Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts

Handmade Hair Pins

I’m at it again. Playing with sticks. Whittling and carving. 

I have been intruiged with hair pins lately. Until a few months ago, I had no idea how women held their hair up with a hair pin. I mean, how is it possible that a single stick will hold a whole head of hair in a twisted updo? Well, obviously, easy. I was amazed when I gave it a try. I have been in favor of this type of hair pin ever since. 

Since Covid took half of my hair, I have had to be careful at how I put my hair up. I do not want to use anything that can be damaging. I stopped using stretchy bands and now only use hair pins or claw clips to keep from damaging the little bit of hair I have left. In case you missed it, you can read about my Covid hair loss HERE
After 3 months and losing 50% of my hair, It finally stopped falling out. Now it is in the regrowth phase. I use special shampoo and oil to help with the process. 

I got this fancy idea to make my own hair pins so I had my husband gather me a few sticks during his morning walk. He didn’t ask, He just knows when I gather little pieces of nature, I have a craft idea. 

I picked through them and found some that would be perfect. So the carving and sanding began.

Being a minimalist, I like to keep things simple. I do not like a lot color and I love things that come natural. Nature is full of things we can use in everyday life. I think I could seriously live in a tee pee, and eat berries for a living. Haha. 

After I carved the sticks to the size and shape I needed, I continued peeling away the bark to reveal the raw wood. Then I sanded them smooth and gave them a thin spray of clear coat. 

I gave one a burnt design with my wood burner. One has a silver painted tip and one I left alone because I thought it was just so darn cute with the “Y” shape at the top. Each one comes out different and has its own unique shape and color. 


I had to try them out and love how fun they are. (Girls, these can be used in self defense also) . They are approximately 6 inches long and made of Wonder wood (Wonder what kind it is). Haha. Seriously though, I think they are from an oak or maple tree. 

I plan to make some more and maybe even try to sell them. I’m just not sure this old fashion technique will ever be popular again. But who knows, there could be someone out there that would love to have a piece of nature to wear in their hair. 

What do you think?
Do you wear your hair up with hair pins?

The Storm

The other day it was a hot 104 degree afternoon with some clouds. I could see some dark clouds from my 3rd floor window. It was time for me to get off work so I logged out and headed home. My phone sent me an alert to let me know there were possible thunderstorms in my area. Thats a normal broadcast this time of year so I just looked a the sky and shrugged my shoulders. “It might rain later” I said to myself. 

On the way home, my husband ended up behind me as he got off work at the same time. Though he came from another direction, the time distance to our work is the same. 

We were only about a mile from the house when all of a sudden a heavy rain started pouring. It was hard to see. Then the wind got up strong and the rain began to swirl. Once we were in the neighbor hood, The wind and rain was so hard I could not see in front of me. Then the hail came down. We were almost home, we were only 4 houses away from ours. I could not see anything at this point. It was just white. I could hear leaves and limbs slapping my car as I just held the steering wheel tight and winged it to the house not knowing what was in front of me. We both pulled into the car port safely and just looked at each other. “Where did that come from?” I was thinking we needed to take cover but it seem to be dying down a little. The hail was only pea size but it looked like we had snow. 

As soon as we walked into the house at 5:30, the power cut off, the wind and rain stopped and the world was still. We walked outside to see if we could see anything. Our street was covered in leaves in limbs like a blanket. The other neighbors started coming outside and we all gathered in the street to talk about what just happened. It was a twister that came through. 

Neighbors from the street over came walking down to let us know there were several trees down on that side and they saw the twister come down the road from their window. It was crazy. Me and Nick knew then that we were actually driving through a tornado. We were lucky to have no damage.

The main road up from our house was blocked off as well as other streets. Trees were toppled and power lines were down. We were without power for 10 hours. It finally came on early that next morning. Our food in the fridge was still cold and nothing seemed ruined. People were panicking because of the power being out. I found it to be quit nice. I enjoyed the conversations with neighbors and sitting outside until late. I loved the candlelight dinner and shower, No TV and open windows. We left the windows open and went to bed. It was very dark and we could hear the frogs and cricket chirping. I loved the feeling of being in the wilderness. With the roads blocked off we did not hear the usual sound of cars rushing by. It was nice. 

Below are just a few pictures I took. I wanted to save my camera battery at the time. 

I believe God allows the big storms to come sometimes to clean up nature and to give people time to stop and be still. He is with us in the storm as well as in the light of day. 

Signs Of Autumn

It’s that time of year where the scent of falling leaves and campfires take over the air. Though I am a Summer girl, I enjoy the smell of Fall and all the vibrant colors. 

