Tourney, fun and wind–Sun. 10/27 through Sun. 11/10

November 10th, 2013

Boat Fishing

 

We got one day in the boat.  We went to the Inlet and caught 3 undersized flounder, big puffer fish and a sea mullet (king fish).  The beginning of this week was a lot like the day we went out–no wind, no drift.  Reports coming in from friends who did go out are that the water temperature is down and the fishing has slowed.

 

We were going to pull the boat yesterday but we were too tired after the tournament.  Today it is blowing.  Tomorrow we are forecast to get a calm window after which we have a stiff nor’easter coming so we have to get it out tomorrow if we are going to be able to make our thanksgiving trip to GA.

 

Surf Fishing

 

I fished 3 days.  One day was in Hatteras and at ramp 43.  All I got was some small stuff but Trixie had a ball playing at Hatteras.  At ramp 43 Anglers had been doing a lot of bait fishing and Trixie was intent upon trying to sneak a snack at every opportunity.  Then to top it off she dug about a foot and a half down and found decaying mullet heads and carcasses.  They were so bad she didn’t try to eat them but rather barked like crazy.  The really bad part was when I reached into the hole to see what she had found–I couldn’t get the stench off my hand for hours!

 

After the experience at ramp 43 I decided that I would go elsewhere if I was taking Trixie with me.  The first day I went to Frisco–wide hard sand beach with not a soul in sight.  I set up about a half mile south of the ramp.  Not long after I got there I started getting some sea mullet and puffer action.  In between Trixie and I played fetch on the long line.  At one point she stopped after catching her toy, sniffed the air and then started to walk north toward the ramp.  I called her and she came but was so focused on whatever she smelled that she would not stop barking.

 

After a timeout in the car and a break for me to catch some fish, I let her back out.  We were playing again and all at once she decided to keep right on going past her toy and toward the ramp.  .2 to .3 of a mile she went without out even acknowledging that I was calling her or following her.  I started to get really concerned because there was no one around to grab her long line and I had no idea where or how far she would go.  She finally stopped at the decaying carcass of a ray.  I grabbed her by the collar and popped it several times as I headed back from where we came.  The rest of the day she was on good behavior but then again, I did not let go of the long line. 

 

Oh, and I forgot my final count (even with all the commotion with Trixie) was 9 sea mullet, 1 big puffer and 1 big spot.

 

Day two on Frisco beach and Trixie has a new longer long line so she can run far enough to think she is free but so I can control her if her nose takes over her mind again.   She thought about leaving once or twice but came when called so I didn’t have to use the long line.  We spent the day alternating between me catching fish and playing fetch.  At one point I put her line on the rod rack and told her to watch the car while I tended my rod.  When I got back she had finished he 5 minute break and started digging a hole.  Her long line was still attached to the rod rack when she got all excited.  She pulled herself into a tight position and sling shouted out into a full run while I’m saying Trixie no, easy.  Next thing I knew Trixie was flying through the air, spun around when she hit the end of the line and the harness pulled over her head while the break away clip released.  As I was staring at the harness on the ground she proceeded to run tight circles around me. 

 

I have seen many a dog take off in a run after a bird or get themselves in a position where they are hanging by their neck collars so I use a harness on the beach.  In this case I was really glad I took the safety measure of using the harness. 

 

As a side note, the end result for the morning when the front came through included one tired dog,  24 Sea Mullet and 4 big puffer fish.

 

The Front

 

The front stalled and produced a nearly week long nor’easter.  I used the snotty weather to smoke 4 racks of ribs–a full day cooking and a full day cleaning up.  Also, I made the cookies for the club and some prepared meals for the days of the tourney–including homemade pot pies and French bread.  I also used the time to get caught up on the business accounting and financials, as well as processing my fish.  Jim spent his time working hard to catch up with orders for the obedience equipment so he doesn’t have to be bothered during the holidays.  Then there were a bunch of odds and ends to be taken care of so we can leave for our Thanksgiving trip and have everything in order for our house sitter.

 

During this time Trixie spent most of her time in the back yard where she twists and turns and jumps while chasing her ball.  At one point I noticed that she was coming down the steps without putting any weight on her right hind leg. I was concerned that she might have injured herself but she shows no other signs of lameness.  I mentioned it to Jim and Jim watched her.  He said she has been taking the steps this way for a long time. 

 

I was curious about this so I started keeping her on leash and slowing her down while watching.  If she goes slow, she uses the leg fine.  But when she goes fast, it seems that she alternates front legs but insists on putting both hind legs down at once as opposed to alternating between the two.  She has a long body and the steps are steep.  As a result it seems like when she puts both back legs down the back of the right leg hits the step behind her.  When this happens she finishes without trying to put the right leg down.  This awkward approach seems to work well as she rarely stumbles unless she is really flying.  My only concern is that this may not just be an awkward approach to the steps but rather an early sign of an injury or hip problem???

 

Tournament

 

After nearly a week of wind and rain I figured the tournament had to be nice.  Thurs. was windy but quite warm with only scattered showers, most of which happened during our breaks.  There were quite a few puppy drum in the am but not much in the afternoon.  Fri. blew hard out of the north in the am and calmed a bit in the afternoon but it was really cold and the fishing slowed down to a trickle.  On the bright side, Trixie got lots of attention and exercise.  In fact, after dinner she pretty much just chilled instead of insisting on her desert–a marrow bone stuffed with cheese.

 

Sat. was our day to fish and the fish basically shut down.  There were only 6 fish registered and 4 of the winners weighed in at 1 pound or less.  Trixie didn’t mind, however, because she got another full morning of playing fetch on the beach.

