Monday, September 26, 2016

Flag of the Week

This weeks flag is from Castine, Maine.


The day we visited Castine was on and off foggy. Last week I shared about our visit to Dyce Head Lighthouse. Castine is a charming coastal town full of charm. Maine Maritime Academy is located in Castine. It's a four-year institution for officers and engineers for the United States Merchant Marine and similar industries.


Boats moored in the water captured my attention. I've seen boats tied up at docks, but before our trip I'd never seen boats sitting in the water without occupants. I learned it's like parking your car in a parking lot. You pick your spot and take the keys with you so nobody steals your boat.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Dyce Head Lighthouse

In Castine, Maine you'll find the Dyce Head Lighthouse. (Some people spell it Dice.) This was the one lighthouse we saw on our quick trip to Maine in August.


The lighthouse is located on a peninsula on the east side of the entrance to Penobscot River. It is positioned on a natural area, and the ground are open to the public. The house is lived in and not open to visitors.



The light first shone on November 5, 1828, but it was decommissioned in 1937 and moved to a nearby skeletal tower. The tower was turned over to Castine in 1956. In 2007 a microburst knocked over the skeleton tower. After that the Coast Guard installed a light in the Dice Head tower, so the Dyce Head Lighthouse again shines.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Barbies

When I was growing up, I loved to read and play Barbies. My mother grew up playing with paper dolls, and she understood my love of playing with dolls.

Mom made Barbie rooms for me to enjoy and saved them after I grew up. Because I had sons, I never pulled them out. There was no way Bill and Scott would play with any of my toys. Brooke and Allie have seen my Barbie dolls, and I even bought them a modern doll house. But this weekend I pulled out my old Barbie rooms for them. We opened one box at a time.



The girls were amazed and thought the rooms were cute. Allie seemed intrigued with all the lamps in different rooms, and Brooke enjoyed setting up the furniture in every room. My mother made some of the furniture with cardboard and material. The rooms have real cloth curtains, bedspreads, and pillows. Some of the rooms have wooden furniture, and even a few pieces are from my mother's childhood.


One footstool is a wooden top from men's cologne. and this blue chair is made from cardboard and covered with material.








Tim helped us pull out all of the boxes and put together shelves for rooms. We even found my Barbie camper. After we set everything up, the dolls took a trip to the Atlanta Aquarium in the camper.



Many winter days I'd come home from school and spend hours playing with my friends and my Barbie dolls. I hope the girls will enjoy coming to my house and playing with them. Today was a good start in building the excitement. It was really sweet to be able to share this joy with them.



Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to share memories and new fun. Have a great day!

Barbies

When I was growing up, I loved to read and play Barbies. My mother grew up playing with paper dolls, and she understood my love of playing with dolls.

Mom made Barbie rooms for me to enjoy and saved them after I grew up. Because I had sons, I never pulled them out. There was no way Bill and Scott would play with any of my toys. Brooke and Allie have seen my Barbie dolls, and I even bought them a modern doll house. But this weekend I pulled out my old Barbie rooms for them. We opened one box at a time.



The girls were amazed and thought the rooms were cute. Allie seemed intrigued with all the lamps in different rooms, and Brooke enjoyed setting up the furniture in every room. My mother made some of the furniture with cardboard and material. The rooms have real cloth curtains, bedspreads, and pillows. Some of the rooms have wooden furniture, and even a few pieces are from my mother's childhood.


One footstool is a wooden top from men's cologne. and this blue chair is made from cardboard and covered with material.








Tim helped us pull out all of the boxes and put together shelves for rooms. We even found my Barbie camper. After we set everything up, the dolls took a trip the to Atlanta Aquarium in the camper.



Many winter days I'd come home from school and spend hours playing with my friends and my Barbie dolls. I hope the girls will enjoy coming to my house and playing with them. Today was a good start in building the excitement. It was really sweet to be able to share this joy with them.



Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to share memories and new fun. Have a great day!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Life on Bald Head Island



Today I'm so excited to have Pam Smith as a guest on my back porch. She's going to share a little about life on Bald Head Island. Here's Pam...

Do you remember the movie "Trains, Planes & Automobiles"? Replace those with "Car, Ferry and Golf Cart" and you have an idea of the unique commute to Bald Head Island, a barrier island directly off the coast of North Carolina. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear river, Bald Head Island is accessible only via boat or ferry, there is no bridge connector to the island. As they say on the island, getting there is half the fun!

