Sunday, May 30, 2010

How's Your Holiday Weekend?

The new compost bin next to the old one, after turning yesterday morning and after the lawn was mowed yesterday afternoon. I really should have waited, but wasn't sure when James would get to the lawn.

We have rain here in the deep south.  Not all day, but for the last two days beginning in the afternoon and going through most of the night, leaving the air hot and muggy.  And no, it's not always like that here.  It can be hot, but the mugginess generally comes about after a rainfall.  I've managed a few outdoor chores, but also have plenty to do inside and/or on the front porch, so it's not cramping my style much.

My Saturday began (as always!?) with an early morning run to Home Depot.  I needed more chicken wire, a board for some repair in the attic, and some heavy duty sandpaper.  The chicken wire went into the new compost bin, above.  I came up with what I thought was a clever idea one night recently when I should have been asleep: use the 3-foot bamboo poles I have to close the bins!  I simply weave them through the overlapped ends of the 3-foot chicken wire, then when I want to move them, I can just pull the bamboo out and re-weave the ends.  It's easier for me to move the bin and then fork the old stuff into it, because I don't have to struggle to get the stuff from inside the confines of the wire.  It's enough of a workout as it is.

Found this in the very bottom of the old compost bin.  What is it, you ask?  Tis a Mango.  I toss all my kitchen waste into this bin and it tends to disappear quickly.  I've been eating lots of mangoes because they've been cheap and delicious, never expected any of the seeds to sprout.  Guess it liked all that warmth down there.  Stuck it into a raised bed for the time being -- doubt that it will grow well, but why not give it a chance?

Then, off I went in search of a couple of old cemeteries, en route to a party at my boss's house out in that same area.  I left home a couple of hours early, armed with some Google maps to get me where I needed to go.  Never did find one of them, but the other was easily found.

A small portion of the old section of Spring Creek Cemetery, in the old Chulio District of Floyd County.  Both of my father's sets of grandparents lived out in this area, with some of the Smith's supposedly buried at the one I couldn't find and some of the Perry's buried at this one.  Most of these old stones are unmarked or, if they are marked are hard to read.  I didn't find the exact person I was looking for, but I definitely found some of the right family.

I've had to do lots of sweeping away of water on the black plastic this last week, but that's ok.  It's still easier than digging out the sod! Don't want to leave any mosquito breeding grounds here.

The grass area I sprayed the other day is really dry and dead now.  The green you see amidst the brown is mostly, if not all, cuttings from the lawn mower.  

The Cosmos are about to start blooming -- looking forward to that.

I noticed in the rains last week that this area around the foundation and steps just became a pool of water, despite the ugly brown snake.  In looking at it, I realized that the snake went uphill ever so slightly, funneled the water onto that hillside, where it drained right back down the hill.  Yesterday I dug this ugly trench and tiny collecting pool at the end of the snake, and it worked, surprisingly.  So now, do you think I can transform this into...


and this?

Rather a tall order, I'm thinking, particularly since I'm working with a different yard layout and clearly, a far more limited budget!  But, I'm also thinking that I can approximate this with the area I do have, with a little time and imagination.  I just need to give it some thought, then start planning and bit by bit, make it happen.

In case you are wondering, I really haven't abandoned the window project, have been mulling it all over in my mind and doing a little work here and there.  Most of the inside wood is cleared and sanded, although not quite paint ready.  It's taken lots of time and effort, and this morning I opted to apply one more layer of Citristrip to certain portions that were being very, very stubborn. Later, I'll go out on the front porch and work with one of the panes.  I've found that HD carries molding to replace the pieces Phil had to break in order to remove the upper pane, so no need to figure out how to repair that OR get the paint off it.  Cheap and easy solution.  They also carry moldings that will replace the stops that hold the lower pane in place, and trim both vertical sides and the upper horizontal side.  Again, easier than stripping paint off.  I don't have a solution figured for that upper pane yet, which is probably best simply replaced, if I can find an old one someplace that fits.  But, I'm still making progress, albeit slowly.

Found pine nuts at Kroger this morning (!) so a heavy harvest of basil is on the agenda later this afternoon and I'll be ignoring the 'no grains' aspect of my diet for a day or two.  I have to have pesto at least once a summer, and I have to tell you that no subsequent batches ever taste quite so good as the first of each season.

