Thursday, July 29, 2010

Heading South

Tonight might be the last blog for the next week or so as I will be travelng south to my beloved Deltaville on Saturday.  But don't cry, I'll be back and with tons of new blog fodder.  I have several ideas on places I want to try to trespass visit while I'm there.  If I am lucky, I might find time to hit the local coffee place in town to use their free WiFi... So, since I won't have time to blog tomorrow before I pack up my computer and whatnot, have a good week!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Simple Pleasure: My Deltaville Bracelet

Every story has a bead...*

About 2 years ago while shopping in Kilmarnock, VA,  my family and I entered a small store called Specials.  While browsing, the very nice store clerk entertained my son who was around the age of 2.  We struck up a conversation with her about her unique bracelets.  They were Trollbead bracelets, something like a high end charm bracelet with charms of sterling silver or glass (they also have gold charms check it out here).  She explained how each charm had a little story or saying and that each of her charms were purchased because of some special meaning behind it.  The store carried these trollbeads and we looked at them and took a brochure.

For 2 years we talked about those bracelets.  We all thought it would be a neat way to remember our vacations- buying charms each time we came to Deltaville.  But, the start up costs of a bracelet are a little pricey, so we put the idea on hold. 

This past July 4th weekend, we took another trip to Kilmarnock to Specials.  We talked to a sales associate who said they were having a special deal on the Trollbead bracelets.  To put this agonizing narrative to rest, we ended up heading back to Kilmarnock the next day to purchase the bracelets we had been talking about for a couple of years.

My mother and I are making bracelets based on vacations/Deltaville.  My daughter is making her bracelet based on her personal life.  And my sister is making her bracelet based on memories mostly of Deltaville.  There are many things to choose from.  So far I have collected the following:

Mermaid- "The little mermaid from H.C. Andersen’s fairytale. Symbol of the female mystique and magnetism, sometimes fatal to men."  I always say I should have been born with gills and a tail, being potentially fatal to men is a bonus.  And as a Scorpio, I'm all for female mystique.

Moon Ocean- "Slowly turn this bead and it seems to come alive in your hand. It is like silver moonlight dancing on a dark ocean." I don't know about ocean, but it reminds me of water.

Jellyfish- "A transparent creature, searching for food with the help of its many tentacles. While walking along the Danish coast, it is one of the most common creatures you encounter." Self explanatory why I picked this one.  The bane of my existence.

Milky way- "Billions of stars endlessly alight in the night sky. What awaits us out there? The Milky way stretches out, millions of light years away, making us ponder how small and insignificant we are in the big picture." It reminds me of all the times I spent looking up at the sky in Deltaville, watching meteor showers (and once saw a UFO).  If it's a new moon and there aren't too many people with lights on, you can sometimes see the Milky Way which is something I don't see very often anymore. 

Hydrangea- "Pretty hydrangea flowers cover the entire surface of this bead, just as in nature they grow abundantly and close together." You can find these old fashioned flowers all over Deltaville.  They make me think of lace, butterflies and my grandmother.

Flounder- "A funny fish with a crooked mouth and eyes on the side. The most common and largest flatfish. Called a sole in England, this is a fish of many guises." Not only is this fish something we went in search of on our many fishing trips, but it's also similar to a Hogchoke, which was one of the CB names I had .

I'm sure to have something new added after I head to Deltaville this coming weekend. And the fun comes in when we all go in to look and pick out our charms together, whatever the meaning or reason may be behind our choices.

*all italicized phrases come from the Trollbead website

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Birdhouses and Things

Deltaville and wildlife seem to go hand-in-hand, at least in my head they do.  Pepop (my great-uncle and subject of a previous blog found here), was the former superintendent at Patapsco State Park in Maryland so most of the time spent with him ended up being some sort of lesson on nature.  I am full of all sorts of facts and useless information about the ecosystem of the Tidewater area and all the wildlife that resides there.  While some might think those lessons were boring, I hung on every word,  absorbed every detail and turned into that girl who is bringing home every wounded animal she finds (once had my chorus teacher give me a ride home after I found a baby rabbit in the schoolyard- it's mother and siblings squashed).

