Thursday, December 29, 2011

Family Christmas

Stix n Brix
Clayton, NC

We’ve been here for a couple of days wrapping things up so that the closing will go smoothly next week, but I just had to post a few shots from Christmas with the family.  We left Huntington Beach real early Friday morning so that we could get Wanda set up in Mom’s driveway in Roanoke Rapids and help her with some Christmas preparations.  We went to Rocky Mount on Saturday for a Christmas Eve dinner with Gin’s parents.  We ate too much but it was so good.  Back to Mom’s and Christmas Day with her.  The rest of my family came in Sunday evening for dinner.  Once again, we ate too much.
Christmas 2011  Marie, (Mom)Becca, and Ella Christmas 2011

After dinner, we gathered around the tree while my great niece Xani played Xani Claus and handed out gifts to everyone.  She did a real good job with the names.
Xani Claus!!  Ella studies her present

It was nice weather so we could get some fresh air.  Since it was a little crowded, my sister Virginia and BiL David spent the night with us in the MH.  It sure was convenient and we were glad to have them.
(Granny) Virginia and Xani Christmas 2011  Christmas 2011

This year we received the best gift ever from my niece Marie.  Along with being a microbiologist, she is an artist along with her husband Shannon who live in Asheville.  She works with different mediums.  This year she made graphic magnets.  Ours was a perfect life-sized rendition of Smudge which she based upon a picture from my tribute post.  We were so touched that we all cried.  It will stick to the fridge in the new MH nicely.  I’ll get shots of that in a few weeks hopefully.

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Causeway Birds

Huntington Beach State Park (site #21)
Murrell’s Inlet, SC

I just had to get some more pictures from the causeway to share with everyone.  There are so many migratory birds here but the easiest to catch are the Egrets.  They love to pose.
Egrets love to pose  Great Egret

I had not noticed this heron before.  It’s a Tricolored Heron and he was looking for lunch.
Tricolored Heron  Tricolored Heron walking in the sawgrass reeds

There are lots of different ducks that I can’t figure out one from the other.  I had a blurred picture of a Bufflehead but I think this shot of a pair of Hooded Mergansers came out pretty good.
Female and male Hooded Merganser

We all got together with Bill and Nancy on Thursday and went for another paddle.  We were on the Waccamaw River again using a boat landing at Highway 9 near Longs, SC.  It was more traffic noise but it was a pretty day meandering along in the kayaks.
IMG_0786  IMG_0787

On Friday evening, Gin and I along with Dan and Tricia again gathered at Bill and Nancy’s house and we went out for dinner at Capriz in the Broadway on the Beach shopping center in Myrtle Beach.  Afterwards, we walked around to see the shops and lights.  It was delicious food and great company.

The time for us to leave is drawing near but we have really enjoyed our time at a great campground and time with great friends.  If anyone is travelling anywhere near this area,  take the time to spend a few days here.  We love the beach and the causeway birds.
Beautiful day at the beach! 
Great Egret at Huntington Beach  Reflections of a beautiful day

We will go back to NC to spend time with our families for Christmas and then get the paperwork done on the house.  We can hardly wait to get that straight so that we can go to Florida to get a new MH!

Life is what you make of it…today is tomorrow’s yesterday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lotsa Photos

Huntington Beach State Park (site #21)
Murrell’s Inlet, SC

We managed to get the bikes on the beach and go out to the jetty the other day.  It’s about a mile and a half one way.  It’s nice to have the electric motor to push us through the headwinds.  Dan and Tricia didn’t have that luxury.
Gin and Dan riding to the jetty

We saw a pair of dolphins in the water and a sea turtle.  I tried to get pictures but all I got was the water where they had just gone back under.  It was a little cool and overcast but we enjoyed the time on the beach and gathered a few shells.
Sunbeams on an overcast day

We all went to the causeway in front of Atalaya to see the alligators and I showed Dan and Tricia how easily my camera can zoom in for a close up.  Dan took this picture of the turtle.  Cool huh…
Young gator and old turtles  Close up of old turtles

We had a couple of cool dreary days that gave us a chance to relax at the MH and recharge our batteries, so to speak.  As soon as we had a clear day though, I just had to get on the bike and spend some time on the causeway taking pictures.  There were tons of birds there.  I think the Herons and Egrets actually like to pose for the cameras.  Here are a few pictures to check out.  Just a reminder, a caption will appear if you put the cursor on the pic and they enlarge when you click on them.
Feeding frenzy 

Blue Heron at Huntington Beach  Egret at Huntington Beach

Beautiful mature Pelican  Pelicans at Huntington Beach

Great Egret and Blue Heron posing Hear no fish, See no fish, Catch no fish... Woodstork at Huntington Beach

