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Friday, January 31, 2014

Pine Wood Derby Check In

The car is done and ready!  They do things a little differently down here, the night before the Derby the car has to be certified and checked in. The car is then impounded till the race!
This year's car! Red Lightening 2. Number 125.
Lon worked hard on his car. He did it all himself.
The car has passed it's inspection!
Weight, length, height, wheel spacing were
all within specs.
The car weighs EXACTLY 5 ounces

The cars getting  lined up at the impound table
After the car was impounded, Lon had to go take a driver's test, and an eye exam.
He got his picture taken and will get a driver's license just before the race tomorrow morning!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Little More for Our Snow Days

It was cold, a little windy and not normal for Summerville!
Icicles at the Playground
Lon still had fun with the slide
He liked throwing ice chunks at the ice on the slide!
We did not stay long at the park, as it was cold. Below freezing! About 30.
Tiki Tim was cold too ! Icicles coming from his nose!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Well, sort of. More of an ice storm, but school was canceled for today! Yesterday since the weather was turning bad, they released the kids at 10:30am!  It is chilly, and very very slippery! The bridges are all pretty much closed. Stores are not opening.
Lon, of course, wanted to play as soon as he woke up. An icicle he found!
Getting icicles off the mail box. The mail did arrive today, but the garbage was not picked up!
The ice on my car. If my missing camera is in the car, it is going to stay there for a while
Lon pulling off icicles from the cars
Lon is getting a little chilled, but those are pretty cool icicles!
Mark's poor Pindo palm. it is all coated in ice. Lon is pulling some of it off. He likes the look that the ice has with the pattern of the palm
Ice on the palm.
Tonight it is supposed to get into the upper teens, so the roads should be a lot of fun in the morning! They just called another snow day for the kids. Lon does not know yet.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Palm Tree

Mark wanted a palm tree since we moved in. When we saw them for sale at the home show, we bought one. It was to be installed today.
Disaster! We hit not one, but all three of the irrigation pipes! By hit, I mean put the shovel right through them.  Water was everywhere! We had to shut the water off at the street, since we could not figure out how to shut the water off for just the irrigation. That is something perhaps we should figure out!
Yes, it is cold, about 38 degrees,
Fixing the pipes. They had to go and buy lengths of pipe and elbows. The cashier at Lowes did not see the pipe glue, so I had to run back to Lowes to get some. The cashier did remember the guys, but did not have any clue about pipe glue. I had to go look for it. There were no associates to help me figure out what I needed. A nice man who came to buy pipe insulation helped me buy what I needed. Then when I go up to pay, I waited in line, the lady in front of me was only buying a shelf. Fairly quick. My turn, the cashier leaves her station ant goes and talks to two other cashiers who left their stations.  It was a very important conversation I am sure. Took about 5 minutes. All the other cashiers had lines, so moving to another line would have taken longer. I did say something and they just looked at me and kept talking to each other.  I am not impressed with Lowes. But it was the place the guys went, and we thought they would have the glue right there on the counter where it got left.   Not my hardware store of choice.

The pipes are so close to the surface!
They are now fixed!
Finally, time to put in the palm!
A fast run up over the curb!
Into the hole!
All the boys helping put the dirt back around the palm!
Making it look nice!
Ta-Da! The rope it cut! The Pindo palm is free !
The view from the street.
It looks good and the water seems to still be in the pipes!
That was enough adventure for today

