Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year, Beat ncst!

Well, just got back from cruising blogcity. It's now officially New Years eve and I suppose I should blabber on about what a great year it's been and all that and I guess I will at some point but first...

I stopped off at Bane's place (he's one sick puppy but ya' gotta love him) to see what he's up to. He had a link to Lil Toni (who's also got a little different take on things but who is infininatly better looking and besides she's a Southern Lady). She linked to an article in the Washington Post quoting our Capt B. It's good to see him get some press but I wish they would focus on the meat of his writing.

Tomorrow is a long awaited day. Not because of the New Year but because the South Florida Bulls football team is finally playing in a bowl game. I graduated from USF which at one time was listed by Guinness as the largest university in the world without a football team. Nine short years ago the program started in a trailer near what used to be swampland. O.K. I exaggerated the swampland part. Leroy Selmon is the athletic director and has done a fantastic job developing the program. He and his brother used to come in the Sambo's restaurant I was managing in north Tampa when they were playing for the Bucs back in the day.

They are playing in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, NC just two hours down the road.
It's all I can do to keep from jumping in the Toyota and heading south. However, since love of my life only returned from Raleigh this evening and doesn't care for football, even if it is the Bulls, I will be content to don my South Florida football t-shirt and plop myself in front of the TV. I'm sure it will be telecast in this area since they are playing ncs.

Go Bulls!!!

So it has been a good year. My love and I found our dream home in the mountains. We have been blessed with good health and Wanda's new job holds lots of promise. We have made many new friends and some of them actually think we're "cool". Go figure? I have expanded my horizons with this plum psychedelic blogging thing. Now when my Bulls win today it will be the perfect ending to a perfect year. God is good!

I will raise a glass of my favorite bourbon and drink to happiness, health and prosperity to all of you fellow bloggers in the New Year while I watch South Florida decimate UNC.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Had I a better camera this would have been a better picture. It really doesn't do justice to the scene of the Arrat valley. The clouds today were unbelievable and the air was crystal clear. I took it on the way to Galax to turn in a couple of resumes. Yes, I'm still job hunting.

I had several months ago applied for a desk clerks job at the Holiday Inn where I-77 and route 58 intersect. The hotel is owned by, you guessed it, Mr. Patel. He also has several other (H)motels at the same intersection. I had not heard from him and and he has continued to advertise the position. Now he was looking for someone to desk clerk and assist in managing. So off I went, updated resume in hand. After a brief conversation I left the resume. Could it be he thinks I'm overqualified. Does "retired" and "just want something to occupy my time" mean anything? What is his problem? Why did he ask me if I could type? I'm not anti-alien, really, just because ALL my ancestors including the rumored Native American great grandmother were here before the Revolution, I'm not.

The other opening was at the Sears store in Galax. A very nice manager accepted my resume and said he would be back in touch. I told him how I loved Craftsman tools (my ability to schmooz is well developed).
We talked about the number of people who, like ourselves, are moving into the area. I can certainly understand why but I wish we were the last. If it keeps up much of what makes this area desirable will be lost.

I was running low on vodka so I thought I'd stop at the state run liquor store and pick up a bottle. I like Popov. It's made in the same distillery that makes Smirnoff and is about half the price. Now I'm not much of a bourbon drinker but I do like me some Woodford Reserve and it was on sale. It kills my Scottish soul to spend twenty eight dollars on a 750 ml bottle of booze but I do like Woodford Reserve and it was five dollars off. And I hadn't treated myself in a long time unless you count lunch at Arby's. Damn it's good with a splash of the fresh spring water that flows from our tap.

I don't recall where I heard it but the story goes the Union Army sent to Kentucky during the Civil War (or as it's known in yankeeland, the War Between the States) never advanced any further. They just went from one end of the state to the other visiting distilleries.

I was informed by today's post from Social Security come April I will be fully retired and can make as much money as I want. I can hardly wait to apply for that $200,000 a year job bursting with responsibility.

My baby comes home tomorrow. Huzzah!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

It's Wednesday, It Must Be Garbage

Wednesday is not my favorite day of the week. It starts too early for me. Today is trash day and the garbage truck comes around eight AM. I guess I should explain at this point I am a night person. I really enjoy the early mornings but I enjoy late night more. So alarm clock woke me at 7:30 to roll the fifty gallon trash can down the drive for the truck which would soon be backing up our road. He backs to our drive because there is no room to turn around on our dead end street. Thankfully it's a little warmer on the mountain today and I really didn't feel like changing out of the PJ's because contrary to my usual practice I was going back to bed. I did and slept until ten. Oh, the joy of retirement.

Sheryl over at Paper Napkin is hosting the second annual De-Lurking day. It was greeted with such enthusiasm last year she has extended it. This year it runs from January 9 - 13. Yes, I know that's more then a day. We all have those visitors to our blog who stop, read and move on without leaving a comment. You know who you are. Enough! Comment, damn it. Last year Sheryl donated to Katrina relief for each comment. I don't think she'll be doing that this year as she nearly had to sell one of the kids to make good. Sheryl did my banner and is a good read. Anyone who can come up with phrases like "weasels on crack" has my vote.

After extracting my usual promises to "be good and be careful and don't make a mess" love of my life has returned to Raleigh to complete her sales training for the new job and I have been left to my own devices until Friday night. Fisal is unusually affectionate during her mistress absences and I am forever finding her under my feet. Dangerous place for a cat.

It's turning our to be too nice a day to confine myself to our "media room" (TV and computer). Just checked the temp on the deck and it's in the (fanfare) sixties. So I'm off to the outside world. To all of my three or four readers, have a good one.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

"Death Smiles At Us All"

There is an absurdness to some tragedies like the recent death of Tony Dungy's son. It doesn't make sense that this young man should take his life. But then it doesn't make sense that anyone should take their own life. When it is a person with every opportunity available the act becomes more unfathomable. The son of the popular former coach of Tampa Bay Buccaneers and now of the Indianapolis Colts would seem to have had the world at his reach.

It's particulary disturbing because this needless death comes at a time when the Dungy family should be rejoicing. Not only is it the holiday season but also the Colts are having a fantastic football season. What a blow this must be to them. I don't think anyone who has not lost a child can imagine their grief. What makes it even worse is that Tony seems to be a very fine person who really doesn't deserve to have this happen. The accompanying article says Tony was comforting the well-wishers rather then the other way around.

