Postcard from the beach

Whether it is sunny and warm or cool, gray and foggy, life is good at the beach.

When I walk, there is always something interesting to see.

I only saw the dolphins once this week, and they barely broke the surface, but I was walking on the beach and caught a surfer enjoying the waves near the pier. He kind of reminded me of a pelican’s landing when his ride came to an end. 🙂

There are a lot of wonderful restaurants and food destinations here. We tried a new one this week – Parlor Doughnuts in Pawleys Island. Let me tell you, Dunkin Donuts will never be the same. 🙂 They’re a little pricey at $19 for half a dozen, but they were fun to try.

We also have someone in the building who likes to write in the sand, and their messages certainly bring a smile to this woman.

A group of six friends had a nice afternoon at Brookgreen chatting, laughing, and enjoying the gardens. Laughter really is the best medicine. The turtles are not out yet – too cool.

The rest of the time I’ve been reading (Beverly Connor and Linda Fairstein), sewing, and watching the new Reacher series on Prime. I made a really pretty bag for a friend and forgot to take a photo. I guess that’s because I was still sewing on it up until the hour before we went to enjoy an at-home dinner with them.

We enjoy restaurants and groups like everyone else, but we’ve found a real benefit to not eating in and avoiding crowds – we have wonderful conversations and enjoy the entire time more with a couple or a couple of friends. It’s quality over quantity.

The Walking Iris has provided eight blooms so far with a double on one day.

The plant itself looks like an iris, the flower looks more like an orchid, and the fact that the bloom only lasts one day reminds me of a day lily.

With the temperature at home set at 50°F, I bring one of my two pots with me in case the other one decides to expire because of the cold. It was given to me by a good friend who has since passed, and when it blooms I think of him.

I hope your have a great week, and we’ll do the same. ❤️

Posted in South Carolina | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

It’s cold out there

I’m still at the beach, but haven’t been doing a lot of sitting on the balcony.

If I was sitting on the balcony, I’d be up there on the fifth floor.

We had the lightest of snow flurries with a real feel of 17 degrees this past weekend. I must admit to chuckling as I watched a family of five try to make snowballs.

However, I didn’t shovel any snow which is what family and friends certainly did back home in NH.

I did walk the beach yesterday when it got up to a balmy 34. It was cold, but it was necessary after the to-go breakfast of sticky bun pancakes that I ate. There are three pancakes in that pile, and it is a challenge to even eat half of it. I persevered though my half and left my orange slices. A woman has to have her priorities. 🙂

We didn’t even make it to Brookgreen last week – too cold. I kept the sewing machine running, and the pages on several library books turning. I also watched seven hours of webinars about hydroponics and invasive worms that I won’t bore you with, but if anyone is interested, you can let me know in a comment. Even as enthusiastic as I am about gardening, seven hours of webinars is too much in one week.

This week the weather is going back to more normal temperatures, and a Brookgreen walk with friends is on the schedule. Maybe I can even walk the beach without a winter coat, hat and gloves.

I got lucky last week and captured a better video of a dolphin. He was a good sized one, and he came up four times so I hope you can see him better. Last dolphin video, I promise. 🙂

Here’s a photo of my sewing projects. I’m putting it at the bottom so those not interested can go right on by. 🙂

The hummingbird wall hanging on left is a work in progress, the bag is finished but I’m going to make another one based upon what I learned, and the covered bridge wall hanging is finished. I’m also working on a small project, but it’s a gift so no photos.
Posted in Gardening, Sewing, South Carolina | Tagged , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

Mid January

January is never the warmest month at the beach, but we have had some wonderful 68 degree days that we enjoyed to their fullest including a wonderful afternoon walking at Brookgreen Gardens with three friends, walking the beach, and sitting on the balcony in the sun with our afternoon coffee.

Over the weekend, we had a couple of pretty cold days dropping down into the teens, We stayed inside away from the ice on the roads that they’re not use to handling and consoled ourselves with some really good key lime pie. Reading, sewing, finishing a survey for master gardeners, and watching the Chiefs and Brady were on the agenda.

