Change Of Plans, Per The Atlantic

Yesterday, Motor Man and I had a little ‘down time’, so we planned a quick trip to the beach to see the wild horses.

And…..the mighty Atlantic made short work of our plans.

First, here’s a picture showing what the beach is like on most of our trips:

This is what we found yesterday:

Things were a little dicey.

The tide was just too high to safely drive on the beach.  So, less than a half mile later, we decided to cancel our plans. This was on our way back off the beach.

Yes, just a little concerning. This is the backside of the sign in my third picture (above). In some spots, there was very little travel area between the dunes and the ocean.

Here’s a quick video I took of that angry ocean once we were safely off the beach. Obviously, the red flags were flying to warn folks that no swimming was allowed.


And this is that same fence on a much calmer day:

So,  no horse sightings on this quick trip.  But, we’ll return soon and, most likely, find much more favorable conditions.

~These Days Of Mine~






Poetic Thursday: The Pirate

It’s Thursday and that means it’s also time to participate in Poetic Thursday with Pam, Teddy and Angel Sammy over at Two Spoiled Cats.

To celebrate today being “Talk Like A Pirate Day”, this is the photo inspiration for today’s poem, provided by Pam and the boys last Thursday.

And here is my poem:

The Pirate
Known as a menace wherever he sails,
he’s only trouble and tough as nails.

Heartless and cruel, it’s all part of the job;
always in search of someone to rob.

No vessel’s his friend, just potential prey,
but when the storms rage, he’s as cautious as they.

So the lighthouse stands as a welcome sight,
and guides them all with its impartial light.

Come on over to Pam’s blog to read other “pirate” poems.  Aargh….

~These Days Of Mine~

Cross Country Kitty

As most of you know, my hubby, Motor Man, builds high performance engines for race cars and race boats. He was tinkering with engines even before he was in his teens.

Thankfully, I became interested in racing when I was in MY teens (several years before the two of us would meet, and probably thirty years before he and I would be together).

So the majority of our friends and acquaintances are folks we’ve met through racing.

And one of the nicest of them all is our friend, Bruce.  Bruce used to race at our local short track many years ago. When he stopped racing, he began helping various teams, many of whom have been our engine customers.

And…. like us, Bruce LOVES kitties. He always pays lots of attention to Gypsy when he’s at our shop.

For several years, Bruce has worked with a very busy race team. They’re based locally, and race not only at our local short track, but also all over the world with another division of their team.   One aspect of Bruce’s job is to drive that huge car hauler.

Last week, Bruce and the team were in Laguna Seca, California.  He posted this picture on Facebook, and wrote:  “Very interesting morning here. Heard a meowing from under my trailer. Had to crawl under and found this poor thing hiding up in the axle area.”

Of course, Bruce has no idea where, when or how the kitty came to be under the hauler…. it could have been at a rest stop?  Or there at the track? How frightening for her if she rode under the hauler for miles.

Within a day or two, this little kitty had been given the name “Axle”, and Bruce posted that she would be going home with him. Of course, I commented how wonderful it is that he rescued her. Just to show you what kinda guy Bruce is, this was his response: ” I believe God put her there for me to save her.”

AND, Rick, the owner of the team posted this: “We did some great things in Laguna Seca, but saving this kitten that hitched a ride under the hauler was the biggest win! Not sure what rest stop the momma probably put her in the axle area but she was a half dead greasy, dirty, fluff ball when Bruce heard her crying and pulled her out after arriving at the track.”

Not that they need it, but purrhaps Axle brought the team some good luck. Rick allowed me to share this picture.

Bruce and Axle are back on the road, and his their Facebook friends are being treated to photo and video updates  each day.

As Bruce wrote: “Life is much better riding in the truck instead of under the trailer.”  Miss Axle has her own little “on the road apartment”.

But,  sometimes, little kitties, like race cars “spin out”:


Thanks, Bruce,  for letting me share your pictures, and once again, I think you are a hero for saving this sweet little baby.

~These Days Of Mine~





And The Winner Is!

You may recall my blog post back in March where I announced a giveaway regarding the Corolla Wild Horse Fund 2020 calendar photo contest. The link to that post is here.

And….I am honored, once again, to have had TWO of my photos chosen for next year’s calendar.

This will be the June, 2020 photo (appropriate, since my birthday is in June):

You may also recall my post from a couple of weeks ago in which I sadly noted that the horse in the above photo was Joaquin. Joaquin was recently injured when trying to cross through a barbed wire fence and had to be euthanized because of those injuries. The 2020 calendar was already being printed at that time.

And this will be the November, 2020 photo:

So, for those of you who left a comment on my blog post choosing one of these photos, I assigned a number to your name and asked Motor Man to randomly select a number.

The winner will receive this little “prize package”, which includes a key chain, a packet of “Sandy Hooves” tea (by ‘Tea By The Sea’), the 2020 CWHF calendar,  a CWHF mug, postcard, and a black stallion magnet, all purchased at the Corolla Wild Horse Museum in Corolla, NC.

