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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oyster Roast

     The bus is still in the shop with a slide (passenger side, rear) that does not quite come all the way out.  It may be that we'll have to make a stop in Red Bay, AL on our way to Vegas.  The Dunn's arrive Thursday for three days, and we are looking forward to showing them around Charleston.  I'm sure that their visit will generate some pictures and some blog material.  Meanwhile, our next door neighbors invited us to an oyster roast this afternoon.  He had a couple of bushel and a big steamer, so he covered a wrought iron table with newspaper and we enjoyed the fun.
          The beer mug is used for scale in the picture.  It dates from my college days, so it has seen more than a few beers.  Can you translate the company motto?  Oyster roasts are somewhat similar to the Maine lobster boils that have graced these pages before.  All you need is a big pot for steaming, some cocktail sauce, a left glove and an oyster knife.  These oysters are not the single, select oysters you would find on the half shell at an oyster bar.  They come an clusters of three to ten oysters attached to each other and varying in size from a half inch to as much as six inches.  As with eating celery, you probably burn more calories than you consume...if you don't count the beer.
     The weather has been fine, and I'll close with a backyard snapshot of last evening's sunset.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Top Ten List

     OK, I know, it has been ten days since I Iast posted.  So permit me to do what the networks do.  How about a rerun?  Actually I propose to post the best ten pictures of 2011.  Yesterday I went through several thousand pictures and tagged fifty.  Today I winnowed that down to ten.  From a photographic perspective, these are not necessarily the best ten, but I have allowed personal significance to influence the selection.  They are presented in chronological order.
     This was taken at Tyndall AFB on 7 March.  On one of our evening walks Durelle and Baxter enjoyed the swing overlooking the bayou.
     This guy posed for me back in Hanahan on 27 March.  It's a back yard shot.
     June found us at the Air Force Academy.  At a lunch in the clubhouse at Eisenhower Country Club I had to take a picture of the plaque with the names of prior club champions.  I hope you can make out Durelle's name for 1972.
     From there we spent some time in Estes Park.  The campground was at 8,000 feet, but the Trail Ridge Road went up to 12,000.  This is a classic high country view.
     By 22 July we were in Empire, Michigan.  This, of course, is Baxter.
     From Michigan we headed across Canada for Maine.  A very nice stop was on the western end of Lake Nippising where I caught a hawk traveling across in front of a nice sunset.
     By August we were in Maine.  Here's a rainbow in front of our bus with the pot of gold somewhere in Penobscot Bay.
     This is a September picture around the campfire at the Branns.  This, of course, is our great-granddaughter, Brielle.
     After hurricane Irene passed off shore, we went to Schoodic Point on 9 September.  Even at dead low tide, the surf was spectacular.
     On the way back home we stopped at West Point to watch Army beat Tulane.  This shot is taken through the windshield from the North Dock parking are looking north up the Hudson toward Newburgh.
     We are getting geared up to get on the road again.  With all of the mods to our rig this winter we are going to have a shakedown cruise to Huntington Beach State Park from 9-13 March.  We'll leave in May for Las Vegas for our granddaughter's wedding.
     I hope you have enjoyed the recap of 2011.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Winter of 2012 in SC

     There have been some very nice recent comments to this blog, so I feel obliged to maintain the pace.  The salient feature of this winter has been the almost complete lack of nights when I have had to set the furnace in the motorhome.  All of the damage from the burglars has been repaired, and there is a new, flat screen TV installed.  Does anyone remember picture tubes?  As I sort of mentioned in an earlier blog, the bus was completed with the end of season work, and all washed and waxed and ready for a winter rest when we decided to leave it with ProTech to have a drier installed.  That's when the burglary occurred.  The bus came equipped with a Splendide washer-drier combo, and we (Durelle) love the convenience of not having to use laundromats.  The combination units are convenient, but the 120 volt drier is a bottleneck.  So we had decided to drive to Red Bay, AL (the factory) to replace the combo with a stacked separate washer and drier.  Then we realized that we would be forever restricted to campgrounds with 50 Amp service.  Since we spend a lot of time at sites with only 30 Amp service, we paused.  We have decided to use the storage space above the combo washer-drier to install a separate drier.  If we are at a site with only 30 Amps, we'll use the combo as before.  When we have 50 Amps, we'll use the washer part of the combo and the stand-alone drier.  It will take up no more space than a stacked washer-drier, and we can use the washer even at 30 Amp sites.  It will cost us some storage space, but so would the stacked washer-drier combination.  That work is nearly complete.  A reinforced shelf is being constructed over the combo to support the drier.  I'll include some pictures when it is done.
     These blogs are rather dull if I can't find a good picture or two.  Below are some I took last night and this morning.  It was a great sunset, and the deer cavorting on the edge of the pond were enjoyable.




Saturday, February 4, 2012

Last day at 72

     There has been an unconscionable delay since my last post.  I guess life is getting boring.  The weather in January has sure validated our decision to move to Charleston in 2004.  Cindy and Durelle have had ample opportunity to play golf.  The last time out Cindy started with a 43 and just barely hung on to finally beat her mother!  'Twas a long time coming.
     After the cataract surgery had such a positive and sudden impact on my vision, I decided it was about time to do something about my deteriorating hearing.  Actually, I had given a pair of hearing aids a test run in 2009 and again in 2011.  Both times hearing improved but not enough to address the primary motivation, which was to reduce the number of times that Durelle was asked to repeat what she had just said.  So, in both trials, I returned the units and got my money back.  Since those little buggers are over $2K apiece, I wanted to see significant results before I spent that kind of money.  Yesterday I went back for a third trial.  The folks there have been more than patient with me.  This time has been different.  Baxter's bark sounds like a bear and the ice cube maker sounds like an earthquake...at least compared to what I remembered.  I expect the third time will be a charm.
     I do have a couple of recent, albeit unrelated, pictures.  The first tries to capture the holly bush in full bloom before the cedar waxwings discover it.  The second is a young blue heron in the back yard.  He really is that blue.