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Happy 4th Of July

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Elaine it was me. I have several limelight a but I have one that had never bloomed. I was getting ready to rip it out and suddenly this year it's blooming!!! I have 2 tree firm ones and the are my favorites. They are all just now starting to bloom. They bloom on new growth so trimming shouldn't hurt them. I have to trim my tree form ones and it never keeps them from blooming.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Glad they are getting to your roof!!! Was it hard to find someone to do your repairs?

Elaine I have noticed a lot of things blooming late this year. All over town everyone's crepe myrtle are almost through and I have only a few. Strange year for things in the gardens. I guess so much rain. This is my 1st year growing the Limelight so can't help you there at all.

Ripley, MS

We got the same people who worked for us a couple of years ago. Glad they could do it this quickly!

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Jeri my crape myrtles always seem to bloom late. I see them in full bloom all over town. Mine are loaded with buds and are just about to pop out but wonder why some bloom late?? Could they be a different variety? I don't prune my big ones in the front either.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

My crape myrtles bloom late too. The white ones have been blooming but the raspberry ones are barely starting to bloom. They are always late and I think it must be the variety. I never trim them back.

Jeri, these are my first Limelights too so I didn't know if they had to grow for a few years before blooming or what.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Yes I am blaming Charlotte for that new addiction of hydrangeas, hers were gorgeous either last year or the one before. Thanks my friend!!! LOUGH OUT LOUD!!!

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

You will really like the limelight. The tree form one in my front bed is loaded with blooms just starting to open. It always starts to bloom about the time my day lilies stop blooming. I have it directly under a tall oak tree. I'm getting more and more shade in my front bed. It still gets sun but as the willow oak grows I'm afraid it's going to end up as a shade bed again.

Looks like it's going to rain here today. Much cooler out this morning and very over cast. I finally got my outside outlet fixed the way I want it. Poor guy doing it got stung right on the eye lid by a bumble bee! Turned out there was a nest of them in a bird house right above where he was working!! I guess he was just too close to their nest and may have been swinging his arm to shoo them away. They don't usually bother me. Now to get a new pump.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Yes you will love hydrangeas. I have about 5 different varieties. One didn't do squat until we cut down some trees. Turned out it just needed a little more sun than it was getting. It is a lacecap and has reddish leaves and I really like it. Doesn't get too big and it's not really supposed to do well here but as long as it gets plenty of water it's fine. I have a lot of oak leaf ones (natives) and Annabelles, a Pink Diamond Frost that blooms late & gets huge, and the limelights.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Well I have had nothing but sun until now so they would never have grown well for me here until now.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I talked to Jake last week and he was telling me he had had pneumonia. He had to miss several days of school but is fine now. He had a high fever and and was really sick. He called a cab and went to ER. They gave him an IV and some meds and sent him home after about 3 hours. I was talking to Jeff tonight and the bill for his ER visit, IV and meds was $100. Imagine what it would have cost here!!

He is fine. He went to Vienna this past weekend and is on his way to Paris this weekend. He has Thursday and Fri off from school so he has a long weekend. He went to Serbia a couple of weeks ago. Jeff said he went to Budapest today spend the night as he has a early flight out of Budapest tomorrow. He is making all his travel arrangements himself this year. Last year Kristi made all his reservations and booked all his flights. He doing it all himself this year. Mainly staying in hostels. He can spend the night in a hostel for around $20. So he is learning a lot about travel. Learning to travel Europe on a shoe string budget!

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Hello all ! I have been missing in action for the past couple of weeks. Been swamped at work and had little to no decent internet at home. I think I have caught up on the threads.

Charlotte, sounds like you have had your hands full with Richard and the new booth - but glad he had the opportunity to spend time with his brother.

Jeri, I did think of you and Trish and sent prayers your way. I know it was a hard week....and that it has been a hard year. I hope Breanna is ok - and back to driving asap..... the longer she waits, the harder it will be.

