30 August 2007

It's been a very hot summery day and I've spent a lot of it running around. I started at Starbucks in the grocery store. I get the same thing there that I get at Border's. Since a lot of people know of my coffee habits, I get Border's and Starbucks gift cards at holiday time and fortunately, they last me through the year. If it wasn't for the gift cards, I'd be buying plain coffee, which I also like. I went to visit my mom after that. I did her color and then her cut. She reminded me that I did it very short the last time, and I told her I'd be doing that again. It looks good on her that way, and to be honest, it means I don't have to do it as often. We had lunch together, then I went around the house and made a list of things for her aide, who comes 3X per week, to do. It was funny, whenever my mom would ask me to do something, like take the dead leaves off of a plant, I'd say, let me write that down. Jess, who happens to be my nephew's girlfriend, comes for 4 hours each time, and often my mother is grasping for things to keep her busy. I put things on the list like: wipe down molding around kitchen window, clean front and sides of kitchen cabinets, clean ceiling fan, etc... Don't you just wish you could write a list and have someone else do it? That would be the greatest luxury for me. I left there and bought a "Nicer Dicer" (as seen on TV, BTW) from Bed Bath and Beyond. I had borrowed my parent's and it worked great. I went to Macy's and bought Emily the MAC powder that she borrows from me all the time. Now that she's waking up so early for school, I don't want her coming into my room to get it, and I don't like going into her bathroom to get it back. She'll be happy with this surprise gift when she gets home from field hockey practice. I went to Marshall's and Homegoods and didn't buy anything. I went to Lowe's to look for a mosquito zapper, but they were all out. Finally I went to the grocery store to buy shrimp and salmon for tonight's dinner. Whew. It was a busy day. Was this too long-winded? It's not like anyone asked...

I'm off to do some much-needed laundry. Then start on dinner. I think I'll slather myself with bug spray after that and just chill out on the porch or the hammock.

29 August 2007

I've had a sluggish night. Mostly I've sat on the couch reading blogs. I haven't done that in a long time...made a night of it, that is. I ate my dinner sitting on the couch. I did go outside for a little while. Watched the birds and got mosquito-bitten. I can't stand that I have to put bug repellent on every time I want to spend time outside. I always have to wash it off before I go to bed because I don't want to get it on my sheets. My neighbor Kelly came home and I talked to her for a while. We both pulled crabgrass and other weeds as we talked. I'm big on multi-tasking. I sat down with Emily while she ate dinner and we talked about her classes. Today was day 2 of school; yesterday was her first 'A' day (Spanish 1, US Gov't, Geometry, Nutrition) and today was 'B' (Biology, PE, English, Art). So far she likes her 'A' day better. Tomorrow she'll go to field hockey practice. I think she's joining the team.

Crusty Beef had the smart idea to put this link on her blog, and I thought I'd do the same. There's a campaign to get people to add ICE (in case of emergency) in their cell phone contact list. The linked site explains it much better than me.

I'm off tomorrow. First order of business will be cutting and coloring my mother's hair. She's going away next week and I can't have her going with a gray 'bull's eye' on her crown! You'd think a hairdresser's mother would have well-maintained hair.

Hopefully I'll have something interesting to say tomorrow!
This tree-lined dirt road in Edisto is my new screensaver. I just love it. Did I mention I let Emily drive one afternoon? It was the thrill of her life. In fact, let me find a picture. She was shocked when I said yes to her 'please, please, please?'

The island was filled with these very long dirt roads, deserted for the most part, so why not? It was so much fun for her, and a preview of how hard it will be for me in less than 2 years. In MD, you can get your learner's permit when you're 15 and 9 months. Way too early if you ask me. Don't ask her, though.

I should be getting ready for work. We're having a color class this morning from 9:30-12:00. I think it's great that we close the salon when we have classes, rather than hold them on our day off like we used to. I have such a good boss.

Have a great day!

27 August 2007

Can someone please tell me where the summer went? Was it really that long ago that I was putting down compost and planting my flowers? The pear tree was covered with thousands of white, billowy blossoms. I was just growing my grass! Now I'm pulling out plants that have bloomed their final blooms. The pear tree is full of thousands of berries that will turn soft and start falling and cover my sidewalk with goo. My hummingbirds will be migrating in just a few short weeks. That might make me saddest of all.

