Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

I'd like to honor 2 very special World War II veterans today:

Tate The Great


Sgt. Haslam

I invite you to read some of their experiences and share my patriotic pride.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

chillin lika villian

Got some unsuspecting batteries in your refrigerator? will it extend their life or performance? Refrigerating or Freezing Batteries

says not.
But I've heard it's a great place to store milk and eggs:)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

it's Caturday

Friday, May 28, 2010

gots da fever

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jekyll Island 1970

When I was about 8 years old, our family took a one day trip to Jekyll Island. We were excited about using the VW bus that my father had acquired in a trade, and we were thinking "beach". The drive from Adel, Georgia was typical for us. We sang campfire songs, we stopped for barbeque, and us kids got into little fights.

Jekyll Island was not what I expected. I remember asking "is this it?" with a nod from my parents, I accepted that this wasn't like the beaches we'd visited before. The sand was dark and packed. The water had created geometric ripples in the sand that were fascinating. Driftwood and odd creatures were scattered every where. The brush and trees even had a bizarre, twisted look. The wind carried a whiff of 'blackwater' (which we were familiar with) and the waves were gentle little movements along the shoreline.

It might have taken us a few minutes to adjust to the experience, but we quickly got the hang of it. This photo of Daddy digging in the sand with me is one of my favorites from my childhood. My father passed away years ago, and I find comfort in remembering him this way: taking us on a nature adventure.

wordless wednesday

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

American Hardwoods: Elm

"Elm hateth man, and waiteth" as the old saying goes. the elm's mythology is intimately bound up with death and the transition into the Underworld, and used to such deadly effect in mediaeval warfare. Elm's connection with death does not end there, as its wood is traditionally used to make coffins, aand the wood's durability underground may also play a part in this choice. Elms were a reminder of our own mortality and can be found throughout ancient legends.

Elm wood was commonly used for wheels, chair seats and coffins because of it's resistance to splitting. The wood is also resistant to decay when permanently wet, and hollowed trunks were widely used as water pipes during the medieval period in Europe. However this resistance to decay in water does not extend to ground contact.

Elms also have a long history of cultivation for fodder, with the leafy branches cut for livestock. Elm bark, cut into strips and boiled, sustained much of the rural population of Norway during the great famine of 1812. The seeds are particularly nutritious, containing crude protein and fiber.

Dutch elm disease appeared in Europe in 1910, and spread to North America by 1928. Then, 12 years later a more virulent strain of the diesease emerged and within a decade had killed over 20 million elm trees. This pandemic continues today, however the fungus that causes Dutch elm disease is under attack by naturally occuring virus-like agents that reduce its spors.

Amoung the notable elms "Herbie" in Yarmouth, Maine, stood by present-day East Main Street from 1793 to 2010. At 110 feet in height, it was believed to be the oldest and tallest of its kind in New England. The tree, which partially stood in the front yard of a private residence, also had a 20-foot circumference and a 93-foot crown spread. As of 2003, only twenty of Yarmouth's original 739 elms had survived Dutch elm disease. In August 2009 it was revealed that, after battling fifteen bouts of Dutch elm disease, the tree had lost, and on January 19, 2010 it was cut down.

The American Forests National Register of BIG TREES 2010 is a great place to locate massive living trees. You can nominate a tree for the registry, and become it's champion.

Edge of the Wildwood takes you farther into the forest with articles on American Hardwoods. Next week our focus is on the Gum tree; one of 20 species that we profile.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mosaic Bowling Ball

Ok, I have been planning for a long time to take on this crafting project - I just love mosaic! and I happen to have a few extra bowling balls lying around too:) Have you ever tried this? How long does it take to glue the pieces (on both sides) and to grout?

Garden Art - Bowling Ball Garden Spheres - More DIY How To Projects

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Caturday afternoon

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pirate Invasion Weekend

Thursday, May 20, 2010

synchronous fireflies

Most are familiar with fireflies from our childhood. Catching them in the backyard and collecting enough specimens for a lantern made from a jar. But in the Great Smoky Mountains there's a unique species of fireflies (phontinus carolinus) that flash their lights in unison!

These tiny creatures take 2 years to mature from a larvae state to adult; then they only have 21 days to find a mate. In mid June, these little glowing beetles put on a fanatastic display of synchronized lights. It's not known why these fireflies are compelled to get on the same page of music; sometimes they flash in waves and other times it may be random.

Visit the Great Smoky Mountains webpage for the Light Show tour info

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

wordless wednesday

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Turning Blakelys

Meet Jim and Logan Blakely of Albuquerque, New Mexico. They are hard working, expert woodworkers that know how to bring out the best in wood. Blakely Woodworks not only fulfills the utility of wooden objects, and they also capture the beauty and enduring qualities of their materials.

Eccentric Turned Goblet

Collecting most of their wood 'dead and down' in the Jemez Mountains, the Blakely team brings their experience and considerable skill into each piece. Candle holders, bud vases, tealights and goblets are handmade with care and finished to perfection.

