Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Getting Back in the Groove

As much as I love softball and all the excitement, 
I am a little glad for it to be all over and done with.

Dare County 

It is a lot of hard work and dedication for these girls, coaches and even the parents.


Mary had a phenomenal weekend of pitching.

The first game they played they won,
which meant they had to play a second game later that day.
Unfortunately they lost that one,
sending them down to the looser's bracket.

But still alive and ready to play another day.

There is a lot of pressure, on the pitcher (& the pitcher's Mom)
as well as all these young ladies.
And even thought these girls are "all-stars"
they are still little girls, 
with feelings, hopes and insecurities.

I think in the heat of the moment coaches and parents sometimes forget this.

4 Star General

Stanley McChrystal: 

Listen, learn ... then lead

Fare the Well

When we got home from the first day of games we returned to floating fish in the pond.
It was absolutely heartbreaking.

Some how one of the connectors came loose inside the skimmer.
Fortunately this kept the pond from emptying out and killing ALL the fish and burning up the pump.
That evening only Koi had succumb to the lack of oxygen and nitrate plus ammonia build-up.
However, overnight when oxygen levels are at their lowest
a few more koi and our beautiful catfish
bellied up.

It was a sad, sad morning!

However, happiness is a state of mind and we made a choice to have a great day.

And we did.

We drove back up to the tournament for another game.
If they lost they would be out by double elimination and we would be going home for good.

But they didn't lose...
They won!

They would be back to play the next day.

They started the day off with a 17 to 7 win against last years Regional Champion's.
This would be their 2nd loss, taking them out of the tournament.
This was a big win for us...
4 years ago our girls lost to this team
34 to 4.
The sweet taste of victory was theirs!

Next game was against the undefeated team of the tournament.
If we lost this game it would put us out and they would be the new district champions.

We won 18 to 8!

In order for Dare County to win the championship they would have to beat this team twice!
So,  we had to play our third back to back game of the day.

Unfortunately our girls were not able to pull it off a third time.

So, we had to settle for...

District 1 Championship
2nd Place Runner's Up

Not to shabby!
Way to go girls!

These gals really played their hearts out!

On another sad note...
I seem to have lost my digital camera at the tournament.
I have been having a terrible time with my digital cameras this year.

We stopped at the barn on our way home from the Tournament to let Phoenix know that we would be getting back out to the barn again more regularly to see him.

We went out Monday as soon as Mary woke up...

3:30 in the afternoon!

She may have been just a little bit exhausted.

There is a buzz...
maybe it is wishful thinking,
that we may be invited to the State Championship Tournament.

I don't know...
All I do know is,
I sure am glad to be home and enjoying the down time.

Lotus Blossom

Just when I thought I would not be able to go back out to the pond.

I am reminded by the constant beauty of LIFE!

And in case you are wondering how I got these pictures on the blog if I lost my camera,
I finally figured out how to transfer my photos from my phone to my computer.

This is big for me!

For Sale

The motorcycle not the man!

This is really big to!
Bill has decided that he is ready to let this baby go.
He built this bike from the frame up.

Some people claim to be bike builders ...
or that they have a "custom" bike...
if they can afford to order parts from a catalog and then tack them together.

However my husband is a true custom bike builder.
He actually fabricates and builds motorcycle parts with exception to some obvious electronic and mechanical pieces.

He didn't make the front forks on the bike "for sale" but he has made some pretty cool forks for someone else's bike (He made these twisted forks below).


pretty cool huh?

Gourd... jus

 So it is back into my morning routine of early garden time...
my time,
 for me...
to clear my head,
become inspired
not just making sure my plants survive this sweltering beach heat!

Those squash plants I posted a while back seem to be doing pretty well.
However, my zucchini plant didn't make it.


I have a couple more plants planted but they are still very small.
At least I got a few tasty treats from her before she succumb to the dreaded squash bugs!

It is almost time to start planting seeds for my fall and winter garden.

Black-eyed Susan

This is one of the new additions from last year.
Looking good!

We are getting back into the swing of things again.

Got most of the daily chores taken care of...
even though more later than sooner...

got a full day of classwork done with little to no argument!
This is a major achievement.

