Friday, July 31, 2015

A Day at the Beach. Have Fun But Safety First. Rip Currents & Sharks

I love the ocean.  I can sit and watch the water for hours mesmerized by the beauty and strength of the movement of the waves.  I have been swimming in the ocean since I was a little girl.  I can remember many days jumping the waves in Ocean City Maryland.  I love the feel of the salt water on my skin.
This summer there have been some disturbing events on the coast of NC.  Shark attacks and rip currents top the list.  As we all know there are risks to everything.  Just driving down the street or walking down a sidewalk can hold unforeseen risks.  For example, an elderly man in Raleigh was sitting on his front porch minding his own business and was attacked by a, possibly rabid, fox last week.  We can take every precaution and still be unable to avoid a tragedy.  What we can do is arm ourselves with knowledge and do our best to avoid these scary events.
"Rip Currents"
I spent a few nights in Emerald Isle last week.  The big questions was, "should I go in the water?".
One evening at high tide we stood with our feet in the water.  We could feel the strong pull of the water and see the sudden drop off right in front of us.  As much as I wanted to get in the water it just did not feel safe so we did not.  The next day during low tide it was a different story.  We walked out to our knees, there was not an obvious drop off as there was the night before and the tug of the current did not seem as strong so we went for it.  We went out and spent time jumping and diving in the waves.  What fun!
Here is advice on Rip Currents from Semper Safe.....

"Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore."  
"Rip currents are the number-one concern for beach lifeguards"
How to Identify Rip Currents

Look for any of these clues:

A channel of churning, choppy water
An area having a notable difference in water color
A line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward 
A break in the incoming wave pattern 
They give us these warnings but also let us know rip currents can be difficult to identify.

Lucky for me we did not see any sharks while at the beach, but you know they are out there. With that in mind I have to share a video...."The Sharks House"

Beach at Emerald Isle NC

Tips from Visit NC Beach Safety

Chances of encountering a shark in North Carolina waters are very low. To further reduce your risk, consider the following tips from the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher:
  • Do not enter the water or swim near a pier, as they attract baitfish that sharks feed on and are a very likely place for sharks to swim if they come close to shore.
  • Avoid waters being used by sport or commercial fishermen, especially if there are signs of baitfish or feeding activity. Diving seabirds are good indicators of such action.
  • Always stay in groups. Sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual.
  • Avoid being in the water during dusk, darkness or twilight hours. This is when sharks are most active and have a sensory advantage.
  • Wearing shiny jewelry in the water is discouraged because the reflected light resembles the sheen of fish scales.
  • Avoid wearing brightly colored contrasting clothing in the water. Sharks see contrast particularly well.
  • Refrain from excess splashing to minimize your risk.
  • Exercise caution when swimming between sandbars or near steep drop-offs. These are favorite hangouts for sharks.
  • Do not enter the water if bleeding. A shark’s sense of smell is acute. 

    Keeping all of the information in mind don't let fear deter you from enjoying your life.  Use caution but have fun.  I suggest you visit Emerald Isle NC and take a refreshing dip in the ocean.
    Get out and travel!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My A-Z Adventures...E is for Emerald Isle NC...Evening Walk on the Beach

Emerald Isle NC.  What a lovely place.  I had the opportunity to visit the area with a good friend and we had a wonderful time.  Photos from our evening stroll on the beach with a few quotes about the area...
"Emerald Isle greets Crystal Coast visitors at the western end of Bogue Banks, offering 5 miles of pristine shoreline and incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Inlet."

"Emerald Isle is a town in Carteret County, NC.  It is part of the Crystal Coast and is located entirely on the Bogue Banks. The Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier, located on the western end of the 
Bogue Banks is one of the only fishing piers left on the island."
The sky and the sea were beautiful at sunset....

 Sea shells everywhere....Cindy and I searched for sea shells on our evening walk.  We compared our search to shopping.  Below is the sale rack.  Everything bunched together and you have to really dive in and search if you want to find that special shell....
The items not on sale.  All on display and easy to find....

"Emerald Isle is a popular vacation spot and is also known for excellent fishing and a wealth of marine life. Notably its beaches are a favorite location for nesting sea turtles."

We did not see any sea turtles but we saw some beautiful birds.  I was thankful we did not see any sharks.  