Jewelry Holder wood and metal

Blakely Woodworks has earned 100% satisfaction from their Etsy customers; with rave reviews for their spinning tops! But BWW doesn't stop there, because they can make custom orders that will suit your needs. Jim and Logan want to hear your ideas and comments, and they welcome you to visit Blakely Woodworks and shop their ready-made inventory.

Jim and Logan are fellow members of Old World Shoppes ; a specialty group on Etsy dedicated to old-fashioned crafts and conventional craftsmen.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Granny's Kitchen 1917

From SHORPY'S always something interesting

Sunday, May 16, 2010

American Hardwoods: Cypress

The oldest living Cypress is the Sarv-e-Abarkooh in Iran's Yazd Province. Its age is estimated to be approximately 4000 years. DNA analysis has shown that redwood trees are also in the cypress family.

The Bald Cypress, which I'm most familiar with, loses it's leaves in the winter.
Ancient Baldcypress forests, with some trees more than 1,200 years old, once dominated swamps in the southeast US. The largest remaining old-growth stand of Baldcypress is at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, near Naples, Florida. These trees are around 500 years of age and some exceed 40 m in height.

Knees are woody projections sent above the normal water level, roughly horizontally from the roots, with a near-right-angle bend taking them roughly vertically downward into soil, usually passing through water first. Cyress knees are believed to assist in anchoring the tree in the soft, muddy soil.

Baldcypress swamps are some of the world's most productive ecosystems.

Baldcypress wood has long been valued for its water resistance thus called 'wood eternal'. Still-usable prehistoric wood is often found in swamps. The somewhat-mineralized wood is mined from some swamps in the southeast, and is highly prized for specialty uses such as wood carvings.


The Baldcypress was designated the official state tree of Louisiana in 1963, and is considered by some to be a symbol of the southern swamps.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

it's CATurday!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thousand hearts

it's rainin' HEARTS!!!

My Dearest One Thousandth is revealed to me as LIVESAY GRAFIX of Morristown, TN. I am, of course, loving the acrylic paintings of fantasy trees found in their shop:

Sending out a big lovey Thank You to the 1,000 users

on Etsy who have 'favorited' my shop

It's very easy to quickly add a shop to your favorites list with a small action button on the sidebar of each shop---and you can even 'heart' a particular item.

It's very reassuring to find that so many shoppers enjoy my offerings.

The 1,000 milestone gives my little shop a big boost.

I'm very proud and very grateful:)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Post #500


#10 steal this cookie (Sept. 13, 2009)

#9 sticks N cones (April 16, 2008)

#8 Vintage Roadshow (Feb. 1, 2009)

#7 Decorated War Hero Turns 90 (Dec. 13, 2009)

#6 what did you call me? (Dec. 15, 2008)

#5 view from my front door (March 27, 2008)

#4 ancestor makeover (August 10, 2009)

#3 safety first (August 22, 2008)

#2 You Are Worth The Time (May 9, 2009)

#1 *BAD HAIR DAY* (June 11, 2008)

so many things to say

Saturday, May 08, 2010

it's C-c-c-caturday

Friday, May 07, 2010

equipped with a raid hour


Dec. 23, 1942

"Maytag Joe" came over as usual this morning. This time it was at 1 A.M. Heard that we have a squadron of p40s (Kitty Hawk). They are night fighters and are equipped with a raid hour that shows the altitude the enemy planes are flying. After it gets that altitude it points to a direction, which they proceed to by compass. Then when it gets within a certain radius the guns fire automatically. I sure hope they can get "Maytag Joe" with it.

While we were working in the area this morning, most of the Grumman dive bombers, flying fortresses and their fighter escorts took off. They spotted 9 Japanese ships. I went through one of the "fortresses" today and Boy it was big inside. I saw the bomb racks and how the bombs were loaded. They carry 4 tons, one of the pilots said.

I got me two aluminum **** from a wrecked Gruman fighter, and am making me some rings from them.


This is Harry's War Diary

Harry says 'raid hour' for radar. It's a new technology that he is striving to understand. Just as he adapted to the workings of navy ships, he's finding his own among the planes. Harry is a big fan of the flying fortresses, and has mentioned them many times in his diary.

The camp sign photo was taken in Reno, NV before the war, when Harry's was in the "C.C.C." The Civilian Conservation Corps.

Return to Edge of the Wildwood next month and read Harry's 1942 Christmas post from Guadalcanal.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

stacked up like firewood


December 1942 - January 1943

I hear that California has been made a combat zone because it's been shelled a few times (of all things). Sure wish they would send me back to the combat zone there, if that's a combat zone. What is this over here, a vacation? With bombings, shellings, big sea battles in the harbor and around 10,000 Japs in the hills only a few miles from here.

Sometimes I look at these mountains in the distance and wonder how many poor soliders and Marines are dying and being cut to death. It's awful just to think about it. A patrol of 20 men went out yesterday and only 2 came back to tell the tale. The same thing happened to Jimmy Roosevelt and his 1st Raiders. They came here with 200 men and only 34 went back to the States to tell the tale.

