Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween!

Some pictures from the annual Halloween trick or treat neighborhood crawl!

The new parents with baby Georgia..

Poppy and George walked with us. They had fun too!

Little Carsen..


A Cat, a Bat, and a Witch..

Poppy hated for the night to end!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Another weekend rolls around

The full Hunter's Moon rising over our street Friday night.

October is really flying by this year. Before we know it, it's going to be the holidays and then the end of 2023. I wish it would slow down a bit.

Marla and Martina came over yesterday for one of our "girls' nights". Marla's birthday was Thursday, so I invited them early in the week, then almost canceled at the last minute. I've had some low-level depression going on, and then yesterday morning my dad had to go back to the hospital, so I wasn't sure if I felt up to company. In the end I decided to go ahead with it since I'd already purchased food and drinks, and I'm glad I did. Spending a few hours with my two best friends really boosted me up and made me feel better. As always, we laughed and laughed. It was just what I needed. 

I kept the food super simple. We had toasty ham and Swiss sliders on Hawaiian rolls covered with a buttery sauce and poppy seeds, homemade guacamole with assorted chips, one of those pre-made rings of cold shrimp with cocktail sauce, and store-bought cupcakes. In keeping with the season I had an assortment of chilled ciders to drink. 

I didn't get a picture of the ham and cheese sliders, but they were the best part. 

And Martina brought me a present! She was shopping for some new baking dishes and she saw one she thought I'd like. I was chuffed!

Isn't it pretty? And I really need new baking/casserole dishes. I told Martina that the next time they come over, I'll bake something in it to share. That was so sweet and thoughtful of her!

Today I'm on my own until early afternoon. Gregg has started going to the three nursing homes where he cleans aquariums early on Sunday mornings. There's not much traffic and things are quiet and he's able to work efficiently. Plus, he has to take my car, since all three jobs are out of town and his old truck just isn't trustworthy to drive that far. We really need to get him another car, but we'd have to scrape to afford it at the moment, so we've been putting it off. Getting a decent raise with this new job has unfortunately been somewhat eclipsed by inflation.

But anyway, I have several hours to myself this morning. It's a pretty day and I'll take the dogs for a walk whenever I finish this post. Fall color is almost at its peak and it's nice to be outside. This afternoon I'm going to make soup. Not to brag, but last week I made the most delicious batch of chicken soup ever! Gregg isn't normally much of a soup guy, but it was so good he eagerly ate it for supper three days in a row. We finished every drop! So when I was looking for a good, cheap recipe for making my customary large meal-with-leftovers Sunday supper, I asked him if he wanted soup again and he said, "Sure!" A cold front is on its way next week and temperatures will be going down almost to freezing, so soup will be just the thing.

I always serve chicken soup with grilled pimento cheese sandwiches. Yummy!

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Fall Festival Fun

Last week at work was a busy one for me, because on Friday we had annual Fall Festival and school fundraiser. There's a committee of teachers and staff who make all the plans, and as the bookkeeper my role was to book (and pay) for vendors, order games, schedule (and again, pay for) things like the buses to get the West Florence high school marching band to our school for the kick off parade, and of course, receive and deposit payments for admission wristbands to the Friday night carnival and all donations to our student activity fund. It was a lot, but everything went off without a hitch and our school made more money this year than we ever have, or so I'm told. And it was all a big success!

The fun kicked off with a costume parade of the entire school around the quarter mile car line. The teachers dressed up, the office staff (including me!) dressed up, and the entire school--teachers, staff, and students--participated. We were led by the West Florence High School marching band and cheerleaders. Loads of parents and community members came out to watch and cheer us on. It was so much fun!

I'm including three brief clips of the parade here: first, the band leading everyone out the front doors of the school, and then two others I filmed after I'd completed the walk with the other office staff. 

Sunday, October 15, 2023


Our elderly neighbor, Luella, passed away suddenly back in January. She and her husband bought the house next door to us in 1971, so she lived there for over 50 years. She was a sweet lady and a good neighbor to us, and we miss her. Yesterday a lot of her family convened at the house and seemed to be cleaning things out. Boxes and small household items were loaded into cars and taken away. My best guess is that the estate is finally almost finished with the probate process, and they're taking the first steps toward selling the house. All three of Luella's children grew up there, so I imagine there's a lot of stuff to be sorted. It's been nine months since Luella died.

Nine months.