Bad things do happen to good people and we all ask "why". There is no answer. Was it predetermined that in his eighteenth year young Dungy would end his life? You know "when it's your time" and all that. We can never know what went through the mind of this young man as he contemplated this act. He seemingly had everything to live for but for some reason a terrible negative entered his being.

Christmas for the Dungy family will never be the same. The immediate pain will thankfully ease some with time but will never go away. They, like us, will ask why and like us will not have an answer. The only thing we can do now is hold our lived ones close and say a prayer for this and other families, not so notable, who have lost loved ones at this time of the year.

Monday, December 26, 2005

I went for a walk down the road that leads in and out of our community. That's our house straight ahead. Much of what is not visible in summer is now seen through the bare trees. Logging roads seemingly going nowhere appear from the underbrush . The contours of the land are now exposed. Faithfully green rhododendrons provide cover for the chickadees and titmice. It becomes easy to forget there is a world beyond Groundhog Mountain. We have no traffic or other urban noises to distract. The stars shine brightly through the dark of the clear, cold mountain air.
Yesterday a plump snow wren cavorted playfully over the small woodpile on our deck.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke Chapter 2; verses 13 & 14

 Posted by Picasa
Thanks to Wm H for the Santa photo which I "borrowed".Posted by Picasa

The Ghost of Christmas Past

This season is among other things a time for remembering. Holiday celebrations from the past bounce in and out of memory like DVD's in skip chapter mode. My memories are story book Christmas'. Some good, some bad. All the Christmas cliches have at one year or another been left under my tree.

The early years, war years for the most part, were home made gifts and warm gatherings of uncles, aunts and cousins at my grandparents parsonage, my home. Always church services across the street on Christmas eve and the the inevitable peaking and sneaking, my cousin and I looking for Santa. Rides in a "one horse open sleigh".Christmas morning someone would always receive "the red bird". The picture of a Cardinal passed from year to year through the family accompanied by great outbursts of laughter. One year my mother and aunt unwrapped and re-wrapped all the presents just to see what they were getting.

Our first Christmas in Florida was lean and I cut down a small long needle pine from the vacant lot next door for a tree and made paper decorations.

Just after the second separation from my second wife I was living alone above the restaurant we had just sold. It was one of the coldest Christmas' St. Petersburg had known on a long time. Walking by the Begonias coated in ice and I left the presents for the kids on the front porch of the house. I spent the rest of the day alone.

The first year my second step-father, Walter and mother were married it was a present fest. My two preteen sisters and I were still living at home and shredded wrapping paper was ankle deep on the floor. Walter had started the tradition of wrapping up many small gifts, like pencils and key chains and paper clips and other bits of ephemera and filling a stocking for everyone. Of course Mom's was in a woman's stocking.

There have been scenes like in the movie "Avalon" where the turkey gets cut before the whole family is assembled and members leave in anything but a Christmas spirit. O.K., it was Thanksgiving and they were Jewish but it's a holiday and someone is miffed. That's a tradition and it's archtypical. Or in "A Christmas Story" where dinner is in a Chinese restaurant. There have been the frantic trips from in-law to in-law trying not to eat too much because each insists on further feasting. Who can ever forget those long nights waiting outside the ancestor of Wal-mart Christmas eve to get one of three swing sets that go on sale at midnight for ten dollars. And then having to assemble the thing, flashlight in hand, in the early morning hours only to be awakened by bouncing kids half hour after finally getting to sleep.

This Christmas Wanda and I will be blissfully alone on the mountain. This afternoon we're heading to Slaughters market in Floyd to get Christmas dinner for ourselves and then leave seasons greetings to our friends there. We're not exchanging gifts this year other then the love we give each other every day. The house was decorated, except for the tree ornaments which my wife insists is her job, and the stars were brightly shinning when she returned from Raleigh last night. Tomorrow we'll be off to the little church in Willis and then back to the peace, tranquility and beauty of the day on Groundhog Mountain. I wish the same for all.

Nap Time

Friday, December 23, 2005

Honest, Mom, I Tried To Call

Yesterday I, like any good son picked up the phone to call my mother. There was some guilt involved since she called Sunday and it was then Thursday. My mother is in her eighties and relatively healthy and absolutely active. She has been involved with Eastern Star Order for many years, among other things, as organist for their meetings. She’ll be at three or four meetings a week. And then there’s the hair and the nails once a week. So Mom does all right and hopefully lives many more years to continue sage advice to her only son.

The phone said back, “Your long distance has temporarily discontinued”. Panic! LOML is in Raleigh and will be frantic if I fail to call at eight. Not to mention that I couldn’t call Mom and who knows what “temporarily” means and it’s Christmas and there must be the accompanying sentiments to distant family.
So, what if there’s no local number for Sprint? It’s a good thing I have unlimited long distance because almost all calls require it. But that, I found out later, was the problem. There appears to be no local number for AOL.
I had received a letter several weeks ago from Sprint saying my long distance plan did not allow for other then conversational use. For some reason still unknown to me, their “unlimited” long distance plan is, well, limited. Anyway I had called AOL and explained my problem to a polite chap named Peter in Bombay or somewhere in that vicinity. He hooked me up with another number to dial. Fine, I thought...not fine. Peter, bless his American-job-takin' self, had replaced one bad number with another and now the phone company was taking action.

I found the local number which put me in contact with a very helpful lady in eastern North Carolina about two hundred some miles away. Now understand I’m in southwest Virginia and this is a local call and Stuart 16 miles down the J.E. B. Stuart Highway is long distance. She explained I could either find another number for AOL or pay 7 cents a minute. She did try to find a local number, it seems Sprint has not become sophisticated enough to allow such. Only after my promising to not abuse my “unlimited” long distance was it restored. I was able to call the wife in Raleigh at eight and relate the story. I still haven’t called my mother.

(fast forward to today)

Up and on the phone to Sprint. After all I had been 20 hours with out the internet and who knows what's happened in the world of Blog. I had pretty much decided that I must say adios to AOL and find another ISP. When I mentioned this to Kathy at Sprint she recommended Earthlink which seems to be connected to Sprint somehow. It's absolutely amazing to me how these corporations are so interconnected. So at this point I've added Earthlink and when the software arrives I'll download and send AOL packing.

I did have a long conversation with Mom who's now added Tuesday lunch with her physical therapy group to her schedule.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Several Favorite Quotes

"Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of wine" Hemingway

"Hearts full of youth,
Hearts full of truth,
Six parts vodka, one part vermouth." Tom Lehrer
Time to catch up on the news from Groundhog Mountain.

