Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Birdie Goodness

Be sure to click the pic to see it larger... I was thrilled to capture this dude as he cruised over the pond we were walking around today. He's all back lit and glowy. Pretty snazzy.

Today was gooooood stuff. We started the day off with a honkin' big breakfast of Apple Cinnamon French Toast with Bananas. I made it with fresh whole grain bread and put a ton of cinnamon and some almond extract in the egg to give it more flava.

I spent half the day sketching out new ideas for paintings while Billy worked on an actual new painting which I will post here tomorrow. I attempted to paint outside but after ten minutes of being eaten alive I was retreating back indoors faster than you can say pecan pie.

We walked at a nearby park (no idea what it was called) and got a bunch of great photos. There were several really beautiful water birds in the park and I got some nice shots of them. The pic up top was my fave of the birds. I also love this pic of a massive thistle plant...

I have a lot more pics to post but it is late and we are off to lala land. I will set it all up on here tomorrow if we have time. It is packing to move day and we are also washing the trailer (on the outside) which is no small task. It is covered in pollen and has been for three weeks now. It ain't gonna be pretty.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Bloggity Blog Blog Blog

Two, two TWO posts in one day! It was a big day...in a weird, ambiguous sort of way. Nothing really happened, but we did lots of stuff.

The biggest news of the day is this.... MY MAGIC SHOES CAME. People... this is huge. I have been pining away for these shoes for over a year. My dear, dear Mother has gifted me my MBT's at long last. I am oh so very tempted to display 'before and after' photos of my rear end just to prove that these shoes are too legit to quit, but I will spare you the grisly reality of my current booty situation. I am now armed with my pedometer and my magic shoes and I am ready and willing to tackle the miles ahead on foot... leading to a moderately decent looking bottom line at the end of the road. Make sense? Or am I delirious and making no sense at all? It matters not... I know what I am doing. I am a pretend professional.

Other than that we have a few new paintings. I picked up my brushes for the first time in a couple of months and this is the result...

I worked from a photo from some place or another we have been in the past few years. I have a file of "good tree pictures" saved just for this purpose.

Billy has done a few new ones this week.

Both of his are from the Pinckney Refuge next door to where we are camped out. I love the moodiness of that first one.

Tonight we had a dinner worthy of a meals on wheels posting... Mesquite Grilled Tofu Steaks with Louisiana Cajun Hot Veggies and Wild Rice. Billy is on a hot sauce kick and has been buying up new ones to try out. This one was my fave so far. It's pretty hot but has a great flavor.

We are gearing up to hit the road in a few days and our next location has no internet so I may be MIA for about 5 days or so. If we can hunt down a coffee house with WIFI we will be all set...but otherwise we are deep in the woods and fighting for our very lives against the biting gnats of South Carolina.

Sun Baked Noodle Head

It’s not what is on the dinner menu for meals on wheels… Sun Baked Noodle Heads. It’s what I was yesterday. The temperature here reached up close to 90. We went to the beach. It was good. The water is still mighty “crisp” but when it is 88 degrees crisp is just the quality you are looking for in your H20. Being that it was pretty intense sun and we are still sporting our winter white skin we only stayed for about two hours. That and the fact that around 1 o’clock exactly 1 million people showed up and set there beach towels down exactly 4 inches away from ours. That causes me to grind my teeth and hallucinate about pitchforks and fire so we packed up and left.

One thing of note from our time at the beach was the rescue we performed. Billy spotted a wee green tree frog jumping like he was trying out for the froggie Olympics down the length of the beach in front of us. He quickly caught him and after a careful inspection he was A. the cutest frog I had ever seen in my life and B. had no business whatsoever being out on the hot sand AND C. was in great danger of being found and made prisoner by any number of 5 year olds in the vicinity. He could and probably WOULD have suffered the most prolonged and unkind death that day if Billy had not clapped eyes on him. So I gathered him up and walked him waaay back into the swampy marsh area where I placed him in a shady nook. I swear…he gave a “Holy Crap lady! Thanks!” look before I walked away. I mean…just imagine! It would be like if you had lost your way and suddenly found yourself in say, the middle of the Sahara in the midst of a bunch of angry, rabid camels and a huge hand suddenly descended from the sky, picked you up and set you down in Maui at the Hilton, poolside, with a fancy drink being handed over the moment you arrived. Whew! Thanks man! That was a close one!

