Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bonaventure Ghosts

On this past Sunday afternoon, Luke, Minor, and I enjoyed a late lunch in downtown Savannah at Wasabi's Sushi Bar (more on that in a forthcoming blog). Then afterwards, Luke took us on a tour of the famous Bonaventure Cemetery.

Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the most beautiful, historical sites in Savannah and was made most popular to tourists by John Berendt's book and then the movie entitled, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

Just to give you a little background on this cemetery site, in the late 1700's, this property was named Bonaventure meaning "Good Fortune". Ironically, good fortune was not always the case for the family who owned it.

The plantation house that once stood on this site burned to the ground twice within a 30 year period. It is said that during one of the fires, the dinner party was moved to the lawn to make sure that the fire did not ruin a perfect evening. During this same 30 year period, the plantation was everything from a family home, to a hospital for French troops.

In 1802, the first adult to be buried on this property was the wife of one of the original owners of the property at what was to become Bonaventure Cemetery. Bonaventure is the resting ground of fallen soldiers as well as many others, including Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Conrad Aikin and song writer, Johnny Mercer who wrote many classics including "Moon River", "Jeepers Creepers" and "Fools Rush In".

Bonaventure is famous for their many monuments and stone statues. Included in these is the famous "Bird Girl" statue shown on the cover of the book and in the movie, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil".

The "Bird Girl" stood in the Bonaventure Cemetery for 50 years before it was photographed for the cover of the book. Due to the popularity made by the book and movie, the city of Savannah has since moved this statue to the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah to keep nearby graves from being disturbed.

Another statue made famous by the people who have visited the cemetery, is of a small girl buried in the cemetery named Gracie Watson. Gracie was born in 1883 and was the only child of her parents. Her father was the manager of The Pulaski House, one of Savannah's leading hotels. Gracie was a favorite with the guests and spent her days mingling throughout the hotel and lobby playing. Two days before Easter in 1889, Gracie died of pneumonia at the age of 6. One year later, John Walz carved this sculpture from a photograph of Gracie. Gracie's ghost is rumored to wander the cemetery and building where the hotel once stood, crying out for her parents.

Although, we didn't meet up with any ghost, it was a wonderful afternoon visiting this beautiful and historical site.

Exasperating Kids Is His Specialty

Luke had business in St. Mary's and Kingsland today so he stopped by here this afternoon to eat supper tonight and pick up his laundry. I fixed his favorite, Green Bean Shit, and made enough so he could take home leftovers.

After supper, we were all relaxing in the living room watching a little TV while Ryan played on his Nintendo DS. Luke noticed Ryan had several coloring books on the couch and since Luke's primary focus is to exasperate kids, he decided to jump right in on Ryan.

Mr. Luke wrote his own name on the coloring book inside cover page and told Ryan that the coloring book was his because his name was on it. He also made sure Ryan knew that since the coloring book had his name on it, that that meant he had colored all those pages inside.

Ryan immediately scratched out Mr. Luke's name and wrote his own name many times to prove the coloring book belonged to him. He told Mr. Luke that was wrong to take credit for someone else's coloring pages.

Luke told Ryan he was going to scratch Ryan's name out as soon as Ryan went to the bathroom. Ryan told Mr. Luke that he didn't have to use the bathroom while he was here.

Back and forth, back and forth . . . Until Ryan had to get in the bathtub. Luke took that opportunity to take Ryan's prize drawing from the refrigerator door and write his own name at the top of the drawing. He also took Ryan's favorite Star Wars coloring book and wrote his own name on the inside cover page before he gathered up his laundry and leftover supper to leave for home.

Poor Ryan. Luke is so exasperating.

So Ryan got out of the bathtub and into his pajamas and came into the living room asking where Mr. Luke was. I told him Mr. Luke had to leave to go home. Ryan said he didn't get to tell Mr. Luke good bye before he left.

"Well, come here just a minute and let me show you what that Mr. Luke did while you were in the bathtub!", I said. Ryan came into the kitchen and stood at the refrigerator looking at the drawing.

"Do you know what that says?", Kate asked.

Ryan replied, "Yes. A clean house is a . .".

