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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gardening Tip

Feed it and water it and watch it grow. . .

. . . into cat-nip.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Neighbors Are Really Talking Now

Big news today. My husband and I finally did it. We named our house and we boldly posted its new and well-deserved name on the wall of our front porch. Like most other things we do - grow weeds instead of grass, sneak laying hens into the backyard, leave bikes scattered from one end of the lawn to the other - the neighbors are talking. I see them walk by, squinting their eyes to read the words on the new plaque and whispering to each other.

Nonetheless, I know as a southerner that I've done the good and proper thing. This week I've been writing a book review of Ghosts of Grandeur: Georgia's Lost Antebellum Homes and Plantations for Lake Oconee Living Magazine, and as I've studied the tome I've come to realize that not only is giving one's home a proper name okay, it's an obligation. Look at these monikers: Fair Oaks Plantation, Calico House, Summerland, Cedar Valley, Glen Lora, Dungeness, Paradise Hill, Pomegranate Hall and Ingelside.

The one commonality that all of these names share is that they something about the people who lived in the houses or the identifying features of the landscape surrounding the houses or details of the houses themselves. In naming our home we avoided ostentatiously adding on words like hall or manor or house or plantation. We avoided using the sir names of past residents.

Our guiding principal was to find what was special about our house, that makes it home to us. Our conclusion: The front porch.

So let the neighbors banter if they must. As my husband says, "It's branding, and there's no publicity like the opinions of the public." While they're talking it up, we'll be taking it all in from the safe haven of our porch . . . from Porchaven.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Somewhere West of Sparta, GA

This is the kind of sign that makes a person ask, "Where am I?" and vaguely answers the question.

It was the hotspot for buying jumbo frog legs and collard greens.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Brown Nose Points

Though I've never ever seen football players cut the grass or re-line the field after a game, I can't say the same for baseball players. Following every home game my son and his teammates hit the field one more time to tidy it up. Mostly they rake dirt, which I don't understand and assume is some kind of coaching strategy to harden them into men.

The other night, while waiting for him to finish his maintenance duties, my daughter observed that my son was among the few who jumped to action every time the coach barked. "Why does he keep going out there?" she complained. "I'm ready to go home. Can't some of the other players do something?" Only 11 years-old, her attention span for baseball and its varied rituals isn't much longer than mine.

"He's doing what his coach wants him to do," I told her.

She responded, "Yeah, but nobody else is. He ought to go in the dugout and flop around like everyone else."

Well," I said, "he's trying to earn his brownie points."

"He's doing what?" she asked.

"He's earning his brownie points."

My daughter inhaled deeply. A huge smile spread across her face. Her eyes sparkled with enthusiasm lost by the close of the first inning. "We're having brownies for dinner tonight?" she exclaimed.