I've spent a lot of time watching the squirrels chase each other and throw things at those of us sitting on the deck.  I love listening to the birds (some I can imitate).  No surprise that we have a couple of birdhouses around.  One in particular is a most unique birdhouse.  My grandmother and grandfather fashioned it out of an old coffee pot.  A few years ago, a bad storm blew it out of the tree.  I came across it and took it into the house in the hopes of managing to fix it and hang it again.  I'm one of those freaks people who has a lot of respect for the past and nostalgia.  I hate change, especially in my little heaven on earth.  So the birdhouse coffee pot sat in the corner of the kitchen under the bar stool.  There was also a birdhouse on top of a metal post that had seen better days that I had been planning on replacing. 

Last August, my dad cut down the pear tree in the yard and one of the branches smashed the birdhouse.  I figured it was time to make good on my promise.  My grandmother, who was slowly declining in health, was supposed to be coming to Deltaville for the last time.  Now was a good time to get her precious birdhouses up. 

Ethan helped me find one and he also picked out the paint colors and I let him paint the replacement birdhouse.  I was unsure what to do about the coffee pot.  I had no idea how I was going to attach it to the tree again.  Finally I found an old piece of wood, painted it, attached the pot to it (after several cuts, thankfully I have a current tetanus) and got it attached back on the tree. 

My grandmother never made it down to Deltaville again, but I was able to send her photos of our handy work.  She was pleased.

The new birdhouse on the metal pole.  Paint job by Ethan, I painted the pole.

Coffee Pot birdhouse.  Doesn't matter if nothing nests in it at this point, it's all about the memories

Monday, July 26, 2010

What River is This?

When I was  little, my mother would always play a game referred to as : "What river is this?".  Each time we traveled to Deltaville, my mom would ask what river we were driving over.  Whenever we would cross a bridge, I was always asked, "what river is this?" in a sing-songy way.  My daughter never liked the game and once she could read, she would simply wait to answer after she was able to see the sign.  My son, however, loves the game and embraces it wholeheartedly.  When asked what river it is, he usually replies with "I don't know" in he same sing-song fashion as the question was asked.  But surprisingly at the age of 3, he was able to come up with the names.... sort of.

The Piankatank that we travel over on our way to Mathews or Gloucester became the Piankahannock.

The Rappahannock which is the river our place is located on became the Rappahanatank.

But my all time favorite was the time we drove through West Point across the Pamunkey, that became the Pot Monkey (I've known a few of those in my time).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Jellyfish 9-1-1

As every hero must have a tragic flaw, apparently so must every Utopia. Achilles had his heel, Oedipus his excessive pride and Deltaville its jellyfish.

While luckily the sting of the local stinging nettles/sea nettles/jellyfish aren't dangerous to the point of death, they certainly are painful and irritating when you are trying to enjoy a nice day at the beach.  But what can you do to treat those stings?  Some say pee on it.  I always used meat tenderizer.  Some use baking soda.  At Blogfest there was talk of vinegar and sand.  So what really works?  What do the "experts" say you should do?

The first course of action when stung by a jellyfish is to neutralize the stingers.  Unlike bees, jellyfish don't have just one visible stinger you can see to scrape off your skin.  Jellyfish stingers are called nematocysts, are  often harpoon-like and eject from their cells when stimulated by touch or a chemical signals (there are so many things I could say here, but I will keep this PG).  Some believe the best way to neutralize the stingers is to pour urine on the sting.  While many people swear it works, there is no scientific data supporting its effectiveness.  I don't know about you, but I'm not sure I want anyone peeing on my leg, or any other part of my body.  Vinegar is actually the best thing to use to neutralize everything.  Just pour it on the sting (meat tenderizer and baking soda also work if used in a paste form but paste should be made from the saltwater not freshwater and meat tenderizer can cause a rash).

After neutralizing the stingers, you need to remove the ones that might be left on the skin.  The best way to do this is shaving cream and a razor.  I don't know about you, but I typically do my shaving prior to going on the beach.  It's better for everyone that way.  However, if a razor isn't handy, you can also used some sand to rub on the affected area to scrub off whatever might be left.  It's important to remember to neutralize the stingers before trying to remove them (and no you can't see them) from the site as rubbing them can release more venom and spread the sting. 

Better yet, prevent the sting in the first place while also protecting your skin from the sun's harmful rays use SafeSea Jellyfish Sting Lotion.  It works by putting a slick coating on your skin that works in several different way.  The slippery texture makes it hard for the stingers to attach to your skin, it absorbs secretions from your skin that tell the jellyfish it's in contact with prey or predator (like a clown fish) and it has chemical stoppers that disrupt the chemical communication required for the sting to occur.  I've heard it works really well.  To the point that one year the company could not keep up with the demand.

