Life Part Two

The adventures of Fay and Bob as they move beyond the 9 to 5 life


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For the birds, Les Miserales and Civil Rights in Greenville

Bob saw this idea in one of his magazines so we tried it and it works. The idea is you fill the cap with water, this is a cap from a gatoraide bottle, and the ants won’t crawl over it and into your bird feeder. Works like a charm.
Keep ant's out of humminbird feeder

Sunday, yesterday, we went to the Upcountry History Museum and saw the exhibit “Protests, Prays and Progress”,  Greenville’s   Civil Rights Movement.   Not a pretty picture but not nearly as bad as some other areas in the South.   Pretty much peaceful protests but plenty of arrests.   Wish I could say it is all behind us but it’s not.   Being raised in the north gave us quite another picture of civil rights, or lack of rights.

They also had a small exhibit on the writing of the Star Spangled Banner music and the war of 1812, which I admit I don’t know about.

After that next door to see Greenville Little Theater LES MISERABLESBob and I were both kind of reluctant to see it but we had season tickets.  We saw it years ago in MN and loved it and not too long ago tried to watch the new movie and after three tries I gave up.   I just couldn’t get into it.

I’m so glad we went.   It was wonderful.   Who knew little Greenville has such talent!  I had forgotten what a powerful story it is, on many levels.

Had my first Chinese cooking class, stir fry tofu and fried rice.   Pretty good.

We drove to New Orleans for a week of vacation a couple weeks ago so will tell you all about that great trip soon.   What a city!   Nice to visit but I sure wouldn’t want to live there.


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Bluebirds and hummingbirds

I’m still not used to thinking of birds coming in March but they do.   The bluebirds have been here all year and I see them around our house.   Bob put the second new front on the bluebird house he built.  Larger birds keep pecking the hole bigger.   Now he has a plexiglass cover around it and I also got a metal ring to go around the opening if they get through the plexiglass.   I don’t know if we have a nest yet but one of my friends already has a nest in her birdhouse.   I finally broke down and decided to feed them meal worms and bout a new hook and bird feeder just for that.   I have not been very interested in handling worms but really want to see the birds at the feeder.

So I went to the Wild Bird store and bought 500 worms in oat bran in a little plastic container.   I knew to put them in the refrigerator and that they would be dormant.  I accidentally covered the container which had tiny holes in it and I was afraid I smothered them.  I put a few out in the feeder but they didn’t move nor have they been eaten but it’s only 50 outside.   The store told me to feed them some apples or potatoes or carrots so after a week I decided to try that.  I put in some chunks of potato and left the container at room temperature for 24 hours so they could eat.   Well, much to my pleasure, when I went to check on the food I saw that my worms were VERY MUCH ALIVE.   I think this week it is too cold for the birds to come for worms.   I’m going to get some other food they like and try to attract them that way.Eastern Bluebird

March 15 I guess the hummingbird scouts can start to come to SC so I have my hummingbird feeder out.   So far I haven’t seen any but again, it’s a little colder than normal.   I took down the suet feeder to make room for the hummingbird feeder so definitely have some birds not happy about that.    Hope it warms up soon.  Wish me luck.


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The magic of fireflies

Last night Bob and I went for a soak in the outdoor spa.   It was a gorgeous evening.   As is our custom after we soak for awhile we put on our robes and sit on our lawn chairs to dry off and cool down. It’s very dark where we live with no residual light from cities and towns.   Last night we were treated with many fireflies.    It’s been awhile since I have seen them and they were so beautiful.   We must have has about a dozen of them flitting about and we were both going “wow”.    What a treat.

I didn’t know that they are disappearing.  I got this information from http://www.firefly.org/why-are-fireflies-disappearing.html.  In addition to the loss of habitat as we continue to cut down trees, pesticides, and too many humans in their habitat,  scientists also figure that there may be another reason which I thought was really interesting.

Too Much Light At Night

Scientists don’t know enough about fireflies to tell for sure. But the signs are indicating light pollution as a major factor in the disappearance of fireflies all over the world.

Both male and female fireflies use their flashing lights to communicate. Some species synchronize their flashes, sometimes across large groups of thousands of insects. All species speak a language of light—scientists believe they use it to attract mates, defend their territory, and warn off predators.

Human light pollution is believed to interrupt firefly flash patterns. Scientists have observed that synchronous fireflies get out of synch for a few minutes after a car’s headlights pass. Light from homes, cars, stores, and streetlights may all make it difficult for fireflies to signal each other during mating—meaning fewer firefly larvae are born next season.

Where fireflies once had uninterrupted forests and fields to live and mate, homes with landscaped lawns and lots of exterior lights are taking over. The reduction of habitat and the increase in lighting at night may all be contributing to make fireflies more rare.

