Saharan Dust Cloud

Have you heard about the Saharan dust cloud that will be moving across the states? Dust from the Sahara Desert came through the US Gulf Coast and traveled across the Atlantic Ocean.

This happens every year but 2020 is said to be the largest. Some have even named it the Godzilla Dust Cloud. 

On our way home from dinner this past weekend, I noticed it has reached us here in North Carolina. We could see the heavy haze mask the mountain that is normally a beautiful scenery. It is only about 4 miles from here. There were no rain clouds in the sky, it was actually a clear day except for the cloud of dust.  

The cloud is harmless but could cause problems with allergy sufferers or those that have other health issues. This could also effect those suffering from the Covid virus. I also just read that it could make some people have the same feeling of symptoms related to Covid. 

Does anyone else feel like we are in a game, wondering whats in the next level?

Despite the blanket of dust, there are some optical effects. The sunsets are said to be more vivid because of the scattered dust practicals. I’m not to sure about this as the photo I took was when the sunset should have been noticeable. Maybe it will happen after the dust begins to settle in a couple days. 

Are you seeing effects of the Saharan Dust Cloud in your area? 

A Walk Down South End

My daughter was on a one week furlough with her job due to Covid-19. They are making each employee take one week off without pay. This was a scary moment for her but she took it as a little vacation and tried to enjoy it the best she could. She spent time around her pool, and took some shopping trips. 

One day during her furlough week, we went to visit her for lunch. It was a beautiful day so we took a walk around South End Charlotte. We walked the Light rail trail. This is a sidewalk that runs along each side of the light rail and it goes from one end of town to the other. There are many restaurants and shops along the trail. You will also see a lot of people jogging or walking their dogs. 

We love walking to places when we visit. We all decided to walk to a nearby place called Eight and Sand Kitchen for lunch. The menu consist of soups, salads and sandwiches. Everything is made fresh and the atmosphere is clean and relaxing. 

This place offers more healthy options so we thought it would be a great place to stop in. We each ordered a sandwich. I chose the Pistachio Pesto Caprese.

My daughter got some kind of chicken sandwich and my husband opt for the club sandwich. Everything was delicious. 

After lunch we walk about a mile to a little ice cream shop called Jeni’s Ice Cream. It’s a pretty popular place around the area. They have a variety of unique flavors. 

Just look at all those different flavor combinations! 

I got a half and half single scoop. My flavors of choice was goat cheese red cherries and caramel pecan sticky buns
They scooped it into a fresh made buttercrisp waffle cone that was still warm when they handed it to me. I had to eat my ice cream pretty quick. 

It is alway nice to get out and walk to places without having to fight traffic or find parking spaces. 
Though times are bad right now, we felt safe as everyone we passed was nice and respectful to others. 
No mask required. 

Sweet Stuff

My daughter came to stay with us this past weekend. Though she has her own little uptown studio apartment, she still likes to come home and sleep in “her room”. It was Fathers Day weekend too. When she came to the door, she was holding a cake in one hand and a pastry box in the other. 

It was Fathers Day weekend so she wanted to surprise her dad with a home made pound cake. 

This was her first time making a pound cake. She did a great job and it turned out delicious.

She could resist bringing me a little treat too. I have been wanting to try a “Cruffin” from a place near her apartment. Cruffins are croissants baked in a muffin tin and rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

This Cruffin is strawberry cheesecake flavored. It had a cream cheese and strawberry filling and topped with a strawberry. 
These things are out of this world. I may have to search how to make my own. Ya think?

We had a great Fathers Day. After my daughter spoiled her dad with cake and gifts, we headed off to church. My dad received the “Oldest Father” award this year. He had a good time accepting this award and made a couple funny comments. 

Later that afternoon we headed down to Belmont to Dad and Moms house. My brothers and sister were there and we grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. We each brought something to make this dinner complete so Mom would not have to cook. Needless to say, she did end up making a blueberry dump cake and peach pie. Gotta love the sweet stuff. 

New Work Out

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of being kept in the house. Of course we can actually go places now but we tried that this past weekend. It was no fun. I have some birthday money and a couple gift cards I wanted to spend. Some places required a mask to enter so we stayed away from those. I only wear my mask in places that I need to go, not places I want to look around for leisure. I could not buy any clothes because the dressing rooms are closed. I have to try on things before I purchase them and I hate having to return stuff. But it is what it is. Needless to say, I came home with a new yoga mat.

Why A yoga mat? Well, I have decided to start a fitness program called Body Boss Fitness. I have lost 50 lbs on the Nutrisystem diet and kept the weight off for 4 years until the past few months of not working. I have managed to gain 15 lbs and been trying to get it back off. I still do Nutrisystem but not faithfully, due to job loss, I do not have the motivation or extra money to put into in right now. So since I’ve lost the weight with diet, I am now ready to lose more weight with exercise. 
You can read my journey with Nutrisystem HERE. It really does work!

Body Boss Fitness is a 12 week program of three 25 minute intense workouts a week. 
It will take me 16 weeks because I will start by doing the 4 week “pre-training’ workouts first.
I hate making my body hurt but they say, “what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t help”.

I also needed a workout step. I was going to use the step in our sunken living room but my husband remembered seeing a workout step in the attic when we moved in this house 17 years ago. I asked him if he would go up there and see, so up to the back corner of the attic he went. He came back down and sure enough, there it was. It also included some extra 2 inch stacks. There were some cracks and it looked like something Jane Fonda would have used back in the 70’s but it will work for my routines. 

