Sunday, December 23, 2012

Stumbling Upon The Spirit of Christmas on a Sunday Afternoon Walk

A candy cane wrapped in the
Spirit of Christmas
The holidays have us enjoying decadent foods laced with enough guilt to get us off our haunches to walk off a calorie or two. On the Sunday before Christmas, there are pretty decorations and lots of happy neighbors greeting each other with smiles, waves and, “Merry Christmas!” If the neighborhood was like that all year long, everyone would be out walking every day and we’d all be quite healthy.

As Hubby and I hiked up and down the hills of our neighborhood, waving and smiling, we felt exhilarated by the feelings of good cheer and cool winter air. We were enjoying each other’s company while we burned the calories of pancakes topped with leftover Brie, honey and berries. We were glad the indulgent meal had us out and about enjoying the afternoon, oblivious to the fact that someone was about to deeply touch our hearts.

Most folks that went by in their cars simply waved and smiled without slowing down. But one lady not only slowed down, she stopped. Her window was rolled down. She offered us a candy cane—in memory of her father.

She held a beautiful antique bucket filled with little candy canes. She went on to explain that every year on the Sunday before Christmas, her now-deceased father used to fill up the bucket with candy canes and give them out to all the children at church. The bucket will soon be donated to the Ramseur museum. But before she could donate the bucket, she explained she needed to fill it with candy canes one more time and give them out to honor the memory of her father.

When she drove away, Hubby took out two handkerchiefs. He gave one to me and used one for his own damp eyes. To say we were choked up would be an understatement. We were deeply touched and humbled to happen upon such a beautiful tradition and a daughter’s bittersweet remembrance of her father.

Weeks of people pushing and shoving, honking and being generally rude in the name of holiday preparations tends to squelch the Spirit of Christmas. But for Hubby and me, receiving one small candy cane revived that Spirit, warmed our hearts and filled us with joy.

As we each took a candy cane, we were reminded of the true meaning of Christmas, of being neighborly and of life. The things we get for Christmas are just not important. What we do for others during Christmas and all year long is what really matters.

Merry Christmas and may the true Spirit of the holidays brighten your New Year.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, writer, and content strategist is the author of Thurston T. Turtle books. 

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

No-Name Pumpkin Deliciousness...HELP!

While helping out at a fundraiser this week, I was asked to bake a dessert. The coordinator handed me a recipe and told where to find all the ingredients. After reading through the recipe, I decided to snap a picture of it with my phone so I could replicate it at home, as it sounded amazingly delicious. It was also relatively easy.

A pan of pumpkin deliciousness.
After five hours cooking, cleaning and otherwise helping out, I left to pick up my son. We then headed to the store, where I picked up what I’d need to make the dessert. I thought it would go well with the stew I’d brought home from the fundraiser. When we returned home, I unpacked our groceries and pulled out my phone. I looked for the picture of the recipe, but it was gone.

This was not the first time my smartphone had eaten one of my pictures. I took a picture of the amazing cheesecake I made for my mom’s birthday last week, but when I uploaded all the images from the birthday lunch, the cheesecake photo was the only one that had disappeared. In place of each missing picture in my media folder was a placeholder icon. The icon looks like a gray box with a drawing of a Polaroid snapshot of mountains next to a sketch of a piece of film. It’s as if my phone was saying, “Here’s where that picture you wanted would have been located had I not eaten it.”

What is the name of this
amazingly yummy dessert?

Considering the two pictures it ate were dessert related, I’m thinking my smartphone has a bit of a sweet tooth. Once I realized I no longer possessed the recipe, I panicked. I began rushing around from room to room looking for paper and a pen. When I finally found my writing utensils, I started scribbling everything I could remember about the recipe. The only thing I was unsure about was the name. So, if this sounds familiar, please share the name of this delicious, calorie-laden, melt-in-your-mouth, scrumptiousness of a dessert.

I mixed one can of pure pumpkin—the small can, not the big one—with one can of condensed milk, three eggs, one and a half cups of sugar, half of a teaspoon of salt and three teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. Once that was mixed together, I poured it in a greased lasagna pan. Then I sprinkled a box of yellow cake mix evenly on top of the pumpkin mixture. On top of that I sprinkled a little over a cup of chopped pecans. Then I drizzled two melted sticks of butter over everything. I carefully placed the lasagna pan into my oven, which was preheated to 350 degrees. I let it bake for 40 minutes. Then I let it sit and cool just a bit, so as to not burn the roof of my mouth.