It's not that it's getting cool here. It's just that school has started, and I know that in a blink of the eye it will be Christmas. I was supposed to start making my cards in July!

I visited my sister today. She's doing really well and will start light-duty part-time work starting on Thursday. Sixteen days after surgery. I find that amazing. She's a Type-A personality, and staying home is driving her stir-crazy. How's that for some hyphens?

I spent hours in the kitchen today. Made my now-famous zucchini pie. Shrimp salad. Lunches for the next two days of work. I marinated chicken thighs-they're such a pain to trim (I like to take off all the fat and other stringy stuff). It felt good to be preparing fresh food, but it's so time consuming. When I was finally done, I laid on my hammock. It was the first time and very pleasant till the mosquitoes found me. Oh well. It was time to light the grill anyway. Emily and I sat down for a good dinner of grilled chicken, green beans and garlic, macaroni and cheese and salad. Yum. I went outside and decided to mow the lawn. That done, I applied some bug spray, plugged in my fan and laptop, and, here I am. It's dusk, the crickets are chirping. I wish I could stay out for hours. I'm just thankful I had a little while to sit in my old favorite place. Like old times.

My first day of HS! It was awesome.

26 August 2007

Hard to believe this is my 300th post. I find that to be utterly amazing. I viewed my archives to see when I began the blogging life. My profile says I've been a member since June 2005, but it looks like my first post was on August 13, 2006. I missed my anniversary! Here's one of my first posts. I've really stayed consistent with my writing since then, and I get a lot of pleasure out of this hobby and all the people I've come to know through it.

I'm just wiped out from my marathon NY trip. We got on the road yesterday at 4PM, arrived in Staten Island at 8, spent 2 1/2 hours at the party today, and got home at 7PM tonight. I'm so glad we went. I took a lot of pictures, and I'll post some of them tomorrow.

Taken at 75 MPH

I'm more than ready for sleep. Emily leaves for the bus at 6:30 tomorrow morning, and I need to be up to see her off and take the first day pictures. It's a tradition, you know?

24 August 2007

I took Emily to her high school orientation. She thought it would be too weird to have both her parents there, but we told her we weren't about to sit with her. Ha! The orientation was informative and I think it helped to get the kids psyched for school. It wasn't mandatory, but I was surprised to see how many people came in late. The hours were from 8-9:30 and people streamed in, steadily, up till the end. It seemed such a bad example for the kids. School starts on Monday for freshmen only. Emily couldn't be more excited.

We're making a very quick trip to NY tomorrow after I get off work. Yes, that means no Border's afterall. My cousins are throwing a surprise 80th birthday party for my uncle on Sunday afternoon. I really didn't want to go, but I know it's the right thing to do and I really do want to see everyone. I haven't seen my cousins or aunt and uncle in years, and I don't want the next time to be for someone's funeral. Emily and I will get up there by 7 tomorrow night and leave for home at 3 on Sunday. I'm going to ask my cousin to stay mum on our trip so we can surprise everyone. That's the plan. Driving I-95 and then the New Jersey Turnpike is, well, painful, but it's the only way to go. I much prefer driving south.

23 August 2007

Well, work is taking it's toll. It's hard to go from over two weeks of complete leisure to a schedule where you're booked on the half hour for a full 8 hour day and every minute counts (thankfully I have a half-hour lunch break). If I run behind for 5 minutes, it's so hard to catch up and it can affect the rest of my day. I pride myself on staying on time, and my clients expect it. The late days are hardest, because my day starts early regardless of my work start. Mind you, I'm not complaining because you know I love my job. I'm just getting slammed this week. I work entirely on commission, and am very thankful that I'm so busy.

I just looked out on my deck cause I heard some knocking around and thought I'd find my squirrels up to no good. It was a very large blue jay pecking on the wood railing like a woodpecker. I wonder why? There's another blue jay on the deck, along with a pair of cardinals, a pair of morning doves, and a bunch of little songbirds. It's so nice to look outside and see all this activity. I have two woodpeckers that visit a lot. A little downy woodpecker that doesn't like any company on the bird feeder, and a big one that I don't know the name of. It's big and has a red cap, but no crest. I tried to look it up, but it was taking too long.

