Thursday, July 30, 2009

Music I heard and liked

I heard this in the background at the grocery....thought it was very nice! It's not new, just new to me!

Blues band at the General Store in Pittsboro

Forgot to post this the other day - I went down to the little "General Store Cafe" in Pittsboro with Pat and Diane for dinner and a local "Blues" band. They were really quite good! Dinner was good also - a hummus plate with lots of veggies- so I didn't even have to stray far from the diet!

Duane had an overseas conference call that night, so he couldn't join us....we saw several people we know - gotta love local bars/restaurants!

Pat, of course, volunteered to provide entertainment - dancing! Sorry for the blurry photos - low light and movement....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Book club!

Last night was our monthly book club meeting. We rotate around to each others houses - this month it was at Marianne's (Just Marianne!). As a treat, she served us some wonderful homemade wine and a yummy banana cheescake - I know, not on my diet - but sometimes you just gotta!

Oh, and the book of the month was The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Good book - sort of a tragedy told from the family dog's perspective.

Here are the lovely ladies! I'm off to the left and not visible in the photo...

Next month's book - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - looking forward to that one, hear it's a pretty good book.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just a nice weekend at the boat

After the car deal, we headed down to a nice little getaway at the boat....some really nice sailing on's a little video I took - I've been working on editing video to add music....turn your speakers on (it's not long).

On our way back, we had to trade out the cars at the New Bern airport. The old blue Taurus is now bound to be a courtesy car at the Asheboro Airport - and my little Escape is now our (much nicer) "boat car".

We decided a "wrap" might help keep it in good shape away from the harsh sun and salt-air..

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The new car arrives

We were off to Fayetteville yesterday morning to pick up the new car....strangely, I was a bit sentimental about letting the old Blazer go....254,000 miles! Of course, it has most recently been a "courtesy car" at the Siler City Airport - but we bought it new in 1991. It moved with us to Boca Raton when the boys were 1 & 2, back to New Hill, then on to Pittsboro!! Many, many happy trips in that old vehicle! I think Robert was a little sad to see it go also - it was his first "hand-me-down" car when he was in high school.

We were happy to make it to Fayetteville -we were a little afraid to drive it that far in 4 wheel drive. One of the requirements of the CARS program is that the car must be in "drivable" condition.....we were a little afraid that it would "give up" 2 miles from the dealership.

Oh well, we move on! Off to the crusher for you, faithful steed (per the government requirements of the program, the dealer has to crush the old cars.)

Here we are - nice, little car. It's got leather interior and the "sport handling" package. We drove home on the curviest road we have (I know, you mountain people would laugh at me calling that a curvy road!) Very nice feel. I think I will enjoy!

Another view - we're off to the boat for the weekend!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Boat trip

Ha - not us this time!!

Richard and Miranda took a little trip down to the boat this week. Richard apparently has had much success fishing:

This is a red drum - and is probably a pretty big fish!!

They apparently found this little bottle on the shoreline:

It's marked "Lysol" - I've researched it - it's from the 1930's - get this - Lysol was primarily used as a "feminine hygiene product" and commonly used as a contraceptive at the time!!! It was later proved to be highly ineffective....go figure!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Car!! Now you don't hear that much from the McCraw's!

You may have hear of the "Cash for Clunkers" program from our wonderful government....we don't often get to participate in government programs, but this one is available to anyone who has the following:

A car that:

Gets less than 18 MPG
Is less than 25 yrs old
Has been registered and insured for the previous year

The Deal -

Find a car that gets 10 mpg more than your old "clunker" and the government will give the dealer $4500 as your trade-in. The dealer sends your "clunker" to the crusher - and gives you $4500 in cash towards your new car!

As you may already know, the McCraw clan tends to buy vehicles new and run them into the ground...and then, put new engines in them, and run them into the ground again.....we tend to keep cars 10 - 15 years. Have to get our money's worth!!!

So, one of our "airport cars" is a 1991 Chevy S10's got 250K miles (two engines) and is worth about $200 scrap value. It does run, has rust spots, 2 of the windows don't work, etc.

I've made a deal on a new little car for me - a Saturn Astra - guess what color - drum roll please.....White! (all McCraw cars are white due to the long dirt road we live on!!)

