BeckLee Cottage Designs

Supporting Art and the Planet

May 12, 2015
by Linda Strother
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Review of The Gateway AirbNb or what I call nightmare at Topsail Beach

So how did I happen to book a rental house in Topsail Beach/Sneads Ferry, North Carolina.? Well, it is a long story. The short story is that I put my house on the market and it sold in 2 days with a quick close while I was actually visiting the Topsail Beach area in mid April. So I decided to have an adventure and put some things in storage,sell some things and pack myself and the cat Lily into my car and head back to the beach. I found a rental on line that looked ok, it did not look new but it was reasonably cheap for a weeks stay. Well read on my friends. IMG 0998 768x1024 Nightmare At Topsail Beach IMG 0999 1 768x1024 Nightmare At Topsail Beach IMG 1010 1 768x1024 Nightmare At Topsail Beach IMG 1011 768x1024 Nightmare At Topsail Beach IMG 1036 768x1024 Nightmare At Topsail Beach IMG 1042 768x1024 Nightmare At Topsail Beach IMG 1043 768x1024 Nightmare At Topsail Beach IMG 1046 768x1024 Nightmare At Topsail Beach IMG 1048 1 768x1024 Nightmare At Topsail Beach IMG 1056 768x1024 Nightmare At Topsail Beach The first thing that comes to mind is Gateway to what? In the middle of nowhere unless you are a Marine(close to the back gate of Marine base Camp Lejune) or stationed at the Air Station. Miles from Walmart and an hour away from Wilmington. But it is only 6 miles to N. Topsail beach. When I arrived after a 6 hour drive from Asheville, I walked in to a blast of air that reeked of bleach. I had to open windows it was so strong. I was appalled at the rundown state of the home and furniture as well as the overall dirty conditions of everything. The showers, filthy, the carpet was stained and had a large area of spray paint that was covered by a small rug. The sofa and love seat were stained and smelled of human sweat.
  • Doors Front door Storm door did not lock Storm door had algae and grime inside and out. Front door mat filthy
 
  • Backdoor Did not lock I had to move the table against it to feel safe While looking out the door trying to figure out how to lock it two long black snakes crawled up into gash in the siding behind ac unit, beside the dryer venet, I think the snakes were in the dryer vent its self so I ran the dryer just to be sure and checked inside the dryer to see. My cat tried to get to the wall behind the dryer,she knew there were snakes there. And the storm named Ana was blowing off the coast and there were torrential rains and wind and the back door kept blowing open...in the middle of the night.
 
  • Kitchen Dirty stove top Fridge nice size, inside was clean outside was not No dish washer liquid No dish soap or scrubbers No instructions for any of the appliances Washer missing knobs to turn on Washer filthy Silverware and utensils in the drawer were dirty and some rusted very cheap and flimsy Cabinets grimy with greasy handprints
IMG 10511 1024x768 Nightmare At Topsail Beach IMG 10471 942x1024 Nightmare At Topsail Beach
  • Living room window dirty you could handprints all over. Front door dirty and welcome mat was a joke. Carpet stained and dirty Sofas stained and smelled of sweat so did pillows on sofa
I think there were fleas in the sofa and on the carpets I kept getting bit by something. I did not bother my cat as she has had her flea treatment. No instructions on how to use the  Cable TV ad sound system.  
  • Bathrooms Only 1 roll of toilet paper for each bathroom no extras Showers and tubs were thick with grime, faucets and shower heads caked with lime buildup. No wastebaskets in any rooms except kitchen Sinks stained and grimy Cabinets grimy with dirty handprints Towels were thin and stained Bath rugs were stained and ragged Master bath did not have a safety mat in the tub, I almost fell until I went out and bought one.
  • IMG 1027 768x1024 Nightmare At Topsail BeachMaster bedroom Mattress was so hard you could feel every spring in the bed. Closest was full of someone’s personal items
 
  • TV No instructions for tv and cable system or sound system
IMG 10571 768x1024 Nightmare At Topsail Beach
  • Positive Close enough to the beach They accepted my cat with no extra fee Water was hot Wi-Fi worked great AC was very good
I would have checked out the day after I arrived but it was graduation weekend for 3 colleges and it was Mother's day weekend. All the hotels were booked up. As soon as I could get a reservation I booked a hotel in Wilmington,cheap and an old motel but very very clean.  I sent a message to the owner about my problems with the house, she was shocked that I had a problem, she said it was an older house and it had just been painted. She also said the towels were clean, may have been clean but who wants to use skimpy stained towels. There was no mention when I reserved the house that I needed to bring my own,towels,dish liquid,toilet paper etc. It was lucky I had all of those things in my car. After contacting the host she did agree to refund the cleaning fee but seemed clueless that anyone would be upset about paying to rent a subpar rental.   I would advise you NOT to rent 2082 Highy 172, Sneads Ferry,NC a house called the Gateway.

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April 18, 2014
by Linda Strother
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Week Three of My 90 Day Challenge: Oh No Cadbury Creme Eggs!

Week Three and I am a bit behind on posting. 1.5 pounds lost this week so it is working! Easter candy is my downfall this week Cadbury chocolate Creme Eggs, Jelly beans,Peeps love them all. Empty carbs and calories that are high on the glycemic scale tend to raise blood sugar levels quickly and sometimes you may experience a rapid drop in blood sugar. If I eat something not on my diet I need to spend more time on exercise to negate the effect. Here is an article on that very topic. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/04/18/your-favorite-easter-candy-what-will-it-take-to-work-it-off/
cadbury Week Three of My 90 Day Challenge: Oh No Cadbury Creme Eggs!

