Wiggy Wanda

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I wrote about Kathy Williams Mashburn, Georgia author, last year when her precious book “A Birthday Clown for Archer” was first published.  Many people have a strange fear of clowns and this book addressed that issue and the fact that clowns are just ordinary people with a costume on.  Kathy has done it again with the launch of her new children’s book, “Wiggy Wanda”.

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This book deals with the subject of cancer, the treatment, side affects and other aspects of a disease that touches so many lives in today’s world.  When Kathy’s aunt was diagnosed with cancer years ago Kathy’s then eight year old daughter, Rana, asked if she could have the aunt’s wig if she died.  The aunt insisted on giving Rana the wig right then and there, telling her to enjoy it now….not after someone dear has died.  Such words of wisdom and such a lesson for us all in enjoying life now.

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Not only has Kathy written this wonderful book, she has created a “Wiggy Wanda” doll, complete with its own wig.  I think this is such a great way to open the door for conversation among family members of all ages when dealing with this devastating disease.  It gives parents a way to talk with children about the different stages of treatment and what can be expected.  ”Wiggy Wanda” is a compassionate story to be shared by young and old.  Read more about the book here:  www.wiggywanda.com, and watch the trailer by clicking below!

Kathy has generously offered a giveaway of a copy of “Wiggy Wanda” to one special reader!  Leave a comment, comment on The Permanent Tourist facebook and we’ll announce a winner on Wednesday!  I can’t wait to see what Kathy will be up to next!  Her children’s books entertain and inspire….I know what ever is coming next will not let readers down!

Simple Sundays

Enjoy this lovely, relaxing piano piece from Sean Beeson.  It’s a beautiful way to start the day.  Find the stillness within, quiet your mind and breathe deeply as you listen.  Wishing all of my readers a wonderful Sunday filled with family, friends and love.  Let the new week begin!

On The Radio

Talking with “Pilliard Dickle”, otherwise known as Joe Chandler.  He’s a born storyteller, creator of magnificent calendars and all round funny guy!  Listen in as we discuss his life, his work and share a few laughs.

Finally Friday!

I love salmon in the summer, pan seared and topped with a delicious heirloom tomato jam….it’s easy and it’s light.  Two good things when it comes to eating well during the hot weather we’re now experiencing.  This is a very easy recipe.  Serve it with a crisp salad of baby arugula and spinach, dressed with a light garlic/lemon vinaigrette and you’ve got a meal anyone will love!  Hint:  Uncle Don’s just announced that they have these delicious little heirloom tomatoes in the market for the weekend.  The perfect time to try this recipe!  This dish is perfectly paired with a nice Riesling….enjoy!

 

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Pan Seared Salmon with Heirloom Tomato Jam

4 six ounce wild salmon filets

1 tablespoon good olive oil

1 pound multi-colored heirloom grape tomatoes,halved

1 small vidalia onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon good olive oil

1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

2 teaspoons raw sugar

sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan.  Add the salmon and sear on each side for about four minutes.  In another saute pan heat the additional tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the onion and tomatoes and cook for about seven minutes.  Add the remaining herbs and seasoning.  Heat through for another five minutes.  Place a piece of salmon on each plate and spoon the tomato jam over the top.  Simple and so yummy!

Symbols of the South

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The stately oaks that grace our area are truly symbols of the South.  Draped with Spanish moss, they look like elegant ladies with their evening wraps, all lacey and sheer gently swaying in the evening breeze.

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Most well known is Lovers Oak in Brunswick.  Said to be over 900 years old and the site of Indian trysts where a young warrior would meet his lady fair.  The tree still stands at the intersection of Albany and Prince Streets, its thirteen foot trunk sturdy and true.

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Just north of Gloucester Street in Brunswick stands Lanier Oak.  Another stately tree said to be the place where Sidney Lanier rested as he recovered from four years in a Union prison during the Civil War.  The tree must have had some healing power as Lanier went on to write “Hymns of the Marshes” and lecture at John’s Hopkins on English Literature.

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The Sidney Lanier Bridge that stands as gateway to the Golden Isles is named after the famous poet who found this area so worthy of his written word.

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Just north of The Village on St Simons is a park of oak trees on the south side of which are buried thirty Indian men, women and children.  They lived on the land two centuries prior to the Europeans arrival in the area.  Later known as the Timucuan Indians, the tribe and its people can still be found in the area which has served as their home for so many centuries.

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The oak tree has always symbolized strength to me.  Yet, when I see these mighty trees with Spanish moss decorating their branches I am reminded of the gentle nature of the South.  The island life we all enjoy, the touch of gentility and a bygone era of a life built on European manners and Southern grace, blended together to create this place we call home.

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Long may they stand, in all their glory, as canopies, memorials and reminders of the past yet standing for the future for all to see.

Taking The Heat

It’s hot….hot….hot outside and even though we’ve been enjoying afternoon showers, your garden may be suffering with blossoms looking frazzled and droopy.  I’m featuring three different flowering plants today that are heat hearty and perfect for our climate.  There is nothing that lifts the spirits more than a beautiful garden and these plants deliver!