Well, time to finish getting ready for work. Hope you all have a great day.

22 August 2007

I meant to write earlier but got all caught up on reading. Now I'm too tired. I didn't have quite as much energy today and was so happy when 5:00 rolled around. I'll be working tomorrow 11-7. I like the late start but not the late finish. I work 2 nights a week to fit in clients that work during the day. This week I'll be working 3 nights. On Saturday I get my reward. Caramel Latte, I hear you calling my name.

21 August 2007

My Fortune Cookie told me:
People who smile are happier people.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

I'm having fun with the fortune cookie thing. Emily pointed out that you can paste your own fortune into the code. Cool, huh?

Today was great. There was a welcome back note on our back board and everyone seemed happy to see me. My boss and I hugged and she told me I was gone too long. That was really nice. Thanks Pam. I was very busy but stayed right on time, and the day flew by. Just like old times. I had lots of energy all day. It's just now, that I've been sitting for a while, that I feel kind of planted to my sofa. Now I'm tired. I think I'll get into bed with my cookbook (I love to read cookbooks) and read for a while.
Almost time to leave for my first day back to work. It's raining cats and dogs outside and should rain most of the day. I always worry about my first day back after vacation, and this has been a very long one. It's like I'm afraid I've forgotten how to do hair. After all these years. I fell asleep no problem, thank goodness. I woke up many times, and fooled my anxieties by making myself smile big. Then I'd fall right back asleep. So, I'm rested. My hair is 'done' for the first time since August 2. It was strange putting on make-up! I feel all fancy. I ironed clothes for today and tomorrow. I made my lunch yesterday. I think I'm ready. It will be a long day and I'm sure I'll be exhausted when I get home. I'll sleep well tonight.

20 August 2007

I haven't written much about my younger sister Lisa. She lives about 30 minutes from me, right by my parents. She's suffered with obesity her whole life and has been on every kind of diet. Took Phen-phen before the danger of it was known. Lost lots of weight and then gained it all back, plus some. Four years ago she had a heart attack. She recovered, thank goodness, but knew that her weight would kill her if she didn't do something about it. This picture was taken in November 2005. Right after this, she had gastric bypass surgery.

Here's a picture of her exactly one year later, November 2006:

I used to think that getting gastric bypass surgery was taking the easy way out. It's really the hard way. You can never eat normally again and so much of what we do revolves around food. Lisa is so strict with herself. I believe that she will always keep her weight off. You should see her, she's really tiny now. On Tuesday she had a complete body lift to get rid of her excess skin. I'm pretty sure that's what it's called. The incision circles her body. Eight and a half hours of surgery! She's doing so much better than I anticipated. Mostly she feels sore. She can't wait till the bandages and binder comes off, and the swelling goes down, so she can check out her new body.

I'll post a picture one day to show the new Lisa.
Jamie tagged me but I'm so bad at tags and memes. Sorry. I did like what the fortune cookie said. I kinda cheated and kept doing it over and over till I got one I liked. Well at least I admitted it!

My Fortune Cookie told me:
We are not anticipating any emergencies.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

18 August 2007

I wish I had Emily's camera handy to take a picture of my pantry floor. I just finished vacuuming up the baking soda I spread over it last night, and put down a new coat. The open box is also on the floor. Along with very hot vinegar sprinkled with a generous amount of cinnamon. I got a lot of great suggestions, and I might try all of them. The charcoal idea makes a lot of sense, along with Febreze. Funny, I was walking by the seafood section of a grocery store today and it smelled just like my pantry.

I got on the scale this morning. Brave, I know. I'm up about 3.5 pounds. That will make a difference in my 'real' clothes come Tuesday when I go back to work. It's a good thing I wear a smock-it will cover up the unbuttoned pants. I was very good about my eating today except for the ice cream I had after dinner. I contemplated throwing the container out, but... there's not much left. I went grocery shopping today and stocked up on all my healthy foods with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. I'll get back into my routine in no time cause I'm a routine kind of girl. Come Wednesday, my vacation will feel like it happened a long time ago.

