RIP Little Sunny & Updates

Best Camping Buddy ever

Best little camping buddy ever.

Little Sunny’s camping days are over.  Besides going blind and deaf, his hip sockets would give and often his legs would go straight out to the sides when he bent down to eat, drink… or sometimes for no apparent reason.  And he completely forgot his potty training.

My little ragamuffin buddy coming out of his sweater at White Tail Ridge.

My little ragamuffin buddy coming out of his sweater at White Tail Ridge.

But it was the dementia that finally defeated him.  At the last, he would wander around, bewildered, in circles.  He would get lost in a room and not know how to get out.  He would stand in corners, apparently waiting for a door to open.  He even became unable to find his food bowl, and I would have to put him in front of his food and water bowls to make sure he ate and drank.

Sunny waiting for Mom at Cotton Hill COE

Sunny waiting for Mom at Cotton Hill COE

He still loved his Mom, but his life just got too hard for him.  So we had him put down last week.  Sunny loved having his neck rubbed more than anything, so I was doing that when the vet gave him the shot.

Although I miss the little guy more than I can say, I am so relieved that his life is no longer a bewildering maze of the unknown.

June was a tough month.  My favorite aunt died, so we went down to Florida to the funeral.  We stayed and visited family several days, got back home, and got a call that my uncle had died, too.  So we went back and attended his funeral 2 weeks to the day after my aunt’s.

Sunny at the Casita window at Ft. Pickens

Sunny at the Casita window at Ft. Pickens

But it was so precious to get to see our cousins that we hadn’t seen for many, many years.  It felt like getting a new crop of sisters.  🙂

I had a couple of major emphysema flareups, but I’m doing great now — except for the weight that my meds keep packing onto me. Two of my sisters are laughing at my concern.  Their advice — I’m old now.  Eat strawberry cheesecake and don’t worry about it.  😀

Sunny camping in the Aliner before we got the Casita.

Sunny camping in the Aliner before we got the Casita.

Ron and I have started going through our things and sorting them into trash, donate, sell and keep piles.

We plan to camp this winter in Florida, and hopefully sell our place sometime soon.  We’d like to fulltime for a while.

But eventually we want to move near my sisters — if this place sells, of course.  If not, we’ll still spend our winters in Florida.

Being able to spend time with my family is more important to me than great adventure out West.  So we’ll probably stick pretty close to the Southeast.

I have felt pretty “blogged out”  lately.  Hope that changes when we get back on the road again.  🙂

A Visit with Kim!

Kim and Sunny

Kim and Sunny

I had been feeling uncharacteristically bored and a little depressed before Kim came by today.


An agaricus. Not sure what kind. 🙂

She arrived in a cute little yellow Volkswagen convertible with the top down!  I am kicking myself for not getting a photo of it!  And she brought a gift bag with doggie treats for Sunny and Sheba.

Sunny really surprised me.  He usually barks ferociously at anyone who tries to pet him.  But he loved the attention Kim gave him.

The agaricus' gills

The agaricus’ gills

It was too hot to do much, so we moved our chairs into the deep shade and talked.  Kim has such a gentle, elegant manner.  It’s a delight to be with her.  And, in answer to my questions, she caught me up on her plans for her upcoming very ambitious trip.

Later we took a short walk to the dock and boat launch where Sheba got a chance to get in the water.

Kim’s visit energized me and banished my blaughs. I’m so glad she came!

The lake shore is littered with bivalve shells

The lake shore is littered with bivalve shells

Blackberries are blooming

Blackberries are blooming

Not sure what these are.  Maybe a variety of blue eyed grass?

Not sure what these are. Maybe a variety of blue eyed grass?

Tasty bullbrier shoot -- I ate this tender little guy!

Tasty bullbrier shoot — I ate this tender little guy!

Horribly invasive, but sweet-smelling Chinese privet.

Horribly invasive, but sweet-smelling Chinese privet.

Another sweet smelling invasive -- Japanese honeysuckle.

Another sweet smelling invasive — Japanese honeysuckle.

Sauteing wild onion bulblets

Sauteing wild onion bulblets

Verbena rigida, I think.

Verbena rigida, I think.



Wild onion bulblets

Wild onion bulblets

Surviving Winter

Hope springs eternal.

Hope springs eternal. 🙂

I was really getting a bad case of cabin fever, and felt increasingly morose about the endless winter.  This one has been so bad, and it has really worn on me.

The only green in our yard is a very healthy crop of field garlic.

The only green in our yard is a very healthy crop of field garlic.

