Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cute Discovery

When i got home from vacation , i went out on my deck to check on things and imagine my suprise when i discovered this cute little eggplant growing!Out of all the plants i started in containers this was the last one i expected to grow or bear fruit. This little guy is about 3-4 " long. I also found that , finally, a bunch of my very sweet little cherry tomatoes had ripened and i was able to use them in last nights salad.



And, yes, you read that right. I am back to eating my regular healthy foods. I noted immediate "relief" this morning. I am definitely one whose body favors fresh fruits & veggies- provable by better G.I. functioning!
I am still thinking about that $1 a day diet. At the grocery store yesterday, i took note that bananas are probably the cheapest fresh fruit at 39-42 cents a lb. Other possible fruits may be Kiwi at 50 cents a piece and mangoes - a whole bag for $1.99.In the fresh veggie department, i believe i could get by on some romaine lettuce mixed with some (rinsed) diced tomatoes(59 cents for a large can) and baby carrots always seem to be on sale for 99 cents a bag or 1.99 buy one get one free.
Combining these items with cheap pasta (elbow macaroni - small boxes 2 for 1.00 , sometimes less) and oatmeal- a very large container for 1.87, i might even be able to swing peanut butter- jar for a buck at the $ store. But if not dried beans make an excellent crock pot meal (16 bean soup for just over a dollar) and would probably serve at least 5 meals.
I am considering other items but hadnt time to check on price.
Alas , if all else fails i guess i can always consult my Eat-a -Bug cookbook. Yes, it is real and not a joke.i recall that it has a recipe for grinding dried mealworms into a flour.
Until then i will continue to do research. I have decided i will start out with a $30 dollar for 30 day plan .
Keep ya posted!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Home

After a long drive & 5 stops to adjust the bikes on their rack, i am finally home. everything is put away and, as i expected , my allergies are starting to flare again. The combination of this areas pollen and my 2 cats definitely are the problem. I had only a few short bouts with sinus trouble down at the beach.
I'm pretty wiped out and am soooo glad i don't have to work til tomorrow night.
Overall , we had a pretty great time, and were happy to have family around this time (although i did enjoy my time completely alone!)
But Now it is back to reality and tomorrow i hit the ground running- getting groceries, returning movies & library books, packing my lunch and going to the gym.Sometimes i wish everyday was vacation:)
So, until another post.......namaste!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Last Day Blues







Well, it's finally here. Depressing and the weather sucks too. This means hubbs will have to ride the cycle home in the rain.I am posting a few more pics and then going up to try to enjoy the rest of my time here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A few days more:(






















The days have been blurring one into the next. Monday was dismal so we all spent the day indoors playing games & doing a puzzle.Tuesday Hubbs & i drove up to see the Currituck Lighthouse(the only one of the 4 famous of the Outer Banks I hadnt seen) then drove the beach in Corolla on a self-guided Wild Horse tour.It was very scary driving over the dunes at first in the Jeep but eventually i got used to it.Unbelievably, all the roads are sand up there...i mean deep, soft sand in most places and almost no road signs. I cant undertstand how anyone gets their mail . And not a store for miles!
We did see about 10 or so of the 90 wild horses on that 12,000 acre piece of land. They truly do rule the area , wandering wherever they want. The ones we saw were in carports, yards, etc.
Wednesday was my first piece of repossessed freedom!My parents went out to sight see and Hubbs motorbiked it to Elizabeth City to a Harley store. I was again able to laze about on the beach drinking wine for about 5 glorious hours all alone.Later we tried to see a sunset on Pamlico Sound (occluded by clouds) and watched "Marley & Me". I've seen it twice, a very nice story.

Today i hope to amble around on the juicy icing -like fingers of the sea. I saw another group of dolphins this morning playing close to shore for about half an hour.
I have purchased several books I'll be digging into and we plan to dine at Dirty Dicks Crabhouse with the family this evening. Man, i sure am dreading to leave this place!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Quick Update

From the lavender surf rolling in while i laze about in my robe, to the soft sandy carpet my feet play with while lounging with a book - what is there not to love about the beach?
I will tell you.
1.mosquitos- only a slight problem the past few days
2. missing the days i had alone in this place- now surrounded by family since thursday
3.the spotty internet service
4.(and this is my own fault)-malfunctioning bowels. yes, i have been eating terribly- and , not only do i feel like a complete slug, i really need to go buy some kind of laxative today.
BAD, BAD ME!
My husband arrived Weds. night and his parents arrived thursday afternoon. And, although his mom is wonderful, she cooks too well, and you simply cannot put a dish down or she will scoop it up & wisk it away to the sink for immediate scrubbing.She enjoys doing these things for others . It gives her pleasure. I love her for it, but it is a bit unnerving.
My daughter & her fiance came friday night and we spent most of saturday going to Ocrakoke.We all played Trivial Pursuit in the evening and they had to leave sunday by noon. Then at about 2:30 pm MY parents arrived.
I wasnt on the welcoming commitee since we were fishing on the sound side and returned by 5:30. We watched "The Gladiator" and went to bed.
My hubbs hasnt really caught any fish this week but keeps trying(God love him) .
So there ya have it - an update. I hope to post one more time before i leave with a few more pictures.
Until i am regular again.......adios~!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Days , and more Days!