While we were out walking this morning, I had to pull out my phone to snap a few pictures of the things that screamed Autumn. I could hear the acorns hitting the roof tops of homes and cars while the squirrels scurried around to stock up on nuts for the Winter. I picked up a few to add to my fall decor.

I could not resist snapping a photo of the Magnolia pods. Magnolia trees are one of my favorite trees next to the dogwood.

There are many of these trees in my neighborhood and when they show off their white flowering blooms, I can smell a lemony aroma.

Some people use these pods to add to their Fall decorations. You can actually find these for sale in private shops. 

If you look closely, you can see a big spider web. There is a spider perfectly centered waiting on her prey as the dew drops glitter on her transparent silks.

This is when I put my camera aways and left the scene. This was way to close for comfort for me. Spiders are one of my biggest fears. I will probably have nightmares about them tonight now. 

It has rained here for the past few days and the temperatures are in the 70’s. We will head out for a walk every chance we can get between the downpours. I managed to get in my three miles while Nick continued for two more. It is always nice to see the new things nature plants for us to see as we enjoy the outdoors. 

We are really missing is the sounds of Football games and marching bands from the high school around the block. 
What are favorite things about Fall?

A Toad and a Storm

Nick went out for a walk and I decided to stay in and clean the camper a little. Well, really, I simply did not feel like putting on shoes. We hung around the camper the rest of the morning and headed out to the ocean after lunch. We decided not to take the umbrella and use our old chairs today. We could see a storm brewing in the distance and it would be easier to make a run for it if we had too. Our camper is sitting about 100 feet from the beach.

We grabbed our old chairs that had been sitting out all night and our beach bag and headed out. 
Once we got to the spot on the sand that we wanted to spend the day, we flung open our chairs and plopped them down. When I opened my chair, a big toad fell out. He looked up at me with a grumpy look on his face. I just messed up his day. 

I grabbed the little fella and took him back over the dunes to a grassy area and let him go. The anxiety of carrying a toad was high as I have not touched a toad since I was probably nine years old. Eeeek. But I knew he would not survive sitting out with us all day in the baking sun. 

As we sat on the beach we enjoyed watching the rain bands sweep across the ocean in the distance. It looked near but in reality it was miles away. People were still enjoying the water and bathing in the sun. 

The skies got darker and we could actually see the storm in the distance as the sun was still bright on the coast. It was beautiful and I love storms.

It was nice sitting on mother natures porch watching the storms pass by.  
It has rained all around us all week but never came to where we are. 

It has been so nice here that we have decided to extend or stay a couple more days. 

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? 

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!” 

Dogwood and Easter

The Dogwood tree is one of my favorite trees. We have one in the front yard and one in the back. The Dogwood trees always bloom just in time for Easter. They produce beautiful flowers to remind us of God’s promise and whoever looks upon it will never forget.

You see, there is a legend behind the Dogwood tree. The story is not biblical fact but can be used as a tool to teach us some of the meanings of Easter. 

The Dogwood tree used to stand tall, straight and strong. It is said to be the timber used to build the cross that Jesus was crucified on. This made the tree sad so God promised it would no longer grow tall or strong enough to carry the weight of anything else. This is why you never see a straight branch on a dogwood tree and the branches are weak and fragile. 

The blossoms of the Dogwood tree are white to represent purity and in the shape of a cross. The outer edges of the petals are brown or red with tiny holes. This represents the nails that were driven through Jesus hands and feet and the blood he shed. 

The Center of the flower represents the crown of thorns that was worn on Jesus head. 

Though this legend of the dogwood tree may or may not be biblically true, the story that God sent his only son to to die on the cross for you and me, is.
You can read about the crucifixion of Jesus in the books of the Bible, Matthew, Mark ,Luke and John. 

Let’s remember the true meaning of Easter.....

And then let’s eat some of those Reese’s peanutbutter eggs!

Natures Christmas

I have been feeling pretty bummed that I have not gotten to go anywhere to see magnificent Christmas lights or Christmas towns this year. I love Christmas time and want to suck up every little light, Christmas carol and excited child I come across. But I’m alone on that. I have to get my thrills from riding around neighborhoods and admiring someones creativity here and there. My husband just doesn’t get in the Christmas mood like I wish he would. It makes the season rather humbug. Things perk up around Christmas Eve though and the mood changes a little. It’s ok. Christmas is not really all about that anyway.

The other day, we headed outside to rake leaves for the 2nd time this season. I threw on my worn out (Elmer Fudd) boots and headed outside. The sun was out and the temperatures were in the 50’s. Perfect for a little fresh air and yard work. I ended up raking a pile of leaves that lined the curb at the road. The leaf sucker truck will come by in a few days and suck them away. 

