Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stuff Other Than Rain

The tomato plant I put in the ground has a bunch of tomatoes on it now. It amazes me how well it has done the past few weeks. I think I counted 8 tomatoes.

And although the container tomato plant doesn't look as good as it once did, I think it's going to give me my first full-size tomato this year. I've had to pull off about six little tomatoes that had blossom end rot, but so far I haven't found any others with that condition. (Cross fingers.)

And I wish I knew why with two bowls of fresh water on the front porch, Muffin instead chooses to drink rain water out of an old broken bird feeder on the deck. Maybe she doesn't like the chlorine that comes with us being on city water. Maybe she's just nuts....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gonna Talk Rain Some More

Well, the sun came out for a few minutes today, and the rain has stopped for the time being. I wish I had grabbed the camera this morning and taken another photo of the creek behind my house. It was pretty high. I've seen it higher, but it still kind of creeps me out when it gets like that.

What I did get was some photos and a video this afternoon. Instead of coffee with lots of cream, the creek now looks like very, very watered down coffee and cream.

You can actually see the rocks on the bottom of the creek now, along with the larger ones the water runs over making the sound I have always loved.

We've been under flash flood warnings and watches since yesterday morning. There have been some issues with the river in places and creeks all over. With all that, I haven't heard one person complain about all the rain. Just shows how desperate we've been the past few months.

Now there's Gustav headed into the Gulf, and they say it may affect us later on down the road. Well, they say "when it rains, it pours." And we're seeing that literally this week.

(Just an aside: ever wonder who 'they' are?)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thank You, Fay!


I'm not the best videographer in the world, but you get the idea.

And even though the water is pretty muddy right now, the creek is back up where it should be already. Of course, if the rain keeps up as long as they say it might, it will more than likely get a bit higher than normal. But thankfully it has lots of leeway.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Water, Water....Nowhere

Well, on Thursday a few clouds actually appeared. I was hopeful for a bit, but those hopes were completely dashed. Still no rain.

The creek that runs through my backyard is not very deep on a good day, but now it's nearly nonexistent. Can't even hear it any more, and one of my favorite things is to sit on the deck and listen to the water wash over the rocks.

And I don't know if it's the lack of rain or those icky worms in their icky webs, but my little walnut tree has lost every last one of its leaves. The larger ones are even losing theirs as well.

Sooner or later is has to rain.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Garden Thoughts

Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden.
~Orson Scott Card

I had to smile when I found this quote. I lost my job last December, and if I hadn't I probably wouldn't have planted my garden...such as it is. Next year, employed or not, I will have a proper garden.

This is the scrawny tomato plant I moved from a bucket to the ground when it started getting sickly. The one tomato it had on it actually survived and ripened...

...into a tiny little thing. Wasn't much more than a cherry tomato, but it was my first harvest anyway. Now the plant is growing pretty well and has a number of blooms on it. Maybe there will be more to come.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Morning Thoughts

So "they" say that with every fog in August, you'll get a snow in the winter....right? I'm very hopeful then, as we've had fog almost every morning here. I love snow and I'd like to see a good bit of it this winter. Maybe there's hope after all. (And do you ever wonder who "they" are?)
Today's the day for spiders at my house. There was a huge web hanging in the front yard; attached to a tree, a bush and the bumper of my husband's truck. (How do they do that?) It was beautiful, but in a spot that would have made a clear photo almost impossible. (I'm sure some photographer out there could have found a way.)

Then there was this guy. His web was located at the top of the back steps. It extended from the house, to the deck, to the railing. (Again, how do they do that.) I caught sight of him as he was wrapping up breakfast. (Or maybe he was saving it as a snack for later.) I managed to get a couple decent pictures before Muffin jumped up on the railing and broke the web.

Cats! What can ya' do?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Poetry Challenge Poem

Hello in there. Anybody home?

Well, today I decided to post one of the poems I wrote for the Poem-A-Day Challenge back in April. The idea was to write one poem every day using the prompts given to you by Robert Brewer ( It was great fun, and tough as heck, and I actually managed to do it. Can't wait until next year. :-)

So, the prompt for this one was to write a poem that is only one-half of a two-person conversation. This prompt brought to mind Ryan Smith, my best friend when I was in high school. Ryan was a Marine and women loved him. He accidently dialed a wrong number one day and ended up going out with the woman who answered the phone. This is based on that conversation. Not my best piece of work, but I like it for the memory it represents.

