Archive for September, 2010

LawtonFest, Part 8 , James Island, SC

September 25, 2010

This post is a continuation of September 5, 2010.  In the interest of expediency, I am posting pictures only.  If I get the chance, I’ll add some commentary.  Working 6 days and going to school cuts into blog time.

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Feral Grayson, 9-20-10

September 20, 2010

Last evening I set the cat trap and monitored it.  Mr. Grayson was gracious enough to go into the trap about 7 PM.  I covered the trap with an old towel and went about my business.

This morning, I took a couple photos of the wildlife camera.  But on the way to the cat station to take photos and pick up Grayson, I saw the mother cat and two of her babies running wildly away at my approach.  There was also another fluffy black cat, I believe one named Bobby, that I have not seen in months, so I was looking forward to seeing the wildlife camera videos on them. 

But there was nothing on the memory chip.  Not enough motion or perhaps not close enough to trigger the  mechanism.

Oh.  well.  Here’s the setup in the woods.

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The 50th

September 19, 2010

My parents at their 50th wedding anniversary celebration, together at last. They took two vehicles to go to the party.

Mom and her sister Etta


Etta and her husband Gordon


Mom's brother Cecil "Pete" and Pete's wife Nancy


All the kids - YoursTruly, BigSis, BigBroSteve, BigBroBob, & LilSis


The grandkids


BabyGirl and Dad


BabyBoy & Dad


YoursTruly & Dad


Two geniuses



Mr. Raccoon Makes An Appearance, 9/11/2010

September 15, 2010

My friend Maria is a wildlife rehabber.  She takes care of injured and/or orphaned animals and birds until they can be released safely.  One summer when she was living a few miles from me, she released several dozen raccoons, and she thinks that some of the raccoon action at the cat feeding station in the woods came from her foster raccoons. 

So, now every time I see a raccoon on the wildlife camera videos, I think of Maria.  And here is a raccoon video that I made for Maria on the event of her birthday, September 11.

Sir Richard of Garnett

September 14, 2010

Last Sunday found us in Garnett doing meds for Richard’s dogs.  Richard was a bit mellow, possibly having indulged in some extra-curricular activities to create such a mood.  He was waxing eloquent about a song that he wrote in 2003 about the devil and how the devil lies.  I offered to record it for him and post it to youtube. 

Richard now thinks that he is going to be discovered because of being on youtube.  I’m not sure how to break it to him.

How My Mother Invented the Hamlick Maneuver

September 13, 2010

The Professor of Pumpkin

September 12, 2010

The Professor and his students

When Papa retired, the garden grew in size and volume.  He extended the garden to include what was formerly a pasture.  By now, the garden was at least an acre.  He began experimenting with different plants and food crops, and added these newcomers to the basic garden staples of corn, beans, okra, strawberries, squash, watermelon, tomatoes, pumpkins, and cabbage.  He grew popcorn – that’s right, popcorn!  That really popped!  He added peanuts, and there were peanuts drying everywhere.  But the most amazing products to come out of the garden were the giant pumpkins.  How he did this, I don’t know.  Fertilizer, extra water, lullabies, what??

You can see the tractor shed at the background of this picture.  The area behind Dad and the pumpkins is the traditional garden area.  He expanded the garden to the left of the picture.  He’s sitting in the shade of the apple tree.  When I was little girl, Mom and Dad planted the apple tree with the plan that we would have an apple crop someday.  We never ate those apples.  They were scrawny and puny and spotted, and they lay on the ground and drew bees.  Best laid plans….

LilSis will probably remember when Dad retired.  I don’t.  I was already out of the house, perhaps finished with the university 4-year tour and married.  Or Team Deno/Rawls!  Somebody’s got to know something.

Catcatcher Corner

September 10, 2010

Now, I realize that there are important things to blog about, like finishing the LawtonFest posting (as if THAT were possible), or the fact that Newdo destroyed most of a cardboard box, or Jopty Gerbil’s tryout video for Dancing With The Stars.

Jopty: "This version of Rodent Riverdance should really wow the judges."

 But something just happened that is so adorable that all other stories must wait.  First, some history.

About 3 weeks ago, I set the cat trap one evening.  I returned to the trap after dark to find a cat in the trap, his markings looking much like Marcellene but without an ear tip.  I left him in the trap overnight, covered with a large towel for security.