As I was raking, I had to stop for a moment and admire nature. Here I am pouting about not getting to ride miles down the road to sit in traffic for hours just to see commercial Christmas lights when all I had to do was look around where I was standing. I noticed that Nature itself provides it’s own Christmas show. I began to smile and my attitude began to change. God is my favorite artist. 

I spent a few moments looking up into the pine tree that leaned over our property line. The leaves were evergreen and smell of pine filled the air as the tiny pine cones held their posture. “That’s a Christmas tree”, I uttered under my breath. 

Evergreen trees are traditionally used as Christmas trees as a symbol of undying life. 

As I worked my way across the yard, I noticed the neighbors large holly tree at the corner of our yard. This was Mr. H’s tree. He and his wife both passed away this Summer. He always kept the tree trimmed back so it was rather large and unshaped this year. It was beautiful. I did not see a flawed leave and the berries were perfectly in their place. “This was a Christmas wreath”, I thought. The berries were like lights as they glistened in the sun.  

Holly is a traditional Christmas decoration as the sharp leaves represent the crown of thorns and the berries symbolized drops of blood of Jesus. Made into a wreath it symbolizes unending life. 

Nick was out for his morning walk and came across a tree that each year is full of reachable Mistletoe. He snatched a piece and walked in the door with a big grin on his face. 

This too symbolizes “Life that does not die”. However, the story behind mistletoe is mythological and believed to have mystical powers. This is where we get the “kissing under the mistletoe” rule. I like it. 

I would have never noticed the natural beauty of Christmas around me if I were still working every single day in an office like I had for the past 26 years. Though I have been stressed about finding a new job, I try to enjoy the beauty and find the blessing of the days I have without one. 

Signs of Fall

The weather here in North Carolina is still peaking into the 80's and 90's during the days, but the mornings and evenings are dipping into the 60's and 70's. This is one of the first signs I notice of Fall.

I have also noticed that my mornings are not as bright at 7 am as they have been the past few months. I wake up with the sun, so until we move our clocks back, I will struggle getting out of bed before the sun fully rises.

Our afternoon walks are a little cooler now and before we know it, the afternoons will be too dark to get in our walk after I get home from work.

Yesterday during our power stroll through the neighborhood, Mother Nature was showing off some of her Fall accessories. This little acorn was perfect.

What's funny about this acorn is after snapping a photo of it, I threw it toward a storm drain on the side of the road. The drain was a good ways away so I did my ole Micheal Jordan, one arm throw, but instead of a point shot, It hit and knocked an empty soda can into the drain and the acorn bounced right back toward me. We got a good laugh. Nick said that could never happen again in a million years. I put the acorn in my pocket and kept walking.

On down the road I noticed these mushrooms growing in a neighbors yard. 

I always find mushrooms fun to photograph and interesting to look at. I made this quick as I do not know these neighbors and they are watching me through their window.

As we were almost home, we could smell a sweet floral aroma in the air. At first we thought someone was drying clothes. We can sometimes smell the fresh sent of fabric softener through outside vents as we pass. But there were no houses close, so I leaned over to sniff some white flowers growing in a vacant yard. “That’s it!” I said. “These flowers are what we smell”. I grabbed my phone from my waistband and asked my face book friends for a clue as to what these were called. 

After no legit answers, I turned to Google. I learned that they are called “Autumn Clematis”.
We are also seeing turning leaves fall from trees and before we know it, the sound of leaf blowers will take the place of roaring lawn mowers.

Speaking of Fall, remember the loofahs I planted in the beginning of spring? They are not doing as good as I thought they would, but I do have a few almost ready to harvest. I can't wait to give you an updated post on those toward the end of September or maybe sooner.

Beauty and The Bee

Every day as we walk, we past a home where an old man and his wife passed away and left no one to care for their now abandoned house. It has been over a year.

We shake our head in disgust as we walk around this neglected yard that corners the street. We gripe, "I would have already called the city to get this cleaned up". or "What a mess! This is ridiculous and makes the neighborhood look bad". The complaining goes on every time. I guess you can say it at least gives us a conversation.

Rounding the corner and eyeing what once was a well kept yard full of roses and mixed flowers, we noticed some life in the mix of rubble. It was a bumble bee working diligently to gather pollen from an onion flower. I left my phone at home to charge so I asked my husband to be a photographer. He pulls his phone from his waistband and steps in to the snaky brush to get a closer aim. The complaining stopped and our conversation focused on the bee the rest of the way home.

