Monday, August 23, 2010

Bilbo the World Traveler

As you know, Bilbo is now at home. He came home a little beaten up. I'm sure if I had traveled around the world like he did, I would be a little beaten up as well.

After a foot transplant, he recovered fine, and is now rested up. He wanted me to show everyone all the goodies he brought home from his trip.  I was amazed at what all he had packed in his box!!

He brought home something from nearly each place he visited, England, Italy, Ireland, Malaysia, Canada......

He managed to pick up brochures and post cards as well

The little world traveler even found time to label his luggage with each place he had off!

He told me about touring the brewery and how good the beer was. He said he couldn't handle but a sip or two before he got drunk. He explained that was where the first crack in his head came to many sips of beer!

He bragged of all the wonderful food he had eaten on his journeys, but explained to me that the funnel cakes of the North Dakota State Fair were the best he had tasted!

We talked about Canada Day and what it meant. He picked up some Sweet Pea seeds for us to plant so he can remember that day.

He was very excited to tell me about visiting Buckingham Palace and getting to see the Queen. He liked to rub it in since I didn't get to see the Queen while I was there.

He loved visiting with the children at each home he stayed at.

Milan however, was his favorite. He told me that I would have to take him back there. That I would love all of the old buildings and the exquisite architecture. He said the expresso's were pretty good too!

But that Nezzy was a hoot he said!! She sent him back with some herd seeds so he can have his own herd. Now I'm not real sure where Bilbo is going to put his herd! If they are the same size as him, then thats fine.

He slept well on his pillow while he traveled, bundled up with his scarf when it was cold, and looked cool in his shades even though it was warm.

He says we must go back to visit Bangchik and Kakdah in Malaysia, they were super nice, and quite crafty. They sent him home with a nice little basket for his luggage.

He hasn't stopped talking about the places he has been and the people he has met!

Ginger at Law of the Land gave him some pretty good legal advice, and also taught him some Green tips (that he has kindly shared with me)

He hasn't stopped talking about the Potato Head's (Yukon and Russet Potato) he met while visiting Kim & Victoria at Our Life Idaho. He likes to watch their videos regularly.

He is still trying to find those socks from Prairie Chicken at Here on the Prairies

And if I have to hear about Catherine's pond one more time from A Gardener In Progress! Yes Bilbo....we will build a pond...sheesh!!! Thanks Catherine.

Then there is sadness when he reflects on loosing his dear Jane in Lincolnshire, England while visiting Julie at My English Country Garden (this blog is now private). I hope he will one day be able to move on.

He said he wants to have Anna's energy!!! She is full of life and spunk. He said she nearly wore him out while he was visiting her place in Clemmons, North Carolina.

However, when he arrived in Ireland, he was glad he decided to stay on his journey. He said he didn't have Organic Growing Pains!

When he learned he would be traveling to London he was beyond thrilled, since his "mum" had spent some time there. He was excited to see the places I had shown him the pictures. "Big Ben, is much larger than I thought" he said. He is still speaking with a little British twang!!!

He went on and on about the gardens in Cumbria, England and how sad he was about the flood that destroyed them. I told him that we would go back there soon, and that the gardens would be as beautiful as they were when he was there.

"Oh the cathedrals are magnificent", he said. Yes indeed they are. I was beyond thrilled to have his photo taken inside of the cathedral in Gloucester while visiting Nip It In the Bud.

"I am not a Seminole fan", was the first thing he told The Hunter when he stepped out of his box. He said Darla tried really hard to convert him while he was visiting with her family and flowers.

Briana in New Mexico, taught him to stop and smell the roses when he can't decide.

He praised Carla for making the most of his trip in Lake Fork, Texas. He can't swim, and he was worried the rain and flooded would wash him away. He said Carla made the most of his journey, and he had a relaxed stay.

Milan, Milan, Milan......he hasn't stopped talking about Milan!!! I am just going to have to go there so I can see what all the fuss is about. Sue, get that Balcony Garden ready!

"You have to see the snow", he said. "It was so much, and so deep, and I could have drowned in that snow!" Luckily for him, his hostess, Gittan, knitted him a warm little scarf! He also got to enjoy Christmas in Sweden. He says I have to get a few recipes from Gittan to bake for him this Christmas.

When he arrived in Malaysia, the first thing to go was that scarf! He said it is hotter there than it is here at home (which I find hard to believe, but I'm going to take his word for it). He raved about the little vegetable garden in Putrajaya...but he said it's not so little. His baggage was a little worn out, so Bangchik and Kakdah sent him off with a nice new set of luggage.

"Those blonds were a mess! They were so funny....and they were pretty hot too", he said of his Tootsie Time!!! Fast cars, and fast women....well he said the only fast woman was Tootsie running out to the green house to fertilize on Fridays!

He felt at home in the Hocking Hills, will his distance cousins down in that hollow. He says we need to call Lona soon, he wants to catch up on all of his kin.

"I was in a cow patty surprise with Nezzy!", he says....yes Bilbo you were! He said that was one hootin', shootin', scootin' of a good time down in the Ozarks!!! Well, until somebody got shingles......

And then there was the funnel cakes.....Jessica....don't you know you are not supposed to feed gnomes funnel cakes. He is still licking sugar off his toes!!!

