Huntington Beach, Part 1 - Monday - May 16, 2011

Nancy here:  I am trying to learn to use Live Writer to enter our blogs.  I am hoping it will make uploading photos easier!!  I have taken many wonderful wildlife photos in the last couple weeks at Huntington Beach State Park and thought they would provide a good way to check out Live Writer vs. Blogger for photos.  So if you love photos, especially of nature, hang around for the next 3 blogs ;o))

Click On Any Photo to ENLARGE
03 - Walk to Wetlands Viewing Platform
Walkway to Wetlands Viewing Platform

04 - Bee Closeup08 - Dragonfly
05 - View of Causeway
Viewing Platform and Causeway
06 - Cormorants
Cormorants Drying Off

07 - Cormorant Closeup
Up Close and Personal

09 - Causeway Alligator Sign
Alligator Information - click to enlarge

The following 3 photos were Alligators along the causeway.
09a - Causeway Alligator on bank
09b - Causeway Alligator on bank
09c - Causeway Alligator below Rice Trunk

09e - Causeway Great Egret Closeup
Great White Egret

09f1 - Causeway Great Egret caught fish
He caught his dinner!!

09f2 - Causeway Great Egret caught fish
He is flipping his dinner!!

09f3 - Causeway Great Egret caught fish
He is swallowing his dinner!!

09f4 - Causeway Great Egret caught fish
Talk about a LUMP in your throat!!!!!

09g - Causeway Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

09h2 - Causeway Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

11 - Pelicans

11a - Pelicans Overhead
Be careful ... don't look up ;o))

11c - Sanderling
Sanderling just clamming around!!

Well, I found uploading photos much easier in Live Writer.  It allowed me to do all of them at one time. :o)) Not nearly as easy in Blogger. Still need to learn how to set placement and text??  I posted this blog to Blogger as a draft and then did the text spacing and font adjustments within Blogger.  It will take time to figure it all out, but I am very pleased with the photo upload performance of Live Writer!!!

Sandy Island Kayak Trip and RV-Dreamers Visit - Friday - May 20, 2011

Nancy has been working a lot of hours in the heat at Home Depot. Today was one of her days off, so we decided to take the Seaeagle Kayak out for a leisurely paddle. Actually, I had paddled with my friend Bill on this same route yesterday and it was so nice, I was ready to go again!!

This week is Bike Week in Myrtle Beach. That means there are thousands of motorcycles cruising the streets around here. Most of the action is north of us, so we just headed south… just below Brookgreen Garden and launched the kayak at Sandy Island boat ramp.

Sandy Island Boat Landing - Photo Oct 2010

The weather was beautiful, a pleasant 75 degrees with very little wind – perfect for kayaking. We paddled towards Sandy Island, across the Inter-coastal Waterway.
Sandy Island from a distance - Photo Oct 2010

We have never been able to paddle over there before as the wind and wakes were always too strong. However, it was an easy paddle and we got all the way across to see the few building on the edge of Sandy Island. As usual, Nancy snapped quite a few pictures, but accidentally deleted them while downloading ;o((  Oh well, we will get more the next time!!

Later this afternoon, we had a call from Steve Conrad, one of our RV-Dreams friends. He and his wife Evin were in Myrtle Beach tending to family business. I gave them directions to our home and they came to visit for a couple hours before heading home to Winston-Salem, NC.
Steve and Evin - 2011 RV-Dreams Rally

We had a pleasant visit and swapped stories about the problems we are having trying to sell our houses, what RV’s we are looking at buying and how we are dealing with family issues. We have many similarities to our lives right now. Steve and Evin are very nice people and we are thankful to count them as friends. Our visit was short, but as always, we find lots of subject to laugh about. Today was no different… can’t wait until our visits occur out there on the road somewhere!!

Invasion Update!! - Thursday - May 19, 2011

Well, we have tried our best to beat the Mulch Throwing Begonia Snatchers, but we are afraid they are just too much for us!!

Last Monday, we found these tracks....
Nancy check online and we feel certain we are dealing with racoons!!