 "When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out 
with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon 
everything in me that is bewildered and confused."

 Rainer Maria
I really like the quote by Rainer.  I agree....
"There is something soothing about a calm day at the beach.  The sound of the waves and the sea birds.  The gentle breeze and the feel of the soft sand on bare feet." 
We had a great evening on the beach.
I can't wait to go back.
Life is an adventure. Get out and explore.

Monday, July 27, 2015

"Because the Dawn Has Come". In memory of Rose Voshell "Mom"

"Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come."
Rabindranath Tagore

A very dear lady who used to be part of my family died this past weekend.  As I was enjoying the beautiful sunset she was going home to God.  As beautiful as the sunset was I believe she now walks with God and sees beauty that surpasses anything we can imagine.  I love you "Mom".  Thank you for all the love and kindness you have shown me over the years.  Thank you for living your life for God and sharing his love with so many others.  You are a blessing.
"Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life 
and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life."
John 5:24

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Caleb and Nana's Adventures....National Ice Cream Day At "Fresh Local Ice Cream"

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?  In 1984 President Ronald Reagan decided that July would be National Ice Cream Month and the 3rd Sunday in July would be National Ice Cream Day.  As luck would have it Caleb and I were both free, as were his Mom and Dad, on the 3rd Sunday in July and so decided to indulge.
Now where should we go to enjoy some ice cream?  I went to my favorite source, Google, and did a bit of research. I decided on Fresh Local Ice Cream in Raleigh.
We drove up to a cute little stand alone ice-cream shop.  You order at the window and then take a seat at one of their outdoor tables.

So many tempting flavors.  It was hard to choose.  I finally decided on the Coconut Almond Crunch.
It was delicious!!  The girl at the window was friendly and answered all of our questions with a smile.

My Coconut Almond Crunch and Caleb's Chocolate with sprinkles.  Good choice Caleb:-)

A few ice cream facts from the Farmers Almanac..."The History of Ice Cream"
A.D 54–68: For centuries, iced desserts were a luxury.
A.D. 618–907: The origins of ice cream date back to China's T'ang period, probably as a dish for the country's rulers.
1744: American colonists brought along recipes from Europe.
1851: Baltimore dairyman Jacob Fussell opened the first commercial ice cream factory. 
1939: Grocery stores didn't start selling ice cream until the 1930's, and by WWII, ice cream had become so popular that it turned into somewhat of an American symbol 

If you are in the mood for ice cream and you are in North Raleigh I suggest you try Fresh Local Ice Cream. I think you will love it.  I did.
Get out and try a new restaurant or go on an adventure.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Morning Motivation "TAKE" (Trust, Act, Kneel, Encourage) David Anderson

I love my Sunday mornings.  I do not have a home church as of yet so I grab my coffee and note pad and listen to

a sermon via podcast.  The last two weeks I have listened to services from Bridgeway Church in Maryland.  
The pastor both times has been David Anderson...I really like him.He starts his sermon by quoting 
a man that just faced down a bear.
"Man or beast that I run from ain't been born yet"

I wish I was as brave as Carl but I am not.  I have fears and worries.  I want to be brave and face each day
 confident that God walks beside me and is in control, and I do 90% of the time.  How do I maintain this confidence 
100% of the time?  I think I need to follow David Anderson's advice.  He said we need to develop a 
courageous heart.  We need to take courage.  He says we can do this in 4 ways.
*T-Trust that God is in control. (I remind myself of that constantly)
*A-Act courageously to do what must be done. (I am trying to get all the things I need to do completed)
*K-Kneel before God and claim his promises. (I don't always kneel but I do pray)
*E-Encouage yourself. (For me that means devotional time, music and enjoying life)

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalm 27:14
So that is our assignment for this day and for the rest of our lives.  Trust, act, kneel and encourage. 
 Good advice David.  Thank You!
Happy Monday Everyone 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Recipe Review "Summer Tomato Pie" All Recipes Magazine 2015

I love tomatoes.  One of the summer highlights for me is a beefy tomato sandwich.  It has to be on white bread with lots of mayo, salt and pepper.  Some would call me crazy but I like this sandwich soggy.  Put it together, leave it out for a few hours and enjoy:-)
As I was thinking about tomatoes I found a recipe in an Allrecipes magazine I decided to try.  It's called Summer Tomato Pie....