Ibis wading for a fish  Ibis and his reflection

Snowy Egret, a pair of Ibis, and a Great Egret in the oyster beds  Beautiful Snowy Egret

Hope you enjoyed the birds.  This month here is going by so fast, spending time with friends and enjoying the park.  I’m liking this a lot.  Smile

Life is what you make of it…a smile is free to share.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington Beach State Park (site #21)
Murrells Inlet, SC

I have been lazy and just living in the moment, but I said that I would share some pictures of this beautiful cg.  This is the site that we are on.  It would be a great place to have a Carolina Clan get together.  Smile  Notice the Santa hat on Wanda.  We copied Jim and Linda on that one.
Site #21 Huntington Beach SP SC

I love the wildlife here.  When you drive over the causeway to get to the park, you will see all kinds of birds and often times see an alligator.  There are a couple of sandbar islands that are popular places for the birds to preen and just show off their beauty.
Pelican, Egret, and Heron on a sand bar island

Pelicans on the causeway  Snowy Egret

There is another causeway leading to Atalaya, (the Moorish style castle that was the winter home for the Huntington’s) that is not open to vehicle traffic.  It is harder to see the water around it due to the bushes and trees, but the alligators like it here better.  Flocks of ducks and other migratory birds use this area as a good stop over.
Young alligator...5-6 ft long

On Sunday, we got together with Nancy and Bill and Tricia and Dan to do a bit of kayaking on the Waccamaw River Intracoastal Waterway.  It was a great afternoon with great friends!
Bill and Nancy, Gin, Dan and Tricia Waccamaw River Intracoastal Waterway

The Enterprise Boat Landing is surrounded by a Wildlife Refuge so it is a beautiful natural setting.  We saw several of these huge old trees all around and kept looking for gators along the shore.
Ancient tree  Spanich Moss draping a Bald Cypress

We did finally see an Osprey with his fish dinner (click on the photos to enlarge) thanks to Nancy’s sharp eyes.
Osprey with his catch of the day

As I said in the beginning of this post, we have enjoyed living in the moment.  I think that we can handle this lifestyle once the house sale is finalized.  Speaking of which, we went back to Clayton for 24 hours to take care of some of the items listed by the inspector.  I had a dental appointment too so that worked out ok but, it was a long drive there and back.  We’re planning to relax around camp again today…

Life is what you make of it... don’t stress out on the little things.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

We're Here!

Huntington Beach State Park (site #21)
Murrell's Inlet, SC

Well we did all we could to get things moved for Gin's folks.  We took some things to their new house on Thanksgiving morning but then took the rest of the day off.  I went to Roanoke Rapids to spend T-Day with Mom and had a good visit with my family while Gin relaxed at the new place with hers.  We got up early Friday and packed up the rest of the stuff.  We then drove to our house in Clayton to clean out our pantry and wash clothes.  There was just a few things left to throw out.  On Saturday we went to a family reunion to eat too much food again.  I did take the time to walk around the old neighborhood to see some Christmas lights.  Today we hit the road for some much needed rest.  It feels good to be traveling again.

As we approached Murrell's Inlet, we stopped at the traffic light at Home Depot and looked for Nancy at the Garden Center.  She was looking for us too so we all waved.  After getting our campsite set up around 1:30, we drove out to get something to eat.  We stopped by Home Depot and got a great hug from Nancy.  We sure hope the "house selling luck" rubbed off on her.  Tomorrow is her day off so maybe Nancy and Bill will drop by for a relaxing visit.  We like this campsite so maybe I'll post some pictures in the next few days.  We enjoyed a stroll along the shore and watched some football.  The ocean is just over the wooded dunes so we'll hear the waves as we drift off to sleep, per chance to dream...

Thanks for dropping by and enjoy each day of your life's journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Busy and …

Rocky Mount, NC

Boy have we been busy the past few days getting things cleaned up at the new house and boxing up the kitchen stuff for Gin’s folks!!   Thankfully Gin’s cousin Pam came over this weekend to help too.  Monday the movers come and Tuesday will be the antique dealers turn to pick up some very nice furniture and things.  I sure am glad that we didn’t have so much stuff to get rid of at our house.  We had three yard sales in a couple of years so last week was a piece of cake. 

It really was a good felling to empty out our house.  We knew there were two couples that were interested in buying it and one of them finally made an offer a few days ago.  Of course it was way too low.  The other couple wasn’t ready to commit so we went back and forth a bit with the others.  They finally brought their offer up enough for us to say “It’s a deal!”.  I must admit that I’ve had more emotions than I thought I would.  I think that has a lot to do with having recently lost Smudge.  I’m still missing her.

