Friday, April 18, 2014

Cool C-130 flyover

This morning I heard a call on the radio from the lead pilot of a group of five C-130 airplanes out of Pope Air Force Base.  They were just calling to inform the local area that they would be transitioning the airspace.  I radio'ed back to them - "you guys are welcome to do a low pass down our runway".    There response was "here we come!"

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Interesting jet tug

The Citation jet that is based at Siler City had a low battery this morning.  He needed to get close to an electrical outlet to charge it up.   Tom at Guardian had the solution - the "bug-tug"!!

He hooked up his tow-bar and bug-tug-chugged the jet over to the fuel farm where there is a power outlet!  Ya don't see that every day!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Boat weekend

Finally got back to the boat this weekend. Oh, it was lovely!   Sunrise Saturday morning.

Our plans were to go down the Intercoastal Waterway and meet up with friends in Beaufort for lunch....went over to the fuel dock in town.   But, oops, our GPS wasn't working.  Duane did some de-bugging to no avail.  So, we putzed around for a while out in the Neuse just to warm up the engine, then headed back to the marina.  There is much shallow water near Beaufort!  We just didn't want to risk going down there without a GPS!

Since Beaufort is really not that far away, we decided to drive instead!   That involves a ferry ride - always fun.

Met up with Ed and Betsy at the Beaufort Town Docks for a neat ride over to Morehead City.   Fun little scoot-about boat!

Had fun pondering exactly what they do with these barges and cranes.  (we really didn't figure it out!)

Had lunch at the Ruddy Duck in Morehead - we'd never been there.  A fun little joint!   Then it was time to head back to Oriental....Ed keeps his boat at this cool dry-dock place.  They just lift your boat up, wash it for you, then tuck it in the building until you call to say "bring it out for me".  Pretty sweet!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Good evening

Beautiful day today!   More photos when I get back to my computer!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Do-it-yourself-driveway repair

Our "tar and chip" driveway is in need of some repairs after the cold, wet winter. There are several spots on our personal driveway that need attention. Then many more out on the community drive. About 6 months ago, we had a contractor fix some areas that were cracking, but we didn't feel that they did a real good job. So, like most things, it's probably better to do it yourself if you can!!!  

Here is a spot on our drive that the tar/gravel have worn away.

I took a bucket down to the Sanford ST Wooten ashphalt plant and picked up 5 gallons of the hot tar.  A worker took my bucket and brought it back to me full, so I don't really know what that process is like - other than it's very MESSY!

We didn't get around to the repair until Sunday, so we needed to heat the tar back up to 150 degrees.

Duane used a hot water heater element and some iron pipe filled with mineral oil to make a submersible heater.  (The "tar" is pretty liquid even when cool, so this step is probably not necessary on a warm day).

The area that we are to repair "grew" after we started removing the loose stones.

A quick sprinkle of mortar mix just to add some bonding.

Then pour the tar on top and throw stones in the wet tar.  It sets up quickly.

Tamp it down flat - add some "siftings" on top just to smooth it out.

And there you have it - a nice sturdy patch!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Birthday weekend and new rear window for Buddy's BMW

Buddy and Sharon came up from Greenville so that Duane could help install a new rear window in Buddy's car.  (The old one was cracked).   It was a little more difficult than it looked. 

But after much "adjustment", they finally got it just right....

I think Buddy is pretty pleased with the results - and happy that it's over! 

And Happy 24th birthday to Richard!! We all met in Morrisville for a nice birthday dinner and a little game of "free poker"....nice to get together with everyone!

Friday, April 04, 2014

Spring is finally here! Bring out the shorts!

I wore shorts for the first time the Wednesday!  This is my version of a "selfie" since I don't have a smartphone....put on the sunglasses - beware, blinding white legs are in the vicinty!!!

My forsythia has finally bloomed - the past few years the deer have nibbled it to death.  My "deer repellent" seems to be doing a fabulous job!  Looks like a fabulous weekend coming up! 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Not a lot going on

Haha ---well, not exactly.....but the World of Karen has really been the World of the Avion lately!  A couple of new posts over there.  Check 'em out! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Duane has a trick to solve the problem of my gas cooktop cooking too hot!

You may remember, couple of months ago we replaced our old, trusty, worn-out gas cooktop. While I like the neatness of the new one with sealed burners, the lowest setting is still much too hot to "simmer" anything. My old, 17 yr old cooktop let me adjust the burner down to just a tiny, tiny flame. But now, no matter how careful I am, rice and pasta over-boil.

