Sunday, September 2, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

A Cup of Jo...

... and away we go!

A couple weeks have gone by since I last posted.
Which is an improvement from the 2 month gaps I was having.

Now that the space between my blog posts are beginning to close again
that I also may be finding my way back 
to a brighter side of things as well.

It feels as if a lot has happened over the past two weeks.
I will try and share with you some 
of these happenings.

Jarvisburg Christian Academy had their last sports clinic of the summer.
And for all Mary's hard work and commitment she was recognized with an 

Award of Excellence

For being at every clinic, every day!
Congratulations Mary!
As much as Mary enjoyed being a part of this new athletic program
I think it was really starting to take a toll.

By the time she got to the finial clinic 
she was starting to show signs of mutiny.
She wanted to bail, and spend the 
"Last week of summer" 
with her new barn friends.

Even though it wasn't 
"last week of summer"
most of the kids she knows were going back to school 
which meant no more long barn days 
filled with new barn buddies
or weekday sleep overs with her old classmates.

I really need to network with more homeschool families.


Mary made a BIG decision.
She decided not to play any sports this fall.
No ...
Soccer, Volleyball or Softball.

I must admit that I am somewhat surprised.
Especially the softball.
This year Dare County is trying something new.
Xtream Fastpitch Softball, a travel team.

We thought about getting her into travel ball in Virginia
but decided to wait another year
for a few reasons.
But, mostly financial reasons.

So we were all very excited to hear about this new Xtream team.
She was interested at first...
when it was supposed to be a 12U team.
when they decided to make it a 14U team.
She started to have second thoughts.

Mary just isn't comfortable pitching against the older more experienced girls 
(+ pitching 3 extra feet).
I believe that she is good enough to have done it
but I also think 
that it would have been a lot of stress on her 
that she just isn't emotionally ready for.
But she went out for one of the try outs 
to see what it was all about 
before making her final decision.
She confessed afterwards to her father and I while we were driving home that she just didn't want to play.
Her feelings were a little hurt.
She said that no one spoke to her at tryouts... not even the girls that she had just played with during All-stars.

Mary is VERY serious about her softball and puts her whole heart and soul into the game.
She sacrifices a lot for the game.
When most girls her age are out running around together, she is at home pitching with her dad or at pitching lessons in Virginia.

I could almost understand if some or even all the girls don't want to be "friends" with Mary
(She absolutely marches to the beat of her own drum)
but as a team 
you would think they would be happy to have her there.
Having a strong pitching line-up 
is an important element of the game.

I think she is simply burnt out from all her sport activities over the summer 
and doesn't see the point in working so hard 
when she doesn't feel appreciated by her own team mates.

This may or may not be the case
Unfortunately though, this is how she felt and I can't change that.
I can only help her through it.

Ashley told her that she could still play volleyball for JCA.
But she said "no thank you."  
I think she just really wants a break.
I can't say as I blame her.

She said that she would rather just spend this fall 
working with her horse.

Best Friends

They may get on each other's nerves because they are two peas in a pod.
Each wanting to be dominate,
both stubborn, strong willed and moody. 
But, they work through it together.
And they bring out the best in each other.

That is true Friendship!

I think Bill is having a tuff time with Mary's decision though.
Even though he agreed that she was to young to play 14U
he is having softball withdrawals.
Today was the first practice for the new team 
and he was itching to go to the field and check it out.

Hang in there Bill...
she isn't giving up on softball
she is just waiting another year before she plays travel ball.


More kittens!

Only 3 
kittens free days in our home.

Hopefully this will be the last litter for Late' and Idgy
before all our ladies are spayed.

Dental Visit

Mary had a dentist appointment last week
and Dr. Woodson told her
that she would have her braces off by

that is some news.
Even Mary said... 
"As much as I LOVE going to the dentist every month, it will be nice to have my braces off."

She has already made a request for Thanksgiving dinner

But I am having visions of 

Dinosaur Kale

Lacinato (Dinosaur) KALE

I made an order for some fall planting from

I am so excited!
Bill has already started our fall/winter garden.
We are going to have so many yummy eats this winter.

I am sure I will be sharing 
A view from the garden 
in weeks to come.

I am also looking forward to some fresh 

Mean Green

2 Cucumber
4 Celery Stalks
2 Apples
6-8 Kale Leaves
1/2 Lemon
1 Tbs. Ginger

I had a couple bad days over the last 2 weeks
but the majority of my days were pretty decent.