We will have a few things to do in the next few weeks to make the final steps to being full-timers.  There’s the mail forwarding company to choose and insurance company for full-time coverage.  We'll probably change banks in the future since we will no longer be NC residents also.  I’m sure we’ll forget something but I don’t feel and pressure or panic.  Gail and Rick can plan to enjoy another bottle of wine on January 6 when we are planning to close on the house.  I’m sure they have one ready for Paul and Marti’s closing and Bill and Nancy’s will be in the near future (fingers crossed my friends).

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

House is Empty

Stix n Brix
Clayton, NC

First of all, I want to thank everyone who left comments and family who sent cards.  Smudge will be missed for a long time…

Gin’s mom has been in and out of the hospital since her surgery due to low blood count.  If you ever have a chance to donate blood to the American Red Cross, please do it.  I’ve donated over a couple of gallons in my life and know that it’s made a difference for others.  Their new home still isn’t finished but should be ready by Tuesday.  We plan to go there for a few days to help with the move.  They’re under a lot of stress I’m sure.

We’ve been at our house for about two weeks and have been busy just about every day.  First of all, we ran into our friends Tricia and Dan at a nearby campground by coincidence.  They came to our house for a little visit.  Gin has done a bit of touch ups around the house and I had a root canal.  I’m not sure which was more fun.  We did take a few minutes to enjoy the view from our back porch.

Our backyard pond November 2011
The leaves are pretty this time of year, but the backyard will be covered in a couple of weeks.  We probably will not be here though.

On Wednesday, we posted the dining room and bedroom furniture on Craigslist.  That night, the bedroom was gone.  We had decided to have a yard sale this weekend so we pulled everything that remained in the kitchen, garage, and office into the garage.  Our plan was to sell as much furniture as we could too.  On Thursday evening, we talked with our neighbors Mark and Kelly and told them they could get first dibs.  They got a few pieces of furniture and Mark called his dad Jim to have him check out the couch.  Well Jim decided to get it along with everything else we had out for the yard sale.  He knew of a family in need through the church he attends and we were glad to get rid of it.  On Friday, Jim filled up his truck and trailer.  It was nice to get all that stuff gone.  The only thing that remained was our dining room stuff so Gin put it on CL again Friday night.  First thing Saturday morning, I had an email from someone who wanted it.  So now it is gone too.  The house is totally empty!  We move fast!  Now if we can just get that shell sold…

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Smudge 6/1/1997–11/3/2011

Stix n Brix
Clayton, NC

Mommy, don't leave...
Smudge  1997 - 2011

Smudge has been a huge part of our lives during the past 14 years but we had to say goodbye to her yesterday.  When we picked her out of a liter of 5, little did we know that we had chosen the devil of the bunch.  At that time, Gin was in a wheelchair so we knew we wanted a small dog that could stay in the house to use a pee-pad when nature called.  She enjoyed riding in Gin’s lap as she wheeled around in the house.

When we got our MH in 2006, Smudge adjusted to our little travels very well.  She did not like being left behind.  She had a case of separation anxiety and stuck to me like Velcro.  Oh how I miss that little cling-on! 

One of our best memories of a good day together was a hike in the woods near Brevard, NC in 2008.  We made a wrong turn and never found the waterfall, but Smudge was hopping over limbs and pulling me on her leash.  She had a blast!

During the past two years she aged rapidly.  A few months ago we took her to the vet because she wasn’t acting quite right.  The doctor told us that she was in kidney failure and that it was only a matter of time.  We fed her the kidney formula of Science Diet hoping that would help.  During the past few weeks, we had to hand feed her (spoiled a little) to get her to eat.  She didn’t drink any water on Wednesday and was so weak.  She didn’t sleep much that night and was sick Thursday several times.  She trembled in pain.  We knew it was time to say our goodbyes.

This is my tribute post so I am posting a lot of pictures.  They have captions if you stop the cursor on the pic.  We have had other dogs before her but she lived with us the longest.  She was very ill-tempered but very much loved by us.  We will see her at the Rainbow Bridge.

Hold me Mommy G! Howl at the moon So peaceful...
I'm so beautiful! Smudge loves the backyard freedom
Enjoying the outdoors Smudge...or should we call her Velcro
I don't want to go swimming.  It's too cold! Smudge doesn't like to swim but it cools her off
I'm begging...please! This is MY chair!!
Mommy pick me up! I don't feel too good
I'm so sweet...and spoiled! Smudge enjoys relaxing
I look so sweet Licky
The wind is messing up my hair! Smudge enjoying the fresh air in the mountains of NC/Tenn
Sudge relaxing in the MH Smudge should have been named Velcro!
Leave me alone.  I'm resting. Relaxing at Lake Jordan
Shaggy!! Smudge...aka Velcro
Enjoying the ride in Pennsylvania I like it here