I got my softball project for Coach Dana finished,
mended my skirt that the hounds from hell ate
and tightened up some loose ends around the house.

All and all we are off to a good start getting back into that

I have to laugh...

I just checked the weather forecast
only to find out
we have our first tropical storm of the season in the Gulf.

It is always something, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"The Danger of a Single Story"

What's the Buzz

Tell me what's happening...

Are you offended or are you laughing your Ass off?


 "Children's Books" and Nursery Rhymes were they really for kids or the parents?

Luckily my daughter never had any issues with going to sleep.
And when she was really young she didn't even like me reading to her.
She would cover my mouth

It wasn't till she was older that she began to appreciated the joys of a "bedtime story"
and then
she preferred the ones I made up.

When did we (as a nation) become so thin skinned?

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary
"This traditional English tale also features Mary Tudor with her fierce and volatile temper. A Catholic, she persecuted and exterminated all those who adhered to the Protestant faith. The gardens in the tale were actually graveyards. Silver bells and cockle shells were actually instruments of torture (much like those used to lash Jesus during the Crucifixion). They would crush the victim against a hard surface by screwing the silver bells into their fingers. Then, they would get the cockle shells and attach them to the victim's genitals.
The 'maids' was a shortened name for maidens, a beheading device fraught with issues. It often took many, many whacks of the large blade to behead the victim. In the meantime, the victim would try to run off, bleeding profusely from their injuries.
Margaret Pole (1473 - 1541) was the most notable person who fought her execution. As she ran around the courtyard, the executioner continued to hack at her with the blade. Later, a better beheading instrument, using mechanical gears, was brought forth from Yorkshire that brought tens of thousands of Protestants to their quick death."

After being censored, the image of Tom being burned was no longer in the cartoon.


Let me ask this...

Was the censored part removed REALLY for a racial image of a black man?
was it censored because of the suggestion of genocide on the part of the
"white man"?

Chimamanda Adichie

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


It is definitely Summertime!

When you live on a barrier island...

there are certainly some challenges.

Heat & Humidity

 Many people travel great distances to enjoy the warm temperatures of the Outer Banks.

However, when you live here, it is not always as desirable.
Especially when in the garden.
I got a late start this morning .
I over-slept ... guess I needed it.

I still was able to get out into the garden before the sun was to high.
Today was cooler than yesterday. 
 However, it was already in the mid 80's by 8am
and  70% humidity...
 the smoke from the wild peat fire started rolling in early as well.

Unfortunately, this temperature isn't the only one rising...

My baby girl woke up with a 101 temp.

Mater Hater

 Something has it out for my mater...

Fortunately I only have 2 like this.  
They are both fairly low on the plant and hanging out past the string, so this could be the work of one of my lovely ladies.

I have a love hate relationship with my hens right now.
I'm loving to hate them...

Squash Bugs

 I have been really slack...

I saw bugs on my squash and I meant to make some bug spray, 
but never got around to it.

Now look!

I don't like spraying because there is always the chance of killing the beneficial bugs as well as the nasty ones if ya don't get out in the garden early enough.
But, honestly... I hate loosing my veggies worse.

Now I have all kinds of creepy crawlies.
But, like the superheros that they are...
swooped down to the rescue
They are little assassins in the larvae stage 

(aka Aphid Lions)

They have hatched out into the adult stage now, so now it is up to me.  
Look at all those 

Unfortunately there are a lot still alive.
So, I made up a batch of bug spray this evening.
dish soap
hot pepper sauce 

and went out to spray my plants.

Now there is a much needed rainstorm washing the dead bugs and spray off.
I will check on them first thing in the morning to see how they have faired.

So send positive energy to my poor little veggies...
they need it.

A few years ago I brought in some beneficial insects.

I really like this company.

There is still a good population of  benificial bugs, but it might be time to introduce a new generation of creepy crawlers.
Organic gardening is not as easy as I wish it were. 
Add in the "sandbox" factor and
sometimes I feel like I am trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

Though I can't imagine not gardening!

Bee Kind

 Bee Happy

Just... Be

This is where I like sand.


Not my garden.

