A new year and a new look

As I have said several times this year already, there is a lot of ‘moving forward’ going on for me in 2012. And, this blog is no exception with a new look!

It was actually quite by accident. I was updating programs (they get updated regularly mostly for security purposes) and when I got to the current theme I was using, I hit the update button, and voila, my blog was so very screwed up! I had no choice but to change the theme, create new headers, change some formatting, yada, yada. I hope you like it.

Since my last writing, I have finished another gourd. I think it my best ever!

We had our first hard freeze of the season the other night. It was wicked cold! I wore long johns under my sweat pants, and made homemade hot cocoa in an effort to keep us warm and cozy. Even Sam Dog got his ears covered!

 And, I had to cover the garden vegetables, too! Now, most fall gardens are done producing in these parts near the end of November, but mine was super slow to start. I don’t know if I needed more fertilizer or what, but, when most people were pulling out their garden remnants, I was watching my cabbages finally forming heads.

With my first head of cabbage, I made cabbage rolls.



After all this time and even after the hard freeze the other night, my cauliflower and red cabbages are finally forming some nice heads.


By the time my fall garden is done, it will be time for spring planting, once again!

So, what have you been up to, lately?



Sam’s first snow

Since moving to the country, Brian and I have become real homebodies. We don’t go out, like on a date, very often. There are a number of reasons for that. One, is that we simply like being home. Two, is that we live so rural that a date typically involves a lot of miles driving. Three, is that we live on a fairly tight budget and I can cook a great meal so much better and so much cheaper than going out. (I enjoy cooking, too, by the way.) Four, when we do decide to spend money on fun, we prefer to spend it on our boat or going golfing.

So, rare indeed, was our planned date night for Friday. We would go to dinner and a hockey game at the Coliseum in North Charleston! The South Carolina Stingrays are the local team and although, we have lived here for eight years, we had never been to a game. We had wanted to do this for years. Watching a live game and rooting for your home team is so much fun. And, Brian really loves this game, too. He grew up playing hockey, and has great memories playing with his buddies on Campbell’s Pond and on a Junior League team, too. Brian was a great skater back in the day!

After, the game, we would have a late supper at one of the fine restaurants in Charleston, another rarity for us.

I went on-line, splurged and bought the best seats available for the game. Five rows back, center ice! After I paid the convenience fee for ordering on-line and the TicketMaster fee, the tickets were quite expensive. But, that was okay. This was going to be so much fun!

And, it was my long weekend off, too! I could putzy around all day on Friday and get ready in the late afternoon for our date night unrushed. I was so excited!

Then, the snow storm came. On Friday afternoon at about 2:30 p.m., it began to snow. It was expected to snow until midnight or later. Now, it is important here to explain snow storms in South Carolina. First, they are very rare. (To give you an idea of how rare they actually are here, this is our fourth in 10 years.) Second, because of our more temperate climate, when we do get a snow storm here, we usually just wait for the temperature to rise and the sun to come out to melt it.  Third, and because of items one and two just mentioned, South Carolina doesn’t need to own any real quantity of snow removal equipment like northern states do.

As the afternoon progressed, schools began closing early, evening activities were getting canceled, and the local governments were advising people to stay off the roads except for emergencies, yada, yada. And, I got more and more worried about making our trip to Charleston. The thought crossed my mind that maybe Brian and I could really make a big night of it and stay in a hotel in town, but then, I remembered Sam Dog. The cats would be fine without us, but our absence would be too long for him.

Surely, the Stingrays would cancel the game and we would get a refund or tickets to another future game. But, no! The Florida Everblades were already in town and the game would be played, which meant no refund for us if we were no-shows.

So, you can understand how very disappointed we were making the decision to not make that long drive in wintry conditions.

So, at 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon, we have no meat thawed to make dinner at home and, more importantly, no range to cook on anyway. You see, we removed the range while renovating the kitchen floor and would have to wait one more day before we could re-install it.

Brian suggested we order pizza. There is a pizzeria in our little town, and although it does not deliver, we could make the short drive over there to get it. Since I really hate pizza, I was thinking that this day could not get any more disappointing. But, then Brian suggested a second dinner alternative: dinner at Captain Kirk’s. Captain Kirk’s is an additional 15 miles further away, but it has an excellent menu!  We would go there for dinner and come home and watch the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics! If Captain Kirk’s was open, I voted for that idea! I called ahead and couldn’t believe someone answered and I got a reservation!

We warmed up the car (to get the snow to melt off the windshield, since most respectable South Carolinians do not own scrapers) and headed to the restaurant. The snow was coming down heavily now and sticking to the roads, but we got there safely.  We had a wonderful dinner, Brian had the 14 oz. prime rib and I had the Valentine’s Special, a petite filet and three lobster tails (small, but delish). Another inch of snow had fallen by the time we left the restaurant, but we managed to get home in one piece, too!

After we got home, I made a pot of coffee for our dessert drinks (Kahlua and coffee) and we settled in to watch the Olympics.

It was nice and I was happy that the evening would not be a total bust after all! But, after five minutes, the satellite went partially out, and we lost our local affiliate channels, including NBC, the only station carrying the Olympics. Darn it, again! So, we put on another station and watched the ending of a movie, The Royal Tenenbaums. Well, we watched it until the power went out! Oh, man! Nothing left to do now, but just go to bed and sleep the rest of this day away!

In the morning, our power was back on. And, we moved the range back into the kitchen. The news reported that the Stingrays won an exciting game; tied at 3 goals each at the end of regulation play, the Stingrays won in the shootout! And, Sam Dog loved his first snow! 


Our house is a very very very fine house, with four cats and a dog…

I get asked frequently about our pets – four cats and a dog – and let me just say that they are spoiled rotten and very demanding of our attention. Each one loves to be the center of our affection and regardess of who temporarily holds that coveted position, the others, jealous creatures that they are, constantly try to knock the other out, in “I’m King of the Hill” fashion, and claim it for themselves. Here are some recent pictures:

Grace and Sam nap on the loveseat.

Charlie and Tink on the back of the couch.

Sam likes his new fence.

Tess wants to help pack.

Charlie and Sam share the loveseat with Cindy.

Charlie and Tink on the rocker.