Sunday, May 31, 2009

The 1/2 Size Garden

We got back from our Redneck Vacay around 2pm today, in time to do some things around the house that needed to be done before the work-week began. The biggest task: the garden.
First I attempted to "weed" the garden. Since I'm a "wanna-be" farmer, I just don't get how the actual farmers really keep up with their produce. I mean, last year, the grass grew higher than my produce plants! This year I am determined to make it work! So I simply re-plowed in between the rows of plants and hand-troweled some of the weeds in between the plants. I'm not sure if this is how they do it, but hopefully it will work better than last year's method (which was do nothing!)

I tilled up the ground in a short amount of time and then decided to check on the garlic. I planted it last fall and I'm anxious to see it come up. I dug up a few bulbs and saw that some were a good size, and others were not. I washed the mud off of the bigger ones and brought them onto the porch. Again, since I'm a "wanna-be," I don't really know what I'm doing! So I ran inside to check out some information on harvesting garlic on the internet. One of the first things I read is "do not wash off the mud!" Great. So I've probably ruined about 1/2 of my garlic harvest. Oh well. I've tied them up and they're hanging in the garage. We'll see what happens to them!

Then I moved over to the blueberry bushes to examine them and see what growth might have occurred over the past 3 days while we were gone. I found a hidden gem under one of the leaves- a ripened, blue, blue berry! I ran to show RNH and I split the berry in 1/2 with my teeth and gave the other part to him. It was delicious! We weren't expecting to get any fruit off the bushes this year but now I'm hopeful!!!

I also checked out the pear tree. Nothing. No fruit. Then went next door to check out the neighbor's tree. Tons. Yup, looks like I'll be "stealing" from my neighbor again this year. Let me explain: my "neighbor" to the left is actually an abandoned house where the front door looks like its caving in, and there is a car where the weeds have over-taken it. Yeah. A site for sore eyes. Oh well, they've got good pears over there, no one is using them, so I am! I'm SO anxious to try my hand at making pear jam. I can't wait!
On a non-garden note, RNH caught a 2lb sunfish and 2lb brim. We've noticed that there are a MILLION fish in the pond, but they are all small. We're hoping to introduce a bass fish from the river as a predator to the pond and keep the other species in check. We tried this last year but attempted it too late in the season. We think the 3 bass we put in there didn't make it through the winter.
I'm hoping to get RNH to help me bring his grandpa's boat back up from the swamp (we used it a lot down there during the fall to go duck hunting), and bring it back up to the pond so we can fish in the middle of it. I'm thinking thats where the big boys are! It will also make the perfect place to lay out and get a sun tan! I'm hoping to get my sister and her young girls up to the house to feed the fish in the pond, hang out in the woods and go berry picking at the local farm, unless we've got some stuff to pick too! That would be even better! We'll see!

THE Redneck Vacay

RNH and I finally decided Friday morning that we'd go camping at the beach. We loaded up the truck and 2.5 hours later, we were there. We camped at Carolina Beach State Park. Once there we picked out our campsite- #16. All of the campsites had a grill, tent pad, and picnic table with a water spicket and bathrooms (with showers) nearby. So it was pretty nice- almost like living at home!

We set up camp and changed into our bathing suits. We immediately set out for the beach. It was our first time at Carolina Beach- and let me say, I was pretty disappointed. You have to pay to park. Everywhere. No more Public Beach Accesses where you just find a good spot and enjoy the day. You have a meter to worry about. Booooo! So we put some change in the meter- whatever we had- and I set my phone alarm to go off when it was time to return to the truck. We could have stayed longer but we didn't have any more change!

Then we went to the Food Dawg (aka Food Lion) and picked up some goodies for the weekend. On the way back we saw a seafood store, so RNH just had to stop. We picked up a pound of fresh shrimp and some grouper. Once back at the site, we set up camp, started a fire and cooked our food. It was great and relaxing. We had a lil vodka to keep ourselves entertained and a good buzz going to sleep easier.

The first night was quite enjoyable except for a humongous thunderstorm that came ripping through. I was terrified and hung onto RNH for dear life. Him? Oh, he barely even noticed it and slept through it. It's good to know that our tent doesn't leak, and that RNH is a deep sleeper!

The second day we woke up and went for a hike. We checked out the intercoastal waterway, moved up to the marina, and then down through some other trails. At one point we came out into a parking lot where there were people gathering to go on a nature tour. We decided to join in because we had heard about the carnivorous plants in the area. Well, let me say this- it was AWESOME!!! We got to see the only place in the world where Venus fly traps grow in the wild! There were also pitcher plants. It was a very neat tour and we're so glad we "stumbled" across the tour!!! Totally worth the tour if you're at the park!