Everyone's blooms have been gorgeous, and Cindy, it looks like you have a cute new friend!
My daylilies are still blooming some, but they are definitely winding down. We left for Gulf Shores last Wednesday evening after work and drove to Magee, MS to spend the night, then on to GS the next day. Jeri, we actually stayed in Orange Beach and drove by that RV house place several times! I would SOOOO love to have a beach house down there, but maybe in my next life! I just love the beach - I was on the beach by 5:30 on Friday morning (VERY early for me) but I just love walking the beach when there are not many people out, and I was helping Jess look for shells. We managed to get a good place to have dinner and watch the fireworks on Saturday evening - so it worked out well. We left out on Sunday. I woke up early to try to get in one more walk on the beach, but it was threatening rain and lightening in the distance so I didn't go down - even though there were several people out. We watched it rain for a while, then got Jess up and got checked out. Come to find out, a young girl from Arkansas was actually struck by lightening just down the beach in Fort Morgan on Sunday and she died Monday from her injuries. We stopped in Foley and had breakfast and then made a few quick trips into a few of the shops at the outlet mall...... but then I got tied up in horrible traffic on I10. I never got above 30mph all the way to Mobile, and lots of the time I was at 0 or less than 5!!! By the time I got to Mobile, I was stressed to the max and felt like all my "relaxation" was LONG gone! Then as I headed North, I got into torrential rain - so it was a stressful trip home. I made it another couple of hours and then, thankfully, Leigh drove the rest of the way home. Personally, I was exhausted and ready to get a room! LOL.... it was only 3:30 or 4 the first time I suggested us staying in a hotel for the night! :) But, the rain stopped and Leigh drove the rest of the way without any more delays or problems. We didn't get home until about 11, and the last time we could pick up the babies at the kennel was at 9. I was so wiped out that I texted my bosses and told them I was taking Monday off...... and so I spent the day picking up the dogs, unpacking and washing clothes. I was worried about my potted plants while we were gone, but we had moved them all off the porch "in case" we got some rain at least they would get watered. Instead, we got 6" of rain here on Saturday, and a little more on Sunday! There were flash flood warnings everywhere, and several lines were damaged from trees falling, etc. but the plants seemed to have survived ok....and the Bahia grass looked like it hadn't been mown in a month! Leigh had mowed it the day before we left!

We have company coming tonight. A young man that graduated from OBU with Kyle is coming to stay with us for a few days. He is a young guy from Zimbabwe but came to OBU and graduated with a physics degree. His original plans were to pursue a master's degree in engineering, but the economy in Zimbabwe has collapsed the past few years and I think it was a huge financial strain for him to complete his bachelor's degree, so he has postponed pursuing a masters and has requested a work visa to stay here in the US. He is still trying to locate a job. His brother and SIL live in Birmingham and he has been there most of the time since graduation, but hasn't located a job. So, he is back in Arkansas visiting friends and seeing if he has any luck here. I had offered a spare room to him if he needed to a place to stay - so he is coming to visit for a few days. I am trying to line him up some people to meet that work for Lockheed and Aerojet here - both of which are supposed to be expanding and see if he can possibly line up a job. He has a mechanical background because he and his father did car races - and in fact, I think his Dad owns a shop that works on race cars. I am excited he is coming. He has become one of my favorites over the past 4 years, and I love to hear his English accent. :) He is such a sweet guy. I sure hope he is able to find a job soon. I think they only have 4 mos or maybe 6 to secure a job or they lose their visa.

I am also scheduled to get a new phone today. I have been having multiple problems with my iphone and even had to restore it to factory settings and use it "plain" for several days. They never could fully resolve my problems, so they are just sending me a new phone. I have been dealing with apple for probably 3 weeks with all the issues - but the new phone is supposed to arrive today. It will be nice to get all my contacts back on there and apps and get back to life as normal!

I noticed in Gulf Shores they had lots of hydrangeas planted in places where they would appear to get full sun - and they seemed to be doing great...... I was shocked! I saw some beautiful ones at some of the nurseries in full bloom, but they wouldn't let me stop! :( LOL

Hope everyone has a great rest of the week!
Genna

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Genna your trip home sounds kinda like one I made back with girl friends some time back. I used to go to Grayton Beach with two girlfriends every summer for a week. Our lives finally got too complicated! It is still my favorite beach in that area. Very quiet .. not crowded like the others. We always rented a cottage that just was just over a sand dune from the beach. I don't think there are still any motels/hotels in Grayton. We could walk all the way to Santa Rosa on the beach.

