Monday, August 31, 2009

Benefit Poker Night

One of the employees of the grill where we play "free poker" has kidney failure and can't work - everyone loves him and the locals have known him forever. (I don't guess we're locals yet at only 15 years....) So, instead of a bbq or bakesale, the group organized a dinner and poker game. The grill closed for the evening and the building was all ours.

Here he is - good luck, Scott!

After about 200 people had a catered dinner, the 70 "players" sat down for the game. The top two prizes were trips for 2 to Atlantic City donated by two travel agencies that specialize in the "junkets". (The 70 players donated extra $$ in addition to the dinner $$ to play in the game - so more money for Scott).

A local DJ volunteered to come provide entertainment and announce door prizes. Lots of local businesses donated items - I didn't win hooo. They had a "silent auction" for the larger items - I had the winning bid on a load of mulch. Lots golf games, a microwave, a gorgeous necklace (I stopped bidding at $75.....) - cool that so many people know and care for Scott.

Thought this was cute - the grill had to provide the beer and wine (the proceeds went to Scott also)..... in case you can't read this - it says "ALL BEER AND WINE $2 - MUST BE 21" - someone had gotten a marker and added "OR NAKED". Really, look at the photos....I'm not sure we wanted to see any of that crowd NAKED!!

Of course, there was music in the background....Pat and Diane had to dance a little!!!

It was a great thing to do for Scott - Last I heard, we raised $5,000 for him!!!

Oh, we didn't win the poker game - I came in about 25th. Duane was 7th....close.....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Matinee

I forgot my camera!! Oh well, this is the best I could come up with - the girl behind the popcorn counter came out and snapped this photo using my cell phone.

Lindy, Diane and I had a little "girls afternoon out" - to see Julie & Julia....really fun flick. And definitely not a movie the guys would particularly enjoy. Fun time with sweet ladies! (Sorry another sweet lady, Gretchen couldn't join us!)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Quick Harris Teeter Shopping Trip - Why is that Noteworthy??

Of course, I had to drive 10 miles out of my way to visit our closest Harris Teeter! Robert has decided to work 1 day a week while he's at NC State this year for some spending money - every Sunday from 11am-7pm. Hehehe - I know where he'll be, so I can always visit if I want!!

I surprised him for sure....actually caught him working!

He solely works in the meat department now and likes it pretty well. I think it's more interesting than being a cashier. We had a quick little chat and I gave him some items that he had left at home when he moved out last week. Then I went shopping in the fru-fru Harris but a bit hoity-toity for me! (I'm a Food Lion gal....)

Saturday, August 22, 2009


One of our "airport bums" (people who hang around at the airport for entertainment) left some tomato plants for the staff early this spring.

He said they were called "Ox Heart". They really do look like a big heart! They also took a long time to ripen compared to the hybrids.

I've been dehydrating loads of tomatoes to preserve some of the bountiful crop. Just slice up and lay on the dehydrator trays....

....and about 8 hrs later - paper thin and almost sweet and flavorful, I can crunch them like candy!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jet visitor who bought 750 gallons of JetA, brought beer, what more could you ask?

We had a visitor to Siler City from Kentucky. They are a grain supplier - came to visit the local chicken processor. Good business for the town!

They arrived in a very nice jet.

Zooming in on the nose, they have a logo as a sponsor of the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

But the best thing is that they run a micro brewery and they make the official beer of the 2010 Equestrian Games.....and they gave me a whole case of it....nice fellows!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Last Bathroom Renovation Post!!

Thank goodness!! No more boring posts about our bathroom renovations!!!

We've just about got it wrapped up....

A few things we did recently -

Let me first say that I saw a very dark stained oak cabinet in the custom kitchen section at the local Lowe's store. I wanted it to use in the bathroom for towel storage since I've done away with the vanity. The salesman said that it would be special order and 3-4 weeks. Bummer. I'm into instant gratification on the home improvement front.

So, we just bought a off-the-shelf oak cabinet....hey - I can just stain it dark!!

Here it is, out of the box. Nice honey oak finish....

After several attempts at stripping some really tough polyurethane finish, I finally sanded the finish away! Many days later....I'm applying the dark finish here.

Many coats of stain and polyurethane later - I have the cabinet I wanted!! (and saved about $200 over the special order cabinet too!!)

Never leaving anything alone......

The original medicine cabinet was pretty generic - just a painted slat door. I thought about replacing it with something different, but opted to go the easy route and keep it (this required no extra sheetrock work!!)

I wasnt' thrilled with the paint - so....I removed it and stained it match the towel cabinet.....


OK - last time you'll see this embarrassing photo (although many of you remember the actual room!!)

Here's the "BEFORE" shot:

And two views of the "AFTER":

Glad to be mostly finished - and now it's time to clean up all the dust and tools all around the rest of the house!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Post about pumpkins and pumpkin seeds!

Dick and Lindy grew too many pumpkins this I happily took a few off their hands.

What to do with pumpkins? I sliced them in half and baked them (open side down on a cookie sheet). A few spots on the skin got a little brown, but the flesh underneath was just right. Peeling was super-easy!

Peeled and sliced into chunks - off to the freezer in bags for future soups and breads (and pie, of course!)

