Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas #1

We had Christmas with The Writer's children this weekend.  The family with three 
little boys was missing because they were snowed in in the North Carolina mountains.  You can imagine, they were three very unhappy little boys.

The adults were disappointed, too, because they didn't get to play with any of the new toys under the tree!

This is a group that thrives on competition.  This is the game of Spoons.  You play by passing cards to your neighbor until someone collects four of a kind and grabs a spoon. Then everyone else grabs for a spoon and the person left without one is out.  Everyone brings a wrapped present and when you are out you select and open a gift.  You might be surprised and delighted by your gift but you can't get too attached because the next person out is allowed to steal your gift or select an unopened one.

The Writer is known for his, shall we say unique, gifts.  This year's was ...

... a pink flamingo umbrella!
Even the dog had to get a look at that.

The guys played Corn Hole.  Bags of corn are thrown at a target with a hole for them to fall through.  It was called bean bag when I was a kid but now that it's newly discovered and adults play it, it's called Corn Hole.  
The blocks piled on the left are a game called Jenga.  You stack them all up in a tower and then each person tries to remove an individual block without toppling the whole thing and scattering the players. They hurt if they hit a foot or shin.

The ladies admired the view and kept warm by the fire.  It was rainy and unusually cold for December, about 45 degrees.  The days before it had been in the 70s.   

Hilton Head Island is, of course, surrounded by water and ferries used leave for the mainland from here.m One of the old ferries is sitting at the end of that long dock.

The restaurant used to feed ferry travelers and fishermen, and at night it was a juke joint where black jazz musicians played, liquor flowed, and gambling and other illegal activities took place in the back room.  

Other guests included five dogs.  Five BIG dogs.  
In the picture of Aaron unwrapping the flamingo above there is a nose just above the table. That's Indy, a Texas cattle dog.  

On the right is Bob the Border Collie getting a hug and below a Labradoodle named Dexter.

Briggs, a German Wire-Haired Pointer, is a huge puppy.  He got into lots of mischief and scuffles and picked on all the other dogs.  I expect he will learn some manners soon.

The fifth dog is a lab/Great Dane combo named Kenzie who also loved my lap. 

When the door bell rang for pizza delivery, it was barking bedlam!

Rosie was invited but declined to attend.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Life Gave Me Lemons

I did not know lemons had such a long growing season.  

Our tree bloomed inside the sunroom in cold late February.  It was just covered with blossoms which mostly fell off without setting fruit because there were no bees in the sunroom in February. 
Even so, it developed an amazing number of clusters of teeny tiny lemons which grew all summer and fell off the tree one by one until we were down to eight big heavy lemons on a tree not as tall as I am.

All summer and fall they kept growing bigger and bigger but kept their dark green color. 

We were puzzled that they weren't turning yellow until we read that they need cold temperatures for the fruit to ripen.

In late November we had a couple weeks of chilly weather and they finally began getting a yellowish blush ... then a bit more yellow ... and finally they were yellow enough to pick.

Almost 10 months from flower to refrigerator!

(Oh, and another surprise for the northern gardener -- lemon trees have nasty thorns.)

Those of us in North America can thank Christopher Columbus for our lemon pie, lemon curd, lemonade, lemon drops, lemon butter for shrimp, Lemon Pledge, and so on because it was he who brought the first lemon seeds to America on the Hispaniola in 1643.

We are having a hard time deciding what we should use our eight special lemons for.  
What would you make? 

Monday, December 4, 2017

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

"Look what they brought in the house."

"No one's looking, are they?"

"I'll just take a tiny poke at this shiny dangly thing."

"It was the dog!  I saw it!  It was that dog!
I'm outa here."