My fantastically intelligent wife passed the insurance exam last Friday and is gone for three days to Raleigh. She comes back to spend Christmas and then Monday back to Raleigh for three more days of sales training. The exam was in Bristol Va. They have a Quiznos, I was impressed. Strip malls seem to be the latest thing.

The weather here has been cold, not much out of the forties during the day and teens at night. As a result there are still patches of ice in those spots where the sun doesn't shine. Coming back from Mt. Airy yesterday we saw one car loosing control on the ice and one precariously pointed downhill off the shoulder of the road.

Christmas promises to be quiet. Not much shopping to do due to the present negative cash flow. We've got some stuff for the grandkids and I'll wrap something for the rest of the immediate family, load it all in a box later today and send it off to Florida. Maybe they'll get it before Sunday. One good thing about ADD is people are used to my procrastinating. We did pull the Christmas paraphernalia from storage and it is now staring at me with anticipation from boxes in the living room. I'll have Christmas ready when my honey gets home from her travels.

These digital cameras sure do eat the batteries. I have restocked and will have some pics soon.

So far two comments on the beard blog. Sandy , has been posting some yummy recipes and took the time to vote "yea" as did Bonita . Bonita has taken Kiwi to a new level. So there it is, I have three ladies saying beards are the "bomb". What am I to do? I know, don't shave and see how they like it then.

I was very humbled to find a comment from Capt. B on my post the other day. I just can't get over this guy.
He's fighting a war and still finding time to not only give us a look at what's really going on in Iraq but also fuel our patriotic fire. We need more Americans like him, but like they say, "The Marines, The Few, The Proud".
I barely made it through Air Force basic training. Ya gotta love those Leathernecks.

This Blog May Be Monitored, Or Not

My degree is in Political Philosophy and the one thing I learned is that all political systems suck. The best system is no system. Unfortunately in our cosmopolitan world that is not a possibility. Someone's got to fix the roads and most places are not like our little community were the homeowners see to the fixin'. There is something to be said for rural areas where people are more self reliant.

The more responsibility we give over to government the more our freedoms are eroded usually in the name of the greater good. In a democracy such as ours the majority (read the party in power) define for good or ill our freedoms according to their adjenda. One of the pitfalls of our system is the "tyranny of the majority" which should be kept in check by our bi-cameral legislative process. In time of war the rules change.

We are involved in a war and Iraq is just the immediate objective. Does anyone seriously think victory in Iraq and the withdrawal of our brave men and women end this war on terror. Political terror was only one pernicious idea to emerge from the French (oh, the French) Revolution. It was used very effectively by Hitler and others of the same ilk. Ho Chi Minh added his twist with the army of the people and protracted warfare concepts. The point is terror and terrorists are not going away anytime soon.

The President has used his power to at least raise some eyebrows over his wiretapping adventures. Yes, it does violate some individuals right to privacy but I really don't think Georges snoopers are interested in the usual trivial stuff that most of us babble endlessly. Do you think it's of national interest that I made the late car payment over the phone? My thought is that they're not going to waste time over most of us because there is no reason too.

It would seem those who object most are the ones who have reason to object. You bet the terrorist will object using the very instument he is trying to destroy to legitimize that destruction. To a terrorist, any end justifies the means.

It's an extraordinary and, in the scope of history, a new kind of warfare. One we in the west have not understood. Viet Nam illustrated that. If the present administration is guilty of anything it would have to be taking their strategic thinking only as far as the concepts of traditional warfare would take them. We need new concepts to fight this kind of protraced war.

We, as a nation should be willing, no, must be willing to sacrifice some freedoms for the good of all just as our military surrenders some of their freedoms to guarentee ours. Now I certainly don't advocate going back to the Japanese interment camps of World War 2 but if, a wiretap locates a Al Queda leader talking on a cell phone somewhere in the middle of nowhere and a drone fired missile blows him to hell and back, Goerge and the spooks can listen to me anytime they're bored.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Does It Look Like I'm Going Anywhere?

The sleet was coming down when I awoke. Then freezing rain. Now all exposed surfaces in our forest are covered with ice. This is the view out the pantry window on the side of the house facing east. You think I'm going outside in this? First of all, I remember Mountain Lesson #2 and secondly that Lady who is studying for the insurance exam in the back bedroom is also guarding my shoes so I can't go outside and play.

So what's up with the insurance exam? Glad you asked.
You remember last episode they had cancelled due to weather. When calling to confirm the their next scheduled test we were told they had listed her as a "no show" which meant scratching around for another $69. exam fee. Huzzah! The final (I think) edict; another $40. rescheduling fee for their incompetence.

If ever elected anything besides my present office of vice-president (I was assured I wouldn't have to do anything and the committee timed the call when they knew I would be busy bartending at Doe Run and wouldn't have time to think about it. They also wanted someone who was full time up here and there isn't a good selection, obviously) of our community association, I'll use all the good ideas from all the states and chuck out all the bad ones like all the bureaucratic redundancy just to take a licensing exam.

Back to the insurance (I think I better go back to Firmly Rooted for another 55) we go tomorrow to take the exam. On what is promised by the weather people (worry) to be a warm, sunny, ice has melted day we are off to Bristol either Virginia or Tennessee. It's right on the line and actually a bit closer than Roanoke. I didn't realize until we moved here just how close it is to the "Volunteer State". Guess I'll have to take the Titans a little more seriously...naaa.

When there is icy weather like this up here everyone just stays home. I called the bank, both branches; closed as was the Old Mill Golf Resort where I'm trying to pick up a nights work and maybe get my foot in the door. It's too easy to either go careening out of control over a ridge or run into a granite outcrop. And that caution includes walking although Fred at Fragments from Floyd had a link to these Yak Traks which may be a good idea.

The freezing rain is turning to rain. The icicles are gone from the bird feeder and much of the ice in the photo is melted. That's the weather on Groundhog Mountain.

It Does Work For Sean Connery....

This was taken a year ago at the Mountain Rose Inn. I'm not posting this because I want everyone to see my picture, well that's not entirely true.
I am turning to people who like to comment on things to help me make a decision.

LOML wants me to grow a beard. She likes beards, why I'll never know.
I don't and I think Jack Wresler is to blame.

Back in my cab driving days, 80 year old Jack was a regular rider the third Sunday of each month. I would pick him up from his church. He and the the groceries he had collected for the food bank and take Jack and the groceries home. It was a distance and we talked. He had a fantastic life, if it can be believed. An electrical engineer, he said he talked GE into the electric business. His present occupation was (age 80) was traveling about the globe advising for Phillips electronics which I understand is a Dutch company whose president gave Jack a Mercedes as a wedding gift. But it was a good run and he tipped well. Anyway, Jack didn't like beards or mustaches or facial hair in general. I guess he told me enough that he brainwashed me.

