Friday, November 30, 2012


This was the view from my back yard one recent morning.

I was talking with a friend this week about what I'd do if I won that $500 million Powerball lottery--the one that I didn't win, much to my chagrin. Yes, I bought tickets. Plural.

First I'd make a very long list of organizations and people (including friends and family) to take care of. Mathews High School, for example, would receive world class athletic facilities, etc. The list of those who'd receive money would be very, very lengthy.

(My two readers faithful readers and commenters would be included.)

After the giving part, I'd use a portion to travel extensively. A whole year of traveling.

I'd save/invest much of what would be left over and use a very small portion to fix up my house. There is so much that needs basic repair. Plus I need a new refrigerator. Walls need painting. Basement needs waterproofing. Stuff like that. But I'd also splurge on a few luxury items like a swimming pool (and a pool boy to go along with it since I cannot even maintain a bath tub much less a swimming pool).

My friend made an observation. I made absolutely no mention of picking up and moving some place else.

I hadn't thought about that. It never occurred to me that I'd be able to live anywhere I wanted.

But that's probably because I'm already here. Where I want to be.

In other more exciting news, Chesapeake Bay Daughter's first basketball game was a major success last night against Rappahannock. The JV girls won by a large margin. (Mother of the Year was so giddy from screaming and hollering at how well they were playing, she neglected to retain the exact score but it was 20-something to about 7.)

Daughter, who is still not feeling well thanks to scratchy throat and general malaise, played a great game. Everyone on the team did. If tonight's game is any indication of what the rest of the season holds, I can't wait.

OK, I'm all done bragging about my beloved view and my beloved, basketball playing daughter.

Thanks for tolerating me reading and have a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

End of the Dock

These pictures, taken from Haven Beach not long after the storm called Sandy, show the status of a dock which used to extend way out onto the beach. Since I don't visit Haven often, I'm not sure how long ago the end of the dock fell by the wayside.

The rest of it is perfectly intact, although the sand threatens to overtake it in spots.

Click here for a previous post about Haven; the very first picture in that post shows how far out the dock originally extended.

The beaches change so quickly around here, I never get bored.  And you never know just what you're going to find.

One thing I wasn't expecting on this particular trip was the following.

A beached couch!

A beached, overturned couch that at one point
 had been nailed to a dock (or something).
It blended in so well with the surroundings, I almost missed it.

At first I thought perhaps this was part of the end of the dock that washed away, but then I remembered the chairs nailed to the end of that dock were more Adirondack style, or so I recall. I can't seem to locate any other photos of the end of that dock with the chairs even though I have hundreds several.

Oh well, it was a pleasant--though brisk--walk on the beach.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In other news, last night Chesapeake Bay Daughter was battling a sore throat and fever.  Tomorrow is her first basketball game (away, at Rappahannock, which is approximately three two states away from home, by the way).  Friday evening is her first home game.  I'm just hoping she feels better soon.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


These were taken about a week or so ago at Winter Harbor.

I used the exact same camera setting

(otherwise known as "Auto", the only setting I know)

for all of these.

The only thing that changed was where I stood.

Or where I aimed the camera.

The true depiction of how dark it was is in the first few.

In these last few everything brightens up 
and almost looks like sunrise.

(But it wasn't.) 

This concludes CBW's rudimentary demonstration of how light influences pictures and how little CBW actually knows about photography and the functionality of her camera.

Photography lessons are somewhere on the bucket list.  (Way down the list though.)

Have a great, light-filled day.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving was a relative success in the Chesapeake Bay household, all things considered, where such things to be considered include the fact that at 4 a.m. that day, I bolted upright out of a deep sleep in a panic, sprinted to the icebox, and poked Mr. Butterball, only to be met with what felt like a solid block of Thanksgiving is cancelled this year ice.

You see, something as simple as planning a turkey to defrost is made ten times more difficult for CBW who refers to herself in the third person when telling unsavory stories she prefers to block out, whose children are utterly convinced there is a magnetic field surrounding her which causes Murphy's Law on Steroids in even the most mundane daily activities.

Her ADD does not help matters, even if her doctor refuses to admit that she suffers from it.

(CBW need only refer her doctor to this blog for proof, but she won't remember at her annual physical tomorrow.  Sure, she could write it down, but she'd leave the note at home or lose it.  Also, we need to get back on track because these parentheses give CBW permission to go on. And on. Loaded with ADD-like thoughts.)

Let's examine this otherwise simple act of defrosting a little more carefully, shall we?

First of all, serving a previously frozen turkey does require some planning, a word which is not to be found in CBW's vocabulary.  At all.

