Here’s one for the baby boomers. An old-fashioned sprinkle bottle for ironing.

sprinkle bottle-6012

I found it among Momma’s fabric stash in her craft room closet when we finally got emotionally strong enough to go through her possessions. Priss, being 6 years younger, might not remember the sprinkle bottle but I certainly do.

Back in the 50’s and early 60’s, everyone used a glass soda bottle with a sprinkle top that came from the five and dime store. This bottle is imprinted with DRINK DIXIE BEVERAGES. From my internet searching, I assume Dixie Beverages is now Dixie Riverside Beverage Company who bottles 241 drink products such as A&W Rootbeer, 7Up, Sunkist, and RC Cola. Remember when people would snack on an RC Cola and a Moon Pie?

The sprinkle bottle allowed just the right amount of dampness to saturate the fabric for later ironing. Oh the flood of memories that came with finding the sprinkle bottle. I can remember filling the bottle with tap water, sprinkling my purple dress and placing it in a bag in the refrigerator (to keep the fabric from souring) until I was sufficiently moved to do the actual ironing. This was before spray starch and irons with misting nozzles.

I also remember the clothesline, the clothespin bag and the standing laundry hamper that would fold shut. Even those wire stretchers Momma stuck in each leg of a pair of pants to help dry them with less wrinkles so she didn’t have to press the iron so hard. And how about all those “rules” for hanging your clothes on the line so the neighbors couldn’t peek at your unmentionables?

In the early 80’s, when Poppie and Momma moved to the ancestral property I now live on (the Southern Rural Route) she still had a clothesline. As the shade of water oaks hid it from the sun, it fell into disuse and was eventually taken down. Momma had Poppie fashion a makeshift clothesline stretching across the back porch where she would hang a shirt or rug. I don’t have such a line on my porch and sometimes I wish we still had that old clothesline.

Momma also had a collection of flat irons that had been passed down in the family. The pair you see here were “preserved” with a coat of black paint because Momma had a thing about giving everything “a fresh coat of paint.” I can’t imagine being an old washer woman having to iron all day with these things because they are heavy.

antique iron-6018

I believe this next iron was used for ironing ruffles. Momma really got carried away with that fresh coat of paint when she got hold of this itty bitty iron. She made it cute as punch but ruined the antique value of it.

antique ruffle iron-6019

Rainbow Fern-Blue

Close-up of my first Rainbow Fern
Photograph taken 9/02/08

Originating in China, Rainbow Fern or Rainbow Moss, Selaginellaceae uncinata, is also known as Peacock Fern, Peacock Moss, Peacock Spikemoss, or Blue Spikemoss. Apparently, the 700 species of Selaginella can have 3 or more different names for each species. For my memory-impaired brain, it will always be a Rainbow Fern because it was identified as such when I first discovered it at a local arts festival.

It seems they aren’t really mosses or ferns but Fern-Allies and share a similar reproductive pattern of no flowers, fruits or seeds, just inconspicuous “seed cones” filled with both microspores (sperm) and megaspores (egg).  I have never noticed these on my plant so they must be truly inconspicuous.

Some Selaginellas are native to Florida with great drought tolerance and ability to withstand the sun but the Selaginellas most often cultivated are those from Africa and China.

It is a perennial that forms a dense mat of tiny, almost papery iridescent blue leaves touched with red and orange. If you want that mermaid blue green color, keep it in the shade.

Three foot streamers sprawl and hang nicely over containers and hanging pots, and it looks good indoors including terrariums. It is sometimes used as a ground cover but can be aggressive so caution is advised.

Example of streamers Photo taken 1/28/15

Example of streamers
Plant looks a little rough from wintering in the greenhouse
Please ignore weeds; I didn’t think to pull them out.
Photo taken 1/28/15

I have been able to propagate by planting cuttings in moist soil and keeping it moist. I killed the first one I obtained but I understand that if you allow it to dry out, immerse the plant in water and it may bounce back. Lightly fertilize once a week with a balanced mix but my newest one, obtained this past summer, has done fine without fertilizer applications.

The acquisition of my current Rainbow Fern, by the way, was like a scene out of a sappy romance movie. I was in Wal-Mart wheeling a buggy around the bedding plant section when I saw it across the room.  My heart almost stopped. I could see there was only one which prompted me to punch the gas on the buggy. We went careening around corners like cartoon characters until that Rainbow Fern was safely in my hands.

Back in 2013, at Chicken News, I explained that Poppie (and truthfully, some of my other relatives as well) seemed to hold the view that I orbit a crooked moon. I have several friends who admit to orbiting that same moon right along with me. I don’t feel bad about that as I had nothing to do with whatever craziness caused their orbit. They hung themselves on that moon all by themselves. Just like I did. I do feel bad, though, that my baby kitty, at six months of age, is apparently orbiting the Crooked Moon, too. It is not normal, to knock the garbage can over, toss out half the garbage, and climb in to go to sleep. I hope the Crooked Moon is not contagious!

Zorro in trash can-5997

I have used this lawn chair a handful of times. One of those times was at the Mandarin Garden Club where, when I pried myself out of it, the handle broke. I went to one more function at the garden club with another lawn chair from the Southern Rural Route. The seating angle of that one was all wrong for my back injuries and I ceased to attend garden club functions. I was unwilling to torture my back in one of their fanny flattening folding chairs.