Living at the beach, with a wall of windows, we get a front row seat to watch the ocean, how the sun bounces off the water, and its wildlife. We saw the dolphins go by a couple of times which is always a thrill, but I can never get a decent photo. The shrimp boats seem to be coming in closer to shore this year, and I’ve never had a pelican just sit and pose before.

I’ll be hoping for another garden walk this week, finish a bag I’m working on, and I’ve got three gardening webinars – UNH hydroponics at home and two mornings of UMass jumping worm conference regarding the invasive worms. I saw you scrunch up your nose at the idea of a worm university, but I’ve got to know my enemy, right.

Have a wonderful week where you are, stay well, and remember, it’s only 55 days until spring.

You’ve got to have a good imagination, and watch at about the 6 second frame to catch the black spot surfacing. A videotographer with an iPhone I’m not. 😎

Posted in South Carolina | Tagged , , , , , , , | 67 Comments

Snow or Surf

There is something beautiful about freshly fallen snow. Everything is white and sparkly. I’ve lived in snow country for my entire life although some areas received inches while other received feet. I’ve skated on ponds, sledded, skied, made snowmen, and loved the sparkly white flakes. As I mature, those interests may still be vibrant in my memory, but the body is not so interested.

This winter I’m residing in a condo in South Carolina where I hear and see the surf pounding. The sound and the visual are something quite therapeutic. It’s like doing deep breathing exercises when you are stressed.

A blogging friend and artist, Jaime Haney, asked me to write about being a snowbird. I certainly don’t have years and years of experience, but from my five-year perspective there are things that draw you to leaving snow country. The #1 reason is friends. We wouldn’t be here except for an invite from a friend, we then invited friends, and we’ve all made more friends. The #2 reason is the bitter cold and the physical effort required in moving snow, and #3 would be the option to be outside and enjoy nature.

Being retired has many benefits but it also brings about a time when many people move to be closer to their family, so friends come and go from your life and there are voids left. To be able to spend three months surrounded by people your own age and interact with them is priceless.

There are many beautiful spots in our country to spend the winter months including some with snow. If you are thinking about being a snowbird, start early by taking winter vacations and checking out the areas you think you might be interested in. Then there is the option of buying or renting and whether you want to be in a stand alone house or you want to be around people.

Covid is definitely affecting our winter experience. Wearing a mask inside, restricting the number of friends we are interacting with, cutting back on group activities, and take out versus dine in certainly puts a damper on things, but safe is better than sorry.

I’ve been lucky this past week with a stack of books from the library, two short trips to Brookgreen Gardens, stops at a lovely quilt store, and lots of activity right outside my window.

We also enjoyed a trip to a cookie store. They’re not cheap, four cookies for $14.38, but a chocolate splurge now and again is good for the soul and the taste buds or so I told myself as I handed over my card.

I hope you have a great week whether it includes snow, surf, or somewhere in between.

As I’ve mentioned before, several of our friends from NH, MI, New Brunswick and in between are not here this year so a message was written in the sand and uploaded to the Facebook group. It’s similar to the blogging community. When you’re not here, we miss you. ❤️

Posted in South Carolina | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 57 Comments

January

New year, new month, new week, new beginnings.

Yes, we made it to South Carolina, and we enjoyed 70 degree temperatures for the first two days. The temps will be returning to the more normal 50’s range this week, but there’s no snow or ice.

A couple of photos for you from my first walk on the beach.

A few observations:
– The vast majority of folks of all ages are not wearing masks
– Although there is a supply shortage, you wouldn’t know it by the number of trucks on the road
– The drive gets longer every time
– Change the speed limit signs to reflect ‘minimum’ speed?
– I’m feeling my age after packing, loading, driving, unloading, unpacking
– Good friends are hard to find, so stay in touch with yours.

We’ve had an opportunity to see friends that we haven’t seen for two years. It’s wonderful. As sweet at it is to see these people, we also feel the loss of those who aren’t here this year.

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Hope you have a great first week in January. I’ll be headed to the library to get a temporary card, a grocery pickup, the fabric store for some project material, impatiently awaiting a computer part, and hopefully a walk or two on the beach or at Brookgreen Gardens if the weather breaks now and again. Sounds like a good week.