My kitchen smelled like an autumn bakery. And it wasn’t all that difficult. I made it after a day of cooking, cleaning and running errands. But I’m at a loss. I have no name for this great tasting dessert. Please, someone must know what it’s called. If you are that someone, I’d be thrilled and honored if you could share it.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, writer, and content strategist is the author of Thurston T. Turtle books. 

Connect with Micki on Google+
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Monday, December 3, 2012


Throwing Ma a luncheon was the perfect activity
for my first SAHM day, considering she was one of
the best SAHMs ever. She taught me well.  
Today is my first official SAHM day. My intent was to make a homemade breakfast for my son. He loves pancakes, so my intention was to whip some up as soon as the coffee brewed. But when I went to the fridge to get eggs and milk, I remembered I used the last of the eggs for my mom’s birthday luncheon dessert. When I cracked that last egg, I thought to myself, “No problem. I can simply go grocery shopping Monday afternoon.” So rather than pick up eggs and other groceries over the weekend as I’ve done for decades, I waited. We also had to give my son lunch money, because we were also out of bread and other bag lunch necessities.

Mom’s luncheon was also planned for my first official SAHM day. Prep work was done throughout the weekend, including baking the cheesecake, which required the last of the eggs. I spent my first official SAHM day cooking. Thankfully, Hubby was scheduled to go to work at noon. He graciously took on the cleaning and errand running. He had to run by the store because in addition to eggs and bread, we were also out of mozzarella cheese. My chicken parmesan just isn’t the same without the cheese.

After lunch, I had just enough time to run another load through the dishwasher and grab a shower before heading out to pick up my son. Since he needed practice driving, we swung by the grocery store on our way back.

It’s actually great being at home. I’m home because a recent event in my son’s life illuminated a crossroads in my life. Walking home from school one day, he was mugged. It was 4 p.m. He was less than a block from our home. He called me after it happened. But it was 4:10, the time he usually calls after school. I was in a meeting. I didn’t take the call. I waited until the meeting was over and then I called him back. Upon hearing what had happened, my emotional bottom dropped out. The working-mom balance I’d negotiated for twenty years went askew. My priorities changed. Everything changed.

We have a child in high school and two in college. My mom lives with us. There is much I need to do at home. But I was still working. For years I had to work. But driving to the office the morning after the mugging, I called my husband and choked out through tears, “I can’t do this anymore.”

We talked. We crunched numbers. We made changes. Then I submitted a two-month notice. Now, I’m home. That horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that has been plaguing me since the mugging has finally subsided. I’m a SAHM for the first time in my life and I believe it’s going to be the best job I’ve ever had—once I get the hang of it. I may be reaching out for help. 

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, writer, and content strategist is the author of Thurston T. Turtle books. 

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sunglasses at Night

Now that we’ve set our clocks back an hour, many commuters, like me, head home in the dark. When the Christmas lights adorn homes and businesses along my route, I rather enjoy the sunless journey home. But there are a few weeks of transition before the lights go up. During that time, a few commuters—at least the ones following me—feel compelled to drive home with their high beams cutting through the darkness. 
Here come the rude high beams.

On a dark county road lacking streetlights, one might need the brighter headlights to illuminate the winding curves ahead. Brighter lights also give a lone driver the edge during a deer encounter. However, on a well-lit interstate or a well-traveled state highway, regular headlight settings work just fine. And when lots of vehicles are on the road traveling in both directions during rush hour, high beams are not only not necessary, they are dangerous and annoying.

When I was learning to drive several decades ago, I was taught that if I could see the taillights of the car in front of me or if a car was approaching from the opposite direction, I was not to use my high beams. During such situations, my father barked at me that I would blind the person in the car in front of or approaching me. Blinding other drivers could cause a horrific accident. Did I want to get us both killed?!? Therefore, unless mine was the only vehicle for miles in either direction, I learned not use my high beams.

Several of my fellow commuters, however, must have been taught differently. Maybe they were told it was perfectly acceptable to use the brightest setting if they couldn’t see well. Maybe they never learned about the effects of high beams on the vehicles around them. Of course, there is the possibility that they are blissfully unaware that other people are in cars and trucks sharing the very same roads at the very same time. Is it possible to purchase a car that only has high beams and no regular-beam option?