I studied the recipe from AllRecipes and gathered my ingredients....
Summer Tomato Pie
Rated: rating
Prep Time: 20 MinutesReady In: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Submitted By: ElizabethCook Time: 40 MinutesServings: 8
"Tomato slices are layered with Cheddar and mozzarella cheese, basil, and garlic for a savory summer pie. It is a great way to use up all those extra tomatoes from the garden!"
1 recipe pastry for a single 9-inch pie
3 tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
2.Press pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan; prick bottom and sides with fork.
3.Bake crust in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.
4.Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
5.Place tomatoes in a single layer of a colander; sprinkle with salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes to release moisture. Blot excess moisture with a paper towel. Arrange 1 layer of tomato slices around the bottom of the cooled pie crust, overlapping the slices. Sprinkle half the garlic and half the basil onto tomato layer. Sprinkle half the Cheddar cheese and half the mozzarella cheese over basil layer. Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes, garlic, basil, Cheddar cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Spread mayonnaise over the top mozzarella cheese layer.
6.Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2015 Allrecipes.comPrinted from 7/19/2015

Basil from my garden and fresh tomatoes from the local farmers market...They happened to have a tomato tasting that day at the market.  I never knew there were so many kinds.  I just looked it up on line where it said there are over 10,000 varieties of tomatoes....who knew?
I used 3 different types of tomatoes.  Not sure what kind they were but they were lovely.
For this recipe you need to salt the tomatoes and let them sit for a while to reduce a bit of the moisture to avoid a soggy pie curst.
 Fresh out of the oven....and Yummy!
Cheesy and delicious!  I would give this a 9/10 on my cooking scale.  I added a bit more mayo about a half cup total.

A few tomato facts as found on HGTV
*Eating cooked tomatoes may act as a kind of internal sunscreen 
*Botanically speaking, a tomato is a fruit
*China is the number one producer of tomatoes around the world
*The world’s largest tomato tree was grown in the experimental greenhouse at Walt Disney World Resort. It produced over 32,000 tomatoes in the first 16 months after it was planted, and holds the record for the most tomatoes in a single year, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. 

Well it is tomato season folks.
Make yourself a soggy tomato sandwich or try this wonderful tomato pie.
Happy Cooking

Friday, July 17, 2015

Travel & Fashion....Beach Day..

I am so excited.  I am getting ready to go to the beach for a few days with Cindy.  That got me thinking.  
Do I have what I need for a day at the beach?

Bathing Suits?  Yes.  The one on the left I have had for years.  The one in the center is a tankini top I bought on 
Zulily and I already had the swim shorts.  
The bathing suit on the right is one I just bought on Amazon and I really like it...

They are out of the color I ordered.  
There are straps with this suit also.  
It has a cute little skirt in the front.  
The skirt does not go around to the back but that is ok,
 it is fine just the way it is:-)

The hat I bought from Amazon also......  It was a bit large.  It does come with strips of foam to 
add to the lining in the hat to give it a more snug fit.  I did have to add them.  It's nice I am glad I bought it. $26.96

I have a bathing suit cover and sandals.  I have only one beach towel so I decided to get one more...
This one was on sale for $18.99.  Why are beach towels so expensive?

If you know anything about NC you know there have been several shark attacks this summer. 
 I love to swim in the ocean.  I enjoy diving in the waves and body surfing.  
I am a bit reluctant this summer though with 8 shark attacks on the NC coast in a very short period of time.  
Cindy and I decided to get sand beach chairs and sit in the sand with our toes in the water.  
I think I will take a bucket too so I can at least pour water over my head:-)

I already have a picnic cooler bag I bought on eBay.  I have the Plastic Wine Cups too,
 although the cup is a bit small for my taste.  I will have to carry a couple of bottles in the cooler bag:-)
I did decide to get one more thing for my beach adventure.  I bought a waterproof waist pack so if I do 
decide to go in the water I can carry my keys and phone.
Ok, I think I am ready.  If you like any of the products just click on the photo and it will take you to the site.
Can't wait to hit the beach.  If I have forgotten anything for my beach day 
let me know by leaving a comment.
Get out and go on an adventure.
I suggest you go to the beach.