One summer it started raining a day before we planned to leave. We had planned on stopping in Mobile and spending a night and sightseeing for a day so we decided to just go ahead and leave a day earlier and spend 2 nights. We went by Foley and shopped. From Foley to Mobile it was torrential rain! When we got on I10 still raining and at the causeway the water was so high it was lapping at the sides of the interstate - scary! As soon as we actually got in Mobile the rain stopped and the sun came out! We first stopped at a historic area somewhere close to downtown and walked around the area.

The next morning we picked up a paper and on the front page in big headlines and with pictures were all the places we had been!! Just after we got off the road from Foley to I10 a big section of the road washed away and it was closed. Just after we crossed the causeway the section we had been on was closed due to the high water. They had captured an escaped convict in the historic area we were in at the same time we were there!!! One of us had that paper for a long time. Don't know what happened to it.

We just went to enjoy the beach, talk and relax. Don't think anyone ever believed what we did. One of Judy's friends invited herself one summer. I think she was expecting to party and sight see all week. She was extremely bored and disappointed!!! She never wanted to go back with us!! LOL We would stop at a grocery store on the way in and buy snacks, food for lunch and split the bill three ways. We would get up and drink coffee on our screened in porch and then head to the beach around 10. Come back around 12:30 and have lunch and then go back around 2 and stay until around 5. Get cleaned up and then go into Destin and splurge on dinner at a really nice restaurant and be back home in bed by 9 pm!

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Charlotte, that sounds about like the girl trips we take to the beach. Nothing fancy. The only deviation we make is that if it rains, we go to the outlet to shop. And usually somebody brings a portable blender to the beach for an adult beverage or two. I'm usually up and out running some mornings early or a few of us will walk on the beach really early. And we usually hit up one of the tacky souvenir shops just to laugh at what people will buy. And sometimes we will pick up something for a gag gift. But we can talk or read the whole time and never get tired of each other.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Well actually Elaine there were also adult beverages involved! We always picked up fresh peaches at the grocery store and our cottage had a blender. When we came in for lunch Debi would make up a blender of peach daiquiries . We would put them in a thermos and take to the beach for the afternoon.

There are a few shops at Grayton now but there were not any when we were going. About a 1/2 block from us was a run down looking restaurant - a sign had fallen off and was laying on the ground - a newspaper rack was out front and we would get a paper from it every day. The window of the restaurant had a sign that said reservation strongly encouraged. We would laugh and say they probably didn't open unless someone called for a reservation. Well we were in Destin eating one night and ended up striking up a conversation with the table behind up. (We were actually apologizing for laughing so much!). They asked us if we had eaten at the restaurant we always laughed about! Turned out it was the best restaurant in the area!! People drove for hundreds of miles just to eat there! They told us we would have to have a reservation to get in. Our first stop when we got back to Grayton Beach was to stop there and see if we could get reservations! They were booked for the entire week but had just gotten a cancellation for one night. We took it!! After that we always made reservations in advance to eat at there. We were leaving every evening before people started showing up and it would be dark when we got home and we just didn't notice all the cars!

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Was it the Red Bar? There is another one in Grayton that is popular too I think but I can't remember the name right now.

Ripley, MS

We saw Dr. Kilic yesterday who is from Turkey, I told him about the 100.00 visit to the ER, he said that the cost in the U.S. Is just crazy, he said an appendectomy in Turkey would not be over a 1,000- he said he just doesn't understand and thinks it is because so many politicians have stock in the medical business and they want to keep it high to make more money.
He also said Jerry needed 8 more weeks of therapy on his hand, we see him again in Sept and that will probably be the last visit.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

It was where the Red Bar is now but it was not the Red Bar. It eventually moved into Destin and we never liked it as well after it moved. Can't remember the name of it. It seemed to lose some of the ambiance when it moved. At Grayton it backed up to the beach and all the back windows were open (had those louvered windows that lift up) and they had big fans that looked like big palm leaves. All the waiters worn khaki shorts and white shirts. You felt like you were in the Caribbean. You could hear the waves splashing. I'll have to ask Judy if she can remember the name of it. She has been down with her daughter fairly recently.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Was Jerry's hand doing OK other than needing more therapy?

