Posted by: bree1972 | February 9, 2012

This and That 2/10/2012

Random Subjects in a Slow News Week

Pass the Kleenex and Bug Spray, Please:

What in the blue blazes is going on!?

It’s the first week in February, and our pollen count is through the roof!  All our bushes are sprouting new growth, the grass is getting green, and the pine trees are busy proclaiming “It’s spring!” by filling the air with gazillions of yellow dust particles that in turn fill noses, eyes and lungs.  The water between the seawall and the boathouse is covered in the yellow stuff, as are our cars, the deck, and the dock.  Anyone who is allergy-prone and usually gets a little break during December, February and March is out of luck this year, and I can’t tell you how many friends are already on seasonal antihistamines.   At last Sunday’s Super Bowl party at Booger Bottom, a group of ladies sat outside and enjoyed the nice evening.  What we didn’t enjoy was swatting mosquitoes the size of dragonflies . . . . . in February!  Good grief!

What happened to winter this year!?

Not too Distant Future Plans:

“Do you know what I’d like more than anything right now?” Ted asked the other night as he settled into his recliner, and I prepared to go to another room to watch TV, without the benefit of “louder than a freight train” snoring.

I processed at least six smarty-pants answers, but took the high road and asked sweetly, “What babe?”

“Stuffed flounder at Captain Anderson’s,” was the answer I got, which I have to tell you was not even close to any of the six answers I had in mind.

Captain Anderson’s is an iconic seafood restaurant in Panama City Beach, FL.  And yes, their stuffed flounder rates in my Top Five of delicious things to eat.  Pair the flounder with Captain Anderson’s famous Greek Salad, and just go ahead and pass out from delight.

So, after searching Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) for three days for somewhere cheap to spend a few nights with two dogs, we found a good spot and made reservations.  More to come on that later next week.

A Good Book:

After reading two non-fiction books back-to-back, I took a break and went looking for something good in fiction.  I went up and down the aisle at Books-A-Million in Albany one day a couple of weeks ago and found nothing.  Later that day, at the salon where I get my gray covered, I looked through a bunch of books other ladies had left in a basket over the months.  For some reason, the description of “Prodigal Summer” caught my attention, and I brought it home.

The book was written by Barbara Kingsolver, whose most famous book is “The Poisonwood Bible”, which I’ve never read nor had any desire to – although now I might have to find a copy and give it a go.  “The Poisonwood Bible” remained on the country’s bestseller list for more than a year and won all kinds of literary awards in the U.S. and abroad.

“Prodigal Summer” is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read.  Kingsolver has a rare gift for weaving words into the finest of stories, and this book weaves together three stories of human love within a larger story of lives amid the mountains and farms of southern Appalachia.  It all takes place over the course of one humid summer and is a “hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself.  Reviews call it “sensuous, compelling, sexy and lyrical”.  It is all those things and much, much more.

Kingsolver had me with the first paragraph: “Her body moved with the frankness that comes from solitary habits.  But solitude is only a human presumption.  Every quiet step is thunder to beetle life underfoot; every choice is a world made new for the chosen.  All secrets are witnessed.”

Completely different from anything I normally read.  I loved it.

A Speaking Engagement:

I’ve been asked to speak to a group of DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) ladies in my hometown of Sylvester, GA in March.  One of those ladies, a good friend from high school, is a blog reader, and she wants me to talk about Mackinac Island as it relates to the American Revolution and the War of 1812.  History has never been my strong suit, and I’d sure be a lot more comfortable talking about horses and flowers and the magic of the Island.  I’m hoping my history-buff husband will bail me out on this one and somehow condense 40 years down into something I can cover in 20 minutes.  I’m thinking maybe if I give out samples of Mackinac Island fudge to each attendee, they’ll forgive me any historical mistakes.

Slow News Week:

It’s been the kind of week that drives me nuts when it comes to fulfilling writing promises.  There’s just not been a lot happening, but we all have those weeks, and I know you understand.  So, without further chit-chat, I’m just going to say “See you Monday!” and wish you a happy and adventurous weekend!  God bless.



  1. You’ll do just fine with your history talk Brenda! You’ve absorbed more than you realize over time. Here’s my version of the War of 1812 – day one – some of my distant kin, ancestors and cousins – snuck on to the island and woke up some folks – who in turn got other ancestors, kin and cousins gathered up and sent off to safety. Time marched only – folks fought – lives were lost – and far, far away in a place called Ghent – rich men decided the outcome of the war and boundaries were changed, families broken up, etc. Part of my family stayed on the island, others followed the jobs (and the British) to Drummond Island – till those same groups of men decided again that the borders were inaccurate and again, migrations were enforced. Some stayed on that island, others again followed the jobs to here in Penetanguishene, Ontario. Fast forward many years later – I was born. So – had there been no War of 1812, and no changes to borders and such – you wouldn’t have met me! Hahahahahaha. So see – the history did have an effect on you…..As for the Revolution – well – that’s another story……

    • Wow Deb! Now I don’t have to pic Ted’s brain!