The laundry is almost done. One more light load to do. I've washed all of Emily's new clothes. I always wash new clothes before wearing them. How about you? Emily had a budget for school clothes shopping, and she met it on our vacation. Lots and lots of new clothes. Tomorrow we'll buy shoes and then we'll be done.

I spent a few hours with my sister Lisa today. She had a very big surgery this week. I'll write about that soon. I stopped off to visit Kit on my way home. Tomorrow I'll visit my parents and my sister. And take Emily shoe shopping. And take her to get her ears pierced. Another busy day. Like I said, it's back to my regular life.

17 August 2007

Home Sweet Home

We started our homeward trip a little after 9 AM. It was really fine for the first eight hours. We got stuck in traffic for the last two, and they were miserable hours. Thank goodness Emily fell asleep, cause she was really suffering. I think it was a combination of rush hour on Rt. 301 starting in La Plata, MD, for those of you who know the area, and maybe people on their way out of town. I don't know. It didn't let up till we got to Rt. 32. I was so done by then. The trip should have been about 8 hours without stopping. We stop.

When I entered my house I was surprised by how clean and neat it was. It looked empty. I had forgotten that I left it that way. On purpose. The next surprise was a kind of stinky smell. Like someone forgot to flush the toilet 2 weeks ago. I checked, and it wasn't that. I smelled the refrigerator, freezer, and garbage disposal. I lit a candle. A while later I went to put something in the pantry, and there it was. A bag of potatoes that I had on the floor had rotted, and a black liquid was semi-dried on my hardwood floor. What a mess. I wanted my mommy to clean it up. The liquid got in-between the cracks of the flooring. It got into the file box I keep my bills in. It got under the wood molding. I put on my rubber gloves and spent a long time cleaning. Not the homecoming I wanted. I just finished using white vinegar and a toothbrush. Double-bagging the used paper towels and file box did not conceal the smell. Putting it in the trash can in my garage did not contain it. I put the bag in a lawn bag and have it outside. My pantry still stinks. Any suggestions?

Thank you to everyone who read my blog with it's endless vacation tales. I had such a wonderful time and the memories will last me a long time.

Goodbye South Carolina

16 August 2007

It's the last night of my very, very long vacation. Here's some random thoughts...I've been more idle in these last 14 days than I've been in years. I'm never idle. I didn't grow up in an idle household. It's been nice, but only a reprieve. I like being busy with the things I like. Let's see...I haven't worn make-up in 14 days and I wear it daily. I've shaved my legs every day and I never do that at home. I pluck my brows daily, it's a habit, and I've only done it twice. I usually read blogs every day, and I haven't. I will when I get back to my 'regular life.' The condo doesn't have a washer or dryer, and I just haven't felt like going up to another floor to do laundry, so I haven't done any. It would take time away from my relaxation. I have worn the same clothes over and over. It's been fine. I've used the same beach towel every day. It's very salty. Have I mentioned I'm a jellybean addict? Every morning I put some jellybeans into a baggie and bring it to the beach. I eat them one by one and am glad that I still have a bit left for the trip home. I brought 2 bags with me, 2 18-oz. bags. That's a good amount of sugar. So bad for you. I really try not to buy them at home. Anyway, I'm going to stop for now and eat a very late dinner. I convinced my sister to stay another night, and we stayed at the pool till 6:30. We actually spent most of our day there on chaise lounges in the shade. It was a windy day and although the sand wasn't blowing, the umbrellas were and the ocean was rough. The pool was delightful.

15 August 2007

I'm getting so lazy. Endless days at the beach will do that to you. Yesterday was my day to make Zucchini pie and Tomato pie. I just couldn't leave the beach. The weather was so beautiful later in the day. I've finally gotten into the book I'm reading. The water was so inviting. My sister Ilene drove here from GA yesterday to spend 2 nights with us. We were the only ones left on the beach from our group at the end of the day. We went back into the ocean for the last time at about 5:00, then didn't want to come out. You could see down to your feet through the water, it was so clear. The water temperature must be in the 80's. So delightful. Kelly called on the cell when we got back to our chairs to say she put the lasagna in the oven. Yup, I was fired from my dinner duties. We had a very late dinner, then Ilene, Emily and I went to the stores, again. For the last time. This morning Emily went with Kelly and Natalie to Ripley's Aquarium while Ilene and I stayed busy inside. We did all the prep work for the dinner pies. I made tuna salad for today's lunch. I set the umbrellas up on the beach. Finally it's time for the real work of the day: I'll think of you as I float on my raft.