Stock photo - we can't pick the car up until Friday because the program doesn't start until a good deal and we'll shuffle cars around at the airports now.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sprouts, sprouts

I know, I know, it's a boring day when all you have to talk about is your food.....cloudy and quiet at the airport -

You may know that we're on this bean / anything green diet. Have been for months now (with a few lapses while on vacations, etc.) Very healthy and keeps you full all the time - painless weigh loss for sure once you get in the swing of no fat, no sugar, no bread at all.

I'm always looking for interesting ways to fix a bean!! Sprouting is the logical thing to do - I started with Mung Beans - they are the easiest to sprout. They don't ferment easy or otherwise "misbehave".

This past week, I've tried to branch out and sprout some soybeans and some lentils.

Here's a shot of the soybeans. They require lots of rinsing (several times a day) to keep them from molding or fermenting.

Here's a shot of the lentils -

I just chopped up a bunch of other fresh veggies out of the fridge and steamed/fried them (no fat, just stirred them in the pan alot). Stirred in some sprouts and steamed for another 10 minutes.

Added ginger, fresh cilantro, soysauce, garlic powder and some frozen peas....this was my entire meal last night. (This is not Duane's idea of a good meal...he opted for the leftover chili made with t.v.p.) Added bonus is that there are leftovers from this for lunch today! Oh - the sprouts were very nice and crisp - the soybean sprouts were a little "nutty" feeling...the lentil sprouts were very mild - nothing like the "mealy" tastes of a stewed lentil. What should I sprout next??

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A little progress in the bathroom remodel

Been a busy week....but we finally got back to the "project" - Duane got all the copper plumbing re-configured to fit the new tub/enclosure. Yeah - they are installed now....more fun to come - sheetrock and ceramic tile!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New plane paint job

Remember my post back in December about an "old friend in a new airplane"?

Here's the photo when he flew in for the first time to Siler City with his very nice "homebuilt" airplane...sans paint while he flew his required "FAA certification" hours locally.

Here he is at the Asheboro Airport sporting his brand new paint job!!! Beautiful job, David!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tree trimming with a Helicopter!!

There's a cool operation at Siler City today - a helicopter crew has been hired by Progress Energy to trim the trees that are encroaching on their power lines south of Siler City.

Amazing that they can do this with a helicopter! Here is the crazy, scary looking blade that dangles under the helicopter on a long shaft. It's 10 saw blades - look to be about 2' in diameter. The box you see at the left houses a gasoline lawn-mower type engine that is controlled by the helicopter pilot via the long shaft.

This is a little hard to see, but here the pilot is lifting off - you can see the shaft is bending a little as he ascends.

He lifts off completely and just flies away to the work site. He cuts for an hour or so before coming back for fuel. After fueling, he just takes back off for another round.

There is also an Asplundh crew on the ground - dragging the brush away.

Also hard to see - but this is the helicopter in the distance - he was working just at the treeline - and lifted for a minute to reposition when I took this shot....

Monday, July 13, 2009

Update on Bathroom Rennovations

This weekend was a blurr of activity on the hallway bathroom....haven't really touched it since a couple of weeks ago due to the holiday boat trip, etc.

Finally got the damaged part of the floor completely removed. What you are seeing is the insulation between the floor joists. If we removed the insulation, you would be staring down eleven feet into the basement. I'm glad the insulation is there - if I could see down, I'd be a LOT less happy walking on those joists. Just have to be careful not to fall off!

Two thick layers of plywood installed.

Now we're ready to start putting everything back together.

Much time (and $$) was spent at Lowe's during the weekend. Purchased new tub, toilet, sink, cabinet, sheetrock and tile.

I'll give a preview of the tile - called "Dolphin".....all the fixtures will be white. I'm excited!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A ladder up a tree is probably not good news!

So, driving down the driveway yesterday afternoon, I spied a ladder next to a tree....only one reason I can think of for this situation - someone lost something up the tree and needed to retrieve it.....what could that be??

After I've bragged about the model airplane flying prowess of my children - they go and make the pile of "splinters" that I so proudly told you we hadn't seen lately......must have forgotten to "knock on wood"....

I guess there is always a solution to the above problem....

