Thursday, January 8, 2015

Record temperature and reading fun

The thermometer showed 19 degrees Fahrenheit this morning on our screened porch. That is a record low for this date in our usually mild coastal region. 

Not cold enough for a real igloo, but chilly enough to remind me of igloo photos languishing on my laptop.The kids’ reading hideout above was featured at our local library on a warm day in October.

Milk jug building blocks

Snowflake to boost curb appeal

The igloo was something I would have loved as a child. Even as an adult I appreciate it as a tempting hideaway for reading.

Of course, gone are the summer days of childhood when I would hide to read uninterrupted. My best-remembered early morning escape was the scramble up a ladder my dad had left propped against the carport roof. 

The rough texture of the roofing shingles somehow heightened my anticipation of opening the day’s chosen library book. I would climb farther up to my perch against a gable. It created welcomed shade for reading.

Around noon hunger would call me back down, but the black shingles would have absorbed the intense heat of the South Mississippi summer sun. Their heat would send me into a frantic dance to the ladder. 

That hot-foot experience was no match, though, for my summer urge to ditch shoes and to read without spending time doing chores.

My parents did not discover that particular hideout for most of one summer. I don’t remember being punished. I do remember that Daddy moved the heavy ladder, eliminating my access to the roof.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Time out

Dear blogging friends,

I am well, but my computer and camera are not so well. I am not sure if they are suffering from age-related issues or are just using their age as an excuse to be cantankerous.

Whatever the cause, I am using my difficulties posting as an excuse to be MIA while I enjoy travel with Hubby and time with grandchildren. You have all assured me in the past that such pursuits are worthy and that no one will expel me from the blogging community for this time out.

I still savor visiting even though my visits are sporadic, and I don't always comment. I look forward to ending neglect of Retirement Daze and blogging friends once the technology frustrations resolve and we slow down a bit on the travel.


Monday, October 20, 2014

An old acquaintance

Euonymus americanus

Last month I met a leafy acquaintance from my past at our Elkmont campsite in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

There was little fall color on display during our September visit. The spindly little bush pictured above offered a colorful exception.

I first met Euonymus americanus with its bright red seeds and seedpods in my late mother’s yard. It is commonly called strawberry plant or Hearts-a-Bustin’.

Hearts-a-bustin’ seed pod

Mother had transplanted it from Pascagoula River swamp to a black plastic, gallon-sized nursery pot. We didn’t know its identity at the time.

A cousin with a green thumb and an active sense of humor adopted the unusual mystery shrub. She identified it as a "Sidaroada," as in found on the “side of the road.”

Since then Google has informed me that, although deer may snack on the leaves and stems, humans should take the seedpods’ vibrant color as a red flag of warning. Pods and seeds are a potent laxative and cause severe diarrhea.