I first encountered Bald Head Island back in 1999 during an impromptu "lighthouses" of NC tour with my mom ( my mom is famous for her spontaneous road trips). We rode the ferry over from Southport to see Old Baldy, the oldest standing lighthouse in NC. I fell in love with the island then and when an opportunity arose to work there in 2014, I jumped at the chance! I work for the Bald Head Island Conservancy, a non-profit formed by island residents and land owners in 1983 who wanted to preserve its natural landscape and habitats, in essence "live in harmony with nature". Bald Head consists of three various eco systems - the coast / dune ridge, maritime forest and salt marsh, all of these provide homes to a wide variety of critters and creatures on the island, including; deer, alligator, a wide variety of birds; heron, ibis, painted buntings and bald eagles, river otter, an abundance of crab and fish, nesting sea turtles and this year, a group of nesting least terns.

(This is a white ibis.)

The BHI Conservancy's mission is barrier island education, preservation and conservation, including its well known Sea Turtle Protection program. Working in conjunction with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service, Bald Head Island has been designated as an "index beach" making our sea turtle nesting activity and protection program nationally recognized.



The BHI Conservancy is funded a variety of ways including; Corporate sponsors, memberships, donations, programs, 5K Turtle Trot runs and Turtle Central- the non profit gift shop benefitting the Conservancy. Now here is where I come in! I manage the non-profit gift shop and online store on the Conservancy campus along with part-time staffers and volunteers. We serve as the Gateway to the BHI Conservancy and even the island itself as we are often asked a myriad of questions pertaining to the island. We know where the eagle's nest is on middle island, where the big gators like to roam, how to kayak the creek, where the beautiful painted bunting likes to flit and flutter in spring as he serenades his lady love and all about sea turtle nesting, boils and excavations. We can discuss our groundbreaking non lethal deer population control methods and how sand temperature affects the sex of baby loggerhead sea turtles, all while selling you a t-shirt!


Bald Head Island is truly like no other place I have ever been or worked, there is a distinct effort by residents, workers, business owners and vacationers alike to keep the island as close as possible to its natural state. The homes and cottages are nestled in between rugged dunes and centuries old live oaks, there are no cars on the island. There is a charming post office and chapel situated close to Old Baldy. Kids can roam and explore and parents are grateful for a sometimes spotty cell phone and Internet connection. I hear over and over how families connect and enjoy time together, they feel the island is an escape from the real world, back to the way things were before Golden Arches and discount stores dotted every corner of our landscape.





The sense of community is strongly felt on the island, you feel it when a collective group of islanders and tourists alike are gathered on a beach as the sun begins to set, a hush falls over the crowd while a sea turtle intern checks a nest that has boiled 72 hours prior, she counts the eggs noting the hatch rate, and then as everyone waits with baited breath, she draws a baby up and shows it to the crowd, there are gasps, sighs and sometimes tears as the baby is shown and taken down to the ocean's edge where it begins its journey to the Sargasso Sea. According to our collected research, she will eventually return to Bald Head, as her mother did some thirty years before and lay her own nest, completing the cycle.




Pam, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing with us today.

Please stop by and visit Pam, Turtle Central Gift Shop, and the Conservancy.

Here's the Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/turtlecentralbhic/

Here is the Facebook www.facebook.com/BHICTurtleCentralGiftShop

And the link to the online store: www.turtlecentral.org



Shop address and contact info:

Turtle Central Gift Shop
700 Federal Road
Bald Head Island, NC 28461
910-457-0917




Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Grandparents' Day

Last week Bill told me Grandparents' Day was this week. Even though Brooke is six years old, I first thought about my parents. And then it hit me, Tim and I were the grandparents invited to Brooke's school for lunch.

Today we signed in at school and paid for our lunch. I saw another grandmother down the hall with a BIG bag of food from Panera. Brooke loves Panera and I felt like I had failed her. Soon my daughter-in-law arrived with her mother and Allie. Tim got stuck in traffic by a train, but we all made it to the lunchroom in time for lunch.

Brooke walked us through the line, and we sat down to eat.


We talked and ate and had a good time even though we hadn't brought food from Panera.

Afterwards we traced our hands on the table cloth.


Right before we left, we took our picture with Brook and Allie and Libby Benge, also known as Granny to the girls.