Saturday, February 23, 2008


Remember your first taste of Cajun food?

Thursday, February 21, 2008



I feel like a Yo-Yo, and February is jerking my string! Monday was T-shirt weather… well, OK, it was if you were in the sun. It sure was not one of those 80 degree surprises, but 60 is great! I can live very comfortably with that! It was a good day to pull out some honeysuckle. I have figured out that honeysuckle doubles its size over the winter. I really did not have the time, but I had to do it, I just had to get away from the papers and lessons and notes and get outside. I also had to water the stuff in the greenhouse which is still blooming profusely! Geraniums and impatiens in February! Love it! Anyway, on Tuesday “they” started warning us that we might get a bit of snow by Thursday. Déjà vu, all over again????? Then on Wednesday, the weather folk both to the north (Salisbury, MD) and the south (Norfolk, Virginia) all reassured us that we would have a bit of rain but definitely no snow. So I took the following pictures of the “rain” at 9 PM last night. The flakes of rain were huge and wet and heavy. Consequently, it was a winter wonderland out there. Punkin, always in hopes of getting a bit of a back scratch, followed me out into the night’s weather. It was so beautiful out there. I am not too sure the weathermen appreciated my pictures. I realize it is really hard to predict the weather here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, with the Chesapeake Bay on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Most of us watch both the northern forecast then turn to the southern one and make our own guess based on what we feel or smell in the air. It is a very exact science, reading your bones and sniffing the air! Well, I am correct as often as they are, and more often correct than any groundhog! Anyway, it is cold out there, though the snow is melting under the “heat” of the sun. The light is on in the greenhouse. Buddha is wearing his hat of snow. I just had to take that picture when I got home from the Dr’s office. And now I had better get to work! I am really running behind.
Fellow bloggers, I am trying to keep up, but I have a MAJOR paper due, and am running out of time!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Mother Nature gave us a Valentine's Day present.

This is my van ON the carport!

But, out in the yard, the Caravan...
Remember my pictures from a week ago????? The one with 80 degrees?????

I had planned on taking a picture of this year's first crocus in bloom when I got home from school today, but school has been cancelled. Now before you think we are completely nuts, I have already had 2 cars and 1 pickup in my ditch out front, there have been too many little accidents for the radio to mention them all, but one guy flipped over completely (intersection of Redwood and Badger, Onley) one block from the turn off to Nandua Middle and High Schools.
Once again, the snow is on the camellias.
The daffodils should be open soon.
Happy Valentine's Day... or as my kids all say, Happy Valen-times!

Monday, February 11, 2008


This is Caleb and Curious George. Now why did I think Curious George would have to be a monkey???? Silly me! Anyway, Caleb went to a circus last week and his favorite part of the whole thing was being able to be near the animals. The highlight of the trip was being extremely close to Curious George! All I can say is, “That’s my boy!”
I was reminded of some years ago when our PTA brought a show with lizards and snakes and I don’t remember what all. The guy running the show asked the teachers if one of them would come up and carry this 6 foot long python around so the kids could see it. The teachers closest to an exit immediately disappeared, the others schooched down behind their kids. The kids looked all around to see who was going to be the brave one and I was the only teacher left standing. Well, I did not volunteer right away because I did not want to deprive anyone else of the opportunity. For real! I am not scared of snakes, with the exception of water moccasins which will come after you. I am not fond of copperheads, but they will usually run away from you. Anyway, I volunteered to walk the snake around the auditorium. I was surprised at how heavy it was. The kids thought I was so totally cool. I got some serious respect from the BIG BAD boys that lasted a long time.
About a month later, the mother of one of my boys came to school for a PTA program wearing her pet python around her neck. The office called me to the front of the building to escort mama back to her car and explain to her the policy about having uncontained “pets” in the building. The secretary was hiding in the storage closet, the principal was peeking thru a crack in her door. I admired the snake in the appropriate manner and walked her back out to the car. Mama was not happy, she wanted to go to her kid’s room way on the other end of the school… she had promised him she would be there with ‘Monty.” Yeah, I know, not real original on the name, but at least I can remember it! I don’t remember mama’s name… I explained the policy a number of times, suggested she call the SBO or better yet, why not take Monty to the SBO and get permission! The devil made me do that one. I guess it is a good thing she didn’t.
Anyway, Caleb apparently had a fine time with George! That’s my boy. His other grandmother did not even want to see the picture!!!!! Can you imagine?????

