About Us

Marsanne Petty
I enjoy writing, reading, photography, history, investigating old structures and trying not to get arrested by entering said structures. I write for Skirt and for Ehow. I can be contacted at mapetty@gmail.com.

Melody Lee
I like to garden and wow people with my artistic interpretations of how flowers should be arranged. I also write for Ehow and Garden Guides. I can be contacted at annlees@gmail.com.

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Still Rising

The Alapaha River is still rising this morning here and just north of us. We only got ¼ of inch of rain yesterday, which surprised me because it rained hard a couple of times. Looks like north us there was ¼ to ½ inch of rain. Hopefully this means that the river will slow down some - it is still rising about a foot every 24 hours.

I took these pictures yesterday about noon yesterday. I didn’t have time to go back later, because I had some errands to run and then we had a birthday dinner for our daughter, Marsanne. Just grilled hamburgers, chips and Ghiradelli double chocolate cupcakes, but everybody ate too much.

Here you can see how fast the water is moving through the run from the river. It has eroded the side of the road and formed a small waterfall.

This picture shows how the water is flowing down hill to the dip in the road and spreading out into the woods on either side. See the Century 21 sign on the right side? Wouldn’t you like some waterfront property?

This is just down the road from our house around a curve. The left side is low all the way back to the curve. The right side rises suddenly right beside the run so the water is forced downstream. According to my husband the water has to fill up the low area on the left side of the road and back up the road to the curve. At the curve the water starts flowing back across the road to the right side and fills up the low area on that side. We live on the right side so the water will eventually reach our backyard if the river keeps rising.

I don’t know if this makes sense. It is hard to explain that we don’t get flooded by the river right behind our house because the bank is so high – like a cliff, actually. The water overflows at a lower point and backs up to our house, which is lower than the riverbank here. That is the main reason the water doesn’t drain away when the river level drops – we are in a low spot and the water has nowhere else to go.

Anyway, the water hasn’t reached us yet and maybe it won’t. But more rain is predicted for next week and the ground is very soggy already. We need some hot sun!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Not Again!!!!!!

The Alapaha River is on the rise again. So far the prediction is for minimal to moderate flooding, but it is raining this morning and more rain is predicted too.

This is the “puddle” of water in our backyard left over from the Easter Flood of 2009 and recent rains.

We moved here in June 1984. The people we bought the property from asked us to come see the river in April 1984 when it flooded, so we would know what we were facing. No big deal – the river was running across the back quarter of the yard, which is the lowest part of the yard.

A view of the “puddle” at the back fence – it spreads into the property behind and beside us.

Our property is in the 100-year flood plain, which we thought meant that it would only flood her once in every 100 years. A lot of other people think that too. Wrong!!!

According to The "1OO-Year Flood", a US Geological Survey fact sheet: The term "100-year flood" is misleading because it leads people to believe that it happens only once every 100 years. The truth is that an uncommonly big flood can happen any year. The term "100-year flood" is really a statistical designation, and there is a 1-in-100 chance that a flood this size will happen during any year. Perhaps a better term would be the "1-in-100 chance flood."

The river runs through a deep ditch into the road past our house. This was taken Friday afternoon just as the river reached flood stage.

So …. Of the 8 recorded floods since 1948, 5 occurred after we moved here. The worst recorded flood was the Easter Flood last year, when the river crested more than 7 feet above flood stage.

Right now the prediction is for 2 feet above flood stage by tomorrow night – it is already a foot over flood stage.

The greenhouse is ready.

My greenhouse may or may not flood – it depends on how high the water rises. I moved most of the plants up on the tables just in case. The hibiscus plants are several years old and declining so I left them on the floor. The other two plants are peace lilies and they will survive wet feet.

I will keep you posted - so check back again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chicken Bruschetta

I don't often cook unusual things, because there are a lot of foods that I don't particularly care for. However, my family keeps insisting that I should cook something different. To tell the truth, I have grown up eating basically the same things on a regular basis, and once I got married and had children, I continued that tradition, so to speak.

So, I found a recipe that I thought I could manage without botching it up too bad (I'm not that good of a cook to begin with). Chicken Bruschetta. Chicken with tomatoes, onions, Italian dressing, and seasoning. It also has bacon and cheese mixed in there.

With no further ado, here is what dinner looked like a few nights ago......

Chicken cooking in the pan with seasonings.....

Tomatoes, onions, chicken bouillion, and more seasonings.....

Layer the bacon over the chicken and then melt the cheese on top. Spoon a serving of tomatoes - bruschetta - over the chicken and serve. Complete chicken bruschetta served over pasta.....