Or, you can keep track of the current position of jellyfish swarms by checking out this site designed to track them: NOAA Jellyfish Forecast Personally I think NOAA has way too much time on their hands!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Simple Pleasures

A while back, I attempted to start posting simple pleasures on Thursdays. I posted once.  I shall attempt again.  This week, I'd like to say that my simple pleasure is meeting new friends.  Along with that, I'd have to say spending some quality time with those new friends is also pretty high on the list.  I am, of course, referring to Blogfest 2010. 

So here is a list of simple pleasures from this past week:

     *Meeting new people who accept you even if you seem to be anti-social and don't mingle well with people you don't really know.

     *Karaoke plus wine

     *The video clip of the karaoke plus wine

     *Noe Noe Girl who doesn't allow ANYONE to be socially awkward around her

     *Rubber ducky floats (glad the photos haven't surfaced)

     *Crab hats and safety glasses

     *Any song that has the phrase "Shake your money maker!"


     *The guacamole that Ann brought (it was good on the burger too)

     *Having so much fun and such good memories that the planning for next year started the very next day

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Deltaville is full of dogs.  Big ones, little ones, dirty ones, clean ones, fixed ones, broken ones.... all kinds of dogs.  Here are some of the dogs from our family:

Murphy was our Golden Retriever who passed away before the age of 4.  We are certain it was from eating raisins which we learned were toxic to dogs- after the fact.  Yes, those are goggles she is wearing.  She was not fond of the water unless it was bathwater warm.  She liked to ride in the kayak (but I have no pics of that).

This is Bunches who is not owned by anyone in my family.  She lives somewhere across the creek and swims over when she hears other people playing/swimming.  She has spent a lot of time swimming with the dogs and kids.

My dog Bailey.  She is a Chocolate Lab and no, she was not on her way to scrub the tub.  She is a water freak.

She is the first dog we've owned that has actually willingly jumped off the pier.  Watch out if you're swimming!

Look at Bridget's face! 

Bailey with my mom's yellow lab Bindi.  I sense a theme. 

My sister's dog Saoirse (Seer-sha, Gaelic for freedom) She is the resident lifeguard and gets upset if people start jumping off the dock.  She has been known to get in the water and "rescue" us and will drag us back to shore if we grab her tail.  Funny, but the incessant barking can be a bit much. 

Between the kids and the dogs... vacations are a hoot.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blogfest 2010

Blog (noun)- a contraction of the term web log a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.

Blogger (noun)- A contributor to a blog or online journal

Blogfest (noun)- A gathering of bloggers; hijinx; frivolity; imbibing in wine; fun; hijinx

This year I was priviledged (cool) enough to attend Blogfest hosted by Chesapeake Bay Woman with the help of Big Hair Envy and Noe Noe Girl in Virginia's own Mathews County.  I could go into a written description, but as they say, pictures say a thousand words and I'm too lazy to type that many words going to let them talk

Food: a Shrimp Boil

Photo Ops:


Alcoholic Beverages and the Beach:

A Perfect Weekend!

Thanks so much for letting me join your group of fantastic women.  This weekend was a much needed mental health weekend for me.  Can't wait for next year!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Heritage Day

July 3, 2010, Deltaville celebrated is 23rd annual Heritage Day.  Back 23 years ago, when I was 11 and they started these Heritage Day celebrations, I thought it was stupid.  Celebrate Independence Day on the Day of Independence, not some celebration on the Saturday before July 4th.  Today, I still think it's ridiculous, sort of like calling Christmas "Winter Holiday".  Still, it's a lot of fun with craft and food vendors set up mext to the tennis courts, the local Rescue Squad out with their Rescue Squad Unit, Crab Races, a Pet Parade, a Children's Parade and a regular parade.
Ethan in the Rescue Squad Ambulance, hopefully not a sign of things to come.

This year the parade featured about 500 fire engines, 3,000 Shriners, 10 vintage cars, 10 pretty girls and a John Deere Tracor.  That was it.  I think every Shriner in the Commonwealth of Virginia from Richmond was there driving every form of small motorized vehicle.  Though I didn't see any pink Barbie Jeeps. 

The best part of the day was taking in a Deltaville Deltas game at the Deltaville ballpark with fellow blogger and Mathews resident Chesapeake Bay Woman and her friend. After the game (and some wine) I walked back to the family picnic to take in the evening's fireworks. We were so close the ash and embers rained down on us.

 Nothing like major explosives professional fireworks to round out a great day.