Mel & Me

So by the time you read this, I will be on my way to Connecticut to my sister’s house. I haven’t seen my sister in almost a year and so I am really looking forward to this visit.

31564165_10156103190411183_6175445862433423360_nMelodie and Me.

It usually takes me 4 hours and 15 minutes to get to her place. I am hoping that the traffic won’t be bad and I will breeze on down. I’m taking the back way across New Hampshire first to Vermont and then to Massachusetts and then to Connecticut.

I’m taking my Ipod so I can listen to and sing along with my favorite songs, and I have a new cell phone holder, so I can have my phone available to use as my GPS with an App called Waze.

Spending time with my sister! It doesn’t get much better than this!

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The excitement builds!

Hot Fun In The Summertime

Saturday I decided I needed to get a lot of things done before my trip to see my sister. I needed to cook meals for Jack, do laundry and of course work on packing.

Now mostly it was fine, and I did get things accomplished, but sweet mother of God (!) was it hot!!!

67299691_453962705153511_2161444774203097088_nOur thermometer at our home said it was 100. To me, I felt every degree of heat and oh yes, the humidity too!

Yes, hot fun in the summertime for sure!

The spaghetti sauce came out very well. One of the best I have made in a long time. It’s loaded with onions, peppers, garlic, carrots, sweet Italian sausage, and hamburger. I also went out and picked fresh basil off my basil plant, chopped it up and added that to the pot. A little oregano here, a little salt and pepper there and a large can of diced Italian tomatoes and a jar of plain spaghetti sauce. Then it simmered and simmered to perfection!

I also roasted eggplant and I will be making eggplant pizza on a cauliflower crust for myself. That will be amazing!

I measured out all the dog food and labeled it for their breakfast and dinner. I have also put out their cans of food to make it easier for Jack.

Sunday I’m making Beef Stroganoff for Jack to have while I am gone. All these meals he will simply need to warm up.

I’ll be looking forward to going off for a few days, just so I can get out of the kitchen!

The Samoan Clipper

At the dawn of commercial aviation, Pan Am was a leader in the development of International Flight Routes. Some of their first planes were Sikorsky S-42B’s  or what was commonly known as the Flying Boats.

BdrUMkZCQAAAILnThe Samoan Clipper

Edwin Musick had been with Pan American from the very beginning when, as “pilot number 1” he flew the fledgling airline’s first scheduled airmail flight from Key West to Havana on 28 October 1927 on a Fairchild FC-2 floatplane.

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He would go on to lead nearly all of Pan Am’s expanding routes to the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific.  At one time, Musick held more records and honors than any other active pilot including the 1935 Harmon Trophy which recognized him as “the world’s outstanding aviator.” He was known as a pilot’s pilot.

2.-Ed-Musick-Arriving-in-Auckland-1937Captain Musick, in New Zealand after completing the first survey flight from San Francisco to Aukland, New Zealand, March 29, 1937.

On the morning of January 11, 1938, the Samoan Clipper shoved off from the Pan Am dock at Pago Pago, where at 05:32 (local time) Musick throttled up and lifted off for the final leg of his last survey journey to New Zealand.

Things went wrong pretty quickly as they had an oil leak in engine #1 and the crew, led by Captain Musick, decided to turn back to Pago Pago. Since they were filled with fuel, they knew that before landing they would need to do a fuel dump.

At 07:59 the plane was sighted over Apia (in what was then the New Zealand-administered trust territory of Western Samoa) and headed in the direction of Tutuila (the main island of American Samoa) 75 miles away.

Another radio contact was received starting at 08:27 informing the PAA station that Musick would be dumping fuel to lighten his now underpowered and still heavily laden ship before attempting to land in the severely restricted waters of Pago Pago harbor just a short distance ahead.

After 08:35 all contact was lost with Samoan Clipper and her crew.

Within hours, reports reached Pago Pago that “native fishermen” had spotted smoke off the NW coast of the island.  A US Navy plane was dispatched to search the area and quickly sighted an oil slick that “appeared to be coming from the ocean floor.” The minesweeper/seaplane tender USS Avocet (AVP-4) sailed from Pago Pago and was vectored to the scene some “12 miles north of Tapu Tapu Point” (the western-most tip of Tutuila Island).

7-USS-Avocet-AVP-4-rszUSS Avocet

Shortly after first light on 12 January, Avocet’s crew spotted the tell-tale sheen of fuel mixed with assorted debris floating on the surface.  A ship’s boat was launched to collect what they could.  Recovered items comprised mainly small, charred pieces of “flooring, partitioning, books, papers, interior wall parts, and the navigator’s drift target tray.”  Most telling and heartbreaking of all was a tattered Pan American Airways officer’s jacket with its distinctive winged “PAA” logo identified as belonging to Samoan Clipper’s radio officer, T.J. Findley.

The position of these finds was recorded and preserved in a Bureau of Air Commerce accident report (dated 1 April 1938) that concluded the loss of the Samoan Clipper was probably due to “fire and explosion associated with the dumping of fuel, the precise cause of ignition being undeterminable.” Speculation focused on a static charge, engine exhaust or a spark from the electrically driven flap actuators as they were engaged before landing, but without any opportunity to closely examine the main body of wreckage, the exact reason for the destruction of NC16734 was reluctantly left a mystery.