"No, no, not the magnet. Look!", pointing where Luke had written.

"Mr.Luke's drawing.", he read. "That is wrong."

"It sure is, but I think we can get some scissors and cut his name off of there.", I suggested.

"And you can take a picture of me cutting it off and send it to Mr. Luke.", he said.

"It looks like Mr. Luke also wrote his name here in your Star Wars coloring book, too!", I told him.

"That's OK. I can just scratch that out, too!" Ryan said.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No Rollover Minutes

Most all of you know I was a banker for many, many years. With that said, I can tell you for sure that what I'm about to use as an analogy will only happen in your dreams. The money part, that is.

OK. Let's imagine that there is a bank that credits your account every single morning with $86,400 no matter what. If anything remains in the account at the end of each day, it is deleted and not carried over to the next day. Each morning you would begin with another $86,400. What would you do? Draw every single cent out, every single day!

Sort of like the bank account with all the money, every morning we are credited with 86,400 seconds called TIME. Every night, whatever TIME we have failed to invest to good purpose is written off and lost forever. It doesn't carry over a remaining balance and it doesn't allow any overdrafts.

Each day, we have a new account holding 86,400 seconds of TIME and each night the amount remaining is burned. The loss is ours. There's no going back and there is no borrowing from tomorrow. We can only live in the present on today's deposits. The clock is running. We need to invest each and every second to a purpose.

The Challenge Walk for Multiple Sclerosis has become both a challenge and a purpose for me. As a participant in the 50 mile walk, I have been training as much as possible in order to be ready for the journey. I am totally motivated and want to make a difference in the lives of those touched by MS.

This walk is a huge challenge to me for several reasons. I am the oldest walker on our team and not exactly the athletic type. Although my health is good, I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis 3 years ago. I am on a monthly medication to increase my bone density, although my bones are weak and more susceptible to breaks.
None of these things matter at all because this has become my purpose and I am doing it!

I began my training for this walk challenge by walking 1 mile a day and quickly progressing to 2 miles a day. I was suffering with normal muscle aches but an excruciating pain in my shins put a sudden stop to my walking routine. Shin splints are quite painful and I had no choice but to give my leg muscles a rest in order to heal. Before I begin walking again, there are steps that I will have to take to prevent this from happening again. But I will not stop because this is my purpose.

People with MS don't have that option. They may not even be able to walk around the house, let alone for miles on end. The symptoms of MS are different, and devastating, for everyone. The only certainty is that it will affect another person every hour of every day. The hope for a cure rests with continued research.

So use your 86,400 seconds for a purpose. Please pledge me online at You may donate as little as $1 or as much as you want. Make your 86,400 seconds count. Do it on purpose.

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Times

We had not seen our good friends from Gray since last March, so when Pam and Neil called and said they were on there way down to this side of the state, and would be in our area on Sunday, we were so excited.

Minor and I have been best buddies with Pam and Neil for . . . oh I don't know, maybe 25 years or more and have known them for longer than that. I worked with Pam and Neil at the bank for years and years . . . even before they married.

So after Pam and I spent the afternoon catching up on everything, we all decided it was time for The Outback! You know I love it! Good friends, good food, good times!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

We Have The Power To Make A Difference

I believe we have to find our purpose in life and we have to do whatever it takes to fulfill it. I also believe in the human spirit and I am amazed at how strong and capable we are when we are confronted with challenges and opportunities.

When we conquer what has been deemed unattainable, it makes the journey all the more exciting. The obstacles that we face are meant to strengthen us, not to defeat us.

When we experience hard times we sometimes forget to appreciate what we have. No matter what challenges we endure, we have to remember what we are made of and the power we have to make a difference.

So when Luke called last night and told me he knew something I should do, I immediately told him I would, even before he told me what it was. We're good like that.

So here it is folks.

Every once in a while, a challenge calls us and we simply must answer. I've accepted the challenge and will be taking part in a three day, 50 mile walk that will make a difference in the lives of those who live with multiple sclerosis (MS). I will be joining others from Myspace on a journey toward a single destination in "Challenge Walk MS", this September 2009.

