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Christmas Tree by the Sea

Posted by Jody on December 2, 2017

Here’s an oldie but goodie with a few ornaments to inspire your own holiday decorations. ~ Have a fabulous season of fun and family!

Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches

Greg and I spotted this beautiful shades-of-the-sea Christmas tree at the Hotel del Coronado in sunny Southern California.  It was tucked away near the downstairs shops by a little snack bar. I’m so glad we went exploring! This fabulous Christmas tree was chock-full of wonderful ideas for a very crafty new year!

“O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!” ♫

~ O Christmas Tree, Traditional Christmas Carol

Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a many, many happy beachy days in the New Year!

~~~

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Posted in Beach Treasure and Seashell Crafts, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Decorating With Beach Treasures, Holiday, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

Posted by Jody on November 23, 2017

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Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Holiday | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

On This Veterans Day –

Posted by Jody on November 11, 2017

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

— John F. KennedyIMG_0132

Thank you to all of our veterans!  We hope you can take some time to relax and enjoy the day.  You’ve earned it!

– From all of us at Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches.com (including Greg, who happens to be a U.S. Navy veteran)

Posted in Holiday, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Eazy-Breezy DIY Outdoor Beach House Shower! *No Plumbing Necessary!*

Posted by Greg on November 3, 2017

An outdoor shower was on the list of must-haves even before we started searching for a beach house. Not that a bungalow near the beach had to have one before we would buy it, but we planned to install one once we found the perfect seaside escape. We did eventually find our little piece of paradise and have been making it “ours” ever since. The latest step was to add the essential outdoor shower for all of those sandy feet!

completed shower ©Jody Diehl

Our new outdoor shower. Goodbye sandy feet!

After researching the existing options, which ranged from inexpensive and flimsy (and according to reviews, leaky) to extremely expensive, we decided to build one to our own design. Jody has a knack for knowing exactly what she wants and relating that to me. I have a knack for asking questions of home improvement store personnel to find the best way to accomplish her designs. The following is the result of that effort.

First of all, we had to have a stable base and mount. The inexpensive showers had a portable base but were not very stable. The expensive ones were fastened to a stable base that had probably already existed (a deck, exterior wall, or the like). We didn’t want the shower to be too close to the house foundation so our first thought was to use a freestanding 4×4 treated post. They are durable and very stable when concreted in. They are however, pretty ugly. To resolve the ugly part we decided to cover it with a vinyl post sleeve (easily found at home improvement stores). Next, we needed to make a decision on the plumbing. We chose PVC for ease of assembly, looks, and pricing. Then came the drawing phase to determine how many and what parts we would need and how to arrange the valves so that we could use either the foot shower, head shower or both. The following was our shopping list (We prefer shopping at Lowes because they honor veterans with a 10% discount).

outdoor shower parts ©Jody Diehl

Oops! We bought one too many 90° elbows.

  • 1- 10 foot 4×4 treated post
  • 1- 8 foot vinyl fence post sleeve
  • 1- Fence post sleeve cap
  • 1 bag of redi-mix concrete
  • 1- 10 foot ½ inch PVC Charlotte Pipe (thick walled for durability)
  • 2- ½ inch PVC double sleeve type globe valves
  • 1- ½ inch PVC all sleeve type T
  • 3- ½ inch PVC all sleeve type 90 degree elbows
  • 2- ½ inch PVC all sleeve type 45 degree fittings
  • 3- ½ inch sleeve to ½ inch thread PVC fittings
  • 2- shower heads (whatever you like)
  • 1- ½ inch PVC female threaded to female hose threaded fitting (Apollo makes this one and it’s in the drip irrigation section of the store)
  • Construction screws, torx head (stronger and easier with no pre-drilling necessary).
  • PVC glue and primer pack (you need both so the combined pack is easiest)
  • 1- can of white semi-gloss spray paint suitable for plastic
  • 1- bag of ½ inch galvanized strap fasteners (we used 6 straps)
  • Teflon tape
  • Concrete pavers or other footing to stand on under shower (this of course is optional)

TOOLS

  • PVC cutter or hack saw (I didn’t use a PVC cutter because they’re a bit pricy, but they will save a lot of time, give cleaner cuts and make the cut much easier. I used a hack saw.)
  • Ladder, level, shovel, powered screwdriver, measuring tape, disposable nitrile gloves for glue application, bucket for mixing concrete

