The Cutest Teardrop

teardrop

We saw this adorable, apparently home-built teardrop today at Walmart.  The other side was just as cute.  It reminds me a bit of a gypsy vardo the way it is embellished.  I wonder if the mirrored doors are see-through from the inside.  I would have loved to see the interior!

Our plan is to leave for Florida Sunday.

Can’t wait!  :)

Out of the Stone Age

lg g3

The LG G3 (web photo)

In a stubborn effort to hold on to my unlimited Verizon Data Plan, I have resisted upgrading to a smartphone.  However, my Verizon agent was able to upgrade the phone plan and leave the data plan untouched since they are separate contracts.

So tonight I am the very happy owner of a new LG G3 with 5.5 inch display–and my grandfathered unlimited data plan!  I did have to buy the 2 GB data plan for the phone.  But it’s still cheaper than the new tiered data plans.

I imagine I will be taking most of my travel photos with the phone’s camera, and using my other camera when I feel like taking the time for special, macro shots.

As soon as it finishes charging, I’ll add the Allstays and Passport America apps.  It comes with Google Maps, so I will use it unless I decide I want to upgrade to something with more features.  It should make our trip south a lot more easily organized than relying on printed maps as in the past.

The back of the case is a screaming pink.

The back of the case is a screaming pink.

I wanted the pretty blue Otterbox phone case, but all they had in the Symmetry model was hot pink.  I am not a hot pink person, but that’s what I ended up with!  I also got the tempered glass screen protector because it is crystal clear and I can’t tell it from the original glass screen.

We’re still dealing with a crazy round of appointments and last minute things to do.

I plan to turn off the water while we are gone, but do not know how to drain the water system.  If anyone has some tips, I’d appreciate them.  I guess we need to drain the water heater, too.  Clean out the fridge.  Still more doctor and vet visits.

otterbox purple sides

Fortunately the front of the case that I see when I am using it is a nice, subdued purple.

I don’t know if we will make it the full three months in the Casita with two dogs.  But if we don’t get a terminal case of claustrophobia living that close together for that long, that’s our plan.

 

 

Another GOOD Update

I feel like I’m alive again!

I got rid of the infected gall bladder and two marble sized stones.  What a difference it made in my energy and outlook on life.  I want to DO things again!  And today I had a colonoscopy, came home, ate, got a spurt of energy–and went out and started polishing the dull spots on the Casita.

We have tons of things to do still, but are shooting to head to Florida the first week in November.

It’s WAY past time!!!

I am planning to have the Casita walls and ceiling steam cleaned if I can get someone to agree to do it.  Dogs to the vet, haircuts, doctor visits, mail order meds to be sent to the St. Brendan’s address, new truck and trailer tags, taxes… and a few dozen other details.

So soon the blog will come alive again!

Quick Update

Just thought I’d post a quick update since it’s been an uncharacteristically long time since my last post.

Right now Ron and I are busy having all kinds of medical tests and a few procedures scheduled.  Cataract surgery for him; gall bladder surgery for me.  Then a few more tests.

We’re hoping to get out camping for a week in September and/or October.

But our main plan is to head for Florida in late November or early December and stay there until it’s warm enough to come back home.

It will be so much more fun this year because my sister and BIL in Texas are moving back home to Florida.

 

A Few Mushrooms Today

Shaggy stalked bolete (Austroboletus betula).  Cap color can be yellow or orange.  This distinctive stalk makes it easy to identify.

Shaggy stalked bolete (Austroboletus betula). Cap color can be yellow or orange, sometimes bright, sometimes with brown tones. This distinctive stalk makes it easy to identify.

At last!  We found mushrooms today.  Unfortunately, all of them except the shaggy stalk bolete and the orange amanitas were in various stages of decomposition.

Much of the shaggy stalked bolete's long stalk was buried in leaf litter.

Much of the shaggy stalked bolete’s long stalk was buried in leaf litter.