Since I have no way to keep strangers in surrounding traffic from using their high beams, I am making good use of the switch on my rearview mirror. I’ve also started wearing my sunglasses. At first, I thought it would be dangerous to wear sunglasses at night. However, after several nights during which I had to hold my left hand up to block the glare from my left side mirror while squinting my right eye to cut down the glare from the right side mirror just to keep intensely vivid lights from burning holes in my retinas, something had to be done. Squinting was partially impairing my field of view. In addition, one can only hold a hand up for so long whilst navigating home without sustaining arm cramps. 

My Corey Hart defense against
high beam abusers.

I decided it might be safer for me to sport a Corey Hart look. I found it’s much easier to push my sunglasses to the top of my head and flip them back down again as needed than it is to manually block the stinging glare. After the oblivious headlight abusing drivers I encountered this week, I’m convinced the lyrics to that great 80’s Corey Hart tune were written right after the autumn time change.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, writer, and content strategist is the author of Thurston T. Turtle books. 

Connect with Micki on Google+
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Emotional Turmoil of Losing Favorite Earrings

Not long ago, Hubby and I attended a fundraiser. The event gave us a great excuse to dress up and spend time with lots of friends. We enjoyed browsing through all the silent auction items as this friend and that pulled us here and there to show us their favorite pieces and ask for input on how high they should bid. We enjoyed the appetizers, dinner and desserts. We cheered on the high-stakes bidders during the live auction. 

But the very best part of the entire evening happened after the fundraising ended. As the crowd waned, the band warmed up. Before long, the makeshift parking lot dance floor was packed with people laughing, spinning, shaking, dipping, twisting, turning, and otherwise dancing the night away. 

After hours of dancing and singing to our favorite 80s tunes as interpreted by a very talented live band, we headed home. As I was settling in, I reached up with my right hand and felt an empty earlobe. Instinctively, I grabbed my left earring. It was still hanging from my left ear. I slipped it off and then checked my naked right ear again, as if the long, dangling piece of costume jewelry would suddenly be there; as if I could have missed it the first time. 
Must have lost the mate
to this one on the spin & dip. 

The earrings were favorites in my collection. Hubby brought them home one night with Chinese take-out—a romantic surprise. My first reaction was disappointment, followed by a pang of sadness sprinkled with guilt. 

My Golf Swing: Not
strong enough to
drive 100 yards, but
hard enough to lose
an earring.
Frustration took over as I recalled losing another favorite earring just a couple of months prior. That earring was lost at a golf tournament fundraiser. That earring was another favorite. It was from a pair I purchased during a wine tour event. I have tons of earrings for which I have no sentimental attachment. Why, then, was I now making a habit of losing one each of my favorite pairs of earrings?

From disappointment to sadness to guilt to frustration, I finally settled on pride. Ultimately, I lost my earrings as a result of enjoying life and staying active. When it comes down to it, had I not been enthusiastically playing golf or dancing with friends at community fundraisers, I would still have my earrings. Since I wouldn’t trade participation in those events for anything, I’m actually proud to have traded an earring here and there for the experiences.

Thinking back, I’m actually also glad I lost sentimental earrings as opposed to plain meaningless ones. By losing the ones I loved, I’ve imprinted the events during which I lost them—and had amazingly great times—that much deeper into my memory. I can never remember where my keys were placed or what I was supposed to pick up at the grocery store, but I will never forget the great times I’ve shared with my friends and our community.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at)
Connect with Micki on Google+
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

WINE WHINERS: Taste of Carolina Wine Festival

Before we get started whining about wine affairs, I’d like to introduce you to Michelle, my partner in crime when it comes to attending and creatively criticizing tastings, festivals, and other wine-related events. Michelle and I live in the same town and were brought together in friendship through a shared appreciation for winding down with a glass of wine on the deck of one of our now-favorite venues, Lumina Wine and Beer. We found that we have a lot in common, from a love for cooking to our favorite decade—the 80s, of course—to divorces to remarriage to our amazing husbands who are not the genetic-fathers of our children, but the guys who unselfishly dedicated their lives to raising them. We also have a ton of great friends in common.  

Michelle and I have now twice happened upon free tickets to wine festival events. The first event took us to north-central North Carolina. After 20 minutes, we realized there were better ways to spend our weekend and decided to leave—an easy thing to rationalize when the tickets are free. We ended up in Virginia at another, much better, winery festival.

More recently, our good friends Sherry and Dave Johnson, owners of Asheboro Magazine, offered us VIP tickets to the 10th Annual Taste Carolina Wine Festival held at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market. They were too busy working on the magazine to attend, so Michelle and I were off to the wine festival.