So when she was in the Food Lion the week before Thanksgiving and saw the frozen Butterballs on sale at 67 cents per pound, rather than ask someone if they would still be on sale the next week, and not contemplating the state of her freezer, she heaved the closest one she could grasp into the cart without looking at the weight--which happened to be exactly the same as a baby grand piano.

Next, let's talk about numbers.  Numbers and CBW go together like a plugged-in appliance floating in a bathtub full of water.  They shouldn't even be in the same room together.

Somehow or another, CBW did manage to notice the price of said turkey, which was $14 and some change.  Not too bad for something that's going to feed a crowd, she thought.  Let's heave this small piano bird in the cart and take it home to the freezer until next week.

She focused solely on the number involving the price rather than the overall weight of the bird, which, as we've established, was excessive. This number--the weight--might have given her a clue as to how long the thawing process would take.  But for now we were only focused on the price, which was not excessive, it was excellent.


The third challenge was her freezer, which has not functioned properly since she purchased the fridge over ten years ago for a while now thanks to The Magnetic Field.  Even her own very mechanically inclined father declared it was Not Salvageable and it would be cheaper and better to just buy a whole new icebox.

But CBW is stubborn when it comes to letting go of things that don't work things that still work. Even if they cause her deep strife because they don't work properly.

In this case, though, it isn't that her freezer does not freeze things, it's that it freezes them so solid that a nuclear event could not thaw out any contents, a well-established fact that CBW completely forgot.

But none of that mattered at the time because all she could focus on upon returning home was the size of the bird relative to the small opening in her bottom loading, overloaded freezer drawer. It is not at all an exaggeration to say that often the children struggle to wedge a half gallon of ice cream back into that freezer.

The whole refrigerator is just very, very vexing--nigh on impossible to describe. Suffice to say we open it very seldom, close it very quickly, and usually pray that whatever needs to get in will somehow get in there.

A piano-sized turkey is not something we generally are wedging in there.

After more than a few cuss words finally hoisting the bird into the freezer and pushing until her eyes and ears started to bleed from the strain, CBW finally managed to stuff the bird into the freezer and shoved the door to.


Days go by.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving CBW completed the reverse exercise to retrieve the baby grand bird from the freezer and place it in its home in the regular part of the refrigerator for the next few days.

This is otherwise known as the thawing out part of the Thanksgiving turkey process.


More days go by.

Every so often CBW would press her forefinger into the bird to see if there was any give.

There never was.

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, she consulted the Butterball turkey label some reputable sources to determine if she'd allotted enough days to thaw out what she thought was a 14 lb turkey.

Remember when CBW said she doesn't plan and has ADD? numbers are not her thing?

She wasn't kidding.

Somehow CBW forgot that the turkey cost $14 dollars. It didn't weigh 14 pounds. It cost $14 dollars.

(And some change.)

When she more closely consulted the price tag, imagine her surprise to discover that the turkey weighed 20.5 pounds.  That's 20.5 pounds of turkey that had been submerged in the Arctic Tundra section of a wildly malfunctioning/over-functioning freezer, which meant that even if it were subsequently submerged in the depths of hell, which is where CBW felt she was at exactly 4 a.m. Thanksgiving morning in a flaming inferno, Mr. Butterball was not going to thaw out any time soon.

All these facts and realizations flung themselves together in the stew pot known as CBW's brain at precisely 4 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.

CBW, never one to panic since these things always seem to happen, went to Plan B and filled the sink with water, submerged Baby Grand Butterball, and went back to bed wondering what normal people were dreaming about in their peaceful pre-Thanksgiving slumber.

And later that morning, after several hours submerged in water, Baby Grand Butterball was all thawed out and set for the oven.

The End.

Not really.

But it's the end of the turkey drama which nobody really cares about knew about except me.

Everything turned out fine after that 4 a.m. panic attack drama.

Later that morning I made the green beans, brussel sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, apple and sausage stuffing, kale, and the aforementioned monstrous turkey.  My mother made the bread, the salad, the gravy, and the desserts, thank goodness.

My father made his world-famous fried oysters as an appetizer.
Lord, they were good.

My mother made several delectable desserts.

These were TO DIE FOR!! She said she pounded a million Oreo cookies
for the center.  Chocolate pudding mix was also involved.
After one bite I fell out into a chocolate-induced coma.
They were heavenly.

This is my mother's famous salad that includes goat cheese, fruit
and nuts.  It's Chesapeake Bay Son's favorite.