The shaggy stalk bolete is edible, but not great.  We left it to spread its spores and hopefully produce a bunch more.

Many amanitas are deadly.  Note the enlarged bulb (ova) at the bottom.  That’s a clear warning of extreme danger.

These orange ones MIGHT be American Caesar’s mushrooms which are edible, but have an unpleasant fishy taste.

However the amanita family is so large and there are other orange ones.  I’m not willing to bet my life against a horribly painful, long drawn out death to risk eating anything in that family.  It’s too easy to make a fatal mistake.

Orange amanita.  I pulled the leaf litter away to expose the enlarged bulb (ova) at the base.

Orange amanita. I pulled the leaf litter away to expose the enlarged bulb (ova) at the base.

We also saw a group of 2 does and 4 twin fawns.

And we found a wild persimmon tree whose unripe ruit has a long way to go before becoming sweet and delicious.

The campground is rapidly filling up for the weekend.  But today was relaxed and pleasant.  We met some lovely people, and Sheba made friends young and old.  :)

This is big brother to the small amanita pictured above. You can see where the partial veil is separating to form a ring around the stalk.

This is big brother to the small amanita pictured above. You can see where the partial veil is separating to form a ring around the stalk.

Here are 5 deer.  I couldn't get the 6th one in the photo.

Here are 5 deer. I couldn’t get the 6th one in the photo.

Wild persimmons

Wild persimmons

Pink, fuzzy baby leaves

Pink, fuzzy baby leaves

 

New Camera Learning Curve :-O

Colorful bug on a passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

Colorful bug on a passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

Wow!  Do I ever have a lot to learn!  But I adore macro photography and now I should be able to get some of the closeups I love.

Another passionflower with a bee

Another passionflower with a bee

I am not sure about the color capabilities of this camera.  They looked a little dull without the saturation boost, but I am not sure I like them with the saturation boost either.  And I want the subject sharp and the background blurred.  Maybe I need to do everything with manual focus and skip the automatic settings?  If anyone has any tips for a beginner, I’d love to hear them.   In the meantime, I’ll be doing a lot of reading on it.

A small (blurry) maypop, the fruit of the passionflower.  It will eventually get lime size.

A small (blurry) maypop, the fruit of the passionflower. It will eventually get lime size.

Maybe I should have bought a more expensive camera?  Or maybe I just need to learn this one.  One thing is for sure, it will take a while!  :)

Today was hot and muggy.  So humid that the air felt heavy and hard to breathe.  So walking wasn’t a lot of fun.  But this evening a cool, brisk breeze is blowing and thunderstorms will be moving in shortly.

I don't know what these are.  The leaves are powdery white, and they have a non-descript white flower -- until you see them up close!

Mountain mint. The leaves are powdery white, and they have a non-descript white flower — until you see them up close! (Thanks for the ID, Lynne.)

I haven’t found a single decent mushroom yet.  They will probably all fruit a couple of days after we leave since more rain is predicted!

Closeup of the powdery leaved plant's flowers.

Closeup of the mountain mint flowers.

Doe & Fawns

This doe and her fawns were all in one distant photo, but were difficult to see.  So I cropped them and put them together so you could see each one.

This doe and her fawns were all in one far away photo, but were difficult to see. So I cropped them and put them together so you could see each one.

My photos are not so great today.  I’m trying to break in a new camera and am not sure if I like it or not.

Just a pretty view.

Just a pretty view.

Also, all of the flowers are past their prime, so it’s not a lot of fun to post their pictures!

Deer are plentiful here.  It appears that all of the does had twins this year.

And so far, the only mushrooms I’ve found have been dried up and past their prime, too.

Hopefully tomorrow’s photos will be more interesting.  And of better quality!  :)

Wilting and tattered.  But still beautiful.

Wilting and tattered. But still beautiful.

Doves and a young cardinal foraging together

Doves and a young cardinal foraging together

The deer were in the sunlit field to the left.

