Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I am Still Reeling!

I got home from an absolute whirl wind with my brother,
a little more than a week ago.
I took some time for 
to regroup, decompress and try to steer myself in the closest direction of 
as I could manage, 
for me.

Medi Jet

Nice to know that brother Pauly, can find the strength to make his attendants pose for snapshots.
He is such a ham!

UNC Bound

Brother Paul was flown to UNC hospital to repair the collapsed lung and meet with oncologists to decide on a new round of treatment for his cancer.
The good news is...
the cancer is not what caused the lung to collapse.
Unfortunately, they did find cancer nodes in the other lung.
He will be starting a new treatment soon.

My husband Bill, met me in Chapel Hill and picked me up.
He was leaving for an out of state job in Roanoke, Virginia and decided to come by and swoop me up.
I LOVE that man!
We decided to take some VERY back roads to Roanoke.
We found our way through the town of Floyd, Virginia.

The Long Way Home

Then we stumbled across a few for sale signs...
this was my favorite along the way.

It is right on the ...

Little River

After a LONG nap...
I dusted myself off and left Roanoke to pick my daughter up in Charlottsville, Virginia (Keswick, really).
Then headed back to the beach.

Finding My Way Home

Once I got "home"
I started looking online for some properties for sale anywhere in rural Virginia.
I ran across the property above.
I absolutely LOVE it!
I have been wanting to get off the grid for some time and this Amish home could very well be the jumping off point.  I don't know if I can get the rest of the family on board or not.  I think Bill was hoping to ween himself off the grid.
However, I think that solar panels and maybe a wind mill might help with the transition.

What do ya'll think?
Getting Organized

More Organizing

I See the Light

So, the first several days were spent finishing up what I had started before my brother got sick.
My studio had really fallen into a very sad state.
So, I gave it a complete spring cleaning.
Only to get the phone call from my brother's "wife" that he was in the ER.
I dropped everything!
Once I got back, I started re-organizing...
I am almost done!
I just have my desk to finish and my ...

Let's Try Again

The other thing that I had dropped was Mary's Test preparations.
I don't think Mary was too upset with this though.
Unfortunately for her ...
"This too shall pass"

So once again it is back to the grind.


Back to the Barn

We even made it back out to the barn.  Wow, did we miss our boy Phoenix!

Next thing I know...
I am sitting in my chair folding laundry while Mary is making us some lunch.
When the house begins to shake.
I don't really  think much about it...
Living on a barrier island (a sand island),
we feel shimmys and shakes all the time.
We feel it when a jet breaks the sound barrier, or practicing at the bombing range in Stumpy Point, or someone is putting in pilings for a bulkhead or pier.

Except this lasted a little longer than "normal"
I turn around and ask my daughter...
"did you put anything in the washing machine?"
Thinking that maybe the washer was majorly off balance.

"NOPE" she replies.
So, we shrug...
and get back to work.

I found out later when my girlfriend called from Virginia,
where my husband is working to tell me that
everyone is ok,
We had an earthquake.


I shake my head and then get on with my day.
Next thing I know I am in the bank cracking jokes about burring my money in mason jars in the back yard when one of the tellers says...
"I don't think that would be such a great idea with this storm coming in this weekend, it's lible to wash all yer money away."
"Huh, what storm?"

"That tropical storm down by the Bahamas."


See what happens when you don't subscribe to TV.

Hurricane Irene

Ok, ya'll, I have been through many hurricanes in my 26 years on this island but I have to say that going through this one really took an emotional toll on me.

First of all,
my husband is still in Virginia working and secondly the media really sensationalizes the HELL out of these storms.

It is so hard to simply find the

But they are out there...
you just need to wade through all the hype to get to it.

This is one that my Aunt turned me on to ...


thanks, Aunt Angela!
that is Aunt

I guess that some of those media folks think that they are doing a public service,
But I am here to tell you otherwise!

It is "these" folks who will ultimately get a lot of people killed.
This is not Reality TV
these are peoples lives, homes, memories and lively hoods... it is everything they know and love.
It is
It isn't about ratings or awards it is about surviving and trying to not loose everything you have.
Choosing to
is not an easy decision to make when you live on the coast.
It is IMPORTANT that we are informed and ready, regardless if we stay or go.

And let me say...
a lot of these storms are no worse than nor'easters that batter our coast in the fall and winter.

