Friday, August 31, 2012

“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

 - Quote from Neil Armstrong's family

I have always loved seeing the moon over the ocean and we've seen some spectacular moon rises over Virginia Beach.  I'll never forget that night in July when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.  As a kid, I found it amazing, awesome and inspiring - thanks Neil - you made me reach for the stars!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Beach Music

I picture something,
 it's beautiful
It's full of life, and it is all blue
I've seen the sunset on the beach,
It makes me feel calm
When I'm calm, I feel good
Lyrics from "The Freedom Song" by Jason Mraz
I was lucky enough to be in Raleigh NC the other night for the Jason Mraz concert.  It was at an outdoor pavillion on a sultry southern night - just perfect for listening to the breezy, happy music of Mr. Jason Mraz (Mr. A-Z himself!)  His music makes me think of balmy days at the beach, sitting on a terrace and drinking a margarita. 
The video of this song has beautiful beach images.  Listen and enjoy!   
From the Love is a Four Letter Word CD

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Taste of the Beach . . . Key Lime Pie

If I had to pick the number one menu item that reminds me of the beach, I would choose Key Lime Pie.  Whenever we go on vacation I always order Key Lime Pie at each restaurant, so I can compare different versions of this favorite coastal dessert.  (In fact, there was a time when I listed eating Key Lime Pie as one of my hobbies.) 

My favorite version is the classic original recipe that I ate many years ago when I was in Key West with Mom.  I jotted the recipe down on the back of the postcard I was carrying - as you can see, I've made this version many times.

The classic version uses a meringue topping instead of whipped cream.  And it goes without saying that a real Key Lime Pie is never green!

And here's the front of the post card - what a great little pen & ink drawing with a colorful watercolor wash.  Just looking at it makes me want to go back to Key West! 


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bringing the beach home with me - part 2

Well, I came home from the local garden center with a few pots and plants to make my own little beach landscape on my deck.  When I look out my kitchen window, I can pretend I'm at the coast!  

                                                          (see the stripes?)

I chose bright blue pots, called Sapphire Blue, to represent the ocean and placed them next to my colorful Impatiens.  The taller plant is Fountain Grass (pennisetum alopecuroides "Cassian") which looks like the sea oats that grow easily at Virginia Beach.  I can eventually plant it in the garden and it will grow 3 feet tall!  The smaller plant is Dwarf Zebra Grass (Miscanthus s. "Little Zebra").  I liked it because it looked like the varigated plants growing at Virginia Beach along the Boardwalk.  Obviously, both plants like full sun! 

Now if I could just get the smell of the ocean breeze to waft across my deck . . .  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bringing the Beach Home with Me

I am lucky to live only two hours from the beach and every time I drive home after vacation I'm so relaxed and content that I wonder how I can bring a little bit of the beach back with me.  In "My Beach Life" I will look at all the ways to bring that beach feeling home.

First up:  Beach Landscaping
Sea oats, fountain grass and varigated switch grass look stunning by the water.  Can I achieve the same effect at home?  How about flowers?  What grows best by the beach?  Hibiscus for sure; but also zinnias, asters, and marigolds.  What other elements might suggest a house at the beach?

A trip to my local garden center is in order.  I'll let you know how it goes!