Venus Fly Traps- they only grow in the wild in Carolina Beach State Park!
Yellow Pitcher Plants. Very cool!

After our hiking adventure we came back, cooked lunch and left for another 1/2 day at the beach. This time we had scoped out a parking lot where we could pay $5 for the whole day. I didn't want to have to worry about feeding a meter, so we parked there. I guess this was the most popular public beach access because it was in front of the Pavilion. Now for you weirdos that hate the beach, or you damn yankees that only come here for your honeymoon or something- a Pavilion can be found at several beaches in the Carolinas. It is a place where you can eat hotdogs, funnel cakes, ice cream, play arcade games, ride fair rides, or buy one of the following items: any sort of body jewelry for one of your many body piercings, the trashiest t-shirts you wouldn't want your grandma to see you in, an alligator head, a shark in a bottle, a beach towel or chair, keychains, ugly picture frames that have the local beach's name stamped on it, or any other trashy memorabilia to help you remember the place you'd rather forget.


We walked down to the sand from the Pavilion area and saw a beach that was so crowded, we could barely find a place to sit down. Yesterday we were here and it was pretty quiet. Well- it turned out that we were about a 1/2 mile down. Oops. So instead we're stuck at this white-trash beach all day. What makes a beach, a white-trash beach you ask? Lets see...


About 75% of the people are morbidly obese- yup, that's right, you've got yourself plenty of "beached whales" to look at while you're trying to enjoy the ocean views. To make matters worse, the people usually wear the skimpiest bathing suits you can find on the market. I'm not sure where they get these suits, but they all must buy them from the same store. Most of them are drunk, despite the signs that say "Alcohol Prohibited" all over the place. I've been guilty of drinking on the beach myself, but there is a difference when you've got a bunch of people like me, and then a bunch of drunk beached whales. Ew, it is not a pretty sight! The other common denominator among these people is their mis-behaved children. The youngin's go crazy and throw sand everywhere. Its not an awww they're just too young and excited to be at the beach... because it gets worse as they get older. The older, pre-teens and wanna-be adults, hang out at the Pavilion. Most of the girls are wearing cut-off shorts and a skimpy bathing suit for their non-developed selves, and smoke cigarettes like they've been doing it all their life. They hang out in big groups and all have henna tattoos because they're so cool. And they drop the F-Bomb in front of little kids. Its all pretty amusing to watch. But then at the same time- you came to enjoy the beach, and its not easy with all of that going on!

Anyways- we had a good time at the beach despite the crowd and went back to shower for dinner. We drove about 15 minutes into Wilmington and ate at one of my favorite spots in the downtown Riverfront area, Dock Street Oyster Bar. RNH and I shared a platter for 2, clams, oysters, mussels, crab legs, shrimp, craw fish, corn and potatoes. It was DELISH! Then we walked around on the riverfront area and up and down the cobblestone streets. We got dessert at one of my favorite ice cream places- Kilwinns. They're to die for! We watched the sun set as we ate our ice cream.

I was enjoying the scenery when a pretty rough looking white lady came up to me on a bike. She asked if I'd take a picture of her and her hubby. They were celebrating their 21st anniversary. Of course I said yes. The lady's hair was a rat's nest, her face was beat red, she was wearing something that didn't match, she was riding a bike, and was drunk. Her husband pretty much fit the same description as his wife. I took the picture of them and made small talk. They were nice, but obviously a WRECK! So they left, rode their bikes down the boardwalk and got onto their MILLIONS-OF-DOLLARS YACHT. Yeah, awesome. Maybe I should have been nicer and tried to be their friends so we could get invited on their boat! Ha! I wish! Just shows... you never know who you're talking to!!!

The next morning we cleaned up camp, went into Wilmington on the way home and stopped at another favorite place of mine- Flaming Amy's Burrito Barn. Seriously some of the best burritos you've ever had! I miss being in the wilderness, so close to the ocean, and all of the good food! I wanna go on another redneck vacay soon!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Redneck Vacation

We might be going on a redneck vacay. And I might mention that it is all my idea.
I LOVE to camp. It can be camping on a 45-mile-backpacking trip, or camping in the back of a car on a weekend excursion when you don' t have enough money for a hotel, or hike-in camping, drive-in camping, I don't care. I just LOVE to rough it. This trait was not acquired through being the wife of a fabulous redneck. I think I have camped way-more times than he has. I just love the outdoors! But maybe I've been a closet redneck my whole life and never knew it.
Anyways. I'm trying to talk him into camping at the beach. We just got done with a wedding and honeymoon (no, we did not pay for them ourselves- but we DID spend lots of money), so money is short. We're both dying to go to the beach. Our overnight accommodations will be $15 per night. That is pretty cheap, and we'd be there for three days.