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. It tasted pretty good, although it could have done with a little less Italian dressing. (That's one of those foods I don't like.) The dressing was a bit strong, in my opinion. But big R and L liked it. Little R refused to eat the tomatoes, but he didn't mind the bacon! :)

Originally uploaded by Creating Character

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The color of my garden this winter is mush. Do you know how many colors of mush there are? Let me show you ....

droopy green Ginger mush

golden brown Hydrangea mush

brownish green Canna Lily mush

grayish brown Crinum Lily mush

and finally
brown-used-to-be-bright-yellow Philodendron mush

I think the Philodendron is done for,
but all the rest should come back in the spring.

Peeking Through

Peeking Through
Originally uploaded by Creating Character
My post for today for Creative Every Day. See me peeking through this cool mirror that we found at the Dollar Store? Only $10 bucks! I should have gotten it, but really, what would I use it for? It's not like I can really see myself in it.....

Monday, January 18, 2010

Free Rice

If everyone will notice, I have added a new button to our site, Free Rice. This came on one of my daily emails, Dumb Little Man, as part of a list of 50 things that I could do today to make my life healthier. A lot of them were kind of unique and some of them were stretching it a bit, but hey, 50 things to come up with all at once would be kind of hard, I would think. Actually, I know, because I’ve been working on a list about the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, and it’s pretty darn hard.

But back to the Free Rice. They donate 10 grains of rice for each question that you answer correctly. What started as a small click in an email for me has turned into a compulsion! My son and I have been playing off and on all day. I have focused on English vocabulary (go figure) and he has been sampling different subjects, such as Spanish, math, and Chemical symbols.

Throughout the day today, I have donated over 4000 grains of rice and he has donated over 2000 grains of rice. Now, math is not my strong point, but it says on Free Rice that a day’s ration of rice is 400 grams and there are 48 grains of rice in a gram. That’s 19,200 grains of rice. So a person has to answer 1,920 questions to get a daily ration of rice. That seems like a lot. A whole lot, so I was sitting here wondering why I was answering these questions. I’d never get a whole day’s ration to be donated, so what was the use, right?

Well, think about it. Today alone, just my son and I have donated nearly a third of a day’s ration of rice for someone who desperately wants it. I mean they want it really bad, because they don’t want to be the one in six people that die today because they didn’t get enough food. And when you think about, one in six isn’t that much because I could name six people that I know right now. How about you? Can you name six people? Could you imagine one of those six people starving too death?

So, what it boils down to is that when we all play the game it makes the grains of rice add up. If only twenty people play for about an hour a day, we can save the one of the six. Or if you donate 3,000 grains every day, you could say that every seventh day, you save that person. Either way, the difference is in the numbers…. Do you want to be one of them?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In the Rearview

This one is a body of work for Creative Every Day. There are several, so I am going to try to make them kind of small, but we will see how it goes. This entry is for January 10. I don't know what the deal is with the second photo there - I can't seem to get it sized properly.

morning time

backward intersection IMG_1187

IMG_1192 IMG_1196

IMG_1198 IMG_1197

IMG_1199 IMG_1200

IMG_1202 IMG_1204

IMG_1248 IMG_1249

IMG_1253 IMG_1256

IMG_1257 IMG_1258

IMG_1267 IMG_1269


L's Knees

This is my Creative Every Day entry for 1/12/10. I know, I'm a little slow on the uploads and posting at times. You'll have to forgive me, :I thought you all might get tired of seeing my body, so I decided on my oldest son's instead. He doesn't like me to take his picture, so I thought I could catch his knees while we were driving down the road.

Originally uploaded by Creating Character

Too bad he didn't know what I was doing. In the process, he looked down to see what I was taking a picture of and I got his face. His response was, "I didn't see anything worth taking a picture of." Go figure. He is definitely not a photographer. :)

Last and final of him, at least if he catches me :)

Busy at work
Originally uploaded by Creating Character

Sunday, January 10, 2010

beauty means nothing if you're not loved

Creative Every Day again. I couldn't quite figure out how to do what I wanted - I wanted the mirror part of the image to be all broken and cracked, but I couldn't do it, so I made an adjustment. This is my second shot at it (out of about 30 photos). My first attempt is the lower photograph.