Not sure what the day will hold for us today. We are gearing up to leave here on Thursday so we need to start packing up and cleaning up. There is laundry to be done, etc. Nothing too glamorous on the menu I am afraid. Trailer living can't be all drama and intrigue you know.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Anniversary Number 6

Today we are celebrating our 6th year together. Sometimes it feels like it has been a lot longer than that (in a good way.) We went out for breakfast and pigged out on a breakfast burrito and Billy had some sort of shrimp hash thing. Now we are down on the dock dodging bird poop under a huge tree that seems to be very popular with a bunch of noisy blackbirds. The weather here is really blowing our minds. We are supposed to be hitting the low 80's all week. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Yesterday we drove up to Beaufort which is about a 1/2 an hour North of here and right on the water. It's a cute little town. We had lunch at a little Italian place and walked around a bit. I scoured the two thrift stores there but came up empty handed. So far the South has been a total bust for vintage. What the heck do they do with that stuff down here? There must be a whole bunch of good stuff hiding out there somewhere. I snapped this shot from the truck while driving over what I think was the Beaufort River...

I love the way the water and sky sort of meld together and there is no horizon line in the center.

OK..I have literally been pooped on sitting here. These birds are a feisty bunch. I am heading back to the safety of our sunny patch at the trailer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pretty Darned Quiet

Well... I am going to go ahead and say right from the get go that nothing much happened today here. I was feeling a wee bit creepy and tired so I pretty much spent the day sacked out reading. I did manage to pull out my jewelry stuff and made one necklace. I will post a pic tomorrow.

It was an absolutely beautiful day here today. I would go so far as to say it was close to 80 degrees. This however did not lure me outside. Billy sat out in the sun reading when he was not painting. At least he soaked it up a bit.

He finished the piece from on site here at the marina. It is the best painting he has done since arriving here. The color, light, shadow and texture in it are really amazing. Click on the pic here to see it bigger and in more detail.

The only other big event of the day was dinner. We had veggie pad thai and it was mighty tasty. I added in summer squash, mushrooms, onion, garlic, carrots, lime and fresh basil. I love lime and basil together...they seem to me a perfect compliment to one another.

OK. I will unashamedly admit that I am all set you go snuggle down in the bed to watch American Idol tonight. And eat some more of that pound cake I mentioned yesterday. Thunder and Lightening indeed. It is a mean slice of cake peeps. Well worth the calorie splurge. If you are ever feeling rich and extravagant...order yourself up some from the bakery. My Mom informed me it is a tad on the pricey side to have it shipped. But that may be because each pound cake weighs in at about FIVE pounds. It's like shipping a brick.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mr. Bluebird on a Lamp Post

Pretty cute. We saw our first bluebird today and he was a very inquisitive little dude. I was able to get a few decent pics of him before he went on his merry way. I will post the other ones over on Flickr.

It was a genuinely gorgeous day if not a bit on the buggy side. Billy painted all day and I ran errands. Mostly made up errands. Nothing real or important. The errand running resulted in Muscat Gummies (one of our faves) and old school red speckleware mugs to drink our morning coffee in. I had never set foot into one of those World Market stores and it sort of blew my mind up going in there. I was tempted to buy things we definitely don't need or have room for.

Here is Billy's new painting which will be listed sometime tonight on eBay...

It's a view of Green Shell Cove which is just across Skull Creek (the marina where we are living for the moment.) The huge Live Oak tree featured is just on the edge of a tidal salt water marshland. At high tide the water would rise up nearly to the base of the tree and the grasses seen here would be nearly completely submerged. Live Oaks keep their foliage almost all year long. Around March they shed their leaves which are immediately replaced with new ones. They are fabulous, enormous trees and most all of them here are dripping with Spanish Moss. Billy caught this one with late afternoon, warm light on it. For anyone who has been viewing our Flickr pics too, this is the tree that had the voodoo amethyst crystal business going on in the sand underneath it. So as far as trees go...I think this one is a V.IP.

Today's Meals on Wheels installation will be verbal only... as we had left overs. But we did jazz it up with a fresh spinach, basil, tomato and mozz salad. I have found honest to goodness perfect, tasty tomatoes down here. Of course they cost like $5, but they have been worth it.

We had breakfast today at Signes Bakery again and bought a "Thunder and Lightening" pound cake to bring home. We probably did not really need to buy a WHOLE one...as they are said to be enough to serve TWELVE people. We have not tried it yet but I will report back on how it is.... they do mail order on all their pound cakes. So if it is to die for...anyone can get in on the action.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Meals on Wheels

Hola readers... hope everyone had a lovely Sunday. It is Sunday right? We had a low key day... Billy set up here to paint, just outside the main entrance to the park looking out on Skull Creek.

He finished this one yesterday...

It's a view out over the salt water marshland at The Pinckney Refuge. The clouds were the stars of the show that day and that is what he tried to capture in this piece.

We met a new friend today...Mary from North Carolina. She is a fellow Airstreamer staying here on HHI for a few days. She has a little Chihuahua named Too Too that pretty much knocked me dead with cuteness. We visited for awhile and Too Too fell asleep in my lap. All 3.5 pounds of her. Good stuff.