And also -- I'm really full of news today -- I found a farm in Rockmart (about 15 minutes from home) that sells raw milk, free range eggs, pastured poultry and pork, and grass-fed beef.  Can't wait to go visit them!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Slaughter in the Garden

Now I understand how Mike felt.  Years ago when I was part of the vineyard crew charged with thinning clusters from the pinot noir vines so the remaining grapes would have more intense flavor, Mike refused to go anywhere near the vineyards during the carnage or when freshly cut clusters littered the ground.  We kind of laughed at him, although with some sympathy.  They were his babies.  He'd planted and nurtured them and they produced fabulous fruit, so even though he knew it had to be done and told us to do it, he couldn't watch.

Blueberries in the compost pail. Alas.

I just stripped all the blueberries off the three bushes, after a conversation with their grower confirming that it really would be best, this first year, to let the plant's energy go into developing a root system, rather than fruit.  I'd read that online, but since nothing had been said in their instructions, have been playing ostrich.  I already figured the birds were more likely to enjoy the ripe berries than I would, because I have no defense against them.  The bushes seem too small to support even a fine bird net, even if I had one.  Next year.

I'm plotting and planning more fruit trees for the yard, to be planted in the fall.  I know what I want, but if I get them all it's pricey, and I have to pay when I place the order, not when they are delivered sometime in the fall.  Fig, persimmon, nectarine, and dwarf apricot and apple are the current choices.  Always subject to change, but those seem to remain the perennial favs.  I do vascillate between peach and nectarine because after all, this is the Peach State.

The garden is looking great, however.  I've had a couple of small harvests of green beans already, and both squash and eggplant are nearing eating size.  I'm thinking it won't be long before I can come home in the evening and find dinner out there.  I still think the squash, particularly the patty pan, aren't gaining in size as fast as I would expect, but I sure don't know what to do for them. The vines look great -- all green and perky, as they should be.
 The bamboo sticks here and there are to keep the cats out -- and they seem to work.  Same with the chicken wire. The nasturtiums are interesting -- some are robust, others barely living.  Seems that the ones planted nearer other plants are the ones doing well, while the ones in more barren areas are suffering.

I'm really impressed with the Eco-Smart Organic Weed and Grass Killer that the Dirt Doctor recommends.  This photo was taken after about 1/2 hour, and the difference in the sprayed and unsprayed really tells the tale.  It works.  Couldn't be easier to use.  I bought the large size, about a gallon, for about $10 at HD.  Oddly enough, the odd bits of grass coming up in the raised beds, which I sprayed first, still look fairly robust.  I can always hit them again, but I'm guessing that with time, they'll shrivel up and die, die, die. This is a winner!

I continue to smell the (in this case) wonderful aroma of rotting vegetation when I'm near the black plastic.  I finished laying it around the beds on Tuesday, so that chore is done for now. I'm ready to get another roll of it (cheap -- about $9) and cover half the front yard, nearest the house where I want to plant things.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Magic Time

Lately, in an effort to help myself sleep better, I've been turning off the computer at 8pm, to keep that light out of my eyes and keep the body from thinking it's time to wake up.  Of course, turning off the computer also means turning off the TV and DVD player so I'm left to seek other diversions.

I've been taking a book and a shot of brandy out to the back porch, where I read for 30 minutes or so, until it's too dark, then I close the book and watch the day come to an end.  Birdsong grows louder, from distant trees in all directions.  The cardinals 'chit' at a cat who walks too near their nesting area.  Swallows swoop and dart and chatter. 

And then, while it's still light but barely so, the fireflies appear.  First one, then another.  Utterly magical creatures that seem to change my perceptions of the world with their glow. Are these the fairies of legend?  Perhaps.  My organic guru says they are a beneficial insect, which is a great side benefit, but I'd love them regardless.  It's a wonderful way to end the day.  Fireflies and a sip of brandy.  Life is good.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On the Brighter Side

I love patty pan squash, can't wait until these get big enough to eat.  They don't have to get a lot bigger, but there needs to be more of them before I can have a proper meal.  Sure hope the production increases as the plants grow more!