P.S. I haven't talked about this, but my camera broke in Edisto. I've used Emily's camera a little. I'll need to start looking for a new one when I get home. I've loved the camera that I had, but I want my new one to have more optical zoom.

13 August 2007

It's so hot outside. Are people on vacation allowed to complain?
Today was the first day in Myrtle Beach with really beautiful weather. Sunny, breezy, mid-80's, low humidity. I hated to come in from the beach.

Here's the view from our balcony. The roof of the indoor pool is just below us. Not the best view, but it's alright :)

View from our umbrella.

Our hotel/condo is the tall one.

Tonight's excitement was taking the girls to a NASCAR go-cart place, then trying to find the outlets, again. Turns out they closed at 7:00. Duh. It was Sunday. We went back to the shops at Broadway at the Beach. I warmed a bench and people-watched while the others shopped. That was fine with me.

12 August 2007

I've always loved big, old trees. The trees at the plantation were wonderful. The one Emily's standing in front of was standing when the plantation was built in 1730. The one I'm standing by is even older. There were trees of this size all around the grounds.

Here's the plantation house. I think it looks like Tara.

This is the cricket I mentioned before. It was huge and I got within a foot of it for this picture. It was over 5" long (not including the antennae or legs) and about 3/4" around. I've never seen anything like it. It looks ordinary in this picture.

The coastal highway was pretty amazing. It was so flat and the road was bordered by endless stretches of marshland, rivers and creeks.

Finally we reached Myrtle Beach. There were crazy storms late last night. We turned on the weather channel to make sure there wasn't a hurricane or tornado in the area. The palm trees whipped in the wind just like on CNN. The rain pounded and the lightning flashed over the ocean. It took forever to fall asleep. I woke up at 5 AM to another wave of storms. I checked the weather channel again. By 9:00, the sun was shining and we spent the day switching between the beach and the pool. Em and I have a one bedroom condo on the 4th floor of this hotel. My neighbor Kelly and her daughter have a condo here on the 14th floor. Our friend Barbara is staying at a nearby hotel, but spending her days with us. Kelly made tonight's dinner of chicken quesadillas. We did some shopping afterwards. We finished a DVD that we started last night. I'm pooped. It seems like I've been on vacation forever.

Here's Emily and Natalie hamming it up at a store at Broadway at the Beach.

11 August 2007

I'm taking a break from the beach to get something to eat, and post a quick hello. We arrived at Myrtle Beach yesterday afternoon after a meandering drive up the coastal highway. The highlight was touring The Hampton Plantation. It looked just like I imagined a plantation house would. What I didn't know about coastal plantations was that rice was the main crop. All the marshlands and creeks were ideal for growing rice. This plantation had over 400 slaves. So hard to imagine. It was over 3000 acres. It was crazy, crazy hot in there. No AC. I think it was about 120 degrees. We were soaked, and the tour lasted over an hour. There were only 5 of us there (crazy enough to be out in the heat), and we had a very casual and informal tour. The best thing about the tour was: 1. The house 2. The humongous trees on the ground 3. The gorgeous guy on the tour 4. The enormous cricket we saw outside. I'll post pictures tonight. We left there and soon came to Pawley's Island. I remembered, then saw a billboard for the famous Pawley's Island homemade hammocks. We found the store where they make them, and I bought one to replace my L.L. Bean one that dry-rotted last year. Yeah! The only problem is that it's in a big box. Luckily there's room.

I really miss Edisto. The beach. The creek. Myrtle Beach is so large and commercial. Still, it is the beach.

More later.

