Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Won!!! Sea Glass Floats from Glass Float Junkie -

I don't usually win anything, guess I should enter more give-a-ways? Was so excited when I entered "Glass Float Junkie"'s contest and I actually won two sea washed glass floats!  Could not resist entering - love sea glass things, and I don't have any of these sea glass floats.  My mom found some years ago after a storm on the Washington coast, but alas, I have none.  Until now.
(picture is borrowed from Glass Float Junkie's blog - check it out - http://www.glassfloatjunkie.blogspot.com)

 I found out from my friend and fellow sea glass girl, Kamichia Kinzie, the Glass Float Junkie, that I had won just a few days before we went on vacation to Seattle. I was so nervous that they would come and I wouldn't be here to receive them. (or worse yet, the neighbors would take my box!)

Happy Girl! Tom picked up all of our mail from the Post Office and there was my little box from Kenai, Alaska. Pretty aqua-blue/green glass balls nestled inside the box, carefully wrapped in an Alaskan newspaper.....

Wanna see what was inside?

And now here's where I put them, in my big bamboo bowl on the dining room table full of
 my sea glass and shell treasures... 

Thank you Kamichia!  I love my new treasures - 

For all the scoop on authentic sea glass floats, make sure to visit Glass Float Junkie's etsy shop, she's knows everything about these little treasures - and she sells some beautiful examples gathered from her beach explorations in Alaska.   Glass Float Junkie: http://www.etsy.com/shop/GlassFloatJunkie?page=1

P.S. you can buy the aqua candle at Caron's Beach House, here's the picture, and a link: Beach House Candle.   Burns for 85 hours, and is hand-crafted with tiny non-threatened seashells.... 

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments - don't forget to visit our new Everything Coastal Style blog too! http://www.everythingcoastalstyle.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Favorite Escape - North Head Lighthouse! - Guest Feature!

Guest Post from my friend Sally Lee by the Sea...
Thanks so much for letting me feature your North Head Lighthouse story! This is one of my very favorite places to go on the Washington Coast.  Have witnessed some AWESOME storms at the Lighthouse, and down on the jetty, gigantic waves crashing against the cliffs at Cape Disappointment...

The century-old North Head Lighthouse, completed in 1898, sits atop a bluff in one of the windiest locations in the United States. Winds frequently clock at over 100 mph, guarding ships through the trecherous waters, known as the "Graveyard of the Pacific." The Lighthouse is a favorite stop for visitors and one of my favorite places in the world. This 65 foot tall conical lighthouse sits north of the mouth to the Columbia River in Southwest Washington. 

Since I live in close proximity, the Lighthouse is one of my favorite escapes, whether it be for sharing with friends and family or if I just need a break from life. A short stroll through the rainforest-like terrain provides numerous opportunities to view nature at its finest. We especially love to walk on the tiny Lighthouse Keeper's path which provides especially beautiful photo opportunities. The Lighthouse was designed by German-born engineer C.W. Leick and sits on solid basalt more than 190 feet above sea level so it provides glorious views of Oregon to the South and the Long Beach Peninsula to the North. 

Each changing season provides a new and unique experience. We trekked to the lighthouse after a freak snowstorm when the ground was covered in a lovely blanket of white.  Without a single other soul to be seen or heard from, the area was quiet, still and peaceful...even the ocean. During one of our summer visits we got caught in a fast moving rainstorm.  The storm produced fierce winds and rough seas that crashed loudly upon the rocky terrain below, however the Brown Pelicans flew around in utter delight and amusement. It was a sight that I'll soon not forget.

Before there were lighthouses on the Peninsula, ships bound for Portland and Astoria navigated their way through high waves and shifting sandbars, focusing on fluttering white flags and notched trees along the shoreline by day and flickering signal fires by night. These methods were crude at best and, despite heroic efforts, the sea offshore of the Long Beach Peninsula became known as 'The Graveyard of the Pacific'.