I'm not sure I feel much different about the windows this morning, but I did think it was time to write about something a bit more positive.  The garden is doing really well, looking healthy, and producing young veggies and fruits that look great.  I've already harvested some of the Maribel french green beans, and a tasty lot they were.  I guess the blitz of organic supplements I added to the soil awhile back did the trick.  I still find it interesting, however, that one whole bed seems to produce better than the other whole bed.  Maybe it's just my imagination, because both should have exactly the same soil and amendments. Both grow different crops, too, aside from the nasturtiums and basil.

Two nice little Japanese eggplant are forming, with more blossoms coming.

Thus far, only one tiny yellow crookneck that doesn't seem to be growing very quickly, but again, with maturity should come more squash. Love these things, too!

These are, I believe, the yellow bell peppers.  The red plant has lots of peppers on it too, but not this big yet. So far, the serrano plants haven't bloomed, but they are growing and have buds. They probably want a little more heat than we've had.

A few little San Marzano plum tomatoes, with lots more blossoms. With two plants of these, I should have plenty to make extra tomato sauce and freeze it!

Most of the basil plants have really taken off.  I'm gonna need to make some pesto soon, even if I end up freezing it.  Where am I gonna get pine nuts in Cedartown?

All the herbs are growing well, and true to their nature, require almost no care. My kind of plant!

Lots of fat, but hard, blueberries.  I've been wondering if I should take these guys off and let the plant's energy go to growth, as I've heard.  Been meaning to call the grower and ask, but never think about it when I'm home and they're likely to be at work.

So, that's my Sunday morning.  It's due to be a hot one so I tacked a couple of nails into the header of the window-in-process and hung the shade, to keep the sun's heat from the room.  This window faces east, and whether it helps or not, I feel cooler when the shade is down in the mornings.  I'm pretty much not going to think about the window today.  She says.

I had the sweetest phone call last night.  To back up, last Saturday I attended the annual luncheon for the local DAR group, out at the country club.  Very chi chi, very much 'the ladies of the club' kind of thing.  This may be a small southern town, but it has its old families and old money like any other town.  I sought out one of the members I hadn't yet met, because we have a common ancestor.  I don't know her age, but it's in the high 80's somewhere, I believe.  She remembers my mother and my mom's older sister, said she knew them well, although they had no idea back then that they were related. She said she would call me and show me her Isbell family genealogy information.  Last night she called and asked if I'd like to go to Sunday school and church with her out at Shiloh Baptist Church, in Esom Hill, where her family and my mom's family were from.  I have to say it was tempting, just because it's Shiloh and just because I'd likely meet lots of distant relatives, but I found (I hope) an gentle way to say 'no' and while I know she didn't understand my anti-church attitude, she was very gracious and said maybe I'd change my mind.  She wanted me to go to church with her out there at least once.  I just may have to do that, as uncomfortable as it will probably make me.  We had quite a conversation, and she's a jewel.  Her husband was probably related to me, too, judging from his surname, but she said he didn't know anything about his father's family.  I'm tempted to use my genealogy skills to find a connection, and may well do that eventually.  I'm sure she'd like that, too.  Shouldn't be difficult, once I get his name.  I don't think she even knew his father's name, but old census records should help pinpoint the right family once I get his name and birth date.  She, at any rate, is a real treat.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Anatomy of a Window and a New Plan of Attack in the Yard

Early this morning -- about 6:30 -- I headed outside to prep some more lawn for non-toxic weeding.  Since the weeds were breaking through the cardboard around the beds, I ripped most of that out and all the pine straw out as well.  There wasn't a lot of grass growing here, but of course I don't want any to be growing, so I pulled out the worst of it.  Found lots of fat earthworms nesting under the cardboard, which is a good sign.  I put the most obvious into the raised bed, left any that were clinging to the cardboard to go into the compost pile.

A bit later, I went out and put this black plastic down.  I ran out of both plastic and the big 'staples' that hold it in the ground, so I'll have to finish this job on Thursday.  I've had my fill of Home Depot for awhile, refuse to drive over there today.  I need to secure the seam in the foreground and along the edges, plus there's a swath of lawn not shown that also needs to be killed off.  I'll put the pine straw back around the walkway areas once I've done all that.  I ran across this method recently, with the injunction to leave it in place for 'a few months' so the heat would kill all the grass and weeds.  I figured that if a summer in the Georgia heat and sunshine doesn't kill it, not much will!  So this is in place until fall.  This is the next section of garden beds and walkways.  If this looks as if it'll work, I may do the entire front yard with it, too.  We'll see.