Yes our medical system is all messed up!! Jake talks about how inexpensive things are in Hungary. Not all countries are as inexpensive as Hungary but most seem to be much less than the US. When he shops for groceries he said what he pays $10 for there would cost about $40 in the US. He knows his grocery prices here as he has been shopping and cooking for himself for the last 3 years. He also did all the grocery shopping for Kristi when he was at home. He also loves going to the little coffee shops in his town. He said he can get a speciality coffee and a nice pastry for $2.00. He also was talking about how fresh everything is there. He said a loaf of bread will only last 2 or 3 days sitting out. Where here a loaf of bread will last for over a week. He said it made him wonder about all the preservatives they are putting in out food here. He's a very healthy eater.

Ripley, MS

Charlotte, he has about 50% of his hand back, but the shoulder is affecting it too. Maybe when he gets it fixed he can get his hand going a little better. All the surgery has healed up and doing fine.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

Charlotte that is such a wonderful experience for Jake to get to travel and compare the different life styles and countries there!!

Sandra I'm so glad that Jerry is healing and I agree after they are able to repair his shoulder then things will improve quicker with the hand. Is he still in pain since they haven't been able to address the shoulder?

My aunt and uncle are still about the same. I'll get to see them on the 16th when we go to Orange Beach.

Ripley, MS

He isn't in a terrible lot of pain now, as long as he doesn't try to use his arm. Some days he comes home from therapy and has to have a pain pill, some days not.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Sandra I know Jerry is having to go through therapy for a long time but it should pay off in the end. Once he gets that shoulder fixed things should start looking up for him. He has really been an ordeal with this!!!

Yes Jake loves Europe. He's apartment is right in the middle of the town center this year. He really likes the location. He spends a lot of his spare time just walking around town and drawing pictures. He really wants to go back when he graduates and teach somewhere in Europe for a year or two. I have a feeling he is going to figure out a way to make that happen.

We got Richard's partial back yesterday with the new tooth in it! I decided to have them also make him a partial for his bottom as he doesn't have any jaw teeth left on the bottom. They did the impression yesterday and he will have to go back several times for fittings so it will take a few weeks before he has it. But I think he will be able to eat much better with it. He really doesn't understand what will happen. I don't think he's realized yet that he now has his front tooth.

I started cleaning the sunroom last night and almost have it finished! The probably with me and cleaning is I either go all out or not at all!! Wish I could figure out how to hit a happy medium. But at this stage of the game I don't think that's going to happen!!

Ripley, MS

I get side tracked when I start things like that too, Charlotte, I had to clean out my spot for the tomatoes to put them away, I found a couple more things needed to be done, but had to wait until tomato canning was done. I think it is, I have 57 quarts, I made a "special dozen" of pints to take to Jerrys Mom. I sure want her to have some. I still think of her when shopping and meal planning. Jerry brought some squash from the farmers market home the other day and only had 4-I immediately said, that is not enough, but it was--just the two of us now.
Now if we get any tomatoes from our plants, we can just enjoy eating them, I saw one today that looks like it is turning, the plants are starting to look terrible.
Glad you got Richard fixed up, is his appetite still good?

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Yes Richard's appetite is still really good. But recently he has started to try to chew his meds when I give them to him. He just can't follow instructions. At the dentist he had a hard time getting him to open his mouth wide for the impressions. He would tell him to open and he would close instead! It took 3 of us saying open and all opening our mouths wide to get him to open his! We were quite a sight!