No, we will not be spending the week (just the weekend), we do not own a pop-out camper, we will not feel required to fly the stars and bars while we camp, we will probably not wear bandannas on our heads (possibly camo though!), we won't smoke Marlboro Reds, or blare southern rock. While we may be a redneck and redneck-in-training, we are not white trash.

The only problem with the whole idea is that its supposed to rain. We'll see what happens!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cowboy Boots

So, I'm obsessed with them. I wear them all the time- especially in the winter when they can dress up an outfit without having to wear something uncomfortable that squishes my toes together like high-heels do. Yes, I am guilty of wearing them with skirts. Just because I like it, and I can show my boots off better! I'm kinda tall, and RNH is exactly my height. I have a phobia of being taller than my man, so wearing boots kinda lets me have a little fun without being taller than him! Plus, if I need to run during an emergency, I know I can in boots. I cannot run in high heels. Now you're probably wondering what kind of emergency I'd need to run for- but just think about it. And next time you have an emergency, and you're wearing high heels- you'll get it.
Fun at social gatherings, such as Bachelorette Parties. Fun when stealing young kids bikes and crashing them!
Fun when getting kissed by someone you love! Even fun to drink out of!

Fun for tailgating before a Kenny Chesney concert!And fun for pictures at your wedding!
Great for line dancing!
The only thing about the teal boots is that I will probably never wear them again. They're cheap ones and not comfortable. I got them because they matched the colors of my wedding. I was surprised at how many people commented on them and LOVED them! They were a huge hit at the wedding!
My all-time favorite brand is Ariat. They fit my feet just right, I feel like I'm walking on clouds! My all time favorite boot is a pair of pretend snake-skin boots I had when I was younger. I'd wear them for riding horses and my mom would always make me take them off when I was inside. I hated that! I wish I had a picture of those because they were the most bad ass boots you've ever seen! And they made perfect "sledding" shoes when the driveway iced-over! I was able to ski the whole way down the driveway in my boots!
I think its 'bout time to get another pair!

The Case of the Stinging Caterpillar

This is an old story- but to me at least, a good one! It is a redneck story because of the injury and cure.


Last year, RNH and I went fishing. We do this a lot at our pond. Sometimes when we're feeling brave, we put on head-to-toe covering, the wading boots, and trek through the woods, through the swamp, and to the river on our property line. The river is usually only a "river" when hurricane rains come through, but we like to call it a river because that just sounds good! Getting to the "river" means that you have to trek through the tick and snake-infested woods, to the swamp, where you then have to trek through high swamp grasses that are snapping turtle and snake-infested, to where the swamp and river meet. There are two big trees that have a small bank, where you can sit and fish for days. Or when we drag the boat to the swamp, its good fishing too! There are tons of catfish beds and even bass!
So we felt brave. I had been sitting under those two big trees and wasn't having much luck. I decided to press my luck and go on down the river towards the solid ground where the swamp disappears into woods. As I was going down, my wading boots kept getting stuck in the mushy underground of the river. I kept loosing my balance. At one point, I almost fell into the river. But instead of falling and getting soaking wet, I grabbed for the nearest thing- a branch of an oak tree. Immediately I felt a stinging sensation and yanked my hand back. I looked at what I grabbed and found a very scary looking caterpillar, later known as a "Stinging Saddleback Caterpillar." Well the stinging sensation was so intense that I was yelling out in pain. RNH came to my rescue and I showed him the caterpillar. I made him take a picture with my camera (which I always have because I'm a picture-taking-fool!) just incase I ended up dying from this injury- he could tell medical people what happened.
The stinging sensation was SO intense that I was almost wanting to panic. I told RNH that we should head back to the house just in case. I didn't want him having to drag my limp body through the swamp and woods, and then be able to call 9-1-1. I sat down under those two trees to rest and just try and "listen" to what my body was telling me. The pain was shooting up my finger, into my hand, and gradually getting worse and worse, in my arm.


RNH, being the redneck that he is, gave me some "t'baccer" to put on my finger at the stinging site. The nicotine immediately relieved the pain right at the source, but didn't stop it from shooting up my arm. I was trying to be "tough" and not a girly-wimp, so I told him I was fine. We continued to fish and have a (sorta) good time. (I was still in much pain!)
When we got back up to the house I looked up the weird caterpillar on the Internet. I found out its name, and the fact that it has caused deaths from its stinging. Awesome- glad I tried to be "tough." Well the deaths usually come from the shock that people put themselves into because of the pain.