 

What’s for Dinner


 

Sun.   Pizza

Mon. Beef Vegetable Barley Soup and Homemade Bread

Tues. Sautéed Puffer nuggets, Cuscus, Squash

Wed.  Crab Patties, Parsley Potatoes, Squash

Thurs. Grilled NY Strip Steaks, Cheesy Risotto with Broccoli, Creamed Peppers

Fri.  Leftovers

Sat.  Pot Pie

Sun. Batter Fried Fish, Perogies, Tomato Salad

Mon. Dinner at our Friends with Music by Jim–Ham, Biscuits, Collards, Squash and more–great meal

Tues. Broiled Fish, Rice, Creamed Peppers

Wed.  Pot Pie

Thurs. Eggplant and Rigatoni, Homemade French Bread

Fri. Eggplant and Rigatoni, Homemade French Bread

Sat.  Batter Fried Drum and Mullet, Hush Puppies, Tomato Salad

Sun. Crab Stuffed Flounder, Rice, Tomato Salad

 

p.s.  Word of warning–BC kept telling us we are grandfathered and can keep our insurance.  At the same time I have been reading about all the policy cancellations that have been occurring.  Here’s the deal, if YOU or your insurance company made or make any changes to your coverage (raise deductible or increase co-pays by more than $5, etc.), your policy is not considered grandfathered and must be replaced with an ACA compliant policy. 

 

We did not make any changes but I was curious what the alternative would be if we had.  I looked it up and the cheapest policy with a premium of approximately $1,100 per month would be nearly 3 times what we are paying now and would have a higher deductible–$12,000 to be precise.  That is, since we already have unlimited lifetime benefits and our premiums are not based on our medical spending, we would be paying more for less coverage.  As for subsidies, the point at which the subsidies drop to almost nothing is 250% of the poverty level or approximately $38,000 for a family of two, so that would not reduce our costs.

 

Bottom line, before you make any changes to your insurance make sure you can, in fact, get a better deal with an ACA compliant policy.  If you have an employer based policy and your employer has made changes since the law passed, plan on higher contributions to your medical benefits or smaller wage increases next year.  Either that or hope the one year extension for employers is extended and/or Congress passes legislation to change the way the law defines grandfathered plans.

Fall is definitely here–Tues. 10/8 through Sat. 10/26

October 26th, 2013

If its not blowing, its raining.  We had 12+ inches on Wed. 10/9. Oh, and we had to turn the heat on two days ago.

 

We did get one boat trip in.  Same old–lots of small speckled trout and too late to head out to our gray trout area by the time we decided to give it up.

 

From the surf, I made four trips.  One yielded some blue fish and today’s resulted in a good catch of sea mullet.  I did see a nice puppy drum.  I finally got the picture of my big black drum I promised to send–7 pounds 6 ounces and 24+ inches.

 

 

As for the rest, pretty boring.  Chores, finances, financial planning, processing the last of the fall veggies, perfecting my biscuit recipe, lots of work on the business accounting and shipping, packing for a long GA trip and preparing my laptop so I can more readily switch from it to my desktop and back.

 

Jim has finally caught up on the business, did a full inventory and tells me he is in the process of cleaning up.

 

We did go out to eat 2 times.  Once for fried chicken.  I just don’t do a good job of it.  Suffice to say we are still looking for a good place for fried chicken.  The second time was for chicken fried steak.  Jim had this as a special quite some time ago and really liked it–better than mine.  This time the meat was not only tough but he could not chew about 25% of it.  So much for that.

 

Aside from the above are the regular walks with Trixie and at least 4 sessions of fetch played until her tongue is hanging on the ground–what happened to the fat lazy puppy?

 

What’s for Dinner


 

Tues.  Pork roasted with veggies and tatos

Wed.  Pork roasted with veggies and tatos

Thurs.  Broiled Trout, Rice, Tomato Salad

Fri.   Meatloaf with mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy

Sat.  Club Covered Dish–lots of food this month

Sun.   Meatloaf with mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy

Mon. Fired Clams, French Fries and Cole Slaw

Tues. Fried Chicken from local restaurant.

Wed.  Lamb Curry, Rice and Naan–Not one of my best–like the chicken a whole lot better

Thurs. Tried to fix the above but no good

Fri.  Sautéed Blue, Indian Eggplant and Pita Bread

Sat.  Shrimp Scampi, Rice and Kale Gratin

Sun. Calm Chowder and Corn Bread–the American Test Kitchen Cast Iron Pan was a dud

Mon. Clam Chowder and my old standby–homemade Italian Bread

Tues. Sautéed Blue, Indian Eggplant and Pita Bread

Wed.  Local Restaurant for their special–Chicken Fried Steak.

Thurs. Roasted Chicken Thighs, Mac and Cheese and Corn

Fri. Broiled Trout, Rice and Lima Beans

Sat.  Jim’s Beef Vegetable Soup and homemade Oatmeal Bread

Lot’s of boating and a bit of surf fishing before the shutdown–Thurs. 9/19 through Mon. 10/7

October 7th, 2013

We got 5 days of boating in.  Most of our time has been spent on the reef and Cape Channel with plenty of speckled and gray trout action.  While the last trip was the best in numbers, the speckled were all undersized.  Sat. marked our last trip before the wind kicks in.  We tried the Inlet for flounder this time.

 

On our approach to the inlet we ran into a school of blues–nice tailor blues but none of any size.  Jim had flounder on his radar so we headed to Barney’s and had two pickups but didn’t boat either.  We probably would have stayed there a while longer but 1) the ferry started using the channel and 2) Jim was bent on finding our neighbors.  Why?  Because the prior two days they had done well.  The end result is we did a lot of exploring but little fishing. 

 

Since we now have to crate Trixie and since we weren’t catching much, we decided to head home and give Trixie a break.  Normally, I wouldn’t feel so bad but the last two times we had been out Trixie took to sulking, ignoring her cheese bone and toys.  I had tried the neighbor’s bigger crate but she hated it and once let out refused to go back into it.  I don’t know if she sensed it was Paddy’s and the cats but she did not want anything to do with it.

 

As for the surf, I got two days a week and a half ago.  One yielded a bunch of small stuff and the other was a day late on blue action.  Since last Monday, my beach activities have been limited to walks on the beach.  The NPS, as directed by the Director Jon Jarvis, had decided to shut down everything–chaining ramps for ORV access and closing every road in the park.  The exception is highway 12 but that is probably only because it is a state road with a right of way.  The NPS also shut down the air strips, the private pier in Avon, the horseback concession and the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center (the largest on the eastern seaboard).  If you have been following the news, we know are not alone.  The weird thing is that there have been 17 shutdowns prior to this and the NPS has never taken such a heavy handed position before–not even during the 21 day shutdown in 1996.  The rationale has nothing to do with manpower requirements or liability (the private concessions carry ample insurance) but rather with the opinion that all commercial permits are considered to be null and void in the event of a shutdown.  I guess we should just consider ourselves lucky in that local park service personnel have decided to allow access as long as we don’t use their roads and pretty much declined to enforce the parking lot closures.

