Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My granddaddy, the ice man

Before every home had electricity and a refrigerator, folks kept their food cold by placing a huge block of ice inside an ice box, typically kept in their kitchens.  There was a man who would come around and deliver those blocks of ice.  In Oglethorpe, Georgia, that man was my granddaddy, Lawrence Clark.

I don't know much about my granddaddy as he passed away when my mama was a little girl.  I know he was born in 1894, he grew up in Macon County and served in France in World War I.  He was married and had one child before he met, fell in love and married my grandma and had five babies with her.  He took care of his family by delivering these blocks of ice and by digging and repairing wells, a skill he passed on to my oldest uncle, James, better known as Jiggs, a nickname given to him at birth by Granddaddy.  Granddaddy died in 1957, when Mama had just turned 10 years old, and he's buried in our family cemetery at County Line Baptist Church in Ellaville.

The older I get, the more I want to find out about my family, especially to learn things about those who passed on before I got the chance to meet them.  I know my granddaddy would have loved me.  He would have loved my sassiness.  :)

In my quest to learn more about him, I posted something on our Macon County home folks Facebook page asking for stories and memories and pretty much anything anybody knew about my granddaddy.  Kathy Fountain reminded me that the old ice house still stands beside her daddy's garage.  We were all home today for Brian's daddy, Mr. Harry Godfrey's funeral and I stopped at Mr. Roy Fountain's garage for just a minute to poke around and take some pictures.  Mr. Roy took me over there, opened the door for me and allowed me to take as many pictures as I wanted.  He even gave me a description of what I was seeing.  

Those of you from Oglethorpe recognize this little building!  This was the old ice house where those huge ice blocks were stored until it was time for Granddaddy to load them up and deliver them.

The little building is used mainly for storage now but the pipes and water lines are still intact!


Today was a hot day.  The high was in the 90's and the sun shone all day (no rain, yay!!) but inside that little brick building, it was significantly cooler.  Mr. Roy told me that this is why.  The walls are this thick!  I was amazed at the difference in the temperature.  I don't know when this little ice house was built, I'm guessing the early 1900's, but wasn't it so smart to use bricks and sawdust to insulate??  They had to keep that ice cold and they figured it out!
Mr. Roy showed me this old Nehi drink sign, too, that I LOVED.  He said he's pretty sure it's from the same time Granddaddy was there.  I told him if he ever wanted to sell it, find my mama and daddy and let me know.  I don't think he ever will, though.  I wouldn't.

Next time you open your 'fridge to pour yourself a glass of cold sweet tea, think about my granddaddy and his ice blocks.  They were usually 3 feet by 5 feet cubes and weighed a hundred pounds each.  He had to cut them down to the size that his customers needed.  Wow.  I often wonder what Granddaddy would think about things today.  I would love to sit down and talk to him.  He died in the 50's and everything he knew is pretty much gone now.  Well, everything except his ice house. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bits & pieces

So lately, I have fallen in love with California Baby stuff!  I joke sometimes that there's no age limit on Happy Meals at McDonald's.  I've gotten them for years and now they have chocolate milk, omg.  Well, there is no age limit on baby products either.  Besides, it gives me a chance to test them out and see how I like 'em before, um, well, before I might be in need of such things.  :)

I lovelovelove their bubble bath!!  It makes lots and lots of bubbles and it even comes with a wand to blow bubbles in the tub.  It can't get no more fun than that!  And the stuff smells incredible, too.

I've been trying out BabyGanics eczema cream, too.  I've had a little patch of red, itchy skin on both of my legs since March.  It showed up right around the time Larry was sent to the transitional center too early and we were under a tremendous amount of stress and that's what I thought caused it.  Well, he's been in Quitman for over three months now and my leg rash is still there.  I have tried everything that I could find over-the-counter.  Cortisone creams, Benadryl cream and spray, even Aveeno, and nothing was helping.  I picked up a tube of BabyGanics Bye Bye Dry cream last Friday at Target and the rashes are so much better!!  I think the calendula in the bubble bath is helping, too.  Yay!!

Tabbie Hoffman has a new thing that he likes to do.  He likes to lay on a towel on the sink and put his paw in the water.  It is SO cute!!

I finally got my 13WMAZ coffee mug that I won June 18th as their Facebook Fan of The Day.  I only had to call them twice about it!

We had a birthday party for Jessi yesterday at Mama and Daddy's house.  Ricky and Audra fixed barbecue chicken, baked potatoes with butter, sour cream, cheese and bacon, baked beans, salad and cake and ice cream.  Ami brought fudge brownies and we just had a feast!