Sound expensive? Minus the paint, cutter, screws and glue (all of which I already had) the total was $69.65 after tax (with my 10% veterans discount). You can see that you too can have your very own outdoor shower for well under $100.00!

First pick the spot you want to permanently install your shower. Use a shovel or post-hole digger to dig a little over a 2 foot deep hole with a sufficient diameter to allow for the concrete. The wider the hole, the more concrete you will need. (The hole I dug was about a foot across.) Place the 4×4 post in the hole and check the depth of the hole is sufficient by standing the fence sleeve next to it. The sleeve should stand 2 or 3 inches higher than the 4×4 post. Adjust as necessary.  Mix the concrete according to instructions and fill the hole around the pole at least half full while checking with a level for straightness on 2 adjacent sides. Use bracing if it won’t stand level on its own. Let the concrete sit overnight to set up.

The next day you can fill in the rest of the hole with the dirt from digging the hole. Pack it well so the surface won’t sink later. Use a ladder to place the sleeve over the post. Don’t forget to place the cap on the sleeve first! The sleeve is 5×5 and the post is 4×4, so expect slop. We dealt with that when we mounted the plumbing and will cover that when we get there.

preassembly ©Jody Diehl

Fits together like a puzzle. Just add three connectors.

Now you can start assembling the plumbing. The following measurements are for the height we chose for our top shower head (7 feet). First cut 5- 2inch pieces from your 10 foot pipe. These will be used as connectors. Then a 6 inch, a 21 inch, a 23 inch, a 32 inch, and a 5 ½ inch piece.

I put the whole apparatus together to be sure I was on the right track – and then took it apart for the gluing process.

Follow the directions for your PVC glue kit. Be very careful when you start to glue these together to make them as straight as you can as you only have seconds to adjust them. NOTE: Any twisting after a minute or so runs the risk of not sealing properly and leaking at a later time. Start by priming and gluing the ½” sleeve to ½” thread fitting to the 6” inch piece. This will be the bottom and where the garden hose fitting will go.

hose connection ©Jody Diehl

Completed bottom hose fitting.

Prime and glue a 90 degree elbow to the other end of the 6” pipe piece. Prime and glue a 2” connector to the other end of the elbow. Set aside for now. Prime and glue a 90 degree elbow to one end of the 21” piece of pipe. Now you will have enough pipe to better judge vertical straightness. To this point straightness isn’t a concern. Here after it will be. You need to decide which side of the pole you want your garden hose fitting before you move on.  Take up the first parts with the already primed connector piece and glue it to the already primed elbow from the 21” pipe. Check that it stands straight up with the first assembly flat on the floor and the bottom angles around to the side you picked. Give it a few seconds to set up. Next I assembled the foot shower stem so I would have more area to judge straightness. To do this prime and glue a ½” sleeve to ½” thread fitting to a 2” connector piece. Prime and glue the 45 degree piece to the other end. Prime and glue a 2” connector to the other end of the 45 and then the globe valve to that. Try to keep the valve handle where you’re going to finally want it (I kept ours facing up). Prime and glue a 2” connector to the other end of the valve. Screw your shower head onto the treaded end and your ready for the next step. Prime all three ports of the T connector to prepare it. NOTE: (Look carefully at the T. See how 2 ends are pass-through and one end is tie in.). Without applying glue, put the foot shower assembly into the tie-in port of the T connector. Apply the glue to the already primed 21” vertical pipe and place a pass through side of the T connector on it so the foot shower assembly is straight out. Give it a minute to set up. Remove the foot shower assembly from the T, apply glue and reinsert it making sure it faces straight down.

foot shower complete ©Jody Diehl

Completed foot shower section

Prime and glue the 23” pipe to the top of the T connector. Prime and glue the second globe valve to the other end making sure the valve handle faces the same direction as the foot showerhead. (You don’t have choices here as the pole would interfere with operation if not facing out.) Prime and glue the 32” pipe to the top of the valve. Next assemble the top showerhead assembly by priming and gluing the last ½” sleeve to ½” thread fitting to the last connector piece. Glue that to the last 45 degree fitting and that to the 5 ½” pipe. Without gluing, put the last 90 degree elbow onto the top showerhead assembly. Apply glue to the top of the 32” pipe and put the showerhead assembly elbow onto it making sure it’s straight over the foot wash. Wait a minute for that to set up then remove the overhead shower assembly from the elbow, apply glue to the pipe and reinstall it into the elbow making sure it’s facing down. Wait 5 or 10 minutes after last glue application for everything to set up.

