Monday, September 29, 2008

Bamboo gift from Richard

My sis inspired me to snap this photo of something special given to me by Richard many years ago.

We had taken the boys out to eat & a movie at the mall (a rare thing for us to do) when they were about 10-11 years old. I remember that we let them walk off on their own for what I think was the first time ever. Seems simple now, but I think I was nervous. We gave them each $10 and told them to meet us back at a particular place at a particular time.

Instead of buying something for himself, Richard bought me this jar with a small bamboo plant in it from one of the kiosks. I've fed it water only for the past many years.....pretty neat!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friends of the Library Book Sale!!

Our local library holds a book sale every 6 months - and today was the "half-price" day...I love to get my books here - no late fees to worry about! The paperbacks are 5 for $1.00 and most of them are in terrific (almost new) shape. (And when you're a member of the "Friends", they mail you a $3 coupon too!)

Everything is neatly was a rainy day today, so the sale was unusually crowded.

I always like to grab some homemade "goodies" for the drive home....

Here I am with all my "treasures"...
A big pile of books - total tab - $10.50!!

Some of my favorites are going to be, I think: Secret Lives of Bees, Redeye by Clyde Edgerton, a couple of Robert Fulgham "feel good" tales. An interesting one may be "Looking Backward" by Edward Bellamy....written in 1887 - about a man who wakes up in the year 2000.....

Yum - here are the "hermits" that I chose at the goodie table....very good!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pacu Fish - Want them???

I know I've posted a bit much about the fish....they really are cool and getting HUGE!!

Sadly, I'm going to have to get rid of some of the fish. The tank is just 40 gallons and Richard put too many fish in it. I've decided that the two Pacu fish (in the pirana family with visible teeth) must go. (Duane said they are "eating size")...just kidding, of course!! They haven't eaten any of the other fish (yet).

This fish measures about 6" long - get a ruler out - that's a pretty big fish to have in an aquarium. AND there's two of them - plus 5 other fish. They can grow to 24" long, so they've got to go!! I've put an adoption notice out on Craigs List, so maybe someone will come along.

I'd really love to keep them - they are neat to watch swim FAST back and forth across the tank. But, that's part of the problem - they need a longer tank to be able to swim and dart around. Want to come to Pittsboro and adopt some fish????

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I stole this photo from my mom's blog - I don't get too many photos of Duane and I...this is from the Hall reunion last week.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Making Citron Preserves

When we were home last weekend, Cordy gave me a melon from their garden - he insisted it was a citron. I suspected it was a watermelon....sure looks like a watermelon to me!!!

But, alas, the gardener knew his crop! It was a citron. I've never had one before - it is very hard to cut.
Granny told me how to make preserves.....just peel and seed the melon, cut into cubes....
And add LOTS of sugar.
Stir it and let it sit (she said overnight - I let it sit about 5 hours). It went from dry fruit to sloppy and syrup-y. The fruit was still hard.
I put it on to boil....
For hours!!!
It eventually turned a soft, translucent color. The sugar/lemon syrup was nice and thick.

Easy as pie!! (I don't think citron pie would be too good....) The preserves are quite good (I kept the little pitcher in the foreground for use tonight.) The fruit is not anything like the biter chunks we all hate in fruitcake. It's a sweet, mellow, slightly melon-y flavor. That was fun!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sunflower photo

Some of you have already seen this photo, but I thought I'd upload it here also. I took it when I was in Hendersonville over the weekend. It's just a pretty view of a sunflower in Granny and Cordy's garden out behind their house. This sloping hill was an apple orchard when Duane and I were dating....seems so odd now to see it as a hayfield!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

McCraw and Hall Reunions

We just got back from our weekend trip up to Hendersonville - two reunions and one kitty-cat delivery!!

Here is the little kitty in the airplane at Asheville airport. He WAS NOT HAPPY!!!

It was a bit of a bumpy ride and he seemed to notice every bump, turn, he even complained when we went thru a small cloud-layer on approach.

By complain, I mean he meowed loud enough for us to hear him past our engine noise and noise-cancelling headsets.

No worries - once we got to the FIRST reunion -he was fine.

Here one of the kids couldn't resist a polite request to hold him. She carried him around and lots of the kids petted him and snuggled with him. Her mom finally told her it was time for the kitty to take a nap!!

Obligatory reunion shots - Great-Uncle Quentin, Grandma Hall and me!! It was hot and Grandma wanted to go home at this point!

Obligatory table shot - I got more of these, but unfortunately, the bright outdoor lighting played havoc with my camera - many of the other shots are too dark.

Next it was on to Granny's house - and the handover of the kitty. He is quite at home now! I think Granny (and Cordy) will enjoy him. He's a real sweetheart.

Playful little thing - don't know if she's decided on his name yet.

Next it was on to the McCraw reunion - always a good time. This time it was in a new, air-conditioned community center. So nice!! This was the 20th time this particular reunion (for Duane's Grandparents and their descendants) has been held. I think we've been to most of them except when we were in Boca Raton.
Carolyn, Tommy and Duane caught chatting....

Unfortunately, my camera battery died about spare was not charged either!!! Oh well, no obligatory eating shots this time!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The girls from the airport had a fun "ladies night out" last night. Gretchen and Lindy -

And Diane and myself....
We went to see the "Menopause the Musical" play at the Carolina Theatre in Durham. Not a man to be found!!! (Except the ushers!!)

