:

My yard, April 14th, 2007, 7:10pm Eastern Time

So far the roses, geraniums, mock orange and cosmos are blooming. I also noticed that I have my first bloom on the magnolia tree. And while I was taking this photo I saw a hummingbird for the first time ever in my yard! I can't wait until the confederate jasmine blooms. I love its scent and make a point of going out every morning just to enjoy it. If we have some rain, it should bloom in the next few days.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Photog Friday - Time

Photo taken at Hunnicutt Farm, April 2007, by me.
"The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience. "
-Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Small Town Life

I decided to enjoy a frozen Margarita while walking Marco the Psychotically Needy Puppy. After walking just 10 feet from my front gate, a police car rolled up beside me. Crap.

Me: “Good evening, officer. Oh, hi, Steve [whose name has been changed to protect his identity]. I didn’t recognize you!”

Officer: “Hey, sweetie. How you doing? Is that a Margarita?”

Me: “Why, Steve, it’s just a cold, refreshing beverage!”

Officer: “Do you really expect me to believe that?”

Me: “Steve, we have an open container law that I love and respect.”

Officer: “[Snorting with laughter] Seriously, do you expect me to believe that?”

Me: “Let’s say, totally hypothetically, that I was sucking down tequila. Would you give me a citation for that?”

Officer: “Hell, no!”

Me.: “Oh, in that case, you want to come in and I’ll make you one?”

Officer: “I’m still on duty but get off in 45 minutes.”

Me: “Cool. We’re having spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Want to join us?”

Officer: “See you in a few.”

I know that sometimes I whine about living here, but there are times when I love living in a small town.

Side note for those who keep trying to fix me up even though I’m not divorced yet. (You know who you are): Steve is just a friend and is married. I invited him to dinner because I knew his wife, who is a friend, is out of town on a conference and would appreciate me feeding him instead of letting him eat a heart-clogging plate of food at the Waffle House.


How to Make a Gas Grill into a Charcoal Grill

Let me start by saying I'm cheap (polite company would call me thrifty). Have no doubt about it. I'm even cheaper than usual because of the divorce. I wanted a charcoal grill to replace the barely functioning gas grill I have now. I tried to love the gas grill, but really prefer charcoal for two reasons. One, I always know if I have enough charcoal. Nothing is worse than having the gas on your grill run out mid-steak. Two, I prefer the taste of charcoal over gas grilling. Here in the Coastal South, we grill a lot. It keeps the house so much cooler than cooking in the kitchen. And it tastes so darn good. Mmmmm.

To get back to the topic, I wanted a charcoal grill, but being reasonably bright I knew that this would be a major task. It isn't simply the process of cruising down to the Sprawlmart and buying one. The big issue is disposal. What do I do with the old one? Here on our little island they are really rigid about trash. If it doesn't fit into your assigned trash container, tough. I tried to take some boxes to recycling a few weeks ago and they wanted to charge me! How much did they want to charge me for the privilege of driving my trash TO THEM so that they can sell it? $15!!!! Holy Ghost of Al Gore!!

So I decided to recycle the one I had by converting it to charcoal (this was actually my Mom's idea). Here are the steps:
  1. Remove the canister.
  2. Place canister by the road with a sign on it: "Free to a Good Home" This actually turned out to be unnecessary as a friend who called me has now claimed it.
  3. Remove the 'innards.' I thought this would require a wench and screwdriver, but actually required a hacksaw as the parts were so rusted.
  4. Sand everything that is left.
  5. Use an entire can of grill paint to spruce up the grill.
  6. Put old baking pan in bottom of grill.
  7. Feel smug that you only had to pay the price of a can of paint for a new grill.

That's it! It took me less than an hour to do the conversion, cleaning and painting. I figured I would let it cure overnight and grill tomorrow!

Disclaimer: I do not warrant the procedure described in this post. I am not a grill expert. I am just a cheap woman with more time than money.

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Flowers from the Garden

Is there anything sweeter than flowers from your own garden? Yesterday I was puttering around my garden doing my favorite garden chore: deadheading the flowers. I know this might sound strange as a favorite thing to do, but in my mind, I'm making more flowers. By deadheading, I'm making the plants want to bloom more and that's a good thing. We were supposed to have a thunder shower last night so I decided to cut a few roses since they would be ruined by the storm. I added a few fern fronds and made a little arrangement:

When I think of flowers from the garden, I think of the Sweet Williams my mother always grew. Sweet Williams are flowers that you don't see much any more and I don't know why; they are quite pretty and have a wonderful spicy scent. My mother grew them because, among other reasons, her father was named William. Every spring, my mother would cut some and send them with us to school for our teachers. I loved how they smelled and that we were the only kids to bring Sweet Williams to our teachers. It made me feel special. Thanks Mom!

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Legend of the Dogwood

When Christ was on earth, the dogwood grew
To a towering size with lovely hue.
Its branches were strong and interwoven
And for Christ's cross its timbers were chosen.
Being distressed at the use of this wood,
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
"Not ever again shall the dogwood grow
To be large enough for such a tree, and so
Slender and twisted it shall always be
With cross-shaped blossoms for all to see.
The petals shall have bloodstains marked in brown
And in the blossom's center a thorny crown.
All who see it will think of Me,
Nailed to a cross from the dogwood tree.
Protected and cherished this shall be
A reflection to all of my agony."
-- Author unknown

Photo taken at Hunnicutt Farm by me, April 2007


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter, Ya'll!

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Monkey Boy is in the House

My Monkey Boy is back home!!! I'm so happy to have him home. I'm looking forward to some serious cuddle time with him!

Monkey Boy living large in Las Vegas (seen here ATVing in the desert)

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Photog Friday - Courage

"The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart."
- Robert Green Ingersoll

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My Perfect Life

I've been tagged by Ellie Bee for a very cute meme about what your perfect life would have been like, based on your childhood dreams.

If my childhood plans had worked out:

I have had a fabulous career as one of the world's most successful female executives. Beside the apartments I keep in New York and London, I have a wonderful restored castle in Scotland and an amazing desert home in Santa Fe. My husband, who adores and cherishes me, is an award winning writer who travels with me and cares for our son and daughter. We all enjoy seeing the world together and some of our favorite places include Hong Kong, Paris, Egypt and Bali. Thank goodness our children are so well behaved, because we like to include them in most of our social plans. In a life that is so full, little things still matter the most to me and fortunately my gorgeous husband understands this. After over 20 years of marriage, he never forgets to bring me flowers every Friday and wakes me up with a kiss and a cup of coffee every morning.

OK, I'm tagging Rick, Terri, Reggie, Ali and Sexy!

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Road Food

I know this is sad, but I've only been home 20 minutes and I'm already blogging! I haven't even taken my bags out of Big Red yet! I just got back from visiting Reggie and Gigi in Charlotte while Monkey Boy is visiting with his dad during spring break. I'm a wuss who doesn't like to be at home without my Monkey Boy.

Are you like me when you travel in that you pretend to be picky about where you eat until you get really hungry? Here's my 'road food preference evolution':

Phase 1: "I'll stop when I see an Arby's."

Phase 2: "I'm kind of getting hungry. If I see an Arby's, Krystal's or Wendy's, I'll stop."

Phase 3: "I'm eating at whatever they have at the next exit!"

Fortunately, there was an Arby's at the next exit!

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