But then I have never had a beard. Mustaches, yes, several. I don't want one of those either. They get full of coffee and beer foam and cigar smoke (I'm lying, I really smoke cigarettes but cigars sound a little better and yes, I'd like to quit but it's difficult). I think beards look affected on most men. It's like I'd be trying to hide a week chin or something. The other thing, a strong jawline makes the face stand out like I had a mouth full of acorns. And then there is the food and drink issue and Wanda says I eat like a child anyway but at least I'd catch some of the stuff that now falls on my shirt.

I'm not big on shaving in any case. Maybe once every couple days unless we have to go somewhere special.
But isn't that unshaved look in vogue now days? There's all these guys I see on TV with a couple days growth.
Then I have those visions of Z Z Top and George Clooney in "Oh, Brother Where Art Thou" and all those guys that braid them and add beads and act weird.

So help me out here, folks.

I've been trying to download "blogpoll" but they don't seem to want to respond. It seems like the voting machine pandemic has struck. I'm not big on democracy anyway, but it's the best we've got. And never let it be said I'm not to proud to beg for comments.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

If You Don't Agree, I Don't Care

I am a Christian and I am paranoid. There is a plot afoot to discredit my beliefs. It is not by radical Islamics or others who haven't figured out yet you can't change someone's ideas by blowing them up. The media is as culpable and more sinister, they visit our living rooms on a regular basis. And it's not just Christianity they're after, they're out to get God.

Just to make things a little more interesting let me explain my concept of God. I can't because how can we wrap our minds around something we can't imagine? The Old Testament Jews went through the name thing and after given a name which was unpronounceable they figured out a way to pronounce it. And when they pronounced it they defined it and by defining we place limitations. Whether our vision of deity is a mental image or a physical symbol what our nature leads to is, well, visual. But as Joseph Campbell said, "The best things can't be told". In this case no matter how hard we try the best thing cannot be visualized, it can't even be conceived.

The news on NBC really got my goat the other night when they continued as they put it "the story that just won't go away" because NBC news and other media keep harping on it. Yes, my friends, it was the great Christmas/Holiday debate. Why did they have to put the BIG, red (communist plot?) "X" through "Merry Christmas" in the introduction of the segment. Why use the BIG, red "X " at all.

Another thing, and here I'm on shaky ground because I don't usually watch those TV shows about religion unless they're on PBS and then they're suspect. There was that one "Joan of Arcadia" where God kept turning up as various humans. So, if, as Nietze pointed out "God is dead" lets replace with a psychic plumber from Omaha. Now I see there's a new one coming on called "The Book of Daniel". The Daniel of the Old Testament is an interpreter of dreams and a seer of visions who prophesies the coming of Christ. The promo's I see for this new show has a cleric driving down the road talking to the stereotypical white, long haired, bearded, white robe Jesus figure. Who knows what the rest of that message is going to be. And those shows that purport to either find or not find evidence to support any view are really foolish. The one thing common to all religions is faith. If we find evidence then we quantify and faith is no longer necessary.

Our "words" form our concepts except ever since Thomas Hobbes came along we define our words to mean what we want them to mean. Case in point "intelligent design". Is this some giant "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" brain sitting at a intergalactic drafting table pumping out graphics? Or a cosmic spreadsheet entitled "Plan for the Planet Earth and Environs"? Maybe it's that evolution is an intentional process but if so whose intent is it?

Everyone has a beliefs in something or other and that's O.K. with me. I, like everyone else, think mine are correct. So just leave them alone. It's taken me a long time and a lot of study and the grace of God to form them. All I know is that that inconceivable, unknowable, unquantifiable, Being has blessed me in many ways and if people would just mellow out and quit being all unto themselves they could get some of the same.

This attack is not going to stop in my lifetime if ever. But one thing I'm sure of and that's who'll be the victor. God has survived many battles over many centuries simply because the combatants had no idea what they were up against.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Sunsets are spectacular from Groundhog Mountain. This is tonight's. What my camera can't capture are the twinkeling lights from Mt. Airy in the valley or the stars appearing.

That's all for now, LOML has confiscated the computer. I can't believe she says I'm spending too much time on it.

Tuesday Roasty Roast

I'm plagiarizing the following because I don't rememer the source. but it's thinking about Michael Caine, who is Cockney got me thinking about it.

A peculiar kind of slang, known as Cockney rhyming slang, evolved in England. It's distinguishing mark is the use of paired words, or compound phrases, in which the last word rhymes with the word actually meant. Thus, for instance, instead of saying "head", a Cockney might say, "I hit him in the loaf of bread".

To Increase the fun and confusion, once the phrase has become common, the first word of the phrase can be used to suggest the entire phrase, and at a second level of indirection, the original word.Thus the Cockney's victim might simply be hit "in the loaf". And what was used for the hitting? Why the Cockney's Germans - that is, his German bands - that is , his hands!

Some examples:
almonds /almond rocks /socks
ball /ball of chalk/ walk
Barney/ Barney Rubble /trouble
titfer/ tit-for-tat /hat
Zorba/ Zorba the Greek /a leak /to urinate
farmers/ Farmer Giles /piles/ hemorrhoids
haricot/ haricot bean/ queen/ an effeminate homosexual
jekylls /Jekylls and Hydes /strides /pants
cobblers/ cobbler's awls/ balls /testicles
arfer/ Arthur Rank /wank /to masturbate
fleas and itchers /pitchers /the cinema
the baked bean /the Queen

and some of my favorites:

bottle/ bottle and glass /ass
brass/ brass nail /tail
Bristols/ Bristol Cities /breasts

and my alltime favorite:

Donald /Donald Duck

There more, much more, but enough, this lemon squeezer (geezer), gotta Scapa, Scapa Flow, like go.

Monday, December 12, 2005

And Yes, I Watch "Martha"

There are vacant buildings all around the many side roads that weave up and down ridges and valleys. This one on Squirrel Spur appears to belong to the people in the next house. There have been people, heavily Scots Irish, my people, in these mountains for centuries. Remnants of chimneys mark their passing on.

There are vacant cars also. Jeff Foxwothry makes the joke "you know your a redneck if you mow the lawn and find a car". Looking for our mountain home the realtor showed us an 8 acre property with two abandoned cars in the front yard, one a '38 Plymouth. While inspecting the spread I discovered three more rusting autos.

