Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Monday, February 05, 2018

Key West bound

We'll miss the daffy's this year....Diane, feel free to harvest bouquets any time over the next few weeks!

Sunday, February 04, 2018

New solo pilot in the family!!

Richard surprised me this week by telling me that he has done some flight training while we've been gone!  And he said he was about ready to solo - with less than 10 hours of flight instruction - pretty fast learner!

First takeoff!

First landing!

He did the usual 3 takeoffs and landings....

Happy day!! 

With his instructor, Bill.  So proud!!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Visit to the mountains

We had our yearly "McCraw Holiday Gathering" this year in Hendersonville.

Although we weren't all together at the same time, everyone was present for part of the long weekend.

Cordy and Kevin 


ToniAnn, Kyle and Zoom

Kevin's family


Sharon and Buddy

Carolyn and Tommy

And Granny and Cordy

All too soon, the weekend was over! 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Most blog entries will likely be over on the boat blog for a while!

Sunday, November 12, 2017


One of the last "social" things we had to do before heading back to Galveston was attend Pat's daughter's wedding.

It was a beautiful fall day!  The wedding ceremony was down at Gretchen's gazebo.  The bride was flown to the ceremony by Pat in his motor glider.  She got out of the plane on the runway so I couldn't get a photo of that.

Lovely ceremony with lots of kind words.  The bride and groom met at a "medieval times" type group.  Lots of their friends from that group attended the wedding and they exited the ceremony under the crossed swords you see.

We all walked back down the runway to Pat's hangar.  It was an amazing transformation!

Lovely wedding cake with lots of options.

And for the non-meat-friendly folks, they had a great vegan BBQ!  It was really good.

First dad/daughter dance!  So sweet.

As the night extended, the pretty twinkling lights gave a nice atmosphere.

Hard to see, but they're cutting the cake with a long sword!!

 And there was even some "entertainment" - Charlotte does aerial silk dancing, so some of her friends performed.  Interesting!  I'd never seen this before.

And Lindy snapped a photo of us!   Fun times!

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Heading Home

We packed up like the "Beverly Hillbillies"....and headed home. Since we might not be back to Oriental for months, we couldn't leave the Avion unprotected thru the winter.  It's now safe and snug back in it's original spot in the hangar.

We've got to pack our backs for the trip to Houston to survey the catamaran!  More to follow!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017


Warning, T, this post is not for you!

Duane caught this big guy.   We didn't measure, but the concrete dock you see is in 6" segments.   He was nice and beefy, so I decided he was going to be dinner!

Scaled and cleaned.

I am not the best at filleting, but I did a pretty good job.  Plenty big for the two of us.  Used some lemon pepper seasoning and olive oil.  (I didn't have any breading material in the camper or I think I would have fried them instead.)

I had wrapped a couple of sweet potatoes in foil and roasted them on the grill earlier.  Add a side of coleslaw and we had a great meal!  The fish was tender and excellent - just a few big bones that were easy to pick out. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Oriental sunrise

This morning was much chillier!!!

Sunday, October 29, 2017


I've finally had some luck fishing!  A nice speckled trout.  (They're not in the same family as the trout we're used to in the mountains....the name is misleading - they are actually a type of drum fish and live in brackish/seawater).

And another one later in the day!  No worries, sis...these went back in the water.  Good fun!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Brown Creek Sunrise

Just a pretty picture of sunrise from our dock....

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Expensive boat shoes

I needed some new boat shoes if I'm going to be on a new boat....the current ones have definitely exceeded their "life expectancy"!

They are worn slick - the whole point in having boat shoes is that they grip the topsides of wet boats.... and there's actually holes in the bottoms.  Boat shoes are made to get wet, but it's a little ridiculous to have water coming in from the top AND the bottom!!

So, we got in our trusty bird and flew to Myrtle Beach....beautiful day.

Approaching Grand Strand airport.

Borrowed their "crew car" and headed to the outlet mall.  You all know that's just not our version of fun....but we persevered. 

Came away with "the most expensive boat shoes ever" (haha if you count the avgas we used to get there!)  Just kidding, we were going flying today anyway so it was just an excuse to go to Myrtle beach.    Ta-Da!  my new shoes!

We stopped on the way back to the airport and had a Chinese lunch with some of the best hot-n-sour soup I've ever had....a fun day! 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Over the weekend we rode our bikes 8+ miles to Pecan Grove for their annual fall picnic.