And, see, I told you I wasn't as pale as I looked yesterday!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Originally uploaded by Creating Character
Another entry for Creative Every Day. These are my lovely socks that my mom bought me for Christmas. They come up over my knees, as you can see. You wouldn't really thing that I would need socks that tall in Florida, but I'm always cold and an extra layer helps tremendously. My husband thinks I'm a freak because of my socks. :)

This is me

Originally uploaded by Creating Character
For Creative Every Day, this is my post today. Remember, the theme is Body, so a self portrait.... I'm not really quite that pale, but the flash! It's hard to take a picture of yourself :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dark Fingertips

dark fingertips
Originally uploaded by Creating Character

Again, the theme for Creative Every Day is body for January. So these are my fingers and my foot. That little thing down in the bottom right corner is the gearshifter - I took this while waiting for my son to get out of school. I thought about blurring it some so you couldn't really see it, but then it would look as though I were propped in mid-air. :)


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winter's Beauty

I don’t like winter or cold weather, so I didn’t think I would have a picture for this month’s Picture This Contest on Gardening Gone Wild. Then I remembered this picture I took last January after the sprinkler system ran while the temperatures were still below freezing. My son-in-law named it the Fairy Sprinkler. I hope fairies like cold showers! (Posted by Melody)


New Year!!!

I have a new addition to the blog this year, my mother, so this post is kind of about the two of us.

Marsanne (that's me)

Well, it’s a New Year – time for a new beginning. I’ve fallen behind on my blog writing because – well, because life happens!

I have been busy writing for magazines – including Skirt, holding art shows, photographing special events, doing genealogical and historical research, homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, and – oh yeah, and sleeping.

My mom wanted to try blogging, so she is going to join me. She will write about life in the garden and life in general. And I’ll continue to tell you about photo and writing news and events. Maybe between the two of us, you will find something you like.

Melody (that's my mom)

Welcome to the new, revised, better, improved – did I miss anything? – Creating Character. My name is Melody and I am a wife, mom and grandma. I am a freelance writer for www.ehow.com and www.gardenguides.com. And I am a gardener – no, my hobby is gardening – no, that’s not it, I am obsessed with gardening.

So what does gardening have to do with photography, writing, or even Creating Character? Gardening creates the character of the gardener who plans, hopes and dreams, and works toward a goal; of the landscape with the addition of beautiful plants and flowers; of those who stop to admire the colors and scents of nature and relax for just a few minutes.

I hope you enjoy my thoughts about gardening and life and whatever else I find interesting.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Surprise Outbursts!

It’s always nice to see proof that your children actually do hear what you have to say. I am one of those mothers who maybe shouldn’t have been a mother, what with my aversion to germs and dirt, and all of the things in between. But a mother I am, and with that comes a “passing on,” you could say, of my unusual predilections.

My son’s friend, B., came over again a few days ago. I don’t mind the kid being here, since there aren’t many children that can deal with my son. As a matter of fact, there aren’t many adults, either… but that’s a story for another day. So the boys are sitting on the couch and all of a sudden, the other boy lets out a long fart. Ick!

I automatically turn with this look on my face – because I’m one of those people with manners, you know. My son (bless his heart!) says, “Say excuse me, B.” I couldn’t believe my ears! It’s nice to know that he has heard something that I have said, since he doesn’t listen to any of my other complaints….

Like what? you ask. Oh, those complaints. Yeah, I have aversions to a lot of things… water fountains, trash cans, dirt in general, taking out the trash, raw meat, having to hold money, other people touching my food, cigarette butts, metal grates, bathroom walls…. Shall I continue? No? I didn’t think so. It’s a fact: my life is definitely strange; I’m a weirdo.

My son, however, not so much. He is fairly normal, a typical boy, I suppose. I mean, he acts like the other boys in the neighborhood, except he is a lot more hyper. So hyper, really, that no one else really wants to be around him a lot, because he never shuts up. And when I say never, I mean never. The kid talks from the time he gets up until the time he goes to sleep.

Not bed. Because with all of my aversions, evidently he has formed one of his own. He refuses to sleep in his bed. He sleeps on the floor, in a cardboard box, or on the couch. I can’t say I ever had any problem sleeping in my bed…. Although my husband does (he sleeps on the couch a good bit), so maybe that’s where it came from.

As a matter of fact, I think the next time I get on my husband’s case about sleeping on the couch, I’ll tell him he has passed it on to our son. What do you think he would say to that? Probably nothing, other than to glare at me, I would guess.

So the other day when B. was here, my little tape recorder son repeated several things that I had said, mostly about manners and where things were supposed to go. I guess he’s finally heard it enough that it has begun to sink in that you are supposed to wash your hands when you touch the trash can, or if you make a rude noise you should say excuse me, and please don’t leave the soda cans sitting on the counter until they reproduce.

All in all, I have to say that I was pretty impressed with the way he spoke to B. He wasn’t rude, he just made the comments that needed to be made in order for the house not to dissolve into chaos. Now maybe he will learn not to jump on those dadblasted metal grates!

Till next time….. try to stay warm. It’s cold here!