 

Jim has been very busy filling orders for the dog supplies with 4 new orders in the pipe line now.  I have been busy with financial planning, business accounting, processing veggies, computer games, bingo, Sat. night cards, chores, and, of course cooking. 

 

One of the things I was working on was finding a recipe for biscuits that Jim likes.  I tried American Test Kitchen and Cooks County drop biscuits.  Jim  said they were too crumbly.  I tried one from the Good Eats–Alton Brown which weren’t bad.  I tried the following –http://southern.food.com/recipe/southern-buttermilk-biscuits-26110.  The neighbor, Dick, said they were delicious.  Jim liked them but her liked the following better– http://www.joyofbaking.com/Biscuits.html–I substituted buttermilk and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (Alton Brown said to add if using buttermilk) and they didn’t get a high as in the video.  The reason he liked these was that you could break them apart without them crumbling.  Next time I want to try buttermilk without the baking soda or just milk and see if I can get the lift.

 

What’s for Dinner


 

 

Thurs.  Sautéed Gray Trout, Fried Potatoes, Tomato Salad

Fri.  Crab Patties, Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sauce, Okra

Sat.  Leftovers

Sun.

Mon. Stuffed Clams, Biscuits, Limas
Tues. Stuffed Clams, Biscuits, Limas

Wed.  Grilled Hamburgers and Chips

Thurs. Dinner at the friend down the street–contribution was homemade Italian Bread–good food and good company

Fri.  Pizza and leftovers

Sat.  Sautéed Trout, Oven Roasted Potatoes, Kale

Sun. Enchilada’s and Mexican Rice

Mon. Pizza for Jim, soup for me (stomach virus)

Tues. Batter Fried Trout Pieces, Hush Puppies and Okra

Wed. Pizza

Thurs. Onion Ring encrusted trout, Hush Puppies, Creamed Peppers

Fri. Grilled NY Strip, Spaetzle sautéed in butter and green onions, Tomato Salad

Sat.  Parmesan encrusted Trout, Brown/wild rice combination, Tomato Salad

Sun.  Crab Tartlets, Tomato Salad

Mon. Leftovers

This is more like it–Wed. 9/4 through Wed. 9/18

September 18th, 2013

After our brief glimpse of fall, we got another hot spell.  We only got 2 boat trips in because it was either too windy or too calm.  The first boat trip was a week ago Sunday.  Jim was intent upon finding the flounder again but it didn’t happen–not for us, not for anyone else.  That said, for the next 3 days the tackle shop said the boats cleaned up on flounder.

 

Ok so we tried again this past Monday.  It was really calm with little to no drift.  We stopped at the trout hole first and I caught a 14 inch flounder.  Next we went further off shore hoping to score a bit of a drift.  Jim concentrated on bait fishing while I worked a jig.  I scored another 14 inch flounder.  On the way home I wanted to drift the ferry channel but Jim didn’t want to.  I did get Jim to stop at a spot I have been wanting to try but couldn’t get to the deeper water without being in the channel.  Instead I got Jim to grudgingly agree to a short drift in around 8-5 foot.  When we got within reach of the grass flats I casted toward them and hooked something big enough to pull drag then run at me several times.  Jim kept saying its a blue fish but it finally did the swirl at the top of the water that is characteristic of big trout or drum.  Next it ran at me so fast I thought Jim was right and that I had been bit off.  Much to my surprise when I reeled in I found my jig intact. 

 

On one of the hot days, I made a trip to ramp 55.  Only got one sea mullet and since it was extremely hot, I opted to get gas for the boat and head home for some inside activities.  On the next day, the NE returned, making the beach quite comfortable. 

 

With the point open again, I tried to trips to the point.  Neither trip produced much, especially with the Hatteras Village tournament in full swing making for pretty crowded conditions.  That said, I did get Trixie some much needed exercise and worked some on her come command.   I really needed this work as she has decided to selectively respond or to have developed a bit of ADD when she catches the scent of something interesting.

 

On the next NE I tried one of the north beaches.  On the first day I scored 28+ sea mullet in an a hour and a half.  The bite slowed down from there but I still managed decent catches for the next two days.  2 days later, after a brief hot spell, the NE returned.  I got 8 sea mullet on each of the next two days.  And for a bonus I caught a 7 pound 6 ounce black drum on Sunday.  I didn’t get a picture because the tackle shop took one.  I will send it next time.

 

The past two days have been howling and I have been catching up on some business.  One job of course has been processing my catches.  Closely related to fishing is dealing with the ice maker.  In this regard, I did get HVAC man in to look at it.  He verified that the compressor is bad, however, not knowing what caused the compressor to fail, he was circumspect as to whether a replacement would last.  He quoted me 2 hours at $125 per hour for a total of $250.  Another appliance repair man quoted me $300.  The main difference is that the second repair man seemed to think that the new compressor should resolve the issue for good since it will be shipped with the dryer and all new electronics–that is, with the new icemaker assembly, there isn’t anything else to go wrong.  My issue is do I throw more money at the machine–Jim says no.  I was inclined to change tactics by acquiring a used or new refrigerator and try to use the newly purchased ice maker assembly in the refrigerator.  But now that I found out the company already sent the compressor, I am trying to decide if I should change tactics back to the repair.  Any input would be appreciated.

 

Jim has been busy with the business, gardening and lawn care.  With respect to the latter, his deck on the lawn mower is failing fast and he spent a whole day jerry rigging a fix for one of the wheels.  We are also working on a fix to a Trixie mess.  Our boat trip this past Monday was the 4th or 5th time we left her for 4-5 hours.  She has been good each time but this last time she decided to shred the carpet in front of one of the sliding glass doors and chew the door jamb.  The weird thing is the door she chose is not the one we use to enter the house.  It was the door next to her bed that goes no where.  I did find 3 of her chew toys under her bed.  I can’t figure out if she was trying to get out or got a toy wedged in the area and after pulling some loose carpet made a game out of it.  If it weren’t for the chewing of the door jamb, I would guess the latter.  I guess we have to go back to crating her for longer absences again.  BTW here is a picture of her from 8/31  (7 1/2 months old).  I tried to get her in action but it blurred.

