Thursday, March 26, 2015


Ok, after yesterday's yucky airplane post, I thought I'd put some pretty flower photos up!

My camellia is blooming....this bush is finicky.  Sometimes it makes dozens of beautiful buds, only to have them turn brown and drop off.  I didn't do anything different to make them bloom this time.....

My earliest daffodils are fading away now.  They did stay pretty for a long time this year!

But I have two more areas with daffodils of different varieties.

They bloom later for some reason - this is a pretty "frilly" daffodil.  Everything is weighted down a bit with an overnight rainstorm.

And these are in a different area - they bloom late and have a much more colorful "cup".  Not sure why I have different varieties.  I don't actually remember planting different ones!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Big oopsie at the airport

There was a accident at the airport yesterday - no one was injured!

The pilot forgot to put the landing gear down.  So, as the airplane skidded to a stop, a spark caught the plane on fire.  The pilot jumped out and was safely away before the fire really took off.

Pitiful looking!

The Fire Department did a great job!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Trip planning

I'm really getting enthused about planning our upcoming sailing trip to the Bahamas. 

I printed out the nautical charts for the Exuma chain of islands because it's hard to get your bearings looking at just a piece of the turned out to be a bigger enterprise than I had expected.

Plus,  I don't have a table big enough to put the whole thing on!!!  So, I tacked up on the guest room wall!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sailing post

In case you haven't looked lately, there's a new post over at the Sailing Blog

Monday, March 09, 2015

Rotary Club

One of the Asheboro engineering department guys asked me if I would speak at the Rotary Club......

It's been several years since I've done I said I would.

They serve a great lunch!!

Duane helped me put together a great power-point presentation.  I got there early to make sure the projector was set up correctly for my computer.

Big room - nerve-wracking!

I didn't screw up too bad....I'm not the greatest public speaker!  But, everyone seemed to stay awake through the presentation and there were several good questions  asked afterwards.  Glad it's done!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Thai meal using powdered coconut milk

I had a hankering for some spicy Thai food.....

So I chopped up a bunch of veggies I had on hand and did my usual sauce....

Peanut butter
Soy sauce
Rice vinegar
Red peppers
Coconut milk

What's not to like about that???

I also roasted some tofu chunks - sprinkled with more soy sauce and spices (garlic, basil, onion powder)

But the coolest thing was my new-found favorite way to have coconut milk!  I was shopping at the Asian market in Durham and saw that they had powdered coconut milk!  If you cook with coconut milk much, you know that often the recipe doesn't call for the entire, hugely caloric can.....this way you can measure out the correct amount.  It is amazing - the powder easily dissolves and it exactly the same rich consistency as the canned variety.  The rest went a baggie for later use.  (The little tin cost 99 cents!)

Monday, March 02, 2015

Finally we're being teased with spring!

You know those daffies I talked about in January????

Well, it's March and they're just now brave enough to open up!  They're sortof I think the crazy cold temps has affected their beauty this year. 

The ice is finally melting....mostly gone now.  I noticed movement out the front door today and nabbed a photo of this big wild tom turkey.  He hung around a long time, pecking at the ground.  I wish he had shown his tailfeathers! 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Vegan Doggie Treats

I found this cute bone-shaped cookie cutter.  I thought I'd make a few doggie treats for some of my doggie-friendly folks!

I chose a vegan recipe to make everyone happy.   This was really easy.  Hope the dogs like them!

Just a few ingredients.  

Mix and roll out just like sugar cookies.  See the little bone shaped cutter?  Cute.

Ready for the oven.  (I love my new oven!)

All done.  I haven't baked much in my new oven yet.  I think it must run a little maybe 325 degrees would have kept these from browning a bit too much.  Oh well, we'll have to ask the dogs if they mind the extra crispiness! 

I actually tasted one - they are pretty good!  Kindof like a hearty cracker.  Fun!

Vegan Doggie Treats

1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
2/3 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup parsley flakes (for good doggie breath)
1 banana
3 teaspoons flax seed

Mix flax seed with water to create egg consistancy
Mix with all other ingredients and water until the dough is like "people cookie dough"
Roll out on floured surface to desired thickness
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown

Friday, February 27, 2015

Card Night

I was sneaky....and snapped a picture from the top of the stairs of the card game in progress.....shhh....they don't like photographs!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

File Cabinet Refurb

OK, I'm not going to fuss and whine about the current forecast of 4-8" of snow tonight.......

We needed an extra file cabinet at Asheboro.  But I really hate the cheap one I got years ago at Staples.  It's just too flimsy.  So, I stopped by our local Habitat Re-Store, hoping that they'd have a good quality cabinet.

Sure enough, they had one - the drawers slide nicely and it's got a lot of weight so it stays put!