The snow never materialized today but we did sit in front of the fire, watch the movie "Alfie" and count the few tantalizing flakes that did fall. The original version with Michael Caine. "Alfie" is such a pathetic character. Couldn't help but think of Craig Ferguson's "Michael Caine in Space" segment. But he is such a good actor. His "Peachy" in "The Man Who Would Be King" is classic.

I was watching Martha Stewart the other morning while drinking my coffee and typing inane comments on other peoples blogs. She had Anita Baker as a guest and Anita brought her recipe for smothered chicken.
I didn't like Martha much back when she was a "bitch". But then she went to jail and I figured she got what she deserved and maybe God was trying to tell her something. I think she listened because she now comes across more hospitable. Besides I can't get Christopher Lowell or any of those other guys. My favorite was Debbie Travis "The Painted House".

I made the chicken last night and it turned out good. If I like my cooking I know it's good. Easy and inexpensive recipe.

Time Out

It's starting to snow on Groundhog Mountain. Real flakes, not those puny mini-flakes we had yesterday. If it continues it will be the first real snow fall we've had. There has been ice several days only one of which we thought it best not to try to navigate our somewhat steep driveway. We have every thing we need so we don't have to go any where. We'll just sit in front of our fire with a good movie and watch the snow.

I am getting away from this maddingly addictive blog until later this p. m. My mornings are now spent reading what's going on in some other peoples very interesting lives. I feel almost like a voyeur, peeking in a window here and a window there. And I am equally exposed! So, for the rest of the afternoon feel free to leave the shades up with no worry.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Parkway, Sunday Morning

This is a spot on the Blue Ridge Parkway just north of Mabry Mill. It must not get much sun as ice forms in October and I've seen it there in March. The condition of the road is apparent. Not many cars on the Parkway and a winter quiet. Slow going except where the sun had warmed. I was told by "the Midget" the feds don't plow until it's about a foot deep. They close it rather then plow it.
Before some one calls the PC police, "the Midget" is "Grannys" brother. He's not really a midget, just short and one happy individual. The family is from these mountains and LOML and I met them when we were working up at Doe Run before the resort closed for the season. Grannys father was talking to me this morning at the little church invited us to attend. I'm sorry, but I didn't understand a word that mountain man was saying.
This little country church we've been to twice is in Willis, just down Rt. 221 from Dugspur. I don't know the denomination, like it really matters. Yes, kids we're in the Bible belt but so far both sermons I've caught have been about discipleship. The small congregation, about 30 today, are genuinely warm and friendly. These are not newcomers to this area and it is a real joy getting to know them.
To get there we take a winding mountain road past Slate Mountain where we had looked at at house. It was a cute little place with a balcony of the upstairs bedroom that overlooked the valley. But the operative word here is "small" and it needed work. Love of my life looked up in the living room and exclaimed, "look, exposed beams". I replied, "those are floor joists". The lot was small also but there was a lot of slate.
The road offers many views of Buffalo Mountain, small streams and branches, pasturelands, farm homes and cabins, all accented today by a light dusting of snow. This is a beautiful part of the world regardless of season.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Ice, Ice, Baby

There was ice this morning. The air is clear and cold. Ice covers the gravel roads and driveway, bright accents through the stark trees. This time of year, with all but all but the very most tenacious leaves now brown underfoot, the vistas take a dramatic change. Last night after the chipmonk left the deck as I watched the stars far above and the lights from Mt. Airey far below I felt suspended somewhere between heaven and earth. The ice on the slender lacey treetop branches frames the mountain top in silver. The road I thought parallel is far down the ridge. Sheds, barns, roads and fences make an appearance. My perceptions are changed by the changing of the seasons.

Now, back to the continuing saga of LOML and the insurance exam this episode entitled "Bumbling Bureaucrats" or "Moostly Squirrelly". You remember Monday last as Rocky and Bullwinkle were headed out the door on the way to the Whatsamatta U. insurance exam the phone rang:
"I'll get that, Bullwinkle"
They were canceling the exam due to the weather rescheduling our intrepid heroine (did I mention Rocky is in "drag"?) for Friday next.
"Uh' Rocky, you got fleas"?
"No, Bullwinkle, it's my happy dance".
(Have you ever read the autobiography of Ponsonby Britt? It's fantastic.)

Come Friday and love of my life is on the phone to the exam people in Bristol to see if they are giving the exam because the weather is once again funky and events seem to be following right along. They have no record of her being rescheduled. What's more she is listed as a no-show. And, oh boy Bullwinkle, the office that called and canceled on Monday last is closed on Fridays and will not reopen until Monday next. Fearless Leader had a hand in all of this! As we all know if one no-shows they forfeit the $69 fee Fearless Leader charges. One good thing, the company she's going to work for is being quite supportive.

We are off to Wal-mart for provisions. Coffee Crisis! I used the last of the Honduras Coffee Company blend this morning. Eight-o-Clock will do. Need some other stuff. Like ice cream and chips and chocolate. The roads are clearing and the sun is out and we're off to Mt. Airey via the Blue Ridge and then the Andy Griffith Parkways.

"Holy cow, Rocky, it sure will be nice to come home and we havn't even left yet".

Thursday, December 08, 2005

As For Me and My House, It's Christmas

I guess it's time to weigh in on the "holiday" brouhaha. This could get weird.

To me it's Christmas, the remberence of the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To you December 25th may be something else and that's fine with me. As my stepfather, Ralph used to say, "You got enough to do just taking care of yourself". Maybe The Passover Plot is correct, maybe everything didn't happen just the way the New Testament says, maybe the atheists are right but I don't think so. I don't care what day Jesus was born 25 December is His day and that my friends is CHRISTMAS!

What's neat (and I think like a sign or omen or something) is that Hanukkah and Christmas fall so close to each other. Now that we have Kawanza, if we could just get Ramadan moved closer to the new year it would truly be a Holiday Season and that's what it is, a "holy day" season and as see where this is going.
So why not wish those whose religion of choice, individually or collectively, we do not know "happy holiday"?
Even the atheists are covered with Thanksgiving, New Years and possibly Boxing Day. We all hold something "holy" even if it's "Victoria's Secret".

So let George send his "Happy Holiday" cards, he has enough other problems. When I get mine (ha) I'll just cross out "holiday" and insert "Christmas". Let Wal-mart, Target, et all, wish "happy holiday" , we know what's "holy" to those guys. And let me sit back and enjoy Christmas without all this stuff because this season of the year there's enough celebration to go around.