 

 

Of course along with normal financial and cleaning chores, there are always cooking projects.  including a big batch of oriental salad for the club meeting, a loaf of homemade Italian bread for a dinner invite (5 people ate nearly the whole loaf) and with 20-30 mph NE winds I decided to make a 9 pound ham yesterday.  In this regard here goes for What’ for Dinner.

 

 

 

What’s for Dinner


 

 

Wed.   Nachos

Thurs.  Crab Stuffed Pompano, Rice, Sautéed Okra

Fri.  Nachos, Ribs, Delmonico Potatoes, Baked Beans

Sat.  Broiled Gray Trout, Rice, Sautéed Okra

Sun. Pepper Steak and Rice

Mon. Batter Fried Fish, Perogies, Tomato Salad

Tues.  Roasted Chicken Thighs, Macaroni and Cheese, Corn

Wed. Sautéed Mullet, Cuscus, Sautéed Okra

Thurs.  Shrimp Scampi, Rice, Kale Gratin

Fri.  Grilled NY Strip Steak and CHICKEN CHILI RELLANO CASSEROLE

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=167930600039168&set=a.158380010994227.1073741829.153951961437032&type=1&theater

(I made this as more of a side dish so added more peppers and skipped the chicken.  I did include 3 links of Chorizo.  45 minutes was to much.)

Sat. Club Dinner Meeting

Sun. Dinner at the Neighbors–lots of goodies, nice salad, fruit, and a sausage casserole

Mon. Batter Fried Trout Pieces, Onion Rings, Tomato Salad

Tue. Ham, Gravy, Sweet Potato Casserole, Kale Gratin, Biscuits

Wed. Ham, Gravy, Sweet Potato Casserole, Sting Beans, Biscuits

Short Glimpse of Spring-Fri. 8/16 through Tues. 9/3

September 3rd, 2013


It’s been a bit windy.  That’s nothing new except that we had several days of stiff NE which allowed us to turn off the AC and open the windows. 

 

On the windy days I have been walking Trixie on the beach.  She is learning to focus on her toy and is starting to really enjoy running along the edge of the water.  This allows me to take her out on hot days because she can cool down by getting her feet wet.  Unfortunately, one day I chose to take her to the old lite house site where there are slews of people.  She saw the waves and people and took off leaving me with a nasty rope burn that took 4 days to get to the point where I could get out without worrying about infection.  That’s ok though because Jim had so many orders for me to ship and accounting to be done that it gave me time to catch up. 

 

And I almost forgot, to add insult to injury I was walking Trixie with my bandage on and stopped at the neighbors.  The neighbor’s new puppy and Carl’s dog were getting acquainted so I attempted to sit Trixie so they could do their thing.  I say attempted because while I was getting her to sit a wasp stung me on the ankle.  Next thing I looked at Trixie and she had several wasps hanging on her feathers by her belly.  I swooshed them with my hand and me and the neighbor ran to the hose to make sure we got them all off before Trixie got a bunch of bites.  I’m still paying for it because my ankle is swollen and there is still a scab where I was stung.  Add to that a bit of a rash, swelling and some redness and I am probably going to the doctor tomorrow.

 

Jim went to see an orthopedic about his shoulder.  The good news, he has the shoulder of a 20 year old.  The bad news, he is still in some nagging pain and there is nothing to do but wait until it flares up again.  At that point the doctor wants to see him while it is inflamed.

 

Boat Fishing

 

We did manage 3 days on the water.  Two were decent with Grays and Blues one day and 4 nice flounder on the other–2 were 15 1/2 inches and 2 were 17 inches.  All were fat.  The third day was really rough and even with the drift sock we were drifting well over 1.5 mph.  After one tiny blue, a 13 1/2 inch flounder and a lizard fish we decided to try clams.  We went to the sand bar where we got grounded–no chance of that this time as the most shallow water was nearly knee deep.  We managed 90 clams before we gave in.

 

This is where the fun began.  Jim was in the boat and I was cleaning the transducer so I went to pull the anchor.  The wind and current was so stiff, I could barely hold onto the rope let alone reel it in while I made it to the boat.  Suffice it to say, I was beat after I got to the boat and we were both beat when we got home.

 

Surf Fishing

 

I decided to see if Trixie’s training was going to translate to beach fishing.  She has done well–playing with me, getting cooled off and going to the shade as the sun gets high and the heat builds.  Also, while I still have to keep a eagle eye on her, she has not been eating everything in sight.  Being preoccupied with Trixie, I have not been catching more than enough mullet and spot for a meal.  That is, until this Sat.  Trixie was very well behaved and I got into a real good hour or two of mullet fishing (20 fish in all with only one rod for the most part).

 

The Rest

 

Aside from the business Jim has been cleaning up, doing yard work and, of course, gardening.

 

I washed the cars, changed the water filter, processed garden stuff and did some shopping for bathing suits–it seems mastectomy equals black, gray or white if you are going to buy separates.  I also addressed the issues with the furniture that was delivered in GA.  I have verified that we will be getting a replacement lounger–damaged leather and seat off center.  As for the chairs for the kitchen set, I am still waiting on an answer there.  The issue was that the chairs were not level–I think because of the little plastic pieces that protect the floor are slightly different from one another.  This was not nearly as big an issue as the lounger.  In fact, felt pads have provided a temporary fix and a sander could likely provide a permanent fix.  That said, we paid a pretty penny for the set and I would rather get replacements.

 

Another issue I worked on involved the ice maker we bought 6 years ago.  I had replaced the ice maker assembly and right afterward the thing stopped cooling.  I turned it off and ignored it until we got home from the July trip to GA.  When I came home I started it again.  It got cold and quit again.  A friend tested the capacitor and found it defective.  When we got the new one and installed it, the ice maker again went through one cycle then quit.  I contacted the company and found that I had the wrong part (the manual did not show multiple possibilities for the part).  The company sent me a full set of electronics (capacitor, overload and relay).  Armed and ready my friend and I tried again.  Nothing.  Tapped the compressor and again got one cycle.   At this point I went back to the company and they agreed to replace the compressor if it proves faulty but I have to pay the labor to install it.  I took a meter and found no resistance in the start pin.  I have been told this means the start winding is bad and the compressor is faulty.  At this point I am trying to get estimates on the labor to install the replacement compressor.  The ice machine cost me $890 and I have put another $180 into it this year.  If I take the compressor I will basically have a new ice machine with extra parts.  On the other hand, if I don’t take the compressor I have nothing to show for the $180 I just spent.  It will all depend on how much the labor for the compressor installation comes out to.  I love the machine and the convenience but I am beginning to wonder if it is worth it.