Monday, January 13, 2014

Charles Pinckney

Today was a teacher work day. That means no school.  We thought it would be fun to get another Jr. Ranger Badge, number 43.  There was one more close to us, so we went to visit Charles Pickney at Snee Farm.  There are 6 National Parks in South Carolina. Lon has been to half of them!
There were many beautiful live oaks all over the grounds
Lon happily showing all the northerners that there are gorgeous blooming flowers down here in January!
Working on his booklet. This one was hard! They are going to be re tooling it this summer to make a little more obvious for the kids, and have the exhibits tie in better with the booklet. Some of the information is not easily found. The building is not that big. It took Lon a long time to get that booklet done!
Looking at the rice dam model. He saw one like this at Middleton. That is rice on the mantel. Yes, one of the major crops on Snee Farm was rice!
This is not the original building, that was torn down, but this building was built on the foundation of the one Charles Pickney lived in.
Here is some more information on Charles Pickney:
Born in South Carolina in 1757, Charles Pinckney fought in the American Revolution and was captured by the British. Upon his release, he practiced law before serving in the Continental Congress from 1784 to 1787, becoming the 37th governor of South Carolina soon after. Pinckney signed the U.S. Constitution and contributed to the Fugitive Slave and "no religious test" clauses. Pinckney later served in Congress, pushing for all white men to have voting rights.. 
The main reason he has not been remembered along with the other founders was his stance on slavery. He was pro slavery. We also found out that John Quincy Adams and James Monroe did not like him much. He did have some ideas for government we use today. One being that the President is Commander in Chief of the armed forces.

One of the requirements for the badge was to take a small hike on the nature trail.  I saw a sign I did not share with Lon.  It said watch for snakes, ants and other wild animals on the trail. But luckily we did not see any snakes, and just one fire ant mound. We did see birds!
The end of the squishy trail. There was lots of mud. But it was sort of fun
Amazingly beautiful live oaks
 Beauty shot
Lon looking at the live oaks

On the Rice Trunk. It is a much much smaller version than what they would have had as a working plantation

Hike all finished. Just need to finish up the last bit of the booklet!
The last bits, working hard

This is Ranger Kate. She is giving Lon his Jr. Ranger oath.  We met Ranger Kate when she was the Ranger at Whitman Mission in Walla Walla, Washington. She gave  Lon his Jr Ranger badge for Whitman Mission.  While she did not recognize Lon's face, he has grown, she recognized his name and the wooden badge. She sent him that badge, because I called her after Lon lost the Whitman Mission badge on Mt. Rainer. She was amazed that we met again! In another place!  I am not sure Lon and I were as amazed as she was since that happens to us alot!
Since we were already over in Mt Pleasant we decided to go over to Southern Seasons.  We also decided we were hungry. We went to Southerly. It is a pretty fancy place! Lon got chicken fingers, he was going to get fish, but the waitress told him it was catfish and he would not try it. I am sure he would have liked it. I got a crab cake. The waitress asked me 4 times if that was all I wanted, if there was anything else I wanted with lunch. No, not really, the 11 dollar appetizer crab cake was pretty much it, thanks!  It was good, it was big, it was enough
While we were eating, we remembered we forgot to get the trading cards from Charles Pinckney.  We went back to get them, and Lon wanted to show off his badge on the wall of fame.
When we went to scouts tonight, one of our leaders told us they saw Lon's name on the wall of fame at Fort Moultrie.  Lon thought that was pretty cool.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My Bottle Bush, Cause it is not a Tree

When we went to the home show on Saturday we saw a man selling bottle trees, peacocks, bushes. He was selling alot of iron work, all sorts of fun things!
But we only bought one thing, the bottle bush. Since it was raining hard yesterday we did not plant it!
It has alot of branches, but it is not so tall. Which is what I wanted.  We will collect bottles for it this summer!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Hunley and More!