So I went shopping for some clumping onion seeds.  I already had most of the seeds for my spring vegetable garden, so all I needed was the onions.  But entering the garden department was like walking into a Garden of Hope.

Spring WILL come.  Eventually!

I also got some bulbs — caladium and oriental lilies for a sunny spot out front, and lilies of the valley which will share a shady spot with impatiens and hosta.

Field garlic closeup

Field garlic closeup

My N2A card for the Nook came today.  Unfortunately, I ordered the wrong one and will have to exchange it.  By mail, that may be another two weeks.

I had been planning to move my blog to my own domain, but have run into problems with it.  My web host inexplicably set up separate accounts for the domain registration and hosting.  I wanted them merged into one account, as has always been the case with every other web host I’ve had in the past.

I was on Live Chat with the customer representative, Geeshma, when I realized she had no clue what she was doing, so canceled the Chat and initiated a written Customer Service request instead.  Guess who answered that?

Yep, Geeshma.

Once there were birds -- and there will be again!

Once there were birds — and there will be again!

Somehow, the accounts were finally merged, but the email address I use for family stopped working. So I contacted Sales this time, hoping to find someone who spoke English as a first language.  No joy.  It looks to me like the people who started that business have sold it to someone in another country… I’m guessing Pakistan.

Anyway, I contacted them about the email problem.  No one had a clue but they would turn it over to  their “engineers” who would contact me in 3 or 4 hours.

The next day… still no answer from them.  So  I got royally fed up with their unbelievable incompetence and moved my domain to a new host.

Hours after I moved my domain,  I got a letter telling me that the problem with my email was that the domain was hosted on another server.   So their “engineers” had figured out my problem.  I won’t comment on that.  😀

I ran a DNS check, and found that the mail records had been hopelessly corrupted.  So I lost that email address forever.

But you know what?  I’ve got new hosting.  And I’ve created a new family email address.  And I’ll move the blog to my domain whenever I feel up to jumping into it.

And spring is coming, it will be warm again and there will be clear blue skies with puffy little white clouds, trees with spring-green leaves, blooming flowers — and golden sunshine — in just a few weeks!






Sheba’s Home

Wonder why the paw is lifted?  Maybe she's a pointer, too!  :)

Wonder why the paw is lifted? Maybe she’s a pointer, too! 🙂

We picked Sheba up from the vet’s this morning.  She was one happy puppy to see us!  I snuggled her during the drive home and she snuggled right back! 🙂

Loving being home

Loving being home

The vet had weighed her, and she is at 40.5 pounds.  She’s stayed that weight for over a month, so I’m guessing that’s close to her adult weight.

When we got home, I was covered, and I do mean covered, with a thick thatch of black dog hair!  She had not been brushed the 5 days she was boarded and is WAY overdo!  She also has some mats behind her ears that I’ll try to work out tonight.

Romping around the yard

Romping around the yard

She and Sunny have been playing nonstop all day.  Sheba’s favorite game is to get a toy (or pine cone or stick) in her mouth, get right up close to Sunny and tease him with it, then the chase is on.

So the rest of today’s post will just be photos of her homecoming.

Sheba and Sunny

Sheba and Sunny

Best buddies

Best buddies

Sheba's toys  :)

Sheba’s toys 🙂






Nature Shots at Walter F. George COE

Deer across canal

This evening I took my chair down to the edge of the canal to see if I could get some wildlife pictures.  I got both deer and egret photos.

I was thrilled to capture pictures of the egret catching a fish and then taking flight.  Unfortunately, the quality of the zoom photos is poor.  But it was rewarding to catch the action anyway.

Deer grazing

Earlier in the day, we walked the nature trail by the Old Mill Road campground.  I was hoping to get some really nice flower photos — or maybe find some good mushrooms.  I didn’t find anything terribly interesting there…. or maybe I wasn’t feeling very creative due to coping with Sheba’s hyper energetic puppy antics.

Our next door camping neighbor is a delightfully cheery person.  Ron said yesterday morning he boomed, “Good morning, world!”  as he headed toward his pontoon boat.  We’ve heard him singing several times.

Egret catching a fish

They caught 22 channel catfish yesterday.  Then this morning they caught 14 more before he and his wife decided that they had all the fish they cared to clean.  They offered us some, but catfish isn’t our favorite, so he had to clean all 14 of them.  🙂

Egret taking flight

The little nature trail has several interesting features, including a wildlife viewing blind and a bridge over a swampy area that also offers wildlife viewing opportunities.  We startled a deer who bolted before I could get my camera focused while crossing the bridge.