My mother's apple pie.
(Does anyone else notice that the only food I am photographing
 was prepared by my mother?  I am.
We'll get to the reason why in a bit.)

Baby Sis joined us.  Middle Sis was in Georgia.
This is my mother making gravy since by this point
I had surrendered and was ready to open a jar, pour it into a bowl, and call it a day.
Remember, my day began with a 4 a.m. near-cardiac event.

Here it was about 3 p.m.

Here my son dons the traditional Thanksgiving garb: shorts, sweatshirt and bare feet.
The Pilgrims would be proud.

Notice my orange Thanksgiving lights behind CB Son.
These were also my Halloween lights.
As we speak they are still up and on.
I wonder if I can pass them off as Christmas lights....

Ah, yes!   Here is the #1 reason why CBW does not photograph her food.
This is The Turkey after she lost patience and carved it
immediately upon coming out of the oven.
Presentation (along with patience and carving) is not her strong suit.

My two favorite people in the world, Son and Daughter.
Also, I really need a haircut.

In spite of all the behind the scenes issues that most of the family never knew about, our Thanksgiving was fantastic.

How was yours?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

On this day dedicated to giving thanks, I'd like to express my utter and sincere appreciation for my family and friends who sustain me without even trying.  I am so fortunate to be surrounded by warm and witty people who make me laugh and remind me every day what is important in life.

(Most of what is important boils down to our relationships with family and friends, laughter, and appreciating and finding joy in The Everyday.)

(I'd like to emphasize laughter though. To me it's so important.)

That group of warm and witty people includes you, especially those of you who regularly read and comment.

Thank you for being such a boost to my spirits especially during these winter months when all I want to do is hibernate.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Old House in the Woods


This is the road leading to Haven Beach.

There are woods on either side.

This is an old house in the woods on the way to the beach.

But it isn't The Old House of Old House Woods fame.

Still, it's a wonderful old house.

One of my favorites.

Click here for one of my favorite posts about Old House Woods that includes a story from a previous owner of The Haunted House.

Monday, November 19, 2012


These were taken from the public landing at White's Creek on the same overcast day I visited Haven Beach.  The light was low and the colors rather drab.

In direct contrast to the drabness of these pictures,  my weekend was wonderful, although far too brief.

(Aren't they always?  Is there any such thing as a weekend that feels like it will never end? This one seemed particularly short though.  Also, is drabness a word?)

Looking ahead, this week is going to be very hectic between work and getting ready for Thanksgiving.  I'm having Thanksgiving at my house which means there will be lots of sweating and swearing starting Wednesday evening I'll begin the marathon cooking spree that will have me standing on my feet for a day and a half for what will end up being a total of 10 minutes (tops) of eating.

I haven't really thought through the menu yet, and probably won't until Wednesday after work.  I have purchased the turkey though, so I can cross that off the list. Another thing will be green beans cooked with old ham and chicken broth in the crock pot.  I made some recently and I thought we were all going to fight over the last bean, they were that good.  There's nothing like vegetables slow cooked with country ham or a ham hock.


My mother is making the bread and desserts.  (My son and daughter say thank you in advance.  She makes the best bread and the best desserts.  Actually she makes the best everything.)

What are you doing for Thanksgiving?  What's on the menu?  Do you have any favorite (but uncomplicated) recipes that a frazzled person could use?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Beach Art

Bad Hair Day

Thursday I took a walk down Haven Beach.  

The sky was very Scooby Doo-ish.

Gloomy, overcast, a little creepy.

(But I didn't see any ghosts.)

Howling Dog

There are many stumps, downed trees, and pieces of driftwood there,

What would you call this one?  So much going on.
I'm going with Twister.

many of which take on the appearance of familiar forms
if you stare at them long enough.

Daydreaming Staring at inanimate objects
and making up stories is one of my favorite pastimes.

(I'm easily entertained.)

People watching is too.

But there's not much of that here at Haven Beach.

The Claw

Speaking of entertainment, I hope your weekend is full of it.

Have a great one.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Miscellaneous Scenes

These shots are several weeks old.  The first three are from Aarons Beach, the fourth is from Hudgins near the mouth of Queens Creek, and the last couple are from Gwynns Island.

I'm still on the half marathon high, wondering what the next adventure is going to be.

But I need not wonder.  Thanksgiving is already next week, and then it's Christmas, and then New Years, and then it's summer, and then my son will be a senior in high school and Can somebody slow this crazy train down, please?

This is all a round about way of saying I don't have a whole lot to say, am still laughing about the good time I had last weekend, and am in a state of disbelief that my son will be a senior next year Thanksgiving is next week.

What is going on in your world?