I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Little Wind, A Little Rain

Hello everyone! Hope you are all home and safe and sound. Thanks for everyone's message of concern.

 I'm not at all sure WHAT to say about "Hurricane" Irene....except what?

Yes I am grateful whatever storm there was missed us....but still. Lotta angst and hard work for what we'd call a rainy night at the beach! I mean, c'mon! 35 MPH wind?! Storms with 60MPH winds are not uncommon here and we go nowhere, except about our usual lives.

The beach has no trees so no branches are here to fall on us, and our two feet elevation [two---2! feet!]  above sea level was more than enough to protect us from the so-called "storm surge/ high tide".

beach to my west just after "eye" passed
 Was the hurricane party fun!? Oh yes! Wonderful new friends took us in and gave us a party to remember....and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Such warmth and generosity, such amazing hospitality. (Thank you,  N & D!).

so-called storm surge?
 But I resent the news media with their fear-mongering tactics and overblown hoopla...making me, us all, run away in fear. Run from a marginal storm that if it happened before the days of "hoopla" we'd never have even thought it was a tropical storm.

a little wind, a little foam, a little seaspray...
taken at noon, just after "eye" passed

So Dear Mr Weather Channel Guy: believe me when I tell you my home and I have happily survived far more severe nor'easters and blizzards. Happily tucked in, here at the beach.
Never again. I don't care if Jose or whoever is a Category 5, never again.
(Will I eat my words, because I have kids? We'll see...)

Oh PS: The only scary moment! After the storm was "over" and the plywood down, I just went into the house to get my binoculars to look at my birds...and like a demented Mary Poppins, a huge metal and canvas waterlogged beach umbrella (like a big market umbrella) flew through the air and landed where I'd just been standing, admiring the sunset. An isolated gust brought it from...somewhere.

And now today...the beach is HUGE. And pristine. No treasure, not even a clamshell...that flotsom after a storm thing is just an old wive's tale!

Erosian, what erosian? The beach is lower and flatter but much deeper, wider...

The birds look exhausted though, poor babies.

a toppled on purpose lifeguard stand.
They tip them over to make them more stable...

A little evidence of the largest waves...this wooden bin is about the size of a large SUV. It usually is on the beach by the above lifeguard stand to my east. Now it is high up on my dunes.

Couldn't ask for a more beautiful beach...

Or a more perfect beach day....



                      gone to the beach....

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Hi! Thanks for everyone's good wishes! I'll be leaving soon, first time in all these years at the beach that I have had to pack up and move to safety. I'm sad....

I don't know what I'll find when I return, but we've worked hard preparing (all thoe years of hurricane to do lists!) so all should be fine.

see you guys from the mainland...or when the storm is over!

Yesterday: note my little friend Gully



gone to the beach

Friday, August 26, 2011

Is Irene Coming *HERE*?!

Yesterday an earthquake, tomorrow a hurricane?

The reports are so hyperbolic, should we stay, should we go....scary!

And then I remember just one year ago: Earl...lol.

                                     Irene? Who's Irene?
                                     Am I coming with you, mommy?
                                     Are we going to the city?
                                     They have good garbage there,
                                                           right? right?
                                      I can ride in the Jeep with
                                      the other kids?
                                     When are we goin'? Huh? Huh?

Stay safe! Get them evac lists ready, load up the car...oh okay, surfboards, picnic and beach towels it is....



same time, last year

gpne to the beach

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Some Pretties

OMG! We had an earthquake today!
Yes! Here at the beach...it was scary, the room twisted and heaved like in the Wizard of Oz....

All was immediately back to normal, I don't think people out on the beach felt a thing...

Anyway, I'll be out of touch for a day or two but here's a little pretty for a taste of coming things. Look at the fine hand quilting! [ click to zoom or see closeup above]. I love rescuing a special scrap of antique textile. This piece is far too special to simply throw away...or use as a shop rag. It had solder drips all over it, isn't that sad!