And the winner of this giveaway is: Joyce F in Kansas. I have notified Joyce by email that she is the winner.

Thank you to all my readers who participated. I’ve already started selecting possible photos for the 2021 CWHF calendar.

~These Days Of Mine~



To “Tide” Us Over

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, although the Outer Banks wasn’t hit directly by Hurricane Dorian, they still had lots of rain, strong winds and high tides. Friends of ours who live in the area have posted pictures of the roads in the 4-wheel-drive area.  Motor Man and I have decided that we will wait a while before we go back to visit.

So, I’m looking back on recent photos of “my” wild horses to pass the time until we can return.

And today, I’m featuring Raymond, the mule.  Yes, among the herd of between 75 and 100 wild horses, there’s one mule.  Raymond.  And everyone loves him.

His exact age isn’t known, but he’s been there a LONG time. Raymond’s the one on the far right.  Can you see his ears?

Here’s a close-up:

As far as everyone can tell, Raymond is a happy mule.  He’ll have a harem of mares, then lose them to a stallion, then steal another harem.  He’s quite the scrapper when it comes to fighting with those stallions. We’ve witnessed that in person.

So I suppose you could say that he blends right in with the herd.

We were happy to see photos posted of Raymond taken after the hurricane and know that he survived just fine, as did the horses.

Hang on, Raymond, we’ll be back to see you and your buddies as soon as possible.

~These Days Of Mine~


Poetic Thursday: Pedal Car

Once again this week, I’m participating in Poetic Thursday with Pam and her two “boys” over at Two Spoiled Cats.

Each Thursday, they provide a photo as inspiration and invite their readers to write a poem, based on the photo, and share it in comments on the blog post the following Thursday.

Here is today’s photo:

And here’s my poem. (The ending makes better sense if you know that my hubby (Motor Man) is a performance engine builder.)

Pedal Car

So this is a bike that looks like a car,
If you’re outta shape, you won’t get far.

And when you pedal down the street,
You get strange looks from folks you meet.

My little legs couldn’t handle the work,
though not buying gas would be a great perk.

Horsepower’s our game, ‘footpower’ is slower,
so for my ride, I’ll take a motor.

If you’d like to see “Angel Sammy’s” poem, as well as those submitted by Pam’s readers, you can visit her blog here.

~These Days Of Mine~








The Calm After The Storm

In last Friday’s post, I shared that we were preparing for whatever effects of Hurricane Dorian happened to come our way.

Thankfully, we were spared.  We only had about an inch and a half of rain,  some gusty winds Thursday night and part of Friday, and a minimal high tide. To give you an idea, you’re just seeing the top of the marsh grass in this picture; the water is usually out past the grass.  And our old boat and cedar tree survived just fine. We’ve seen MUCH worse.

Friday evening, the storm was over, and we had a gorgeous sunset.

Hardest hit by Dorian was the area including Ocracoke and Hatteras, NC. Ocracoke is about 150 miles south of us, as the crow flies, and  miles south of the Carova area, home to “my” wild horses. The Carova area got quite a bit of rainfall and some storm damage. But, thankfully, no loss of life in the Outer Banks. And the horses are fine.

As is usually the case following a storm, our weather over the weekend was beautiful.

And, once again, we went hot air balloon chasing both Saturday and Sunday mornings. (*Chasing the balloon refers to being there for the launch,  watching as much of the flight as you can, then going to the landing site {wherever that may be} to help retrieve the balloon, pilot and passengers. Some pilots use cell phones to let their crew know where they’re landing, some have two-way radios. Motor Man and I don’t drive the chase vehicle, but we usually try to help out if we’re needed.)  Saturday morning, two balloons launched from the same area at the same time.  Keeping up with two is quite a challenge. Although they launched from the same site, they didn’t land at the same location.

This gives you an idea of balloon chasing: you drive over a rise in the highway, heading in the direction you think the balloon should be….and there it is.

One of the balloons landed in Windsor Castle Park in our little town of Smithfield. A cross country team from a nearby college was at the park that morning, and cheered at the smooth landing. That’s historic Windsor Castle in the background, home of Arthur Smith, founder of Smithfield.

Sunday, there was only one balloon flight, but what a perfect morning. The pilots enjoy flying over our many tributaries. And I enjoy catching pictures of the reflections.

They flew over Smithfield Station Restaurant/Hotel/Marina. The structure in this picture is part of that establishment and is known as “The Lighthouse”. It’s a replica of The Hooper Strait Lighthouse in Maryland.

This flight took the passengers out in the country on a quiet Sunday morning.

And, once again, they enjoyed a smooth landing. After the flight, the crew,  passengers and Motor Man and I returned to Smithfield Station for brunch and to discuss their flight.

With the flooding in Carova and the condition of the roads in that area, we’re not sure when we’ll get back there to see the wild horses. So in the meantime….we’re content to chase balloons.

~These Days Of Mine~





In  our area