Ya know that famous picture of a house being swept away in the surf used in the promo to the "Hurricane Update" on the weather channel....

That was a home in Kitty Hawk, just a few miles north of me during one of our winter nor'easter NOT a hurricane.
However sometimes they are Bad.
I kept a watch on things and did my research...
I looked at the historical records of storms and tracts they took and compared this storm to them.  Some of which I weathered and some of which were way before my time.

I looked at the
veered away form the hype
and ultimately listened to my instincts and that of my husband's who was miles away.
I decided to stay.

I will say that the one thing that frightened me the most was the storm surge.
And not from the ocean side...
but the sound side.

Fortunately I have the "Nags Head Woods" directly behind me with 30 foot dunes blocking any surge that may come my way.
 I felt somewhat safe.

Mary and I made an attempt to clean up the yard,
picking up loose items,
turning over lawn furniture and putting it up against the house.
Putting cushions, bikes, and other items we didn't want blown down the road or lost... into the garage.
Pushed big pot against the house and brought some of my "outdoor" houseplants inside.

I made my obligatory trip to the grocery store, Dollar Tree and Wal-mart to pick up extra batteries, bug spray, matches, charcoal, animal food ( let us not forget the raw hide bones for the dogs), canned food and dry goods.

After I got all the things done that I felt I could do ...
Mary and I went to see what the ocean looked like just as the first rain bands began to come onshore.

Avalon Fishing Pier
Friday, August 26th

All boarded up and ready to go...

surfs not to bad...

then it was back to the house to ride out the storm.

It was a long 2 days...

Saturday night was the worst.  The weird part was,
just when we thought things were starting to get better they got worse.
The backside of that storm was a whopper.
We had power, phone and internet up until 1am Sunday morning.

The worst part of not having power was just not knowing what was going on.
The clock radio that I thought was battery powered ...
(the battery came with the clock and it had long since died,wasn't a kind that I could be replace)
I should have checked prior to the storm.

But the sun came up and it was a beautiful calm day.
My father in law loaned me a radio when I went over to his house in Nags Head.
He still had power.

We drove around a little but not to far from home.  I really wasn't in the mindset to rubber neck the flooding.
The power was back on by 6pm Sunday evening.
Way to go Dominion Power!
And when it did...
I was absolutely awestruck by the pictures and video I was seeing via

I am still trying to process all the information and
sadness that I feel ...
for my friends that didn't make out as well as I did.
It is all very overwhelming.

I am just now getting word from some of my friends in Colington Harbor...
The power was restored late this afternoon there, I suppose we will start getting some pretty sad stories now as well as some hopeful ones.
Fortunately, there were no lives lost locally that I am aware of.
Check it out for yourself...

Hatteras Island

Roanoke Island

This is just a gimps of some to the damage.
Most of the videos on youtube are rental homes or businesses but
 there are are many"homes" that have been destroyed...
Not just Vacation Homes...
But homes that families live in.  A lot of the damage is water damage...
not as visually exciting or dramatic as the wind and surf damage shots
however this is more devastating.  Structural damage can be rebuilt.
However water damage is final...
 very few locals on the island actually posses "FLOOD" coverage.
Wind, and Fire yes but not Flood.
But, even for the few lucky one who could get flood insurance there are some things that just can not be replaced.

I do apologize for not having any of my own storm photos here.
My digital cameras took a crap a while back and for some reason my phone stopped uploading pictures after the Avalon Pier photos pre Irene.
I don't know if it is an overload on the wireless providers or what ...
but hopefully I will have a way to put some shots on my blog.

The folks on the Outer Banks are a hardy group and we will all bounce back from this...
I am just grateful to only have some leaves and limbs to rake up.

I am leaving the fence for the neighbor, it belongs to them ...
We have fixed it the last two storms because it was more of a prioriety to us than to them.

Bill isn't here and the animals pretty much go where they want to go, regardless if the fence is standing or leaning.
They will find a way out regardless.

So we will walk them more and let them hang with us outside and then bring them back in.  Which is all they really want anyway.
Not to mention there is another storm brewing out there...
Tropical Depression #12

I am ready to move.
I think we are going to make an offer soon on a house...
contingent on the sale of
 our property.

We have found a few places we are interested in,
this is one of them.

