Vacation 2013 – Duck – Day Three

Day Three’s itinerary: beach, pool, kayak.

The dumb dogs slept in until their normal time between 0530 and 0600 so after letting them out I just stayed up, fed them, got coffee, and opened up the laptop to work on a few blog posts. Everyone else eventually got up and had breakfast, individually, while I toiled away.

We got ready and headed for the beach with a planned retrograde back to the pool before making it all the way back to the cottage. Today, though, we carried everything to the beach instead of using the truck and packed sandwiches and snacks.
Beach and pool completed, we decided not to shower before lunch since we planned on kayaking afterward. Poppop cooked shrimp while the kids got themselves lunch and I worked on making fresh peach daiquiris. KayakingI’d never actually peeled peaches before nor made peach daiquiris, but I did a pretty good job. We just needed to add a little sugar to the concoction to sweeten it up a bit.

Kayak time. We bungee-corded a tube to the back of the kayak so we could pull people along. I took the back seat, my wife got in the front and our younger daughter got in the tube for the first trip out. We went out a way, turned around, and came back to the dock. Kayaking - under the pierOur daughters swapped spots and we paddled another circuit with the older daughter. I made three more trips with each daughter taking a turn up front and my wife paddling once more. We beached and stowed the kayak and got cleaned up.

Nana and Poppop had friends who were in the area for their son’s wedding, so they stopped by the cottage for a couple minutes before the four of them went out to dinner. The rest of us, hopped in the van and headed into Corolla to find some food. We checked out Bad Bean Taqueria, but decided we weren’t interested in the fast food style ordering and seating. We tried going to Agave Roja, still looking for Mexican food, but apparently you need reservations for that place. We ended up at Tomato Patch Pizzeria. It’s a loud and hustle-bustle atmosphere, but the kids got to make their own pizzas so they were happy. My wife and I split a Super Supreme which was not super and I tried Honker’s Ale,  which is now on my list of beers not to have again.
Overcast Sunset

We got back to the cottage a few minutes before Nana and Poppop, spent a few minutes chatting with them, and everyone went to their own rooms to crash.

Vacation 2013 – Duck – Day One

Day One’s itinerary: drive, move in, find food, relax.

Sure I Can't Have Any?Packed and on the road before 1000.  Not as early as I’d hoped for, but it worked fine for beating the traffic.  There were plenty of like-minded folks, but not enough to cause a delay in traffic.  Very happy about that.

We arrived in Duck around 1230, about two and a half hours before we thought check-in time was, which was two hours later than the 1300 early check-in we were hoping for, which was three hours earlier than the actual 1600 check-in time.

To pass the time, we parked for a short while near some shops to let the dogs potty and the girls stretch their legs, we hit a coffee shop for a fresh coffee, we picked up some fudge at a fudgery and then went to see if the cleaning folks had finished with the cottage.  There was no one home, so we parked and checked the house.  Soundwatch - back of the houseIt was unlocked so the girls explored, being sure to look under all the beds for little white pulls**.  We got word from my wife’s mom that the cleaning folks had not yet been there so we got the girls out, got back in the van, and headed toward the Harris Teeter to see if it had an off-brand Frontline.  While there, we just picked up the rest of the food for making dinner.  Leaving Harris Teeter, we still hadn’t gotten the “all clear” to go to the house so we parked across the street near the pool and waited for word, which came a few minutes later.

View With A FriendWe headed to the house and began the unloading and moving-in process, which includes taking pictures, getting room assignments, and putting stuff away.  Once settled in, the kids were eager to hit the pool.  Not much time for relaxing, but I did manage to steal a couple minutes in a comfy chair with the elder wiener taking in a fantastic view before throwing on swim trunks and heading to the pool.

After the pool, the adults enjoyed some Lavender Metheglin on the deck while our younger daughter did some birdwatching.  While everyone got cleaned up, I started working on dinner:  spaghetti and salad.

Birdwatching at SunsetThat pretty much did it for day one.  Tired from travel, playing int he pool, and full bellies, it didn’t take long for everyone to find their beds.
**Read about our vacation last year for more on the little white pill our puppy ate.  The first mention of the pill is Day 5.  The effects of the pill continue over the next few days.

