right now

right now

Jun 21, 2012

Beating the Heat

Yes, the heat index is 104º!

It all started about a week ago when we bought Finn his first "solo" kayak - get out of my boat already!  We are seriously kayak deficient since leaving our big tandem up in Minnesota.  We have a canoe down here but it's really not appropriate for the bays and sounds we have here.  Since we have to wait until our next trip home to retrieve the big kayak we figured we'd take the first step in getting the boys into their own boats by getting them a couple of cheaper SOT's that are much better suited for little boys that need to be able to climb back aboard after being swamped in rough waters.  Loch's been around for awhile longer so he's less excited about such developments :)

Finn however, would not let his new little kayak out of his sight - this was the scene as I went into their room to make sure they had brushed their teeth before bed.  Does this look comfortable????

A couple of hours later I went to check on them and apparently he thought it might be more comfortable if he set it up in his bed.  As if sleeping in a kayak was the most natural thing in the world for a 7 year old.

Hubby has to work all weekend so he had yesterday and today off instead.  It was 92º by 11 a.m. and I had a kid jumping up and down to just go paddle already!  So we headed out for a drive with the boats on the car "just in case" and took in the local sights for a bit.  Out at the Mackay Island Wildlife Refuge we looked for wildlife, which mostly means Water Moccasins LOL... what?  Is that not your idea of a good time?  We take what we can get here :)

These are my favorite trees down here and this particular one was amazingly beautiful:

We moseyed over to the ranger station to look at the maps and birds and such and a ranger walked out of the office and handed Finn a photograph he had taken just a couple of hours earlier and told him he could keep it... Finn was having a lucky couple of days!  And isn't that always the case whether fishing or surfing or watching wildlife - "you should have been here YESTERDAY"....!

Osprey nests are everywhere and fun to watch -

When unloading at the ramp on the sound, we discovered what bored island kids do for fun in the summer :)

Finnegan getting ready for his initiation paddle:  
(a few seconds into the video that is, first you have to listen to the "double dog dare" talk)

And he's off!  He was able to practice paddling a bit and most importantly, mom and dad got to shove him off his boat several times and make him reboard the 'yak while not losing his paddle!  I won't attempt any big crossings until both kids have been through the family "safety course" and can prove their worthiness :)

The shoreline you see in the distance is the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  What is a 3 hour drive around all the waterways to get there via roadway is a mere 2.75 mile paddle from our point on Knotts Island, NC where we are, which is only about 30 miles from the house.  Too bad we can't get enough junk onboard for a whole weekend or we'd make more than a morning paddle out of it!  That section of the Outer Banks is only accessible by 4 wheel drive so there are lots of canals bisecting the narrow spit from the sound to the ocean and that's how lots of the islanders get around.  While paddling there you can see many wild horses and feral pigs and other wildlife.  Oh yeah, snakes too :)  

Run for your lives!  Hubby thinks I'm insane that I hate these so much, but egads they are hard to see and aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh RUN! 

Don't get the impression that I like snakes at all, I'm not only terrified but horrified when I see them and am convinced they are going to eat me as they swim towards the boat.   But what can I do?  It's either this or the resort strip of the oceanfront and that's definitely not me.

So, it's like a zillion degrees out again today, yuck.  And.... it's my birthday!  I can't believe I was able to combine a photo of a snake with my birthday in a blog post.... bahahahaha!

Jun 19, 2012

Theeeeeyreeee HERE!

Lots of firsts when I went into the garden yesterday!

First beans, first peppers, first tomatoes and first squash & zucchini!

Yellow Wax beans, Romano flat beans, green bush beans, Charleston Belle peppers, Jimmy Nardello Frying peppers, pepperoncini, cherry and Currant tomatoes along with some lettuces that haven't bolted yet.

LOCK YOUR DOORS, the summer squash and Zebra zukes are coming in!

A mix of yellow wax and green beans ready for the freezer -

Cut Romano Flat beans all blanched and ready for storage -

The remaining onions were pulled, most had bolted -

Loch got his first bee sting yesterday, with no serious reaction - congrats!  

Of course, his bee suit arrived right afterwards in the mail LOL.  He will be all set for his first time working in the 4-H club hives next weekend, and I'll feel a little better knowing that he had no significant reaction to his first sting.

He complained about how big the suit was, but hey - I'm not buying one of these every 6 months, it needs to last awhile :)

Finished off the evening by grilling some tuna steaks, the last of the dug potatoes and of course, beans!

We may be short on tomatoes this year due to blight, but nobody will starve as long as they will eat beans and zucchini!

Another first was watering the garden - can you believe I haven't had to water until yesterday?  Of course after I made the effort of dragging hose all over I woke up to light showers this morning.  Wasn't even in the forecast, but I'll take it!  Of course, lots of rain this year has meant for blight on steroids...

I'm finally able to have some numbers to put into the sidebar harvest counter, woohoo!

Over the weekend... (1 of 2 posts today!)

I finally have garden news!  But first is an update for all the non-garden stuff...

School is finally over!  I don't know what this is about, but this is how Finn came home on the last day:

Finn was crying about 5 minutes after this one, this is his teacher and she is the most amazing teacher EVER!  She and her mother both have taught at this school for decades and even after retirement her mother comes in to the class to help and all the kids love her, too.  Finn's teacher is retiring now, Finn was her last class and we are so lucky to have had her.

Finn with his friend.  That certificate he is holding is for attendance, noooooo!  I said perfect attendance would never do in our house and even took the kids out of school that one day to go to the beach, but apparently if they show up in the morning and mom bails them out at 11 am it still counts as being there.  Hey, I tried :)  

Mama got her first bee sting in about 15 years, ouch!  Check out the size of the venom sac on that stinger!

Of course like a big dummy, I hobbled in the house with the stinger and venom sac still intact, so I could show the kids LOL.  There was quite a bit of venom that continued to pump in I think, because I had a reaction for the first time.  Of course I didn't tell the kids about it since it happened after bedtime.  I had flu-like symptoms for several hours but luckily all better the next day.

I did make a point of letting the kids see the stinger sticking out of my foot and saying "yes, it hurts... but notice how I'm not screaming?"  hahaha...

Here's the stinger for those that want the kiddos to see :)

Father's Day we took World's Greatest Dad out for our favorite dish, crab cake sandwiches at a local spot.

Enjoying a smoothie afterwards.  We were a bit early to enjoy the sunset though.  Yes, I said sunset - we are facing west on this water.  Our barrier spits are pretty cool here, this is actually Back Bay, if you turn around and face east the ocean is only about 75 yards across the road.  It's like that from here all the way to the South Carolina border, referred to as the "Outer Banks".

Back at home the rest of Father's Day was spent with daddy showing the boys how to use a pocket knife safely and burning random stuff, as guys are so fond of :)

 Here's a photo I took the other night at our Cub Scout hike that just perfectly sums up "being a guy".  Hubby and the boys were doing a tick check of each other after the hike and put the ticks on the ground and he was showing them the proper protocol for smashing ticks LOL...

Too windy to do anything on the water this weekend so I walked...