As I sit here writing, I can see "Bloody Ridge" in the distance where the bloodiest battle of the Solomons took place. The other one being by the river. Bloody Ridge had to be taken 3 times by the Marines. Also red beach, where we landed is only a few miles from here. That's before they had the Japs stacked up like firewood.

There's so much to write in this diary, but will close for now because I'm feeling fatigue (tired).


You are so right, Harry. There is so much to write in this diary. And we are honored to read it.

He just cannot get over California being declared a combat zone. Their own experience of a combat zone is nothing like The States. Harry knows about the fighting going on the mountains. He knows were the bloody battles were fought. He knows the death tolls on the beaches.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

a darn lie

December 1942

Any man who says that he is not scared when these bombs start to fall, or from the shelling on the beach, is a "darn lie". It's very nerve wracking. After the bombers or bombadiers have left each night and we have the All Clear signal, every sound that you hear whether it's a truck, a motor, or one of the PT boats (mosquitos) that patrol around the island it sounds like an airplane.

We can distinguish the sound of our planes from theirs when they get a few miles from here (by ear). These Jap bombadiers really sound like a washing machine (no kidding). I don't think I will have much use for a washing machine if I ever do get home.

The rumor is now that we will be out of here in 45 days. And that we will be back in the States by April 15th or 18th. We are going to be put on a 30 days quarantine before we do get back and also be given a Turkish bath and have our clothes sterlized. It's wonderful to hear that we're going home, but I'm not building my hopes too high, because anything can happen in 45 days (Feb 8). I won't believe it until we hit the States. Nevertheless, it's wonderful news and something to look forward to.

These mosquitoes sure dive bomb you when you get in your fox-hole.


This is Harry's War Diary

A Turkish bath? Well, Harry is counting the days (even though he didn't date these entries) and we get an idea of how long he might be on Guadalcanal.

He must've made peace with washing machines... later in his life, Harry didn't have any long-term aversions to certain things because of the war. He liked to keep his vehicles running, and he provided well for his family.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

my reading list

I probably should have posted this photo about a month ago, because I've since managed to read thru several more novels. Mostly I enjoy who-dun-its and crime thrillers. There are several authors that I collect as many of their paperbacks as I can get.

Of this group, I throughly enjoyed JACKKNIFE and DEEP DOWN (in fact, I'm now a Karen Harper fan:) I also can resist anything by Greg Iles or Jefferson Bass.

I don't join book clubs or sign up for monthly deals - I'd rather seek out the books that grab my interest.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Mill Creek tributary overflow

When I saw the fast moving waters of Mill Creek in downtown Nolensville, hours before any rained had fallen, that we were in for it. I carefully made it to work without incident, and later it took me 1.5 hours to get back home. I only had 11 miles to travel but had to take several detours.

These photos were taken yesterday during the statewide flood event that resulted in 10-12" of rain in 48 hours! The view from my porch in Nolensville shows the violent floodwater runoff

It came roaring thru our yard at a quick pace

All this water passed through what is usually a gentle babbling brook

Many Nolensville residents are not able to return to their homes, and we feel extremely fortunate to have avoided disaster. From what we've seen on the news, Greater Nashville is experiencing massive flooding. I'm thankful to be home and safe.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

American Hardwoods: Cottonwood

How the Cottonwood got it's name: the fluffy, white seeds that form in spring allow the tiny seed to be carried by the wind over great distances! Cottonwoods can be either male or female. The seeds are very small, 1mm wide by 4 mm long, which is quite remarkable considering that they can become one of the largest trees in North America, up to 100 ft. high with massive trunks over 5 ft. in diameter.

By growing along rivers and streams, Cottonwoods are able to survive forest fires and thrive with wet roots. A very thick, cork-like bark affords this tree further protection from the elements.

Cottonwoods can live to be over 100 years old, establishing itself as Champion of Hardwoods. Like their relative, the Aspen they share the same shaking, shimmering leaves.

When the heartwood rots in the larger limbs and trunk of a Cottonwood a windstorm can break one of the hollow branches off, providing access to the interior. They are favored amoung squirrels, raccoons, opossums and honeybees as a ready-made home.

If you are lucky enough to break a Cottonwood twig just right, you might find a tiny star inside. Native American tribes believed it to be where the stars in the sky come from. According to legend, the wind sent them to the sky from the trees.

The bark of the Cottonwood can be an ideal medium for artisans. The soft bark is easy to carve, and can be harvested in the fall after a tree's death.


Cottonwood is one of the worst woods to use as wood fuel. It does not dry well, and rots quickly. It splits poorly, because it is very fibrous. If you ever managed to light it, you'd find that it produces a low level of BTUs.

Join us next week as we take a good look at Cypress in the Edge of the Wildwood series on American Hardwoods.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

it's Caturday

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