Recipe: Lavender Chicken and Rice

Tonight I actually made two skillets of chicken.  The larger was one of my normal batches of onions, garlic, sliced/chopped chicken breasts sauteed in olive oil with diced tomatoes and a little (mostly) fresh basil.  I made this the larger because the smaller skillet was an experiment.  I really like the Lavender Metheglin from Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery.  Lavender Metheglin is mead (fermented honey) infused with one percent lavender flowers.  It smells and tastes wonderful.  While I frequently cook with wine, liquor, and beer, I hadn’t tried cooking with mead.  I figured it would work, but the Lavender Metheglin also has a unique flavor that I wasn’t sure the rest of the family (the children, mostly) would enjoy.  It turned out wonderfully and the kids and wife also liked it.  Next time, I’ll make the whole skillet with it.
The Ingredients
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped onion (my standard is Vidalia)
about a half pound of boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
a little salt
coconut oil
about 1 cup Lavender Metheglin
Prep and Cooking
1.  Get the rice going in a rice cooker (or via the old fashioned way on the stove)
2.  Saute the onions with a pinch of salt  in the coconut oil
3.  Add the chicken (already cut) and brown/cook it a bit
4.  Add the Lavender Metheglin.  In my small skillet, the chicken was completely covered so I kept the flame up a little higher than normal to reduce the mead a bit, making sure there’s enough sauce to mix into the rice.
5.  Serve over the rice
**Even though I had to use two skillets tonight, it still fits into my ‘Lazy Dinner’ category.

Music Monday – Getting Away

Coming back off vacation, also known as holiday in some places, this threesome of songs are about getting away.  So let’s get to it…

Get Away by Bobby Brown

(released 1993; peaked #14 US Hot 100, #3 US R&B, #3 US Dance)

I need a piece of mind, I’m stressed out today
It’s about that time to make that get away
Dealin’ with the people I deal with everyday
Got to find a place I can hide away

This is about as bad as it gets for a Bobby Brown song that got airplay, but at least it’s danceable.  There’s very little to the lyrics and the rap part is simply crap, but this album came out at that time when just about every song hitting the airwaves “had” to include a rap bit.  This is definitely dredging the bottom, but the spirit of the song certainly fit the mood of getting away for a vacation.

Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz

(released 1999; peaked #12 US Hot 100, #1 US Alternative, #1 US Hot Mainstream Rock, #1 UK Singles)

I’d fly above the trees
Over the seas in all degrees
To anywhere I please

Oh I want to get away
I want to fly away
Yeah yeah yeah

The 1999 Grammy winner for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, this song is big on sound and attitude, but short on lyrics.  It works in this case, as this song’s sound will pick you up and rock you away.

Holiday by Scorpions

(released 1979 on the album ‘Lovedrive‘)

Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday
Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday

Exchange the cold days for the sun
A good time and fun
Let me take you far away
You’d like a holiday

The German metal band, Scorpions, have been rocking crowds for generations with anthems like Rock you Like A Hurricane, Big City Lights, No One Like You, and power ballads like Still Loving You, Winds of Change, and the one featured here, Holiday.

Music Monday – Round and Round and Faster and Faster

As I was tucking my daughter in to night, Bolero was playing on the classical station.  We let our daughters listen to the jazz or classical stations or play CDs we’ve approved of as ‘going to sleep’ music.  So, I explained to my daughter about how Bolero goes on for a long time, repeating itself and slowly, ever so slowly, picking up tempo.  So here we are, going round and round, getting faster and faster.  Ravel and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.  I’m sure there are other songs that do this, as well, but they haven’t popped into my head.  I’ll leave you to enjoy these two pieces.

Bolero by Marice Ravel

(performed by the Bejart Ballet Lausanne)

I’m not a big fan of ballet, but I figured I might as well post a video of somebody doing something other than playing an instrument for fourteen minutes and this performance is kind of interesting.  This is a performance by the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, a Swiss ballet company formed in 1987.

Ding-Dong Daddy of the D-Car Line by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies

(released 1998 on the compilation disc ‘Swing This, Baby!’ –a very good swing disc, btw)

The Ding-Dong Daddy had a sensual soul
Lonely women flocked to him and he loved them all
A train went in the tunnel in the dark he proposed
The bonds of matrimony in the sweetest prose
The ladies got together and decided they’d been had
This ain’t Salt Lake and you ain’t Don Juan man
We’ve got to give you credit we was happy for a time
But you’re the Ding-Dong Daddy of the D-car line

Starting at just after the two minute and twenty second mark, you get to the lyrics above.  At the first line, the rhythm is rather slow, but it makes about three uptempo changes in twenty or so seconds to get back to the rhythm that they play most of the song.