 And the price was right!!    $12.05 for some reason.

I don't need a lock, so no worries there.

The top was rusty - so Duane sanded all that off.

And there was some duct tape on the front that came off with some denatured alcohol.

Duane used contact cement to glue some long-ago leftover laminate to the top.....then he used his router to trim it nice and neatly!

And there it is!  Already in use!  A Scout-Mom is frugal!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More snow

I'm getting pretty tired of this winter weather!!!  Spring, spring, where are you???

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Just thought this was too funny....

Driving to Siler City a couple of days in a row, I noticed that the gas station had either made a gross error with their sign.....or they were suddenly charging a LOT for their gas....

Here's the flip side of the sign....just wonder why no one has told them of the error.   Or maybe an attendant is playing a joke!

Saturday, February 21, 2015


The amaryllis that Grandma Hall gave us for Christmas has just bloomed - very pretty!

I was surprised by the variegated colored bloom.   They are usually solid red....wish they bloomed more!

Friday, February 20, 2015


Yes, it's cold.  Luckily, we put a lamp in our well enclosure to keep the water flowing!!

This morning in the car:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Storm was not so bad!

The winter storm didn't really do too much damage here....the roads were certainly icy - and still are.  But the ice accumulation didn't materialize.  So, we stayed warm and the power stayed on.

Airports closed though - can't scrape ice off a runway and you can't put salt down - not good for aluminum airplanes!! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Stormy Weather

Yesterday, one of our book club ladies invited us to their "posh" home-movie theater to view last month's book-club book - The Grapes of Wrath - in movie form.  Remember - the black and white Henry Fonda movie from 1940? 

She provided the popcorn and candies - very nice!!!

And today has been just a lazy day....getting ready for the ice storm approaching.  Just a bit of sleet so far.  We went out and filled up the gas jugs to make sure we have plenty of "generator juice" if the power goes out.  And a trip to the grocery store for an extra loaf of bread.....then I made a big pot of veggie chili with the "beef" crumbles Mom brought me from the Seventh Day Adventist store.   We're all warm and comfy!

Saturday, February 14, 2015


We have been ignoring our yard this I decided I'd use the pretty Saturday weather to clean it up a little.  (It's going to be bitterly cold tomorrow - high of about 27 - so today's temp of 50 seems balmy!)

The leaves and pine needles are just laying where they dropped in the fall.....and I know if I get them up the grass underneath will be much healthier.

So, I blew some of them away with the leaf-blower and I "vacuumed" some with the lawn mower....revealing a little of the grass underneath.  

And a month later, my daffy's still haven't bloomed.....I guess they're angry at the cold temps we've been having!  Hope you have a great Valentines Day!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Another Appliance Bites the Dust

Our house is 20 yrs old now....and we've replaced the washer/dryer, my cooktop, the dishwasher, the microwave and now it's the wall oven's turn......

It had failed the first time back in the fall when I had pressed "clean"....Apparently the high temps used to do the auto-clean had burned up something in the oven.

I figured it was time to get a new oven, but after searching a bit, I found that  a replacement was over $1000!  Strange that you can buy a full stove for under $500, but try to find a small wall oven and they charge crazy prices!

So, I called my local repair guy - they said you can't buy parts anymore.....but Duane then troubleshot it and determined it was a sensor for the broiler.  So, I decided that I could do without a broiler since it's not something I use much anyway.

So, fast forward to Thanksgiving....I had everything ready to start cooking and the oven quit for good!!  I luckily have the convection/microwave oven - so I ended up getting everything cooked just fine.

With all the hub-bub around the holidays, I just cooked everything in my convection oven.  About a month  ago I was in Home Depot and just happen to see a oven up on an rack at the back of the store.  I couldn't believe it - a 24" wall oven!!  On clearance!!!  How lucky was that?  I got the sales person to get the oven down and was starting the process to pay for it.  Then I noticed that the door was "crooked". I told the salesperson I couldn't take it.

Fast forward to this weekend.....I was in Home Depot again - and peeked back to see if the oven was still there - and it was!  And the price was $199!!!  Apparently, they wanted it gone!

So, Duane and I went back together so that he could look at it and see if it was repairable.  He looked it over and determined that the frame was a little bent and that he could fix it!  My hero! 

It had to be disassembled, of course.  But a little bending and beating....and it was good and straight!

Old one out!!

New one coming in!

New oven ready to be installed.

 But, of course, nothing's easy.  Even though they are both 24" wall ovens, the original one was wider and shorter by about 1".   You can see the area to the left that should not be visible!

So, Duane modified the cabinet and made these aluminum pieces to "fill in" the extra space.

 And there we have it!  A low-cost, fully functional oven!