Have you all noticed the changes at the grocery store or is it just my store. My Kroger recently decided to totally move everything thing around in the store. Probably some young marketing guru! But now I'm having to search for all the things I usually buy and I'm discovering they have obviously discontinued some things. The first thing I noticed was Cream of Coconut. I don't buy it often but needed some recently and 4 people tried to help me find it! I finally gave up. Then the other night I needed to replenish a few things I keep in my spice cabinet. I always keep dried lemon and orange zest. I looked at every spice bottle they had and none of either!!!! I ended up ordering some from Amazon last night as I don't want to drive all over town looking for it!

Then I got to noticing other things. They now seem to have a lot more things that are packaged for convenience cooking. Like they had a plastic container of rice they probably had about 6 servings in it and the cost was way more than rice normally is. How hard is it to measure out a cup of rice!!! Rice does not go bad. Then in the meat case there is more meat that is already seasoned and ready to cook than just plain fresh meat. Premade everything that you just open containers to dump together and you have a meal. But we don't know what we are eating! So many preservatives. We eat out just about every night and sometimes that concerns me. But I try to choose things that I think are fairly healthy. Lots of salads, grilled chicken, etc. We seldom eat at fast food places. But it just got me to thinking about how much we have changed in the way we eat and not for the better.

When Jeff was growing up and I did cook I always bought whole chickens and cut them up and used different parts for different things. I would save up the parts we didn't eat and make broth. No wonder it costs so much now to feed a family. Kids now don't know how to actually cook food. You probably can't even buy a whole chicken anymore! They think buying packaged stuff and doing something with it is cooking! Sorry but new rant!

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Charlotte, you are right about the grocery stores. I like to shop at Publix because they actually have a butcher on site and Kroger doesn't. Kroger packages all their meat (and most of their produce too) in Memphis and ships it out to their other stores like Huntsville. So if you want just 2 pork chops you have to buy a package of 4 or sometimes even more! That's fine sometimes and I just freeze the others, but sometimes I just want to buy what I need. And the produce! Publix will cut up a fresh pineapple for me, for example, with their fancy cutter thingy if they don't have any already cut.

And yes, I have noticed there is a lot more packaged meals, even growing larger in the freezer section.

Off my soapbox. Our tomatoes are really beginning to come in. My project tomorrow is to put a bunch in the oven to roast & freeze. I'm going to miss a bunch this year due to vacation, but what can you do? Just hope there will be a few left when we get home. Our neighbor will pick while we're gone. We took off to the lake yesterday and have been enjoying a lazy day.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

We don't have Publix. But my Kroger does have a butcher on site and will cut things for you. But I'm just also noticing more and more things in the butcher case that they have seasoned. Just looks like a trend toward more and more convenience food.

Just want to share a picture with you I took off Clint's FB. Justin has the black and white print shirt and is on the right side - his girlfriend is on the left and the last girl is sitting in her lap. Clint is right in front of the tree in the center back in a green tshirt - his girlfriend is beside him with the white t-shirt with some kind of design on it. I've met a lot of these kids. They have been friends for years. Some go back to preschool and kindergarten and also go to church together. One of the reason I like this picture is it so reminds me of Jeff when he was growing up. He had the same kind of group of friends that would just hang out together at someone's house. He is still in contact with most of them.

Thumbnail by cperdue
Central, LA(Zone 8b)

I just saw an ad where you order your meals off the internet. They send you the items for a meal and then you prepare them at home. How convenient is that!!! LOL!

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I think cooking is becoming a thing of the past!!! Still can't believe my Kroger didn't have lemon and orange zest!!! It's a staple in my spice cabinet! I'm ordering more and more stuff through Amazon! It is so much more convenient to purchase some things that way instead of running all around town buying them. I have starting buying my printer ink, paper and stuff like that. I can get free shipping and don't have to pay tax or spend money on gas or waste my time.