North Head has a neighboring lighthouse, Cape Disappointment, that is similar in shape, and painted in a unique stripe pattern so that the two can easily be recognized during daylight. This marking is called a daymark. Both lighthouses are fully functional and were taken under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939.

After the last keeper left North Head in 1961, the lonely lighthouse began to deteriorate. Luckily the Coast Guard restored the lighthouse in the mid-80s and opened it to the public under the direction of the Cape Disappointment State Park. The keeper's dwellings are nestled a half mile into the woods from the lighthouse itself, and have also been restored. Today, half of the dwellings house park personnel, but the other half and a single-family house are available for overnight stays.

If you venture to the Southwest Washington region, I highly recommend you stop by the Cape Disappointment State Park and especially the North Head Lighthouse where you'll feel like you're on top of the world.

Please make sure you stop by Marie's blog - she's got great coastal ideas too!  http://www.sallyleebythesea.blogspot.com/

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Sailing Regatta on the Columbia....

COME, hoist the sail, the fast let go!

They're seated all aboard.

Wave chases wave in easy flow:

The bay is fair and broad.

The ripples lightly tap the boat.

Loose!-Give her to the wind!

She flies ahead:-They're all afloat:

The strand is far behind.

No danger reach so fair a crew!

Thou goddess of the foam,

I'll pay thee ever worship due,

If thou wilt bring them home.

Fair ladies, fairer than the spray

The prow is dashing wide,

Soft breezes take you on your way,

Soft flow the blessed tide!

O, might I like those breezes be,

And touch that arching brow,

I'd toil for ever on the sea

Where ye are floating now.

The boat goes tilting on the waves;

The waves go tilting by;

There dips the duck;-her back she laves;

O'er head the sea-gulls fly.

Now, like the gull that darts for prey,

The little vessel stoops;

Then, rising, shoots along her way,

Like gulls in easy swoops.

-Richard Henry Dana

(pictures all copywritten and produced by Caron White - Everything Coastal)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nothing Says Summer Like A Beach Fire!

This was our view on Tuesday night, looking east towards Blake Island and West Seattle.  
What do you think?  
Not too bad?  Roaring flames, high-tide waves lapping at the bulkhead, 
sailboats coming in to tie up after a day of cruising Puget Sound, 
an occasional salmon jumping...

Hot sun setting behind the Olympic Mountains while
 sand pipers call out to each other, barely skimming the top of the water
 feasting on early evening summer critters (bugs!).... 

Great night to sit in lawn chairs close to the fire, while 
breathing in salt air and driftwood smoke. 
Holding hands and sipping red wine out of coffee cups 
with our fingers sticky from burnt-blackened marshmallows, 
crumbling graham crackers, melted Hershey's bars.  

I would say, just about perfect...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Crab Lasagna - Delish!

Step One: Find some wily rock crabs on the beach.  Take a big bucket and a rake. Wear your beach shoes, prepare to get muddy and wet.  (that's half the fun!)  The crabs hide down in the mud underneath the big rocks and seaweed. It takes a little skill  with the rake (or the rake handle) to find them. My dad is an expert crab "hunter"!  Alex and Tom didn't do too bad, I even found 2 all on my own....

Step Two: Cook them in the pot.  Water should be boiling, and crabs need to cook for 15 minutes.  Best tasting (we think) if you cook them in salt water.  Ours were still hanging on to the seaweed from the beach!

Step Three: Cool the crabs in clean fresh water, then lay them out to drip dry.  I love the barnacle hat that this one is wearing!

Step Four: Crack and clean the crabs. A lot of messy work, but so worth it for fresh crab.  We have to watch my mom, she puts more in her mouth than in the bowl.  Because these rock crabs came off of my parents beach, the price was exactly right too! FREE

Step Five: Make the Lasagna!