Basically lesson learned- watch where you're grabbing, before grabbing! And rednecks have some pretty good and odd home-remedies!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

R.N.H.

I decided from here on out, hubby will be referred to as R.N.H. (Redneck Husband). What makes him a RNH you ask? Well- where do I begin?

He loves the stars & bars and salutes them with pride (yeah... I know... THAT is redneck!), drives a big truck and swears that Chevy is best, won't go anywhere without a gun, has more guns than anything else, he'd rather be hunting or fishing than doing anything else, loves NASCAR- specifically anything dealing with "Rockin'ham" and swears that the Yankees and Liberal Californians are ruining it, he grew up in a small town in North Carolina and curses it every time we go home because all of those damn yankees that have moved down here, he knows more about the behaviors of animals and how to take their innards out than he does about books and logic, he has way too many "sayings" that I just don't get sometimes, he grew up working in the tobacco fields and swears that the tobacco juice on his hands has made him addicted to the stuff, he dips Grizzly Straight Long-Cut, loves all things Budweiser, only listens to Waylon & Willie (and the boys!) and thinks that current country music is crap, he thought we should go on a honeymoon to Myrtle Beach, owns a pair of overalls (yes, we have matching camo-overalls!), I could go on & on.
These are just a few examples. Maybe some of you would say he's just a southern country boy instead of redneck, but I live with him, and know him best. He is a redneck! In his words: "My neck is red, cause that's the way God made me."

As for me, I grew up in the biggest city in North Carolina- Charlotte. However I grew up on the outskirts of town in a horse neighborhood. Instead of having a community pool, we had community stables. I was always known as the "country girl" to all of my friends because we had a little piece of land, compared to them, who had a townhouse or just a front lawn to play on. My parents are the damn yankees that RNH talks about. They moved down in the Seventies before I was born. I had my share of times when I rejected my "country" ways- like at school. I went to an inner-city middle school and a high school (in the outskirts of town- but they bused the inner-city kids in!) where I was the minority. I played basketball and was the only white girl on the team and I tried to fit in... I even had a pair of Timberland boots... yes, I know. You'd think after RNH knew that he'd dis-own me! I'm glad I grew up the way I did because it led me to experience a lot of things and get to know people I might otherwise not have. After college I went to work where I met RNH.

On our honeymoon in Mexico, a Russian we met at the resort asked me what attracted me the most to RNH. I told him that RNH knows who he is and what he stands for and he's solid in those beliefs and won't change them for anyone. I don't want to change RNH (maybe a few of his habits!!) but not who he is. The Russian, who was married once before, said that we were lucky to have each other and not need to change for each other. The Russian had been married before and experienced this "changing" that he was talking about. RNH is steadfast in his beliefs, which is good- because I like his beliefs- they're similar to mine!

Anyways- long story short (or long!)- I met a redneck that I fell madly in love with and he has introduced me to his country ways and "dragged" me along. I'm lovin' our adventure together!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Our Wanna-Be Garden

So last year, as soon as we moved into our new house, the next door neighbor came over and tilled up our garden for us. I might mention that he was probably drunk when he did this, as we soon found out he is always drunk. Anyways... Well, we just moved in. Give us a minute to put down our boxes and THEN til up our garden please. So, he had to til it up again a month later. Well at this point, it was hotter than blue blazes here in the good ol' South, so of course we were late in planting and everything was suffering because it never rains. This garden was basically our "attempt" at being farmers. The garden was HUGE, if you don't have the right machinery to keep it up (which we don't). So the garden basically got 10 feet high... with weeds.




















At first I was beyond excited about this garden. Everything was going so well and it was producing okra like 10 inches long. And you must know that us rednecks are obsessed with okra. Well, we're not technically farmers, we just watched our parents or grandparents grow veggies. So we later find out the hard way, that okra is supposed to be picked when it is short. Otherwise it is HARD and CHEWY and GROSS. This was last year and we just figured it was a bad season or something... turns out this year we know that you have to pick it short and it won't be that way. Basically, we'd like to believe we're something else- like smart people that can be self-sufficient when it comes to gardening and veggies. We also wanted to pretend we were farmers. It didn't work out so well!