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Flowers, flowers, everywhere

Finally, all my summer flowers are starting to bloom....I've had to do a bit of watering lately. We had an extremely wet spring, but we've been in a dry, hot pattern for several weeks now.

Pretty, delicate glads from Mom -

Don't know what this one is - may be a Cosmos that I planted from a seed pack that came in my Gardening magazine Keith and Denise gave me...

And my pretty Stargazer Lilies that a neighbor gave me on my 40th B-day. These smell wonderful and the bumble-bees love them!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Tomato Sandwich Luncheon

Yesterday, my employee, Ben, called and said that he would be bringing the "fixin's" for a "Mater Sandwich Luncheon". He does this several times during the summer.

All the gang - from the maintenance shops and a couple of other friends joined us...Yum!!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

More veggie photos....

Yum - Richard asked for some fried squash last night....I did the "single slice" method instead of the "scrambled with onions" method.

One big zucchini (this one from my little garden!)

Tossed with cornmeal

Fried til golden with salt and some of bro's coarse ground pepper.

I had gone up to Dick and Lindy's earlier in the evening - they really are too generous! This time it was bags of chard -

A couple of wonderful tomatoes and bags of cucumbers (destined for bread and butter pickles, I believe!) I love summertime!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Misty Monday

Ahh,,,back to reality! Here's my view this morning....probably won't be many visitors at the airport today if this mist hangs around.

Yesterday, the "boys" were out flying a new, "souped up" model airplane. This one really is nuts - crazy big engine and it goes vertical forever. Robert is pretty good with it now - flying all kinds of stunts. Too fast for me...he wasn't exactly thrilled with Mom and the camera....

Carrying it back after it ran out of gas and he "dead-sticked" it down the runway. I remember a time when each flight ended with "splinters".

Oh, and Happy Misty Birthday to dear Hubby!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

July 4th Sailing Trip to Ocracoke and Hatteras

Early in the week, I had this idea that we should get some "open ocean" experience. Seemed like a good forecast, so the plan was that we would head out on the boat from Oriental and end up in Swansboro - going out the Beaufort inlet, sailing for several hours offshore and coming in the Bogue inlet. Looked OK on the chart....but after reading the "Cruising Guide", we decided that the Bogue inlet was not really appropriate for a sailboat with a 5' draft. ("Local Knowledge" was required, according the the guide....)

So, plan B is always Ocracoke or Cape we chose Ocracoke - then Hatteras as the alternative...

Early morning departure.

Had a very nice motor/sail. Obligatory shot of the ferry passing us in the channel.

Crazy para- sailors in the channel as we approached.

Here we are safe and snug at the Ocracoke National Park Service Marina. Note the red-roofed building in the background.

We wandered around Ocracoke - went to the "new" Pelican - which is now called Dajio - for their peel-and-eat shrimp (just me, since Duane is allergic, of course). Went to the Flying Melon - a restaurant we've never gone to, for some reason...I had a wonderful Vegetable Satay (ordered extra spicey, and the chef obliged!!)

Off Friday morning Northbound to the village of Hatteras. Never been there before - we ended up at Teache's Lair marina. Nice restaurant adjacent. Very shallow entrance for us - 5' at times - so really close to our 4'11" draft!

Really, though - this is a fisherman's town.....ooohhh, very fancy fishing boats! When I called to make the slip reservation (no anchoring areas) I was told that I could find the slip because it was next to the "only other sailboat".....that's really odd....we're used to HUNDREDS of sailboats.....

Nice enough folks, though....went to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum....not much really....had a really nice moonlit walk on the beach.....trespassed thru a fancy mutli-million dollar home's beach access path to get back to the boat...shhhh

On the way back southbound this morning, Duane noticed a mushroom cloud east of our path hanging over Ocracoke Island. We were about 5 miles away....the cloud just kept growing....we learned form VHF radio that the tractor trailor of fireworks had exploded. The smoke was an amazing sight. Unfortunately, I hear that two people were killed and several injured. We saw the helicopters fly over the Pamilco Sound - I assume to rescue the injured. Remember the red-roofed building in the background when we were at the NPS marina the night before? You can see that building in the background in these news photos of the explosion:

Sad, for sure.....