I have completed my first week of pre-training and boy am I sore. During the first week I have learned a few things.

1. My mind has not caught up with my body.
2. I can’t get up and down like I used too.
3. And who the heck invented “burpees? Satan?”

I am really devoted to complete this program and hope to lose a few pounds while also toning my abs, legs and butt. Wish me luck because, it does have a warning for anyone over 50 not to do the workouts. 

Pffhh, I’ll show them!!!

Fiber Feathers

The weather here has been unseasonably cool the past couple days with the temperatures dropping from the 90’s down into the 60’s. Put rain with that and it feels like October.
Weather like this makes me want to stay in my recliner and snuggle under my down throw. 

One day we stayed inside and watched tv all day. I got restless and wanted to crochet something but I did not have any idea what to make so I decided to craft a little instead. I like to keep my hands busy so I pulled out my basket of scrap yarn and decided to make some feathers. 

I have seen feathers like this hung on a branch and used as wall hangings. I love the boho style but I’m singled out on that. These will not be hanging in my house but I think they would look great in a teen room, or a cabin in the mountains. Just something about them have a rustic and native vibe. 

They were easy to make and did not require any sewing. Just cut and tie. You can make them as big or small as you like. They can be used to hang or simply lay them on a shelf or table for a unique decoration. 

Most of the bigger feathers I have seen like this are created with macramé. I remember my grandmother used to do a lot of macrame in the 70’s and 80’s. I have noticed around in stores that it has made a come back. Who remembers the macrame plant hangers or those crazy macrame owls hanging on the walls? As much as I love it, I have tried to stay away from purchasing the supplies to get into macrame, but I love how the yarn feathers turned out and can’t wait to make a few more.

How to create these feathers can be found HERE

Exgoose Me?

Every time I am at the campground, I will take a few pieces of stale bread or fish/duck pellets up to the lake and feed the turtles and ducks. Sometimes there will even be a set of ducks waiting on me at the camper door in the mornings. But not this time. 

Before our morning walk I headed to the lake to feed the ducks. This day, they were not hungry, turned their heads up and swam away. I was about ready to throw the bread in the trash when I seen two geese with three little baby geese coming toward me. As they approached, I got the feed ready to hand out.

They both were hissing and flapping their wings. In my animal baby voice I said, “hey little guys, do you want something to eat? Here, you can have this bread, the fellow ducks didn't want it”. They continued to hiss but would settle down long enough to take the bread from my hand. I thought they were so sweet and very friendly.

Once the bread was gone, their wings started flapping again and the hissing continued. I just walked aways as usual. I figured this was their way of begging for more or thanking me. 

Later one people would say “I can’t believe they let you get that close to them”, or “I can’t believe they didn’t hiss at you”. Uh um, well they did hiss. A lot! I thought they were being friendly and that was just what Geese do. I had no idea I was interfering in their territory. 

So Mr. and Mrs. Goose, “exgoose me!” 

Fun With A Photo Ball

A couple weeks ago I receive a photo ball as a birthday gift from my sister. I have always wanted one of these for some reason and now I have one.

A photo ball is a crystal ball that allows you to take refraction photos. The background shows within the ball creating a cool shot. It also magnifies objects. I learned that the hard way when I tried to bring it out in the full sunlight. 

I brought it with me to the beach so I could play around with it. It is actually kind of hard to master but soon I will be able to get those perfect shots. 
Until then, here are some amateur photos I took this past week. Enjoy.

Pretty cool huh? 
That all I have for today. 

We have decided to extend our stay here for a few more days. Things here in South Carolina are slowly getting back to normal. Stores are open to 80% capacity but they have shortened their hours. Some restaurants are open to 50% capacity and some are open 100%. We have sat down to both. 
Hopefully soon, things will get running again.

Jellyfish and Goose Berries

I am currently sitting in my camper on the beach waiting for the wind to die down so we can go for a little walk. The wind has been terrible today. We tried to sit out on the beach but after a few hours, we could not take it anymore. The wind was blowing so hard that we were getting sand blasted. 

We enjoy our walks. We see things, meet people and make friends. Last night we walked a mile down a side road just to get a good ice cream cone from a little ice cream shop. It was exactly one mile from the campground. 

While we have been here, we have taken several walks down the beach. I love to explore sea life and gaze at the beauty of the ocean as the sun sets. 
Speaking of sea life, we have came across a few different kinds of Jellyfish. The most common is the Cannon Ball Jellyfish which is harmless. If you walk the beaches you have seen these. 

After seeing some articles telling everyone to “beware of Man O Wars”, They have been washing up on the shore this week and have a venomous sting. They will even sting you on the sand if you get close enough. 
So. Far I have seen five. They have beautiful colors but ugly the same. 

Another Jellyfish we came across is the Blue Button Jellyfish. These will not sting but can cause skin irritation if handled too long. 
I did not attempt to find out. I thought it was pretty in a weird way too. 

I seen a lot of little blobs of clear Jelly. They are called Sea Gooseberries. These are harmless and you can pick them up. I didn’t take my chances. I found this out after I came in and did a google search. 

We are half way through our vacation. So far things are ok around here while back home seems to be in chaos with riots. I hope where you are, you are staying safe from covid and other crazy things going on in the world. 

Meanwhile, I think I’m becoming a Marine Biologist. Haha