 

What’s for Dinner


 

 

Fri.  Grilled Hamburgers and Chips

Sat.  Coconut/Curry Shrimp, Rice, Creamed Peppers

Sun. Pork with Cider, Rice, Homemade Bread

Mon. Sautéed Mullet, Cheesy Risotto, Creamed Peppers

Tues.  Pork with Cider, Rice, Homemade Bread

Wed. Leftovers and new loaf of Homemade Bread

Thurs.  Batter Fried Fish, Perogies, Tomato Salad

Fri.  Batter Fried Fish, Perogies, Kale Gratin

Sat. Pizza

Sun. Crab Patties, Wild Rice, Sautéed Okra

Mon. Turkey Divan, Rice, Homemade Bread

Tue. Turkey Divan, Rice, Homemade Bread

Wed. Clams, Corn Bread, Limas

Thurs. Sautéed Mullet and leftovers

Fri.  Eggplant, Sausage, Rigatoni Casserole and Homemade Herb Bread

Sat.  Batter Fried Mullet, Fried Eggplant, Fried Okra

Sun.  Eggplant, Sausage, Rigatoni Casserole and Homemade Herb Bread

Mon.  Pepper Batter Gray Trout and leftovers

Tue.  Ribs, Delmonico Potatoes, Baked Beans

Returning to normal–Mon. 7/29 through Thurs. 8/15

August 15th, 2013

Between the trips to GA to purchase the house and set it up and bringing the new puppy home, everything has been upside down.  The past two weeks have started to return to something more akin to our normal routine.

 

Boat Fishing

 

On our first boat trip since returning from GA, we tried a repeat visit to the area where we caught trout and flounder.  We got skunked but we didn’t mind because the goal of the trip was to show a friend where we clam.  We got our limit of clams and passed the extras on to our friend–it was his first time.  Our friend also decided the stainless steel blade rakes are much superior to the old style wood rakes.

 

The other two trips were here in the Buxton area with the goal of speckled trout and gray trout.  We were not successful on the speckled trout but caught a boat load of gray trout.  Its a shame you can only keep one per person.

 

Surf Fishing

 

After my attempts to take Trixie fishing earlier in the season, I decided to spend my mornings walking her on the beach and playing with her.  The idea, get her to focus on her toys and teach her not to pick up everything on the beach.  Friday and Saturday of last week I tried fishing while playing with Trixie.  I seems my work with Trixie paid off.  While I still have to keep an eye on her, she will play with me and do a down stay while I tend my rod.  Now I am teaching her to go to the shade of the car and behave while I am working my rod. 

 

As for catching, I did manage a half dozen or more sea mullet each trip.  Finally something for the freezer.

 

The Rest

 

For the most part, the rest of the period has been your typical summer weather–either too hot to do anything after noon or too windy to go in the boat or fish.  The exception, the last two days which have been like an early fall with a stiff NE wind and rain today.  Not particularly good fishing because of the wind but great for turning the air conditioning off and letting some fresh air in and getting Trixie some time on her Frisbee.

 

Jim has been passing his time with the garden, financial planning, and he has been swamped with orders for the dog obedience stuff.

 

Me, well let’s see.  Walk on the beach from 8 to 10 or 11 am, depending upon the heat.  Spend several intervals playing inside fetch during the day.  Walk an hour after 7 pm.  In between, shopping, financial reporting, packaging dog obedience stuff and accounting, tax planning, washing cars and, of course cooking.  The projects included shucking 9 dozen clams, trying my hand at chicken cordon blue, a new potato recipe (potatoes Delmonico), a big batch of baked beans, process peppers, a new recipe for blueberries (blueberry bay bot), Indian Eggplant,  and 24 big burritos using Jim’s homemade chorizo and his recipe for the filling which includes lots of chopped onion and peppers, cheese and refried beans.  And no I didn’t make the refried beans from scratch.  I freeze these in packages of 4 each.  They are big enough that we always have one left over.  Oh, and I almost forgot– a big batch of Mexican Rice.

 

I also did the monthly report with all the pictures from the furniture we bought in GA.  Only got on comment on the layout.  My sister liked this one best.  Sofa on big wall by kitchen lounger on small wall between dining and foyer entrance and love seat floating in front of French doors and Window.  I like this a lot too, the only draw back (which is not obvious from this picture)  is that the fireplace/TV is at way too hard a right hand angle to the love seat.  We will still play for a while.

 

 

What’s for Dinner


 

 

Mon.  Batter Fried Fish, Hush Puppies, Tomato Salad

Tue.  Grilled Rib eye Steaks, Hush Puppies, Tomato Salad

Wed.  Steamed Clams, Corn Bread, Limas

Thurs. Steamed Clams for Jim and live Lobster for me, Corn Bread, Limas (The lobster was because I miscounted the clams and because I wanted it as my anniversary dinner)

Fri.  Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs, Macaroni & Cheese, Corn

Sat.  Pizza & leftovers

Sun. Crab Patties, Cuscus, Creamed Peppers

Mon. Crab Patties, Cuscus, Creamed Peppers

Tues.  Sautéed Gray Trout and Blue from the boat, Indian Eggplant, Pita Bread

Wed. Sautéed Gray Trout and Blue from the boat, Indian Eggplant, Pita Bread

Thurs.  Chicken Cordon Blue, Rice, Okra

Fri.  Batter Fried Fish, Perogies, Kale Gratin

Sat. Smoked Beef Brisket, Potatoes Delmonico, Baked Beans

Sun. Pizza (our contractor friend brought it as a late anniversary present)

