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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Another "Treager" Thanksgiving

     For the past several years the Thanksgiving turkey is done to a turn on our Treager wood pellet grill. I ordered a fresh, twelve pound turkey from Publix. I cleaned and vacuumed the Treager and filled the hopper with a new charge of apple pellets. On Tuesday I picked up the turkey and prepared to brine it overnight. This year I had a super-sized ziplock bag in which to brine it. I brewed up the brine and put the turkey a-soak. You'll note that the brine did not initially cover the turkey.


     By putting the bag in a large stockpot and wedging the bag together with a container of oatmeal and a similarly sized container of grits, the brine was squeezed together enough to completely cover the bird.




     You'll note that the pot occupied most of the top shelf of the refrigerator. You'll also note that the six pack of Shiner Bock and a can of Guinness were not displaced. Actually, there were two cans of Guinness in the brine. 
     On Thanksgiving morning I removed the turkey and dumped out the brine. I rinsed and dried the bird, rubbed it with oil and then rubbed in a dry rub on the surface and interior of the turkey. 


     Then I went out to start the Treager. It is powered by a thermostatically controlled auger which adds pellets as needed. There is a fan blowing air over the pellets to improve combustion and an electric probe to ignite them. Guess what? I had a temperature readout. I had a fan and the auger was working, but there was no electric igniter. Oh, well;there's no harm in using the inside, 120VAC oven with no smoke. 
     For sides we had butternut squash (outstanding), boiled onions, green bean casserole (thanks Cindy), stuffing, and gravy. This was our first Thanksgiving without a bowl of mashed potatoes. For dessert Cindy made a buttermilk pie!
     I did not take a picture of the finished turkey, but I would be remiss if I did not include an overhead shot of great-granddaughter, Brielle's, turkey. Back up in NH she made a veggie platter of a turkey that I think is extraordinary.


     What do you think?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Status report

    As is the case every year, the first few weeks back at home involves dozens of doctor's visits. Between us that is literally true. I'm wearing a heart monitor in order to rule out atrial fibrillation, and Durelle gets to make the acquaintance of my endodontist tomorrow. The heart monitor is a manageable nuisance EXCEPT...when the alarm goes of in the middle of the night and says, in effect, " We are trying to transmit data. Please move to where you have coverage. There are places in the house where Verizon's coverage is pretty marginal, and I guess the bedroom is one of them. The last time it happened I just shut it off. I think I have found a solution. A table in the front hall has a table in range of both Verizon and my wearable sensor. We'll see.
     I thought I was going to be able to get a great eagle picture the other day, but he was facing away. So I only got a good picture.



     I even had a chance to catch him in flight, but again, he was going away. Even in a mono-color profile the elegance is still there.


     The best I could do for photo ops were a couple of sunsets. There'll be no photo ops unless I get over to the bus and retrieve the charger for my Leica battery and the spare battery. Here's a couple of sunsets.





     All news is good; we are all well...including Mocha.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Back in the Land of Shrimp 'n Grits

     We've been "home" for a couple of weeks. It seems that most of the time has been spent catching up with medical appointments...five for me this week, and Durelle sees an endodontist tomorrow. I'm wearing a heart monitor for the next six weeks to see what we can see.
     When I did the "safe arrival" blog, I described the trip south, but I didn't do justice to the meal that Tim and Wendy prepared the night before we left. Many of you have partaken of their cooking when mass-produced for several dozen. How would you like to watch Tim prepare grilled sirloin strip for four? Those two particular pieces of cow came from his favorite butcher, and were at least two inches thick.


 That's a beautiful grill, by the way. 



Here's the finished product.


          This is also the time of year when I post a few "wildlife" pictures taken in the front yard.




     We are hoping you are enjoying the season as much as we are.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Southbound - 2017

     This should supplement yesterday's safe arrival" note with a few comments and pictures. I drove the bus from Belfast, ME to Deerfield, NH. We met with family that night, stayed two nights with the Boucher's, and headed south on Friday the 13th. Here's Tim behind the wheel for the first time.



     Leaving the Boucher estate.



     The first night was at Jonestown, PA where the campground was well decorated for Halloween.



     Here's our third string driver (I was second) ready to go.



     Here's a nice shot of our rig at a rest area.



Our second night was in Enfield, NC where the front row was empty when we checked in.



