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Ramblings from a Southern liberal, Boomer, single parent, grandmother, reunited birthmother, cancer survivor, pop-culture observer, retired teacher

Most dramatic lymphoma posts are from June 2002 - February 2003 archives.

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I cannot go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


Joy's Updates - Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
Friday, July 20, 2007  
Little Weirdo

Since it is hilarious, I'm copying this post from Melissa about Brendan. It's too funny not to share. I hope they record him singing this.

Metal Memories

My son, ever the wild man, saw an old Lawrence Welk Show rerun at his great-grandmother's house a while back, and he loved the music, the dancing, and the bubbles. So his grandmother got him a Lawrence Welk tribute DVD, which he enjoys immensely.

On this DVD is a performance of the song "Precious Memories." Is everybody familiar, at least in passing, with this old church-music standby? "Precious memories, unseen angels, sent from somewhere to my soul..." etc. etc. Sweet, catchy little ditty, often sung by a choir.

Brendan has taken to singing it, as well. Only... well...

I think he is trying to sing all the voices of the choir at once. But the effect is that he sounds just like Till Lindemann of Rammstein when he's bein' all screamy. Also, the boy tends to staccato-stab each word as he belts the song out. And the words, as he sings them:


I would love-- love-- to know what he thinks that song is about.

6:02:00 PM

Monday, July 16, 2007  

Sunrise and views from our deck of the Gulf of Mexico
Florida Vacation

This is where Cedar Key is located. I'd never heard of it either until my cousin went there and enjoyed it so much. It's not the place to go if you like a lot of activity and want to go places at night. It's a very small town where you can relax and enjoy getting away from everything. It's quiet and peaceful there. It's about 50 miles or so from Gainesville. Manatee Springs State Park is north of Cedar Key and not that far from Gainesville on Hwy 19. It's beautiful there.

Here are some photos of where we stayed at the Old Fenimore Mill Condos and of Manatee Springs State Park.

Living Room and my room at night on the sofa bed

Tina in the kitchen and Rachel on deck from living room

Rachel's nautical room and Tina's palm tree room

Rachel and Tina relaxing on the deck

Low tide in the Gulf and my view from on the road

Manatee Springs State Park and leading to the Suwannee River

10:21:00 AM

Sunday, July 15, 2007  
Off the Edge of Nowhere

Rachel, Tina, and I went to Cedar Key, Florida, and had a wonderful time. We stayed in one of the Old Fenimore Mill condos, which was decorated really well and with new appliances and TV's. The gas log fireplace had a remote control. We didn't watch TV or read as much as we thought we would but had entertaining and interesting conversations most of the time we were in the condo. One of the bedrooms had a king-size bed and a flat-screen TV and its own bathroom. It was decorated in muted colors of beige, sage green, and palm tree decor. Tina had that room. Rachel's room had a twin daybed with a trundle we never got out. It was decorated in bolder colors of dark blues, reds, and a neutral wall and carpet and had nautical and fish decorations in it. The bathroom in the hall by the front door had the same motif. I slept on the sofa bed in the living room which was open to the dining room and kitchen. It had a leather couch, chair, ottomans, and chaise in it and carried out the island theme. The furnishings and applicances were new. There was a journal to record messages to the owners and a notebook with hand-written commentaries of the restaurants, tours, and points of interest on the brochures and menus from them.

The view from the deck was beautiful of the Gulf of Mexico. It was calm with few waves and playful dolphins we could see occasionally. We'd get hypnotized watching it. Cedar Key is a very small place whose main occupation is clamming. They produce most of the clams sold in the US. Their latest graduating class had 12 sudents, and a girl I spoke with who is a senior next year said there were 14 in her class. They probably have one teacher for each subject, and some probably have to teach more than one subject. We wanted to get away to relax, and this was peaceful and slow-paced. We loved it there and plan to go back when it's not so hot. We'd like to enjoy more outdoor activities and ride bikes all over the town. It was just too sweltering this time to do any of that or to take a boat tour to other islands. I did go swimming in the pool, and we walked around town to check out the museum, shops, and art co-op. Rachel and Tina walked out on the shore some (no beach there really) and got bogged down in the mire. I'm not making it sound too good here because we really did have a wonderful time. Just mentioning the reality of some parts of it. Rachel likes to walk and saw more of the place on foot than Tina and I did even though Tina walked with her a couple of times. Yes, I know I should have, but I have my excuses.