In my cleaning frenzy today (still not through) I was looking for some furniture cleaner. I finally unearthed an old bottle of Kotton Klenser wood feeder. That is the best product. It's hard to find in stores. I ordered some of it today through Amazon. They make a furniture cleaner, protective wood feeder and a beeswax polish. I ordered all three. Best stuff there is for real wood furniture. I used to sell it years ago. Pledge and stuff like that is the worst thing you can use on your furniture. It just builds up on it.. The Kotton Klenser takes off all that kind of stuff.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Sandra, glad to hear that Jerry is making some progress. Hopefully they can get that shoulder lined out soon and everything will be much better. Sounds like you have been really busy with your tomatoes. Do you use them in soups or what? I didn't get a single tomato off my plants..... they got so much water and the plants just looked pitiful and once they did have tomatoes they seemed to rot almost immediately. I probably should have gotten some more and replanted - but I never did. I have a few cucumber plants - had hoped to have enough to put up some pickles but not sure I will have enough at one time to do that. Leigh picked up my plants for me one day and I asked for 12 plants.......... he got 12 plants but AFTER I got them planted I realized that half of them were cantaloupe plants! LOL ..... I just left them and gave up! So I have a few tiny cantaloupes and apparently my cucumbers took off while I was gone. I checked them before I left and only saw tiny ones.....when we got back, I had some ones that had gotten too big and were yellow..... don't know how they grew that fast! I went out and picked the big ones off and threw them away so maybe I can get some good ones.

Ryan, our friend from Zimbabwe, has been at the house since last Thursday! I have probably cooked more in the past 5 days that I have cooked in the last month! LOL..... But, we have had fun hosting him for a while. He is returning to LR today because one of his good friends has a birthday today so he has to be there to celebrate with her. He doesn't call her his girlfriend yet, but Kyle thinks they have become an item so to speak - but I think he is waiting to locate a job before he starts talking about her being his girlfriend. If he doesn't locate a job in his field within 3 months from tomorrow, he has to return to Zimbabwe. In fact, his sister is getting married in August and apparently if he doesn't have a real job by then, he can't go back for the wedding or he will have to stay! :( We are trying hard to help him locate something..... His brother lives in Birmingham, so he has spent a lot of time out there as well trying to find something, but he would prefer to be in Little Rock, or at least in Arkansas....I think at least until his friend gets out of college. She is the same age as Jessica, so she has another year to go.

I really miss our Kroger. I usually try to make a Kroger run while I am in Little Rock. I hate to hear they remodeled that one Charlotte- now I won't be able to find anything! You are right, food is soooo different than what I grew up on! Of course, we raised most of our stuff - veggies and meat....... But, I have been trying for several years to eliminate some of the preservatives, etc but it is next to impossible to get it all out of your diet. We have such a limited selection of fresh veggies here. I had hoped to pick up some fresh corn and peas and get in the freezer, but I don't have that accomplished yet. I did get peaches in the freezer this year - which I didn't manage to do last year - but I don't know how we used to get all that stuff canned. It seems to take me forever to accomplish it!

Sounds like Jake is having an awesome time in Hungary. Also sounds like he will be going back over there when he gets the chance. Good for him!

If ya'll would please say a little prayer for Alex. He is busy studying and studying for his Step 2 exam. He is taking it on July 23 and will need lots of prayers that day. This type of test is sooooo different from any other type of exam! And he MUST do really well on it to stand a chance at matching next Spring. Kyle is trying to help him study - but he says it is an extremely hard type of test to study for and the info on the case studies is so vague yet they want you to make a correct diagnosis with little or not info. I am a nervous wreck about it, but all I can do is pray.

On a positive note, I am sure most of you heard about Jessica making such a great score on the PCAT. She was hoping for low 80s, but really needed at least mid 70s. Everyone who took the test on Thursday that she knew made in the 60s. Then a friend of hers took it Friday morning before Jessica took it that afternoon - Allie made a 94. She texted me and Kyle and told us what Allie had made and Kyle texted her back and said that she needed to make a 96. It ended up that she did make a 96! She was SOOO excited and in shock! LOL...... She had ridden to the test with another Jessica (who has a 3.9 gpa) and she said about halfway back to Malvern she pulled her paper out again and looked to make sure it said Jessica Hargis and not the other girl's name because the other Jessica had made a 59. Jess said she got scared they had given her the wrong paper! :)

Charlotte, I am going to have to look up that beach. I would LOVE a place with a little less people! Guess there are not many of those places left....... This past Saturday we went canoeing with Alex, Natalie, Kyle, Maddie, Jessica, and Leigh and I. We had a blast even though Leigh and I had several incidents with our canoeing! We all had a lot of fun and it was so nice just to spend time with everyone and relax! It was supposed to have been a "post testing" fun day for Alex and Jess, but Alex has postponed his til the 23rd, but decided to go ahead and take the day off for some fun. MAYBE we can do something else together after he finishes before he starts his August rotation.