And about those windows.....I decided last night to go about the process of taking one apart to get the upper sash out so I can start stripping and repainting soon.  Like so much else, this didn't quite go as planned.  I could not get the upper sash to budge, didn't see a 'door' in the window side trim that would let me get in to reach the weights, and found some nasty wood damage that looked like either termites or wood rot.  So, I called an expert into the process.  My contractor friend came over this morning and finished the job, but it took him almost an hour so I don't feel so bad.

I don't know what bright person put this layer of latex over enamel, but when I was working at the top of the window last night it peeled off easily and often in large sheets, so I got what I could.  One less layer for the stripper to work through.

The wood inside this dug-out portion is like sawdust, but he says it's not termites and it's not wood rot and after digging out a bit more, said it wasn't bad damage and could be filled with wood putty.  Whew!

In order to reach the weights, he had to take the side trim off both sides, but it was easy to do and is something I can do with the other windows.  I watched closely, learned how to do the entire process.  I don't have his skill and strength, but I lost some fear about being forceful. I also need a few more tools.

There were several of these old dauber nests in both cavities, but now that I've got them cleaned and vacuumed out, there is NO wood damage anywhere here.  Whew again. The upper sash is still attached to its weights and goes up and down nicely now.  The lower weights have been removed for now, as they were just sitting there attached to nothing.  I'll use new cord for both the upper and lower when I put them back together.

These things are much bigger than I expected and are certainly heavy.  That's an 18" ruler beside them.  Not much more I can do here until Saturday, when I'll pick up the Citristrip and associated accoutrements from HD.  Or until the new sash cord and window hardware arrive from Rejuvenation  Hardware.  

So here it is, not even noon, and I've done my chores for the day.  Most of them, anyway.  I held my nose last weekend and bought a small container of Roundup to use in my driveway and I need to do that soon, before it gets too tall again.  Maybe later.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Riling the Neighbors

I really don't go out of my way to annoy my neighbors normally.  Quite the opposite, I tend to be a peaceful sort and go out of my way to not annoy people.  But sometimes, it's just too much fun and I can't resist.  I saw one of these stickers on a Prius at the GATC event Saturday and ordered some as soon as I returned home.  They're small -- only 3.5"x3.5" -- so somebody would have to look closely to read what it says.  Like minded folks, however, will recognize it on the highway.  Only sticker of any kind on my car, and I'm proud to have it there.

Like I said -- too much fun to resist!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back to Real Life and the Garden

The garden survived me being gone for three days, two of which were extremely hot.  I'd watered everything really well for a couple of days before leaving, just to be sure.  Looks like I have a little eggplant forming here.

And a little bell pepper here.....

The squash seems to be faring better -- fewer yellowed leaves.

The tomatoes are beginning to bloom.....

Some of the marigolds are doing well, others not.....

Way off in the back 40, the mulberry tree is doing it's thing.....

I began the day with a trip to Ace Hardware, where I bought some incidentals and a roll of chicken wire.  Then off to Home Depot, where I bought a ladder and some wire cutters. All that led to a couple of hours work before my cousin called and wanted to buy me lunch.  Never turn down lunch with a handsome young man! A quick clean up and off we went for some Chinese buffet.

Part of the chicken wire went to cover the end of one raised bed.  A neighbor's cat had taken to digging in this area, where the garlic is planted but nothing is growing yet, and using it for a litter box, so that had to end.  No more cats digging here!  The garlic will grow through it, if it grows at all. 

More of the chicken wire went to build this round compost bin.  It's 36" high and 3-4 feet across.  I moved all the stuff from the existing compost pile into this, which was a nice bit of exercise all by itself.   Then, I finished digging the weeds from the blueberry patch, put all the sod in here, and covered with more chicken wire to keep the cats out.  I used both bags of cedar mulch to cover about half of the blueberry area, will need to get more of that for better coverage.  It does look nice and smell good. You can see a bit of it in the raised bed photo.