the movie house...i think, anyway
i t seems tom hanks has washed up on shore somewhere. tell him wilson will be returned when the ransom is paid.

strange "pole of fish tails" on the peir


view from balcony



On day two, as i drank coffee from the balcony, my first view pure pleasure of began with the sunrise, followed by a fish jumping out of the waves. I thought to myself"ahhh, i have finally arrived".But, no! The most spectacular was yet to come.
Next i watched as a finely built young man launched his sea kayak into the ocean . Interesting to see, as i might just try this myself before i leave. But whilst veiwing his venture ,low & behold a large school of dolphins came swimming & playfully jumping through the waves - closer to the shore than even the kayaker! i have NEVER seen definite dolphins from my house down here. I watched with awe & glee , delighting in their absolute loveliness. A second school went by a few minutes later seemimg to chase the first, and i had found my heaven!
When i was more sufficently dressed, i walked the whole two minutes to the peir and paid the dollar to walk it.Fishermen littered the edges, along with coolers and i listened to their local dialect discussing their craft.I walked 1.5 miles "up the beach" to take pictures of the house from the movie "Nights in Rodanthe".Fine house really, and it was for rent...but alas , i could not locate where one would park- no driveway at all.
In the afternoon, i again sat reading Harry Potter on the beach for hours and took another walk "down the beach".
I have finally gotten the pictures on here so i'll post a few....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The First Days

I'm finally getting around to posting since i have arrived on vacation here in Rodanthe, NC. I have only taken a few photos so far and so i will not be posting them yet.One thing i have noticed is that we, the human race, certainly seem to resist breaking our routines- even while on vacation.
Sure, we may sleep in longer, or eat crazily, or try a few new sports or visit some tourist sights. But over all, we still take pictures of beautiful nature scenes.We still get in the shower sometime within the usual timeframe, have our meals at the usual time,watch the same old tv shows,etc. For me i have noticed most of the aforementioned .The difference being that i am forced to take a shower instead of preferred bath,and i hardly EVER watch tv but have been watching old movies on (gasp!)the country music channel or some such station in the evening .
Most people here are doing the exact same things i see every year when i come down. Plucking the jewels of the sea and other bones of Tritan's supper from the sandy landscape early in the morning,drinking coffee from their balcony breathing in the sunrise and briney air, purchasing trinkets they hope will remind them of their abscence from bliss once they totter back into their own living room.
I find myself being a true sloth, eating poorly and foregoing exercise these first few days here.Yesterday after eating breakfast at a diner (alone-it was pure heaven!) and getting groceries i sat on the beach practically all afternoon getting tipsy on a whole bottle of wine plus a wine cooler. I then staggered down the beach & back with a half hearted attempt to exercise and sober up , petting stranger's dogs along the way and barely noticing the people before going in to prepare a rich meal for one and I almost fell asleep in my robe on the sofa with a blanket.I left dishes in the sink and DIDNT CLEAN UP!
At this point, the place is a mess. I've been living & enjoying the life of a bachlorette. I get one , maybe two more days to do so before the cavalry arrives(family) and so i will have to clean up eventually.
But until then,i will get to leave doors open all over the house, dirty clothes on the floor, leave my bed unmade,and get along with no watch or clock.I will have total control of the remote.I will dance naked to loud music while eating candy bars.I will not scoop the cat litter,check the mail,water the plants, or wait for anyone to wake up before i make noise. And i dont feel any remorse about it either.
Ahhhh...this.is. the.life.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sleepless & the Cattle

And the pigs, and the goats, and the hay...i've been at a farm at night for 2 weeks (a new case) and my sinuses are paying for it.
When you can breathe, you don't sleep.
Simple as that.
My fervent wish at this point is to at least enjoy my vacation. I have an appointment after with a specialist, an ENT, about surgery for my deviate septum & some polyps. If nothing else, it will give me more "room " to breathe.
Anyway, i am now counting hours instead of days til the vacay. I will leave sunday at about 8am. It should take about 7 1/2 hours to get there.
After checking in , then unloading, i will head out for groceries(unless i'm too wiped out- i have a back up plan for breakfast if i want to wait til the morning).
The rest of my days will be history in the making.
I plan to read alot, eat whatever i want, watch movies, and sleep whatever hours i am moved to.
I hope all my guests will understand! I may be up in the middle of the night for no good reason!
So, until i arrive i wont be posting...so enjy yourselves out there!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Pre- Vacation Week