I think God throws out little reminders for us to stop looking at the negative in things and focus on the beauty. The bee didn't care what his surroundings were, he just knew he had a job to finish and all he needed was in that place.

"The flower doesn't dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes". 
                                                                                      ~Mark Nepo

Artificial Nest

As soon as my friends on Facebook caught a news story of the local Carolina Waterfowl Rescue needing help from crochet and knitters, they started sending me messages. I sort of felt special that so many people remember that I like to crochet.

As soon as I read the article from the news, I was interested. I contacted them to confirm and make sure they were still needing little nest. I know how places can get an overwhelming amount of support from caring people.

Every year I choose something to donate my talent too. I always feel like God gave me the gift of crochet, so this is my way of giving back. Once, I crocheted fifty tiny baby hats for an orphanage in Haiti. I have also donated crocheted baby hats to local hospitals for their preemies. Last year I donated a box of red hats for "Little Hats, Big Hearts". It's a charity that provides resources and raises awareness about congenital heart defects and hospitals all around give each baby born in February a little red hat to wear. Here is the post.

So I was happy to find something else to donate too. The waterfowl rescue is reaching out to crocheters and knitters to supply them with some artificial nest for tiny birds they rescue. I found some wool yarn at the dollar store and thought it was perfect for this project as it was a natural fiber and natural colors.

I am allergic to wool so I have never made anything with wool fiber but I could not resist. Fortunately, the wool did not irritate me at all while making these. The texture is cotton soft but the structure is hard and stiff. Like a rug. 

They are not made perfect and even have a few flaws, but I think that adds to the nature of the purpose. They only asked that the nest be crocheted using two strands of yarn and stitched tight so the little bird legs would not fall through the holes. I whipped these up in just a few hours and shipped them to their location. I hope they can be of use.

Looking at these make me think of little nesting bowls. Well, that's exactly what they are.

If you crochet and would like to help. Click HERE.


The rain finally let up and we have been able to enjoy the sunshine. It has been warm enough for me to slip on a pair of shorts and a tshirt before heading out for our afternoon walk. For a while I thought the tanning be was going to be the only source of rays I was going to get.

It felt good to get outside. We saw a lot of signs of Springs. There were a lot bloomers. Flowers blooming and trees budding. 
The Bradford Pear trees were the first to greet us with there stinky fragrance in the air (I call them fish trees).
I am glad I took my camera with me so I could take some photos along the way.

The Butter Cups (or Daffodils) were loud and proud and I could tell they were wanting their photo taken. 

My Camellia bushes were full bloom. These beauties bloom twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the Fall.  

I had to ask my face book friends what this plant was. I am told it is a “Hyacinth” It was hiding between some bushes in my neighbors yard. 

It was so pretty. I had to reach out and pet this one after I took a photo. It just looked fluffy and needed some attention.

I have an onion garden in my front yard.
The yellow bells (also known to me as a hickory bush) are in full bloom too.
My butterfly bush has new growth and the day lilies and Easter Lilies have broke ground. 

And to think, when you first seen the title to my post, you thought about these.

Come on, you know you did.

Whats Been Growing in My Garden

I will be the first to tell you I do not have a green thumb. I can kill a plastic plant and that's the truth.
Every Summer I try to grow something. I wish I could grow some tomatoes and cucumbers but every time I get a plant growing, something comes out of the wild and eats it. I'm not sure if its rabbits, birds or squirrels. Though I have seen some raccoons and fox around. Trying to succeed in growing any kind of plant is a struggle for me but I did manage to get a few things growing.

At the beginning of Summer one of the managers at work gave me a sunflower plant that was already about a foot tall so I stuck it in the ground and it grew a couple inches each day until it reached about 8 feet tall and made a beautiful sunflower. Now the petals have fallen off and I'm waiting for time to harvest it so I can give some seeds to my sister and save some for me to replant next year.

Knowing my luck, I will wait too long and the birds will have eaten all the seeds but so far nothing has bothered them. They need a few more days to dry.

I also purchased two egg plants this year. I chose a purple one and a white one. Something keeps eating at them but when I came home from vacation last week, I had a white egg plant!

It's not quiet ready yet. It needs to get a little bigger. I see a few buds on the purple egg plant so I hope they give me some fruit too.

And last but not least, last summer I took a seed from a lemon slice and planted it just to see if it would grow. This is how it looks so far.

I kept it inside all Winter and put it out on the patio during the Summer. It seems to be happy in the sunshine. It also smells wonderful! I'm so afraid it will wilt when I bring it in again this Winter. This is my little buddy.