I have decided to begin a running tab as ridiculous as it may get of our "Meals on Wheels." We thought it could develop into a pretty humorous situation considering some of the bizarro stuff we eat for dinner now and again. Tonight was actually a pretty fancy affair...French herb quinoa with fresh asparagus, yellow squash, peppers, mushrooms, onions and garlic. Oh...and some of our favorite Quorn brand fake chicken "meat." Tasty.

Bet you wish you had been over for dinner right? We even used real napkins instead of paper towels for the photo. You can be sure that sooner or later, probably before the week is out, we will be eating something which will be in uncharted territory. Wow...what a thrill to look forward to right? Suspense, drama, funny dinners and near death experiences are what we are all about.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Experts and Idiots

Today we woke up to a cold front which is passing through this weekend. It's funny how quickly one can be spoiled by 70 degree days. Now it is 60 and a cold wind is blowing and I am feeling pretty tragic about it. I am greedy for the next sunny and 70 day.

Clearly Spring break is upon us. A student body has descended upon the area. Luckily we are unaffected for the most part where we are. I am sure the next trip we take to the island's beach will not be as peaceful as the last. Ah well. I need to learn some voodoo spells and erect my skull and cross bones flag above our beach towels. Or maybe file my teeth off into sharp points and get tattooed to look like an alligator? People would surely keep their distance from out area then...

Billy was forced to paint indoors today due to the wind. So far so good. It is not ideal for him obviously but he can manage OK and usually can finish a piece in a day. He worked from a photo we took out on Pinckney yesterday. I think he may set up out near the marina here tomorrow if the wind is less.

We have decided to stay on here in Hilton Head for an additional week. We were going to head back South to the Savannah area but all the RV parks are sold out down there right now. ???? No idea why beyond Spring Breakers perhaps? Anyway...it is only an hour or so to drive down there from here so we will go a day or two next week to check it out. See if we can provoke any wild animals down Georgia way. I am sure they have some big angry looking reptiles there too. Did I mention yet that some guy here told us if you want to lure a gator up on to the shore you lay out a line of marshmallows for 'em? Apparently the poofy goodness of sugar and gelatin is just irresistible to them. I will not be testing this advice to find out if it is in fact true. Although some of you may find an element of whimsy or perhaps reckless thrill in the concept of feeding Stay Puffs to alligators...I feel that activity is best left to the experts and/or idiots of the world. Although I am nearly an expert at being an idiot....

Billy has returned from visiting with a fellow painter and I am going to beg him to go for a walk with me before dark. Adios for today.

Friday, March 16, 2007

8 Mile

We are still alive...just barely. The internet has been down for three straight days here where we are staying and that alone is a near death experience for me...let alone gators and snakes. But thankfully it seems to be up and running again so I am back in the saddle here people.

We had another thrilling day today. We walked an amazing 8 miles at The Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge and saw what we think may have been a full on rabid raccoon, deer, more gators...even bigger than the last few and in much scarier settings this time. The raccoon was running straight for us in broad daylight...hopping sideways and tossing his head around like mad. It was a bit unnerving to say the least. But we managed to escape without any frothing mouth scenarios unfolding or having to behead anyone. It was about 5 miles back into the refuge when we encountered about an 8 foot gator laying at the edge of a pond. We saw each other at the exact same moment and he then slide into the pond heading in our direction disappearing under the thick pea soup surface of the water. It really is a surreal experience...for ME anyway to see something like that. I was freaked. I totally had a huge adrenaline rush...which of course is what happens to me now every time I encounter any kind of wild animal. This is all still a result of the wild pig episode from California. I am scarred for life.

Other than that Pinckney was a magical, beautiful place to visit...

You can always click on these pics to see a larger version of them as well you know. I am posting several more pics over on Flickr tonight too so check them out. Now I am off to catch the sunset!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Creepy Crawlies in the Swamp

Today was a big day. I was scared today. Granted...I get scared pretty easily....but take a look at the guy in the picture above and tell me you would not be a bit nervous creeping around on his turf. We went on a 4 mile hike through swamp land, forest and places with names like "Boggy Gut" and other green slimey stuff like that. It seemed to me we were always three feet away from the edge of water that held the potential for death or at the very least dismemberment. Snakes, too were a huge possibility...venomous ones. So...I was a bit jumpy. But it was fun and very exciting. We got a lot of cool pictures and saw stuff neither of us has ever seen before. The movie Creature From the Black Lagoon will mean so much more to me now. Because I think we were walking through his hood today.

Hilton Head gets an A+ from me so far. I dig it. We have seen dolphins, gators, dozens of bird species, lizards, turtles, giant black bumble bees flying in big heavy clouds...tons of amazing old trees and the swampy areas are just too creepy cool.