Wrong Number, Ryan Style

Hi, is Steve there.
Wrong number?
Oh, I’m sorry.
Well, you have a nice voice. Can I talk to you?
No, I’m serious. You sound really nice.
Do I sound like an ax murderer?
I don’t know what one sounds like either.
I’m a Marine.
Nearly four years now.
Yeah, I’m a short-timer. What do you do?
Really? Cool.
No, I’m serious. That sounds interesting.
Yeah, it’s getting kind of late.
Can I call you again?
Sure. Maybe we could get together for coffee one day.
That’d be great.
Well, I hope you have sweet dreams.

©2008 Susan M. Bell

Ryan and I lost touch many years ago, and I do still miss him. He was a great friend. Not bad looking either, so hanging out with him was also kind of a way to thumb my nose at the popular, "beautiful" people at school who didn't think much of me. That sure didn't hurt. ;-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Not A Cloud In The Sky

I love a blue sky as much as the next person, but I have to say that with the dry conditions lately, it's a bit disappointing when there isn't a cloud to be seen. (This was yesterday afternoon.)

One thing I do see when I go outside is tree after tree covered with these web-like things filled with worms. I'm told they are actually harmless to the trees, but boy are they ugly.

Even my poor walnut trees are covered with the stuff. Oh well, maybe it won't be so bad next year.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I Ain't Afraid of No Ghost

I love ghost stories. Even funny things like the Ghostbusters movie are great. But, what really "tickles my fancy" as they say, is real ghost stories. Ya' know the ones. They're all over television lately (My favorite show is Ghost Hunters.), and since my hubby and I moved to these mountains from Savannah, Georgia...well, let's just say we've heard our share.

The Mercer House, made famous in the book/movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, is said to be VERY haunted. Ghostly parties are supposed seen and heard from the street.

And then there is Bonaventure Cemetery. The wonderful Bird Girl statue had to be removed to a museum after the book/movie made it so famous. But, there are plenty of other wonders, including, according to some, lingering spirits.

Closer to our mountain home, some say the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC is haunted. And Asheville, like Savannah, has ghost tours available. And check out this video. It was recorded by a security camera at Asheville High School on August 1st. ( I put it under the heading of "Things That Make You Go HMMM."

Whether ghosts are real or not, they certainly make history "come alive" so to speak. I have learned so much local history of many areas by just searching for their ghost stories. And what wonderful fodder for a writer.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy Anniversary?

Today is an anniversary of sorts for me. One year ago today, after many years of misdiagnosis by many doctors, I had to undergo a complete hysterectomy. I knew the day would come sooner or later, but was figuring to wait until I was around 45 or so. My husband and I wanted to keep the child option open, and were seriously talking about it the last year or so before my surgery. But alas, it was not meant to be. By the time I found a doctor who listened to me, a hysterectomy was the only remedy. So, less than a week after talking to the doctor and signing all the paperwork, I was wheeled into the OR for a complete/radical hysterectomy. I was 37-years-old.

This is my doctor, Harry Ervine, MD. Great doctor, funny man. Walked into my hospital room the day after the surgery and said "So, have you farted yet?" Apparently that's a big deal, being able to pass gas after a surgery like that. The question made me laugh so hard my staples hurt.

And check this out. The weekend before my surgery, I looked Dr. Ervine up on the internet (Can you blame me?) and found this Time Magazine cover. Seems that while he was attending Rutgers University, Dr. Ervine was chosen to be on the January 6, 1967 cover. It was a Man of the Year issue, representing the year of "25 and Under." Pretty cool. Don't know how he ended up in our little "neck of the woods," but I'm sure glad he did.

So, here I am, a little over 1 year away from 40, and already hitting menopause. I'm lucky in that I have been able to look at the bright side of things for the most part. Because of my health, my job suffered and by the time I had surgery, they basically said it was too little too late. I lost my job, but that has given me more time to write. I do have hot flashes once in a while, but since I used to be so very cold natured, that's sometimes an improvement. We have no children, but there is always adoption and I won't have to go through the whole pregnancy and labor thing. No cramps, no monthly "visitor,"'s all good. I can't say no mood swings, as I do have a few once in a while, but they are no where near what they were before.

Life throws us a curveball sometimes. What matters is what we do when it does.