The only fungi I noticed were turkey tail, stinkhorn and another unidentified large orange mushroom.  I didn’t examine the underside, but it’s probably a polypore.  It had a side stalk similar to a beefsteak mushroom, but the orange color was wrong.

I’m sitting outside under the awning this evening listening to the night sounds and savoring the cool breeze.   Time seems to have no meaning here.  It’s peaceful and very special.

Ron and Sunny on the trail

Bench on the trail

Bridge over swampy area

There were a lot of blowdowns and downed trees on the trail. This one is well on the way of returning its nutrients to the earth.


Turkey tail fungi

Unidentified mushroom

Wildlife viewing blind on trail

My best little buddy

Sheba is a Socialite!

Sheba 6 weeks and 5 days old

Today was Sheba’s first veterinarian visit.  When I took her in, the receptionist exclaimed, “Oh, how adorable!  May I please hold her?”  Then two other staff members wanted their turn.  One girl said, “That is the cutest puppy I have ever seen!”  The receptionist took a picture of her, and they asked if they could continue holding her until time for us to go in to see the doctor.

Sunny asking Daddy for a treat

I had been so worried about how she would react to new people. She LOVED them.  In fact, she was so relaxed that she fell asleep on the examining table while we were waiting for her lab results.

Then after we got home, a neighbor dropped by to see how the new puppy was doing, and Sheba loved her, too.

I am so relieved.  I got Sunny when he was 4 years old.  He was distrustful of people and has never really gotten over it except with people he knows well.

Maybe little Sheba can help him feel more comfortable meeting people when they are together.  Sunny was initially annoyed with her, but now they enjoy being with each other.

Oh, the vet said that he sees Australian Shepherd in her.  So I think I have an Australian Shepherd/Lab mix.  But I’m not sure.  🙂

Ron and I are floating with happiness over the new family addition.   She has brought such a sense of completion to our lives!

My big boy, Sunny

Snowed In & Pink Tatted Valentine Heart

Tatted valentine card

This rural area of Georgia is so unprepared for snow that our mail still isn’t running.  Such an odd experience for us.  Also we use Verizon cell service for our phones and computers, and the signals have been abysmal lately.  I’ve given up on trying to make calls, which adds to our sense of isolation.

The snow has crusted over, so Sunny will go outside to do his business again.  Nice to not have to carry him outside every time he needs to go!

Last night I tatted this sweet little pink and ecru heart for a Valentine’s Day card for my mother.  It’s a very easy beginner pattern, from Learn to Tat by Janette Baker.

I liked it so well that I am doing another one in red and ecru.

F. D. Roosevelt State Park in Georgia, II

Registration building at FDR State Park built by CCC

Registration Bldg. & Gift Shop built by CCC

We had originally planned to stay here three nights.  But it is so beautiful that we have extended our stay an extra two days.  So we will be here until Monday.

I am especially enjoying the old stone buildings that were built by the CCC back in the 1930’s.  Dad had a lot of stories about his time working for them before he went into the Marine Corps during WWII.  I think he said that he got $25.00 a month, and sent $20.00 of it home to his parents.

Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park Office Building

FDR State Park Office Building

What is amazing is that the stone work was built with no tools other than shovels and pickaxes.

It stormed yesterday and last night, but today ended up sunny and beautiful.  It’s cooler this evening, though.  It is expected to get down  into the 30’s tonight.

Because it was so chilly, we decided that we needed a camp fire.  I had almost forgotten how wonderful they are on cold nights.  So relaxing.  Odd how a fire mesmerizes and induces such a peaceful, reflective state of mind.

Window view

View behind our site

our camp fire

Our camp fire

Ron pouring coffee among tiki torches, kerosene lantern, and camp fire

Ron pouring coffee surrounded by tiki torches, a kerosene lantern, and the camp fire

The park is filling up tonight.  But our site is on a curve in the road, and spaced so that we don’t have anyone close to us on either side.

We decided not to put up our screen room this trip.  The cooler weather means there aren’t many bugs around.  And if it rains, we can take advantage of the picnic pavilion behind our site.

Blue Ridge Mountains in September

We’re making plans to head for the North Carolina mountains around mid-September.  It should be a little cooler then, and hopefully even cooler at the higher elevations.

We want to stay a few days at Mile High Campground on the Cherokee Indian lands, then at a National Forest campground or two to stay in budget.

I thought you might enjoy seeing a picture of Sunny, our dear little camping buddy.  He adores exploring trails and new places with us.

Sunny the Maltese

Sunny, our best buddy

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