The next morning, I removed the towel and examined the cat more closely.  A vet told me once that she could tell whether an adult cat was a male or female by looking at their face.  She explained that the male hormones cause the cheeks to become “cheekier” and the neck and shoulders to become larger.  The cat in the trap had a slender face and enormous green eyes, and her gray marbled coloring and bright eyes made quite a striking combination. 

The cat looked back at me, but made no attempt to harm me.  I covered the trap back up with the towel, and when I lifted the trap, she thrashed about wildly, but to no avail, like a butterfly caught in a net.  She was distressed, and I set the trap back down on the ground.  I looked at her rear end pressed up against the trap, and tried to look to be sure that the vet’s advice was true, and that she was indeed a female.  I couldn’t be sure, but then I saw something peeking out from her fur on her belly.  It was the nipple of an enlarged mammary gland, and then this cat did something that convinced me to let her out of the trap.  She rolled on her side and showed me her tummy.  The hair around every nipple was flattened and dried in place from the nursings of her kittens.  She was a mother, and she had babies still so young that they needed to nurse, and they had been alone all night without her. 

I opened the trap, and she ran away into the woods, somewhere beyond to her children.

Okay, that was about 3 weeks ago, and since then I’ve looked at the wildlife videos, and I recognized this same mother eating frequently at the cat station.  And tonight, who showed up at the feeding station? 


September 9, 2010

Congratulations! It's a boy!

Ah, yes.  Congratulations are in order.

About 3 weeks ago, I offered to take this little brown dog off Richard’s hands.  Richard has approximately 12 dogs, a motley group of ragamuffins and refugees.  He trapped a mother dog and six puppies over the span of a month.  By the time he got the last 3 puppies trapped, they were completely wild.  Now they live under his house.  That’s another story for another day.  Suffice it to say that Sugar and I are working on a remedy.

Rabbit, of Donkey Ho-tey fame, borrowed Richard’s dog trap, which actually belongs to Sugar, but it gets a lot of action in Garnett.  He wanted to trap a little brown dog that was coming around his house.  If you remember that Rabbit dragged Donkey Ho-tey behind a 4-wheeler, you would be correct in assuming that Rabbit was probably up to no good. 

Rabbit trapped the dog, and offered him to Richard with the message “if you don’t take him, I’ll just shoot him.”  Nice.  Real nice practical sort of guy.  So Richard took the dog.

I took the little darling to the shelter after his exam and vaccinations.  Not long after that, maybe only 30 minutes, a technician arrived from the company that manufactures our bloodwork machine to do a test run.  We needed a blood sample for the test run.  The vet’s wife offered for me to go get the dog from the shelter to donate blood, saying “It’s just a stray that we just picked up.”  My ears almost blew out from the built-up steam.  What’s this “we”?  She never even saw the dog, much less touched him.  I had just paid the bill, to her husband the vet, for the dog’s exam and vaccinations.  Sugar and I had been taking food and meds to Richard for all the dogs.  “We?” 

While we had him there at the office, I checked him for heartworms by using a drop of blood on a microscope slide.  It was just a formality, really.  I knew he didn’t have heartworms.  He was too young, probably only 8 months old.  I twirled the knobs on the microscrope, moving the slide around, saying, “Yup, nothing, he’s fine…. Holy crap.”

There on the slide, wiggling around in the blood, was a heartworm larvae.  Awesome.  Only 8 months old with heartworms already.  I called the shelter and told them I wasn’t delivering him back to the shelter because I knew he’d be euthanized.  The shelter person on the phone agreed that they had a limited budget and couldn’t treat heartworms.  I didn’t even bother to talk to them about the slow-kill method.  They know about it, but their budget doesn’t allow heartworm prevention or treatment.  So, euthanasia.

I brought him back to the plantation and he has single-handedly destroyed anything within reach of his mouth.  He figured out how to flip open the dog food container’s lid and invited everyone else to enjoy.  One night he ate an entire 120 count bag of glucosamine and condroitin chews that I had just purchased the day before for Packett.  A $40 bag that should last 3 months gone in less than 12 hours.  He has re-landscaped the flowers and bushes, and dug giant holes for replanting. 

From this...

To this.


And just when I am on the verge of totally losing my mind, I am returning from the cat station in the woods, and I am greeted by this sweet face.

What's a mother to do?

And then he’s joined by another sweet face…

Partners in grime.