upper shower ©Jody Diehl

Completed upper shower assembly

Now you can attach the assembly to the pole. Here is where you deal with the sleeve slop. This will depend on which side you placed the garden hose attachment. We took it to the right as you faced the pole, so we pushed the sleeve back and to the left to put the front and right sides of the sleeve tight to the faces of the 4×4 pole underneath.

Get the right fit! ©Jody Diehl

Adjust the sleeve to the pole. Be sure to raise the hose connector section off the ground before you add the straps.

You really need someone to help with this. They can hold the sleeve and the assembly for you while you screw in the clamps. *Make sure the bottom of the shower piping is a placed couple inches off the ground so you have room to attach a hose.* Center the assembly and start screwing on the clamps. Keep them close (but not too close. 2 inches is good) to the valve fittings for stability and strength. You don’t have to overdo it just place the clamps wherever you feel you need them so the piping doesn’t move when you turn valve handles or adjust shower heads. You will need to unscrew the shower heads, apply Teflon tape and reinstall them. Also use the Teflon tape when you screw the ½” tread to garden hose fitting on the bottom.

shower strapping ©Jody Diehl

Shower strapping

Now is a great time to stand back and admire your handiwork, but you’re not quite done yet. That issue I mentioned earlier about PVC usage has to be dealt with. PVC is very susceptible to UV (sunlight). To make your beautiful work last and deal with all that purple from the primer (not to mention the printing on the pipe) you need to paint it. Not the whole sleeve, just the front pipes and clamps. That is why you use the semi-gloss paint, to match the sheen on the rest of the sleeve. Tape off the valve handles first. Carefully spray paint the pipes, clamps and screw heads. Don’t try to cover everything first coat or it will drip. Put a few coats on until you’re happy with the results. Note: give the shower assembly 2 hours to fully cure before you apply water pressure. Place your pavers, or whatever you chose, for the footing. After all, there is no sense in having a muddy base for a foot shower!

foot shower ©Jody Diehl

New foot shower!

Now you are ready to enjoy your new outdoor shower!

*This tutorial is for personal use only. No permission is given to repackage these plans and/or sell this tutorial.*

Complete outdoor shower©Jody Diehl

Completed Outdoor Shower

Bring on those sandy feet, and hands, and ears, and …

 

Posted in Beach House Home Improvement, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

The Ghosts of Jekyll Island

Posted by Jody on October 28, 2017

As soon as Mary and I entered the clearing at the end of the access path to Driftwood Beach, we had an overwhelming feeling of otherworldliness. It was an eerie sensation -which took a little while to shake off- as we gazed on the haunting skeletons and sun-bleached bones and of oak and pine trees past. We had entered a forest graveyard.

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Driftwood Beach

Life (and more recently hurricanes) had gotten in the way of our usual pre-trip homework. We had expected actual driftwood -bits and pieces of wood that had washed ashore- scattered about a stretch of shoreline named Driftwood Beach, but that is certainly not what we found!

As Anthony (Tony) J. Martin, author of Life Traces of the Georgia Coast (Indiana University Press), succinctly explains in his blog post Doing Field Work on a Developed Barrier Island:

“At the north end of Jekyll, shoreline erosion has caused the beach and maritime forest to meet, and the forest is losing to the beach. This has caused the forest to become what is often nicknamed a “tree boneyard,” in which trees die and either stay upright or fall in the same spot where they once practiced their photosynthetic ways.”

 

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This scenic “cemetery” is a must-see any day of the year!  Climbing seems to be the favorite pass-time for kids, while adults sling hammocks on the gnarled branches. Stargazing is the ultimate choice for a romantic evening beneath the heavens. Driftwood Beach is likely the most explored and photographed stretch of beach on the Jekyll Island.

Off the beach, human ghost stories abound on this Golden Isle. Sightings are apparently common enough in the historic district, including the Jekyll Island Club Resort, which boasts a rich history of supernatural appearances – from a uniformed bellman performing his duties to a long gone railroad magnate who still evidently cannot begin his day without a cup of coffee and the morning newspaper. In the evening, after you’ve enjoyed a day of  beach explorations, you can join the “world famous” Jekyll Island Trolley Ghost Tour for legends and tales from beyond the grave. If you do, let us know how it goes!

JekyllIslandClubResort

Jekyll Island Club Resort