10th Annual Taste Carolina Wine Festival
Taste Carolina Wine
Festival was a good
event, but we think it
could be much, much

The Taste Carolina Wine Festival was presented by the Greensboro Jaycees, the Wyndham Championship, Coca~Cola, Yes Weekly, and Sarah Catherine Designs. Both Michelle and I have the deepest respect for all of the event sponsors, as well as the participating wineries and other vendors. A lot of work went into this well-received annual event. It was also clear that the festival does a lot for the burgeoning winery industry in North Carolina. That said, we were not compelled to stay too long. We made it past 20 minutes, but we did not linger. Michelle and I do have some points of honest feedback we feel will make the event much better in the future for all involved. Should such improvements be made, future Taste Carolina events are sure to keep our attention for more than an hour or so.

As VIP ticket holders, we should have been able to enter the gates quickly, rather than endure 20 minutes standing in line and another 10 trying to get our VIP perks. Groupon purchasers had easier access than VIP ticket-holders. We recommend arming the volunteers selling and taking tickets with a list of instructions. That way, Michelle wouldn’t have had to retrieve our wine-glass-holder lanyards from the information booth while desperately asking questions in an attempt to figure out the event.

It might be helpful to understand that at this point, we were sweaty from the hike from the gravel overflow parking lot—VIP parking would be a great addition to this event—as well as the 30-minute ordeal to get through the gate, and a generous helping of sunny, warm weather beating down on our already peri-menopausal systems. To say we were getting frustrated would be an understatement. How could it be so difficult for a couple of women to access some wine at a wine-tasting festival?

We did our best to navigate one of the Disney World-style lines protruding from the winery tents. While we were getting our bearings and bouncing from line to line looking for the non-existent VIP access to the tastings, we came up with a great idea for next year’s event: each participating winery should employ a four-line system: sweet tastings, dry tastings, VIP tastings of both sweet & dry, and a purchase-by-the-bottle line. Also, this system should be made clear in the handout provided to participants upon entry.

I'm on the left & Michelle is on
the right. We are weary as we wait
for our first and only tasting
of our day. Note the great hair
by Studio 120's Alan Culler

We were extremely impressed and thankful for the Weathervane Winery representative who made his way down the waiting line pouring samples of Merlot. His  friendly face and wine-stained shirt was an absolutely beautiful sight for our critical, frustrated eyes. We would have been much happier had Weathervane not run out of some of their dry selections with four hours of the event left to go. Regardless, Michelle highly recommends Sunset Red, the Merlot. My recommendation is Temperature Rising, a Chianti. We both recommend event planners calculate more accurate crowd expectations based on pre-event ticket sales, Groupon success, and past events to ensure all wineries are fully prepared and all participants have the full selection of wines to taste after their 40-minutes-plus on the line.

We realize this blog post is getting a bit lengthy, so we decided to bullet point the rest of our recommendations:

  • Let folks know when one of their favorite wineries listed on the festival map is not actually participating. We were incorrectly told the Rag Apple Lassie Vineyards tent was behind the DIRECTV tent. We did two laps around the festival and sustained three hot flashes before realizing there was not a Rag Apple Lassie tent.
  • Allow for seating of all VIP ticket holders in the VIP tent. We couldn’t get into the VIP tent even though we had VIP wristbands. It is possible there were non-VIPs in the tent. If that was the case, we recommend a roped access with bouncers for the VIP area.
  • The $5 voucher for food that came with the VIP ticket was nice, but didn’t get us much. We each “purchased” a scoop of mac and cheese with our vouchers. The scoops were small and mine was cold. The food vendor was also running low on food with four hours to go. We recommend a $10 voucher.
Special thanks to our new friend, fellow
writer Nichole Nichols, who graciously
took this photo and patiently listened as we
recounted our latest wine event adventure.
Our final recommendation is for 40+ women attending crowded, hot, sticky wine festivals. It is perfectly acceptable—especially if you didn’t have to pay for your tickets—to leave early and head to a nice wine bar, such as Rioja! Wine Bar & Wine Warehouse. A nice  air-conditioned venue with a wide selection of wine by the glass and savory snack options—we shared the cheese, fruit, and olive plate—is the place to go to relax, cool off, and debrief about tastings and festivals.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, writer, and content strategist is the author of Thurston T. Turtle books. 
Michelle Harmon, mother of one, wife, and massage therapist is the co-owner of The Healthy Back and Body Clinic

Follow Micki & Michelle on Twitter @Wine_Whiners
Wine Whiners on Facebook

Thursday, September 6, 2012

School Lunches Part II

Deviled Eggs: Great for the Parent Back-to-School
Celebratory Luncheon. NOT great for the child's
brown bag school lunch. 
The new school year is underway and advice—from how to save on pencil sharpeners to how many extra-curricular activities are too many—floods the media. I’ve already tapped into my experience to provide the PICK FROM TWO system. In my second of two blogs addressing even more advice for back to school, we delve into the school lunch dilemma with notes on why not to pack certain foods.