Floyd Co. VA

I did make some homemade liquid laundry soap yesterday,
I will share
another post another day.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Etsy Favorites

I will not be featuring any shops today!

I am a little distracted ...

I will be back!

My baby brother

... is back in the hospital again.
His left lung collapsed Sunday Morning due to complications of his melanoma.

He is on the mend and is feeling much better today and we hope that he will be back home by the weekend.

Please keep him in your prayers and send love and light his way!

I have several items already picked out and ready to feature I just didn't feel right posting them when my heart was somewhere else.
However, keep your eyes peeled for the great items I will be featuring in the weeks to come.

Til then...

Live, Love and Laugh!

Look down!
Where your feet are...
is where you "need" to be!
Be present in the NOW!

Blessings to you all!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mother Knows Best

My China Boys

This is what my little guys use to look like.

Oh My 


Messy, messy

This WAS my pin cushion...
 a gift from my brother and sister in law.
They live in Saipan,
which is one of the 14 Mariana Islands.
John and Ro -yu brought this to me on one of their rare visits to the states.

Another dog casualty.  
Ooooh, I was not happy about this one.
Luckily, we didn't have a vet bill to go along with this destruction.
However, I wasn't willing to give it up.
Just because it was falling apart and spilling it guts everywhere... I still kept using it.  
It was filled with fine sawdust powder and left a trail of dust where ever it went.
I have enough difficulty in the cleaning department as it is... I don't need any added interference.

So, I finally decided that it was time to let my destroyed pin cushion go and move on.

My New Pin Cushion


It is certainly not as fancy as my China Men,
 but it works.
I used some things I already had around the house.

fabric from an old bed-sheet
stuffing from a previous dog victim
a mason jar lid
and some embroidery thread


 I have to admit that my knee jerk reaction was to
a new pin cushion
and I promplty began my retail serch in no other spot than


I found some really cool cushions
and even one that was very similar to the one I need to replace
(second hand as well).

I also ran across several patterns for DIY projects for a new pin cushions.

I was going to wait till my Thursday post but just couldn't keep it to myself.
So please excuse me when I give this guy a double post.
Today and then again next week.

Cactus Pin Cushion Pattern

This was by far my favorite one I found.
However, the cushion itself  isn't for sale.
It is a pattern that is for sale.
Seeing this is what inspired me to go ahead and make my own pin cushion today instead of buying a "new" one.

I knew that I didn't
to buy a new pin cushion.
If my favorite one was one I had to make then that is what I needed to do.
Make my own pin cushion.

And respond to my "need" in my own creative way.

However, I think this is simply awesome.

Yes, I will be making one or two of these little guys sometime in my future.

If you would like to see some of the other items besides this cactus pdf pattern check out the shop

Necessity is the mother of invention!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Free... Friday!


It seems that someone has hijacked my phone to take cute cuddly photos of the newest members of the family.
Hmmmm... I wonder who it could be?

Who Me?

This face has grown up a little with a lot more spice!
However, this is the same spirit I see every day.

We made it out to the barn yesterday afternoon to see our

Sweet Boy


Look at that face,
I know better than to take a photo with the light behind him...
I just couldn't help myself.
He was just looking at me with those big gentle eyes!
He has such a GIANT heart.  
It is just hard to see sometime because of his massive size.
But we see it!
It absolutely blows my mind how someone could ...
I will leave that one alone, 
because I don't KNOW for sure what his story is.
All I know is that this is one incredible horse.
A nicer horse than we should have been able to afford.
He obviously came from a pretty high pedigree and was superbly trained at one point.  
Most likely 3 day evening.
Over Fences, Dressage and Cross-country.

What happened after that is anyone's guess.
My guess is that he lost his rider (accident, college or financial reasons) and then falling into the hands of folks who either didn't have the experience, time, talents or desire to give this horse what he needed.
Only to go from one new owner to the next repeatedly only to end up at a horse auction and finally the horse trader ... where we found him.
Skin and bones and not trusting of anyone.
Gas is just to so dang expensive!  
We can't drive out to the barn every day like we would like to.  But we go as often as we can and never less than twice a week.  Mary will sometimes catch a ride out with other girls though.
It is an hour drive back and forth to the barn.
We have to keep him out on the mainland (Grandy, NC).  We probably could get away with keeping him here at the house...
but he wouldn't be happy, there is just not enough room.
This boy here is a HUGE motivation to get ourselves to the country.
The only thing that I will truly miss is having a great trainer.