I’m hoping 2022 is kinder and gentler, but so far it seems a little rocky. I guess we’ll all need to keep maneuvering life’s speed bumps just like we did in 2020 and 2021 because none of us want to miss a curve. 😷

Posted in South Carolina | Tagged , , , | 62 Comments

New Year

The Christmas holiday is over, and I sincerely hope you all had a nice weekend. Good company, good food, and lots of laughter sure are positive remedies for the body and the soul. We’ll hope for family next year. Hmm, seems like I said that last year. 😷

Speaking of good food, what was the best dessert you enjoyed? We had delicious Christmas cookies and cinnamon rolls from our daughter and candy and cookies from a dear friend and her daughters. We enjoyed each and every one of them. I didn’t do any baking, and we still have the last two chocolate cookies to go with this afternoon’s coffee. Now, that’s good planning.

I’ve got a WordPress comment and question. I needed help from the engineers on my volunteer blog. I received answers immediately to both questions, but one gentleman actually fixed two of my three issues and then made me a diagram on how to fix the third so I’d understand what he did. Impressive. I waxed poetic on the survey about his great customer service.

The question is whether or not you are getting a lot of new subscribers with unusual names and when you follow the link to check the site, there isn’t a site just a title. I must admit to not normally watching the stats, but this has been hard to avoid because it is happening so regularly. Any thoughts?

The decorations have been put away, and the packing to head south has commenced. We’ve had plenty of time at home to get that done not only because of Covid and tourists, but we’ve had ice and snow so the landscape is white, and the driving conditions at some times have been challenging.

Best wishes to you and your family – have a safe, healthy, and happy 2022. 🥂

Next week? Sand and surf. ⛱😎

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , | 66 Comments

Holiday favorites

It’s here – the week before Christmas, and it makes me smile because of the great memories.

Do you have favorite memories?

I do and maybe you’ll share one or two of yours.

Favorites:

Memories – Sugar on snow (hot maple syrup on snow) with my grandparents, our four-year old daughter wearing pink footed pajamas coming down the stairs to see Santa’s presents under the tree, midnight mass with the family, and watching grandchildren enjoy those same Santa presents pulled out of the big red bag left for them.

Christmas decoration – stockings and tree skirt my Mom made. I haven’t gotten them out in a few years because even before Covid we don’t host the holiday celebrations anymore. Maybe next year I need to get them out just because I like looking at them and remembering all the good times filling the stockings with presents.

Nativity – a huge set that I made in ceramics about forty years ago, my husband and daughter helped paint, and my husband made the stable. It’s quite heavy to get down from the attic so for the past couple of years I’ve used a smaller wooden one. The great thing about memories is I can enjoy both just looking at one.

Movie – White Christmas. I watch it every year.

Song – Silver Bells. The lyrics do make me think of the Salvation Army, the red kettles, and the bell ringers which in our area at least we don’t see anymore.

Toy – Snoopy playing the piano and how much my grandchildren enjoyed him when they were little.

Flower – Poinsettia

Food – If I’m honest, I enjoy most food and all desserts.

The holidays though are almost never perfect because Hollywood doesn’t script our lives. There are those we’ve lost, those that can’t visit, Covid, and things are different. Different can be tough so take care of yourselves this holiday season.

If the holiday is not looking exactly like what you remembered or want, try to make new memories which I know is easier said than done, get some exercise, and enjoy some good food even if you buy it. Delicious is still delicious.

From my husband and I to you and yours – Merry Christmas and have a safe but wonderful week.

It’s going to be a white Christmas for us here in New England. 13°F this morning. Brr but pretty to look at.
Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 71 Comments

Cards

Do you send Christmas cards?

I find great comfort in sending Christmas cards. I pull out the old address book and think about each person and wonder how they are doing. Yes, I have contacts on my phone and laptop, but the 26 year-old address book puts me in the memory frame of mind. If you’re wondering, no, I don’t have a rolodex. 🙂

A note, our best wishes for their Christmas and New Year Celebrations, a stamp, and they’re off to various parts of the country. I hope when they see the card in their mail, they’ll know we are thinking about them and it brings a smile.

