Monday, January 28, 2013

Rotating beacon at the airport

The rotating beacon at the airport had been out-of-service (meaning broken!) for a couple of months.  It sits atop a 30' tower - and the local electrician had determined that the 30 yr old beacon was in need of serious repair or replacement.  The cost to replace would be about $10,000!!

So, one of our local businessmen, Eddie Liles (who happens to be the Airport Authority chairman) took it upon himself to fix it!  He got a friend who owns a welding business to bring his boom truck to remove the heavy beacon and then a second time to lift it back in place once repaired.

Eddie replaced some bearings and brushes - and the beacon is back operational - maybe for another 30 yrs!!

That's Eddie's son-in-law - he got the climbing duties on a cold and blustery day!  A big ole' thanks to Eddie and crew!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Roasted veg, yum!

Sharon shared a link to a super-easy and yummy idea for a "wintery" meal....

I made to pans - one with the last of the acorn squash and sweet potatoes from Granny and Cordy's garden sprinkled with some spices.

The other I used the last of the turnips with some onions.  Duane doesn't care for turnips in any form, so I thought I'd keep them separate.  These I just sprinkled salt and pepper....

The result was fabulous! I don't know what it is about oven-roasting veggies....but the flavor is delicious!

Personally, I thought the dish with the turnips was better!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

More ice and some organizing

We did get a bit more ice overnight.  The sidewalks and roads were pretty iced over first thing in the morning.  By noon, however, the sun was shining and it all disappeared in true Southern style!

I really didn't have much planned for Saturday - just some overdue housework....

Does your container storage area get jumbled?  I don't know why mine does, really.  I think it's because I'm usually in a rush putting things away out of the dishwasher.  I just open the doors and throw stuff in. 

 Just a few minutes organizing and it's all good....for now, at least!                                                   

Friday, January 25, 2013

Little bit of ice

Our little winter storm left us today with about a 1/2 inch of pretty snow. The flag in the background is frozen stiff!  Hopefully this will all be gone tomorrow but the overnight temps don't get out of the 20's.  So much for our "warm" winter!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nostalgic Appliances

OK, I'll admit - I'm a little attached to my appliances. 

I still have my original (1980'ish) Oster Blender from college, and my little Emmie food processor....and my Sunbeam fry-pan.  Many, many pancakes and such were produced over the years with this pan.  The problem, though, was that several years ago, the plug/thermostat quit the pan got stuck in a cabinet and sortof forgotten.......I ran across it the other day and was nostalgic. I knew it was a wedding gift so I looked it up in my wedding "gift book" - this pan was given to us by Duane's uncle and aunt - Phil and Maxine from Indiana who have both passed away.

Ebay to the rescue!!  For $14 - I have a new plug and a fully functional pan again!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Little snowy

So, the forecast for last night was 2-4" of snow.....hmmmm.....they were wrong....just a tiny dusting.  Oh well, the county kiddos were disappointed when they only got a 2 hr. delay for school instead of the hoped-for day off!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Holiday Gathering and Baked Brie

Our McCraw "Holiday Gathering" was this past weekend - we all traveled to the centrally-located town of Jamestown. We shared a huge house in a neat, quiet neighborhood. Much visiting, relaxing, food prep and eating was accomplished!

Of course, a puzzle was also (eventually) accomplished!

I just loved watching this simple procedure of making a baked Brie cheese "tart".    Debbie is the master-chef here - rolling out puff pastry to eliminate the seams. 

Cut the brie in half -

Liberally smother the brie half in jelly of your choosing.

Make a "sandwich" with the other half of the brie - and smother the entire cheese with jelly.

Start wrapping the brie with the excess dough.

Just keep wrapping it, pulling the pastry to the center -

Until it's all wrapped up!  Bake at 350 degrees until brown.

All done - a little brie bubbled out - but not much.  Let cool a bit.  When ready to eat, just slice slivers and enjoy!

Just thought I'd add one last photo - as if we didn't have enough doughy is a simple treat -  crescent rolls, cream cheese, garlic powder and salt/pepper.  Baked til browned.....yum!!  Ok, back to the diet!!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Foggy day!!

In case you were planning on flying in to see me today....I wouldn't unless you have x-ray vision!!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Cool, very big old airplane - Gullwing Stinson

Our buddy that went on our Bahamas trip has a beautiful old 1942 vintage Gullwing Stinson. It's been in maintenance for a while - but he pulled it out to go flying on this beautiful spring-like January day! I forgot to snap an "overall" photo - so here is an old one I found....very similar to his airplane.

He recently bought it - and it's been in maintenance ever since.  So, we haven't ever fueled it.  Yesterday, I experimented with the ladder - it's a big airplane!!!  Our normal ladder for fueling high-wing airplanes is just 6' tall.  It was clear after I tried it on the 6' ladder, we needed a bigger ladder!  So, I drove the pickup this morning and stopped by Lowe's for an 8' ladder.  Here Ben is on the top usable rung of the new 8' ladder.

Isn't it beautiful??  The wood panel is absolutely stunning.