We drove out past Cheifland one day to the Dakotah Winery and Manatee Springs State Park. We loved that park! We stood out on that boardwalk seen in the link and watched the sturgeons jump out of the water. Fascinating! It's a beautiful place where the Suwannee River flows and manatees can be seen at various times of the year. Wineries have a clever marketing ploy to give customers the free wine tasting before they shop. I'm sure it increases sales to lower resistance like that. I'll have to post a photo of us in our t-shirts we bought there when we get one taken. Shopping, as always, is a big part of our travels. I even bought some gifts for other people. Actually, I did do some Christmas and birthday shopping there and in Charleston.

We had some good meals but nothing compares with Charleston cuisine. Rachel and I took Tina out to the Island Hotel Restaurant for her birthday. It is really old and has an interesting history and good atmosphere. The food was delicious, and we all agreed that we ate too much and didn't do that again while we were there. Since grits and shrimp were on the menu, I had to try them as an appetizer. Their version of them was really good, too. Rachel and I had stuffed grouper and Tina the stuffed shrimp. Steamed vegetables and pasta were the side dishes. The pictures and information on their website is interesting.

Our favorite other meal there was at Frog's Landing. There's a gift shop on the first floor with the restaurant on the top floor. They sell t-shirts there, are very friendly, and have a bar on one end and another on the narrow deck outside looking at the Gulf. There's a place for the musicians who play there on the weekends. Neat place for sure. We enjoyed it.

Cedar Key is a home to artists who sell their work in the Cedar Keyhole Gallery, an artists' co-op. Isn't the building cute and colorful? Lots of really neat stuff in there. The Cedar Key Museum was interesting and filled with artifacts and information, as it should be. When we ate at the Seabreeze, which is built out over the water, we saw dolphins at close range. They were so much fun to watch. The food was OK there, but the view and the dolphins were great.

One of the most entertaining things we did was to read Chief Bubba's column in the Cedar Key News. When you have time, please read the whole thing, especially the last paragraph. I'll tell you, it's worth reading every week.

12:47:00 PM

Saturday, July 07, 2007  
Charleston Trip

Just a quick post to let you know what a good time Tina and I had in Charleston, South Carolina. Here's an example of one of the antebellum houses there. We stayed on Meeting Street just a couple of blocks from Market Street in the historic district. There were so many wonderful restaurants there with selections of food Charleston is famous for. Lots of shops on Market Street where we braved the heat and humidity. We had a great time and are now getting ready to leave for Cedar Key, FL. Where is it? Drive to Gainesville and turn right! It's in the Gulf. This is where we'll stay while we're there.

We had our best meal of the trip at Anson. Shrimp and grits are a lowcountry specialty, so it was interesting to taste the various versions. Anson's featured the best grits I've ever eaten - real grits that have to be soaked and cooked a long time. Anson has upscale lowcountry cuisine, so their shrimp had tomato with bacon and other ingredients in the sauce. Their grits are from Anson Mills and can be ordered online, so I think I will. We also had cashew-encrusted grouper, green beans, hoppin' John, and Chardonnay. Excellent! Hyman's had a roux with the shrimp and grits, which was also delicious. When we moved from Charleston, I said I wanted to go back just to eat. I did and hope to again. This sinful place has the best pralines ever! They give out free samples on the sidewalk to lure you inside. As if the aroma wouldn't do it! Then there was Kaminsky's that only has coffee, desserts, and martinis. Check out their menu.

T-Bonz is a casual, fun place for good seafood (and other treats) and cow paintings on the walls. Look at the t-shirts here. I took several photos of the whimsical cow paintings I need to post in my album on here. I will do that later. For now, here's a photo I took of some of them if you can tell much about them. They are based on paintings by Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Dali, da Vinci, and Michelangelo.

On the way down we stopped at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. If you've never been, you need to see the largest home in the US. It's hard to get your mind around people actually living there. It's even grander than those "cottages" in Newport, RI, which I thought were the epitome of Gilded Age opulence. They are, but Biltmore exceeds them. This article has interesting information about the estate and its history. Here's an excerpt from that site:

The Biltmore House is most recognized for its position as America's largest home. It is certainly that, with four acres under one roof and 250 rooms, 65 fireplaces, 43 bathrooms, an indoor pool, and bowling alley. However, it is what the house contains that is most remarkable. It is decorated with thousands of original furnishings, including original art from masters such as Renoir, magnificent 16th-century tapestries, more than 40 bronze sculptures, Napoleon's chess set, and a library with 10,000 volumes. Biltmore House has room after room of art, history, and luxury, including a banquet hall with a 70-foot ceiling.

1:33:00 PM

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