We googled Raccoon Repellant and found a repellant recipe which was made up of Hot Sauce, Water and Dish Detergent.

We applied the mixture and thought we had won.  However, the next day all the Begonias were again dug out!!

So, we have just removed the Begonias and the racoons seem to have claimed victory and moved on...

So be on the just never know where
the MTBS will strike next!!

Grandkids Come For A Visit - Tuesday - May 17, 2011

Nancy and I spent the last 2 ½ days with our daughter, Julie, and her four children. We really enjoy spending time with all of them. Every time we see them it seems like they have all grown 3 inches since the last visit. Nancy had to work on Saturday and got home at exactly the same time as the gang arrived. First thing on the agenda…PIZZA!!

After dinner, we headed outside so Andrew could demonstrate his roller blade skills. He is really a good skater!!
Andrew on Wheels!

We also were able to get the children to slow down enough to get one photo with Great Grandmom. 
Of course, they were not able to stand completely still!!!

On Sunday and Monday, we loaded up Julie's van with buckets, sand toys and chairs and headed to Huntington Beach State Park. 
Walkway Over the Dunes

The kids really didn't seem to care that the ocean temperature was only 71 degrees.  They just plunged right in.




Of course, Julie, Nancy and I only got our feet wet and there was no way we were going any deeper in that chilly water!! 
Julie and the GANG!!

Grandpop and the kids.

You'd never know the water was so cold!!

Nancy snapped her camera non-stop.  I asked her how many pictures she had taken.  Her reply to me was, " I really don't know, but it is probably over 300!!"

Nancy here:  I will not display all the photos ;o), but here are just a few more of my favorites!!
Samantha and Julie

Emily explaining THINGS to grandpop!

Mr. Cool - Daniel

Emily decorating the sand castle!

Andrew is such a good big brother...
He pulled both of the girls around in the surf on his boogie board.

Searching for little clams!!

They found quite a few!!

My favorite photo!!
Emily and Samantha put that tiny white clam on the sand.
Then they waited and watched for it to dig itself back into the sand.
They thought that was just AMAZING!!

Each day as we left the beach, we were sure to stop at the shower and leave as much sand as possible at the beach!!

We pass this wonderful old Live Oak each visit to the beach!!

If we weren't at the beach, we found lots of other fun stuff to do.  I played chess with the boys and also took them to play miniature golf.  Daniel was the only one to get a hole in one!! We played cards, did some puzzles and coloring books, and had lots of good stuff to eat. Of course, the KIDS loved the desserts.  We had chocolate rice crispy treats, Popsicles, watermelon and my cake.  I haven't been on a scale for a few days and we haven't power walked or bicycled for several days so tomorrow is going to be payback time!!

The kids left early today and Nancy had to go to work at Home Depot.  I spent the day cleaning up around here and getting the house back into "Home for Sale" condition.  We love having the family here and look forward to the time we can spend more time with them!!

Now if we could just SELL THIS HOUSE!!

YIKES!!! We've Been Invaded - May 11, 2011

As most of you know, we are trying desperately to sell our home.  In that regard, first impressions are everything!  Well, over the last two weeks, we have been invaded by the 'Mulch Throwing Begonia Snatcher' in our front flower beds ;o((

Every morning, when Bill goes out to get the paper, he is greeted by the mess these critters are making. 

 Not a good looking "First Impression!"

They just dig the begonias out and set them to the side???
After our walk or bike, we replant the Begonias and sweep the mulch back in place. 

We have try several deterrents so far. 

First, we applied hot pepper flakes to the had no effect. 

Next, we upped the anty to Cayenne Pepper...again they were not affected. 

Time to try chemical warfare, "Critter Ritter"... they laughed at us! 

So we decided to eradicate the food supply..."GrubEX"... that was a waste of time and money!!

Still not sure what this critter looks like, but we think it may resemble a mole, so our next step is Mole and Gopher deterrent spray... 

If that doesn't work, I am calling in the Marines!! 
Yes, Bill will be on sentry duty from sun down until sun up or
until we have destroyed all the
"Mulch Throwing Begonia Snatchers!!!!"