Granted this is before watering this morning but as you can see it won't hold the water too long.

We so needed the rain!

 Summer Squash

The bugs, heat and lack of rain haven't left me completely empty handed.

People flock to the beach in the summer...

But is it when I am homesick the most.
I have lived here on the Outer Banks for 26 years now

I have lived here over half my live but I still ache for the mountains.

The Blue Ridge Mountains

They are calling me...


 Ben Lomond Farm

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


The First Sunflower 
of Summer

Weed or Flower?

 Mrs  Pearl told me many years ago... 

" if it  grows where you don't want it, then... it is a weed."
It doesn't matter if it is a rose or vetch.

As much as I LOVE sunflowers...
I am really not to thrilled about having them in my garden.

However, I can't seem to bear the thought of pulling  these guys up.

They attract some undesirable bugs that can really do some damage to my veggies.

Leaf Footed Bug 
(Stink Bug)

 courtesy of

Today was a day off from softball (kinda)...
no scheduled practice.

However when you are a pitcher there is practice 

So we took advantage to the day off...
got a little laundry done and then took off for the barn.

Smells Like Bacon

Now, I haven't quite figured out why she has been named

Since it is general knowledge that this gal 
will never come close to any skillet...

not unless she is being feed out of it!


Well, it was just a little to hot to do much out at the barn today.

So after all the usual business, 
the girls decided to take Sunday out for a short little spin 
then treat her to a
COOL bath and Treats!

I don't think Phoenix got too jealous.

 Merry Christmas

So, I got another Christmas gift finished!

Gotta do something... 
when did Babe Ruth get so political?

An "Eva Bitch Stitch

 Oh my my...
yes, there is a story!

However, I won't go into it now.  
She still needs some TLC before I can send her off to her new home.

If only these stitches could talk!

Ready, Set... Go!

All but the YELLOW ...

We are ready to burn up the highway!

Woo hoo "Boogie Do"


I am so proud of you!

1 Down and 1 To Go

Got home from the barn to find that one of my Wisteria gourds sold.
And when I dug  it out to pack and ship, 
I found another one.

For some reason, I thought that I only had one left of the original three.

Oh well... 
hopefully this one will find a home soon.

I am really happy to have sold this piece.
It is probably one of my favorite birdhouse designs (Simplistic).
the first of many
in becoming
Green Gourd Creations.

I guess now that the first sunflower has bloomed ...
I can finally finish the sunflower birdhouses
that have been patiently waiting to be completed.
I am once again inspired by summer.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

My first shout out goes to my "Big Daddy"

Daddy's Girl

Hands On


I love ya sweetie!

My Pops!

This was taken the last time we all got together.

Happy Father's Day to all the "Daddy's"

This is the song that I dance to with my father at my wedding.

I know that it is not "officially" summer yet...
(2 more days)

all I can say is... 

It sure feels like it is!
We have been very busy around here with all kinds of things.

The Marchitelli School 
is Still In Session

This was part of a History lesson.
Making a Seal
I knew I would eventually get her to like History!

A Math Exercise

Fractions and Multiplication

This is the part of Home-schooling I really like!
When education is relevant ...

Being able to apply what you learn with everyday life.

Liquid Dishwasher Detergent

Baking Soda
Citrus Essential Oil (lemon or orange)
Liquid Castile Soap
White Vinegar
Lemon Juice

  1. Mix 1 c. baking soda with 1 c borax in a mixing bowl.  Stir with spoon.
  2. Add 1 c water and 3 drops of citrus oil to bowl. Stir ingredients
  3. Pour the liquid mixture into a clean, empty squeeze bottle and close the lid.  Before using, shake bottle.

More Seeds

You can NEVER have enough Basil.

A New Addition

We have gone 2 years without a sofa.

When we first brought Lexi and Roscoe home from the pound,
(Lexi- Charlottesville, VA no kill pound & Roscoe- Manteo, NC SPCA)
they decided to make a chew toy out of our sofa. 
 I was tired of constantly picking up stuffing every time I turned around. 
So when our town did the Spring Curbside Pick up 
I  dragged the sofa out to the road and said 

I told myself and the rest of the family that since summer was right around the corner, we wouldn't need a couch.  
We would be too busy to miss it. 