Mon. Leftover Brisket

Tue. Broiled Trout, Rice, Creamed Peppers

Wed. Burritos & Mexican Rice

Thurs. Some kind of fish and okra, can’t decide on the starch

Tue. 6/11 through Fri. 6/28–crabs, a little fishing, and sick puppy. We fished the crab pots 4 times–average 4 dozen, except one day with a banner 7 plus dozen. One trip we tried fishing first but it was way too rough. Last trip which we pulled for some friends (Curly & Joyce), we fished first and got 2 nice gray trout. Didn’t get to try for speckled trout because storm cells started moving around on the beach. When we saw lightning we decided to head in. I tried surf fishing 4 times. 3 times were non productive. Last time I did get enough spot and small sea mullet for two meals. Seems like I was a day late each time. Also, its hard when you don’t have any north facing beaches between here and Avon for when the south beaches are messed up with grass or dirty water. They closed all ramps going to the point. In fact, the road is closed just past the entrance to the camp ground. Another impediment to surf fishing has been sick puppy. The two sporadic bouts of loose stool turned into full blown diarrhea on Thurs. the 13th. Off to the vet. Weigh in showed Trixie had not gained any weight in 2 weeks or so. Stool sample showed heavy hook worm infestation. Vet administered medications and Trixie was clear in 24 hours. She also turned back into a bad puppy. I guess I just thought she was learning her manners–no jumping on strangers, getting to know that the older dogs aren’t going to play, not grabbing the toy from my hand, etc. According to our scale she had also gained 3 pounds over the past 2 weeks. On Tue. she threw up an hour into her walk. We had played 2 times during the day before it got really hot and it was still hot during the evening walk. Anyway since I was dropping off a stool sample, I had the vet give her a quick once over. The vet confirmed her weight gain and checked her heart and lungs. Her temp was the upper end of normal but she had been out for a long morning walk and was all geared up over all the new smells. Nonetheless, the vet was concerned about the temperature. The vet was convinced that Trixie’s episode was heat related, especially since she is in high gear anyway most of the time. I have avoided taking Trixie out when the temperature is over 85 and with the exception of a little spit up Wed. in the heat of the day, Trixie had not had any more episodes. That changed this morning. This morning Trixie had some mild diarrhea with what I thought was a bit of blood. The vet said the stool sample didn’t show any worms and, as such the vet didn’t want me to administer another dose of worm medicine. Instead we are doing the Metronidazole for 5 days and she gets the heart worm in two days, which has a worm medicine in it. Bottom line we are back to wait and see. I really don’t need this after the episode with Lexie–my stomach is in knots. As for the planned 4th of July trip to GA, well I haven’t gotten a firm delivery date on the furniture and I really would like to see an all clear on Trixie before we travel. This means we would not leave until the 2nd or the 3rd, which is much closer to the 4th than I would like for travel purposes. This being the case, we pretty much decided we will wait until the 7th or so. This will still give us 2 weeks before we have to get back for our physicals. What else, well of course I have been spending lots of time picking crab. I also have been catching up on office work. Then there is the new icemaker assembly which has not been functioning properly–I think I have it fixed. Still need some minor adjustments to get the production level up to snuff. Jim has been busy with orders for the dog equipment and, as usual his garden. He is beside himself because some critter tore up all his elephant garlic and lettuce. Turned out to be a Nutria which we trapped and disposed of. The other issue he is having is that his early girl determinant tomatoes are red as can be but hard as rocks. Some have been inside the house 2 weeks and still have not softened up. Furthermore, they have no taste. He is stumped on this one. Jim is stumped, anyone got any ideas? What’s for Dinner ________________________________________ Tue. Crab Salad, homemade Naan (Indian Flat Bread), Lettuce Wed. Batter Fried Fish, Hush Puppies, Lettuce Thurs. Hot Dogs and Chips Fri. Shrimp, Rice, Lettuce Sat. Crab, Hush Puppies, Lettuce Sun. Roasted Chicken Thighs, Mac and Cheese, Corn Mon. Broiled Blue, Rice, Lettuce Tue. Hamburgers and Chips Wed. Pizza Thurs. Pizza Fri. Sautéed Mullet, Cuscus, Lettuce Sat. Steak, Delmonico Potatoes, Lettuce Sun. Dinner with Curly & Joyce Mon. Batter Fried Fish, Perogies, Black Eye Peas Tue. Ribs, Slaw, Delmonico Potatoes Wed. Hot Dogs and Chips Thurs. Leftovers Fri. Sautéed Mullet, Cuscus, Spinach Salad

June 28th, 2013

We fished the crab pots 4 times–average 4 dozen, except one day with a banner 7 plus dozen.  One trip we tried fishing first but it was way too rough.  Last trip which we pulled for some friends (Curly & Joyce), we fished first and got 2 nice gray trout.  Didn’t get to try for speckled trout because storm cells started moving around on the beach.  When we saw lightning we decided to head in.

 

I tried surf fishing 4 times.  3 times were non productive.  Last time I did get enough spot and small sea mullet for two meals.  Seems like I was a day late each time.  Also, its hard when you don’t have any north facing beaches between here and Avon for when the south beaches are messed up with grass or dirty water.  They closed all ramps going to the point.  In fact, the road is closed just past the entrance to the camp ground.

 

Another impediment to surf fishing has been sick puppy.  The two sporadic bouts of loose stool turned into full blown diarrhea on Thurs. the 13th.  Off to the vet.  Weigh in showed Trixie had not gained any weight in 2 weeks or so.  Stool sample showed heavy hook worm infestation.  Vet administered medications and Trixie was clear in 24 hours.  She also turned back into a bad puppy.  I guess I just thought she was learning her manners–no jumping on strangers, getting to know that the older dogs aren’t going to play, not grabbing the toy from my hand, etc.  According to our scale she had also gained 3 pounds over the past 2 weeks.

 

On Tue. she threw up an hour into her walk.  We had played 2 times during the day before it got really hot and it was still hot during the evening walk.  Anyway since I was dropping off a stool sample, I had the vet give her a quick once over.  The vet confirmed her weight gain and checked her heart and lungs.  Her temp was the upper end of normal but she had been out for a long morning walk and was all geared up over all the new smells.  Nonetheless, the vet was concerned about the temperature.  The vet was convinced that Trixie’s episode was heat related, especially since she is in high gear anyway most of the time.