I am glad we are hanging out here for a full two weeks. There are a lot of great places to eat... we had breakfast at Signes Bakery which was really yummy. Both of us had the blueberry french toast. Lunch was at a Greek place and was also excellent and very authentic, we still have fresh baklava waiting to be devoured yet tonight. No more eating out for the rest of this week though if we can help it, too expensive and too many calories.

Billy listed a new Carmel, CA piece on eBay tonight so check it out. He met another painter today and made a date to go out painting with him later this week. The guy is a local and knows his way around the island so it should be a good opportunity.

Everything is still great with trailer life except we *think* our hot water heater is busted. I say we *think* because we really have yet to exactly figure out our whole water system. It always seems like tanks are filling up that should not be and the pump is loud and what the Hell are we doing, and how the Hell does THAT thing work? Which is why the water heater may not actually be broken...it may just be that we have no idea how to make it work. It is going to force us into an Airtsream dealership for a day to get it checked though. So that will have to happen once we head out of here.

I will leave you with one of the three hundred turtle pictures I took today. Turtles are good people...and there are tons of them around here. I will post a few more pics up on Flickr too.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Billy Paints and Feel Free to Comment

The weather cleared up enough today for Billy to set up shop out on our patio. He is working on a marsh scene from mid island Hilton Head where we walked around yesterday. We nearly killed ourselves and each other getting the trailers awning opened up from the first time. Neither of us could remember how to do it. I finally found "the book" with instructions and we figured it out with out too many more harsh words or injuries.

Last night I baked brownies in the oven which was pretty exciting. It worked. The freezer keeps stuff frozen too. Really. It still blows my mind for some reason. It seems like if you are going to live in an aluminum tube outside somewhere it is just too much to ask to have real working appliances...and pretty much every modern convenience. It's all very exciting and will continue to be so for quite awhile I think.

My only real complaint so far is that we have returned to the land of million dollar groceries. Would you like a red pepper for $4? Or perhaps a 2 by 4 inch piece of cheese for $7? Oh well...we will most likely shed the Winter pounds we both packed on in no time due to forced food rationing and an angry metabolism. We DID have one of the best pizzas I have ever consumed in my entire life the other night at The Mellow Mushroom . When in the South East be sure to indulge. We had a Mega Veggie and it was too good...and I am really a pizza snob.

Oh...and by the way people... Remember those old Bugs Bunny cartoons where they are playing up on a stage to what they think is an attentive, excited audience and then when they finish up and go to take their bow all the actors hear is a distant, chirping, lonely cricket? Well...that is what I am feeling like here on our little blog. Is there anyone out there? Helloooooo? Please...feel free to comment, say HI...anything that strikes your fancy after reading a post. It's what we are here for! I would love to know who is reading and have a bit of communication back and forth. I have set the comments so anyone can get in there. You do not have to be a blogger member to be able to post. Thankee veddy mooosh.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hilton Head is Good.

This is a quickie post...I have limited internet time tonight. We are set up on Hilton Head and it is beautiful. This place has succeeded in creating an atmosphere of total mystery. Everything is hidden in deep woods or swampy looking, mystical forests...even places like KFC and Walmart are looking like they may house zombies and/or fairies out back. If that makes any sense at all to any of you I would be quite surprised.

We spent the day driving around the island trying to find secret-y places. We did find one super old cemetary and got some really cool shots at sunset. Billy will be painting some of the landscape we shot around the area starting tomorrow too. Here's my fave shot I took in the cemetary...

The sunset light was reflecting perfectly off an old headstone and it created that gold effect.

We are supposed to get rain for the next day or so...which will trap us indoors and force us to get some real work done. I will post painting pics as soon as we have any....

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Truth, Justice and The American Way

Well people...we have officially hit the road! We peeled out of Belvidere and headed South yesterday morning. Our first big moment of big fun was an unexpected visit to Metropolis...home of Superman. It was pretty exciting for some dumb reason. I am all for big, giant statues of just about anything and Metropolis was not disappointing in that department. They also had a giant grocery guy...

Very exciting. It also afforded us the opportunity to do this...

Nothin' wrong with that. Today we are in Adairsville, GA. It has been pretty easy going so far. We spent our first night in Kentucky where a mucho friendly guy named Kenny helped us get set up because we had no idea what the Hell we were doing. We have decided to spend our first few weeks in South Carolina instead of Georgia. All I know is that this time tomorrow I will be sitting inches away from the shore of the Atlantic. It has been a looong time since we were at the beach. I may sleep right out in the sand. I may eat the sand. I am that excited to get there.

Billy will get started right away painting. It will be fun to see what inspires him in SC. I will post pics as soon as he completes his first painting there.