Mary has taken a big interest in dressage.
And it seems that Phoenix is VERY familiar with the moves and even knew one of the patterns she was practicing yesterday.
Surprising us all...
 Phoenix took off into a canter exactly where our imaginary marker was.
Mary wasn't planning to do the canter at that time...
it was too hot and Mary didn't feel ready for it yet.

But, Phoenix was ready to show her what he could do...
and please her.
I don't see the Olympics in our future ...
though anything is possible.
We might just have to bring Glenda with us where ever we end up.
I guess we will be looking for a place with a second house or apartment in the barn.
I have seen a few already out there.

Ya'll keep your eyes peeled for that place for us to call 

I got these a while back and I am sure I blogged about it when they came in
but I don't think I actually posted any pictues of the actual fabrics.
here they are.

My Test Swatchs:

A Green Gourd Creation

This one...
I did a little more tweaking on the size of the print.  The print that is for sale on 
Spoonflower is somewhat different.

This fabric has special significance to me...
it is my "logo".
I sketched this on a scrap piece of paper several years ago.
With no intention of ever using it for anything.
Kinda doodling you might say.

Over the years it has evolved...
Now, here it is on a piece of fabric.

The next two are even more senimental.
They are a collaboration of my daughter and myself.

She had a project to do in 4th grade Social Studies.
Mary was asked to do a report on the 
State Wildflower

Carolina Lily

This is a rendering that we both worked on together.
I sketched out a flower, and then she colored in the details with colored pencil.
She even gave me "credits" on the final drawing.
The same is true with the next picture.
She really worked hard on the shading...

Lily Project

You can check out the fabric designs at
 and buy them to!

The final project that Mary turn in had to be done as a PowerPoint presentation.
I know I was intimidated.
This was the year Mary got the
"Swine Flu"
She missed a lot of school
(which is where they were doing the PowerPoint format)
It took me a little while but I finally found a "free" version of PowerPoint, figured out how to use it and we were able to finish it up here at home.

Another part of this project was to do a model of their state symbol.
This is what she and her Dad came up with.


In the Powerpoint presentation there was a slide show ...
showing the entire process of their joint effort in making the sculpture.

Mary drew all the pieces out on the flat metal with soap stone...
Bill cut them out for her, with Mary's supervision of course.

Bill made one of the blossoms and Mary made the other one by herself.
they worked hard on this for several days.
Here are a few pictures from the slideshow :

Coming Together

We will have to come up with another project like this to do for 
get Dad a little more hands on in the lesson department.
She really enjoyed doing this with her Dad.


Check out what came in the mail yesterday!

Jennifer sent me a complimentary set of tags for
Green Gourd Creations
Hats, Scarfs, Purses, Baby Quilts, Doll Cloths or what ever fiber item that comes from my hand.

Just for featuring her shop on my blog and not asking for anything in return.

Thank you Jennifer!
You really didn't have to do that.
I so appreciate it!

Ya'll check out her shop

Look what else came in the mail yesterday!

California Achievement Test

I got Mary's Test Prep and CAT.
The mandatory standardized achievment test that is required once a year for Homeschoolers in the state of North Carolina.

I was not worried about this test originally, since there is no Pass or Fail in North Carolina.
I hold a higher standard than the state does.

However, with the whole moving thing...

I am a little concerned about her score now.
Originally, I had planed on the first test simply being a point of reference.
Making up for gaps in the following year.
Not knowing where we will be in a few months does change things a little.
The standards for other states vary, I am not familiar with Virginia's.

I am pretty confident that no matter where we end up we should have no problem 
even if we decide to put her back in public school.

Thank You

The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne's House of Dreams, ... Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside)

We have had a major break through.
she is excited about reading.  She asked if she could read ahead in her book.  Without stopping to do the study questions.  She asked if she could try and finish it that day.
She had just started it the day before.
And Guess what...
she did!
She LOVED the book.
Go figure.
I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that the character was someone she could relate to?
Hmmmm... I wonder?

For those of you who have read the book and know my daughter you know the answer to that question.

She finished up the study question for Anne of Green Gables yesterday with great enthusiasm.

Her reading and comprehension have improved so much this year.
I am Blow away!

Thank you to EVERYONE 
who supported us through this rather frightening journey!