  2. Not that I don’t love ALL of your blogs Brenda, because you know that I do, but I’m also loving this slow news weeks, with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. As strange as Winter has been this year, we are not getting any of your early signs of Spring, although I can’t wait since it is my favorite time of year. Can’t wait to hear about your VRBO, sounds like that could be fun and as far as your speaking engagement, I have NO doubt that you will do GREAT!!

  3. Reading “the Poisonwood Bible” one of those years we lived on the island year around…along with several other LONG books…led me to read “Prodigal Summer” as I was so taken by her writing also. They were VERY different books, so it just pointed out to me her talent in novel writing. It seems like I read another by her, but my memory about books read or not read is pretty pathetic in the past couple of years:) Our winter has been very different also—hardly ANY snow, some wonderful above 40 days, even some pouring down rain, then maybe a covering of snow, then some frigid days! Right now we have bare ground with temps in the thirties, so WHEN IS THE BLIZZARD GOING TO HIT US?? Can’t hardly enjoy the non-weather because of that…..:) Ya’all enjoy your beautiful days and nights and BUGS, though:)

  4. Hey Bree, you should check out my favorite food place in Destin while you’re down in that neighborhood. It’s Pompano Joe’s, right on the beach. Delish! Try the reggae rolls!!! I’m craving those right now!!

    Another Destin “must hit” is the Donut Hole, get the chocolate coconut donuts. Ohhhh Eeeem Geeeee! If you go to Pompano’s, you can stop at the Donut Hole on your way back to Panama City and pick some up for the next morning, it’s right on your way back.

    Also, if you like breakfast joints, you should hit up Another Broken Egg in Panama City (also in Grayton Beach and Destin). Scrumptious!!!!

    On the non-food front, if you love beautiful art glass pieces, then stop by Fusion in Seaside. Talk about photo ops! *makes my heart skip a beat thinking about it!*

    If you need any other dining or shopping ideas in that neck of the woods, just let me know! My hubs and I go there every November.



    • Wow, Andrea – thanks for all the tips! Ted and I used to have a home in Laguna Beach so we know a lot of those places. Another Broken Egg in Grayton is our favorite for breakfast – love that place. Have been in Fusion also, and I love Sun Dog Books in Seaside. Where do ya’ll stay when you go down?

      • We rent from a private individual in Blue Mountain Beach. I love it there in November, there’s no one on the beach. It’s warm enough during the day to enjoy sitting in the sand (my hubby usually goes for a dip in the gulf too).

        Hope you have a great stay!!

      • Thanks, Andrea – looking forward to it. Blue Mountain and that whole area is so beautiful, and November-March is the perfect time to go to the beach.

  5. Stuffed Flounder sounds delicious! The book sounds interesting and I’m always looking for something new to read so I’m going to check that one out. Have a great weekend!!

  6. Thanks so much for the book reviews! I’ve already read two of Steve Hamilton’s books and love them. Next up is Iron Lake by William Krueger. I agree about the weather. My irises, daffodils and azaleas are in full bloom and my car is covered in yellow pollen. Also the air conditioner is on.

  7. I’m with Hilde-I love the bits and pieces posts! Stuffed Flounder does sound very good.
    I’m not looking forward to pollen season here-my deck gets covered in yellow just like you descrobed and my seasonal allergies get worse every year. Hopefully it won’t last long.

    Have a great weekend and Happy Valentine’s Day!

  8. You are not the only ones w/early allergy issues! Even up here, in Michigan, my spring allergies have sprung! The allergy pills are out, as is my neti pot! Ohhhh and my poor iris..they have sprouted too. I’ve heard rumors of folks seeing daffodils springin up but havn’t spotted any myself! Its WAY to early for this… I’m hoping it doesn’t dwarf their spring season.
    Luckily, we’re having a lil bit of winter today. Maybe this will put them all back to sleep before to much damage is done…including this “spring sinus headache!”
    When you’re in FL look to the west & wave hello to Gulf Shores, Al for me please! 😉

    Have fun!

    • Will do, Nancy!

  9. The picture of Bear is so precious! I am sitting here in Iowa at 2:00 p.m. and we have a wind chill of -1. Yikes! I plan to go home tonight after work and wrap up in my snuggie and read a good book! I wish 5:00 would hurry up and get here!!! Have a great weekend!

  10. Brenda,

    It has been so “warm” this winter, but there are no allergy problems tonight. It is 13 degrees and snowing. The weather man had called for an inch or less, but I’m sure it’s been close to 3 inches. I’d much rather be basking in your warm temperatures -even with the tree pollen. When we lived at Houghton Lake, we had many, many Scotch Pines around us and everything would be yellow in the spring. Luckily no one in my family was allergic to the pollen. Our daffodils are planted at the south end of the house, so they have had plenty of sun and warmer temperatures, but so far we’ve not seen any green poking out of the ground.

    Bear looks so comfortable in the green grass with the little clover blossoms. When you took the picture, did he say, “Please go away. Don’t disturb me.”

    • I’m so forgetful. I meant to tell you that I know you’ll do quite well with your speech. However, I don’t think it would be a good idea to give the ladies any Mackinac Island fudge because they’ll all go to sleep when they crash after all that sugar.

    • To be truthful, Lowell, that pic of Bear if from the Island this summer. 🙂

  11. You will do just fine…..give everyone by love in Sylvester….I miss living in that town….great people there….

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