Thursday, August 27, 2015


I got a complaint yesterday that I hadn't posted anything lately......sssshhh.....we're working on a surprise and I can't post about it yet.

So, here's some veg that we brought back from our mountain visit last week.

MMMMM, okra!  Duane's mom cut a great big bag for us.  It was super fresh and delicious!

And my mom gave me a spaghetti squash.  I'm lazy and just pop them in the microwave whole for about 1/2 hour.  They come out steamed and perfect.

Removed the seeds and melted some cheese on top.  Was very good flavor but not as "stringy" as you would expect.

That's it for now!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Homemade Fuses for Replica Canon

I can't believe I forgot to tell  you about the fuses for the canon!

Apparently,  black powder is difficult to we got something called Pyrodex which is a black-powder substitute.  And, even more difficult to find - are the fuses!

So, we tried to make our own!

The procedure is to  mix the gunpowder with some liquid hairspray...mix until the gunpowder is very fine and pasty.

Dip pieces of cotten yarn until saturated.  Lay out to dry.

The next morning -
Nice and dry and stiff!

The test lighting! only stayed lighted for about an inch or so.....

So, we decided to try another method....this one used the "heads" of matches.  We used pliers to break off the pink powdery tips of the matches.   Same process - using rubbing alcohol this time to make a paste.

But, in the end, neither of the "home-made" fuses worked really well with the canon. They looked great - but the flame just didn't continue down the string like in the movies!

We ended up using some fuse material that Mom and Frank gave us from some firecrackers.  That worked perfectly!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hendersonville Visit

I missed this photo from yesterday's post. While hiking in Pisgah Forest, we kept seeing these pods on the ground. I wasn't familiar with I googled them - they're Fraser Magnoila pods and are pretty much native only to the southern Appalachians!

We had a nice visit with Granny and Cordy - looking good!


And Duane helped him shoot off his "replica Civil War canon"!!

Boys like "bangs" no matter what the age!!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Trip to the mountains

We flew to Asheville for a nice visit with the folks!

But first we went to Brevard to hike a nice trail in Pisgah National Forest.

We chose the Buckhorn Gap trail -  lovely stream crossings.  

And the bonus of the Twin Falls as a little side trip.  Twin number 1.

Twin number 2!

Was discussing the stones with mica in them with Duane while we were walking....and then came across some of that lovely "peelable" mica that I remember from childhood.

And that was about it - wonderful cool walk for about 2.5 hours!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Summer yard

Not much blooming around here right now.....I haven't exactly been taking care of my flower beds this year.....

But there are still some pretty plants in the yard!

The lovely Pampas grass that we cut to a nub last winter.

The angel wings begonia that buddy Bill gave me.

The Rose of Sharon (name of the sister in Grapes of Wrath!) that mom gave me.

And my strange Japanese maple that mom gave me (from brother Eddie;s tree, I believe).  It was all red for several years.  Then I "injured" it with the weed eater.   Since then, it's been mostly green with a few red leaves.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Folding Bikes

I thought I had written about the folding bikes - but apparently not!

We keep two full-size folding bikes in the mini-van at New Bern so that we'll have bikes when we fly to the boat.

Here's how it works:

First off comes the seat - the seat-post actually holds the bike together.

Then the handle bars are turned 90 degrees.

Then the bike is just folded up.

And placed in an "engineered" plywood frame that holds them steady without any additional tiedown in the back of the mini-van.    From a ride-able bike to stowed takes about 1 minute!

And of course, we take them on the boat when we travel also.  Bulky but worth it!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tidbit from Facebook

Ashlee posted this on Facebook....I think I'll try to follow the simple advice since I'm not sure I always do!

Sunday, August 09, 2015

More biking

We normally do a 10 mile loop around Oriental.  Today, we decided to go to Minnesott Beach instead. 

That is a little over 20 miles round-trip!  The plan was that, just for fun, we would ride to the ferry station, board the short ferry, rest a little and take the ferry back to Minnesott.

Unfortunately, the ferry only runs every hour now (it used to run every 1/2 hour) the total ferry round-trip was going to be over 2 hours for us.  We decided it wasn't worth spending that much we headed back to Oriental.  A good, long ride!

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Friday, August 07, 2015

Long Bike Ride

I already put this photo up on Facebook, but I thought I'd share it here also for those of you who don't do the FB thing! Duane and I carried the bikes over to Apex to ride some more on the American Tobacco Trail. We rode for a while - thru Chatham County, then a bit of Wake County - and finally Durham County..... Duane always wants to get me to ride "just a little farther". This time, we went all the way to the I-40 overpass at Southpoint Mall. Wow that was a long way! About 25 miles round trip!

Thursday, August 06, 2015

A long walk

More hiking - this time near Sanford at a really  out-of-the-way park sponsored by the Triangle Land Conservancy. 

It's called White Pines Nature Preserve - and it's lovely!  Nice and shady for these 95+ degree days!  (Apparently, this is a "micro-environment" that allows the white pines to grow here....not their normal climate)

And, as usual, the hikes include lovely views of the adjoining river - the Rocky River!  Good relaxing exercise.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Sister's birthday shirt

Look at Teresa's Blog to see the "unveiling" of the tie-dye shirt I sent her for her birthday!



Monday, August 03, 2015

Fun weekend! Pool, family, friends and 80th birthday!

My sis and her family came by for a fun weekend....lot's of pool time up at Pat and Diane's pool. 

The lovely Miss Diane!

Pat volunteered to give some rides in his motor-glider.  First up was Eaven.

 Up, up and away!

All smiles and thumbs up on their return to the ground!

Next was sister Teresa.

Meanwhile, everyone else was finding the shady spots.

Engine off - gliding silently above!

Some sought refreshing cool water!

Others relaxed by the pool!

And there were corn hole games....which was fun in spite of the fact that Pat's corn hole boards have the eveil Blue Devil logos instead of pretty red Wolfpack ones!

Pat with the clams from Ocracoke!

Eaven relaxing in the pool.

See, lots of relaxing in the pool!

We had Bobby Q down for a short 80th birthday celebration!!  

He entertained us a while with his keyboard playing.

And for some reason,  Richard actually slept through some of the activities.....must have been a long night at the station last night!

More corn hole - Miranda and Elora.  Excellent form!

And Jackie got in on the fun too!!

And finally, Bobby Q wanted to throw a few!  Happy 80th!