Today was a good day to go to see something inside ! The weather was going to be rainy and windy.
Since the Hunley is only open for tours on the weekend, we thought that would be a great thing to do! The reason the Hunley is only open on the weekends is that during the week it is being studied.
The Hunley was the first submarine that was successful in sinking a ship. It never made it back to shore.
Yes, it is January 11 and 72 degrees!
The building did look like a research facility, not a tourist facility.
We arrived about 10:30 and our tour started at 11. We had a chance to look around and see the kids play area. This hatch is the same size as the Hunley's!
This is the same size as the Hunley. And how they operated it.
Lon and Mark said it was really hard work
Our tour started! We heard the history of the Hunley. Then we got to go upstairs and look down into the tank! The Hunley is going to stay in its tank till they can get the contaminates out and hopefully be moved to a real museum.
We listened to more of the tour, and as we learned about the Hunley we were able to look at the submarine.
There were three crews. Most of them did not make it.
The Hunley. It is so small.
Not sure if you can read this, but it is about the gold coin.
This is from the Friends of the Hunley web site!
Many such legends were created during the war. Was this one true? For 137 years, no one knew whether the story was true or merely a romantic tale from long ago.During the excavation of the H.L. Hunley, the gold coin was discovered next to the remains of Lt. George Dixon. It was deeply indented from the impact of a bullet and traces of lead were discovered on the coin. The coin, a $20 dollar gold piece, was minted in 1860. One side bears an image of Lady Liberty. The other side, which has a federal shield-and-eagle symbol, had been sanded and inscribed by hand. It clearly bears four lines of cursive script with the following words:
April 6, 1862
My life Preserver
G. E. D.
The reverse side of
Dixon's gold coin.

Maria Jacobsen, Senior Archaeologist on the Hunley project and the one who actually first found the coin, said shortly after her amazing discovery, "Some people may think this is a stroke of luck, but perhaps it's something else. They tell me that Lt. Dixon was a lady's man, perhaps he winked at us yesterday to remind us that he still is."
The coin was given to Lt. Dixon by a lady known as Queenie, in Mobile Alabama. It was in his pocket at the battle of Shilo.  The bullet hit the coin and dented it, leaving only a superficial wound. If it had not hit the coin, he would have lost his leg and possibly his life.  

A life size picture of Queenie. She was a tiny person. 
Mark checking out the coin, a ring and a pin that were also found in Lt. Dixon's clothing remains.  The ring was new to the 1860s and the pin was an English style from the 1830s.  There is no other information known about them. 
This is a true life image of the Hunley. They took this scan of it when the pulled it out of the water. It is a tiny cramped space!
We spent some more time looking at the exhibits after our official tour. 

They had a small display of the CSS Alabama. A raider and blockade runner.  I was talking to one of the volunteers and I mentioned that I remember seeing a book my Dad had called the Logs of the CSS Alabama. He got VERY interested in that.  I never thought much of it as it is less than 100 pages long, stapled together, mimeographed, did not look like much. Well, it seems it is very very rare. Who knew that a book that Dad picked up in 1972 would be so rare?  It is even signed by the author.  The volunteer said he would carefully scan it in to his computer it I would let him. I can see no reason not to.  Once I got home I was able to find the book in my book case. I will take it out to him next week. 
Then it was time to go. We took the long way home. We drove by the new Harris Teeter grocery store. It was jam packed.This is opening weekend.  This is the biggest nicest grocery store in our area!  Lon stood in line to get a balloon. 
Lon and his balloon ray gun! He thought it was pretty cool! 
We were going to buy groceries there today, however when we looked at the very long lines to check out, we decided we would come back later on. Perhaps a Tuesday afternoon in February. 

Daddy surprised us by stopping at the ice cream shop. Ye Old Fashioned Ice Cream has two locations. One near our house and the one on Trolley. We like this one on Trolley better! Mark had white chocolate raspberry and it was very good. Lon had his usual Mint Chocolate Chip.  I had a scoop of rocky road

We stopped by the Home Show at Exchange Park (the fairgrounds). It was fun. There was some great things to see. Mark bought a palm tree. A real palm tree. It is really pretty. Can't wait to see it in front of our house!
I got a bottle tree. I had wanted one for our house, and now I just have to find the fun bottles to put on it! 
The other thing we found was a company that will put in the pull outs in our cabinets. Oh, that will be SO nice. I loved the nice soft closing ones we had in our old house.  Now we will have them here too!  They are coming out in a couple weeks to give us the estimate. 
Then we came home and watched the Seahawks win ! 
It was a very fun, very full day !