Snapping Turtle

Yesterday evening we went for a walk in the rain — outfitted in boots and umbrellas. When we got back, the girls spotted somthing in our front yard, near the ditch, and called me over.

“It’s a snapping turtle!”

“A little one?” I asked.

“Umm… not really. Come see!”

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Common Snapping Turtle

We bothered the turtle a little bit, but it was in no mood to move. It just pulled it’s legs in and blinked slowly at us. So eventually we left it alone and went inside for a little bit. We came back out about 10 minutes later because the girls wanted to show it to their Mom.

CE was the first to notice that it was gone! We looked all around and decided it must have gone into the culvert. Then I noticed a dark spot in the part of the ditch still filled with water. The turtle had submerged itself — probably to get away from us — so we let it be.

Indian Food

This semester MD has been working on a report project covering India. Part of the project is to put together a display that will be featured at the home school group’s Cultural Dinner in March. Since it’s a dinner, each student’s family will be bringing sample food from the country.

So yesterday we went out to eat some Indian food. The restaurant served a lunch buffet with Tandoori chicken, Chef’s Special chicken, spinach with mushrooms, potato and waffles, fruit with mango sauce, rice in coconut milk, etc.

Both girls did pretty well. Of course they liked the fruit the best, but they ate (or sampled) everything the tried from the buffet. They even say they want to go back.

For the cultural dinner, MD wants to make nan bread and maybe have some fruit. We’re also considering making samosas if we can figure out how to do it.

Forest Fire

This summer started with a forest fire near our area. The blaze in the Holly Shelter Game Land area was started recently from a lightning strike and has been burning mostly uncontrolled until this past weekend. On the way home today I noticed that the smoke plume had become very pronounced instead of just looking like just a haze covering the land. I grabbed the camera and headed back out on my bike to take a few pictures.

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Holly Shelter Fire

What looks like a cloud is actually the smoke from the fire. I’m wondering if it was caused by a particular wind pattern, or if it’s something from what the firefighters are doing.

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Closer View of the Smoke

Crazy Cat

CDF sent me this earlier…

For some reason our crazy cat, Cali, decided to climb onto a fence near our house & jump onto the roof our house. She seems quite content up there…which is good, as I do not have a ladder to get her down, nor am I calling the Fire Dept to come & get her down.

[Our] friends that rescued [jModule] from a tree to get said cat, currently live in [Africa]. I’m not sure where their ladder is. We should have offered to keep it in storage for them while they are overseas!

I hope I was able to give you a laugh for the day!

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Walking the Roof
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Taking it all in

In an Emergency

Today CDF sent me an instant message:

[I had] to chuckle. As CE was waiting for her snack, said, I can call 9-1-1. Where’s the 9?” MD shows her on the phone–CE then says, “Where’s the 1? You call 9-1-1 for an emergency. That’s what my teacher says.” She knows what to call–but not how to call it!! Hope I never need her to call due to an emergency!

Thanksgiving in Myrtle Beach

For the Thanksgiving holiday this year we went down to Myrtle Beach with CDF’s family. They stayed in a condo nearby, while we took the camper to Pirate Land.

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Pirate Land

We arrived at the campground at about 2:00 in the afternoon and soon had the camper set up. When everything was set up we went over to the condo for the afternoon.

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Camp Site

Thanksgiving morning the girls really wanted to swim in one of the pools. Although they were willing to brave the outdoor “lazy river,” I said we would go to the indoor pool since it was heated. It turned out to be a good choice. They had a lot of fun swimming and jumping in. They even made a new friend.

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She’s Wearing “Gobbles”
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The Indoor Pool

Enjoying all Kinds of Weather

Last weekend we were still watching the water drain away. The heavy rains pushed in by tropical storm Nicole had brought more rain to our area than we had seen for a while. On a positive note, it ended the drought we were going through. Not so positive was the flooding that closed a lot of roads in our area.

We did try to get out and enjoy stomping in puddles. Other than on Tuesday when it was too windy, we put on boots and got our umbrellas and headed out.

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Fancy Umbrellas

Happy Cat

Sometimes the cat picks a sleeping spot and none of use can quite understand her train of thought. The best I can think of is that it’s in the middle of the activity in the house — without actually getting in the way, for the most part. She finds a way to make it comfortable.

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Very Relaxed Cat

Trip to Tryon Palace

For her birthday, CDF wanted to go on a day trip as a family. She picked Tryon palace since we had never been there and the gardens were supposed to be in bloom. It turned out to be a great day to visit, the sun was out and the temperature cool, but not cold.

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Tryon Palace
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Girls in the Gate
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In the Gate House

We purchased the garden pass, so we spent most of our time walking the paths. The girls really enjoyed exploring the more formal gardens with their walls and bricked paths. CDF took a lot of pictures of the flowers.

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Going into the Gardens
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Sharing secrets

The garden pass also included the Kitchen Office, where the servants used to be quartered and most of the cooking for the Governor was done. We had almost a private tour of the office, kitchen, laundry, and bedrooms. Probably the most interesting part was talking to the guide in the kitchen. She was cooking lunch in the wood fireplace, an actual sausage and rice dish that would have been cooked back in the 18th century. She told us about what the people would eat, and how the servants at the mansion were better fed, and better educated, than most of the town folk. A lot of the people of that time wanted to have their sons and daughters hired by the governor.