I have started a new medication and
this transition is not always 
very pleasant.

I think by the end of the next week that I should be feeling much better 
as a whole.
My medication, vitamins, food, mind and body should finally be on the same page.
I really need my schedule back 
or at least something that resembles a routine.

I didn't think I would be happy to say this but I will be glad to resume school again.

Last Saturday my good friend...


came to town for a vacation.
I have not seen her since Bill and my wedding.

She read the 
to get our ceremony started.

Scratch that... 
I did see her when I went to Ohio about 8 years ago.

On this trip to the Outer Banks, she brought with her... 
her son Drew whom I haven't seen since he was about a year and a half old,
her husband, daughters and grandson that I have not had the pleasure of meeting until now.

Surf Fishing 101

We got Bill out on the beach for the first time in a VERY long time.
He was more than happy to help everyone 
get their fishing lines wet.


Mary is showing off her fishing skills.
While everyone pulls in Puppy Drum one after another and 2 at a time...
Mary has to mix it up 
and bring in a baby Pompano.

New Shades

I am not usually a fan of "TRENDS"...
or being  "in style"
so I have been somewhat resistant when it came to buying a pair of these 
80's Vuarnet style sunglasses for Mary.
 But, I gave in this past week and got her a pair.
Who knew that a $5 pair of glasses would make someone so happy.

She has not gotten into the whole clothing thing with labels and such.
So, I will consider myself lucky.
I am sure it will only be a matter of time, though.
She is narrowing the gap between child and TEEN.
Homeschooling does help in this department somewhat.
Since there isn't as much peer pressure to 
"fit in" 
on this superficial level.

As if ...
following blindly were a realistic judge of 

My middle school peer years were all about
wide rail corduroys and add-a-bead necklaces.
It was horrible!

Moving from the sticks of Nelson County...
to the "big" city of Roanoke 
my 7th grade year was an absolute culture shock for me.
Nobody cared about what you wore where I had come from or other silly things like that.
At Rockfish Gap Elementary it was all about music, dancing , friends 
and I hate to admit it... 
Keeping up with all the trends and clicks in middle school was exhausting and meaningless.
When I was in middle school and high school I was most comfortable 
when I was wearing a pair of Levi's 
and one of Dickie's (the boyfriend not the brand) chamois shirts.


Senior Year

It all hit the fan!

Fresh Flounder

Definite perk to living on the beach.
These flounder were swimming in the ocean just hours before we filleted them and cooked them up for dinner.

Even Dea's husband, Matt liked this evening dinner...
and he doesn't like any

While Bill was filleting the fish I made the Cucumber Salad.

Dea made a request the day she got here for my infamous
I figured this would be a good accompaniment to fresh fish and cucumber salad.
Bill was in heaven!
It is so rare that I cook spoonbread anymore, that Mary didn't even know what it was.

I tried lots of recipes over the years to find one that came close to my mom's recipe
and I never could.
So, I made my own by combining a couple different recipes together to get mine.

Spoonbread (serves 8)

1 c. corn meal                         1 c. milk
1 1/2 tsp. salt                         2-3 eggs
2 c. water            2 Tbs. melted butter
1/2 c. sugar                     ~and a heap of love

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Add sugar, cornmeal, salt and water into pan.
Bring just to a boil, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add milk and eggs 
which have been beaten together.
Melt butter in a 8x8 baking pan, swirl butter and add excess to batter.
Stir well then pour batter into the buttered baking pan.
Bake for 30-45 minutes until nicely browned.

Then enjoy!
(See Dea, I do share my recipe) 

Something for Me

I actually took a little time for myself to mend a pair of shorts. 
The only pair I own
and split.
This is so sad!
I really need a new wardrobe.

I have all these patterns and fabric that I tell myself I am going to make...
yet I never do.
Heck... look how long it took me to make time to mend a small rip in a seam.
At this point...
I think I need to just go out and buy a new wardrobe.
wonder if that will ever happen?

I have eyeballed a few things on the racks but ultimately leave... 
with something for the house, Bill or Mary.

One of these days...
(baby steps)


After the new Farrier (new to Phoenix) 
came to the barn week before last, 
Phoenix seemed to be a bit sore footed.
Phoenix didn't have any visible issues, no rocks, thrush, swelling or heat.
Just a slight limp in his front right foot.
So Mary gave him a break for a few days and only groomed him up and bathed him when she came out to see him.
I think just the subtle difference in Farriers was all it was.
But ooooh... was she bummed.