Music Monday – Erin go bragh

Next Monday will be the day after St. Patrick’s Day, so I decided to make this week’s Music Monday about Irish music to get you in the mood for this coming Sunday’s shenanigans.  This collection has a couple ballads about dear old Erin and a few drinking songs, because a collection of songs for St. Paddy’s Day wouldn’t be complete without them.

The Foggy Dew by The Chieftains with Sinead O’Connor

(released 1995)

But the bravest fell and the requiem knell,
Rang out mournfully and clear,
For those who died that Eastertide
In the springtime of the year.
While the world did gaze with deep amaze,
At those fearless men and few,
Who bore the fight that freedom’s light,
Might shine through the foggy dew.

The Foggy Dew” is probably my favorite Irish song.  As such, it’s not much of a surprise that it’s on my post about St. Patrick’s Day for the second year in a row…and will likely be here every year.  This Irish ballad about the Easter Rising of 1916 is sung so powerfully and mournfully by Sinead O’Connor, that it stirs my emotions every time I hear it.

Song for Ireland by Mary Black

(released 1998)

Talking all the day with true friends, who try to make you stay
Telling jokes and news, singing songs to pass the night away
Watched the Galway salmon run like silver dancing darting in the sun
Living on your western shore saw summer sunsets, asked for more
I stood by your Atlantic sea and sang a song for Ireland

This is a beautiful song and Mary Black sings it wonderfully.

The Irish Rover by The Dubliners with The Pogues

(released 1987, peaked: #1 Irish Singles, #8 UK Singles)

With his smart witty talk
He was cock of the walk
As he rolled the dames under and over
They all knew at a glance
When he took up his stance
That he sailed in The Irish Rover

The Irish Rover” is a traditional folk song and has been performed by many artists over the years, including The Dubliners and The Pogues, two very popular bands.  It was a no-brainer to post the video of these two bands singing this well-known song together.

Whiskey in the Jar by Sin e Ri Ra

(Irish traditional song)

Musha rin du-rum do du-rum da, Whack for my daddy-o,
Whack for my daddy-o, There’s whiskey in the jar.

Whiskey in the Jar” has been performed by many well-known bands, but I posted this one because this band can jam.  While they sound good like this…what sounds like them in a studio…is good, they are incredible at home, rockin’ Nine Fine Irishmen, the Irish pub in the New York New York casino in Las Vegas.  Their sound and energy turn the intimate setting of the pub into a raucous affair which gets the crowd going and keeps it up all night.

The Old Dun Cow by The Futureheads

“On fire!” says Brown, “What a bit of luck.
Everybody follow me.
Down in the cellar,
Where the fire isn’t there,
We will have a gay old spree.”
So we all went down with good old Brown,
The beer we could not miss,
And we hadn’t been but ten minutes there,
‘Til we were bloody pissed.

I’m not exactly sure what it is about this traditional folk song that I like so much.  I think it may be a combination of the fast pace with the comedic lyrics. I’d never heard of The Futureheads before finding this video, but I like this version of the song.

Have a safe and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Erin go bragh!

Music Monday – Gluten Free Bread

A friend of mine posted part of a lyric to a Bread song yesterday, which made me start thinking about the songs and the band…and I joked that while you don’t find many folks with an appreciation for Bread these days, that someone should start up a modern version of the band and call themselves Gluten Free Bread.  Good joke, bad joke, whatever.  Listed as a rock band, the 70s obviously had different definitions of rock than we have now…they’d be soft rock, at best.  Classification aside, Bread had a number of hits throughout the seventies, the majority of their albums and hits coming between 1969 and 1972.  What made their songs so great was the lyrics that were poignant and loving, combined with the soft, melodic guitar and lilting vocals.

Here are a few of Bread’s hits with a few lines of their lyrics.


(released 1971, peaked: #4 US Hot 100, #1 Easy Listening)

And when my love for life is running dry,
You come and pour yourself on me.

This and “Diary” are my two favorite Bread songs.  I can’t really put my finger on why I like this one so much, I just do.

Make It With You

(released 1970, peaked: #1 US Hot 100, #5 UK Singles)

Dreams, they’re for those who sleep,
Life is for us to keep,
And if you’re wond’ring
What this song is leading to
I want to make it with you

Everything I Own

(released 1972, peaked: #5 US Hot 100, #32 Adult Contemporary)

You taught me how to love,
What it’s of, what it’s of.
You never said too much,
but still you showed the way,
and I knew from watching you.
Nobody else could ever know
the part of me that can’t let go.