That's all I have. But of course I didn't break my back or have to use any mules to get this hard work accomplished.

Flowers on a Rainy Day

We have had our share of rain here lately. I’m not going to complain though. We needed it. My favorite rains are the afternoon thunderstorms after a hot sunny day and I love hearing rain or thunder at night while I sleep. The past few days have been rainy during the time we like to do our walk. One afternoon when we saw the rain had stopped, we threw on our walking shoes and took our chances on getting our walk completed.

Just when we had only a block left to go, the rain began to fall again. We just kept walking but decided to take a short cut home. The short cut lead us over a small bridge that stretches over a ditch between our yard and the neighbors yard. This also led us to the back door instead of the front. I’m glad we came in that way because that is when I noticed my sunflower, I planted a few weeks ago, had opened into a beautiful sunshine flower.

I have been keeping an eye on it every day, but as of earlier in the afternoon, It had not opened yet. 
Despite the rain, I had to pull out my phone and snap a photo. It contrasted well with the cloudy sky. 

Once we got inside and cleaned up, we headed back out to by brother in laws house to check on things while they were out of town. He had a lot of beautiful Hydrangeas in his front yard begging for my attention. So, Nick handed me his pocket knife and I cut a few. I’m sure my brother in law wouldn’t mind. You can’t even tell I stole cut any.

I love how they look in my vintage tea can. I placed a plastic container inside the square can to hold water. 

I had a few left over and used a glass vase to put them in. I wanted the Hydrangeas while they were in this ivory color. They also have a greenish tint that the camera really reflected on. They will eventually turn blue. 

Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers but my most favorite flowers are wild Daisies. 

What are your favorite flowers? 

Broken Wings

It’s that time of year where the butterflies are nearly everywhere you go. They are very plentiful around here. You can see all sizes and colors. They are absolutely beautiful. I like to watch them feed off my butterfly bush that was given to me years ago by my neighbor Mr. H. 

On the way home from shopping on Saturday, a beautiful Canadian Tiger Swallowtail flew into our path and we unavoidably hit it with the grill of the car. I was not aware of this. When we parked the car in the carport the butterfly fell to the ground and wobbled into the grass as his wings would sway back and forth hitting the pavement from side to side. I immediately called for Nick to come see the hurt butterfly. That’s when he admitted hitting it but did not want to tell me. He did not think the butterfly had stuck to the grill and survived the ride home. 

I did not want to touch him causing him to loose anymore flying dust but I did reach down with some water on my finger. He grabbed hold around my finger for a sip but never gained trust. When I would try to lift my hand up to get a closer look, he bounced off. It never would walk onto my hand to be carried to safety. 
The butterfly would rather sit on my shoe. As you can see, he had a broken right wing and a torn edge. 

So with it sitting on my shoe, I carefully walked out to my butterfly bush and lifted him up to a floral, sweet smelling stem to rest on. I do not know if he eventually gained flight or fell to the ground and wobbled away.

I can’t help but wonder if butterfly wings heal themselves. If not, I guess this guy is a goner . 

Rain and Sand

It’s Tuesday and I am just getting around to posting about my weekend beach trip. It was a great trip for a Duck!

My husband, daughter and I took a trip to our beach camper this past weekend. We knew rain was in the forcast but plans were already set. I get a limited amount of days off from work so we have to go when we can. 
We can never really go by the weather forcast for the beach since it can be so unpredictable. It can be raining a mile off the beach and still be sunny and beautiful on the beach. 

ANY WAY....It was terrible this past weekend. Rain, rain and more rain. The camper gets very small when we are all stuck inside. Cabin fever will set in quick. We literally would stare out the windows and once the rain would stop, we would go outside and walk around. It was off and on every fifteen minutes. We finally made the decision to go for our excersise walk in the rain. It was very warm so the rain felt refreshing. We were soaked from head to toe but it was fun. Of course we could have gotten out and went shopping, but for what? We didn’t need anything nor the money to waste. We were there for the sand and sun.

While my daughter watched a little tv, me and Nick headed out for a walk on the beach during another rain break. We didn’t drive 210 miles not to get our feet wet in the ocean. However, I did more than that. I actually fell in the ocean. I wanted Nick to snap a photo me in the water. Just as he snapped the photo, a wave took my feet out from under me. He had a good laugh with that. 

One day I took my excersise walk/run on the beach. I decided not to let the misty rain keep me imprisoned. 

Later on that afternoon we got some ice cream and played a few games of skeet ball in the campground arcade.
We made it a short day and finally headed out to dinner. We visited the local winery then ended the night with at trip to the outlet malls. 

Of course the drive home was sunny.