Rather than take up valuable blog real estate and bore you with the entire list of foods at least one expert claims are best for your child’s school lunch, I’m going to focus on the items from the list you should AVOID. These items  include: Greek yogurt (or any yogurt, really), soup or chili (even if it is in an insulated container), deviled eggs and pasta or rice salad.  

While yogurt and deviled eggs are highly nutritious after school snacks, I’m not a fan of including them in a child’s lunch. I’ve been to the cafeteria. Those items will not be edible at lunchtime. They will be fun to use in an unofficial science experiment involving mushy foods, milk and a soda. Having some of the more interesting ingredients for the lunchroom experiment will make your child popular at the lunch table as well as increase his chances of getting to know the principal. But your child won’t be eating these foods.

Remember, your child is not headed to a swanky office complex where he or she can store the lunch in an oversized refrigerator sitting in a community kitchen. Your child is headed to school. His or her lunch bag or box will reside at the bottom of a backpack, in a stuffy locker or in a wooden or plastic cubby that may or may not get direct sunlight most of the day. It is best not to send your child to school with items that need to be refrigerated. If they don’t become part of the lunchtime entertainment, they will end up in the trash or, even worse, you child might actually take a bite, become sick—another popularity booster—and end up at home for the next two days. It’s best to pass on these items and leave the bacteria-growing to the biology department at the high school.

You are probably wondering why I’d be against soup or chili, considering experts suggest these items be packed in insulated containers. If children were able to prioritize or even conceive of proper insulated container handling and maintenance, I’d say go for it. However, this skill isn’t developed until one’s mid-thirties. If you send your child to school with soup or chili, you are going to have to clean soup or chili up for days. It will be in the child’s lunch bag or box, book bag and clothes. Drips and drops of soup or chili will dry to the interior of the child’s locker and be forever part of the bus or car seat cushion upon which the child sits while going to and from school.

We are left with pasta and rice salad. Rice should be self explanatory. By the time your child is old enough to eat rice without getting it everywhere, including in his or her ear, up his or her nose and between pages of his or her grammar book, he or she won’t want it unless it comes with hibachi steak and shrimp.

Pasta salad is a great snack. However, like other items requiring refrigeration, a salad is not the safest of selections for the school lunch. In addition to bacteria growth concerns, it has been my experience as a parent that children treat salads, including pasta salad, the way most people treat mixed nuts. They pick out the good stuff and toss the rest. Therefore, you might think your child is eating pasta, olives, sun dried tomatoes, and shaved carrot tossed in creamy Italian dressing. In reality, he or she is eating olives—one of which might have piece of shaved carrot clinging to it.

I advocate broadening your child’s palate and increasing his exposure to healthy foods. However, this is something that should be done at home, under close supervision, in a place where there is always a backup pbj sandwich at the ready.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, writer, and content strategist is the author of Thurston T. Turtle books. 
Connect with Micki on Google+
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Read Navigating Hectivity

The PICK FROM TWO System for Back-to-School

Random Friday Thoughts of the Beach
The Writer Paints...with Glue & Paper

Monday, August 27, 2012

The PICK FROM TWO System for Back-to-School

These delicious, healthy morsels
would not make the cut if the kids
selected all their favorites
for their school lunch.
As we adapt to the new school-year routine, we are inundated with advice from experts. Well, I’m no expert, but I do have some experience-inspired words of warning regarding what at least one journalist provided as options for your child’s lunch.

The article I read while sipping coffee and signing reams of back-to-school paperwork began by suggesting you allow your child to make some decisions regarding the foods that should be packed in his lunch. What the article did not provide was guidance on how to involve the child in the decision-making process. But it is important to handle such things delicately, lest you unleash the untamed and lose control as a parent.

