Friday Morning Roundup

The chicks and ducklings are well.  Despite growing rapidly, they are still content to remain in the wading pool.  The largest one is Donald, the duck, who is timid and very mild.  The smallest, Shy Guy, is doing well.  There still seems to be something off about him, but I think he will survive.

The girls like to accompany me on walks.  We go no less than 1/2 mile from home, and I’m astonished each time that I don’t have to carry anyone back up the hill.  Susie enjoys being off-leash.  She’s turned into a responsible dog in her old age, and I enjoy her steady company.

When we’re not outside, the girls are drawing with markers, playing with blocks, reading their books, or playing with their dolls.  It’s just like we are at home.  Whenever I need a moment to think, I turn on the television.  Napping is still unattainable although I do sometimes manage to get one down.


As for me, well, I have started a new hobby which I will write about on Knit Me For a Loop.



Highs and Lows

The weather yesterday was just perfection.  I didn’t get any pics of the girls in their Easter dresses, and I’m not worried about it.  They’ll be in them again soon enough.  (For the record, I did get a few pics of them on our walk in their more stylish play clothes.)

I have packed very minimally on this trip.  It’s an experiment for me in minimal living.  And so far I have realized I don’t need as much as I thought I did.

For example, I packed just two pants, one dress and three skirts for myself.  Three short tees, three long tees, one fitted shirt, oh and lots and lots of shoes.  I must be doing it right; I have worn more shoes than clothes.

I tried to pack minimally for the girls as well.  Three dresses each, and only a fraction of their clothes.  Unfortunately, that still amounts to a lot.

The weather today was cold and damp, and I don’t regret bringing extra clothes that could work as layers in a pinch.

The girls’ moods seem to fluctuate as much as the weather.  Their lives have been turned upside down.  We don’t see daddy anymore except through Facetime chats.  It’s been tough on everybody.  Not having a schedule hasn’t helped.

Today was the first day we didn’t have any epic meltdowns.

Plus there were naps.

There is hope.


She sings to them

It was just a thought I dismissed as I made the six-hour drive “home.”  Could I get the girls a chick or two?

My parents have had a variety of foul on the farm over the years. There have been chickens, geese, doves, ducks, and even emus.  These birds found their way to our various houses over the years in a manner of ways. One came home as a result of a school project in which several eggs were hatched in the classroom.  Some were purchased at auction.  Others were delivered by mail.

When grampa mentioned this very same idea on our gator ride, I let him know I had thought of it as well.  We conferred with gramma, and it was settled.  The girls were getting chicks. Continue reading

Change of Address: We’ve gone nomadic.

We are adjusting to some changes.  The girls and I have moved back “home” to live with my parents while our house back in Virginia is put on the market.

I use the word “home” loosely.  Although this is where my parents mostly reside, this isn’t where I grew up.  Sure, I spent my summers here, but it’s not like I can call up old friends from high school.  I don’t know anyone here.  To keep loneliness at bay, for my girls and myself, I’ve decided to join an activity time at the local library which starts next month.

We got here on Tuesday, and already we have had a few adventures.  We found a little playground in town.  We weren’t there for very long, maybe half an hour, and I saw a couple push their child down the street in a stroller.  I hope next time we can find someone to play with. Continue reading

Nags Head (aka Beach #2)

The second week of our vacation was planned last minute to accommodate my brother who now lives on the other side of the world and to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary (which actually isn’t until October).  He was able to return home for a few weeks, and amazingly we were able to find an available, large beach house during a holiday week.

Family members staggered in throughout the week, and by Wednesday evening all of us* were accounted for.   This was the first time we had all been together since my wedding in 2004.  Even more remarkable, this was the first family vacation since 1985. Continue reading

Craft Beer along the NC Coast

My blog turns three today!  Usually, I pour myself a glass of beer (specifically Lost Coast’s Downtown Brown) and reflect on life in general (typical blog fare around here).  This time around, however, I will pour myself a homemade root beer and reflect on the craft breweries we visited (and a couple that we didn’t) during our most recent travels.

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We contacted someone over at Duck-Rabbit Brewery hoping to visit them during our two-week stay in North Carolina, but they only do tours on Fridays and we were only near them on Saturdays.  Thankfully, Duck-Rabbit is distributed in our area so we’ll just make do with whatever bottles we can find in our grocery store.  If you aren’t already aware of Duck-Rabbit, just know that their milk stout makes a really good ice cream float.

We later stumbled upon not one but two amazing brew pubs:  Front Street Brewery in Wilmington, NC and Full Moon Café and Brewery in Manteo, NC.

Of course, I couldn’t sample any of the beers, but I can tell you that Okey was very much impressed with the Front Street Brewery and the creativity of the young brewer.  He seemed to like the Brett style beer which he described to me as being like a lambic ale having been made with a wild yeast.  Okey returned with two friends and three growlers later in the week, and everyone was very happy with the tour of the brewery with the brewer himself.  He said that he is going to keep an eye on how well this brewery does at the Great American Beer Festival later this year.

Okey didn’t get to sample much at the crowded Full Moon, but he was very pleased to read that they specialized in British and Irish style ales… much like him.

We also noted the local Weeping Radish whose beer we had seen listed at several restaurants.  We then passed an establishment called Brewery, Butchery & Pub (which upon further research at home is linked to the Weeping Radish somehow).  Should we return to the North Carolina coast, we will see if we can squeeze that into our trip.

Holden Beach (aka Beach #1)

It feels like we’re always on the road, but we’re never really on vacation.  Our destinations have usually been to visit friends and family who live hundreds of miles away.  This summer, we took a nice long vacation and explored our neighboring state to the south.  What was special about this trip was that we were able to spend our vacation with the friends and family we are always visiting.

Family Portrait at Holden Beach

Week # 1 — I  thoroughly enjoyed Southern NC. I was worried about bringing my family to the “South,” but everyone has been so loving and welcoming. For the first time, we were told that we were a beautiful family. Usually the compliments are about our daughter and not us as a whole unit, so we felt especially welcomed. Continue reading