09 August 2007

The rain ended this morning, which suited my sister's family immensely. They left for GA before noon, and suddenly, the house was very large and lonely. What to do? Get in the car and, go. First stop was to find a place to get rid of our trash. We went to a neighbor's to ask, then drove the 6 miles to the disposal site. Next it was over to the shrimp place for tonight's dinner. Then we drove to The Sea Cow for lunch and on to Piggly Wiggly so Emily could get a pig t-shirt. From there we explored the scenic dirt roads and took many pictures of the intertwining, canopied trees. I'll post the pictures soon. We went to George and Pink's for fresh green beans, then I dropped Emily off at the Serpentarium. I'm glad I didn't have to go.

What a killer-hot day. The heat index is up to 108*. Every time we get out of the car we comment on the heat. How do people around here deal with it? Semi-tropical, for sure.

Well, time for a movie. Later.
I woke up this morning to something very unfamiliar. It was the sound of a summer storm, complete with thunder, lightning and rain. My first thought was of things left outside that should have been brought in, the next was that whatever it was could dry off. I went out to the screened-in porch, my glasses quickly steaming up before I could even glimpse my surroundings. I sat on a rocker, gazing out at the hanging Spanish moss, enjoying the only sounds: the steady rain and the cries of the gulls. Then I saw a surprising sight. No, not an alligator, which I worried about from time to time. I really don't think there are any around here. The kids have been to the Serpentarium, and surely they would have told us if they learned about those creatures roaming this island. What I saw was an old familiar buddy. A squirrel bounding down one tree, across the yard, and up another. Just like at home. But without the tomatoes.

08 August 2007

Millie got a real make-over. What to do with all that leftover hair?

My "work" is done

07 August 2007

I love the sight of pelicans flying over the ocean. It was hard to capture them, but here's a try:

Rosemary bush:

Palm nuts?

Assorted pretty pics:

I wanted to cut my sister's hair when we got back from the beach but the tarp I had cut on a few days ago still had lots of hair on it. I gathered up the tarp and decided to shake the hair out in the creek, where it could sink. It didn't:

Time for the last haircut of the vacation. We'll throw this hair in the trash.
The gang has left for Charleston and the house is quiet.I was asked about these wonderful recipes, and thought I'd post them.

French Toast Casserole

1 lb French bread, cut diagonally into 1" slices
8 eggs
2 c milk
1 1/2 c half & half
2 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon

3/4 c butter
1 1/3 c packed brown sugar
3 T corn sugar

Butter a 9X13 pan. Arrange bread in pan. Beat eggs along with other ingredients (not topping). Pour over bread and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350*. Combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook in pan till bubbly. Pour over casserole. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.

Tomato Pie

Preheat oven and baking sheet to 350*

1 (9") deep dish pie shell
5 large tomatoes, peeled, sliced and squeezed to get seeds out
1/2 small onion, chopped
3 t dried basil or 1/4 c fresh, chopped (I only use fresh)
salt and pepperr
3/4 c mayonnaise
1 1/4 c grated cheddar cheese

Mix tomatoes, basil, onion, s&p in a bowl. Place in bottom of pie shell. Mix mayo and cheese and spread over mixture. Bake on cookie sheet at 350* for 35 minutes or till golden brown and bubbly.

06 August 2007

Ilene is sitting next next to me and I asked her what she'd say about today. Maybe it's just me that thinks it's so great. Not! She said: It was another wonderful day on Edisto Island. After a delicious breakfast of Aaron and Rachel's French Toast Casserole, we headed off to the beach. The boys and Andy did not get wet and appeared to be miserable. They soon left. Emily, Ilene and I stayed for hours, floating on our rafts, sitting under our umbrella, and reading. We had a great time. We got back to the house and changed into new swimsuits, and hung out at the creek. Ilene floated for the first time. We made tomato pies for dinner, and while they were cooking I ran out to a tiny seafood store to pick up shrimp for Emily's dinner. She's not into the pie. I sauteed the shrimp in butter and minced garlic and I must say, they were the freshest and most delicious shrimp I've ever had. I'd eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could. The five kids are playing Monopoly now, and Ilene and I are going to Google Southern Living to find a house down the creek that was featured in the magazine a few months ago.

Everyone but Ilene and I are going to Charleston tomorrow. We're going to the beach.