Lasagna Noodles - cook and drain
Fresh Crab Meat (bay shrimp would be good too!)
Mix together:
1 can cream of shrimp or mushroom soup
1 package of cream cheese
1 pt. small or curd cottage cheese (or ricotta)
1 egg
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper (or lemon pepper)

3-4 sliced tomatoes
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Simply layer noodles, cheese mixture, crab in a 9" x 13" pan. Repeat layering until the pan is full. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then take out and layer tomotoes on top, with cheddar cheese on top of the tomatoes.  Bake for another 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Serve with some crunchy french bread and a ceasar salad and voila' - Gourmet Dinner!

Monday, July 12, 2010

California Coastal Scenes.....

Happy Monday! Hope you enjoy my first experiment with some of my favorite California beach walk photos - hope you also like a little Jimmy Buffett!  Video is full of some of my favorite shells, coastal spring flowers, sea life and my favorite places to explore.....


Monday, July 5, 2010

Marine Mammal Center - Sausalito, Marin Headlands

Fans of Coastal Living Magazine may recognize the Marine Mammal Center here in California, just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge in the Marin Headlands.  Coastal Living regularly "adopts" a sea lion, as part of the MMC's  Adopt-a-Seal program.

You might have noticed in the July/August issue of the magazine, Coastal Living has adopted "Arrow" - with a face just too cute for words!

The Adopt-a-Seal program is a wonderful way that you can help!  For only a minimum of  $30.00 you can adopt one of MMC's former patients, helping to feed and care for the current patients. With your donation, you will receive a ready-to-frame photo of your adoptee, a biography of "your" seal, (or sea lion), a personalized certificate of adoption and the center's e-newsletter.  Believe me, these seal patients eat a ton of food, and so many of them need a lot of rehabilitation care! Your donation goes to a very worthy cause.

I've been out the center twice since I've been here, as they are one of the causes' that our little company supports, (see our page - "Caron's Causes") currently staffed by 45 paid employees, but over 800 volunteers. When I was there last week, MMC had just released 24 animals back into the wild - awesome work!  The volunteer at the front desk has been with the center for 26 years, she has seen quite a few patients come and go over the years. Becky told me that this summer they were seeing more injured, ill and malnourished patients than the center  usually does. Not good news.... When I was here in January, there were very few patients in the hospital, this time, the pens were full of elephant seals, California Sea Lions, harbor seals, and a rare fur seal.

Volunteers are the backbone of the centers' work, helping with everything from rescue operations, education programs, feeding and caring the patients to working in the gift shop (raising much needed funds!)

The Marine Mammal Center even has a program for students, aged 14-18 to volunteer - what a great idea! The program gives kids an opportunity to help in the hospital and also as education docents.

I think I might try this, don't need to be an expert about marine mammals, they will teach me everything I need to know.  Not sure that I would be brave enough to get into the pens with the animals, but I could certainly try!  (these volunteers are trying to prevent a few escape artists from roaming the hospital!) Maybe I should volunteer to work in the gift shop?

Education is also an essential piece to what the Marine Mammal Center offers to visitors. Their program engages over 30,000 people a year!  The center has several programs for local schools, including the "Whale" Bus bringing outreach right to the schools, using hands-on techniques for students. (dang - why didn't I go to school here??)

"The Center's marine science instructors teach about the importance of marine mammals, the health of the marine environment, and how to become stewards of our oceans. "

This life-like Elephant Seal greets visitors as you wander through the courtyard back to the 
viewing areas for the hospital pens.  He's enormous!

Malnourished elephant seal - don't worry, I am sure that he/she will be just fine and released soon!

I think this California Sea Lion was feeling much better as he/she was doing a lot of barking that afternoon!

More elephants seals...

If you live anywhere close, I recommend that you take a drive out to the center - they are open every day for visitors.  If you can't visit - there is always their fabulous website  - http://www.marinemammalcenter.org. Make sure you stop in the gift shop, every little bit helps!

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