The old man that lived in our house previously, had a pretty big garden. So our neighbor tilled it up the same size, in the same area. Well the previous man also had a tractor. Now, our neighbor would let us borrow his tractor whenever we wanted, but he's always drunk. So asking him a favor turns into an hour-long conversation you didn't want to have, when you really just wanted to use it to take care of the weeds in your garden. Well, the garden grows about 10 feet high in weeds. I can't keep up with it AND the house stuff that we had going on. The hubby couldn't either. We weeded the beans and kept them going pretty well. They're about the only thing we actually ate. Eh, we got some good 'maters & cukes too. But that's about it.




So our new attempt this year is a garden about 1/2 the size of last years, with this on the menu:
okra (just picking it WAY sooner this year!)
'maters
snap beans
soy beans (they're real good if you boil 'em & salt 'em)
cucumbers
squash
jalapenos

We also have garlic and blueberries that we'll have to wait til later in the year to harvest. And I'm DYING to get at the black berry bushes. Last year I harvested about 4 cups of them, tried to make a cobbler with most of them... forgot some key ingredient (who knows what) and ruined it. It was GROSS. So this year- we're just eating berries w/ sugar on them. Now THAT is good!

We've also got pears going- I might try to do a jam this year, but we'll see if I've got time. If not, the deer love them and we LOVE to shoot at them with our .22 rifles- they BURST into a huge splatter and it smells good!

And the wild grapes are growing in the woods, but the birds beat me to them last year.

So now we've got this 1/2 size garden going. We planted earlier this year and it seems to be a good thing. We were waiting for our drunk neighbor to come over and til it up. With our schedules we pretty much NEVER see this guy- so maybe he was wanting to ask us if we wanted it tilled or not. He has his tractor out, tilled up his land, the other neighbor's land, and the field next door. But not ours. I got tired of waiting and just decided I'm gonna til this up myself! By hand. Yeah. Not a good idea. It was hot, my redneck ass was in a bathing suit top and shorts, and I'm out in the yard with a hand-tiller. Needless to say it was wonderful exercise! And I have horrible tan lines to show how long it took! I wonder if my neighbor sees it and wonder if I stole his tractor for the day without asking!?!

Well we've got a few sprouts popping up now- if I can only keep it watered and weeded this year! We'll see!

Remembering-Our-Fallen-Soldiers Weekend

Its Memorial Day weekend. While most people are out on the lake or at the pool and parks, I'm at work. Yup, working that 9-5... oh wait... I work that 7-7. Yeah, 12 hour days are awesome. Especially when you get on a "working-out-kick" (possibly because of the 6 lb weight-gain accomplished over the recent wedding week and honeymoon.... yeah... that's right, 6 lbs!!!) and decide it is a great idea to run after work. Then we add in the commute, because our redneck rear-ends can't live in cities... Whew. I get home at 8:30, eat and go to bed. Isn't eating and going to bed right away supposed to make you gain weight??? Maybe this whole idea is not such a good one!!!

Anyways- I've got Monday and Tuesday off. I've got just a few priorities- weed & water the garden, drink some wine, fish with the hubby, and hang out with friends. That sounds pretty good to me!

My friend Sarah is hosting a "Book Swap" Party in June. I've never heard of this, but you basically get a bunch of girls together and swap books to read over the summer. Then you get together again in the Fall (any excuse to get together, look cute and drink wine!!!) and get your books back! She is really going all out for this party because she wants to possibly start an event-planning business. She already does wedding flowers and knows all-things-wedding and is extremely talented in that area. I'm excited for her business because I think it will definitely be successful! So she wants me to help with the "paper" end of the party because I just got done doing a lot of paper-type stuff for my wedding (programs, invitations, etc.) I'm kind of nervous about helping her because I'm not the craftiest person in the world. We'll see what kind of creative ideas we can come up with! I'm so excited about it!

But we're gonna get together Monday to figure that stuff out and hang out afterwards. Probably grill out at their place. Her hubby was in our wedding and they've become really good friends of ours. Couple-friends are SO much fun! I absolutely love hanging out with a girlfriend, knowing that my hubby is getting to hang out with his guy friend, and we're all together having a blast. There is just something fulfilling about that. Or maybe its just that the people we hang out with are so awesome!?! Not sure- but I like it!

Tuesday we might hang out with the guy that introduced us, so that's pretty cool! We're making all of these trips to the city to hang out and be social all of a sudden. Pretty much the year before our wedding, we've been stuck doing wedding stuff, and trying to get our new house right. Now we've got plenty of time to hang out, farm, and fish. That pretty much sums up our lives right now, and we're lovin it!!!

F.A.B.L.O.U.S.

I've deleted all of our "married blogs" and the not-so-well-written blogs before it, in an attempt to make it a little more interesting to read. This blog is mainly for my friends and family to keep track of my life because I'm not the best at keeping up with people. I hope you enjoy!