LawtonFest, Part 8, James Island, SC

September 8, 2010

On Sunday just past, the day before Labor Day, we meandered through some of the sea islands near Charleston.  Sugar usually has a plan about where we are going; I tag along and make photos.  I don’t do very much homework about where we are going, so no matter what happens, everything is fresh and unusual.  “Oh, look at that stump!”  “How many bricks does it take to make that wall?”  “What about the price of gas here!”  “Do you suppose there’s a bathroom nearby?”

Part of the trip found us at St. James Episcopal Church on James Island.  As luck and Sugar would have it, there is a graveyard there with – wait for it – Lawtons!  That’s right, a LawtonFest!

There are several buildings to the church connected by a sweeping covered walkway.  We pulled into the lot in front of the furthest building on the right, which appeared to be an office building.  The next building to the left of the office was a sanctuary.  Here’s a shot of the facade.

St. James Episcopal

The steeple and bell tower

How do we know there’s a bell  in the tower?  Well, duh.  We are researchers who will go to the ends of the earth to ferret out information.  That, and I took a picture of the rope that pulls the bell…

We then stepped to the left of this building, and I took a shot of the covered walkway that connects this sanctuary to the next building.  This photo is taken from the backside of the walkway looking toward the street, and you can see how the walkway creates a courtyard area, and frames in the front of the cemetery.

And the first thing we see in the graveyard are.. “Who are THESE Lawtons?”, said Sugar.  A little humming and hawing solved the issue, and provided a link to several earlier blog posts.  So here are the photos and then I’ll explain.

Laura Oswald, Wife of Richard Tyler Crawford, and Daughter of Caroline Vernon and Robert Lawton Oswald, October 5, 1876, May 17, 1931

The inscription at the base of the marker was obscured by sandy grit, and a quick sweep of Sugar’s hand revealed all.  “Her children arise up, and call her blessed.”

Her children arise up, and call her blessed.

Next to Laura is her brother, Vernon.

Vernon Oswald, son of Caroline Vernon and Robert Lawton Oswald, June 17, 1881, March 14, 1938

A quick sweep of Sugar’s magic wand hand, and all is revealed.

"I know that my Redeemer liveth"

Next in line to Vernon is Robert Lawton Oswald.

Robert Lawton Oswald, Feb. 17, 1850 - May 11, 1918

Another sweep of the hand reveals… nothing.

Here’s Robert’s wife Caroline Vernon Oswald.  Poor girl died before she was 40.  Robert lived 25 years more after her death.

Caroline Vernon, Wife of Robert Lawton Oswald, and daughter of Caroline Holbrook and William Henry Vernon, Sept. 16, 1853 - May 25, 1893

Next was a four-sided marker.  I had no paper and pencil to make notes, although I probably could have scrounged some up in the van, but our goal was not these Lawtons, but other Lawtons in the cemetery, so I apologize that the inscriptions in the next photo are not clear, and that I have no good transcription.  We found that the sandy dirt on the shorter markers was actually a benefit, for it filled in the grooves of the inscriptions and made a wonderful contrast in the photos.

Robert Oswald, born in Beaufort, SC, 1828 (?). His mother was a Chaplin and his father was Robert Oswald.

Now here’s our bonus.  On the opposite side of Robert’s marker is his wife, Anna LAWTON Oswald.  She was born in Lawtonville, SC, and is the daughter of R. T. (Robert Themistocles) Lawton, and H. S. (Harriett Singleton) Lawton.  I’ll provide a link later to my blogs about the Lawton Place in Savannah and to Screven County GA.  We weren’t expecting to see a connection to these Lawtons here. 

Anna, daughter of R. T. and H. S. Lawton, wife of Robt. Oswald, born Lawtonville, SC, July 6, 1832, died Nov. 14, 1885

And on each side of this four-sided marker we find more inscriptions.

Alex S. Oswald, June 5, 1872 - April 10, 1935

Wallace N. Oswald, Aug. 17, 1863 - May 15, 1944 and C. Olive Oswald, Nov. 15, 1877 - June 9, 1946, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God"

 The sanctuary was surrounded on this side, the back, and the other side by cemetery.  We went around the back of the cemetery to get to the opposite side of the cemetery where Sugar knew was another Lawton plot.  These Lawtons were featured in the book “How Grand a Flame”, and later in the day we would revisit that homeplace. 

Taking a break here now, and I’ll return with more LawtonFest excitement soon.

And the sky was Carolina blue.