Baby I’m-a Want You

(released 1971, peaked: #3 US Hot 100, #14 UK Singles, #1 Easy Listening)

Baby, I’m-a want you
Baby, I’m-a need you
You the only one I care enough to hurt about


(released 1972, peaked: #15 US Hot 100)

I found her diary underneath a tree.
And started reading about me.
The words began stick and tears to flow.
Her meaning now was clear to see.
The love she’d waited for was someone else not me
Wouldn’t you know it, she wouldn’t show it.

While it’s not great news for the narrator of the song, I really like the turns of events.

Face Off…revisited

Mountain Goblin King - Episode 1, Season 4

Mountain Goblin King
Episode 1, Season 4 of Face Off

A quick follow-up on this show, now in season four.

In my original post, Face Off…a reality show?, I said that the audience only got to vote on the final episode and that the vote was simply used to give the judges something else to consider when making their decision.  That has changed.  The viewing audience now votes to determine the winner.  The judges still make the decision on who goes home throughout the rest of the season.

I had also mentioned that there wasn’t any “back-stabbing” and arguing…and that has continued to be a part of what makes this show so great.  So far, the contestants have even pitched in helping other get their molds open, looking at each others’ designs and making suggestions when asked, and generally hoping for everyone to do well, to present their best work each week.  The worst thing I recall is one of the scenes where they showed one of the girls saying “Please not so-and-so” (referring to who her partner would be for the challenge) right before being paired up with that so-and-so…but they worked together well-enough and survived that week.

We’ve turned the show into family time.  We DVR it on Tuesday nights and then watch it one evening during the week with our daughters, both over ten years old.  Most of the profanity is bleeped out (there isn’t that much of it anyway) and there hasn’t really been any content too provocative that we were uncomfortable with our daughters seeing it.

I really hope SyFy keeps this show going.


Music Monday – The Queen of Rock

The first time I recall hearing Joan Jett was in El Paso in 1982.  The stations I listened to back then were KINT 98 FM and the Big 600 AM.  They played the hits of the day, including Pac-Man Fever, Valley Girl, and other, much better Eighties music, including I Love Rock & Roll by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.  An instant classic, it was so different from the other music on the radio then, as far as I remember.  Hard rockin’ with catchy, chant-like chorus, and Joan Jett, a female, singing lead.  While still not quite the norm for rock, it was rare back then.  And Joan rocked it hard…and she still does.
I Love Rock & Roll(released 1982, peaked #1 US [for seven weeks], #1 US Rock)
Billboard’s #56 song of all time, as of July 2011
I Hate Myself For Loving You(released 1988, peaked #8 US, #20 US Rock)
Crimson and Clover
(released 1982, peaked #7 US, #6 US Rock)
Joan can also take someone else’s music and turn out great versions of those songs in her own sound…which she technically did with I Love Rock & Roll and Crimson and Clover.  Here are a few from her cover album, The Hit List, released in 1990
Love Hurts, originally by Nazreth
Have You Ever Seen The Rain, originally by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Dirty Deeds, originally by AC/DC
(peaked #36 US, #23 US Rock)
Joan’s still rocking today and still working the Blackheart Records, the label she and Jeff Laguna started over 25 years ago.
Somehow, Joan Jett failed to get into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. She certainly deserves a spot there.
Joan Jett’s site:
I would love to see her live.

Project 347…er, 346

I failed this year.  I failed to accomplish my goal of 366 posts on this blog in 2012.  Even after changing my game plan to shoot for a total of 366 posts by combining the totals from this blog and my other blog, Wanna Get Published, Write! (WGPW), I came up short.  I ended up with the Project 346.  196 posts here and 150 on WGPW.  The title reflects that I started this post yesterday.  Had I posted it it then, I’d have had 347 posts for the year, but since I am finishing it up on the first of 2013, I only managed 346 last year.

Of course, this wasn’t a total failure.  I did do a lot more writing this year than in previous years.  I started a weekly post on this blog called Music Monday, in which I write about songs, artists, and/or lyrics and link to videos of a few of the songs I talk about.  On WGPW, I participated in two poem-a-day challenges and wrote a poem for almost every Poetic Asides Wednesday Poetry Prompt.  I also wrote a number of flash fiction stories and became the Tuesday prompt provider for Flashy Fiction…to which I’ve got to figure out how to drive more traffic.

Ultimately, while I didn’t meet my goal of 366 posts, I was much more productive.  I’ll try to carry that momentum forward into 2013.


Happy New Year!

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