Love Walked Right In

This is a love story.
Back in the late 90's I got a letter from motor vehicles which required my insurance agents signature (not very romantic so far, it gets better). The receptionist turned me over to the agent in the glass front office, a very nice, attractive lady who took care of the motor vehicle thing in a very professional way. By this time we had engaged in some small talk and I was suddenly very happy I had been paying the premiums at the office rather then mailing. That way it wouldn't look obvious when I started doing what I was already doing. She was much younger than I, very attractive, probably had one or several boyfriends both younger and more attractive then I, but well, I was paying at the office anyway.

Now I was looking forward to my insurance premium so I could go pay and wave at the lady in the glass front office. More then a year went by and then one day the receptionist leaned over the desk and said,

"You have a secret admirer".

The rest of that conversation is a blur except for the "I can't believe you told him that" look on the face of the lady in the glass front office.

Skip forward about six months to me standing on the back dock of the hotel the day after my birthday taking a break from restaurant managing. The hostess sticks her head out the door and says, "phone call".

"This Allstate customer service, we just wanted to call and say 'happy birthday' ".
Now this was new, my auto insurance company calling to wish me happy birthday. Before I could say much more,

"This is Wanda at Allstate, hope it was happy".

Sometimes I'm not as dense as I look so managing some words, I blurted out,

"Why don't we have diner and I'll tell you about it".

I needed to digest what had just happened so I told her I'd call and set up a date. I found out later because she didn't know where I managed she had called all the restaurants in the area until she found me. She knew most everything else about me after all she had access to my MVA records. Several anxious days later (didn't want to seem as eager as I was) I called and the date was set.

The obvious choice for dinner was where I worked; upscale and the food and service had to be good or heads would roll. As we pulled into the parking lot, magic happened, she leaned over and kissed me softly on the lips. I was done.

It turns out she had been caregiver for her blind mother who now was dying of cancer. Several days later I went with her for the first time to visit her mother in the hospital. Her mom died several weeks later after briefly meeting her daughters future husband. I comforted my future wife best I could. I guess I came along just at the right time. Her dad came in the room that first visit. Wanda introduced me to her dad and the latest news,

"This is David, I'm going to marry him". And she did.

And they lived happily ever after.

Cold Morning

The rhododendron leaves are huddling close together this morning. As it warms they go back to their usual perky selves, It's cold on the mountain. Not a bitter cold but with the temps in the teens, brisk. So far the weather on our side of Groundhog Mountain has been better than areas right down the road. It seems there are many micro-climates around here. We are sheltered here in winter with the mountain rising to the north behind the house. Nasty weather predicted for this PM, "freezing rain", the dreaded "i" word.
We had ice storms in Baltimore. There was the time after doing a 180 in the car trying to come up the hill to our house and going around the square to approach from the other end of the street stopping beside the empty parking space the car slid horizontally into the space. (note to Dave: work on sentence construction) Then I had to crawl across the street over the inch or so of ice to get to the house.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Thoughts on 7 December

I remember December 7th, 1941. It was a cool sunny Sunday in Culver, Indiana. My mother was asleep on the couch and my grandparents had gone out. I was upstairs when the news flashed. I didn't know what it meant but the memory is indelible some 64 years later. Some time back I verified the event with my mother and her response was, "but you were only fourteen months old".

I remember fragments of the war years and listening to Roosevelt funeral.

Ralph, who was to become my stepfather came back with stories of the war. He was at Hickham Field and then went through seven invasions including Guadalcanal, the Philippines and Tarawa. That child of the rural Indiana farmland was a case study in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I flew a 4 drawer desk during my time at SAC headquarters in Omaha. Back in '62 I volunteered to go to Viet Nam as I would have gone to East Cupcake to leave Omaha. I'm so glad God had my back and they didn't send me, as the troops sent and those being now sent, will once home almost certainly repeatedly revisit Col. Kurtz "horror". As Wellington said, "The only thing worse then a battle lost is a battle won".

I think to the phrase "if conquer we must when the cause it is just" and wonder what's happening on any level of those words. I wonder if there is a finite number of insurgents in and around Iraq. I wonder if we've gotten ourselves into a situation we are willing but unable to support. I'm a veteran who never went to war although my Air Force unit had 19 planes shot down by various communist countries in the period from 1945 until 1963. The closest I got to combat was listening to our crews announce that they had aborted their mission due to the scrambled and now firing Russian and Chinese MIG's and Capt. Jerry Clapp who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters all achieved during peacetime. I must mention our section commander, Col. Kermet Behan, the bombardier at Nagasaki.

I pray daily for those in harms way and wish them Godspeed. For all this countries faults it is the best the world has ever known and our past and present courageous men and women at arms are what make it and keep it so.

Flu Shots & Feds

This was the sunset on the trees last evening.

Mr. GQ, Gus's wife, Ra left this in an e-mail. Guys, you'll just have to trust me on this one.

I will seek and find you
I shall take you to bed and have my way with you .

I will make you ache, shake & sweat until you moan & groan.
I will make you beg for mercy, beg for me to stop.

I will exhaust you to the point that you will be relieved when I'm finished with you.
And, when I am finished, you will be weak for days.

All my love,
The Flu
Now, get your mind out of the gutter and go get your flu shot!

As they do all to often the batteries in my 8 shot, one day to be a collectors item, digital camera quit. A unique event ensued; I discovered I had no back up AAA batteries. I say unique because I have always a supply in the top desk drawer. Back in Baltimore I was a hardcore coupon clipper and there was always a battery coupon and a sale on batteries. I haven't "clipped" since the move. So when we went to get our flu shots I picked up some batteries and got home in time to catch the sunset on the trees.

We get our flu shots every year except last when there was that shortage. Pneumonia shots also and those last a long time. The best part this year is Medicare paid for mine. Hope that doesn't brand me a socialist.

The highway 58 bypass around Meadows of Dan is complete. Now all that truck traffic that has been causing gridlock in MOD will be routed around. The Mountain Laurel has a good take on the area. Their Slave Meadow link besides another reason to get pissed at the National Park Service shows normal traffic volume in downtown MOD. Parkway access is still through the village.