Did you know that someone is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) every single hour of every single day? This disease affects people in very different ways, from loss of balance to impaired vision to paralysis. It is a chronic, disabling disease of the central nervous system and the hope for a cure rests with continued research.

My friend KTPP (Kim The Psycho Princess), here on Myspace has MS. She is walking in this 50 mile challenge. If SHE can do it . . . I can do it.

Please help me make a difference in the lives of those touched by this challenging disease by contributing to the 2009 Challenge Walk MS.

My goal is to raise at least $1500.00 and recruit 2 others to join in the walk. Would you meet me in Milwaukee?

Visit to donate online.

MS stops people from moving. I will be walking to make sure it doesn't.

Thank you for making a difference.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Back in the Summer of 69

I read a blog this morning that was so freaking funny and it reminded me of something that happened to me years ago and I just had to blog it.

Ah, 1969. Oh, how well I remember. I was 14 years old and so wanted to be 16 like my much older and experienced friends. It didn't help that I was 14 and actually looked 12. My friends didn't seem to mind that I was younger and less experienced.
They enjoyed teaching me how to smoke.

But that's a different blog.

In 1969, the movie to see at the drive in theatre was Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, and that is where I saw it, by the way. The top music hits were Aquarius by The Fifth Dimension and Sugar Sugar by The Archies. We watched television shows in prime time like Gilligan's Island, Gomer Pyle, and Hawaii Five-O. President Nixon had taken office that year and the war in Viet Nam was going on. The Manson Family killed Sharon Tate and six others in what would later be referred to as Helter Skelter, named after the song by The Beatles and the United States landed a man on the moon while America watched. It was CRAZY.

It was also the summer of '69 and although I aspired to be a bad girl, I just wasn't very good at it. My parents kept us in church whenever the doors opened, so that didn't leave much time for a rookie like me. Our church youth program (UMYF) was a big part of my life and I enjoyed the times we traveled together to church camps and retreats. One such trip was a trip that our youth group made each summer to Epworth By the Sea, which is located right here on St. Simons Island. We lived in Gray GA at the time, so our church youth group traveled to Epworth each summer.

During our free time at Epworth, we would go to the Casino at the beach, where there was an old time Roller Skating Rink on the roof top.

It was great! It had wooden floors and wooden side rails to stop and chat with your friends and look out over the ocean. Many places along the floor were buckled or uneven and you knew to watch out for those spots. They always played the best music to skate to such as Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond and Baby I Love You by Andy Kim.

My Mama bought me a brown and white polka dot shorts set to wear that summer.

It was actually a mini dress with shorts underneath. I was styling and profiling and was definitely looking the part on the skate floor. Renting roller skates was always a problem for me because they never had size five.

Inevitably they would plop a pair of sevens on the counter and I could take them or leave them. So I always put them on my feet anyway and skated like I had concrete blocks tied to my feet.

Anyway, I was making my way around the rink slowly at first and then building a little more confidence as I skated. The music was playing and I was beginning to get my groove on. I was waving and smiling to my friends on the side rail and trying out new skating moves. My main crush was skating around the rink like an expert skating backwards and roller dancing. I imagined us doing the couple skate . . .

and the two of us skating hand in hand as the music played Hooked On A Feeling by B.J. Thomas. I imagined my friends watching as we skated around the floor as though we were made for each other.


I was suddenly jolted into reality when this same dream guy bumped into me from behind and I fell forward, catching myself with both hands flat on the floor.

Since the size seven roller skates were so heavy, they didn't fall with me and so my butt was straight up in the air. I felt a seam pop and there went my brown and white polka dot shorts . . . split wide open! In fact, they not only split at the seam, they split horizontally, as well! There was no way this guy had missed it since he was right on my heels.

He helped me up and asked if I was OK, and of course I said I was fine. I had just flashed him. I was 14 years old. I was NOT fine. I scrambled to the side rail and sat down.

All my dreams of the couples skate were over. I unlaced those clod hoppers and put my bee bops back on, all the while pulling on my mini dress to cover up my hiney.