Didn't snap any photos during the gathering so you'll just have to believe me.  Well attended - we ended up visiting with the couple that bought Glory Days several years ago for a couple of hours sitting in the Glory Days cockpit!  Good fun. 

 Cool, clear nights.   Stayed up until 1AM and laid out on the dock to watch so shooting stars from the Orionid Meteor Shower.  We saw a couple of really pretty ones before scampering back to bed!

We've enjoyed the campfires this week!  Lazy evening - campfire and heating up the grill using shovelfuls of hot coals from the campfire.

This morning we put out another of Duane's homemade concrete benches.  It's just nice to have lots of spots to relax!  

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fall camping

Nothing like a little fall camping!  Heading out of the driveway to Oriental.

Just being lazy, enjoying the cool temps and clear skies.

Sunrise from the dock this morning.

Monday, October 16, 2017


We finally had a nice day - went flying just a bit.  Pretty green landscape....a few more weeks and it will start to be more colorful!

Friday, October 13, 2017


Well, we've been home a week now...and we're just now getting over the jet-lag.   There have been a couple of nights that one of us didn't hardly sleep at all.   

Haven't really accomplished much - and the weather has been grey and murky ever since we arrived....hopefully it will improve soon.

Just a last photo of the zinnias in the flower garden.  I hope to harvest a bunch more seeds for a repeat next year.

We'd had a lawn service mow the lawn a couple of times while we were gone...but it's been a couple of weeks since the last mowing....the yard seems to be covered in pine needles.  Does that mean a hard winter???

Monday, October 09, 2017

Back home!

We're back home now...recovering from a bit of jet-lag.  Hopefully tonight will get us back on a "normal" sleep schedule.

The kids came over yesterday evening to do a bit of car work with Duane.   I had a nice visit with Miranda, then we had a nice leisurely dinner. 

My zinnias were in full bloom when we returned - so I went and snipped off a handful for a quick centerpiece for the table.   Pretty and free - they were from seeds that I had harvested last fall. 

Saturday, October 07, 2017

42 - Hawaii

Purely travel....uneventful but full flights from Honolulu to LAX and from LAX to Charlotte so lots of delays to get all the folks settled.   

We were in first class, but unfortunately they were just "regular" first class seats (not lay-flat) so it was really hard to sleep.  It was two 5 hour hops so pretty hard to get to sleep anyway.  I watched the Secret Life of Bees and Unbroken - both movies that I had read the book.  Pretty good representation of the book in both cases.

Had a great final veggie meal - lentil chili with polenta, roast asparagus and carrots,  a nice nori roll and a Hawaiian salad.  I really can't figure out how they get such nice meals served at 35000 feet.  Very yummy! 

I tried to take a photo of all the lights of Los Angeles as we departed, but I just couldn't get a good shot in the dark out the oval airplane window, so you'll just have to take my word that there are a lot of people in Los Angeles!!!

Rented a car and drove home (dropped the car off in Pittsboro at Enterprise, so very handy).  We'll need a day to recover from the 24+ hours with no real sleep!  (Somehow it turned a bit of autumn while we were gone!)

Friday, October 06, 2017

41 - Hawaii

Wow, last day!!  Tomorrow is basically a travel day......the trip has flown by lightning fast!

We spent the day on Waikiki beach just to relax and enjoy.

What vacation would be complete without a chicken picture?  Pretty much everywhere we went, even some of the remote hikes, there were chickens.  They weren't skittish so I assume there are no predators on the island.

Parts of Waikiki beach is surprisingly vacant - but this was mid-day on a weekday.  I was surprised how many lifeguards were on duty everywhere in these little stands, even at the remote beaches.

Wandering down the "strip" along the waterfront, there is a Tesla dealership right on a busy corner.  (all indoor, of course).

The cars look pretty ordinary - hope they are successful!

We wandered down the walking path south of Waikiki.

We noticed a shadow in the water.

It was a sweet looking seal!

Love the banyan trees that dot the shoreline.

For my "last" Hawaiian meal out, I chose a spicy ahi tuna poke bowl topped with avocado.  It was delicious!

Walking back to the condo, we went down this alleyway. It was completely lined with 100's of surfboards.   I guess this is the "paid parking lot" for surfboards!

And that's a wrap!

Last photo before we headed out the condo door!