Yesterday the lovely young couple across the street brought their newborn baby girl home! Some family members (one of the new grandmas among them) decorated the porch with pink balloons and a big banner that says, "It's time to celebrate baby Georgia!" ahead of their arrival home from the hospital. They also tied a huge pink bow to the mailbox, a tradition around here that announces that there's a new baby in the house. It was all very sweet.

I got a small gift for our newest neighbor (books, my standard gift for new babies) and a card for the new mom and dad. I left everything in a bag by their front door, since I didn't want to knock and disturb them at such a special time.

The life of our neighborhood goes on.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Back to it

 Well, that was quick! I go back to work this morning. A week off really flies by, but it was a nice break. 

I was a bit too ambitious in my plans. I didn't get half of what I planned to do, done, but it was a really nice break anyway. I took lots of walks with the dogs (enjoying the first really chilly weather of the year), did some cooking and baking, read a lot, and then finished up the weekend by binge watching The Great British Bake-Off. How I love that show! And yesterday Gregg helped me give my car a very good cleaning, which it was in desperate need of. It's going to feel good to drive a shiny clean car to work this morning.

It's also great to report that I have zero dread about going back to work today. I really don't mind going back at all! Would I rather be at home for another week? Of course! But to have no anxiety about going back is wonderful. So far, this is the most stress-free job I've ever had. I continue to be thankful for it.

Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Wednesday catch up

It's another beautiful October day. I love having a week off this time of year, because the weather is as close to perfect as it's possible to be in South Carolina. Warm days, cool night, low humidity, blue skies, and leaves just barely beginning to turn. And it feels so good when summer is finally over!

I went to the farmer's market on Monday afternoon and bought a bunch of apples (mixed varieties) from the mountains. This afternoon I'll turn most of them into an apple crisp, and then any leftovers will be sliced thin, sprinkled with cinnamon, and dried in the dehydrator. Apple chips make a delicious snack that's relatively healthy. And since I'm on my first apple kick of the year, I bought a six pack of hard cider, too. A bottle of cold cider goes down nicely on the porch late in the afternoon.

Yesterday was interesting. First, I found a dead mouse in one of the traps our pest control guy had left behind the refrigerator. I'd started seeing mouse poop in some of the cabinets a couple of months ago, and I cannot live with rodents, so he had to make a special trip out to put down traps. We'd finally caught one little mouse over a week ago, and we thought that was it, but left a few traps down just in case. Then yesterday there was another one. I'm very squeamish about such things and had to use a stick to move the trap into the garbage. Gregg was at work, or I'd have made him deal with it. (I'm not too proud to play the "girl card" when it comes to bugs and rodents and dead things). Then I'd barely had time to recover from the mouse episode, when I walked outside and noticed Poppy chewing on something furry. She'd killed a squirrel!! UGH!!* So that was two dead animals I had to dispose of within an hour. 

I'm not exaggerating when I say I needed a drink and a small lie-down after all that. Ahem.


Georgie had to go to the vet today for his yearly heartworm prevention shot. He barks at other dogs, which is embarrassing, but he's super sweet to all the humans. Especially women. George loves the ladies! 

Thanks for all the comments on my shoe allergy situation. I'm currently at a bit of a loss as to how to start dealing with it all. It's hard to get information on shoe materials online, and "barrier socks" are freakin' expensive, so I may have to double up on 100% cotton socks for awhile to keep my skin well insulated while I look for good shoe alternatives. Those are going to be expensive, too. I liked Janie's comment, "No more shoes for you! Bare feet from now on!" It's been mostly bare feet this week since I'm at home, but soon enough I'll be back at work and needing to look civilized! This week is already flying by, as I knew it would.

*When Gregg got home and I told him about Poppy's squirrel, he said, "You don't know that she killed it. Maybe a hawk dropped it or something." HAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah, honey, and maybe the squirrel was just scampering across the lawn and dropped dead of natural causes and then Poppy just happened to find it afterwards......Uh huh.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023


 I went back to the doctor yesterday to have the patch tests and tape removed from my back and the results read. The doctor found 7 things that I'm allergic to, two of which are commonly used in manufacturing shoes. Here's a snapshot of the information sheets I was given on the things I need to avoid:

It's the p-tert-Butylphenol Formaldehyde Resin and the Black Rubber Mix that are commonly used in shoes. Bacitracin, a topical antibiotic, was a surprise, and everything else can be found in my shampoo, detergent, deodorant, etc. It's going to be fun trying to find alternatives for everything (sarcasm) not to mention looking for shoe alternatives that don't use the resins and rubber that I react to, but at least now I have some answers.