~~~~~~~~~~~

Anthony Martin: Life Traces of the Georgia Coast

Related Halloween Links:

A Halloween Tale: Beware the Excirolana kincaidi!

The Graveyard of the Pacific: The Bones of the Peter Iredale

 

Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Holiday, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Patience is a Virtue

Posted by Jody on October 23, 2017

Waiting for the waves - Bolinas, California

Waiting for the Waves – Bolinas, California

“He that can have patience can have what he will.”
― Benjamin Franklin

~~~

Posted in Monday Miscellaneous, Northern California Beaches, Surfing Beach, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fall colors at their finest!

Posted by Jody on October 20, 2017

Our white sand beaches and coastal areas are teeming with beautiful Gulf fritillary butterflies these days! ~ Just in time for their brilliant autumn-like colors to mix and match with other seasonal Southern favorites like maxed out Halloween decorations, pumpkin patches, and sweet potato pies! 

According to the University of Florida Entomology & Nematology Department:

“The Gulf fritillary occurs throughout the southern United States southward through Mexico, Central America and the West Indies to South America. In Florida, it can be found in all 67 counties. The butterfly undergoes distinct seasonal movements each year. Adults move northward in spring and form temporarily breeding colonies throughout the southeast. Individual vagrants may occasionally reach into the central U.S., but rarely into the Midwest. Starting in late summer and continuing through fall, huge numbers of adults migrate southward into peninsular Florida. Adults overwinter in frost-free portions of their range.”

Fall colors at their finest!

~~~~~~~~~

Have a great day, hopefully at the beach!

 

Butterflies and Moths of North America

Butterfly Plants and Mississippi Butterflies

Butterflies at Home

 

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Jekyll Island’s Gems

Posted by Jody on October 15, 2017

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Knobbed Whelks

Just a couple of weeks ago, soon after Tropical Storm Irma’s 6-foot storm surge wreaked havoc on Jekyll Island, I visited this “Golden Isle” for a much anticipated girl trip. A dear life-long friend and I met in the Jacksonville (JAX) airport, rented a car, and drove the easy-peasy route north to Georgia’s little island paradise. The storm had done quite a bit of damage to many of the beach crossovers and it had devastated the protective dunes, but the state owned barrier island was in the process of returning to normal and was once again open for business.

Jekyll Island after Tropical Storm Irma ©Jody Diehl

Jekyll Island after Tropical Storm Irma

Over the long weekend, when the tide was low enough to barefoot it on the sandy seashore, we spent a great deal of time walking and catching up on the spectacular beaches of Jekyll Island (Mary’s Fitbit kept track and recorded our steps at 30+ miles!). Sand dollars were easily spotted dotting the shoreline but the grand prize of beachcombing on this fabulous weekend was hands down the Knobbed Whelk, Georgia’s Official State Seashell.  They had been flung up into the rip-rap in abundance by Irma.