Fireflies are fascinating creatures that light up our nights and bring a sense of magic and mystery to our environment. If they disappear, it will be a great loss to habitats and generations of people all over the world.

I hope you soon get to see the magic of fireflies at your home or in a park near you.


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Spring is in the air

I started seeing daffodils first show their pretty little flowers about three weeks ago and now they are blooming all over.  Of course the pansies and flowering kale have been around all winter.   Half of my pansies got bugs and I had to throw them out so now before I can plant them again I have to get rid of all the dirt and try to get the containers as clean as possible.  That’s a problem because the planter is lined with that straw like coconut filling. Will work on that in the next couple days.   It’s supposed to be 75 on Wed. so I will also trim the knock out rose and a couple fringe plants that have gotten pretty big in the front of the house.

There are a couple trees that are showing red buds and a yellow shrub, don’t know if it is forsythia or not.  Like other parts of the country it is early for all this to happen.   A big concern here is the peach crop because the buds need to stay small and unopened in case we get a freeze.   The last freeze here is April 15. I would certainly miss those delicious peaches this summer.  I couldn’t get enough of them last year.  Last yer the brilliant azaleas were blooming by mid April so I wonder how early they will come this year.

Bob got the patio cushions out a few days ago and we sat on the screen porch.  I saw a robin and much to my delight a pair of bluebirds.   I so hope they make a nest in our blue bird house. I don’t really know if the robins ever migrate away from here in the winter.  Of course the cardinals and many other small little birds are feasting at the bird feeders. We have so many beautiful bird songs all day long.  The last few days, and in the middle of the night, I have been hearing the owls hoot.   That is so special.

I got an email yesterday that Furman is having a gardening class but haven’t decided if I want to take it yet. I just don’t have the gardening itch like I did when I was 20 years younger.   I’m happy with my herbs and flowers in pots.

Smoky and Sabrina love the warm weather and laying in the sun and rolling on the warm cement.  They don’t go very far from the house and like hanging out with us if we are outside.

Our March activities are pretty minimal, especially when compared to February.  I will tell you more about that later.

I have been writing this blog for 4 years and made over 550 posts.   That’s hard to believe.   Hope you still enjoy reading about our adventures and life here in SC.


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One more time, where is Greenville SC?

It’s been awhile since I reminded everyone where I live.  My town is Travelers Rest, SC and it is very close to Greenville SC?   Why am I doing this you might ask.  Many of you travel for business or pleasure.  I just want to make sure if you are nearby you consider including us on your trip.   If you are driving we are a great place to spend the night, or more.   Don’t get Greenville SC confused with NC.   We are in South Carolina.  If you are flying you can fly right into Greenville.   We are 20 minutes from the airport.

Greenville is this far from:
Atlanta, GA 3 hours
Knoxville, TN
Charleston 4 hours
Savannah  4 1/2 hours
Williamsburg, VA 7 1/2
Charlotte, NC 1 1/2 hours
Asheville, NC 1 hour
Lexington, KY 5 1/2 hours
Nashville, TN 6 1/2 hours
Orlando 10 hours
Twin Cities 22 hours

 Map Link:
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Please keep us in mind when you make your travel plans.   We would love to see you.


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Enjoy your holiday Poinsettia plant brought to you in the 1820’s by a SC Native

As you enjoy a beautiful poinsettia plant this holiday season remember that SC native Joel Poinsett was responsible for bringing this beautiful plant to the US from Mexico in the 1820’s.

First Minister to Mexico

He simultaneously served as a special envoy to Mexico from 1822 to 1823 and was appointed the first American minister to Mexico in 1825, and became embroiled in the country’s political turmoil until his recall in 1830. It was during this time that he visited the area of southern Mexico called Taxco del Alarcon were he found what was later to become known in the United States as the poinsettia, in Mexico is called “Flor de Noche Buena” (Christmas Eve flower). (The Aztecs referred to the winter-blooming plant as cuetlaxochitl; its Latin name is Euphorbia pulcherrima or “the most beautiful Euphorbia.”) Poinsett, an avid amateur botanist, sent samples of the plant home to the States and by 1836 the plant was most widely known as the “poinsettia”.

Read more of his story at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Roberts_Poinsett


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Thanksgiving Cactus

Almost three years ago for my birthday Bob got me a Christmas cactus.   He knew I felt bad about leaving behind the cactus I had in MN.   It had been my grandmothers and was very old, at least 40 years.  I have repotted my new one twice now and had it outside in a shady spot all summer.   It LOVED it’s new pot and has really thrived.  It started blooming a couple weeks ago.  It is almost two feet across and is just gorgeous.  It doesn’t even look real and is still loaded with more buds still to bloom.  Hope you enjoy it.