 

I have avoided taking Trixie out when the temperature is over 85 and with the exception of a little spit up Wed. in the heat of the day, Trixie had not had any more episodes.  That changed this morning.  This morning Trixie had some mild diarrhea with what I thought was a bit of blood.  The vet said the stool sample didn’t show any worms and, as such the vet didn’t want me to administer another dose of worm medicine.  Instead we are doing the Metronidazole for 5 days and she gets the heart worm in two days, which has a worm medicine in it.  Bottom line we are back to wait and see.  I really don’t need this after the episode with Lexie–my stomach is in knots.

 

As for the planned 4th of July trip to GA, well I haven’t gotten a firm delivery date on the furniture and I really would like to see an all clear on Trixie before we travel.  This means we would not leave until the 2nd or the 3rd, which is much closer to the 4th than I would like for travel purposes.  This being the case, we pretty much decided we will wait until the 7th or so.  This will still give us 2 weeks before we have to get back for our physicals.

 

What else, well of course I have been spending lots of time picking crab.  I also have been catching up on office work.  Then there is the new icemaker assembly which has not been functioning properly–I think I have it fixed.  Still need some minor adjustments to get the production level up to snuff.

 

Jim has been busy with orders for the dog equipment and, as usual his garden.  He is beside himself because some critter tore up all his elephant garlic and lettuce.  Turned out to be a Nutria which we trapped and disposed of.

 

The other issue he is having is that his early girl determinant tomatoes are red as can be but hard as rocks.  Some have been inside the house 2 weeks and still have not softened up.  Furthermore, they have no taste.  He is stumped on this one.  Jim is stumped, anyone got any ideas?

 

What’s for Dinner


 

 

Tue.    Crab Salad, homemade Naan (Indian Flat Bread), Lettuce

Wed.   Batter Fried Fish, Hush Puppies, Lettuce

Thurs.    Hot Dogs and Chips

Fri.   Shrimp, Rice, Lettuce

Sat.  Crab, Hush Puppies, Lettuce

Sun.      Roasted Chicken Thighs, Mac and Cheese, Corn

Mon.      Broiled Blue, Rice, Lettuce

Tue.     Hamburgers and Chips

Wed.   Pizza

Thurs.  Pizza

Fri.      Sautéed Mullet, Cuscus, Lettuce

Sat.  Steak, Delmonico Potatoes, Lettuce

Sun.  Dinner with Curly & Joyce

Mon.  Batter Fried Fish, Perogies, Black Eye Peas

Tue.  Ribs, Slaw, Delmonico Potatoes

Wed.  Hot Dogs and Chips

Thurs.  Leftovers

Fri.  Sautéed Mullet, Cuscus, Spinach Salad

Sat. 5/25 through Mon. 6/10–crabs, clams and a little fishing

June 10th, 2013


Been busy picking crab.  We worked the crab pots once 5 times since last report with a total of 140 crabs.  Put up 5 or 6 ten ounce packages.

 

We also went clamming last Thurs.  We pulled in and set up on the edge of the bar with the anchor on the bar.   The plan was to get our clams in the am and get in before the SE preceding the tropical storm got too bad.  Well as it turns out the tide was dropping and the low tide was exacerbated by the increasing SE wind.  When I got back to the boat I found it totally grounded with a ton of slack in the anchor line from the wind pushing to boat further onto the bar before the water went down.  We pushed and pushed.  A good Samaritan responded to my horn and told us that when the skiff got up like that it created a suction so we tried rocking the boat with no luck.  The fellow boater got on the phone but couldn’t find the guy he was looking for.  So the choice–wait a full 6 hours for high tide than an hour or two more for the tide to move and hope that the SE wind would allow enough water to get off or call for a tow.  We opted for the latter. 

 

The tow boat took 3 tries before he got us off the bar.  He was very professional and took care not to damage the boat.  The guy who stopped went fishing and clamming but stayed until the tow got us off.  All in all what could have turned out to be a very bad situation turned out quite well.

 

As for fishing, we made one attempt at Avon in the boat but the water was really low and we had to crawl through two shallow spots we didn’t even know existed.  When we got to the spots we wanted to fish, the water started to get rough so we headed home and worked the reef a bit.  We caught one small trout.  5 days later we planned a trip to the inlet but it was too rough so we made a quick trip to the reef with no results.

 

With respect to surf fishing, I thought things were looking up.  I spent one day at Hatteras Inlet and Trixie was real good, played and dug in the sand then took a nap.  I saw some nice pompano and mullet.  I went back the next day and landed one Pompano, lost 2 in the wash and missed 2 pick ups.  From then on it was pretty much wrong place wrong time.  For example, based upon my report my neighbor went down two mornings.  I followed later and didn’t get a bite.

 

I went back another time but the conditions were horrible so I headed to Buxton where I heard they were catching fish.  What do they say about chasing yesterday’s fish?

 

Aside from picking crab, I had plenty of clams to shuck and Jim has been keeping me busy with lettuce.  The rest of the time has been devoted to following up on the towing claim and trying to figure out what FEMA needs in order to get our flood insurance rate down to the original estimate.

 

I almost forgot, a neighbor generously volunteered his time and expertise to install a new ice maker assembly.  The first batch of cubes were perfect but the production rate was slow so I started adjusting the temperature.  Next the mold was obviously over filling so I changed the temperature back but the cubes stayed big and some water would even overflow.  So now I am trying to get the temperature right then I will work on the cube size.

 

Jim has been busy in his garden and processing orders for the dog stuff.

 

What’s for Dinner


 

 

Sun.    Moo Goo Gai Pan and Rice

Mon.   Cookout at a friends

Tue.     Crab, homemade Naan (Indian Flat Bread), fresh asparagus

Wed.   Leftovers

Thurs.  Grilled Rib Eye steaks, Potato wedges, salad

Fri.      Broiled Trout, Rice, Salad

Sat.      Ribs, Baked Beans, Potato wedges

Sun.     Crab, homemade Naan (Indian Flat Bread), salad

Mon.   Sautéed Mullet, Gnocchi with brown butter sauce, Baked Beans

Tue.     Clam Pie and Salad

Wed.   Clam Pie and Salad

Thurs.  Crab, homemade Naan (Indian Flat Bread), salad

Fri.      Steamed Clams, Corn Bread, Lima beans

Sat.  Covered Dish at the club

Sun.  Steamed Clams, Corn Bread, Lima beans

Mon.  Chicken Dominique, Rice, Salad

Sun. 5/12 through Fri. 5/24–Getting back in the groove–sort of

May 24th, 2013

Weather has been very unsettled–lots of wind, forecast showers that never happen, then a day and a half of rain that finally hit this Wed. and Thurs.   Today was forecast for high winds and showers–don’t see either. 