Summer asked me who the people are that I'm on vacation with. As you can see, there's a lot us of here. Nine of us to be exact. I'm here with my sister Ilene, who's 17 months older than me, and her husband Andy, who is a physician and a medical missionary. Four of her five kids are here. The oldest, Adam, 26, is here with his wife Millie. Then there's Sarah, 20, Andrew, 15, and Jonathan, 13. Aaron, 23, whose wedding I went to in May, and his wife, are just about to start jobs and school in Wisconsin, so they couldn't come.

One of the best things about this vacation is being surrounded by family. I love seeing my daughter, an only child of a single parent, with all her cousins. Four of us went to the beach and explored the island together. Three of us went floating the creek the first time, five of us the next two times. Inside, groups of people have been playing Monopoly, Risk, and Parcheesi. Adam and his father have been working on logic puzzles from the books 'More Games for the Super-Intelligent' and 'The Great Book of Mind Teasers & Mind Puzzlers'. Did I mention that Adam has a Master's in Philosophy and Religion and is just about to start Duke Law school? My sister and her daughter love to cook and have a list of recipes that they're making. Sarah is torn between wanting to be a chef and a surgeon. She's starting her 3rd year of college. Millie, Adam's wife, graduated 2nd in her class from Law school in the spring, and beat out 300 applicants to clerk for a NC Supreme Court Justice. She'll start this month. Andrew's going into 10th grade and is taking all kinds of AP courses. Jonathan is starting middle school. You know Emily :) I know I'm skipping around here. As you can see from the pictures, everyone's reading too. Except for me. I cooked Zucchini pie yesterday and helped with the Cinnamon Chip cookies. I was the driver for the tour. I spent at least 4 hours in the creek. I tried to crab, but without much luck. I don't know what else I did, but the day just passed by. We had a late steak dinner, then passed the time with more games, picture viewing on the laptops, and finally for Andrew and Emily, Facebook and Myspace on the computer.

When we went floating the creek the first time yesterday, it was Emily, Millie and me with Andy driving the boat. We jumped in the water with our 'floats', and Andy turned off the motor so we could make sure which way the tide was flowing. You'd think it would be obvious, but it wasn't. It was on it's way to changing, and we have to be going in the right direction so we can float back to our dock. All of a sudden Emily screamed. She saw something, and of course, assumed it was a shark. Then she said it was a dolphin. Sure enough, we saw 2 fins, gracefully arching over the water, about 20 yards away from us. Then there were 4. It was the most wonderful and magical sight. We just watched in wonder, till they were gone. We felt so lucky to have seen it. Andy wound up having to tow us back to the pier because the tide was stopped for the moment. We just floated around our dock. Later, we went very far down the creek to float because the tide was flowing fast and we wanted a long journey back. So much fun!

I'm the only one up. It's nice and quiet. It looks very overcast outside, but I'm sure that will change. I'm an optimist, you know.

I hope you're enjoying my vacation pictures and musings. The house has a DSL line, and everyone's been using my computer, which is nice. I'm trying to spend a minimum of time here, so I haven't been keeping up with reading blogs. Know that I'll get back to that, and catch up with you, my online friends.

05 August 2007

Morning = cooking
Early afternoon = beach
Rest of the day = floating the creek
Evening = games and reading

Pictures = in no particular order

04 August 2007


We headed out of Florence at 8AM and were soon on our way. I found a Super Walmart right off of I-95 and was able to quickly do the grocery shopping.

We're here!

There's the house beyond the trees.

It was great having a houseful of people to help unload the car. I'm used to doing all the heavy work myself.

Everyone put on their suits and headed out on the creek. My sister and I stayed in and put everything away. Then we went to Piggly Wiggly to buy chicken necks and ice cream. The chicken is for the crabbing I'll be doing first thing in the morning. The ice cream is because I'm an addict.

This is me, and the water is at low tide, so I'm standing. You can see the pfluff mud that gets exposed as the tide gets lower. We had so much fun in it. We were covered from head to toe. We slid in it, rolled in it, and acted like, well, kids.

We stayed in the water for hours. When we got out, I did 3 haircuts. I have 2 more to go.

We had a late night dinner of Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches (Southern Living and delicious) and salad. Yum.

There's a line to get on this computer, so I better give it up. I'll update tomorrow.