So, that's my day.  Had to clean the house, too, because my real estate agent is bringing an electrician over here tomorrow night to see about putting a 110 plug into the kitchen wall for installation of my gas stove.  Now, I think I'm going to rest up for awhile.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Yes, naturally I have to begin with the end, because there is food involved.  This may not look like much, my friends, but this is the holy grail of barbecue as far as I am concerned.  My mouth has watered for this since the last time I bit into one, which has to be over 15 years ago.  Poole's Barbecue lies in the small city of Ellijay, on the western edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest.  I was in the area a month or so ago when I found my way back to Three Forks, but I was already on a diet by then so forced myself to drive on past.  Not so today!  Luck (and a little judicious planning) had me reach here right about 11:30 this morning and while I'd had a great breakfast and wasn't exactly starving, I had to sink my teeth into this and yes, it was absolutely as wonderful as I remember it to be.

This be the place.  Not too many folks here this early, but that parking lot will fill up quickly enough.  I thought the place had been around since time immemorial, but in reading old newspaper clippings on the table I learned that it only opened around 1989.  It couldn't have been too much later than that when I first discovered it on one of my frequent trips north, probably headed to North Carolina for one backpacking trip or another.  I'm simply unable to pass without stopping, for the most part.  Presidential candidates from both parties have been known to stop here, the Today Show did a live broadcast from here one day, and they've been written up quite widely.  It won't be long before I'll be headed this way once more and yes I will indulge again.

Back to the beginning.  Friday I left home just before noon and drove northeast on the usual convoluted series of roads.  Once I reached the general area of destination I managed to take three wrong turns, mostly from poor signage and at least once because I read the sign wrong.  Once again I was astonished (and not in a pleasant way) at the growth, traffic and congestion that has traveled right up Georgia 400 to this once pristine country world.  We traveled this road weekly, often, and there was next to nothing but trees once you left the outskirts of Atlanta.  I remember when the first McDonalds and a service station opened near Dawsonville and we were all so grateful, since it was located at the perfect place to stop for a potty break each way, if nothing else.  Now, all four corners are filled with shopping centers and so horribly congested I wouldn't stop.  Sad.

Eventually, I found my friends' home and felt as if I'd gone right back into the world I remembered. Their home is on about 5 acres outside Clarkesville on a dead-end gravel road.  It's nicely wooded and not a house can be seen from anywhere on the property.  We spent most of our time on a screened porch near a fishpond with a little waterfall -- tranquil doesn't begin to describe!  Most importantly, of course, was reconnecting with the people inside the home.  I knew Linda well -- hiked with her a lot in the old days, but I didn't know Jimmy at all until the two of them hooked up.  He was in the rock climbing crowd and I didn't go there.  None of us could remember whether or not we'd seen each other since their wedding, which is edging up on 19 years ago.  I went off into whitewater, then bought a house and spent most of my weekends there; they were both into rock climbing and our paths simply didn't cross.  Beautiful people!

Saturday morning we picked up one of the 40 elders who were being honored (Elmer Butler, who is in his 90's, and his wife).  I'd never met them, but got to know his wife really well on the trip to and from Highlands, and they, too, are really interesting people.  

In Highlands we parked in a neighbor's grassy field and were shuttled up a long dirt road to the farm in either a car or, in our case, a wagon pulled by a tractor! Driving the tractor is our genial host, Hillrie.  Quite an experience, both ways, but loads of fun.

It was tough to get a photo of the entire crowd, but I got a few.  The barn in the rear housed a short film about the honorees plus some marvelous photo scrapbooks.  More about those later.  Food was eventually set up under the green tent.

Jud, one of the honorees, entertained us for much of the day, sitting on the rise strumming and singing.

I'm not sure these folks would appreciate this photo of them eating, so rather than offer names I'll simply say that these are more of the honorees.  Almost all of the 40 were actually in attendance.

Something I learned is that a long-time member of our Club, Bob Almand, is currently President of the entire national Appalachian Trail Conservancy!  I doubt that I have the organization's name exactly right, but you get the gist.  He presented the club with an honor  that was recently conferred by the Conference. Only 5 were given out in total, and ours was the only one given out to one of the member ATC clubs.  Really a huge honor. 

By the time I had a chance to take a photo of the award, it had already been hung on a high spot in the barn and I couldn't get a good angle or avoid the light reflections.  This is what it reads:  In recognition of excellence service to engage youth in recreational and service activities on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail."