I've read about this problem online - apparently several years ago, manufacturers decided that it is a safety feature to NOT ALLOW tiny flames - because a breeze might blow out the tiny flame and leave you with gas flowing in your kitchen. While that's all well and good, I can manage my own appliances, thank you! Here is a burner on the lowest setting...

The trick is simple - if you don't have a gas cooktop, this might not make too much sense:

Turn the knob to the light position and light the burner.

Now turn the knob "back towards you - towards the OFF position" very, very slowly.  The igniter will eventually stop sparking and the flame will be very small!  Viola!  Perfect for simmering!  (I guess Duane understands how the thing works because he immediately knew what to do....smartypants).

Friday, March 21, 2014

Happy 98th Birthday Grandma!

March 21st is a fabulous day!  Happy Birthday to Helen Thomas Hall, my 98 year old (previously red-headed) grandma!!!

We had a very sweet little gathering to celebrate.  Only took two big blows to extinguish the candles!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Computer at the airport

Since Microsoft is going to quit supporting WindowsXP soon, I thought I'd better get a more secure computer to replace my old clunker at the airport. It's ancient, but still does the job for the most part. So, just to be safe, I got a new one. They're pretty reasonably priced these days!

But before I can use it, it had to download lots of Windows updates. I made the mistake of pushing the button - "Install Now" on the Windows pop-up message. Wow, really? A new computer needs a 137 updates? I'm still waiting an hour later!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wild Turkey!

No, not the booze!   I was getting ready to leave the house this morning and spied these tom turkeys in the yard.    They are very skittish, so I had to take the photo thru the glass door.....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Winter just won't go away!

I can't believe how chilly and wet the winter has been. 

I really want some warm air! 

This morning woke to a thin coat of ice.....

The poor daffies are all weighted down...

But, luckily, the power stayed on and no limbs came down..... I'm ready for summer, let's just skip spring!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Unsolicited praise for "imustgarden" Deer Repellent

My iris's are sprouting! This is exciting because for the past few years, I have not been able to keep the deer away from them. The deer must love the tender sprouts, because they had been nibbling the iris's down to nubs in the spring.

My buddy, Lonnie - who runs a "mulch, stone, etc. business", turned me on to this stuff - imustgarden brand deer repellent.   No chemicals - mostly egg yolks, garlic and clove oils.   You mix with water and spray on the plants that the deer love.  The oils keep in on the leaves for several rainstorms.  I'm a believer!  I bet this year, I'm going to even have a few azalea blooms!

I've included the back panel so you can read the ingredients yourself if you're interested!  Oh - it's a local product too - made in Chapel Hill!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring is nearly here

Crazy weather lately!! Forgot to post this on Friday....freezing rain and a high of 36 degrees.

Then Saturday was 70 degrees and sunny! Robert spent most of the weekend with us doing a bunch of maintenance on his car - but I completely forgot to snap a photo. I'm slipping in my old age!!

Monday, March 03, 2014

New TV

You may know that we're not big TV buffs....the only real TV we have is in the livings room.  None in the bedroom or kitchen.  We have one downstairs that was set up mainly for use when we use the treadmill (which is dusty right now....sigh). 

Our "game night" buddies wanted to watch the Duke/Carolina game the other night.  So, we set up our antiquated huge 100 pound non-digital TV.  It worked, but certainly was not ideal.

So, on this Thursday night, they surprised us with a nice, new flat screen.  A little self-serving on their part - haha - since it will only be used on game nights.....but a very nice gift!

We spent most of the day Saturday installing the hidden electrical and cables -I had to take down the top half of Grandma's hutch.....might have to get a different cabinet.  But, I think it turned out very nice!

Thursday, February 27, 2014


They're finally heralding spring!

I actually brought some in last night because the temps are getting down in the 20's and I'm afraid they may get frostbite!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

New airplane at Siler City Airport

Our friend Ed just flew his new Kodiak turboprop plane home from Phoenix. He'll be putting it to work as part of his "stable" of airplanes.

Ahhh, that new airplane smell. Don't get to experience that often (like, never!)

Towing it to it's new home - the big hangar in the background.

Friday, February 21, 2014


It was 70 degrees (and stormy!!) here today.  I thought the daffy's might bloom...almost!  Maybe tomorrow!

Thursday, February 20, 2014


My daffodil's just refuse to bloom.  It's like they're Punxsutawney Phil saying there is going to be 6 more weeks of winter.

They've looked like this for weeks now, just teasing me with their yellow deliciousness!