Beach treasures found on Jekyll Island after Tropical Storm Irma ©Jody Diehl

Beach Treasures found on Jekyll Island after Tropical Storm Irma

Our first sighting of these Jekyll Island gems happened when we spotted a family -looking very pleased indeed – coming towards us with armloads of something we couldn’t quite figure out. We just knew we had to ask! They were finding perfect Knobbed Whelk specimens hand over fist in the boulders piled along the dunes. They even happily shared some of their bounty with us! Afterwards, being on high alert to spot some of our own one-of-a-kind beach treasures, we began to see Knobbed Whelks partially buried in the sand just at the rolling surf line.

Knobbed Whelk ©Jody Diehl

Knobbed Whelk found on Jekyll Island, Georgia

The Knobbed Whelk, as Jekyll Island’s “Your Official Guide” (Fall/Winter 2017) states, “… is the state shell of both Georgia and New Jersey. These big snails are a fairly common animal found along the intertidal beaches and marshes of Jekyll Island.” It goes on to say, “Feel free to take these shells as a souvenir, but only if they’re uninhabited.” The largest one we snagged was over 5 1/2 inches in length but they can grow up to 9 inches long. Also known to more scientific minds as “Busycon Carica,” they range from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Our finds were everywhere on the color scale from light grey-brown (some being streaked with darker browns) to a very dark grey. The low knobs on the shells’ shoulders are a bit of a giveaway but an important fact in identifying a Knobbed Whelk is that the opening of the Knobbed Whelk’s shell is on the right. The Lightning Whelk, on the other hand, is a south paw!

~~~~~~~~~

Any ideas on where we should go for our next girls only weekend?

                                 We’d love to hear from you!                       

If you’d like to learn more about the Knobbed Whelk, I suggest this helpful site: Chesapeake Bay Program.

 

 

Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Posted by Jody on October 8, 2017

Just a couple days ago, we were sitting out on Beach Boulevard watching lovingly  restored Bel Airs, GTOs, and Deuce Coupes cruise by with Mississippi’s beguiling beachfront as their backdrop. Today, the Mississippi Department of Transportation is cruising the coast in clean-up mode.

Let me explain: In the olden days (We’re talking pre-Katrina here.), we understand the folks ’round here used to host hurricane parties. These days, we all hunker down and try to prepare as much as possible when the h-word is mentioned. So, although Crusin’ the Coast – billed as “America’s Largest Block Party” – took place this past week, vacationers packed up and left a bit early due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Nate. The party was over!

This year’s event featured over 8,000 registered classic cars and other vehicles. Next year’s party (September 30 – October 7th, 2018) promises to be even bigger!

Thankfully, our beautiful beaches remain intact this morning. Here, mid-coast, we only suffered minor tree damage and overblown dunes.

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So long, Nate!

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Loving Lewes Beach, Delaware

Posted by E.G.D. on August 14, 2017

Today’s featured guest writer is Audrey Dautenhahn.

LewesBeach

Photo courtesy of Audrey Dautenhahn

While I was born in the southwest, I grew up visiting various California beaches and experiencing the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. Now, I live in the northeast, and I’m getting to explore an entirely different set of seashores. Lewes Beach in Delaware is fabulous–so fabulous, in fact, that I only managed to snap a couple of photos!

LewesBeach2

Photo courtesy of Audrey Dautenhahn

Our idea to visit the shore was not original, and the beach was busy on a Saturday morning in the middle of summer, but we found a nice spot to place our umbrella. A sandbar extended out from the shoreline, and my kids could wade out several yards from shore. We enjoyed watching the Cape May Lewes Ferry make trips over to New Jersey, and wagons would pass by, offering water ice for sale. (We took them up on their offer, and it was delicious.)

This is a really nice family beach, and I know that we will return. (But first, there are more beaches to visit!)

About today’s featured guest writer:  Audrey Dautenhahn is a freelance writer and super-mom home school teacher.  She is passionate about writing urban fantasy love stories like her novel, Look and See, which was released in 2015, and she is currently working on the second book in her Acts of Valar series.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and four children.

Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Beaches of North America, Featured Guest Writer | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

 
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