I display the cards on shelves. That’s old school, I know, but I enjoy looking at them and thinking about those special people that sent them or in some cases made them. Sometimes, I also get ideas for quilting projects because that’s the way my mind works, I’m visual.

Writing Christmas cards also allows me to use my cursive skills. Let’s face it, I spent years working on writing cursive, and those nuns had high standards. Each letter had to be between those blue lines and look exactly like the examples. If not, we did them over again. Sometimes, we even got a little tap with the ruler. Those were the days.

After high school, I went to business school. We even practiced our cursive skills there because the business world required a lot of writing, and it needed to be legible and attractive. Of course, now my mind wanders to also taking touch typing and Gregg shorthand which are subjects most people don’t even recognize.

Fast forward to today, and all we need are thumbs to communicate.

Christmas is full of memories, and for me, that includes cards. I hope your holiday memories keep you smiling through the month of December.

Merry two weeks before Christmas and stay well.

🎄🤶🎄🎅🏻🎄

Posted in Family, New England | Tagged , , , , , , , | 65 Comments

We’re #1!

Does it get any better than being declared #1?

Well, yes, when it is the CDC declaring that NH has more Covid Cases per capita than any other state which is quite a feat when we’re one of the top 10 smallest states in the US.

They did send us free at-home Covid tests.

We’re not hearing much from anyone except the message to get a vaccine, which is challenging because with these numbers there are more people lining up for shots before their Christmas celebrations than there are available vaccines and medical personnel to distribute them.

We’re not the ‘Live Free or Die’ state for nothing, folks!

Besides wearing a mask anywhere in public what does this Baby Boomer, whose maternal family name was ‘Sweet’, do to combat bad news – I bake.

It’s therapy, it tastes good, and I can share. All good things. 🙂

There is no gardening being done since the last of the fall chores have been completed, and winter has arrived except for the occasional day where it climbs from 20°F one day to almost 60°F the next. The plants and trees must be thinking Mother Nature should make up her mind.

The sewing machine has been humming for a few hours each day.

I finished two small bags with four zippers each, the beachy throw, and I’ve got the binding on one side of a fleece quilt.

Next, I’m on to a golf themed throw with a variety of green fabrics and a few sand traps and cups appliqued on. It will most likely require a little imagination.

I also finished the new Lee Child’s Jack Reacher book. I’ve got a Jeffrey Deaver cued up next as soon as I finish Ann Cleeves’ “The Long Call.” 💗 my library.

As we head into the second week of December with 19 days until Christmas, I hope your holiday lights are shining bright, you’ve been able to get the presents you want to give, and you’re enjoying some good holiday cheer with family and friends.

Have a good week, and keep safe. 😷

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 67 Comments

Thankful

The weather is going to be in the low 50’s on Thursday, and our daughter came up with a plan to share a meal in an area where we can have good cross ventilation. Let me just say one thing – life is good. 🙂

I was lucky twice this month when I got to spend time with friends.

I had coffee and pastry one morning with a friend, and it was wonderful. Instead of our usual very busy coffee spot, we picked a quiet bakery/catering company with a large cafeteria style seating area. Most of the time, we were the only ones sitting in our area.

Last week, I enjoyed a Boston adventure with another friend. She’s a member of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and we went to see a quilt show, Fabric of a Nation American Quilt Stories. They have timed entry and everyone has to wear a mask.

It was a different type of quilt show than I usually attend in that most of the quilts told stories. There were several quilts like the first one pointing to different uses of fabric throughout the ages, but there were also a lot of others including messages about slavery, gun violence, and current gender and sexual differences.

We were able to have lunch there, and it happened to be a warm 60 degrees so about fifty people were in the outside courtyard enjoying their food and beverage. It was a fun day trip.

I’m also very thankful for the blogging community which has been a special source of friendship during this very challenging times. Take a bow, all of you. ❤️

As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US, I send wishes for each of you to have a nice Thanksgiving with safe travels, good conversation, delicious food, and most importantly a few well deserved hugs.

Thank you, Charles Schulz, for sharing Snoopy, Woodstock and their friends with us.

If traveling to New England, be safe and bring a mask because our Covid numbers are not good. That’s my public service announcement from me to you to keep us all safe and healthy. 😷

Posted in Family, New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments