Tag Archives: family

Day 8…. A goose traffic jam, southern food, an overpriced theme park, and the family you choose for yourself.


Before I regale you with yet another day of our vacation adventures….. a little personal history.

In case you hadn’t guessed? The husband and I don’t have any children. It was a lifestyle choice we made years ago and haven’t had cause to regret it. But back in the early 90’s we took a neighbor’s child under our wing when her single mother was having trouble. She lived with us for a time, and we came to love her like our own.


Des & Fred, ironing


She was the child we never had….


Des & a few lobsters


We helped raise her…..


Fred & Des..Forestry


And since she had no contact with her real father, my husband took over the role.


Attitude adjustment!!


Attitude adjustments et al.


nice Xmas shot


She wasn’t ours biologically…..


Me, Fred & Des, Lakewood


But she will always be the child of our hearts.


Fred & Des - graduation


We’ve watched her grow into a beautiful young woman…


Me, Fred & Des


And now she’s happily married…..


031 (Medium)


With a child of her own….




And we feel like we have a grandchild as well. They still live in North Carolina so whenever we’re near…. we get together. She loves that we have a timeshare and enjoys staying with us at the various resorts. On Day 8 of this trip? She and her daughter joined us for the weekend before Christmas.

When they arrived?

A goose traffic jam…




I love me some goosers… so pardon the ridiculous tone of voice I use in the video.

As well as me cursing out the idiot who was honking their horn at those sweet little waddlers.



After their 4 1/2 hour trip, Destiny and Gracie were hungry so we took them to that great seafood place we’d found… Fat Tuna.




We stuffed ourselves silly with hushpuppies, cornbread and shrimp and grits….


IMG_1166 (2)


While the husband opted for a seafood pasta.




This was in anticipation of where we would be spending the afternoon and evening… because when you have a 7 year old? Sitting around chatting with a cocktail isn’t going to cut it.

So the husband and I did what we never… ever!… do.

We went to a theme park.

And it was just as awful as we knew it would be.




We stood in a long line to board the shuttle.




We crammed onto the shuttle like sardines.




We waited on long lines to buy overpriced tickets…. and not even a funny spare tire cover could make up for what we were about to experience.




(I hope he was talking about the jeep and not his wife.

I really do.)

But yes…. the husband and I shelled out $240 frickin’ dollars to visit Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.




No senior discount, no military discount, no under 12 discount.

Suck it Santa!

Did I mention it was also $20 to leave our car in the north 40  somewhere south of bumblef*ck Egypt   parking lot?




$260 just to walk in.

Kill me now.




But we were there with people we loved…




And my husband… who never wants to pose for photographs?




Was posing all over the place…. and smiling.

Now that’s a true Christmas miracle!

If you shovel… they will come.


With apologies to Kevin Costner….




I’m talking about the deer.




When snow covers the ground and grass is hard to find?





Shoveling a path is a sure way to attract a crowd.




Or a herd, as the case may be.




We were really glad to see our resident 12 point buck survived hunting season.




And visits daily with his harem.




Of course he also chases them away when the treats run low.




Cheeky bugger.

Here’s a little clip in between snow storms.


Meet Great Grandpa….





Okay, technically he’s my 8th great grandfather.

Though I can’t say I see the resemblance.

I’ve been shaking the family tree again and found Sir Adrian Scrope…. born in 1601, matriculated at Harts Hall, Oxford. A military man, he obtained the rank of colonel before it all went bad.



Very, very bad.




Scrope was one of the regicides who surrendered at the Restoration of Charles II. The House of Commons voted to pardon him under the Act of Indemnity, but the House of Lords demanded that all the regicides should be brought to trial. Scrope was condemned to death when Major-General Richard Browne testified that Scrope had justified Charles I’s execution to him even after Charles II’s return. He was hanged, drawn and quartered at Charing Cross on 17 October 1660.




An account of his behaviour in prison and at the gallows describes him as “a comely ancient gentleman”, and dwells on his cheerfulness and courage.


Cheerful at the gallows?

Well, good for him.

I can’t say his 8th great granddaughter would have been quite so chipper.










I’m related to a snowball.


This probably doesn’t surprise most of you..




But perhaps I should explain.

A few years ago my girlfriend infected me with the genealogy bug, and let me tell you…. once you catch it? There is no cure.

Before I knew it I was wandering dusty old libraries and searching moth eaten town halls.




Yes, I’ve even stalked a few cemetery custodians.

They’re a font of valuable information.




It’s fair to say I was obsessed for a while and spent hours, days, weeks, months way too much time climbing the old family tree.

Some lines are frustrating and dead end right away.

Other lines like my paternal grandmother’s, I traced back to the year 1134. It helps when you have someone famous… most of the work has been done for you.

One of my semi famous relatives?


Jabez B. Snowball


The Hon. Jabez B. Snowball.

Yes, dear old 2nd great Uncle Jabez.

Wikipedia page

Lumber baron and Lt. Governor of New Brunswick, Canada.

I actually found this among my father’s papers…


Jabez Bunting Snowball0001


Although I have no earthly idea who wrote it.

Genealogy is fun.

And fascinating.

And rewarding.

As well as incredibly frustrating.




It’s also surprising.

Like when I started on my mother’s side of Austrian relatives…

And found Franz.




Damn. That’s disturbing…

Good thing he was only the father in law of my 1rst cousin twice removed.


Ya never know who will fall out when you shake the family tree.