Monday, August 31, 2009

Vegetable Garden!

Living in the country has inspired me.... Inspired me to start my own vegetable garden.

"This is going to be a disaster!"

While Winnie might be right... I'm just going to keep going and not listen to her!! First, we had to build our garden. We have very compact red clay 'round these parts and building a raised bed seemed like an easier plan :) Plus, it should be a little easier for me to keep weeded, etc. which is always a bonus.

Everything I read said that if you are new to gardening, START SMALL! So, I did the opposite. Not that my garden will be huge, mind you, but it does not fall under the parameters suggested for beginners. If I'm going to fail, I want to fail big! Anyway, I laid out the boundaries for the two beds.

Oliver laid under the trailer (hence the extraordinarily tall grass) and watched my progress. He was very helpful and encouraging. (See, Winnie? Encouraging!)

Look, we measured and everything!! Then it was time to drill...

"I can't look!"

Winnie, what did I say about encouraging??

See, girl? No need to fret. We did just fine!

Two beds... complete. Now we needed to finish staking them into the ground.

Then I filled with a mixture of dirt and compost. Much better than red clay! Also? A wheelbarrow full of dirt is heavier than you would think... Write that down.

Time to plant seeds! This is where I really ignored the advice. Throwing caution to the wind, I decided not to keep it small and only plant 3 (or fewer) varieties as suggested for newbies. Instead, I planted about 16 different veggies and herbs. Fail BIG, I tell ya!

My temporary garden markers :) Don't worry, I'm a note-taking freak so I have bed layouts drawn with notes on harvesting, etc. Maybe if I want to embarrass myself, I show that to you one day.

But you know what?

Seriously, guess...

Ok, ok... I'll tell you

It's working!!! This was my first sprout! I mean, I still have plenty of time to kill them all and fail miserably... so don't lose faith in me yet... but as of now, we might have a fall bounty on our hands!

"Okay, Lady... that's great and all... but when do I get to eat 'em?"

Monday, August 24, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, DM and I visited our old stomping ground... Raleigh, North Carolina.

Downtown has changed significantly since we lived there... they have a new (gigantic) special events center... and they have opened a section of downtown which used to be accessible by foot traffic only up to vehicles.

This, however, is not why we visited. DM's job requirements were changing and we decided to go do something fun for the day. So, we packed up the car and headed to Raleigh on a moment's notice in order to go to the museum.

Why, you ask? Because DM wanted to go and view the pirate exhibit.

The exhibit is called "Knights of the Black Flag" and has loads of information and artifacts on pirates.

There is a section on women pirates...

For those of you who are interested, some female pirates were known to be females while others disguised themselves as males.


This contraption looked like it was the opposite of fun....

The main focus of the exhibit is the legendary pirate known as Blackbeard.

His wreckage is believed to have been discovered. Many of the items from his ship were on display in the exhibit.

Even his skull....

Sorry, that's the best I've got. No photos of the skull were allowed. But, I shall give you a quick description. For those of you who aren't aware, Blackbeard was killed and decapitated... his skull was passed around through many hands and at one point it was dipped in silver. Although it went missing for many years, it is believed that the skull on display is the actual skull of Blackbeard and it is indeed silver.

An actual canon from Blackbeard's ship.

Bullets, etc.
Personally, I found this pretty interesting. There were several aquariums located in one section of the exhibit that contained items inside of them. These are items from the wreckage that have not yet been properly excavated... this is how they were found in the ship at the bottom of the ocean. Proper measures must be taken (ie keeping the items in salt water) until they can be cleaned by trained experts.

They even had a section on modern-day pirates.

DM as a pirate... BEWARE!
I don't know who this person is... Nope, no idea. Not me, though. I know that much. Yeah.

We also visited the exhibit which contained photography of the agricultural lifestyle in the mountains of NC. Basically, it contains 3 of my favorite things... Photography, Farming, and the mountains of NC!

I have more photos... but I won't bore you to death today. See how kind and thoughtful I am? You're welcome!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summertime Brews Festival

We had an exceptionally busy weekend. First of all, I decided that living in the country means that I must have a vegetable garden. But I will document that adventure later...

On Saturday, there was a beer festival in town. DM was so excited, he could hardly contain himself.
Seriously, he talked about it for weeks in anticipation. Plus, how wonderful is it for him that he has me as a built-in designated driver?

If I counted correctly, they had 238 beers represented at the festival. Basically, DM's dreams came true.

If you have not been to a festival like this before, let me explain how it works. Each beer is available to be sampled by the consumer. At entry, everyone is given a small glass and the brewers dole out 2 ounce samples. But, to be honest, many of them were giving out 2-4 ounces...

2 ounces may not seem like much but repeated regularly certainly adds up! Let me demonstrate...

DM tasted over 150 beers... he did the math... it was the equivalent to drinking 30 beers! In two hours!! Yikes!

Personally, I thought this was clever. They had a keg inside the back of the VW Beetle and a tap that extended through the trunk.

Plus, it had a wheat mohawk. What could be better than that?

Since I was not sampling beers, I was camera happy. I was also fascinated by how many people decided to wear t-shirts revolving around beers. I could literally make a book from how many photos I took of beer t-shirts!
Then I ran into this guy... he noticed that I was taking pictures but was upset that he was not wearing a beer t-shirt... So he said, "Will this work?"

And lifted his shirt to reveal a Jack Daniels tattoo.

He was a very young fellow and all I could think was "Your mamma must be so sad..."

This sort of made me giggle. It was a steel drums band ...

She was serious about her love of hops and barley.

Beer... everywhere

As the day came to a close I thought...I hope they recycle!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


This dog?

I love this dog.

He warms my heart.

The familiar lump of red fur in the middle of the floor is the happiest of sights. The recognizable thump of his tail hitting the floor as he wags is the most glorious of sounds. He is loyal and kind and reminds me everyday that he is the most trustworthy of dogs. He will sleep peacefully on his bed until you return home. He constantly reassures me that under his watchful eye no mischief or bad behavior will occur.

And then I return home from an errand to find the pizza box on the living room floor curiously devoid of the leftover pizza. And I reminisce on all the times that he reassured me of his impeccable and dependable behavior. And I think...

"Well played, Baxter. Well Played."
For those of you wishing to give Mr. Baxter the benefit of the doubt and wonder how I could possibly know if it was actually he that is guilty for this crime with all of these other critters running around... First of all, I appreciate your way of thinking. I am constantly doling out the benefit of the doubt for all I see. But, unfortunately... he was the only dog inside at the time. Case closed.