There's ice on the cars this morning, but my winter herbs and veggies don't seem to mind. We've already trimmed the cilantro and parsleys, and the kale, red mustard, and chard are ready to start harvesting.
After another long day in Charleston, we were starving for a hearty meal. CC suggested we try Melvins, a family run low Country Barbeque House that has been in business since 1939. As hungry as we were, it only took one look at their burgers for us to decide we wanted to treat ourselves to double cheeseburgers. Boy, are we glad we did. Those were just about the best burgers we have ever eaten..
Next time, when we are not so famished, we'll try some of their barbeque ribs, pulled pork, or brisket specialities
I had parked both of our vehicles at the end of our cul-d-sac while the trees were being removed. There isn't room to turn around at the end of the street, so in order to retrieve them, I had to back up the street and make a y-turn into a neighbors driveway. Unbeknownst to me, there was a large deep pothole right where I started my turn. The right front wheel of BJs Vehicle slipped into it leaving the car perched on pavement on three wheels. The hole was too deep to drive out of. Thank goodness for AAA. It only took them 30 seconds to pull the car out, but I probably will never stop hearing the end of the woman driver jokes.
Notice anything missing between the photo above and the one below?
It's called a Tree!
The River Birch in our front yard began rocking violently during Hurricane Mathew. At the peak of the storm, the only thing holding it upright was a single root growing under our neighbors driveway. The wind was so strong that the tree's root system was cracking their driveway trying to uproot, but the pavement held long enough that the tree did not blow over. Even so, our HOA decided not to risk having it come down in the next storm, so they hired a contractor to remove it . Below photos of the full process.
The biggest challenge was that my neighbor was not home and there were two branches over-hanging my neighbor's driveway that had to come down without damage to his vehicle.
The contractor met the challenge by using two people in the cutting process. One did the cutting and the other held onto the branch and directed its fall away from the house and vehicle.
Then they began removing all the branches on the opposite side so they had unobstructed access to the branches overhanging the car. Just in case, they covered my neighbors car with blankets.
A ground crew removed the limbs and branches that were being dropped from above.
They also finished removing the larger segments of trunk until it was completely level with the ground.
Next week the contractor will be back with a stump grinder to remove the trunk and whatever roots can be reached from the surface.
While I fully understood why it had to be removed, I still felt very sad watching the tree come down. It almost felt like losing a member of the family. We've nourished it, and watched it grow from a young sapling (See above photo from Fall of 2007) into the mature beauty it had become before the storm. It will be missed.
Our homemade Thanksgiving Dinner to be grateful for: Roast Cornish Game Hen with Garlic stuffing, roasted carrots in butter and maple syrup, roasted Brussels sprouts with Parmesan crust, home made ginger beer (non-alcoholic) and Spiced pumpkin pudding ( not-shown)
Bruce came through his surgery with flying colors, but remaining inactive until he heals is trying his patience. Ms. Kat has volunteered for service cat duty with the responsibilities of keeping Bruce company and comforting him through the boredom of post op recovery.
Remember, the photos in my Oct. 9 2016 post which showed the trees and branches broken by Hurricane Mathew being piled along side the curbs in our community? Shortly after that photo was taken, our Community Home Owners Association contracted with a firm to come in and cart off the debris. The contractor was supposed to cart it off to a location , shred it, then return the shreds to the plantation for use as a ground cover. Instead they pushed all the debris along Tanglewood Dr.into a mountainous firetrap right next to the 18th fairway's green. And there it still sits. What can I say... It's the South.
The site of Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, with impressive 90' cliffs overlooking the Neuse River, has been a landmark for centuries.
Five hiking trails explore the riverside habitats and their mature forests and lead to some quiet fishing spots along the waterway.
We took the 350 yard trail which led to an overlook of the Neuse River
and a close up view of the cliffs . ( They are hard to see through the trees from this angle)
Then the trail angled down hill to the edge of the Neuse River where there were
some beautiful reflections of the trees in the water.
Unfortunately, even with bug spray, we were being swarmed by mosquitoes, so we turned around and attempted to go downriver on the Spanish Moss Trail,
only to encounter the same swarms of insects
as the trail dropped closer to the river the river.
A favorite facility for the local communities is an 11-acre swimming lake with a bathhouse, grass-covered lawn, sandy beach and diving platform with rental boats available. Expansive picnic grounds are nearby. Interestingly we did not encounter too many insects on the trail that circled the lake
A visitor center offers kid friendly exhibits that explore the natural and cultural history of the region, complementing regular interpretive programs.
The park has group campsites and a 35-site family campground,, but we wouldn't recommend staying there unless (a) you are willing to bathe in bug repellent, or (b) the weather is too cold for mosquitoes.)
A docent led tour of two private homes of the colonial era were included in the Tyron Palace Tour Package
The Stanly House and the Dixon House were both built and owned by private business men during the colonial era. Each have a fascinating history and have been meticulously maintained with authentic furniture and details specific to their time in history.
For more information about these historical homes see:
Entrance to the North Carolina History Center is included in the cost of the Tyron Palace Admission. The Center has a wide variety of exhibits and some very high tech interactive historical activities designed to appeal to a wide variety of ages and interests. Our favorite was the Pespsi Family Center.
At the Pepsi Family Center, a virtual time machine transported us to a river village in North Carolina’s Central Coastal Region in the year 1835. Here, hands-on activities invited us to step back in time and sail a ship, distill turpentine and produce naval stores, piece an electronic quilt, and/or help the shopkeeper find merchandise for customers in the dry goods store.
New Bern was an important coastal river port into the 19th century. The time machine allowed us to visit the New Bern wharf and join the crew of the Snapdragon as she set sail on a trade voyage. Every crewmember has a unique role and must work together to help the ship reach its destination safely. Bruce manned the helm, while CC trimmed the sails and killed rats.
At home in the Kitchen, we helped the cook as she sought ingredients for her ice cream recipes, then watch as the ice cream was prepared as it would have been in 1835. CC joined a quilting bee in the parlor, and designed patterns from squares that were then pieced together to create a beautiful quilt.
Finally, we stepped into a Main Stree shop and helped a local merchant who was looking for some extra hands. In his Dry Goods Store, we help the shopkeeper find items to fill his customers’ shopping lists.