Yep, food again, and yep, barbecue again.  Ain't no such thing as too much of a good thing when that good thing is barbecue! Didn't hold a candle to Poole's, but then, nothing does.

After lunch Hillrie led us on a tour of his garden and a short hike through the woods.  He said the idea for this kind of planting came from the Mother Earth News, and it's pretty simple.  Open the package of topsoil or whatever you want to use, poke holes in the bottom for drainage and to let the roots through, and plant.  No weeds, no muss, no fuss.  Clever.

Not a lot of wildflowers blooming yet (Highlands is much further north and at a much higher elevation, so spring is just now arriving).  I don't know the name of this flowering tree but it was lovely.

I don't remember the name of this, either, but it's some kind of wild orchid.

The woods were just beautiful -- all spring-green and sun-dappled.

I think in all about 80 people were due to attend, and it turned out that they were mostly old-timers and I knew almost all of them to one degree or another.  That was way cool.  A few I'd like to have seen didn't attend, but most of those were off on a hiking trip to Nepal or some such place, so I guess they have a good excuse.  And, I needn't have worried about these extra pounds I'm carrying, because with only one or two exceptions, everyone else had also put on a few extra pounds and yes, all of us have aged 15 or so years. 

Remember the photo scrapbooks I mentioned?  I found a few photos of Kitty in there and copied them with my camera.  Now we can all see how thin I was back then and understand how many extra pounds I've put on!

I have absolutely no idea when or where this photo was taken, but I love it!  I'm hugging up on Duff Sutton, who joined the club the same time I did and who was one of the honored elders who didn't attend.  Sure would like to see him again. Despite the photo, we were never an 'item', but we did hike together many times.

I don't know what year this was, but that was the Honda I drove from California and the bike I rode all over Colorado, so it was in the early years.  The gentleman helping is Fritz, with whom I led an overnight 80-mile bike trip several years on down the road.  He was also one of the honored elders, and didn't have the first memory of ever riding bikes with me!  Someone overheard that conversation and told us she had photos in the album to prove it, and here it is.

Same event (an annual club picnic at Stone Mountain called a Bike & Barbecue), different year.  I don't recognize the woman in the center, but the man is Michael, who I hiked with a few times and who went on the overnight trip with us.

One of the same B&B parties -- a three-legged race with me and George in the middle.

This was taken at a GATC board retreat up in the mountains someplace.  I was never an elected member of the board (didn't want to be) but I was photo chair for many years and thus attended all the board meetings and events in a non-voting capacity.  Whit, Roz and Darrell.  How we have all changed!

No clue where this was taken -- looks like a lunch break on a hike or a work trip.

So that was the great reunion. I am overjoyed that I went, and equally overjoyed at the opportunity to spend a couple of days with Linda and Jimmy catching up on their lives and getting updates on others that we knew.  Naturally, several of the people I knew and loved have died, and a surprising number have had cancer of one kind or another -- some surviving it and others not.  I'm oh, so grateful for all that are still among us and that I had the chance to see again. 

Today, I opted to drive home on a circuitous route along the northern edges of Georgia, mostly to pick up better highways and always, of course, aiming for the road through Ellijay. This was all familiar country over roads I've traveled countless times. A few highlights:

This is the Nacoochee Indian mound that was once in the center of the Cherokee Nation.  Read the plaque for details (click to enlarge if necessary).

The 'alpine' village of Helen, known for it's old-world Germanic architecture and themes.  Really quite charming and I'd have taken a photo of the downtown area if I could have found a place to park.  Once upon a time there were parking spaces along the main drag, but no more.  Too much congestion, I suppose.

The upper Chattahoochee River.  Yes, the same huge river that feeds Lake Lanier then travels through Atlanta, down the western state line and into the Gulf of Mexico. The Hooch has its beginnings not far from this spot, right on a section of the AT.  I've often walked the short distance down the hill from the Trail to fill my water bottle from the spring that tumbles quite modestly out of the hillside and is the official headwaters of this mighty river.  One of the best whitewater experiences of my life was a day spent with a few other folks on a lower section of this river with some righteous rapids.

I'm home and I'm tired but what a wonderful way to be tired.  I slept like a baby both nights and didn't do much in the way of physical activity, but like Linda and Jimmy, I'm just not used to doing that much talking.  We wore all of us out!  I am grateful -- so grateful -- for all of it.