Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Shady Side of the Sunshine State

Doodleville, FL
Doodleville, FL

When most people go to Florida they look for white sandy beaches crowded with tourists and fancy high-rise hotels.

Not to the Old Lady’s taste.

She prefers the shady interior of the Sunshine State, where you can bathe in cool springs and see wildlife and real people, people who live in Florida all year round.

Poe Spring State Park
Poe Spring State Park


Hart Springs
Hart Springs


This is the REAL Florida!DSCF9516

Where’s Winter?

DSCF9579A lovely winter afternoon in extreme south Georgia, but it’s 80 degrees. It is now the end of December and the temperature has not dropped to freezing. Not even once.

There is nothing below 40 degrees showing in the extended forecast.

Is this the year that winter never comes?

Azaleas are covered with flowers. Buds are coming out on trees.  Blackberries have been seen blooming.

Now, this can go one of two ways:

If this continues we might glide right into spring with April blackberries, but many fruits that require a certain number of “chill” hours will not sweeten.

Or, we could have a cold snap that will devastate the plants that are already blooming and budding.

Either way it bodes ill.

But it sure is nice to be out on the dock in bare feet.DSCF9581

Signs and Wonders

do not let your left handThe Old Lady does not like to mention her charitable actions, not from false humility but because Jesus said “…do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing…” (Matt. 6:3).

But she feels compelled to share this story:

She was going out to run errands and when she counted her money she had more than enough, so she set aside a $5 bill in case somebody needed help.

Later she saw on the edge of a parking lot a traveler with his backpack and bedroll holding a cardboard sign that said HUNGREY PLEASE HELP.

When she gave him the bill he smiled and said “Thank you! I want to go to Subway but I’ve been here three hours and no money until now!” She watched as he folded away his sign, shouldered his pack, and headed across the parking lot to the sandwich shop.

Just a few minutes later she was approaching a red light. Very close before the intersection there is a parking lot exit where cars were stacked up because it is difficult to get out so close to the light.

The Old Lady paused and waved the first car to pull out ahead of her. As she then pulled forward she saw in her rear-view mirror that the car behind her was doing the same thing… and then the car behind him did it again!

And when she turned her eyes forward again, she read the license plate on the car in front of her:

GDS WILhands

Noodling and Doodling

DSCF9541The very best adventures are those on which the Old Lady imposes no particular time frame.

Noodling and doodling means cruising the back roads, choosing the scenic routes, and taking the risk of getting lost.

Sometimes you see the very best stuff when you have lost your way.

Enjoy the sights! You can always get found again.DSCF9553DSCF3083DSCF3086DSCF9534DSCF9560

A Girl and her Euphonium

Stephanie Allan 1

It’s a small world, and you just never know who you are going to run into where.

The Old Lady was in Live Oak, Florida, and happened to stop at Stoudemire’s Restaurant for some butter pecan ice cream.

Under the canopied patio, what to her wondering eyes should appear but… a girl practicing the euphonium. And not just any euphonium player, mind you, she turned out to be Stephanie Adams who the Old Lady heard perform recently at Tubaween (see ).

Stephanie not only plays music at Valdosta State University, she is also learning how to arrange music. One of the standout pieces of Tubaween, This is Halloween by composer Danny Elfman from the 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas, was artfully arranged by Stephanie.

“I love arranging music. When I came to VSU I had no idea how to do that, but I discovered the software FINALE and now I just love doing it,” she told the Old Lady. “Right now I’m working on an arrangement which is a compilation of various hip-hop hits, which is really fun.”

Stephanie is only in her second year at VSU, and she wants to be a teacher. “It was an English teacher I had who was such a good teacher that it made me want to teach. Of course, I want to teach music!” she said, obviously excited about her future plans.Stephanie Allan 3

Right now, Stephanie needs a little help with tuition for her Spring Semester. Stoudemire’s Restaurant is selling raffle tickets for free meals with all the proceeds going into her tuition fund. This is an opportunity for those who care to help a budding young musician achieve her educational goals. But there is no crowdfunding website so you have to be serious about wanting to help. Stephanie can be contacted through Stoudemire’s Restaurant, located at 203 N. Ohio Avenue in Live Oak, Florida. The phone number is 386-330-4944.

It takes a little more effort for you to send a check to the above address than it would for you to click DONATE NOW, but isn’t the future of a dedicated young musician… someone who dreams of sharing her love of music with younger students… worth your time and effort?

The Old Lady nods sagely and says “YES!”Stephanie Allen 4

Yard Fruit Burglar

Yard Fruit poster

While living in the subtropics of southwest Florida the Old Lady considered a career as a yard fruit burglar.

So many Floridians regard the fruit trees in their yards to be merely decorative, ignoring the produce as it ripens and falls rotting to the ground.

Under cover of darkness the yard fruit burglar could harvest those neglected grapefruits, oranges, and lemons. Lychee nuts and limes would fulfill their nutritional destinies. Mangoes and kumquats would call from their branches: “Don’t let us be wasted! Let us be eaten and enjoyed as God intends us to be!”

Apparently it’s called theft, and it’s a crime.Pick Fruits

Worry Baby, by Jimi Davies and Bruce the Guitar

Worry Baby coverThis solo album from Jimi Davies took the Old Lady by surprise, and the Old Lady loves surprises.

In Worry Baby Jimi breaks out of the hard punk sound of his band Sin Nis and moves into a more soulful, soft-rock groove.

The album opens with the spacy and ethereal Darkness, hinting at Pink Floyd influences. Followed by the Dylan-esque Shadow, Jimi’s raw and personal music moves the album from the dark to the light, from the depths of romantic angst to the brightness of hope.

Ending with jungle drums and wailing guitar cries on the instrumental Heat Lightning, Jimi releases something explosive and hot. Get yourself some shades; Jimi’s moving toward the LIGHT.

This album keeps it real by retaining all the clicks and pops, coughing and throat clearing, and distant dog barking that gives the listener the gritty sense of sitting right there in the studio during the recording sessions.

Click NOW to and buy your copy. You’ll be glad that you did.Support 2