Hope everyone has a great day! Stay cool.... they are calling for some high temps and high humidity!

Genna

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

Genna, there are several smaller little towns along highway 39A. My DD can tell you a bunch of them, but there is Bluewater Beach, Grayton Beach, to name a couple. Just look it up. Seaside is another, but it is pretty expensive. If you're taking your family, there are cute little houses that you can ride your bikes around (or rent bikes) that are fairly reasonable for families. I know that is true in Bluewater. Sandestin is also a little less crowded than Destin. Same beach and is closer to the outlet mall if you get bored and want to go shopping. But the roads can get crowded.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Thanks Elaine! I loved the early mornings and late evenings on the beach because the crowds were gone! I will have to check out some of those places. The traffic is REALLY bad.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

Here is a link to Grayton Beach. It's part of a state park therefore the beaches are protected and no high rise condos can be built. I don't think there are any motels in Grayton. You rent from individuals or property management companies. We stayed in a house that belonged to a friend of a friend kind of thing! One time Richard and I went and I rented a small 2 bedroom house that was fairly new. At Grayton we would not have anyone even close to us at the beach. I don't do beaches where I'm packed in like sardines. To me that's not fun. The last time I was in Orange Beach not too many years ago it was nothing but high rise condos and boats side by side. We went out on Richard's friends boat and even getting out of the dock was a challenge. I know a lot of people like that but I like solitude and quiet at the beach.

To me Seaside is a neat place to visit but not a place to stay. As Elaine said it is very expensive. We used to go to a cafe at Seaside and listen to the kids (I mean kids - grade school age) talk about their airplanes, etc...... We were always just amazed at the things little kids like that talked about.

Here is a link to Grayton Beach. http://www.graytonbeach.com/

Ripley, MS

Genna, I use my tomatoes for all kinds of things. I sometimes just open a pint and sit and eat them. I do make lots of soup, any recipe that needs tomatoes. I bought mine, we have a few starting to turn, but the plants are starting to look pitiful. We planted 14 plants and I will be happy if I get 14 tomatoes--LOL ! Something else we love is to make biscuits and have tomato gravy. We don't have it often, but when we do it is wonderful with home canned tomatoes.

Jerry is feeling some better with his shoulder, he is faithful to do his at home exercises, but he still has a lot of pain, every morning his hand is stiff and sore again and he has to work with it to get it moving. I fried some squash today, we do love that, but have to be careful about too much oil. Jerry has gained 10 pounds and I have gained 8 since he got hurt. I went to the doc this morning and sugar was good at 6.7 A1C, so he didn't fuss about the pounds. I don't want to add any more though. I have been laughing at him about his dress pants being too tight for church, then this morning he had to lay on the bed to zip his jeans ! After the kids visit next week, we will have to either get serious about eating less or go clothes shopping one !

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Jerry is probably used to sweating a lot during the summer and eating less because of the heat - since he is home in the AC all day he probably eats more. I know I eat a lot less when it gets really hot.

I have NEVER heard of tomato gravy!! That is a new one for me! :) My mom used to can tomatoes in the summer time and use them in soup or chili during the winter. We might have used them for other things but I don't really remember it. I planted 6 tomato plants and won't get single tomato that is edible it seems.....

Thanks for the link to Grayton Beach Charlotte. I will check it out.

Genna

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

My tomatoes have not done that well either. I have picked quite a few. I have a Sun Gold little cherry type tomato and that's the best producing little tomato!! The are very small. Not much bigger than a grape and turn a gold color - not red - when they are ripe.

I have heard of tomato gravy but I've never eaten it. I don't know why, but I've just never been a gravy eater. I've made tons of it. My ex-husband loved it and Richard loves it. I think it may have been one of those things I decided many years ago I didn't want to spend the calories on. Back when I cut out sugar in tea and butter on bread.