Poppie knew I had broken the chair and indicated he might fix it but had back woes of his own stemming from the tree clean-up after three almost back-to-back hurricanes in 2004. He is scheduled for back surgery later this month.

On one of his good days, after I-can’t-remember-how-many-epidurals-I’ve-driven-him-to-at-the-crack-of-dawn, he fixed my chair.

lawn chair-5991

Too good to throw out

close-up of handle

close-up of handle

underneath the handle

underneath the handle

When I first started this blog three years ago in mid-December 2011, I didn’t expect anyone to read it except a few friends of mine. Until, of course, they got bored since many of them did not garden. Imagine my surprise as my page views began to climb over the years.

It was a hot diggity moment when Southern Rural Route passed the 50,000 page views mark on December 19, 2014. As I understand it, the 50,000 page view mark does not mean that I’ve had 50,000 unique and different visitors. It merely means that different pages on my blog have been read or looked at by someone 50,000 times. Still, that’s good enough for me.

I am especially appreciative of those who interact with me in the Comment section. I feel less like a lonely writer sitting in my garret when people reach out to let me know they are out there. Your kind words of encouragement mean so much to me.

A special surprise to me were readers who thoughtfully sent gifts my way. I received a book from a published author, subscriptions to magazines of interest to gardeners, veggie seeds, even a one-year membership at a local garden club. In 2014, I got to meet one of my first “comment” readers – Meta – who drove up from south Florida on one of the most humid days of summer.

Needless to say, I want to give a shout-out of appreciation to all my readers – those who subscribe, those who check in once-in-a-while and even those who stop by only once to read about hand plows although I never intended to be the worldwide go-to-gal on hand plows. Thanks to all of you!

I wanted a shower head like my sister, Miss Priss, has in her basement bathroom. Being the odd relative, I am never allowed to stay on the main floor. I don’t mind being hidden away in the basement because I really like that shower head. It’s one of those fancy jobs with a hose wand that can be lifted out of the bracket.

Having suffered yet another birthday in late November, I was able to justify the purchase as a birthday present to myself. I further justified a new drain thingie and a new tub spigot because everything was 25 years old. Other than rust and an appalling lack of water efficiency, all of these parts worked fine. Except the drain but my plumber friend who came out to install all of these parts solved the drain problem to my everlasting joy.

Five days into playing with my new hose wand, I heard an ominous C-R-A-C-K. This was followed by water spewing from the area of the fitting where the new shower head attached to the shower arm. I won’t go into any details here because I had soap all over my body and the language wasn’t pretty. Suffice it to say that I wondered why I had messed with perfectly good parts. After I mopped and corralled the water, I got up on the edge of the tub to inspect my new Aqua Source shower head. It had split across the middle of the PLASTIC fitting. Made in China. Why is everything plastic and made in China?

shower head-5963

Can you believe this?


I took the offending shower head with hose wand back to Lowes for a refund. Returning to the plumbing department, I was tempted to sit in the aisle as I opened all their boxes of shower heads trying to find one that did not have plastic fittings. I decided against drawing that kind of attention to myself. Ultimately, I chose a Moen without the hose wand just in case the weight of the wand caused the fitting to crack. The Moen looked and felt like the fitting might be metal but I wasn’t a hundred percent sure. It’s a cinch the packaging never says a thing about fittings. It apparently does not occur to the manufacturers that it just might matter to us.

I did not want to ask my plumber friend to drive all the way from the beach just to install a shower head, so I decided that maybe I could install the thing. The instructions were very straightforward:

  • Remove existing shower head (I had already done this in order to return the cracked piece of crap to Lowes).
  • Hand tighten shower head to shower arm but do not over-tighten.

Additionally, it said thread tape was not recommended and thread tape has always been a source of major stress to me. Hand tightening sounded like it was within the realm of my skill set. No tools or genius involved.

However, just thinking about the installation caused me endless anxiety. It locked up my shoulders bad enough that I had to scurry off to my chiropractor. It took THREE days to work up the nerve to attempt the installation. Pathetic.

The hardest part of the installation was removing all that thread tape. I had to pick at it with an Xacto knife. The best part? The fitting didn’t leak after hand tightening. The worst part? It didn’t extend far enough from the shower wall. I had to shower inside my soap caddy. I tried to adjust it but it wouldn’t budge so I called on Poppie the next day. It took two hands but he fixed it. What a disgusting amount of drama just to get rid of rust and conserve a little water.

Look what the Grande Poobah sent me for Christmas!

quilt for me-5960

When I opened the box, there were a number of individually wrapped presents. This was the second gift I opened because it was squishy. I wondered if I had been gifted with the ubiquitous old lady sweater OR — ohmygosh, could it be possible — one of her handcrafted quilts.

You should have heard the squeal when a quilt popped out of the wrapping. It measures 56″ x 57″ with a double edged border of the flower print and the solid red. Every other square has a “yo yo” with a red button in the middle. There are several different styles of red buttons. Here’s a close-up of the button inside the yo yo:

quilt for me close up-5961

The reverse side is a charcoal color with very small white polka dots. The freehand machine stitch you see above is repeated on the charcoal side. Just lovely.

A few of the Grande Poobah’s quilts were previously posted here in February 2013.

Also among the box of goodies was a pair of garden gloves. Do you think they are long enough for the job?

gloves long-5968

%d bloggers like this: