Thursday, December 29, 2011


Guess what I got to do Christmas Day? Love on this beautiful boy. His English name is Sunshine, but his staff (dogs have owners, cats have staffs) call him Sunshine, but in French. Don't ask me, I don't recall. If you speak French, then you know his name. He's only eight months old and is huge.


Are there areas of your house that are driving you absolutely crazy even though you can't see it?

Well, that was the case with our attic. I knew this mess was up there. I could almost hear it! What is all that stuff, anyway? What a mess!

Our attic has been needing attention for a long time, but summer is just not the time to deal with what looms in the attic. Just look at all that stuff, I couldn't even get in the door! I knew I couldn't ignore it much longer, because we are going to put away our Christmas decorations soon, hopefully today.

The hard part was pulling all that stuff out so it could be sorted and put back in some kind of order. It took a while to get it all out so I could decide what would stay and what would go and then start putting it back. How many cookie tins do you need? And I still didn't find my glass nativity set, even though every box and tin was opened to check the contents. I don't know what happened to it!

I did purchase a metal shelf, which Hubby assembled for me. Thank you Sweetie. It took a while for him to get that cheap shelf together. I also purchased some of those semi see-through drawers.

How was it possible to have all that stuff out in that small area of the attic?

Once I had all the stuff removed I discovered I needed more of those plastic storage drawers, so off to Wal-Mart I went. I hate that place.

Then all the sorting and rearranging began. The hardest thing I did was taking my cat carriers apart. I refuse to part with them, because I know one day I will have another cat, or two or three. I also refuse to part with the glass food dishes and basket and pillow and litter box. I just can't part with those items. I digress. Let's move on. I also deflated that exercise ball. I suppose I should part with that thing. The last time I attempted to use that thing I just about killed myself. I probably need to start using those hand weights I keep moving around in the house.

After the project was finished I had four of those very large plastic bin empty and two of the smaller bins. Now we can actually get to everything stored in the attic. I think I hear noise in the basement. Oh. my. goodness! That will be a major project which will involve building shelves requiring power tools. I can operate the tools, but I want Hubby involved in that project. That might be like moving Stone Mountain.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


I've had several people ask about the almond bark in the recipe below. I wasn't able to find it so I substituted the vanilla candy coating. The candy is still delicious. I've included a photo of all the ingredients used. One reader's crock pot was too hot, even on low, so the second batch she only cooked it an hour and one-half and it worked well. Enjoy

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Seven Days and Counting

It's only seven days until Christmas. There are still many things that need to be done, but we have managed to put up a Christmas tree. This year we are reverting back to our childhood and have only bubble light on the tree. Did you ever have those? Hubby and I both loved them as children. So our tree looks like the 1950s. We love it.

We have a couple of special gifts for special people in our lives. Hubby has been busy in his workshop making some tin pieces. The large sconce was a gift for someone at the Docent's party at Stately Oaks, where he volunteers.

The smaller one is for a classy lady that we have known for many years, but moved to Florida. She has a beautiful home that the exterior is a typical Florida-looking house, but once you step inside you are surrounded by beautiful antiques. It's amazing that someone would depart from the beach-type decor in exchange for the wonderful traditional antiques. She is getting a hand-made tin sconce.

Then there is a special concert in some one's future. They are going to love it. So are we, because we are going as well. We have been to one of these concerts at Spivey Hall. Sprivey Hall is a music/concert hall built by Dr. and Mrs. Walter (Emily) Spivey. They left the money, but they both died before the construction of the hall was completed. Mrs. Spivey, who was an organist, designed the hall. It was sad, because they both had lung cancer from the asbestos in their home.

Mrs. Spivey was a very classy lady and quite wealthy. They owned Lake Spivey that used to be an amusement park of sorts. They had a man-made beach around the lake and a train ride through the woods surrounding the lake, a pavilion where you could dance and a concession stand. They eventually closed the park and turned the area into a gold mine by selling lots, expensive lots, very expensive lots and now there are million dollar home surrounding Lake Spivey.

We met Mrs. Spivey through Homer, our builder. He wanted her to see our house because he wanted to build one similar on one of her very expensive lots as a "spec" house. She was a very gracious lady and agreed to partner with Homer and build the house. The fun part, we were allowed to help with the selection of every thing in the house. It was so much fun, because we didn't have to worry about the cost. After we met Mrs. Spivey, we saw her in town one day stopped at a traffic light. It was in the mid 90s that day and she had all the windows down in her Lincoln Town Car. We shouted to her, "HEY, MISS SPIVEY HOW ARE YA?" She replied, "I'M FINE, DARLIN." Then we asked, "MISS SPIVEY, WHY ARE YOUR WINDOWS DOWN?" She laughed, "DARLIN, I JUST LOVE FEELING THE WIND THROUGH MY HAIR." The light changed and we both drove off. How did I get off on this tangent about Mrs. Spivey? Oh yes, Spivey Hall.

Tomorrow my family will be gathering at our house for our annual party. Hubby will be cooking a ham on the Big Green Egg, which is wonderful. We will enjoy some of the green beans out of our garden, which I canned this summer. Because of the picky eaters in this group we will have regular green beans and then pickled green beans. Pickled beans are, well, pickled with salt and vinegar. They are so yummy. Hubby requested glazed carrots. Why I don't know, but they are so simple to prepare. Steam the carrots, then put some butter and brown sugar in a skillet until the sugar has turned kinda syrupy and coat the carrots. Your finished. I'm making some lemon bars and some chocolate chip brownies. There are other dishes being brought as well. I've asked my niece to bring her mac and cheese, which is wonderful and my sister-in-law to bring her sweet potato souffle. Maybe we will have a pie or two as well.

I better get going or the above menu will not be prepared or the house cleaned for our party tomorrow. Merry Christmas to you all.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


This is not my recipe. I found it over at Southern Hospitality who found it in Patricia Yearwood's Cook Book.


Layer the ingredients in the order listed.

2 lbs. (36 oz.) salted dry-roasted peanuts
4 oz. (4 squares) German's sweet chocolate
1-12 oz. package semi sweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
2 1/2 lbs. white almond bark

1. Put the peanuts in the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker. Layer the chocolate over the peanuts, beginning with the sweet chocolate, followed by the chocolate chips, and then the almond bark. Set the temperature on LOW and cook for 3 hours. DO NOT stir the mixture.

2. After 3 hours, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth. Drop the candy into mini cupcake liners, using just enough mixture to fill the mini cups liners. (The recipe called for regular cup cake liners and 2 tablespoons mixture, that is a big piece of this candy.) Allow the candy to cool completely before removing the cupcake liners. I was able to get 92 pieces of candy out of the mini cupcakes liners and I left the liners on the candy they are easier to store. The method using 2 tablespoons of mixture makes 30 to 40 pieces.

This does require a 4-quart slow cooker and it will be almost over flowing by the time you place all the ingredients in it.


Saturday, November 5, 2011


We have lived in our house almost 35 years and I have made very few changes to the arrangement of the furniture and not many changes to the accessories.

One of guest bedrooms has looked the same since about 1987. I bought a Martha Washington type bedspread in Asheville, NC and it has served us well, but I wanted to update the room.

This past spring we stayed in a bed and breakfast, The Pond House Inn in Elizabeth City, NC and it was a beautiful traditional house with lovely furnishings. The room we stayed in was very comfortable, except I couldn't get in the bed because it was so high and required a chair to get up in that beautiful four poster bed. I loved the coverlet and bed skirt on our bed. The bed skirt was white and the coverlet was yellow. I knew that was what I wanted to do in our circa 1987 guest bedroom. The innkeeper was very innovative when she couldn't find a bed skirt for her very high bed, she used a coverlet and it worked well and looked really nice.

I knew I wanted a white, tailored bed skirt and a yellowish coverlet. I found a coverlet but wasn't sure if it would blend with our trim. It didn't, it was too yellow. However, I didn't give up and kept shopping until I found a coverlet that did blend with our yellowy trim. All the colors in our house are Williamsburg colors and they are hard to match. After searching the internet high and low, I found a bed skirt that I liked and thought would work well.

I wanted to keep the room very traditional in keeping with our 18th century house, but a bit updated. Only thing Hubby is highly distressed that those blue pillows with the ruffles are still on the bed. I can assure you they are staying, but I think I'm going to remove the ruffle and replace it with some piping. That is a project for another day, but for now the ruffled pillows are staying.

The room is ready for our next guests, hopefully our friends from Tennessee or Virginia. Don't know who will be our first guests, but we will be ready, unless I go to jail for removing the tags off the new pillow. Oh, that does say, "...tag is not to be removed except by the consumer." So I'll be here awaiting our guests.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thelma and Louise

We have lived here almost 35 years and we have never seen any deer.

A couple of weeks ago we were at our kitchen table and there were two young does eating away at our neighbor's flowers and then moved into their turnip green patch.

They had a feast. Then they strolled over to our yard and we ran to the living room and watched them through the blinds. They sniffed at our garden, but I think our fence will keep them out. I sure hope so because our neighbors said they love lettuce as well.

So now we watch them most mornings. They arrive between 10:00 and 10:30 a.m. Oh yeah, we have named them Thelma and Louise.

Thank You 11 Alive News


About four weeks ago we received a phone call rather early on Sunday morning. It was one of the docents at Stately Oaks wanting to know if the air conditioners were being repaired because AC parts were all over the yard. Immediately Hubby knew copper thieves had destroyed three air conditioners at the 1839 home. I heard him say, "call the police immediately."

The following day was terrible. Lots of tears and statements like, "this is the worst thing that could ever happen." Actually, it could have been must worse, because the house and other buildings on the ground were not damaged.

At the insistence of Hubby, the president of the historical society call the news media. All three local networks came out and did a story about the cooper thief and the financial hardship this would place on a non-profit organization.

As a result of the story on 11 Alive by Reporter Kevin Rowson, Cool-Ray Heating and Air stepped up to the place and donated three new air conditioners to replace the ones destroyed by the low-life thieves. Then an iron fabrication company, TMC Iron and Steel Company donated iron cages to cover the new AC units.

It was an absolute dream for the entire staff and volunteers at Stately Oaks. These people were a God send to a non-profit organization that operates on a very limited budget.

Some of the docents decided something special needed to be done for the people that made this miracle happen for Stately Oaks. So, today several of the docents and volunteers had a reception for Kevin Rowson from 11 Alive News, Britt Bagwell from Cool Ray Heating and Air and Jeff Guthrie from TMC Iron and Steel Company.

Hubby presented each of the gentlemen with plaques in appreciation for their community service and contribution to the non-profit organization. Afterwards two of the docents gave the honorees and their families a tour through Stately Oaks.

I turned around and Hubby was being interviewed by Kevin Rowson and this evening there it was, right on the evening news.

So for all of you that live in the Atlanta area if you have any heating and air conditioning needs and a need to protect your air conditioners from copper thieves or any other iron fabrication we want to recommend to you


To 11 Alive News and Kevin Rowson, the people at Stately Oaks will forever be grateful for your help during a time of devastation. This is positive news at its best.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Our dear friend, Kenny, one of our adopted sons, had a birthday, Hubby and I took a bag of Chick-fil-As and Kenny furnished the southern table wine (sweet iced tea) and I made a pound cake. We headed up to the deck of his condo complex where we had dinner, commonly called supper in the south.

It was a very pleasant evening. The weather was perfect. It was fun just talking and watching all the activities at ATL, the world's busiest airport. Kenny provided a wealth of information about all the activities on the ground and the goings on at the airport since he works directing airplanes around the airport all day long.

Friday, September 23, 2011


I thought this would be a great reminder of the warm summer days which are now history as the gray cold days are here for a while, even a bit of sleet and snow yesterday and it is only the end of November.

I picked the wrong day to stay home and clean house. Hubby and our next door neighbor caught all these fish in about an hour and one-half this morning at Lake Oconee. The lake is way down and it must have been easy to find the good fishing holes.

This is the reason I will never fish with artificial bait. Look at those fish, they are slabs. Oh yeah, they were fishing with cane poles, not fancy rods and reels.

We fished in Lake Sinclair last week with friends using artificial bait and we never got one single bite.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Today we have been married 45 years. In a way it does seem like a long time, but yet it doesn't seem like 45 years. I would marry my sweetheart all over again.

Friday, August 26, 2011


We installed this programmable thermostat 18 years ago and it STOPPED working. I don't get it. The air conditioning came on, but would not turn off. I pushed every button on that thermostat and nothing happened. The only way it turn off was to flick the switch on the electrical panel. Fortunately, it was on it's own power source, so I didn't have to cut the power to the entire house.
I put the little tabs on the wires and every thing is cool, so I thought.

Well, I couldn't find a screw driver in that huge tool box of mine. I have my own, because my husband's shop is, shall we say, less than organized, and I can't find anything when I'm looking for a specific tool, so I just created my own tool box. I finally checked my basic little tool box I keep in my sewing room. This one only has a few little tools in it, but it was exactly what I needed to get the job done, I thought. (I won this little box at an office Christmas party many years ago.)

I get the old unit off the wall and compare the new unit and it was smaller than the old unit, so one thing calls for another. I'm making another trip to Hubby's work shop for material to patch the screw holes, sand paper to smooth the paint ridges created when painting around the old unit and paint to cover the unpainted dry wall. I was able to procure all the necessary materials to get the job done, I thought. Finally, I realized sanding those paint ridges wasn't going to work, so now I'm looking for one of those things with the razor blades used to scrape paint off windows. Now, those little things work well on lots of jobs and I should have used that little first and saved a lot of time sanding and creating all that dust.

So, I get the wall preped, patched all those old holes and I apply the paint. It matched. I was so relieved. It hasn't been too terrible long ago that we painted the upstairs hall and the only can of wall paint I had actually worked. However, I had to wait until the paint dried before attaching the frame of the new unit to the wall. That's when the REAL fun began.

Can you see those wires coming out of the wall? Those very SHORT wires? Oh my goodness. It took a while to get those little color coded wires attached to the new thermostat. The old one had screws that you just twisted the wires around and tighten. The new unit had these tiny slots where you had to insert the wires and push down these very tiny little button things to secure the wires for proper contact. I'm telling you, that was HARD! I finally had to call in backup--my sweet Hubby.

A day or two later Hubby said, "you did a really good job on that new thermostat, you can't even see where the old one was."

Why I though I could change this thermostat in just a few minutes is a mystery to me. I should have know when you start a project one thing leads to another. It took three hours to get this little thermostat installed. The good thing? It works so well.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Best bargeque in Georgia

Dean's Barbeque, established 1947

Mr. Dean opened his barbeque joint in 1947. His son, Roger, kept the business going after Mr. Dean's death and Roger has recently retired, but his sons and nephews and nieces are keeping the Dean family business going. This is the heart of America.

This is one of our favorite places to eat. It looks like a hole in the wall, but... It is absolutely the very best barbeque in Georgia! Well, I think it's the best barbeque I've ever eaten.

Several years ago PBS filmed a special program on Georgia barbeque and Dean's was one of the featured establishments. You can always tell the tourists, because they are the ones with the cameras. We find that amusing.

They only serve pork barbeque, which is cooked over an open outside pit. There are only two left in the entire state of Georgia.

The small frame building with the "OPEN" sign in the window is the original structure. The pit was to the right, but open. When EPA laws kicked in they grandfathered in the establishments that had open air pits, thus allowing Mr. Dean to keep his open pit. The pit is now covered in the screened room to the right of the original building. At any given time you can see all those hams over the hot flames from the hickory wood fire.

When you enter Dean's you are always greeted with a friendly, "Hey, y'all, how are you doing today?" We are always asked, "Do you want your regular today?" As they are writing "2 sandwiches, 2 chips, Yahoo, Diet Coke. "That will be $10, please."

They do have barbeque plates available with an order of barbeque, cold slaw, pickles and a slab of white bread. Oh yes, they have homemade cake if you want dessert. Today I read the menu on the wall and I was looking at the beverages, which reads,

"Regular Tea"
"Yankee Tea"
"Mason/Dixon Tea"

I had never noticed the Mason/Dixon tea so I asked Barbara (the lady behind the counter taking an order from another regular customer) about it. She replied, "it's half sweet tea and half unsweetened tea." Mason/Dixon tea is what I order, when I drink tea, because they have really sweet tea. The pieces of cake on the counter are homemade peanut butter cake and chocolate cake. Yum.

You always see someone you know when you eat at Dean's. Everyone from lawyers, dentists, judges, vets, doctors, law enforcement officers, neighbors, pastors, teachers, local business owners, and many, many life-long residence of the area, all of which are frequent customers at Dean's. We have even encountered the owners of Chick-fil-A and their families enjoying the barbeque (you can't eat Chick-fil-A EVERY day). This is also a favorite place of NASCAR participants and fans.

Orders can be takeout, but you miss part of the experience by not eating in the dining area. This dining room was not part of the original 1947 structure, but was added in the late 1980s. Before the dining room was added there were picnic tables where you could eat under the huge oak trees, but if it was rainy or cold you ate in your car. I'm serious, in your car. The picnic tables are still there if you want to eat outside under those old oak trees.

There are only basic accoutrements on the simple tables in the dining area; napkins, hot sauce and their own homemade sauce. If you want a straw you get that at the counter when you place your order.

This is a very popular eating establishment for all the locals for miles around Jonesboro.

As you approach Dean's, this is what you see, the old buildings with the Dean's old home place in the background. This is certainly part of "modern" history for Jonesboro, GA.

Dean's Barbeque is located about a mile south of downtown Jonesboro on Highway 3. They are closed on Sunday and Monday.

Friday, August 12, 2011


At the request of a reader I'm posting one of my favorite recipes. I can't take credit for this, but a dear friend of my aunt's shared this with me years ago.


4 cups cooked chicken, diced
3 cups chopped celery
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup (undiluted)
1 cup mayonnaise
4 T lemon juice
1/2 cup slivered almonds (toasted) I like to use 1 cup almonds
2 T grated onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup green pepper chopped
4 T pimento
1 cup grated cheese
3 cups crushed potato chips

Mix all ingredients except the cheese and potato chips. Pour into 9 x 13 dish, sprayed with Pam. Bake 30 mins. at 350 degrees. Add cheese and chips, return to oven until brown. Garnish with paprika and parsley.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


We were able to take a day to get away, so we decided to head for Lake Oconee. It's a beautiful lake about 75 miles east of Atlanta. Our neighbor used to have a place on this lake, so we became well acquainted with it when we would spend time at his place. So, we love going out there to fish.

We left early and was on the lake by 8:30 a.m. It was warm, but not bad. We went down the lake and found a nice place to fish. It was in the shade the entire time we were there. Hubby decided we needed to move to another place, so we headed up the lake and was in the sun the rest of the day.

We have umbrella brackets on the back of our boat seats, so they were opened as soon as we anchored at the second fishing hole. Unfortunately umbrellas do not render the same coolness as shade from a tree. By noon it was too hot to fish, so we headed back to the marina where we had a picnic lunch in the shade of a tree. By this time it was so hot it wasn't comfortable even in the natural shade. So, we pulled the boat out of the water and headed home. We had fun, we caught a lot of fish (we threw all of them back) but it's just too hot to fish right now. I can't stand baking my brain in this heat.

Monday, July 18, 2011

All work and no play...until tomorrow

This is what six quarts and 21 pints of green beans look like before they are put in the jars. All of these are out of our garden. I think they about stopped blooming. However, the squash are still blooming as are the cucumbers and the okra has just started producing.

Today we drove out I-20 about 75 miles to a memorial service for a dear friend. We have known Dorothy and Vaughn for probably 30 years. They moved to rural Georgia for a better life on 20 acres. Dorothy loved living in the boonies along with all her animals--11 horses, four cats and a dog.

Last week she had a stroke that left her paralyzed on her right side. As a result her dear hubby had to put her in a nursing home. Early Friday morning someone called him and said, "your wife just passed." Needless to say, he was shocked. How insensitive can one be? Your wife just passed. Why didn't they call and say, your wife is not doing well you need to come to the facility now? Or, your wife has taken a turn for the worse, please come now? I couldn't believe how they informed him his beloved wife has passed away!

The service was really nice. The people were salt of the earth people. After the service the pastor made an announcement that everyone was invited to stay for lunch. Oh my, the food was out of this world. There was barbecued chicken and all the vegetables were out of people's gardens. Then there was this homemade caramel cake.

Tomorrow we are going fishing, finally. This is the first time this year we will have our little fishing boat out.

Thursday my Mom is coming back to stay with us for a few weeks. She is still recovering from a hip replacement. That's tough surgery at any age, but at 93 it's really tough. After some complications she is recovering well. She was in a rehab facility for 20 days and hated every minute of it. She refers to the facility as "jail". I have to remind her that because of the intense rehab she received she was able to climb the stairs at my house the first day home. She has been at my brother's the past week and they have run her ragged. I think she is ready for a slower pace of life. I'm not so sure that our pace of life will be slow enough for her. She's also going to be surprised that I'll insist she do the exercises prescribed by home rehab between their home visits. She won't like that, because she has never been one to exercise. The rehab is a necessity after a hip replacement.

Hopefully, she will be able to return to her home in a few weeks. I mentioned to her she is going to be lonely and bored after being pampered and cared for the past month or so. I've also mentioned to her she can't sleep all day like before the surgery. She was in so much pain she didn't want to do anything. I'm hoping she can return to walking at the mall in the mornings and some of the church activities she just couldn't do before the surgery.

So goes life in the slower fast lane. Well, slower than my brother's household.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Hubby and I participated in living history back during the bicentennial (mid 1970s to 1982). Recently, Hubby has renewed his interest in living history, particularly the Revolutionary War era.

He has been volunteering at Stately Oaks in historic Jonesboro, which is mid 1800s era, that required different clothing.

The senior group (olds) at church has asked him to speak at their July luncheon about the Rev War soldier, so he has been studying and gathering facts about Georgia during the Revolution.

We have had period clothing since we started participating in the living history, but seems as though we both have outgrown our clothing. A couple of years ago I made me a new bodice that fits me better, but Hubby desperately needed a new waistcoat that fit.

We have had a pattern forever, but I never had a need, up until now, to pull it out and give it a second thought, since my Mom made his period clothing back in about 1974. After asking me over and over I decided I had to get cracking on that clothing for him, especially since he needed it by mid-July and my Mom was having her hip replaced and my time was about to be consumed by taking care of her.

I'm not the type that can just create something, I need a pattern with precise instructions. I had the pattern, but not the instructions. When I started this project I didn't have a clue which pieces of fabric needed to be sewn together. Through trial and error, and I mean a lot of errors, I managed to get the waistcoat made. This doesn't compare to all the special projects Hubby has made for me. I just hope he never asks me to make him a new pair of overalls (pants), because I don't think I have the sewing skills to tackle that project.

This is an 18th century waistcoat worn by men during that period. Civilian clothing and military clothing always included this article of clothing under the outer coat.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


We had never been to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, so back in the spring we decided to check out the place. I started doing some searches on the Internet and suggested to stay in bed and breakfasts rather than hotels/motels. So after studying the map book (we actually have an atlas) we came up with an itinerary.

We left early on Sunday morning taking I-20 East, then we took I-95 North. Our first stop was Tarboro, North Carolina. This town was established in 1790. It was a really nice town. We stayed at The Main Street Inn, which was extremely nice. The Innkeepers were Denise and Stewart Sanderson. When we made the reservations Denise told us they would not be there when we arrived, but the key would be in the box and just go on in. I said, "you must be kidding!" Oh no, she said it would be find. So when we arrived our key was waiting and we made our selves at home. We sat on the porch in the swing and greeted the people walking down the street. We had a really nice room on the second floor. The Inn was built in the late 1800s and had been restored to the historical standards established by the town. Many of the houses in the town are on the National Register of Historical Places. It was late Sunday afternoon and we wanted to have a good meal, but it didn't happen in Tarboro. There were only fast food places, so we drove back to Rocky Mount for vegetables at the Cracker Barrel. It was about 20 miles, but worth the drive.

The next morning Denise prepared the most delicious breakfast for us. We also had a wonderful strawberry smoothie. This was definitely a five star B & B.

We were out early headed to the Outer Banks. It was only about a two-hour drive. We were on a four-land highway for most of the trip. Once we reached the Outer Banks we headed south towards Hatteras where we were going to take the ferry over to Okracoke Island. This was the short ride from Hatteras to Okracoke, which was only about 30 minutes. Anybody wanting to take the ferry has to line up, so we had to wait about 20 minutes before the ferry came. Once on the ferry everybody gets out of their vehicles and just walk around and enjoy the boat ride over. Some people washed their windshields and headlight, others went up to the second deck and most just roamed around watching the water and birds. Guess who's working the crowd on the ferry? Hubby down there with the yellow hat is talking to the NCDOT employee. He was on his way to work on Okracoke, he grew up at Hatteras, moved to San Diego, but didn't like it in CA, so he moved back home. His entire family has lived on the Outer Banks all their lives.

Once we arrived on Okracoke we drove to the town part. It is only 12 miles of paved road on the island. We found our lodging for the night. It was adequate, it was clean, but it certainly was not the grand lodging we had the night before. It too was an old home which had sustained damage from hurricanes, but it had been repaired. We were on the third floor. That was rough with all our baggage we thought we had to bring along. There was no TV and when you walked around the bed you had to lean sideways because the ceiling was slanted. This 5' 1" person had to lean because the ceiling was so low. Fortunately, it was cool and we opened the windows and had a really nice breeze through our room.

We roamed all over the island. We visited the lighthouse, had lunch on the water and went to the beach. As you can see there wasn't a crowd at the beach. We did see about six or seven people. Hubby flew his seagull kite and I walked the beach picking up shells. There are no hotels, houses are structures of any type on the beach. It is part of the National Seashore and is protected from any type of construction.

There was a British cemetery not far from our B & B. We roamed around the cemetery for a while then ventured to some of the shops around the island. There were people walking all over and there were people riding bikes and some people were riding gold carts. It was busy, but not real crowded.

Next morning we left, headed back north, caught the ferry back to Hatteras. We stopped at the Hatteras lighthouse and had a great tour of the tallest lighthouse on the east coast of the United States at 198 ft high. Back in 1999 the lighthouse built in 1870 was moved about 600 yards because the sea was eroding the foundation of the lighthouse. This is part of the National Seashore and is part of the National Park Service. There was a young Park Ranger that gave a great talk about the historic lighthouse and how and why it was moved. Basically, the lighthouse was jacked up and placed on rollers to move it the 600 yards, which is approximately one-half mile. Two houses occupied by the keeper and staff were moved first, which was basically a piece of cake compared to the moving of that lighthouse. It took six days to move the structure to the new location. It was a major engineering accomplishment. This lighthouse is brick and not one was lost on the move. Amazing.

Going north we traveled through Nags Head. There were lots of houses and all sorts of commercial development. The houses were right on the beach here, so obviously some parts of the Outer Banks is not part of the National Seashore.

Our next stop was Kitty Hawk. We loved it! There was a great volunteer at this national landmark. Inside the Park Service building was a replica of the first plane the Wright brothers flew with great narrative from the volunteer. The Wright brothers were geniuses. The same principle of flight is still used today on modern planes. They figured out this method with a kite.

We headed further north to Elizabeth City, NC for a Bed and Breakfast found on the Internet. The Pond Inn. We had to circle the city a couple of times, but we finally found the place. It was in an old area of town right across the street from the sound. It was beautiful. Another five-star place for the night. This was a 5,000 sq. ft. house built in the 1930s with all traditional furniture and an elevator to the second floor. The library was heart of yellow pine with beautiful crown molding. The ground of this house were finely groomed with a beautiful lawn and gardens all around the house. There was a row boat available to putter around in the pond.

That evening we had a wonderful meal at the Cedar Tree right on the water in downtown Elizabeth City at the recommendation of the Innkeeper. This is another small town that we would like to visit again.

Next morning we headed further north to Norfolk, VA, then on to Williamsburg, VA, our favorite place. We stayed in a guest home that we have known about for years. Again, the key was in the mail box with a two-page handwritten letter to us from the owner of the house saying she was in Charleston, SC for the week visiting her daughter, but we were to make ourselves at home and her son, who lived around the corner, would check on us. We had the run of the house with more antiques and traditional furniture. This was a great place to stay right at the edge of the restored area.

I took hundreds of photos of Williamsburg, like we don't have any photos. We met friends that live in Williamsburg part time for dinner and lunch. It was great to see them. They too have a love for the place just like us. They are volunteers at Colonial Williamsburg when they are in town.

We have been going to Colonial Williamsburg since 1967 and we have never grown tired of the place. We love the buildings and gardens, but I must admit my favorite thing to do is just roam through the gardens from yard to yard.

This was a great trip. We want to go back to the Outer Banks and stay longer. This trip was more of an exploratory trip to see if we wanted to spend more time there, which we do.