Polished brass door hardware and look at that shiny stainless step.  Makes me think there is some "swing" music playing the the background! 

Monday, January 07, 2013

Life Raft Details!

We have been borrowing a small life raft to take with us in the airplane.  Since we're probably going to be flying over water more often over the next few years, we decided it was time to buy our own raft.

This is the raft - the bag is about 2' long and weighs about 30 lbs.

We could send the raft out to a vendor for inspection/certification (at great expense), but we are not required by the FAA to do so for our private flights.  Actually, we're only required to have a life vest for each passenger.....but we're happier with a life raft as well.....

Ever wonder what goodies are inside a life raft?

Well - you're gonna find out now!

This is a 6-man life raft.

It has an auto-inflation CO2 cartridge.  You pull the cord and it instantly inflates the raft.

And lots of survival items. Even some bags of fresh water.  There is a sponge to get water out of the raft if it splashes in and the ever-important Swiss-Army knife!!

There's an emergency locator beacon and basic tent-poles that support a nylon "hood" over the entire raft to keep the sun off.

Lot's of medical supplies too. Everything is in waterproof sacks and is tethered to the raft so it doesn't float away.

And there it is - all blown up (using air from the leaf blower).   We're leaving it blown up for 24 hrs just to verify it doesn't leak.  Interesting to see that there is a pair of scissors in a pocket on the tube of the raft and a sea-anchor that's like a small parachute you let out on a line to stabilize the raft.   Really glad we looked it all over - it's good to know in advance what you have!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Happy New Year!!

We rang-in the New Year at Dick and Lindy's house as usual these past couple of years. After a nice meal, we adjourned to the deck to watch some nice fireworks.

And then after glancing at the "crowd shot" above on my camera.....I decided that some of us might look better from the front!!!  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Hawk's Nest, Cat Island Bahamas Fly-out!

Off to the Bahamas again!! We left on Christmas Day because of the big winter storm approaching from the west. Since it was Christmas Day, we had no restaurant nearby for we planned ahead and had a "picnic" under the wing at Ft. Pierce where we stopped for fuel. A good start and already the temps were climbing!

Leaving Ft. Pierce with life vests on, life raft in the cockpit and our Epirbs (emergency beacons) ready in case of a water landing!

Land ahoy!  Grand Bahama Island....

Because it was Christmas Day, we had to land at an airport where customs would be open.  This is the Freeport airport on Grand Bahama Island.  After a quick customs inspection and a top-off of fuel, we were on our way to Cat Island about 250 miles away.

Beautiful waters below!

Cat Island / Hawk's Nest Resort in sight!

A quick 100 foot walk from the aircraft tiedown spot and we were in the resort.   Here is the main bar/lounge.  First day we just relaxed and enjoyed the warmth!

We went snorkeling while we waited for the others in our group to arrive a day later.  I won't comment on the photos....just enjoy the fish!

Beautiful shallow bay...

Some of the culprits!

Lindy and I relaxing one night.

Dinner at the resort was always a treat.  This is pretty much our entire group - the couple at the front of the table are the owners of Hawk's Nest - Jerry and Jane Clayton.  Extremely nice folks!

The next day was our SCUBA dive day!  Cecil rode along for fun but he's not a diver.

I'm in the water here waiting on the other divers to get geared up and ready.

My underwater shots:

Duane -

A airplane propeller....hmm....wonder how that got there???

A lionfish that our guide had speared - they are an invasive species brought from Asia and are hurting our reefs because they have poisonous barbs and have no natural predators here.  The divemasters often try to kill any they see to try to control the population.  Probably a loosing battle.

Amazing fish!!

Our guide speared a amber-jack.  He said it would be his dinner that night!

The next day we went on a long bike ride - about 1 1/2 hours.  My tush was feeling it!!!

Beautiful shoreline - Cat Island is sparsely populated.

Back at the resort for more relaxing!  Jane and Jerry were around often for interesting conversation about the drug-running history of the Bahamas.

A long walk around the "point" of the island.

Just can't get over how beautiful it is here!

The honor bar, fully stocked but no bartender - you just get what you want and write down what you took for payment when you check out.

Our good buddy, John Shearer entertained the crowd one night with his beefy baritone!!

Enjoy a short clip!

Then there was some Rummy played, of course!!!

Simple dinner one night - but it all started with a wonderful conch chowder, those mashed potatoes were fabulous and it was finished with delicious home-made rum ice cream....then Jerry brought over a bottle of Bailey's and spiked the late-evening coffee....let's not even think about the calories!!!

While we were there a nice Falcon jet came in with a family on board...

Here's a photo of some of the Wahoo that we had for dinner that night!  This was some of the other folks staying at Hawk's Nest that had gone fishing that day.  I'm not sure but I think the MahiMahi sandwich I had the next day was hanging up there too! Yummy!

More relaxing....

John and his girl Sarah posed for a quick shot!

And more relaxing....

And too soon, it was time to go home.  Unfortunately, a cloudy flight home - had to shoot an actual approach into Ft. Pierce.   Customs was a breeze and we had to get the coats out!!  A great time!