Unless your child has a basic understanding nutrition, human biology, and is already a skilled decision-maker, please DO NOT simply ask the child the open-ended question, “What would you like in your lunch?” It is also critical that you do not ask for input while at the grocery store. By avoiding these two pitfalls, you avoid your child heading to school with steak flavored chips, cream-filled doughnuts, several toaster pastries, and a Red Bull for lunch. Unless your goal is to make your dentist and pediatrician wealthy, while at the same time driving some poor teacher into early retirement, it is imperative you retain control over what your child eats.

It is a good idea to involve your child in the decision-making process. However, this can be done without the child actually selecting the foods. Here’s how:
1. Without the child’s input, purchase healthy lunch foods.
2. Ask the child to select one of two similar items.
Example A: “Would you like grapes or an apple in your lunch today?”
Example B: “Would you like Swiss cheese or provolone on your sandwich?
This is what I like to call the PICK FROM TWO system. By controlling and limiting choices, you get to control and limit what your child eats while still allowing an opportunity for decision-making by the child.

Worried your child trade his carrots for a cupcake? Put yourself in the other child’s shoes and fear not. Your child’s classmates are highly unlikely to give up a cupcake for some carrot sticks.

The PICK FROM TWO system works for getting dressed on a school morning, as well. It is perfectly acceptable to lay out two shirts and ask the child to select on or the other. What you don’t want to do is let the child come up with his or her own outfit for the sake of giving him creative expression opportunities. Let the child express creativity on the weekend or after school. But on school mornings, maintain control. A child won’t dress for weather or appropriateness on his own.

You must control your child’s wardrobe while you can, as that is how your child learns to dress. Children don’t come into the world knowing what to wear, when, and with what. It’s best they learn from you. Unless, that is, you simply love the way other kids at school, people on TV and in movies, and characters in video games dress and you are hoping your child will emulate such fashions. If, however, you prefer a more modest, practical approach to dressing, employ PICK FROM TWO and manage your family’s fashion. I truly believe schools would not need dress codes if more parents used dressing for school as a learning opportunity.

I have more experience-inspired words of warning directly relating to the food items on the list of suggestions from the article, but I wrote so much on choices that I will have to cover “Foods to Avoid in the Brown Bag School Lunch” in my next blog.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, writer, and content strategist is the author of Thurston T. Turtle books.
Connect with Micki on Google+
Like Thurston T. Turtle on Facebook
Visit Micki’s website:
Follow Micki on Twitter: @TurtleAuthor
Read Navigating Hectivity
Random Friday Thoughts of the Beach
The Writer Paints...with Glue & Paper
My Plan for a Healthy National Ice Cream Month

Friday, August 10, 2012

Random Friday Thoughts of the Beach

Sunset on the beach, Oak Island, NC.
Add 'photographer' to my list of hobbies.
After a week hanging out with two of our three boys, Ma and Hubby at the beach, the thoughts swirling in my mind are all annual beach vacation-related. Not that we take a week-long vacation at the beach each year.

It’s actually been nearly a decade since we’ve done it. However, after this year, I feel like we need to make it an annual thing. 

The best part of the week was hanging out, rafting, swimming and talking with our teens. They tried to tell me a classic raft was much better for body surfing than a boogie board, but I had to learn on my own. They chided me for letting the schools of fish freak me out, but eventually, in the spirit of hanging out with the boys, I made peace with the fact that I was swimming in nature’s aquarium.
Getting up to walk our dog on the beach was difficult, it being our vacation. But if we didn’t have to crawl out of bed early and throw clothes on for a morning walk with little Annie, we would have missed seeing the majestic pod of dolphins flipping and playing near the breakers. In the water sparkling under the barely-risen sun, the dolphin play was magical—it was as if we were walking in a dream.
We take to the mini-links
like some take to Pinehurst No. 2.
It was also interesting to learn how talented my mother is at the game of putt putt. For someone, “just having fun,” she sure sunk a lot of holes in one. Of course, the boys tied for first place, forcing a playoff. And against all odds—at least, in the mind of our 19-year-old—our youngest came out on top by one stroke. 

You can be sure we will be making reservations for next summer before school starts. If for nothing else, to ensure our middle child has the opportunity to challenge his baby brother to a rematch.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, writer and content manager is the author of Thurston T. Turtle books.
Connect with Micki on Google+
Like Thurston T. Turtle on Facebook
Visit Micki’s website:
Follow Micki on Twitter: @TurtleAuthor
Read Navigating Hectivity
The Writer Paints...with Glue & Paper
My Plan for a Healthy National Ice Cream Month
Random Friday Thoughts for July 6, 2012