Here's the birthday girl and her baby girl getting ready to blow out the candles!

Baby Lizzie out by the goldfish pond

Look at that chubby little thigh!  I think even the fishies were thinking, "Nom nom nom!"!!

Yep, Larry's been in Quitman for over three months now and he's still doing great, amazed every day by the world on this side of the fence.  An awful lot has changed since 1976.  He got his drivers "learner's" permit already and he's going Tuesday for the actual driving test.  He starts to school next month and is already dreading that algebra class.  I told him to just take what he could and we'd take college algebra together when he gets home.  I have to take it, too, to finish my degree classes so we might as well suffer through it together.  :)  He's got a painting/remodeling weekend job lined up, too.  I thought that was hilarious because I have a painting/remodeling job lined up for him, too!!  I kinda have my heart set on this IKEA kitchen.  :)  Everything is pretty much rocking right along.  Mama and Daddy are giving Larry a recliner as a welcome home gift and that was the last thing on my list so I think I'm done.  Just waitin' on January!

I finally broke down and got a smartphone today.  I don't like signing contracts and the idea of paying $450 for a cell phone was just ridiculous to me so I got a cheap Samsung with a prepay package and so far, so good.  It was a little hairy trying to get everything working like I wanted it but now that all that's done, I think I'm going to like it.  It's a heck of a lot better than the 5-year-old old school phone I did have.  At least this one will have signal wherever I go!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Furlough Friday

We finally got there.  The government furloughs that have been in the works all year finally went into effect this week.  Robins chose to take Fridays for ours so we'll be off without pay every Friday from today through September 20th.  Unless they cut it some more.  We started out with 22 days.  We're down to 11 now.

Since I was part time from New Year's Eve until a week ago, I'm used to being off on Fridays.  I love being off on Fridays!  Once I went full time last week, I worked 16 hours overtime.  I got all I could when I could!  There'll be no overtime during the furlough period.  Well, duh!  That would kinda defeat the purpose, now wouldn't it?

I got the confirmation email yesterday telling me my third promotion (the BIG one that converts me out of being a co-op) takes effect THIS SUNDAY.  That'll be another $3 an hour raise.  I will have gone from a WG-03 to a WG-08 in 16 months.  That was a three-YEAR program I was in and I jumped in there, got my training and finished school so I could accelerate and get it done!  There was a LOT of stress involved.  There was a lot of training that had to be done and then of course, I had to have people sign off on it saying I knew how to do it.  I had to stay on them the entire time to get my training.  If they ever ask me how happy I was with the whole co-op experience, I'd have to say "not very".  You have to scratch and scrape for every bit of training you get.  Nobody out there wants to train you.  And they sure don't want you to do something that they've never done themselves.  I cannot tell you how many times I heard, "Well, I'm a WG-10 and I've never done that!"  I had a pretty comprehensive training program that I had to go through, from very basic wiring to installing avionic components to fueling and defueling the jet.  All this for a girl who'd spent the past 25 years in an office.  I didn't even know what half those tools were in my toolbox!  I had NO idea what a Cannon plug was, I'd never even SEEN an Adel clamp.  They just assumed because I was out there, I knew stuff.  Well, you know what they say about assuming.

But I listened and I tried and I failed and then I tried again.  And again and again until I got it.  It's not old-hat yet like maybe answering a phone would be but I'm getting there.  In fact, I installed a wing tip radar antenna last week and it took me thirty minutes.  They used to take me HOURS.  I'm talking three or four.  Ha!  I'm gettin' it.  And I am SO happy that I don't have to answer a phone anymore!!

My co-op days are over.  When I get to work Monday, I will be a WG-08.  I'll be able to take responsibility for my own work and put my stamp on what I do.  That feels really, really good.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Skillet chocolate chip cookie

I saw this on Pinterest last week and I could not wait to try it!  And since it's pouring rain again today on the 4th of July (we have had the wettest summer ever!) and we're pretty much stuck inside, I decided I'd bake this cookie.

I used the recipe linked to the Pinterest picture, made up the dough, pressed it into my cast iron skillet and baked it at 325 for 25 minutes.  I had to cut the heat and add to the time a little because my oven is 26 years old and she tends to have hot flashes.  I know the feeling.  

And here's how it looks when it's done!!  I put some Blue Bell strawberry ice cream on top and it was pretty dang amazing.  

Happy 4th, y'all!!