And to all the naysayers...

Bless you anyway!

Common Thread

Carolina Harmony
She has been bitten.
She started reading this book within the hour after finishing 
Anne of Green Gables.
I love it!
If you have not read this one... 
you should.
It shares a common air as Anne of Green Gables
however, it is set in a little more modern era.
Well early 1970's... 
and takes place in the mountains of North Carolina.
The main character is bit more of a spitfire than Ann but shares many of her delightful qualities.

So far, Mary says she really likes the book.
She says that she can really identify with the main character...
she feels she is more "like" Carolina.

Out Loud

The Horse Whisperer

We are reading this book aloud now.  
The first chapter was a doozie to get through.  It is one thing reading the emotions quietly but it is quite another thing to read them aloud.
We were both bawling our eyes out.
We must have talked for an hour after the end of chapter one.
I promised Mary that the rest of the book wouldn't be quite as difficult to read.
She had been excited that we were going to watch the movie after reading the book, but she says now that she is not so sure she wants to see it.
She couldn't bear going through the accident again.
We'll see, I told her that the movie is actually not as graphically detailed as the book.
It is still very sad though.

She has a day off from school today.
She is off with a friend
and very excited about all their plans.
The most exciting of all is ...
Absolutely NOT 
something I excell in...
that would be more of my siblings department, never mine. 
I am really happy for Mary
that she is skating with some folks who actually know what they are doing and can give her some pointers.
Plus, it is always more fun to have someone to skate with.

After a long weekend I hope she will be ready to start her CAT prep come Monday.

Happy Friday!
I hope everyone has a safe and blessed weekend.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

8-4-11 Etsy Favorites

Another Post from My Etsy  Favorites.

I am getting some really nice feedback so far.  
I will say that doing this post every week is helping me focus on bringing a little new blood into my own Etsy shop.

I don't have any new items of my own to post yet,
but I did get my husbands hair pieces posted yesterday.
Woo Hoo!

Teak Hair Stick

This was 1 of 3 he made over the weekend.
2 are teak and 1 is holly

He use to get a lot of scrap wood from all the boat builders down in Wanchese.
But, over the last year and a half most of the boat builders had to close their doors.
It really is sad.

But this move to the country has really breathed new life back into Bill
and me as well.

I am getting my studio in a better "working" order and more organized so once the house sells it will be easier to pack up.

We don't want to get to ahead of ourselves,  in case these buyers back out.
However, we KNOW one way or another...
we will be heading for the country.
It just may not be exactly the way we might want it to be.

Farm Fresh Dryer Balls

I absolutely LOVE these!
What an awesome eco friendly idea!

Felted wool balls that are reusable and scented with essential oils.

Another family farm business!
I am so inspired!

Ya'll should definitely check them out.

Now this next lady is someone who gave me a kick start a while back when she gave me a shout out on her blog.

I guess she must have dropped a seed. 
Due to a drought and poor soil conditions,  the seed took a while to take.

the seed has taken and now there is new life...
I am finally returning the favor.

Rose Ring

I LOVE chunky!

Ya'll check her shop out 

and her blog

The next shop item is just too...
and soo much fun.

I think this is just the coolest idea!

Sweet Sprout Cupcake Toppers

I ran across this shop when I was looking at clay and wool dolls.  
Her toppers are so detailed, it is hard to believe that they are edible.
She is a phenomenal artist.

I picked this particular item because of the simplicity and of course the "nature"
but ya'll really need to check her other items out in her shop.
They are amazing!

Talk about an inspiration... this lady has a great story!

she is also a blogger

Once again I am too slow to the gate...


But isn't this a beautiful piece?
I know I love it.
Luckily, she has many more sets similar to this set to choose from.
And her fiber...
So ya'll check out her shop
Ya hear?
(do ya hear my southern twang.?)

Fiber Artist

This might be a bit tacky but hey,
it's my blog and I'll
toot if I want to...

Metal Daisy

Yes, this is from my own shop...
but at least it is not one of my own pieces, right?
My husband made this piece.
 I didn't really even wanted to put it in my shop.
I did it for my "honey do"...
he wanted to sell it.
I took it out of my garden and set aside just to sell.
So you see, it really
one of my favorites!

And if someone doesn't buy it before we move...
it's going back in my garden!

I hope you all enjoy these pieces as much as I do and make them part of your