The deer were in the sunlit field to the left.

This little leaf looks like jewelry, doesn't it?

This little leaf looks like jewelry, doesn’t it?

 

 

Camping Again!

Sheba, a sweet, happy camper

Sheba, a sweet, happy camper

Another cold front!  Actually, it’s low 80’s with a great breeze, but that is cool for our area.  So we headed to nearby McKinney Campground on Lake Allatoona.

Our site over the lake

Our site over the lake

We’ve camped at this campground before, but not at this end.  When we were here before, a maintenance man told us that in summer it’s a lot cooler on “the point” due to the breezes.  He was right.  It’s lovely here!

We heard on the news that someone drowned here last weekend.  We didn’t hear whether it was an adult or child.

On our picture-taking walk this afternoon, we did not find a single flower.  Everything is varying shades of green.  But as always, I’m hoping to find mushrooms.  We’ll see!

Ron with Sheba rolling in the grass by one of the little swimming beaches.

Ron with Sheba rolling in the grass by one of the little swimming beaches.

Little Sunny had to stay in the trailer while we walked.  He simply can’t make it that far anymore.

I’m adding a flower picture that I posted in my last entry from Coleman Lake.  It is a little flower that got lost on the page.  So I removed the surrounding vegetation and am posting it full size so you can see the glory of it.  What a beautiful creation!

Exquisite!

Exquisite!

 

 

Talladega National Forest

Iridescent splendor

Iridescent splendor

Transparent wings

Transparent wings

Ron and I took advantage of the cooler weather to head to Coleman Lake in the Talladega National Forest just 40 miles from home last week.  There is no cell reception there, plus thunderstorms were predicted for the weekend, so we only stayed three nights.  But what glorious days we had!

We met some lovely people there, and I embarrassed myself badly by being a terrible chatterbox.  When I meet people I REALLY like, I tend to do that.

Orange fringed orchid.

Orange fringed orchid. For a real eye treat, click to enlarge, then click the picture again to enlarge it even further. It’s gorgeous!

But most of the time was spent out exploring the trails and the beautiful show of jewels that nature provided.

I find I am starting to forget the names of plants.  I hope that it’s just from disuse, not from aging!  So I’ll present the pictures and allow you to caption the unlabeled ones as you’d like!  :)

Wild sweet potato flower.  These were all over the place!

Wild sweet potato flower. These were all over the place!

Bracken fern.  This area felt almost primeval.

Bracken fern. This area felt almost primeval.

Milkweed pods

Milkweed pods

Flowers blooming from a crack in the bridge rail.

Flowers blooming from a crack in the bridge rail.

Waterbugs walking on water, each in their little dimple of surface tension.

Waterbugs walking on water, each in their little dimple of surface tension.

unknown

sunshiny

purple2

purple

Swimming beach area

Swimming beach area

Our Casita

Our Casita

 

 

 

 

 

The Season for Flowers

Four o'clocks and gladiolas

Four o’clocks and gladiolas

It seems like only a few weeks ago I was waiting for it to be warm enough to go camping.  Now I’m waiting for it to be cool enough again!

The last of the white gladiolas

The last of the white gladiolas

In the meantime, I’m enjoying low-key summer puttering with flowers and a few veggies.

Something wiped out my tomatoes.  I didn’t plant resistant varieties and they didn’t fare well.  So I’m planting more tomorrow. I sure am glad we have such a long growing season!

pink gladiolas

Pink gladiolas

Also I had read that bell peppers will occasionally have a genetic flashback and produce hot peppers.  What are the odds of both of my container peppers doing the same thing?  They are too fiery to eat, so I’m planning to dehydrate some tomorrow for sparing use in dishes that need a little added kick.

I also want to get a fall vegetable garden going soon.  I sure do miss my home-grown lettuce! It had all bolted when we got back from our trip to Modoc.

Dianthus

Dianthus

 

 

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