May 31, 2012

Only an Uncle Could Love

In a moment of temporary rage fueled by Oreo cookies, our four year old nephew called my husband, Bruce, Uncle Stupid Head. The endearing handle stuck.  Our niece followed it up some years later with a tender tribute to her wacked uncle.  See what you think. Click below to watch her video on YouTube!

May 28, 2012

On This Memorial Day...

God bless America and 
 who protect us. 

Sunny days in America!


May 26, 2012

Goodbye Lie Diaries - More Peeperisms

Fernandina, Florida

Grandmother Peeper* writes: 

If'n the sky is blue and the sea, too, the sun will glow but moonlight says no.

Eat a green apple and your blood will stay sweet.

Pick a flower in the rain and your sister will git married within the year.

Fernandina Beach, Florida

Jane Marie writes:

Dearest Peeper,

You never fail to amaze me with your unconventional wisdom. Oh behalf of all YOUR fans, please continue to enlighten us!

*Grandmother Peeper is part of the Dunnigan family of Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida from my fictional historical Goodbye Lie series- jmm

May 23, 2012

And the Key Goes To...

     I have company coming soon.  I should be cleaning.  No sense peaking too soon, me thinks, lest I just have to clean another day.  I did, however, put little piles of stuff away, like the stack of photo CDs and the remains of miscellaneous items, stands, signs, etc., from the Shrimp Fest the first weekend of the month. Oh, and the important papers that belong in their safe place. That's when the garage door broke.
     Our remedy? Bruce and I decided to use our front door keys. Yup.  That sounds like a great plan until you see my key ring.  Bruce had locked his inside the house and we were forced to rely upon mine.  Refer to the photo below. The large bracelet of keys and discount store tags - "That's mine," she says proudly.  I take it everywhere and love it because it fits over my right hand and, to my astonishment, my left hand, too, and I never lose it! Well, that's the good news.  The not so good news is that it takes three keys to open our front door.  Time and salt air have caused us to replace the locks and at different times, thus resulting in three different door locks. Since we usually get into the house by way of the now broken garage door, there I was, in the rain, trying out every one of the keys on my ring in the locks on the door. You might wonder why I have so many keys on my huge ring. Once upon a time I needed them.  As I got more over the years, I neglected to toss the old and now I am unsure of which goes to what. I'm afraid to throw any away because I will need one or the other immediately when I do. You know it's true.
     Happily we have Next Door Maggie, our wonderful neighbor who has keys to our Stately Martha Manor. (We live with Martha Bear®, a stuffed ursine, and the cats and dogs in Stately Martha Manor She tells all about it in her free family-friendly teddy bear short stories. #7 is my favorite- The Great Amelia Island Sniff-Off.) So Next Door Maggie loaned our own keys to us for entrance and then immediately retrieved them because she is a responsible human being.  Once inside, I gathered all the keys hanging on the handmade wooden key with hooks.  May I say, not enough hooks because keys are double and triple stacked on those hooks.  Again, refer to the photo below and see some of the keys.  Mix and match, match and mix- it took the better part of an hour to figure out that I, indeed, had all three front door keys on key bracelet, after all!  I also discovered a few keys to our daughter's house who claims she gives us her front door key every time she we visit her.  She's right! I could continue but you might be feeling the same way Bruce was when he said, "Let me out of this loony bin-- I have to go have more keys made." (His purpose was to have a couple extra full sets of front door keys.  He's too organized.) Of course, this last loony bin crack came about when he was looking  for the Red Box movie to return it.  Having located on the gramophone by the front door, he said, "I found it."  Then he said to me, "Once I find something, you don't need to keep looking for it."  I'll have to remember that part. 


May 20, 2012

Jean Ribault Park

My husband, Bruce, and I attended the renaming of the anchor (brick pattern in the sidewalk) pocket park on Centre St. in downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida on May 19, 2012. To honor the French landing here 450 years ago, it will now be known as the Jean Rabault Pocket Park.  Bruce was instrumental in getting the two small parks installed on vacant lots between historic buildings on the "main drag" of our seaside town, turning something ugly into something useful as well as pretty.

official plaque

Mayor Arlene Filkoff of Fernandina Beach, FL & former mayor Bruce Malcolm

in front of the pretty banner hanging between two palm trees in the pocket park
Mayor Malcolm at original pocket park dedication in 2008

May 19, 2012

Keep It Alive

I was reading an article about the best ways to organize your recipes. Everything from using a binder to a recipe box to a computer program was suggested.  Then there was categorizing by personal preference, color coding, scanning and even laminating.  Was anything forgotten?  You betcha.  How about a handwritten recipe?  I have mentioned this before on our website, at when I recommended giving a bride-to-be a cookbook compiled of handwritten recipes from family and friends.  And when I heard that they are talking about no longer teaching cursive/handwriting in school in the future, well--America, we have to keep this art alive for future generations. To that end, hand write (don't print)  recipes, notes, shopping lists, whatever you can and teach at least one child how to write. If we don't do this, how will kids read old love letters in the attic or names in the family bible or... You get the idea. Now go out there and have a recipe exchange, so long as you write, not type them!

a treasured handwritten recipe from our Aunt JR

May 13, 2012

It's All About Mom Today!

Everybody has one because you can't get into this life without one- a mom, of course. So to mark this high occasion, I have written a poem.  Well, call it what you like, but I hope to get an at-a-boy or two for my efforts. 

Here is one of my rejected poems:

There once was a lady named Mom.
She liked to watch soaps.
She's the bomb!
She knows all the stars,
Who hit all the bars.
But she'd rather gnaw on a cob.

Here is the keeper: 

A mother is special, that's true.
She should be happy, not blue.
So do all you can and give her a hand.
If you're lucky, she might cook you stew!

Me thinks my standards could be higher...

Whatev- as my friend says.  Happy Happy Mother's Day  to all.  Try to hide for a few moments peace and you know we'll find you to say, "Thanks, Mom!"

Hugs and Blisses from The Kids, all of us!

May 9, 2012

What Do You See?

I carry my camera everywhere, just in case... This was one of those just in case moments. I saw the wood grain on this old door and had to snap it for you. How many different visions will your imagination allow you to see?  I make out a frog, an owl and two alien lovers touching foreheads. Your turn! 

May 7, 2012

Other Side of the Shrimp Fest

For years we've attended the annual Shrimp Festival in  Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida. We've walked the streets lined with  10x10 white tents housing the handcrafted wares of all kinds of artists. Over time the festival has spread to the side streets, allowing more vendors with antiques plus fun for the whole family. But one thing stays the same.  The heat. Man oh man, is it hot! What else is to be expected though because we're in the deep South after all. So this year, I was not buying but selling- selling my historic novels, Secret Pebbles, Born to Burp bibs, painted glass, painted cards, magic pirate and princess keys, tic-tac-toes games, and on and on.  Bottom line- No matter which side of the counter you're one, a trip to the Amelia Island's Shrimp Festival is not to be missed.  See you next year- OH, and did I mention they have shrimp to eat?

May 2, 2012

French Schooners Visit Amelia Island

We had a treat recently in touring Etoile, one of two French schooners visiting Amelia Island. Built in 1932 along with Belle Poule, these ships have trained naval officers since first they sailed. While on board, I saw four words spelled out in brass letters and those words are universal to sailors worldwide.
Valeur- Valor
Discipline - Discipline
Honneur- Honor
Patrie - Homeland


PS  The good-looking French crew was a bonus for the ladies, I must say!