Cosmos

Cosmos

Cosmos is one of my favorite summer flowers.  They grow in a variety of colors and are definitely heat tolerant.  You can easily plant them from seed and, with the rain we’ve been getting, they’ll be sprouting before you know it.  The blossoms look a bit fragile, but they aren’t.  These lovely flowers will create a “showy” garden.  Plant the seeds so they will come up in thick clumps a couple of feet apart.  They grow up to around 24″ and sometimes taller.  Cosmos says summer to me, they also grow well in containers so your options are many!

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Lantana

Lantana is another perfect summer flower.  This particular color variety is called Anne Marie.  I love the delicate pinks with the vibrant orange and yellow centers.  These are very hearty plants.  They do well whether we are having rain or not.  In fact, Lantana can get out of hand at times, calling for aggressive trimming to keep it at bay.  The many color choices available make these a great choice for summer gardens.  I’ve even seen plants placed close enough together that they form a hedge…simply lovely when blooming!

verbenaThe rich color of verbena is always a favorite.  This plant spreads and makes a great border.  It likes a mixture of shade and sun so consider that when planting.  I love the lipstick red and hot pink, but I’m always going to bend toward the violet and lavender shades in my garden.  I have to admit to loving the white verbena as well though.  It gives a lacy effect that enhances any garden setting.  This plant also does very well in containers, especially hanging baskets as it gently drapes over the top.

There you have it.  You can find these plants at our local Ace Garden Center here on St. Simons Island.  You’ll always find a wonderful variety of plants that are sure to tolerate our climate at this wonderful center.  Add some color to your late summer garden, sit back and enjoy!  Nothing feeds the soul like a beautiful garden!

 

To The Springs!

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Just west of Alachua County, in North Central Florida, you’ll find a magical place.    The place is Ichetucknee Springs in the State Park bearing the same name.

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When you pull off onto the road that leads to the springs it’s like entering another place in time.  The breeze becomes cooler, the trees provide shade and the water…..oh, the water is beyond definition.  Clear, crystalline and always around 72 degrees, the Ichetucknee River flows into the spring allowing swimming year round.

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Start at the head of the river and tube or paddle to the end for an amazing experience, communing with nature.

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The 2,241 acre state park provides campgrounds, nature trails, restrooms and changing rooms as well as grills for outdoor cooking and tube rentals.

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It’s only about  2 1/2 hours from Coastal Georgia and well worth the drive!

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On your way back up Highway 441 stop at “The Great Outdoors”  for a fantastic dinner!  See their menu here:  http://www.greatoutdoorsdining.com/welcome/

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It’s a lovely, lesser known part of Florida that I hope you’ll take the time to visit and experience!

Geechee Kunda

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What…..you say?  Geechee Kunda!  Geechee is a word that represents the rich African-American culture and history that are hallmarks of Coastal Georgia.  Kunda…a Sarakole word meaning “compound” and “home of hope”.  Some may say that Geechee is a dying culture, but when you step foot on the grounds of Geechee Kunda in Riceboro, Georgia, you instantly sense that it lives and thrives in this very special place.

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Owners, Jim and his wife, Pat, Bacote reside on this property.  They built it as a place for remembering, preserving and gathering the history of African-Americans.  All sorts of events occur on these grounds that help to inspire and promote both the heritage as well as the arts and culture of a group of slaves who helped to write the history of our state.  They toiled in rice and cotton fields, perished making the once cherished “indigo” for dying fabrics and passed their stories and lore down through generations to be honored and upheld.

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On the grounds of Geechee Kunda you’ll find a small museum that houses all sorts of artifacts from field tools to common household items used back in the day.  Handmade baskets, musical instruments and plenty of Jim Crow memorabilia.  One can sense the history, the hopelessness of slavery as well as the jubilation the Geechee infused into their spirits, the only means of hope available to them during their short lives.

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A gathering is held yearly at Geechee Kunda.  A celebration of the people and their stories combined with dance, music, instruction on herbal healing and ghost tales sure to raise the hair on the back of your neck!  And food, I learned that you never visit Geechee Kunda having just eaten.  Jim and Pat filled a plate for me with maroon chicken, fresh deviled crab, vine ripened tomatoes and “just picked” peach wedges…so delicious!  And Jim’s fried peanuts, something I had never tried, left me wanting more….please!

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This is a special place.  As the line reads at the bottom of the website:  ”This is sacred land, the spiritual center for Africans in America… a place for all to come for Empowerment, and Liberation.”  

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At Geechee Kunda culture is used for mental empowerment, spiritual healing and intellectual liberation.  Closed minds may be opened and awareness expanded during a visit to this amazing place.  To read more:  www.geecheekunda.com

Simple Sundays

I’m celebrating feeling so much better this fine Sunday morning.  My range of motion is up to 108% from 70% just after surgery.  My goal is 130%…..we’re making progress.  I’m back on a bike, the stationary kind.  I love good Bosa Nova music, so when I stumbled over this mix of well known tunes I thought it would be fun for a change!  I hope you enjoy it and that you have a blessed day with family and friends!  It’s summertime, the living is easy and it’s time to ENJOY and be thankful!

On The Radio

I had a great time talking with David Butler and Kathi Williams from “Elegant Island Living” magazine on the show this week.  Listen in as we discuss all things Golden Isles!