Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I'm so happy - I finally got the site to accept a photo! I think it's just the slow dial-up connection at Grandma's house that is making it hard to get the photos uploaded.

I had a pretty easy day with Grandma - she woke me at 1:45AM for a quick trip to the bathroom, the we woke for good at about 4:15AM. We sat and drank coffee and had a nice breakfast - she was able to eat a small portion of oatmeal. Most of her "too sweet/too salty" complaints are over, so I'm hoping that whatever chemical imbalance that was causing that is rectified.

She told many more stories - I had already started writing them down. I'll transpose my notes to the blog later - I need to go to sleep soon! She'll be waking me up much before my normal rising hour!

Mary, Grandma's housekeeper/friend came at 10AM, so I was free until 2:30PM when she needed to leave. I went out to Mom and Frank's for a quick lunch - saw Keith and Denise's new house. It is really lovely and sit's nicely on the hill. I then picked up a few groceries Grandma wanted - including some Goldenseal Root to use as a gargle. Her daddy used it as a balm for sores in the mouth - and she was determined that this would help her sores and sore throat. She gargled with it tonight - we'll see in the morning if it did any good....looked yucky...like a solution made with snuff!

I think she's doing much better than the reports from the weekend, but she seems very timid about being left alone. I'm not sure what the eventual solution will be, but I think she wouldn't mind going to a nursing home for a week just to give everyone a rest. Mom will be here tomorrow night after Mary leaves. Grandma has a doctor's appointment Thursday - I think they are going to make some decisions about a nursing home at that point.

I'll be leaving at 7AM Wed to go back home - I'm going to swing by and have breakfast with Granny and Cordy on my way home. That should be a nice, unexpected visit. Talked to Granny this morning - they're in the middle of baling some hay from the land where all his apple orchards used to be.

Miranda and Abby came by to visit Grandma this afternoon - Abby is dressed in a bumblebee costume that was originally made by Teresa for the "man-cub" (as she refers to him!). Isn't she a doll?

I'll post some of those stories soon! Better hit the couch!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hello from Swannanoa!

I drove up this morning to stay with Grandma. I can't say for sure how she is doing....she is certainly more "frail" than the last time I saw her (July 4th, I guess). She is walking very carefully with the walker and wants someone with her as she walks. She's having some problems with a sore throat - which may be from the non-stop storytelling!!! I'm serious, she never stopped talking from the time I walked in the door until the time we said goodnight! She said that she wanted to watch Jeopardy on the TV, so I turned it on....but neither of us got to watch it because she was still talking!!

Let's see if I can list some of the tales:

Ike taking one of the boys to fight in a youth boxing match (she couldn't remember which boy) and they cried - Ike was humiliated

Grandma doing a fleamarket to get the $70 seed money for the Manna Food Bank (now a really large charity)

Tales about her friend in Haiti and the little girl she sends $25 per month to support

Her involvment in the Buckeye Cove Beautification Club & it's awards

Her learning Russian at UNCA

Her writing classes

Tales about trips with the grandkids up on the mountain - camping in tents, then the bus, then the two of them at cabin, then at their small cabin

Their trip to California and Alaska

Their trip to Maine (I didn't know about this one) something about Ike getting a bag of potatoes - couldn't figure out if that's all they did on that trip....

Tales about her Aunt that was in a mental institution

and many, many more!

I would love to record them, but she insists that she hates the sound of her voice....I would sit and type them as she talks, but I don't think I can keep up. I might try it tomorrow if she's willing. She keeps talking about writing the stories down, but doesn't seem inclined to do so.

I did write down the following as items I'd like to look into:

She talked about a lady called Kitty Kanyski (have no idea about the spelling - that's just how it sounded Kan-Is-Key). When she was taking Russian - must have been in '80-'82, she and Ike participated in a film about "Twin Cities". I think it may have been that Asheville was partnering with a city in Russia as a "sister" city. They apparently interviewed Grandma and Ike about their life and views on some politics. She thought it was shown at the Cannes film festival (but didn't win). It would be fabulous to try to find the film if it still exists.

The other thing is that she was talking about her father and how he picked on her (tried to make her mad..) but he also sang to her - and one of the songs was "Little Bird on Molly's Hat". She has tried but can't find the lyrics or music. Thought I'd search the internet when I get back home....

I'm going to try to dial-in on her phone-line now and upload this.

