Friday, August 22, 2008

On my income tax 1040 it says 'Check this box if you are blind.' I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away. - Lehrer

Pretend you wake up one morning with pain in one eye. You've had issues with this one eye for years and know that it is due to long term medical issues you have been having since your teen years. The day goes on and instead of feeling better, it feels worse. You call the doctor, they check you out, and then you hear the words no one likes to hear, "I don't want to panic you, but..."

Miss Chris is having one of those days. I have been severely hypertensive for half my life (go figure!). I've been on meds on and off for about twenty years (off for the past year to detox) and have had to deal with some of the other issues that hypertension leads to...enlarged heart, kidney problems, bloating from oedema, and, of course, vision problems. I woke up with that pain in my eye this morning. I've been slowly losing my sight in my left eye for years, but today was very bad. I called the doc, got right in. I was thinking I had an eyelash stuck way up in my eyelid, or maybe there was some dust or an allergy causing a reaction. The doctor looked and uttered those words no one likes to hear. It turns out that my hypertension, which I had been so good about controlling for the past two years, had spiked with a vengeance...170/110. The pain in my eye was due to pressure, causing floaters and damage to my cornea. I get the pleasure of meeting my surgeon tomorrow bright and early.
Why am I telling you all this? It's because there are so many healthy things to do that count as a Cheap Date! This edition is all about getting out and doing things that are good for you...both body and mind! (Well, maybe not all of the entries will be healthy, but a large majority will be!) So grab your hikers, leave the makeup off for the day, and do something good for yourself! You'll be happy you did!

The call of the wild...

Sweetbriar Nature Center has (for the next few weeks only) a vivarium (a butterfly and moth house) that looks really cool! $3 per person, and photographers are welcome (reservations required and additional fees apply).View and identify (with the help of "who's who" cards) over 20 species of lepidoptera!

August 25 brings the Windward Eco Sailing Program out in Montauk. FREE. While on the site, check out other upcoming events!

The Animal Farm Petting Zoo has lots to see and do for kids of all ages. $13.50 per person.

Fire Island National Seashore at Watch Hill has lots to do! With deer, pelagic birds, and other wildlife all around, there's always something to see! Please, don't feed the animals!

That's it, walk it off...

With all sorts of parks in Suffolk County, there is always someplace to take a hike for people of all fitness levels and abilities! Many have dog runs as well!

Not into walking? Rather do something on two wheels instead of two feet? Bicycle Long Island has loads of resources for the mountain/trail bike enthusiast.

Prefer a HOG to something you have to pedal? The Long Island Motorcycle Fair is coming up September 9 at Riverhead Raceway!

Pick your own...

Many farms offer the opportunity to pick your own fruits and veggies. Now, most of you know how much I love farmstands! This is even better! And soon, it will be Miss Chris' favorite time of year...pumpkin picking!!!!

Garden of Eve and Golden Earthworm Farms are two of my must stop at sort of places! Coming soon at Garden of Eve is their annual Garlic Festival! Make a point of checking out their cooperative programs as well as something to consider for next year!

Wanna get wet?

Empire Kayaks has rentals, lessons, and tours for all levels and budgets! Check them out!

Quioxtic quaffs!

Now this one exceeds Cheap Date guidelines, but it looks AWESOME and I have to give this a try! During the day, the Atlantis Explorer Tour Boat shuttles people to and fro doing nature tours. Several evenings over the summer the tour boat goes grown-up and hosts wine and cheese tours for $25 per person!

Shinn Estate Vineyards hosts tours of their vineyard, which uses sustainable means of growning their crops and produces organic wines. $8.50 per person includes wine tasting!

While on the topic of spirits and such, I wanted to thank Paul Brown who provided me with the location of a beverage center that carries organic beers such as Samuel Smiths, Eel River, Peak, Orlio, and Wolavers. 724 Montauk Highway, Bayport. (631) 472-9808. I'm trying to talk him into writing a weekly review of seasonal beers that I will post here. Please, readers, if you see Paul around, tell him he needs to do this! Thanks! (Methinks he is on the fence about doing a column for Cheap Date...but really...who knows more about beer? Paul, I'll even get you business cards so you look official!)

BRADSTOCK! 'Nuff said! I know it doesn't meet guidelines...

Mind over matter...

And now, something I don't normally do! Thank you, Jeremy, for sending this hilarious link to me about a writing contest all about crafting the worst opening line for a novel EVER! This is a MUST READ!

Don't forget that the Long Island Maritime Museum is having its Seafood Festival fundraiser this weekend, and the Battle on the Bay will be going on as well!

Does your organization have an event that you would like the world to know about? Do you have an idea for something that should be on this blog? Email me at! Don't forget to check back often as I am constantly adding updates!

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