And to be honest ... we didn't.

I put the dinning room table in it's place.

We all went to bed earlier, ate at the table together more, had more conversation and even broke out the board games more often.

I had friends offer me sofas...
only for me to answer, 
"No Thanks!  
I kinda like not having a couch.  But, maybe if it were a leather sofa I would say yes".  
Leather is  much more forgiving with all the critters and beach bottoms, ya know.

Then last week my "Barn Angel" 
told me about her latest attempts of
getting back into her skin...

fortunately for me that meant I got a new leather sofa.

The only catch was that I needed to take the whole set.


No rest for the weary!


This kid has a mean Fastpitch and a great stick to boot.
"Way to go Boogie!"

Almost Done

This is a gift for Coach Dana.

Bill's Vineyard

I wonder what he plans to do with all these grapes, 
seeing that neither of us partake in the consumptions of spirits.

Don't Be A Mater Hater


Another Christmas in July

This chair was built to last!

Part 2 of the sofa saga...
Acquiring the sofa set was not expected as suddenly as it was...
I was not prepared.

It is a good thing that I take the roads a little less traveled.

The bed of the truck was already half full of wood my husband had gotten from a friend, no tie downs and about a 40 mile journey home.

So with flashers going 
and traveling at the high speed of 35 mph...
 with a sofa, love seat, chair, ottoman  and a school desk piled in the back of my pick-up truck I started home.
I thought it would be safe to give my husband a call and give him a heads up. 


As I was talking... 
my speed started to increase...

next thing I know 
I have an ottoman flipping into a ditch 
and a chair sitting in the middle of the road behind me.
Thank God, nobody was behind us.

It took Mary and I a little longer to get them back in the second time around 
with fewer helping hands, but we did it!

We found some bailing twine and tied them down this time.
However, traveling at 35mph and the time it took getting the furniture back in the truck put us way behind schedule.

We showed up at practice looking like a cross between  
OBX Beach-Billies and Sanford and Son.

Cottage Cleaning

I picked up a cottage to clean on the weekends from a friend.
It is a owner rented cottage so the families that stay here are usually easy to clean behind.

The big beach rental companies are not easy to clean for...
A lot of the folks who stay in those big rentals don't care how they leave the home
kind of like hotels.


Way back in the day I cleaned for the Carolinian Hotel.
Wow... I didn't like that job much!
I got to see a side of humanity that certainly left a sour taste in my mouth.

Please, if you leave a mess...
leave a tip!
Maids should only have to wipe down and tidy up. 
Those ladies don't get paid enough to deep clean after every guest.

My Own Cleaning Products

I have been asked if I sell my cleaning products and my response is:
I usually just share the recipe.

Almost All-Purpose Cleaner
  • 1 tsp liquid castile soap
  • 1 tsp borax
  • 2 tbs white vinegar
  • 2 c hot water
  • 1/4 tsp each eucalyptus & lavender oil
  • 3 drops tea tree oil
Mix all these things into a spray bottle and you are ready to go.  

The whole point of my making my own products was to break away from consumer consumption.
I was already buying natural products for a greener footprint.
But, I am starting to think that maybe I will.   
This cottage may be a perfect opportunity to test the water.

Back Home

Pregnancy Plant
 I have always called this plant the Pregnancy Plant but it has many other names like Mother of  Thousands, Mother of Millions, The Maternity Plant or aka Kalanchoe.

I gave a baby to Robin a long time ago and now it's off-springs have found their way back to me.

Oh the Joy!

Getting the Boot

I got the boot ..
I have the left foot and Robin has the right.  Mine definately doesn't look as good as hers.  But thanks to some  of the plants she sent home with me... 
my left foot has gotten a face lift.

Town of Nags Head
Happy 50th Anniversary 

Last night was closing night of the Nags Head Carnival.
Mary bugged me all week to go.  

I finally caved in and took her.

She wouldn't ride anything but this dang thing...

Sorta funny really!

 time to rest, 
pamper the hubby 
and get ready to start a new week.

Next weekend is Tournament Time
Dare County Thunder!