Later, after much looking at an "hourglass spinning",,, I'm having trouble loading photos - haven't been able to load a photo since last night....I'm going to have to figure that out. I'll load photos when I can!! See ya, K

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Thought you might like to see how my peppers ended up after a few weeks drying. Kindof pretty. I plan on using them to drop in a pot of chili during the winter. Right now, they're still a little soft and rubbery - if they dry completely, I'll crush some and keep in an old spice jar.

I am going to go to Grandma's tomorrow for a couple of days. Mom says she is not eating again and is very weak. Mary, the lady who has cleaned Grandma's house in the past will be there until 2:30PM tomorrow, so I need to be there before then. I'll stay "on duty" until 7AM or so the next morning when Mary comes back. Mom says I won't get much sleep - Grandma apparently doesn't sleep much even during the night. I'll update this as soon as I get a chance. I plan to stay a couple of days - I need to be back for my one "required" workday - Thursday.

I decided to bake some of my "Garbage Cookies" to take with me - maybe a silly idea, but I thought I might be able to get Grandma to take a bite or two....

Robert is working each weekend with various Scouts to build his Eagle Project - which is a trophy case for the marching band at school - did I say that already? Robert is not supposed to actually be doing the work, but showing leadership to the volunteers. The trophy case is actually going to be quite large - 12' long and 8' tall. He has worked pretty hard to organize the plan, bill of materials, and get the approvals & donations. I guess that is as it should be for an Eagle Project!
I tried to upload a photo, but there must be a limit....wouldn't let me insert another one. I'll load some more another time.

See ya!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I've been delinquent in writing....

Friday evening, we got the boys off to their football game - and we took off at dusk flying to Oriental. Had a wonderful, clear air flight down to New Bern. Got our "extra" car out of it's out-of-the-way parking spot and headed the 30 minutes to Oriental. We stopped at our favorite resturant - The Steamer - before going to the boat. I always have a "Po-Boy" sandwich - which is just fried seafood on a nice bun with heaps of tarter sauce. Yum. Most of the seafood served there is fresh caught locally (according to the waitress). Sure tastes fresh.

Our boat has a certain "smell" that we've been trying to eliminate....this time we decided to remove all the "sanitation" hoses. This means sewer lines. Yuck. Oh well, we ended up just working on the boat the whole weekend instead of going sailing. It was fun, in a weird kind of way. You get to know alot about the boat when you disassemble parts of it!

We flew back home in the middle of a rainstorm Sunday morning. Duane was pilot since I am starting to dislike flying in the clouds more than usual (mainly because I don't do it enough). We needed to be a home for Robert's first Eagle Project Workday. All went well with the work project - he's got a few more days scheduled over the next month or so. Hopefully, the trophy case will be finished by December so he can get his Eagle Scout Board of Review taken care of well before his 18th birthday. Watching other kids over the years in Scouts is informative - they usually wait to the last minute - then they scurry around trying to find their "blue cards" (proof of merit badges) and other paperwork. I'm sure it will be the same for Robert. Procrastination is a problem for all of us!

I've been speaking with Mom quite a bit lately concerning Grandma's health. Sounds like she's a little on the mend as of today. I offered to go home for a few days to help out with the round-the-clock "companionship". Hope they need me - I would enjoy the visit!

More later!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Well, I definitely don't do anything interesting enough for a daily post!! Monday, I can't think of anything interesting I did except play poker in the evening. Tuesday I had an employee getting a root canal, so I had to work all day....ugh....having to work an entire 8 hour day is rough!! On top of that, I then had to attend a quarterly "Airport Authority" meeting. Politics! Thought I got away from that when I left IBM.

Wednesday was kindof interesting....we had a TFR - Temporary Flight Restriction over both Siler City and Asheboro Airports due to Pres. Bush coming to Greensboro. This meant that no general aviation airplanes could take-off/land at Greensboro Airport all day long. They could, however, come to Asheboro or Siler CIty under a strict set of rules. We ended up having quite a few flights diverted to us - the most interesting of which was the Richard Petty race team jet. It is normally based at Greensboro Airport. They apparently wanted to depart while the TFR was in place, so they flew their jet down to Asheboro before the Pres. came to town. They ended up taking Kyle Petty somewhere. They were really nice and bought $1500 of fuel, so it's all good!

I guess today was a little interesting also - had the CEO of Red Hat fly in a helicopter to Siler City. He seemed real nice also - 'course all I usually see is a cheerful hello as they de-plane and head inside! So, it beats sitting in meetings at IBM by a landslide!

