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1….2….3 strikes you’re out

25 May

Who knew there was a college level summer baseball league here in Carteret County?!?!

I sure didn’t…another great reason to live at the beach.

Not only do the Morehead Marlins reside in Morehead City during the summer….but there is a stadium…that one can rent out for the afternoon and play on the field and use the snack station and all the fun stuff when you go out for a lovely Saturday afternoon.

Today was a special day at the ball field. Our good friend Suzannah, as well as the Sound to Sea Program Coordinator at Trinity Center, is leaving us :(. She has served so well and given so much to Trinity Center, and now she’s moving on to find more people to make happy.

We had a fabulous time at the ball park. There was food and frenzy, frisbee throwing and a really awesome game of baseball.

I’m still working on how to use my camera on a super bright day…so bear with me.

I think I should have had a higher f-stop for these. Would have been easier to get everyone (or just the person I was wanting to take a picture of) in focus. Focusing long distance is harder than I thought.

It was also a partially cloudy day, so the sun kept on switching from really freaking bright to a bit darker. Sometimes it was hard to keep up.

All in all, we had a really great time. The owner of the stadium/team was super nice. It’s a fantastic place to have a birthday party, family reunion, small get together. What a fabulous beginning to the summer!

Unfortunately, I did not do a good job of actually taking any pictures of Suzannah, the reason we had the party anyway. That’s her pitching in this picture.

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(the end of) summertime

21 Sep

A lot of people have been talking and writing and posting about fall. And most of them are happy about it.

Well…I can tell you that I am not. I love the summer. I love being hot. I love all the good things about summer…swimming in the ocean or a pool, popcicles, ice cream, sunshine, long days, waking up when the sun is already up, evening walks, weddings, baby animals, relaxed schedules, family, vacation, 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day… I could go on and on. I LOVE summer.

But now, the fog is rolling in.

on my way to work. I could barely tell where I was

Everyone I read/hear seems to be so excited about the cool weather. But for me, this signals winter. And let me tell you, I DON’T LIKE WINTER. Don’t get me wrong, I like it til about December. The holidays are nice. I love the Christmas Flotilla in our town and seeing family. And even until then, it’s not too cold. Cold enough for me, though.

It’s when it gets past December, it gets to the bitter cold, for me. I know I live in North Carolina, so it doesn’t get that cold here, especially at the coast. But let me tell you…it’s cold enough for me. By the time March rolls around, I’m so tired of the darkness and cold and being stuck inside for so long that I want to jump out of my skin.

The best part about winter is that I know in just a little while, spring will come and then back to my favorite season.

Today is the first day of fall and coincidentally, the first day that I left home and the sun wasn’t already up (sigh).

Beautiful? Yes. Exciting? Well, at least I get to see the sun rise for the entire winter. At least that what I’ll tell myself until March. 🙂

Ocracoke!

22 Aug

NC Hwy 12...looks like it goes off into no where

…one of my very favorite places on earth. The hubs and I went for a mid-summer’s mini-vacation a few weeks ago. It was fantabulous.

Ocracoke Island and village is one of those secret places that you want to tell everyone about, but at the same time, you want to tell no one. It’s got a permanent, year-round population of about 750, though it can spike up to about 5000 during the summer. Small, I know, but absolutely amazing. It’s been in the top 10 beaches of the US more times than I can count. Here are some highlights:

Hwy 12, again. May be my favorite highway

the window in our room

the surf report for the day in the local coffee shop

the weirdest/coolest ducks? i've ever seen

mmm....coffee

the best place in ocracoke to eat...the flying mellon cafe. I had the crab cakes. the hubby had the veggie ravioli..mmm...mmm...delicious

We also took the ferry over to Hatteras to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. This place was really awesome. They have a real fresnel lens that used to be used in the Hatteras Lighthouse. So cool!

part of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

here it is...

the fresnel

the lens

the fresnel lens

the pirate exhibit. why are pirates so interesting?

BURNED!

19 Aug

Don’t you remember the days when you were young…back in the day…a Wednesday…it was summer, and beautiful, and the best thing you could think of to do was to play outside all day long? Whether it was at the pool, riding bikes with neighborhood friends, or just playing outside, I could stay outside for hours, no matter how hot it was. Of course, I would pay for it. I would get sunburned, but even back then it was worth it. As a child, I never cared about sunscreen or skin cancer or any of those adult things. Of course, my mother would remind me to put on sunscreen every hour and give me “the look” when I came home burnt. But it wouldn’t do any good. I would run outside and stay and suffer the consequences later.

As an adult I’ve gotten much better. I wear sunscreen and hats and sunglasses that have UV protection. I am very fair skinned, so I don’t have the advantage of actual tanning, the sun kisses my skin in spots that look much more like freckles than a beautiful beach baby tan.
I thought I had grown out of the phase of not caring about my skin. Well…I was wrong.

ouch!

I can’t tell you how wrong I was. The other day, my husband and I went to the pool to relax. I had just taken one of my architecture tests (more about that later) and I wanted to swim laps to train for the triathlon I’m competing in in September (also, later). I swam laps about 30 minutes and once finished, got out to dry in the sun and read my book (The Reliable Wife, more on that later). We were out there for no more than 45 minutes and THIS is what happened.

I love shopping for sunscreen. After realizing that sunscreen goes bad in a year, I decided it was a waste to buy the super cheap gallon of sunscreen that wouldn’t work next year (unfortunately, I’ve had the experience of using it and ending up like I did the other day…like I hadn’t put on any sunscreen at all). So I get nice sunscreen. It’s biodegradable…good for me…good for the environment. Especially all the fishes in the ocean. I just didn’t put it on, like an idiot. And now, I’m suffering.

But that does bring me to this post, which is going to be about sunscreen. I know we all know how important sunscreen is, so I’m not going to lecture on that point. Something I have recently learned about some sunscreens is that they can protect our skin, but be dangerous to the rest of us.

Sunscreen can have chemicals that can affect all types of systems in our bodies, including our largest organ, our skin.

Check out the website for the Environmental Working Group. They have done serious testing and research, and do not seem to be sponsored by a particular brand. This website helped me weed through all the claims. Turns out, the FDA does not regulate sunscreen like a lot of other things we put on our skin! Hard to believe, but true. I ended up going with Caribbean Solutions.

You can find it here.

It’s a natural, biodegradable sunscreen that has very low occurrences of side effects. The best part about this site is that you can search the sunscreen you usually use and see how safe it is. Thanks Environmental Working Group. We appreciate your service!

Don’t worry, I didn’t get paid to say that. I actually really appreciate their website. And boy do I appreciate sunscreen.

There’s a line in a Portastatic song “Hey Salty” (which also happens to be our wedding song) that says,
“Your cheeks are burned / Don’t you ever learn?”

Nope. Of course, I’ll take heed for a while…until next summer.