First time trying to roast pumpkins seeds. I just washed all the "hairy" pulp away from the seeds - left to dry overnite on a rag.

Tossed with olive oil, salt and Worcestershire sauce - baked in a 300 degree oven, tossing a few times. Crunchy, yummy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

First Flight for Homebuilt Airplane at Siler City Airport

A fellow, Noel Fallwell, that I happened to know from IBM years ago (actually, in Boca Raton - then at RTP) has built his own airplane. He is a meticulous craftsman and has been working on this airplane for 14 years! It's got all the bells and whistles that can be installed in a small airplane.

He has been working on the airplane, not flying - so he is not "current" as a pilot. So, he asked another friend, Denny Mercer, who owns the same type aircraft, to do the honors for the first test flight. Denny is sitting in the airplane - Noel is standing.

Must be hard to watch someone else pull away in your "baby" for the first time.

I'm sure the heart was beating fast for both the builder and the pilot for this first lift-off!!

Congrats to Noel on this great accomplishment....

The FAA requires a "Experimental" aircraft to be flown for a test period before they allow you to venture far from your own airport. (25 hours, in this case). As soon as Noel gets his currency back, we'll be seeing this little bird in the air alot!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Guest room available!!

For those of you who have not been able to visit due to our recent lack of a guest room, I'm happy to report that the guest room is now available again!! Since Robert moved back to State, I've re-claimed the guest room....after a big cleanup and re-arrangement to it's original furniture placement, we're ready for guests!! Come-on-down!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bathroom renovation update

Slow, but sure progress on the hallway bathroom. It's starting to really come together now!

Believe it or not, I had the entire floor glued and grouted before I remembered to pull out the camera.

Here the floor is has been grouted and is in the process of being cleaned up.

For those interested in the process - here are a few photos. For those who already have done this (or never plan to..) skip forward a few photos!

First the toothpaste-like grout is applied with a soft trowel-like instrument to squeeze it in between the tiles.

The grout sets up really quickly. After about 5 minutes, you start a tedious process of removing the excess grout (but not the grout in between the tiles) with a sponge.

Here the grout has been wiped once and is drying/curing.

You keep doing that process until the shiny tile is exposed and the only grout remaining is between the tiles. Simple!

So here the floor is complete - grouted and shiny.

Next, I started on the wall tile. This is just basic white glossy tile. The bottom tile is shaped as a cove base, so no other treatment or moulding is required.

This jigsaw puzzle like exercise just continues.....with the occasional pause for Duane to cut a hole in a tile for me!

I kept working late to finish the wall up past the toilet/sink level so that we could install the fixtures. Same process for the grout applies on the wall - it's just a smoother grout because the tile spacing is so small.

Done for the night!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

NC State Move-in for Robert

Robert gets to move in early at State because he's in the marching band. They have to be on campus this week for an intensive training "camp". So, I helped him move into his new apartment at Wolf Village today. It's still University housing, but set up as an apartment with 4 separate bedrooms.

Two of his friends are in the apartment along with a foreign exchange student from Uruguay named Nicholas. He arrived from his plane at RDU and came straight to the dorm - he seems very nice and speaks very good English. This is his first time in the U.S. and he will only be here for this semester. There is girl from NC State (also in Electrical and Computer Engineering) who is taking his place this semester at his home college.

The apartment is very nice for a "dorm room". Robert has set up the kitchen (as he likes to cook). He was pleased to see that the fridge has an icemaker (but he already knew there is no dishwasher!)

A nice "common" living space with what appears to be new furniture.

You know, I'm pretty interested in bathrooms right now due to the remodeling job....this apartment has two very nice bathrooms - huge with pretty ceramic tile.

The obligatory shot of Robert's bedroom....will be interesting to see where he ends up putting all that stuff!! Nice that they have a full size bed and lots of storage cabinets. What an upgrade from last year in Bragaw!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yeah! Richard

It's official! Richard is a card-carrying EMT now! He's not actually working yet - he is still in class leading up to Paramedic certification. He will finish sometime early next year.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mountain trip continued

I had a wonderful visit home! Back home now in the 100 degree heat. It was marvelously cool in Mills River!

On Friday, Mom had arranged a day out with Grandma Hall. Here are the girls all crammed into the porch swing....scary!!!

On to downtown Asheville - pretty, it is! I'm glad Mom was driving - I would have been lost on those twisty streets.

We apparently have a new tradition - when the North Dakota crew comes home for their annual visit, we go to the Laughing Seed Cafe. It's a vegan/vegetarian restaurant that Teresa loves.

It fits in perfectly with my diet also! Here is my plate - the red stuff is a slaw made of beets. Very good!

Here's the gang!

Mom had picked some pretty flowers from her yard to take to colorful!

The next morning I get a text message from Denise - at 7:37AM! It read - "Coffee is on, Hot tub is open. Denise"

So, I pulled on my swimsuit and had coffee in the hot tub with Denise!

Denise looking thru the pretty hibiscus that she had given Grandma. Pretty flower - I have some of the same plant at my house (also from Denise).

Almost forgot about this. We knew that everyone was going to be busy on Friday night - so Denise and I ordered some vegetarian "sushi" rolls to-go at the Laughing Seed. Then we made some side dishes to have a nice little Chinese meal.

It was quite yummy - so were the "Pear-tini's".....