Oh, Richard's truck was back on the road Monday with just a replaced head-gasket. Something else is wrong, but I guess they (Duane and Richard) will figure it out this weekend....a couple of more issues and I suspect Duane will volunteer to get him a better car. This spending your weekends working on old cars is kindof a pain at this juncture in life!!

Robert went Monday to the Band Boosters and got them to pledge $300 towards his Eagle Scout project (a trophy case that will house the Band's trophies). He thinks it will cost about $1000, so he's got to come up with funding quick!

So there you have it- my week in a nutshell - and no photos, Robert still has my camera! We're off to the boat this weekend - looks like it will be a pleasant but cool weekend.

See ya!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Today I'm just doing more spring cleaning that I put off till fall! I'm attacking the guest room - lots of "stuff" that has been filed away in piles needed to be sorted/thrown out/given away/put into files in the basement/etc. Right now it just looks like a big disaster! Soon, it will all miraculously go to the correct places and the room will be all tidy. That's the theory anyway!

Duane,Pat and Richie Rich are out in the hangar tearing into Richard's Explorer engine.

They've taken the head off the engine and are cleaning it before reinstalling it with a new gasket. Here's a picture I shot of them while they weren't looking (don't think they'd appreciate being part of my blog...oh well).

I snapped this photo of Goldie on my way back from my clandestine trip to the hangar. She's showing her age - 12 yrs old now. Both she and Princess still are "outside dogs" except they sleep in the garage most nights.

They are a little arthritic - takes them a little while to get moving in the mornings... Course that could be said for lots of folks!

See ya!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My oldest child stole my camera, so I can't post any photos today....speaking of which - Robert is taking his SAT again today in Raleigh. He has already taken the SAT last year - and scored a 1400 by the old method ( - he scored 2000 including the essay portion). This should be plenty good enough to get him into NC State along with his 4.0 GPA - yes, I'm bragging a bit. He, however, was dissappointed in this score and wants to see if he can get a better score. Keep in mind that he has already turned in his State application - and I think that they could care less - or maybe not even ever see this second score. Waste of $42 if you ask me, course, nobody asked me except to ask me for the $42!!!

Duane and Richardo are working on his Explorer today. Haven't heard what the trouble is yet, hope it's nothing major. Duane's original assessment was that it's just a blown headgasket, hoping that it's not a busted head. I am at the airport now since my weekend guy needed the day off to do something with his kid. It's been a really quiet day at the airport and I'm a bit bored. Only a few more hours - the weather is nice but the pilots aren't flying for some reason today.

I spent Friday doing some "spring-fall" cleaning at the house. Ended up organizing my closet for the first time in years. Also blew out all the grit/dog hairs/etc. out of the garage. Makes things seem so much nicer - it's a pity that I can't motivate myself to keep it that way all the time. Guess hiring a maid might work...

Don't think I've mentioned this lately - Robert is working on his Eagle Project now - has to get it finished before his 18th birthday (wow - 18 years - wow). He's building a big trophy case for the band at the high school. He goes before the BandBoosters Monday night to ask for $$. Hopefully, they will come thru since I don't want him coming to momma asking for $$!!!

Well, enough for today!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I've started a new book - Kon Tiki - never read it before. I picked the book up at our local library/Kiwanis book sale last week. $1! It caught my eye just because of the cover.

Don't know if you can see the cover in this photo, but there is a neat "mask" imprinted in the fabric.

In the book, so far they're just building the raft and explaining how they got the idea. Hey, if they can make it across the Pacific on a raft, we should be able to do it on a big sailboat someday! Really, I'm enjoying the book even if it is about a bunch of nuts (non-sailors) drifting on a raft! Just hope we don't ever end up like they did (a wreck on a French Polynesian reef...)!!

Other than that, not much happening our way - little things like having to rescue Richard's truck off the side of the road this afternoon. Duane got it running and drove it (slowly) home. They'll have to figure out what the problem is this weekend when Duane has time.

Monday, October 09, 2006

We're back from the great north! Duane and I had a great weekend at the Annapolis Boat Show - a little soggy again.... Toured lots of wonderful boats - many WAY over our price range. Fun to look, anyway, and see how the other 1/1000th lives! We stayed at a hotel just outside of DC in Greenbelt, MD. Each night we went to the local "Fridays" restaurant - just because it was close and we were tired. This place was the "happening" place! Everone was just as nice as they could be and they seemed to know one-another. Not what I was expecting in such a big city!