This is what i believe i've been trying to figure out for all the years i've been vacationing.
After striving so many a time to figure out the right "balance" of prep time for vacation, this year i have taken a week right before to do things just right.
I had toyed over the years with trying to pack over a months time, a little at a time. Then i tried the last minute thing. I tried a week ahead, then 3 days ahead. None of it seemed to work well.
Finally, it is working- i have taken this whole week of a "mini-vacation" which means i am still working, but have released myself from all normal obligations such as appointments, running, gym time , etc. in order to tie up all the loose ends that have been plagueing me for months- like organizing my pantry , closets, and office(one area each day) then spending another day adding stuff to my final packing list, another day last minute shopping, and a final day to just relax before packing everything and having hubbs load it up.It's sort like winding down into vacation so i don't have to waste the first few days doing it when i get there!
It is well worth trying .It sounds tedious, but the trick is that you know you dont have to go anywhere, rush to finish anything, and your mind is clearer to remember last minute details.
My husband , on the other hand, has decided to run and go to the gym this week.
He almost slipped out without cleaning his shower today-GADS!
(It was pretty gross & i'd been asking for months so i had to get forceful about it today. The last time he cleaned it was November '08. I mean, seriously. Only bachelors live like that.)
2 mores update: I am still not an aunt. And i have started to read the Harry Potter series after 2 very intelligent adults recommended it - and they were correct- it is very good adult reading!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ending World Hunger

Ok.....did i have you at hello?=)

What i am actually talking about here is a potential project discusssed with a friend this very evening.
I am going to attempt to eat on a dollar a day.
Yes, i know this can be done . We threw around a few ideas as to how it might work.
I am talking about doing this without much, if any , preparation. This means no gardening, or going to bakeries for day old throw aways, no canning or freezing, etc.
This is a WANTING LESS short term experiment to proove it can be done - in my world.
I have discovered this evening that there are a few great blogs , websites, and food/recipe sites which cater to this very thing.The dollar -a-day -diet!Wow !Who knew it was so popular?
The very first brainstorming session included the following ideas:
1. lots of grains-oatmeal, rice, etc-
2. lotsa pasta
3.kiwis, canned mandarin oranges
4. dried beans
5. use of already planted herbs as 'salad greens' substitutes
6. Home-made bread (recipe uses only flour , salt, teast & water)

Additionally my research tonight has encouraged me to consider:
1. cabbage
2. ramen noodles
3.canned tomatoes
4. home-made tortillas
5.yogurt

There was ALOT of info out there!I also looked at my local Giants online circular to note recent prices of fruits/ veggies in season. I noted that most of the year bananas are actually the cheapest fruit per pound.Right now peaches & apples are only 99 cents a lb. in my area.I figure as well that i can buy a head of lettuce and a bag of baby carrots for about a dollar , put the carrots in the food processor and add some of the above ideas for variety.

Currently , i take a salad each night to work. The fresh fruits & veggies i eat in addition to that each night are too expensive for this project.
I will not be using anything i already have in my pantry (including oils or spices, but will include salt & pepper since i could easily swipe these at any convenience or fast food store), it will not include cost of water or coffee and i will start at $ 7.00 for 7 days.No cheating by buying bulk for the month- just to keep it honest!
Will start sometime after vacation. This gives time for research & thought.
We'll see how it goes ....Namaste!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Writers Block

Sorry i havent been posting. Having a bit of writers block.
Just to catch up the family/freinds- My husband has decided that my son is going to stay with us now. The plan is that he will give us a % of his checks as "rent". Unbeknownst to him, it will be saved for a security deposit & first months rent. In my heart , i know he isnt ready to go out on his own & we are both afraid he will panic & make some bad choices out of desperation which may affect the rest of his life.
Like theft, etc.
I also know, though, deeper in my heart that he may never change or be ready. What we have right now is a temporary fix.The other side is that he has to look for better work, and do something about his car situation.If only he hadnt wrecked the first car we gave him his whole situation wouldve been different. He would have decent transport, money saved up and a better chance.
In other news...
ONLY 10 DAYS TIL VACATION!wahoo!I will be soon packing and getting ready for some much needed alone time. I'll be completely alone for the first few days. I dont even know what to think of that.I hear facials, book reading, eating, sunning, and of course blogging calling my name.
I've been at a new case , and the first few weeks are always an adjustment period. The vent was set too sensitively and was alarming constantly last night. Tonight baby is restless and satting low, sometimes with high heart rate. Unnerving , especially till you know the kid & what their norms are gonna be.
Also, we are still prepping for our 5k. Hubbs has run with me 3 times this week and has been ahead of me by about 4 mins each times. Kudos to him.
And , so , for now, i gotta go. Duty calls and the catching up is done. Still waiting patiently to be an auntie...Later!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wordless

Didnt post the last two nights. havent had a lot to say. I did get stung by a bee, pinched by a laundry basket, and chaffed by running shorts yesterday.Then today we had a medical examiner come for a life insurance policy so we had to fast 4-6 hours, the she was an hour late(which took me to 14 hours without food) then got stuck by a needle for the blood draw.
So over all the last few days were ouchie.
Hubbs & i ran the 4 mile loop& biked 4 on monday. today was arm day at the gym. Tomorrow i take the kid to his last counselor appointment before he turns 18. After a few events with him this week, i am feeling extremely confused as to whether i can live with kicking him out. He is truly lost. I guess i'll figure it out.
I have decided to have a cook out at my house this weekend for a few nieghbors but at this late date i dont know how many will come. only one has said yes, and that is the couple that decided to not have a party at the last hour.
Anyway, i hope to have a better post this week . The countdown is truly on for the beach now, so i'm getting excited!