But if I don't quit cooking this stuff that keeps showing up in my FB feed I'm going to have to go on a diet!! I made a crustless egg custard the other day and ate the whole thing!! I'm always trying crustless egg custard recipes and this was the best one yet. A keeper! I also made a pecan dump cake and it tastes just like a pecan pie. Pecan pies are not hard to make but this dump cake was super fast and easy. I've only been eating one spoonfull twice a day!! The rest is Richard's! He loves Pecan pie.

We had something on a transformer behind my neighbors house blow up this afternoon. Thank goodness she was sitting on her back deck and saw it happen and called Entergy. I've been noticing slight flickers in our electricity for several weeks. Then this afternoon it started really getting bad. It lost one of the phases and it automatically shut down our a/c. Thank goodness they got right out and got it fixed. They said they were really glad she saw it as otherwise they wouldn't known what had happened and it would have taken them a while to figure it out.

Ripley, MS

I started out making tomato gravy years ago to make pot roast, my first MIL made it that way. Jerry loves it like that, but we also love it with biscuits.
I usually slow boil a roast for a few hours. When it is tender I cut the potatoes, carrots, onions, bell pepper and put it all in a roasting pan. Make a tradional rue (with butter) and add tomatoes and maybe a cup of the beef broth, pour it over the roast and veggies, cover tightly and bake for an hour. When I make it for biscuits, I use milk instead of the beef broth.
Jerry has gained weight because he has not been able to do anything, when he gets moving again, I am sure it will drop off. I went to the doc yesterday and the first thing he asked was, how's Hubby?? He told me it is very hard to rehab "old limbs". He hasn't even seen his hand as it was still wrapped when he saw him, but he told me if was very doubtful at his age he could ever get to the point of returning to work. He also said if he did, his reflexes would be very slow in a rehabbed limb and could possibly get hurt again. He said that was from the statistic, and he had witnessed it. He is about the same age we are and understands the aging process. We have very few GP's in our area and he has been GP to people for the last 30 years in our area.

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

That's similar to how I make roast but I bet the tomato gravy really makes it good. I salt, pepper and flour mine and then brown real fast all over and then add water and onion. Then after it's cooked a little while I add potatoes and carrots and finish cooking. I used to make a swiss steak all the time years ago that I floured and browned a big piece of flat type roast in oil or something similar and then added tomatoes and simmered a long time until it was tender. Also had onion in it. Richard doesn't like things like that. Most of the things I used to cook years ago Richard doesn't like!! I used to always buy fresh pinto beans, black eyed peas and butterbeans in the summer and put them in the freezer. Richard wouldn't begin to eat either one!

It's had to find a good GP anymore! We have a lot of them around here but finding a good one is another matter! I'm sure it is hard to rehap older limbs. Especially the kind of serious injury Jerry had.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Well, GPs will become extinct...... EVERY med school graduate has to do a residency (at a bare minimum 3 yrs in family practice) in order to practice. Gone are the days of going to med school and going into practice. Alex says there is a law in every state now that prohibits that. I do hope Jerry's rehab goes better than that doctor expects! How close is Jerry to retirement? Any chance they could move him to a different position that wasn't as much hands on? Just curious.....

The roast sounds good! I made one night before last in my crock pot - but my bunch prefers that it not be cooked with carrots and potatoes although I do that occasionally. I usually make carrots on the stove top and mashed potatoes and gravy to go with it. I think they prefer the mashed potatoes to the ones cooked with the roast. It has been a really long time since we had roast, but I had a craving for one and managed to find one on sale at a decent price. Ryan was still visiting and it made it easy to get supper on the table that evening........ Tonight we are having left over roast! That makes supper easier too. I HATE trying to come up with things for supper!



Ripley, MS

I just saw on FB that Jeri has lost her Uncle

Little Rock, AR(Zone 7b)

I just noticed about Jeri's uncle also.

Genna I guess I'm confused as I thought 3 years of residency after med school was always a requirement. I don't think I would want to go to a doctor that went straight into practice after just finishing med school.

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