I took the photos of the rest of the newest sachets right after the quake (I hope my hands weren't shaking!) But no time tonight to edit and post so those will appear by the weekend, I hope!

Talk to you soon!



gone to the beach

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Farmers Market Sunflowers

Hi! This is part two of my Farmers Market ramblings....the flowers!

I remember from growing up in Illinois: if the corn is ready for harvest, the sunflowers are in bloom too. (Though mine on my deck are lollygagging this year!)

Just one bunch of sunflowers still to be found among the gladiolas the other day.

They were not perfect, they'd been sitting in that white plastic bucket in the hot sun for hours. They were sad! And they were ONLY $5.oo, yay.

At home I had white snowball hydrangeas in a white pitcher but how could I resist?

 I rescued the sunflowers and brought them home where they perked up immediately, happily "smiling" in my mom's fav crock from Colorado.

Little lion faces....

or sunset rays?

I just love sunflowers, don't you?



gone to the beach......

PS I just have to tell you guys! This is my little friend---he sits with us every day. Well! He had the nerve, when my daughter and I left our stuff and went beachcombing, to reach right into my beach bag and help himself to a full bag of Goldfish crackers! And he made a mess of my other other belongings. Bad boy!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dinners from the Farmers Market

Hi everyone! It's the weekend, time to relax, make some delicious, fresh and healthy summer suppers straight from the farmers market!
August is harvest time for small vegetable farms....

Each week I stock up on heirloom tomatoes.

I can't get over the colors.

And inside! So sweet, so red and juicy....very little seeds, just warm rosy beefsteak for slicing thin.

Corn is a must-have too. I always want to buy dozens of ears, to celebrate one of my favorite treats! But actually corn is best fresh picked and so I restrain my enthusiasm, buy a few fresh ears each time.

Too perishable to be photographed in the hot sunshine...here on the counter I have fresh ricotta, from Brooklyn!

...homemade cheese ravioli, French sourdough loaf, more tomatoes, lemons....

One lazy weeknight I just made classic grilled cheese sandwiches with this amazing chewy tasty bread---thinly sliced tomatoes, American cheese and mozzarella, all layered with Dijon mustard, and gently grilled in a non-stick pan. Yum! Serve with a fresh greens salad and homemade pickles....

Another night I made Chicken BLT salad for the late comers-home-from -the beach: This salad is just what it sounds like. NOT for diets or lo-cal.
Shredded chicken breasts (I poach Traders Joe's or BJ's frozen chicken breasts in the microwave); diced Farmers market tomatoes, crumbled bacon, chopped romaine lettuce and mayo. Grind some fresh black pepper. Toss lightly. Serve it with the French sourdough bread or on a bed of more romaine.

And last, Friday supper, yummy yum yum!

The homemade Italian market ravioli...boiled for 4 minutes, drained well. Toss with juice of 2 lemons; a little butter; two yellow summer squashes, sliced very thin, steamed ahead in microwave; toasted walnut bits, a dash of Riesling, lots of pepper, herbs from the deck garden, shaved parm. Dot with a few teaspoons of the ricotta and serve hot and perfect. So good.

(So we don't waddle on down to the beach, I serve a large plain dark green salad and small portions of the ravioli dish. And the rest of the cheapo Riesling, lol.)

Oh! What did I do with the rest of the ricotta?

First let me say fresh handmade ricotta is a food for gods!
I whipped it gently with a fork, added a LOT of Splenda, vanilla extract, a dash of vodka (or rum or brandy); stir in  a few chocolate chip bits, fresh but frozen raspberries/ blueberries (if you freeze them after washing and blotting dry, they don't disintegrate when stirred into the heavy cheese...). Sprinkle more toasted walnut bits on top. Chill. I serve this dessert in tiny cups  witha few berries and a sprig of mint on top.
Very rich, a little goes a long way!
For dinner parties/ fancy, you can tuck a small fragrant sugar cookie in the side of each bowl.
Any summer favorites cooking in your kitchens? I hope so! Enjoy!



........ gone to the beach