Here are some of the "Red Hat Society Ladies" - they were everywhere!! There were some really cool hats. There were some really awful hats too!!

The play was a hoot - the performers were great and the theatre was comfy.

Lots of silliness about ladies growing older.

We stopped at a restaurant on the way home. We'll have to do that again sometime!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Its a dreary day at the airport!!!

The flags are at half-staff in honor of those who perished on September 11

Monday, September 08, 2008

Yesterday, Dick and Lindy invited us/Pat & Diane over to pop the cork on a bottle of champagne in honor of their FIRST grandchild!! Hooray for Alicia and her husband! 9lbs 3oz. baby boy. Alicia is a tri-athlete and road miles on her bike up until a few days before the birth. WOW...

Dick had given me some eggplant and another watermelon. He's going to plant his fall garden soon, so this is probably my last watermelon!! YUM. Even better when I take the seeds out for super-easy snacking!!

Not much going on here - I wanted to do Caesar salads tonight, but found that I didn't have's just not the same without them....

So, I took a bunch of buns that Sharon donated to us after the labor day weekend and made a batch of croutons!!

I used a nifty tool my sis sent me last year - spread a coating of olive oil on each bun...
Then I sprinkled each bun with some Calgary Chicken (my absolute favorite spice mix!)
baked them a while at 250 degrees, then took them out and sliced them up....baked them about an hour at 350 degrees....completely crispy and fresh.....
ready for the Caesar dressing and blue cheese!!! YUM!!
Oh, the left-overs keep well in a zip-lock.
Yeah, I know - it would have been easier to drive 6 miles to the store!!!!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Granny's New Kitten

One of my customers, a local dentist, brought a sweet little kitty-cat by the airport today. He was going to post the following ad to find a home for the kitty that had shown up at his dental office a few days ago.

So I called Granny to see if she would adopt the kitty - and she said she would! So, the little un-named boy-cat will be delivered to Granny next weekend when we go to the McCraw reunion!!!

He's a playful little thing - and then curls up in your arm to take a cat-nap!!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Oscar Fish and waiting on Tropical Storm Hanna

We're just waiting on the Tropical storm to blow thru - the dockmaster in Oriental is supposed to be stripping all the canvas from the boat, so we're not worried.

I haven't posted about Richard's fish lately....he got these fish in the spring before he graduated high school....and since they are in a 40 gallon tank, he can't take them to school with him. So, he said I could keep them. Thanks, Rico!!

Here's Oscar - the Oscar-fish. He's about 6 inches long and could grow to about 18 inches!!! There is another, different Oscar (yet un-named) in the background. They actually are really cool fish - they come to the glass to see you and appear to actually watch you. Unfortunately for us, the 40 gallon tank is NOWHERE NEAR big enough for all the fish Richard put into it!!

According to the websites I'm researching, you need 75 gallons for EACH Oscar!!! Plus, they are "dirty" fish - so you have to do 50% water changes every week. I'm not sure how this will play out.....I may have to find someone to "adopt" the Oscars....

Here are some of the other fish - they are growing fast also! I don't know what they are exactly - I think the large ones are Silver Dollar fish.

The yellow and blue ones are the size of really large goldfish.

So far we haven't killed any of Rich's original fish (well, I guess we "killed" the third Oscar - he apparently jumped out of the top of the tank - they are known to do that....I found him all petrified on the floor when I was cleaning out Richard's room the other day....)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I had the last two days of our Labor Day vacation on my camera and I hadn't looked at, here's some (what's the harm in extending summer a bit longer??)

This one's scary!! My sunscreen hadn't soaked into my skin - and Sharon grabbed my camera. We were getting ready to go rent some ocean kayaks. I was afraid to take my camera on the kayak adventure. I didn't have my waterproof camera enclosure (again) so I didn't get any photos of the kayak trip. It was fun - Sharon, Duane and I each got a kayak and paddled around for an hour. It was a bit breezy, so I was a little tired by the time we were finished. Anyway, it was good, but I'm not sure it's something I'd want to do often!!

While we were kayaking, the rest of the crowd had headed to the's Rich taking a nap (or at least pretending) ....see Buddy, other people are caught napping also!!

Luke sitting in Mom's lap - he's un-aware that I'm taking the photo at this point....

Now, he's aware of the camera, the little ham!!

I forgot to post about looking for sea glass - just tumbled/sandblasted broken glass pieces. We looked for some during our kayak trip. Then Sharon, Jeannine and I went back out for another look-see. We came back with some really neat pieces. I didn't snap a photo, but we found a couple of purple/lavender pieces - pretty unique. Kindof hard to see the detail in this photo.

There was one piece in particular that was neat - this one looks like a sailboat!!

The last evening's meal was at Howard's Pub...Buddy and Sharon outside after parking our bikes.

Foosball while we waited for our table.....

A good time....note the license tags that reflected my flash. Some of them are from very far away and/or interesting personalized plates.

Boo hoo - leaving on the ferry to Hatteras

Buddy noticed the name of our ferry - The Appalachian.....I'll have to show Richard.

I had to snap a photo of the Coasties - they were blasting away from Hatteras - must be going to rescue someone out of the rip-tides that were common that day.

The trip home was un-eventful, but very lonnnggg - flying is so much faster!!!