Saturday, December 27, 2014


Don't forget to check out the sailing blog to see what we're up to!

Friday, December 26, 2014


We had the kids over for Christmas - nice evening....

Stockings ready for the kids - may decide to give them the stockings for their own families soon!  I made Robert and Richard's stockings back in Boca Raton when they were toddlers.  Miranda's came along in about 2008......

Robert thought  it would be cute to wrap his gifts in Barbie paper.....silly.

After dinner, we got to the business at hand - opening gifts!

Robert's coat looks warm on him.

Richard and Miranda got Robert this book about growing a Moustache - it appears that he has 2 other copies, so it was a good laugh!

Miranda and Richard being silly.....

For some reason, part of Duane's gift was some "black eggs" from Asia.......

If you will remember back to one of my China trips....I had tried these eggs before....I don't recall them being very good.....

Anyway, I volunteered to try one since Duane was not about to.....

Peeled - very black!!

And this experience was no better than before.  I did eat the bite - it was OK for a few moments....then it was just sulfur-y and just-not-too good!   Oh well - the rest just will have to be wasted!  And with that - I wish you all a happy holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Richard's Surprise Graduation Party

Miranda managed to pull off a surprise graduation party for Richard on Sunday!  He graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Emergency and Disaster Management from Western Carolina University (with honors, proud momma adds...)

He was truly surprised to see a yard full of cars when he returned home with friend Ande (who occupied him an allowed the surprise!)

Robert manned the grill for Miranda!

Miranda and friend Stephanie (was a bridesmaid, if you recall) chatting....

Nice kids - they all seemed to be having a great time....

We adults were having a good time chatting also...just separate from the 20-somethings!

Silly glow-in-the-dark items were distributed....

Purple items also abounded in the house (WCU colors, if you didn't know!)

Friend Josh being silly...

And then Richard being silly too!

There were some gifts to explore....

Some more dangerous than others!!!  Congratulations to Richard!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Perfect Fortune Cookie!

I got the absolute perfect fortune!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lovely trip Home

Beautiful day for a flight to Asheville!

Sis Teresa got to visit a bunch with our "grand nephew and niece"!

Reading a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle book - can you believe they're popular again???

And precious new little Lilee.  Such a peaceful baby!

Richard and Miranda had car trouble on the Duane and Frank drove to pick them up.  (The car got towed to a shop for repair this week....)

Eddie with his new grandchild!

Lots of chatting and catching up.

 But once we were all safely at Eddie and Trudi's house, the "Dirty Santa" game began.   Alot of fun...but actually went on a little long.....

The only photo I snapped with Rafe, Duane and Richard.....and it's almost too fuzzy to see!  And I didn't snap a single one with Miranda visible.  I'm going to have to do better for the blog!!

We visited with Granny and Cordy for breakfast....then a beautiful flight home!

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Richard and Miranda Xmas Picture

In case you don't see it on Facebook.....Miranda forwarded me their "family Xmas portrait"!  Lovely!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Finally picking up the boat!

The weather finally has cooperated and we headed to Oriental to retrieve Island Girl!  

The fiberglass work on the bows turned out very nicely!

The bottom paint is very pretty also.....important so that all the sea "critters" don't grow on the hull over the next year or two!

The Wayfarers Cove folks rigged the travel lift and lifted the boat off the supports uneventfully....time to put us back in the water!  

Slowly lowered us back to the surface of the water.

Everything was fine....started up the diesels and we were off down the narrow channel.

We got a pretty late start.....and the wind didn't help at all......

Pretty sunset.....but we were still over an hour from our new "home" worries, we handled it fine with a good Cap'n Duane and First Mate Karen on the spotlight to find our marina on Brown's Creek!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Cluck-less vegan "chicken" cutlets

I forgot to post this at sis helped me find the recipe so Miranda could have something "faux-meaty" instead of turkey. 

I made them the week before and froze - one less thing to do on the big day!  Very easy, by the way!

Gathered the ingredients...

Made the stiff dough..

After the 1 hour "rest", shaped into individual servings.  I just made flat patties.  The recipe actually showed them shaped into "breasts".

Baked at 250 degrees until golden.  Cooled and put in the freezer.  As you know, I failed miserably at taking Thanksgiving day photos......but all I did was take a portion out of the freezer - glazed it with BBQ sauce, wrapped it in foil and baked until warm.  Very yummy and Miranda took home the leftovers!

Recipe in case you're interested:

Chicken Breasts, Hold the Cluck!

In a blender, add:

6 oz silken firm tofu
¾ cup cold water
2 Tbsp Nayonnaise
2 tsp olive oil
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 ½ Tbsp vegan chicken bouillon
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp salt

~Blend well~

In a large bowl, add:
½ cup soy flour
1 ¼ cup gluten flour
1 tsp Mrs Dash Extra-Spicy (or ½ tsp black pepper)

Pour the blended mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix well, and then knead briefly into a ball. Cover and let sit for one hour.

 Then, dust countertop with a bit more gluten flour. Knead for a minute until the dough is smooth. Divide dough into chicken-breast sized pieces. Shape however you like.

Coat some non-stick foil with PAM and heat oven to 250 degrees. Wrap your “breasts” in foil and bake one and a half to two hours. (The lesser time will make the breasts more tender, say for putting on the BBQ, the longer time is better if the breasts will be soaking or marinating for a while in a sauce.)

Cool on a wire rack. I prefer to take these out the day I'm grilling them and let them marinate in something wet and tasty for a considerable amount of time. The baking creates a seal that prevents them from soaking up too much liquid and getting spongy, but a little moisture goes a long way

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Books, books, books - Books I've Read and Books To Be Read

I haven't talked about books I'm reading lately.....

In the past 2 months, I've read the following:

Killing Jesus by Bill O'reilly

The One and Only by Emily Giffin

A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison (my choice for book club this month!)

Art of Hearing Heartbeats by  Jan-Phillipp Sendker

and I am about 1/2 way thru A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
(wow - a really good history book!!!)

I have truly loved all the above books and highly recommend them!

Trying to keep myself busy while Duane is recuperating from his bad cough - I stumbled upon a list of 100 books to read before you die.....I had read a surprising number of them.  Some were more "textbook" in nature, so I think I'll pass on those.

But, I picked out the following list for the coming year.  I'll let you know how it goes!

The Phantom Tollboth by Norton Juster

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl  (seen the movie of course - don't think I've read the book!)

The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

The Handmaid's Tale  by Margaret Atwood

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison   (not the H.G. Wells book  haha!)

Bel Canto  by Ann Patchett

Catch-22   by Joseph Heller 

The Lightning Thief - Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (I think I've read this with the boys but will re-visit)

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

The Color of Water by James McBride

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Long Goodbye  by  Raymond Chandler

The Secret History by Donn Tartt  (read her book Goldfinch)

Valley of the Dolls by  Jacqueline Susann