Speaking of the National Park Service which administers the Blue Ridge Parkway I must say it's like us against them. I referred you to the The Groundhog Mountain Incident in a previous post. The rangers patrol the parkway like predators (I do like alliteration!). And speeding here really is a federal offense. And they've bought up all these neat houses that border the parkway and are letting them just deteriorate. I never was very fond of "shabby chic" and this is excess. Some one told they mowed on the adjacent parkway land and the feds got their regulations in a wedgie. They confiscated Granny's 22 pistol, some foolishness about firearms on federal property. She was just going to the store and firearms up here are a way of life. Fortunately there are the side roads, necessary due to the parkway: (a) closing (b) ban on commercial vehicles and (c) having a day when the flatlander tourists take over.

File under it's an ill wind: Granny said the sheriff told her they were not bothering with small amounts of pot because of the meth problem in the area. They did bother with the 1800 plants they found down at Rocky Knob shortly after we moved here. Probably those hippies down in Floyd. But then the only criminals we have up here are drug farmers or manufacturers and moonshiners and occasionally a husband or wife who shoots a lover or any combination of the above.

Monday, December 05, 2005

And To Ellison I Leave SWMBO

It's a perfect early December day on Groundhog Mountain. Rain mixed with heavy sleet that started off and on last night. Snow is predicted for later today. And I am warm and cozy in our computer/library/TV room. Fisel for a change is not laying somewhere under my feet where I may unintended trod on toe or tail. And the love of my life, formerly know as SWMBO, formerly known as "yes dear**" is so happy after a very unhappy start to the day (I got fussed at three times before I finished my first cup of necessary coffee) she's been doing her happy dance since 11:00 AM.

(aside to audience)

Now I've been referring to my absolutely wonderful wife, Wanda, as "she who must be obeyed" since I started this blog a short time ago. Well it just so happens that Ellison has been referring to his, I'm sure, equally absolutely wonderful wife as SWMBO also. The origin lies with Horace Rumpole, Esq.. a curmudgeonly barrister, favoring "Chateau Thames Embankment" for wine and brought to life courtesy of BBC and PBS. I know I wouldn't like some infringing on my SWMBO so I defer to Ellison. Comments on this decision will be welcomed.

(back to actors, coats on ready to exit door, stage left)
(phone rings)

LOML (love of my life): "That was the testing center, they've canceled testing today due to the inclement weather".

That's when the happy dance started. No license exam, no white knuckle hour and half drive drive in horrible weather, and best of all more time to study. Suddenly it was wonderful day. I could swear the sun almost started shining.

Pulling our coats tighter against the falling sleet we took the Pathfinder (4 wheel drive) and headed off to "the market" in Meadows of Dan. One of the...actually two of the "fussables" were my forgetting to buy garbage bags and laundry detergent. More important we were out of chips and ice cream.

Taking the 4 wheel drive was one of my better ideas today. We were stopping at our realtor, Marlyn's to get fresh eggs. Putting on the brakes coming down hill to enter her driveway we started to fishtail on the slick, sleety, surface of Squirrel Spur. (enough with the alliteration) The SUV was easy to control thanks, I think to the 4 wheel drive. Yup. the realtor keeps yardbirds and sells eggs. I still get great joy when I look in the pan and see those firm orange yolks looking back.

We've had only sleet and rain up here but the closer we got to MOD the more snow we saw. They had a good dusting, quite a scene with white meadows, snow clinging to the branches and the clouds starting to blanket the ground. The news showed some pictures of Mabry Mill covered with snow. LOML (it's even shorter to type) said coming down Squirrel Spur on the way back home, "You know,it's beautiful here any time of the year". "Yes dear, your absolutely right", I replied. And as usual, she was.

Will post some snow pic's soon.

** HUSBANDS MANUAL, page 4: "yes dear" the appropriate answer for anything.
1. When asked a question and an answer does not come quickly to mind
2. When answering a question one did not hear and the situation seems tense.
3. Mandatory when used in conjunction with: garbage, hand washing, and "do I look alright"
"You look beautiful"
"You are absolutely right"
"It was an accident"
"The cat did it".
NOTE: probably the most important phrase in a husbands vocabulary.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Saturday Night and That's Alright

Saturday night and THE big game. USF vs. VT and I have a problem.

I've always been a FSU fan ever since I decided Florida (University of) was the breeding ground for corrupt politicians and Miami (University of) was stereotyping birds what with that goofy looking Ibis for a mascot. My true collegiate loyalties are to my alma mater, the University of South Florida whose football team did well this year considering the program started only eight years ago in a trailer. USF's mascot is the bull. No funny hats, no obnoxious clothing, just bull. At one time USF was in Guinness (I'll take one) book of records as the largest school in the world without a football team.

Those are my hobbit feet. They're the right shape, shovel. If I were hobbit size they'd be just perfect. That's Fisel sharing her spot and that's FSU whupin' up on VT on the TV.

SWAMBO has no enthusiasm for football. She does tolerate mine. And Fisel? Isn't that obvious. Actually Fisel does watch TV occasionally, but only porno. Just kidding, she usually falls asleep on that also.

I've been a Virginia Tech fan for a while now. Before we moved to Groundhog Mountain I would eagerly absorb anything that reminded me of this place. And this place is Virginia Tech country. Frank Beamer, the head coach, is from Fancy Gap, ten miles down the road. Besides they have a good team and I might as well root for a winner. So there you have the scenario: my two second favorite teams playing each other. Talk about angst. Then I let go.

It was great, I cheered for whoever had the ball. I didn't care who won. A tie would have perfect. As it was Florida won but I would have been happy if Virginia Tech won. It wasn't "either/or" it was a win, win situation. It was a great game, no matter which team made the big play, I was happy.

Talk about contentment, a cozy room on a cold mountain night (sleet), feet propped up, cat keeping me company, a cup of hot tea (thanks sweetie), and a football game in which there could be no disappointments.
Does life get any better?

Friday, December 02, 2005

It's Not Exactly the "Twilight Zone"...but

Archie had his chair. Edith had hers. SWAMBO and I have our place on Groundhog Mountain as well as favored ends of the couch. Fisal has her's although she has completely different views about it then we. There are certain places in our environment that are comfortable and put us in accord with life.

Before I met my wife in Baltimore I shopped at an area that was not particularly convenient to me but where I felt comfortable. After I got a car (there's a blog) I discovered an insurance office in that area where I could make a payment. And it was in that very office I met the love of my life (and there's a blog, for real).

Welcome to Wytheville. Look in any direction and there are mountains. Except, of course when they are hidden by main street.

It's amazing how my trying to discover where my fathers family came from led me to Groundhog Mountain and now it appears is going to lead me to Wytheville. For a little background on this here's a link to a past post: Detour on the Road to Finding Henry .