     Most of these pictures are from Tim's phone. It is hard to imagine the magnitude of his offer to take two days off work and driving a Motorhome (as opposed to a fifth wheel) for three long days. I really believe that the RV community is one rare place where you can find that level of kindness.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Thanks, Tim

     This will be just a brief note to let a few folks know that, thanks to Tim Boucher, we are safely and smoothly at home in Hanahan, SC. We didn't hit anything. We didn't break anything. The dishwasher slid open a couple of times, but nothing fell out. We made two campground stops and one fuel stop. Tim also served as dog walker and sous chef.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

On the Road Again

     On our last morning at the Moorings before leaving I got up to take some of those sunrise pictures that I had been putting off all summer. Of course, sunrise is a couple of hours later now than it was on 1 July. I just barely got there, and I had none of those soft pre-dawn pictures.







     After breakfast, Durelle made one last trip to the hair dresser, and I finished the tail end of packing up. When Durelle returned, we broke camp and said our goodbyes to a greatly diminished supply of RVers.
     As is usual on departure day, Durelle tries her hand at catching some pictures of fall colors through the windshield of the bus. It's not easy. There is the motion of both the bus and the camera, an incompletely cleaned windshield, intrusive power lines, etc.  She made 51 attempts, and I saved a dozen...not a bad ratio. Here's a few of the better ones.







          I was pleasantly surprised at how well the driving went. It was not enough to do a last minute decline of Tim Boucher's generous offer to drive us home, but it certainly means that I can help out with the driving along the way.
    We are parked in their driveway at their lovely home in Deerfield. There will be room to hook up the Jeep in the driveway so we'll be ready for an early departure tomorrow. We depart Deerfield NH on Friday the 13th. I'll let you know how the trip goes.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tomorrow We Leave Maine

     Today it is clear in the mid 70s. I think 11 Oct. is the latest we have ever stayed. Although there was one new arrival today, the place is emptying out.


     I took a seven mile run over to the Swan Lake grocery for some last minute stuff. There was a little color, but many trees shed their leaves before they reached full color.


     I found a few shots at the lake where the colors seemed more vibrant. The blue of the lake didn't hurt.






     Tomorrow should be an easy four hours to the Bouchers where we will spend two nights.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Cindy's Pictures

        Today we have been watching the season wind down. The campground is surprisingly full for this late in the season. Happy hours have sort of been abandoned. The crew has thinned and the temperatures have dropped. By 1630, there is no sunlight. Cindy, however, has managed to find some great pictures to take. Here are a few that she took in the campground.  Now, if she could only write :-), she could do a blog.









     What do you think? Am I out of a job?

Friday, September 29, 2017

New Harbor

      Today Durelle and Cindy took a drive down to New Harbor for a sentimental visit. I stayed here with the pup, but Cindy took some great pictures so I decided to share them in my blog. One of the features there is the Rachel Carson salt pond. It was there long before she wrote Silent Spring or before there was a salt pond named after her. A salt pond is formed by a barrier of a ring of rocks, earth and kelp that lies between high tide and low tide. When the tide comes in, much of it is captured by the barrier and stays there as the tide goes out. It's a wonderful place to observe all sorts of sea life. It also warms up in the sun so that it is the warmest ocean water in Maine. In the 80's I used it like my own personal hot tub after a day of clearing logs and brush from Gene and Ruth Gardner's cabin view.


     The Gardner cabin, aka "the Landry cottage" is just uphill from the salt pond. As a result, we have many pleasant memories of the area. We have been visiting there since 1978.
     As I have posted many times before, New Harbor is a working lobsterman's harbor with few pleasure boats.


     Another icon on route 1 is Moody's diner. Although their menu is not very imaginative, their pies are still special. So, they stopped.



     The landmark, of course, is Pemaquid Point and its lighthouse. 



     Cindy also captured the bed of petunias between the two halves of the parking lot at Shaws.



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Belfast Harbor

     Tuesday night was a pleasant, but smaller, happy hour. Many folks have left. I noticed that the sky was filled with high-altitude alto-cirrus clouds. These are the wispy, feathery things that often preface a storm by 48 hours. They are composed of ice crystals. The whole sky was covered with them, but by the time I retrieved the camera they had diminished.



     At the same time, in the west, there were some puffy alto cumulus that looked like popcorn as they were illuminated by the already descended sun which had disappeared behind the trees.



     As I said, it was a pleasant but smaller happy hour. Notice a couple of relaxed dogs.



     Every afternoon, when I drive across the Route 1 bridge over the Passagassawaukeag River, I say that when the sun is low and the tide is high, I'll have to come down for a picture of the Belfast Harbor. It's a tough walk for me to park and get out to the center of the bridge. Cindy and I explored options to drop me off in the center of the bridge...not safe. So we did it the hard way with my taking a rest at every power pole. Here's the result of my work.




     We have a couple of big tug boats stationed here.






     We only have a couple of more weeks and we plan to enjoy them.