I'm just glad thongs were flip flops and we all wore panties.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dating and Mating

When I was in the dating world, if a guy had suggested we split the check I would have been appalled. If he had not opened my door for me, I would have thought he had been raised by wolves. I can't understand the standards for dating today.

In the dating world I grew up in, the guy was always the one that provided transportation, and would pick me up at my parent's house. He was expected to come into my house and converse with my parents until I was ready to go. When I entered the room, he would complement me and most often he would have some sort of gift for me, such as flowers or maybe chocolates. The guy always opened the car door for me and never walked ahead of me. If we went to dinner, he always paid. The guy always opened doors for me, helped me with my chair, and held my coat, if necessary. Afterwards, if we went to some sort of show or movie the guy always paid. Then at the end of the date, the guy would take me home and walk me to my door. This is not to say that dates don't ever happen like this anymore, but it is a little rare from what I hear.

People who date now are usually friends first and tend to know each other fairly well, at least on a superficial level. Simply hanging out with a girl and a group of friends, or going to a party with a girl could be considered a date. Because of the less formal attitude, most guys don't open doors, they don't wait for their date to enter a room first, they do not pick them up at their door, and they don't necessarily pay for their date's dinner or movie.

Is today's dating style preferred by women over a date in the 60's and 70's? There are some guys out there that do quite well in the dating arena and those guys typically use the more traditional attitude with their dates. They open doors and wait for their date to enter. They always pay for dinner and a movie. They treat their date with complete honor and respect and make her feel like a beautiful woman that they are proud to be seen with. These guys are not necessarily the best looking, or necessarily suave or debonair. They have become popular in their own right for the respect they give to women. Consequently, these guys are in demand in the dating arena. Is it any wonder?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Some Things I Know

New Year's Eve 2008 was AWESOME! Minor and I went to Luke's home in Savannah for steaks, drinks, and a few movies.

I had given my word to a few of Luke's girl budds that I would deliver kisses and hugs from them. So here they are! I love being the deliverer! He had to lean down to receive them, although by his smile, he didn't seem to mind.

Before we arrived, Luke had been to the movie rental store and since they were going out of business, he picked up 15 or 20 movies for an awesome price! He's pretty good at finding a good deal and was proud of his find on this as well. We watched The Bourne Ultimatum and Hannibal Rising. Both were great movies that the 3 of us enjoyed.

Luke grilled the steaks to our perfection, as usual. Minor - medium well, Me - medium rare, and Luke - purple.

I whipped up mashed potatoes while Luke sauteed the green beans and Minor made sure he didn't miss any good parts of the movie on the big screen in the living room.

I hit my 6 shots of tequila max pretty close to midnight, although I was pacing myself so I wouldn't tell all my secrets.

Minor had to work on New Year's Day (today), so we left Luke's house around 11:40 PM. At the stroke of midnight, Minor and I called Luke from my cell phone to wish him a happy new year. It's going to be a good 2009. Some things, I just know.

A Green Pea

This is an update from a blog I wrote a couple of weeks ago. I had a mammogram in December that showed some abnormal tissue, so they called me back in to have a more thorough mammogram and an ultrasound. A breast ultrasound is recommended for women whose breast tissue may be very dense, such as mine.

A green pea size cyst showed up in my left breast that is about 2 1/2 inches deep into the breast and located at about 10 o'clock and close to my chest wall. Because it is so deep and my breast is very dense, I would have never found this cyst from a self exam (not that I've been doing those either). It showed up perfectly on the ultrasound. The good news is that the cyst is characteristically a simple cyst and the doctor doesn't want to do anything to it. We will just watch it and I'll make sure I don't skip any more mammograms!

IF I had had my yearly mammogram last year when I was supposed to, we would be able to get a better idea of how long the cyst has been there. I can only go forward from here and make sure I don't skip another one. I can also do self exams to be aware of any changes in the breast. I think I'm pretty lucky.

Get your mammograms, ladies. Don't EVER skip one because you've never had anything wrong.

* Breast cancer hits 1 out of every 9 American women.
* There are 100,000 new cases each year; the majority are women between 40 and 70 years old.
* It is the leading cause of death in women aged 40 to 55.