Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fair Atmosphere

All year long, I wait for that one day that I get to spend at the fair.

I love everything about it.  The bright colors, the crazy rides, the ridiculous food, the mild creepiness, the interesting people..  

The whole atmosphere of the fair, to me is amazing.

My interest in photography began with the fair. When I tried to capture the atmosphere of it with my 1 megapixel cell phone camera nearly ten years ago.

It's the weird and mysterious parts of the fair that intrigue me the most. I always want to be part of it. In an alternate life, maybe I would have joined a traveling carnival..

Monday, October 9, 2017

Weekly Journal: Doughnuts and Passports

This week's adventures at work consisted of cleaning the entire clean room. The clean room has never been cleaner and we have never been more exhausted. Therefore multiple doughnut and pizza orders were required to help us through. 

My mom and sister came over for zucchini noodle spaghetti and spooky wine in a Halloween bottle. 

My husband, sister and I went and applied for passports!  Hopefully we get them before our Michigan trip at the end of November so we can go to Canada while we're up there. Then I want to travel anywhere and everywhere! 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Cat Bedroom/Laundry Room/Office Remodel

There was an addition put on to our house many years ago that originally acted as a hair salon run by one of the previous ladies who lived here. For us, it became a bedroom for the cats while we dreamed up ideas of what it would one day become. 

They cats need their own bedroom at night because otherwise they race around the house like maniacs, party under the bed and sit on my head, which is not conducive to a good night’s sleep. As much as I love the idea of cuddling with cats at while I sleep, these guys are just too psycho during the night!

This room was not pretty. With wood paneling floors, beat up stained walls and an ugly blue door, it was not a room we were excited to show off. I had dreams of it one day being home to not only our cats, but a washer and dryer, and maybe even a desk for my numerous hobbies.

So finally, at the beginning of this year, we began the process of remodeling this room. We painted the ceiling white, instead of that sickening shade of light beige, and covered the stained walls with light grey paint. 

 It took a while to decide on what to do with the floors, but we finally decided to paint them with high gloss dark grey oil paint. This was the worst part of the process because the cats had to stay out of this room for over a week while the paint dried. Which meant I did not sleep well for quite a while! 

Another tricky part of the process was the washer and dryer. The only hookups we had for such equipment was on the enclosed back porch, so we had to hire an electrician and a plumber to be able to install a washer and dryer in this room. During this process the cats stayed in our room with a sign on the door that said “Cats inside, do not open!”  But it got opened anyway and the cats nearly escaped for good!  When I got home I found both doors open to the house with the plumber inside, and only Cloud and Jeeves were accounted for!  Cloud was covered in red mud and the plumber said she ran outside and he had to catch her. I couldn't find Chester anywhere so I thought he was gone, but then I found him hiding under the couch. Whew! 

Also, this was our first attempt on curtains and a rug for this room. We changed our minds about them almost immediately and gave them away. Haha. 

I dreamed up this washer/dryer cabinet design years ago and was so excited to see it come to life. After spending years having NO washer and dryer, and then having it on the back porch, I LOVE doing laundry now!  ( I still hate putting it away though!)

We traded out the old carpet cat tree that was falling apart, with some slick new modern cat furniture. I was worried they would miss their old cat tree and not like the new one, but they love it! The shelf under the window was at last minute decision and I'm glad we thought of it. The cats love the big space to lay out on and stare out the window, and I love the extra storage. 

When the painting was done it was finally time for the fun part of adding furniture!  We took a trip to IKEA and ended up stuffing our car so full we literally could not have bought one more tiny thing. We had a box down the middle of the car so we couldn't see each other, and I was squished in my seat with my feet up on a box, holding a bag filled of stuff and a lamp on my lap the whole way home. 

  It was definitely the most stressful remodel we have done so far, due to the cats having to be displaced, and almost escaping! But I am so glad it is finally done and I'm so happy with how it turned out. It's a room that once made me cringe to even walk in, and now I love hanging out in it. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Weekly Journal: Sandwich Nostalgia

We like to have potlucks every few months where I work. One occurred last week and I baked some really spooky Halloween cookies. It was a great day of eating everyone's delicious food.

A simple sandwich I used to make by myself when I was little, was turkey slices, some lettuce and mayonnaise on lightly toasted white bread. When I got older and would make it, the flavor always brought back memories. 

Since I stopped eating meat many years ago, I assumed I would never eat that sandwich ever again. Well, then I discovered veggie Turkey slices so I recreated it, and it tasted just like I remember! I instantly had a flashback of the good ole' days spent doing nothing but running around outside without a care in the world. 

The downtown library was torn down a few years ago to be rebuilt. It was finally finished a few weeks ago and is looking pretty slick. I can't wait to spent a cozy afternoon there very soon.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Castle Beneath the Dunes

Somewhere, hidden under the vast sand dunes at the Outer Banks, lies a giant sand castle. How much of the castle is visible depends on the ever changing dunes. Sometimes just the tips of the turrets are visible, sometimes the castle stands ten feet tall over the sandy hills, sometimes the castle disappears without a trace and doesn't resurface again for many years.. It's like a mysterious mirage, and makes you wonder what else may have been engulfed by the dunes.

I remember the first time I saw the giant sand castle. It was during a beach trip when I was eight years old. As we drove past the sand dunes, I spotted these small peaks poking up in the sand and wondered what they were. We kept driving past, day after day, and I kept wondering what was up there. 

Finally on one of the last days of the trip. My dad parked the car and we raced across the street to trek up the sandy hill and see what it was. At the time only the very tip of the castle was visible. We weren't sure exactly what it was for, or how big it actually was, but I was fascinated. I couldn't stop thinking about the mysterious hidden sand castle. There is already so much history and folklore at the Outer Banks, and this was just another feature that added to that feeling.

The next year when we returned to the beach, so much more was uncovered!!  That was when we read somewhere that it had belonged to a miniature golf course. Shortly after that it spent many years completely buried. I couldn't see it on our subsequent visits, and many people thought it had been buried for good.

But when we visited not long ago, the sand castle had once again made an appearance! This time with the addition of some grasses.

The giant sand castle is part of a miniature golf course that was built in the 70s near an enormous living sand dune called Jockeys Ridge. It wasn't long before the dunes began to migrate towards the golf course and eventually consumed it. The strong winds at the beach mean the sand dune is constantly changing, and because the winds blow more from the Northeast direction, it tends to move a few feet to the southwest each year, which is why the miniature golf course became buried and has stayed buried ever since. 

The sand castle is the only evidence that remains of the old golf course. I always wonder about the other things buried under there, and if maybe, one day, a wild storm will pass by that uncovers them. Even just a little bit.

And just for fun, here are some pictures of me the second time I visited the sand castle!  I think this was in 2000.  The pointy turrets have since disappeared.