Thursday, February 07, 2008


SUMMERTIME, but the living was not easy! Yesterday the temps hit 80. Guess the Possum's prediction was true at least for a couple of days. If you look carefully, you will see I am wearing a short sleeved T-shirt! Windows were open! Ratty (Rascal) got in some serious bird watching.
Today I can hardly walk. Now I wonder what the connection might be????? Think it might have anything to do with trying to move those digitalis I have wanted to move since December? Or the weeds that needed to be pulled around the bottom of the fence around my tiny veggie garden? Or the netting that needed to be replaced over the blueberry patch????? I don't know when the rest of the digitalis will get moved... but it won't be today!
And I am so grateful we did not get any of the storms that destroyed so many lives on its way across the country. We did not even get any rain. Gotta carry water to those digitalis.
I hope you did not have any weather problems, that the storm quietly passed you by.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


More Pagan origins!
Belated Happy Ground Hog’s Day!
Do you know the history of Ground Hog’s Day, or why indeed we use a ground hog for the prediction? Or most important, how accurate is he (she?)?
In 1723, the Delaware (more correctly called the Lenapé) Indians settled Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania as a campsite halfway between the Allegheny and the Susquehanna Rivers. The town is 90 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, at the intersection of Route 36 and Route 119. The (Lenapes) considered groundhogs honorable ancestors. According to the original creation beliefs of the (Lenape) Indians, their forebears began life as animals in "Mother Earth" and emerged centuries later to hunt and live as men.
The name Punxsutawney comes from the Indian name for the location"ponksad-uteney" which means "the town of the sandflies." The name woodchuck comes from the Indian legend of "Wojak,the groundhog" considered by them to be their ancestral grandfather.
When German settlers arrived in the 1700s, they brought a tradition known as Candlemas Day, which has an early origin in the pagan celebration of Imbolc. It came at the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Superstition held that if the weather was fair, the second half of Winter would be stormy and cold. For the early Christians in Europe, it was the custom on Candlemas Day for clergy to bless candles and distribute them to the people in the dark of Winter. A lighted candle was placed in each window of the home. The day's weather continued to be important. If the sun came out February 2, halfway between Winter and Spring, it meant six more weeks of wintry weather.
The earliest American reference to Groundhog Day can be found at the Pennsylvania Dutch Folklore Center at Franklin and Marshall College:
February 4, 1841 - from Morgantown, Berks County (Pennsylvania) storekeeper James Morris' diary..."Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate."

The groundhog's seasonal forecasting accuracy is somewhat low. Phil's Winter prognostications have been correct only 39% of the time.
So it would seem to me that we might want to reverse the prediction, eh?
Most of this info came from

Here on the shore, we do not have any ground hogs... nope, not one woodchuck to be found. Reason? No place for them to burrow. Well, that is not true, let me say it this way, we are so close to sea level, there are times, when we have had a normal rainy season, that digging down just a foot or two, say to plant a tree or camellia, will give you a hole that quickly fills with water. In other words, the poor devils would drown here. Guess that is why we don't have chipmunks, either, huh? I do miss the chippies.

Well, then, just what do we do for Ground Hog Day?????
WE USE A POSSUM, THAT'S WHAT WE DO!!!!!! (What did you expect me to say???) And MY possum says spring is on its way! But, she reminded me, don't forget, it always snows on the daffodils. Keep that in mind!
(Last year's daffodil snow.)

BTW - we made a quick run over to Virginia Beach yesterday - haven't been over there in 3 years. That's pitiful, isn't it? Closest city of any real size and we never get there. Sigh. Anyway, we were 60 miles south of here and there were daffodils in bloom in one front yard. I am glad I took my eyes off the road for a second to see them! That was exciting!

They say we will have a couple of days in the 60s this week. That will be wonderful. I desperately need to get some work done out in the yard. Even the bird feeders are empty!

My weeks are running short on days lately, tho. Do yours ever do that? Last week was so packed full, I am ashamed of how dirty my house is and I am so far behind in my classes... But, I got a call from Hospice and had to go. And I am back at school... yep, you read that right. I know I was reminded that I said you couldn't pay me to go back - well, they aren't, paying me, that is. I am a volunteer. I am tutoring a couple 2nd graders, bless their hearts. So, life just got busier...

Anyway, I will do my best to get caught up.

Fellow bloggers - I am trying to catch up with you, too - that is how I spend my lunch time... but if it is warm, I eat out in the yard in the sun! I am reading, tho, honest!
OK, can I go back to bed now??????