 

Even with this weather pattern, I did get to go fishing on the beach 3 times.  Once in the point area with one sea mullet and a double header Sheepshead.  Of course the latter was on the light 7 foot rod instead of the heavier 9 foot rod.  Another trip to the same area produced two baby sea mullet and one smallish sea mullet.  The most recent trip was this past Wed.  I went to the air port area and just visited and let Trixie socialize because there was too much grass.  Next I went back to the point area.  Not long after I set up rain showers began so I headed home.

 

I had worked last week on setting the boat back up, running the motor, cleaning it and generally making sure all systems were working.  Also, since we messed up my docking lines when we put up a fence for Trixie, I had to revisit that.  We had a break in the weather this past Tue. and got the boat in the water before the wind kicked up.  Wed. we set the crab pots and plan to work them tomorrow or Sun.

 

Another major project involved our restocking of chicken.  We bought 5 chickens, carved them up, made 3 pots of soup and I canned 2-3 dozen cups, 1 dozen pints and a dozen quarts of soup.  Then there was a major clean up.

 

The wind also gave me the opportunity to catch up on car washing.  Between the trip with the FJ and the pollen and dirt on the Tacoma from the oak tree, both cars were in bad need of washing.  I had also neglected the accounting for the scent articles business.

We are hoping to make, at least, one trip back to GA this summer.  We are going to wait until all the furniture has arrived at the store so we can set up the guest room, kitchen area and the rest of the living room.  This is the minimum I need if I am going to have visitors.  Specifically, my parents are anxious to come for a look see and we are anxious to have them for a visit.  I just ordered the guest bedroom set around the 15th and it will likely take about 4 weeks to get it in.  I got mom and dad the head board, two night stands and the chest of drawers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quSdxDLLybQ ).  Yes, this is for other company as well but I was thinking primarily of what mom and dad need to be comfortable.

 

Aside from carving chicken, Jim has been very busy with his garden and processing orders for the scent articles.

 

 

What’s for Dinner


 

 

Sun.     Pizza

Mon.   Clam Chowder and Corn Bread

Tue.     Clam Chowder and Corn Bread

Wed.   Burritos, Mexican Rice and Salad

Thurs.  Burritos, Mexican Rice and Salad

Fri.      Soft Shell Crabs, Cheesy Risotto and Stewed Okra

Sat.      Ham, Cheesy Risotto and Stewed Okra

Sun.     Sautéed toads and Sheepshead, Mexican Rice and Stewed Okra

Mon.   Shrimp Scampi, Rice and Creamed Peppers (OH, joy ran out of gas and had to finish the meal and my bread at the neighbors).

Tue.     Lamb Stew and Homemade Italian bread

Wed.   Lamb Stew and Homemade Italian bread

Thurs.  Batter Dipped Sea Mullet, Onion Rings and leftover Creamed Peppers (Glad I didn’t plan on the stove because neither Tuesday’s or today’s gas delivery happened.

Fri.      Gas is scheduled for delivery.  Not counting on it happening until late so we are heading to the Mad Crabber to use our gift certificate for dinner for two.   Carl, have you and Joan tried this yet?

Wed 4/10 through Sat. 5/11–Busy Month but not much fishing

May 11th, 2013

I only went out fishing one time since last report.  On that day there were so many little bait stealers that I didn’t have a chance.

I spent much of the period between 4/10 and 4/20 preparing for another trip to GA, processing garden stuff and, of course, watching the puppy.  Jim spent this time preparing the garden for a extended period of limited attention.  On Sat. 4/20 we decided to get off island before the weather turned crappy.

One of the reasons for the trip was to check and see if my newest idea for a kitchen set (http://www.wayfair.com/Cochrane-Furniture-Uptown-Dining-Table-93842-93042-DU1798.html ) would work.  It fit nicely so we ordered it.

 

A second reason was to take delivery of part of the living room furniture.  The love seat was fine but the lounger was the wrong color.  We did play with different combinations of layout using the air bed as a proxy for the sofa and the saucer chairs as a proxy for the lounger.  The first one floats the love seat and sofa with the lounger by the window.  This wastes space and creates some narrow walk ways. 

 

The second options is to put the love seat up against the wall between the openings for the dining area and the foyer.  This leaves big clear walk ways and paths from each piece.  The problem is the sofa will extend further toward the dining opening than the air bed, which might look funky.  The idea with both was to leave a clear path to the French doors and a clear view of the marsh as well as the TV as opposed to the original plan of setting up the sofa and love seat facing each other and floating the sofa in front of the French doors. 

 

Aside from the view, we found we use the French doors much more than the front door.  This being the case, it seemed to be a good idea to leave a clear path to the doors.  We really won’t know until we get the furniture but it was useful spending a week with each of these options.

 

A third reason to visit was to install a mail box so the post office would recognize our address.  It seems that neither FEMA or our mortgage company will listen to our instructions for mail delivery.

An unexpected twist while we were in GA was FEMA questioning the adequacy of our venting system.  The end result was a higher premium until such time as we manage to come to an agreement on the issue.

While the weather in NC was snotty we had a great two weeks in GA.  This gave us the opportunity for a boat trip and plenty of time to spend on Trixie’s training.  She is coming along quite nicely.  Rarely does she ignore a recall.  I do need to dial her back on the enthusiasm with the tug and fetch as she tends to grab your hand.  Also, we need to start to teach her some manners on greeting as everyone has been encouraging her to jump.

We also managed to return a dinner invite (although we had to borrow a bar stool to accommodate our guests).  Here is my fiesta ware in use for the first time.

 

Trixie seemed to like the new house too.  She turned the hard wood floors into a skating rink.  She also decided she loved laying in front of the fire place.

My girl is really maturing.  She measured 17 1/2 inches at the shoulders and weighed in at 22 pounds at 16 1/2 weeks of age.  She is also starting to develop a longer coat and continuing to take on a more mature shape.  It looks like she is going to be a really solid girl.