I gave my camera to Robert for his NYC trip, so I didn't take any photos. Sharon snapped a few, so I'll post them IF she ever sends them to me!

The boys got back at 8AM this morning - after an overnight bus ride from New York. Here are a few of the photos Robert brought back. Sounds like they had a wonderful, memorable time!

Robert did a nice job with the camera - 343 photos! (Most were of his friends - hopefully we'll get photos from someone else that took shots with our boys in the photo!) Robert is in the middle of the photo if you can't pick him out right away. Of course, Robert didn't snap a single photo of Richard...go figure.

Be good or be careful!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Long weekend coming up!

The boys are heading to the Big Apple this weekend. They leave at 11PM tonight on a tour bus from school. Here is their schedule:

Sleep all night on the bus
Arrive NYC Friday AM
See Statue of Liberty, etc.
Dinner in Little Italy
See Broadway show - Monty Python's SPAMALOT
Saturday is Marching Band competition in Giant's Stadium!
Sunday is a guided tour of NYC including a visit to NBC Studios
Sunday night (all night) sleep on the bus
Arrive back at school Monday 7AM

We're not going with them - I think they would prefer NOT to have mom & dad along!

We're heading to the Annapolis Boat Show! We're meeting Sharon and Buddy there - looks like it might be another soggy weekend....oh well. I'll be sure to post pictures of BOTH trips!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I can't let Teresa, my sister, be the only one to publish pretty pictures of produce and canned goods!! Unlike Teresa, I've been pretty lazy this summer. I've been getting my veggies from the very generous neighbors. They just come into our basement and leave veggies most every day. I have a deal with Dick, our end-of-the-runway neighbor that he brings me baskets of okra and the next day I set out jars of pickled okra for him. I keep half and he gets half. Seems like a good deal. Here's a picture from last night as I was sorting thru the day's bounty.

I ended up making fried okra, apple/muscadine grape jelly, and a wonderful eggplant dish last night.

Here are photos of each - I've included the fried okra just in case any of Teresa's people up in the far off North Dakota see this....

I know, it's kindof hard to figure out what to do with an over-abundance of EGGPLANT....but the same neighbor who gives me the eggplant gave me this wonderful, easy, recipe for a eggplant salad. It has such a nice, nutty roasted flavor - cold or hot.

Eggplant Salad

Several eggplants
Several onions

Cut eggplants into 1" cubes and onions into "stringy" slices

Cover bottom of large, shallow pan with olive oil

Evenly distribute eggplant and onions - salt and pepper to taste

Bake at 400 degrees until eggplant changes color, turning a couple of times

Remove from oven and toss with the following:
Fresh or reconstituted garlic, minced (powder if it's all you have)
Fresh basil leaves if you have it, dried if you don't
A little lemon juice

If the salad tastes a little bland, you probably didn't salt it enough!!!

Here's the photo of some of my kitchen products...the jelly actually is more of a jam since I didn't have any cheesecloth to strain the juice....it's easier to spread than jelly anyway!

OK, I promise not to bore you with any more foodie stuff...one last photo. This is of the extra peppers I've not been able to use. They're drying nicely. Will be great for dropping in that pot of chili beans this fall!

Be good or be careful!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

WOO HOO - Last night we played our Monday night poker tournament (this is a photo of a couple our competitors - scarey aren't they??). I came in 3rd place - out of about 50 people. It's a good, clean, fun time. We've gotten to know alot of the local people at our little pub. A good percentage of the people who play are related to each other. It's like going to a family reunion sometimes. We've been doing this pretty much every Monday night for a year now - I think we've been adopted as long-lost cousins now. It's kindof like Cheers - everybody knows your name! (By the way, if you didn't already know, we're just playing for chips - no money involved! You can win a trip to LasVegas at the end of a "season", but so far we've not been that good!)

This morning the sunshine was neat thru a little bit of mist - I snapped this photo.

You can see the hibiscus from Denise's garden in the foreground. They are pretty, but they overpower the other smaller items in the flowerbed (mostly from Mom's garden - lambs ear, liriope, japanese iris). I need to move them before next year!

The boys are going to New York city this weekend with their marching band. They are going to a competition in Giant's Stadium. They will also get to see a Broadway play. Should be a great trip - they've been working all summer to earn the $$. While the kids are gone, Duane and I are heading to Annapolis with Buddy and Sharon for the annual BoatShow. I'm sure I'll have lots of photos to post after this weekend.

Be good, or be careful!