Wytheville for some reason calls. One reason it is SWAMBO's business territory. Since she will be traveling there I might as well find a job there and ride along to work. Sounds like a plan.

But there's more to it then that. There always is, isn't there? I have a feeling that this town, this area is my place in the world. Maybe the magic of the mountain has worked it's spell or maybe I'm just carried away with the beauty at every turn. Do we ever really know why we find ourselves where we are?

Driving to Wytheville today I passed cattle and horses grazing on the gentle hillsides against the background of the mountains. It was like something out of "Heidi" or "Sound of Music". I expected Julie Andrews at any minute.

This is Mt. Zion Lutheran Church. It's a few miles out of town, up a dirt road. Back in 1786 my gggg grandfather, Henry Beane married Anna Creiger, my gggg grandmother in the original wooden structure. Now, is that cool or what?

I don't know what's happening here. Maybe nothing. Or maybe I'm being drawn by sympathetic ancestor spirits to find out more about the family I never knew. That does happen, ya know, I saw something similar on "Medium ".

Oh, yeah, It's Friday

I've come to the conclusion that time accelerates with age, it's an exponential function. Where did this week go?

I got a nice comment from COWTOWN PATTIE about the bench I built. This table was my first attempt at stick furniture. SWAMBO thinks it's great. She's a real cheerleader when it comes to my arts and crafts. To me it looks a little "wonky".

Busy day this (and people say there's nothing to do up here). I must clean up the mess I made over this week or I will be in big trouble. Think back, Dave. Did she say "Don't make a mess" or was it just "Stay out of trouble"?

I'm off to Wytheville to turn in an employment application with a deadline of Monday and Monday SWAMBO must go to Dobson NC for her insurance test. I'll go with her. We'll have little enough time together what with her leaving for a week in Raleigh on Wednesday next. Hope I can get a few pictures with my antique eight shot digital camera.

Can't believe the weather today, sunny and in the fifties. We may have a front coming through later but for now it's great.

So, my perky little chickadees, (watched Craig Ferguson while cooking last night) I'm off to greet the day. The turkey noodle soup is simmering and I'm already behind schedule.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Dave's Late Night Cooking Show

I bought three turkey legs on sale at Wal-mart. I like buying meat on sale. Hell, I like buying anything on sale but only if I need it. I need food and what with the distance to Wal-mart (S#*t, I said it again) it's best to stock up. The turkey rested in the freezer until tonight.

What says "comfort food" more then a pot of turkey noodle soup, with home made noodles. I know it will be welcome when SWAMBO returns home tomorrow evening with the as Guy Charming Just Charming says, "sumbitch weather man" talking about mountains and snow in the same sentence. I've done it before and making noodles to me is a zen experience something akin to the Japanese Tea Ceremony. An early memory is helping my grandmother make noodles in the parsonage kitchen where we lived. I was the "unroller". It's the kneading, and rolling and cutting and unrolling that has a very soothing effect. There is a natural connection when working with flour. According to "The History of Food" by Toussaint-Samat wheat was discovered to be grown at Jericho as far back as 10,000 BC. So the human race has by this time formed a thing for flour. Sorry if your allergic to the stuff, that's like being allergic to, well,... Bread, it's everywhere!

My culinary education was Julia (the best), Jeff (He did what?), that Cajun guy with the red suspenders, Martin Yan, the worlds fastest chicken deboner (that sounded perverse) and Mario (whoever heard of a red headed Italian) Batalli and of course Emeril. I learned a lot from him mostly back in the early days when he focused more on Cajun cooking techniques.

Over the years I've added herbs to the dough while kneading. Tonight it was some oregano I have left from my herb garden in Baltimore, some onion powder ($.49 at Big Lots), and BAM some Cajun seasoning. I did Emeril's "holy trinity" of pepper, onion and celery. Still the classicist at heart I added carrot and garlic. But then everything gets gaaarlic except maybe ice cream and I bet there is a recipe for that.

I use an empty Grey Goose bottle for a rolling pin. It has just the right heft...or roll or feel or something. For some reason dough doesn't seem to stick to it to good which is good.

Several score of noodles are now drying on the kitchen counter. Tomorrow they will simmer all day with the turkey and stock. A rich brown roux should tighten it up. Just the thing on a chill autumn night to warm the soul and welcome the love of my life home.

We ARE NOT in Hillsville

The Mountain Rose Inn is where we stayed when we first came to Patrick County, VA. I'd link to them but the inn-keepers who were the soul of the place moved just after ours. I like to think they moved because we wouldn't be coming back to stay. Melodie makes the best breakfast. No ham and eggs here, it's sorbet and various homemade rolls and muffins, her own jams and jellies and Reeves had his recipe for Mountain Jam published in "Gourmet". They're now at the Essex Inn in Tappahannock. The Mountain Rose is in Woolwine at the north end of Patrick Co. Wades produce is located in Woolwine. SWAMBO's Uncle got a bushel of apples there for $4.50.

When we were looking for our home we looked in Elamsville which is close to Woolwine. SWAMBO entered "Elamsville" in search hit go and was sent immediately to a site listing hate group activity. It seems Elamsville is where a certain southern hate group holds their annual rant. You'll see Woolwine listed there also.

I heard on NPR the other day moonshine is making a big comeback in this area. It seems there is a big demand for it in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Baltimore, who knew? I know it's around because some one who shall remain nameless told a very funny story the other day about recently hauling a quantity through Hillsville.
I just wish I had a quarter for every gallon that's gone over these mountain roads. I wish I had some.

Hillsville is in Carroll County. Not in Patrick County. As I may have mentioned we are in Patrick county yet our mailing address is Hillsville. Meadows of Dan is closer and has a post office but they don't deliver in this area. I think it's because they have to go through Carroll county to get here. Hillsville is the annual Labor Day Flea Market and also the location of the Hillsville Massacre It's also the location of the Food Lion where the bagger put the bloody pork chops in with the sugar and tissue which had to be thrown out when we got home. Gotcha again, Food Lion.

What got me going on all this is Guy has this neat little map that show where we all are. I say "we" because I added my name and the location came up HILLSVILLE! I am not in Hillsville. It's in Carrol County, I'm in Patrick County, "The Free State of Patrick" ,, named for Patrick Henry. Henry County must have gotten there first or we were closer friends of the man. As I've said MOD

(flashback: Manager on Duty or in the hotel business Madwoman/man on Duty, my favorite was Lobby lizard)

is the closest town. So Guy, if you could get that corrected.
Just Kidding.