Photo credit REUTERS/ALESSIA PIERDOMENICO

Technorati Tags: Asheville, diabetes, diabeticrecipes, toptentastyrecipesfordiabeticdiets

April 7, 2014
by Linda Strother
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Week Two of our 90 Day Challenge

Week two at BeckLee Cottagee  and  it seems easier to find things that are good to eat and not slip back into my old habits. I am making a conscious effort to be aware of what I am eating. Weight loss this past week about 1/2 pound so I'm not really counting. I could gain a 1/2 pound from drinking a quart of water so I'm waiting for the bigger numbers. On the good side I am finding it easier to button my jeans, so that is something. It was a busy week and I found myself under my calorie count for the day due to all the garden work I am doing.  See the picture below, I am spending hours a day digging, lugging and dragging things around the garden not to mention getting them into the car from the Home Store and unloading the car once I get home :-). Don't forget to join us on http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ Beckleecottage is my user name. Happy Days ahead!
yardpix 768x1024 Week Two of our 90 Day Challenge

Work in progress

Jumping the Gun on My 90 Day Challenge

March 30, 2014 by Linda Strother | 0 comments

If you read my blog post last week, I talked about starting a 90 day challenge to improve my health.  On March 21st, Dr. Reed my primary doctor gave me an ultimatum,three months to bring my a1c level down to less than 7.0.  My current reading is 7.2,  she offered to give me a medication that would lower it for me but I love a challenge, I can do it myself. While grocery shopping for low carb foods and dealing with conflicting emotions, I impulse shopped a large Cronut(combination of a doughnut and croissant) to soothe my nerves. simple smile Jumping the Gun on My 90 Day Challenge I could not wait until I got home but consumed my "reward" immediately as soon as loaded the shopping bags into my car. By the time I arrived at my home I felt like crap and wanted a nap. I said out loud(as you do when you live alone) "This is it, I am starting the diet tomorrow!" I decided on Saturday morning that I would begin a 90 day challenge and blog about the experience. So I am actually ahead of the game by starting to watch my diet before my challenge date of April 1st. It's not like I am new to this disease, but it seems a little harder this time to fall back into a proper eating pattern. An example of this; I love my evening cup of Chai or Earl Grey cup of tea with cream and organic brown sugar.  I switched back to stevia so instead of my blood sugar level spiking in the evening as it would with the sugar in my tea, it the readings did not spike but stayed the same and I didn't feel tired. In fact I felt alert enough to jump on my exercise bike and ride for 15 minutes. Tour de France it is not!Bradley Wiggins Mark Cavendish   2012 Tour de France 300x199 Jumping the Gun on My 90 Day Challenge One week ago I decided to set this challenge for April 1st but I jumped the gun and started last Saturday. I have tracked my daily progress on my iPad App My Fitness Pal. Be sure to add me as a friend and we can keep each other honest simple smile Jumping the Gun on My 90 Day Challenge Beckleecottage is myfitnesstpal user name. Result: 2 pound 4 ounce weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and increased energy.

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March 25, 2014
by Linda Strother
2 Comments

My 90 Day Challenge to Better Health

My 90 Day Challenge to Better Health

loss1 791x1024 My 90 Day Challenge to Better Health     I have decided to stop "wishing" about my weight and health and do something about it.  I am finished with excuses, I know people with life threatening diseases and disorders and they count each day as a triumph. I am blessed to only have a diagnoses of uncomplicated type 2 diabetes and I have the ability and tools to control the course of this disease, I have controlled it in the past but every few years I lose my resolve. After a recent check-up with my primary doctor, I was dismayed by how my A1c readings increased from my last checkup. To give you some background, many years ago I weighed over 260 pounds and promised myself after loosing down to 130 pounds that I would never be that large again, but in 1999 I found myself over 230 pounds on the brink of reaching 260 pounds again. At that time my doctor diagnosed me with Type 2 diabetes(no shocker there), high cholesterol over 310, and high blood pressure. I declined medication and took control of my life and lost 65 pounds,brought my cholesterol to below 200, blood pressure was 110/70 and my diabetes A1c test was 5.9 which is non diabetic range. It took about a year to achieve real change in my readings. Good health is a lifelong journey however I do get sidetracked and want to eat decadent foods which is okay sometimes, but a steady diet of rich high sugar foods does not bode well for my longevity. A few months ago I published a diabetic cookbook on Amazon Kindle Top Ten Tasty Recipes for Diabetic Diets, apparently I did not follow my own good advice. ;-( Putting all this on a public forum will force me to be successful, I need to succeed, I must succed. My last A1c was 7.2 the highest reading ever for me personally. I am an emotional eater, I eat when I am bored or happy and sad. I used to abuse alcohol in the same way. July 1,2014 is my first official day of retirement from my job with the State of NC at UNC-Asheville on. I am setting myself a 90 day challenge to lose 15 pounds and lower my diabetic A1c reading to below 6.5. Join me on this journey with your own 90 challenge to lose weight,quit smoking,go Vegan,learn line dancing or whatever your heart desires. Please follow the journey here and on facebook and twitter. I plan to podcast and do a video diary too. best wishes and good luck to us all BeckLee (Linda)

Technorati Tags: 90daychallenge, beckleecottagedesigns, diabetes, diabeticcookd, kindle, toptentastyrecipesfordiabeticdiets, type2

February 21, 2014
by Linda Strother
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I Don't Own a Kindle... But I Want to Read Kindle Books

Well here is your answer Kindle has a free reading App for all types of devices. Click on the link that fits your device, download the application and follow the instructions. It's very easy.

 

Kindle Cloud Reader
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Smartphones
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Computers
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Tablets
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Manni with Red Squirrel Sisters

   
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Manni's Really Big Sixth Birthday Party

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Our Cookbook on Kind

             

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