He is fine now.
He is back to his old self and so is Mary.
They both need their routine.
If it is changed up they are out of sync and it shows... BIG TIME!

Beach Bummed

Mary didn't stay bummed for long though.
Mary has been doing homeschool video reading chats with Dea's girls...
Abbi and Tessa 
for a while now but they have never met face to face.

They were so excited to finally get to know each other in person.

There was LOTS of beach time!
Mary had more beach time in one week, then she did all summer put together.

Mashoes/Mans Harbor

This is where Bill and I got married.
Down Mashoes Road  that is ... 

Crabbing in Mashoes


Get a Net

Crab On

Get 'em



Crabbing is definitely an experience.
Its a good thing that these guys weren't trying to catch us dinner.
We would have been there a VERY long time.
Good friends always bring out the tourist in us!
The last time we went crabbing, Mary wasn't much older than Charlie when we took Robin's kids crabbing.

What a tease...
now I have a hankering for some crabs.
Mary says she hasn't ever had crabs... now that is just sad.
She has had them...
it has just been a very long time.

I better put in an order and get my crab fix before winter.

Back to the Barn

We finally had a day at the barn that was full of smiles!
It seemed as if Mary has been spending more time being frustrated than enjoying her time with her horse.

For the first time in a very long time...
there was no fear
just JOY!

Mary warmed Phoenix up really well and then hopped on and
did a lot of trot work.

They were BOTH in a groove.
And all I could see was teeth and braces.

Mary was shrieking with joy...
"Mom... Look, we are finally where we use to be!"

Last Day of Vacation

Scoping out the perfect wave.

More Surf

Abbi and Tessa squeezed in every ounce of beach time they could get on their last day of vacation.

Abbi over came her fear and was the last one to get out of the water.
By the end of the week they were all seasoned beach bums.

We all went out to dinner then the girls plus Charlie headed back to my house
to watch:

Netflix : Masterpiece Classic: The Diary of Anne Frank

This is the last book the girls read together and they wanted to watch the movie together.
While we hung out in the AC and watched movies
the boys went back to 

Camp Cullowhee

They were going to fish on Avalon Pier 
but they opted to try some night fishing on the beach instead.
Bill said that they didn't fish on the pier because when they asked the folks at the pier they said they weren't catching anything...
but I think it was the parking lot full of police officers that chased them off.

I guess some things never change at Avalon Pier.

Drew really wanted to catch a shark while he was here
but I think he was pleased with his ...

Homeward Bound

The whole gang packed up the car and were ready to hit the road first thing in the morning.

I rarely say "Good-bye" it isn't my favorite word.
It seems soo final.
They live so far away and we can barely make it across the bridge.
So we are sad to see them leave.
Even though it has been eight years since we last saw each other,
we picked back up like it was yesterday.
I know that we will pick back up where we left off again.
And since we have a reason to go to Ohio next summer, it won't be another eight years.

Dea and Matt will be renewing their wedding vows.

Plus we still have our video Reading sessions.
Abbi has put out there that she wants the next book to be the

The Hobbit

I think that they will enjoy this one!

A New Bloom


New Perspective

New Inspiration

Thanks to the abundance of a friend, 
I have a bountiful supply of 
birdhouse and kettle gourds again.
I haven't had a gourd come out of the garden in almost 2 years.
At least not any that I can use.

Maybe this is the nudge I have needed to get my creative juices flowing again.
I even have several volunteer
Green Gourds 
in the garden right now.

It feels strange knowing that we don't have anything on the calendar that we 
HAVE to do or 
a certain TIME to be somewhere.
No Sports, no nothing.

Happy Labor Day!

Tuesday we will get back into a semi- school routine to finish up that Math we didn't get to .
And get back into an early to bed, early to rise schedule.
Figure out a new barn routine that works for us.
Then get back to a healthy eating and an exercise program.



Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are doing it..small steps..and back to school...Good for you...enjoyed your blog..:)..miss you love need to make a trip to the mountains leaves are starting to turn..KB

Eden said...

Love your blog!!! See you at the barn soon!

Susan said...

Wow, great end of the summer for you all! The crabbing adventure brought back memories of when I was little doing that. Hope the school groove gets going smoothly, and your groove keeps on blogging!!