His next trip will be to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to visit his step-brother at's time for them to meet!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Where In the World Is Bilbo.....Home Sweet Home, Satsuma, AL

He has finally made it home (not quite in one piece). He had so many goodies for me when he arrived. I am going to take him to the emergency room for a repair, and he will be good to go again soon!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Where In the World is Bilbo: Minot, North Dakota....His Last Stop

Well Bilbo will soon be on his way back to Alabama. This is his last adventure. So go check him out, and see what he has been up to in North Dakota at It's Not That Bad.

I have some big adventures planned for him when he returns home!

Over the next few days we will re-cap his adventures, and re-visit all of the wonderful people and places he has been.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Hi guys....I'm still here. Just have a lot going on right now. I am patiently awaiting a post on Bilbo. He has arrived at his newest...and last destination. I will be sure to let you know when he makes is grand appearance in North Dakota.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bilbo on the Move....One Last Time

Bilbo is heading to his last adventure! He is headed to Minot, South Dakota to visit

I will let ya'll know when he arrives. This will be his last time to visit, then he will return home to me after almost a year and a half.

I was sad to have to end his travels, but from what I hear, he is pretty beaten and banged up.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A little sand, a little water and lots of oil

I spent the weekend at Gulf Shores with The Hunter and a few of our friends. We stayed at a very nice condo, that had 6 very nice pools. We went to a concert Saturday night at an outside venue (The Wharf at Orange Beach). It was a lot of fun, and I really had a great time.

What wasn't fun was looking at our beaches. Our once white sandy beaches, are now a stained rust color, and covered in traces of oil. I went out walking along the beach Saturday morning, and I was disgusted. I only walked about 300 yards down the beach. You couldn't get close to the water, because there is oil all in the water that can be visibly seen. This particular stretch of beach has already been cleaned, and it is still covered in oil.

These photos were taken from our balcony on the 10th floor of the condo. There are boats as far as you can see, I counted alteast 6 oil tankers. The boats siphon up the oil, and then unload it onto the tankers.

The sad part is that while all of those boats are out cleaning up the oil......

You can still see huge globs of oil floating in the water that they missed. I have circled some of the oil globs for you to see. You may have to click on the picture to enlarge it. The oil spots are a dark brown, rust color.

There is oil here just 2 - 3 feet from the shore, as well as particles of it breaking on the shore in the waves.
The particles are tiny, like a grain of sand. They cover the beaches, and float in the water.

Here you can see a line of oil that starts on the left side of the picture.

If you look closely, you can see the oil sheen and small particles of oil in this photo.

A small pool of water with oil sheen.

A larger pool of water with oil sheen.

The dark spots in the waves as they reach the shore is oil.

You can see the oil particles pretty good in this photo.

I tried to stay away from the water, and any area that had oil. That was easier said than done. There isn't much room to walk on the beach that does not have oil on it. I got splashed by a wave. When I looked down I had oil on my legs and feet.

A few of the oil cleanup workers watch the water.

This picture speaks volumes to me. If you have ever been to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, you know how white the sand is. The sand will blind you on a sunny day it is so bright. You can see how white they are on the bottom left of the picture. The other area is covered in oil particles, and has stained the beach. When you walk, the particles accumulate on your feet, and build up to form a big glob.

Every condo has a oil cleanup station. There is a water hose, a heavy duty degreaser, and alcohol that you must use to clean your feet and any other areas that may have oil. The sign really broke my heart. It is not something you should see at the end of a condo pier.

Brooke is cleaning her feet and legs off so we can get into the pool area. 

I had a few small oil spots on the bottom of my flip flops. I had to scrub it off.

These photos were taken from our balcony. This was early Sunday morning. You can see there are numerous spots of oil on the beach. All of the dark spots, lines or blobs along the beach or in the water is oil.

Sunday morning there was a huge line of oil about 10 feet from shore. It went as far to my left and right as I could see. It eventually washed up on shore. It was oil particles that had formed a clump.

These signs were placed in the elevators. There were red flags, or double red flags along the beaches. Red flag means swim at your own risk. Double red flags mean that it is illegal to get into the water. Depending on what area of beaches you were on, the flags may differ. I can tell you that I WOULD NOT get in the water even if there was no flag. If  I can see the oil in the water, I am not going to get in it, and have oil all over me.

So instead...we went to the pool. We had a few very nice pools at our condo. There were 3 on the beach side, and then 3 on the other side of the road where the condo was. The condo has a pedestrian walkway that you cross over the street to get to these pools, and the beach.

There were helicopters flying over atleast every 5 minute. If I had to guess, they were looking for oil, and would radio to the ships as to where to go. There were fourwheelers, and tractors driving all along the beaches. It was like a mini interstate of off road vehicles.

This trip to the beach was much different from my vacation to the beach last June. Last June I spent a week with my family down Fort Morgan Road in Gulf Shores. You can click HERE to see those pictures, and see how much it has changed. It will be a very long time before we get our white sandy beaches back. I sat and watched so much oil wash up on a 100 foot stretch of beach. I thought about all of those workers who had already been there and cleaned that section, and how they would be back to clean that section over, and over, and over to clean it again. That is just one small section. When you have 1,264 miles of coastline to clean it seems like an endless task.

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