A renewed search for Samoan Clipper began in early 2014 with a white paper co-authored by Russ Matthews (President and Co-founder of Air/Sea Heritage Foundation), noted maritime archaeologist Dr. James Delgado, and aviation historian Lonnie Schorer (A New Hampshire resident, who lives just down the road from us.)  The Air/Sea Heritage Foundation, began this expedition to locate, identify, and document the wreckage of Samoan Clipper, a Pan American Airways Sikorsky S-42B flying boat lost off the northwest coast of Tutuila, American Samoa in January 1938. If successful, the resulting survey will characterize an archaeological site with major significance to aviation and American Samoan history, determine the final resting place of pioneering Captain Edwin C. Musick and his 6-man crew, plus investigate the wreckage for evidence as to what lead to their fate.

They have not had a lot of luck. I think part of me believes that the plane, and the remnants of the crash, are probably sitting well below the seafloor, some 10,000 leagues or so under the sea.

I would like for the Samoan Clipper to be found. Like the Titanic, so much could be learned from that day, so long ago.

I want to note that I have gotten information for this Blog entry from the “Pan Am Heritage Foundation” as well as “The Air/Sea Foundation”.

As always I am interested in this due to Jack’s history as a Flight Engineer, First Officer and then Captain for Pan American World Airways.

Jack (2)Captain Jack

The Friday Five.

The Friday FiveHere we are, another week has sped on by. As this week closes I am getting ready for a trip down to see my sister, Melodie. Her birthday is on Tuesday and for the first time in a long time, we will be celebrating together! Anyway, here is this week’s Friday Five!

    1. I have been enjoying my birds. There are two that delight me. The first one is my Downey Woodpecker. It is tiny and yet so sweet and he is not at all worried when I am nearby. Thus, these two great pictures of my tiny friend!

Downey 2Isn’t he just the sweetest thing?

Downey Woodpecker 1I love this picture because you can see his beak inside the cage getting seed!

2. Jack and I went to a presentation at the local Airport. A Research Vessel is trying to local a Pan Am Flying Boat, Samoan Clipper, which crashed near Pago Pago, American Samoa, on January 11, 1938. The research vessel is trying to locate the remains, and the search is being led by a team from the Nautilus Live Expedition led by the Robert Ballard Group. Dr. Ballard found the Titanic and his expeditions have been fruitful. Alas, they have not located the Samoan Clipper, which I fear may be lost for all time.

BdrUMkZCQAAAILnI will be writing more about the Samoan Clipper tomorrow. We wanted to go to the presentation since Jack was associated with Pan Am for over 25 years. He started as a Flight Engineer and left as a Captain. More on that tomorrow.

3. I had to go to the Pharmacy today to get Anneliese’s Eye drops. I signed her up for the Pharmacy Program and so her drops, which normally cost $150.00 per little bottle, are $40.00. I have to say my Pharmacy team has been wonderful and helpful. Today I brought them a picture of Anneliese and they were thrilled. I was too. They are such kind people!

4. Yesterday I was driving in town and suddenly there was a traffic jam. Why? Well, two large flocks of Canadian Geese were crossing the road from one lake to the next. They were bringing all their little goslings and I think there must have been 40 Geese! Everyone stopped and watched the spectacle!

5. We had a remarkable sunset the other night. I ran off with my cell phone and snapped a picture.

67193279_388309738463969_5780343084910903296_nHave a great weekend everyone!

Zucchini & Summer Squash Saute

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2 small zucchini squash
2 small summer squash
1 large Vidalia onion
1/2 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
1/2 orange pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
4 small cloves garlic chopped
PAM

  • Slice squash into 1/2 inch slices, and make sure the slices stay small. Slice them 1/2 X 1/2 inch.
  • Chop onions, peppers into bite-size pieces.
  • Slice mushrooms.
  • Spray large saute pan with PAM.
  • Add onions, peppers, mushrooms, and garlic.
  • Saute until tender.
  • Add Zucchini and Squash and allow to cook.
  • Toss in some salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add fresh basil.
  • Cook until all vegetables are tender.

Enjoy!

Weekend Wrap

weekend wrap 1

Sunday found me feeling a calm need to get a few things done. I had laundry to do, unexciting, and potatoes that required me to do something now before they started to sprout.

So I threw a load of clothes in and came upstairs to put on a pot of potatoes to cook for Potato Salad.

Then I started to chop. I chopped onions, celery, green peppers, red peppers, and mushrooms. I cooked up some of this for breakfast omelets, and saved the rest for later.

After breakfast, the potatoes were cooked and after peeling the warm potatoes I put them in the fridge to cool down, Meanwhile, I boned a rotisserie chicken I’d cooked last night, sliced some of the meat and then made chicken salad with the smaller bite-size pieces.

I was on a roll. My creative juices were flowing and as I went from one recipe to the next I truly amazed myself!

I prepared lunch and now I am just waiting to finish up my cooking day with a light dinner. Steak and potato salad for Jack and Cod-fish and corn for me.

Oh yes, and the laundry got washed, dried and put away (all in one day!). So I am feeling pretty good about all of that!

Plus we watched the 4 hours and 55 minutes Men’s Wimbledon Final! What a match it was! Both players were working so hard to win, and really, it could have gone either way. Congratulations Novak Djokovic!

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (Kate) who is the Patron of Wimbledon, presented the tournament trophy. I was so surprised but very pleased as well. Kate is such an asset to the Royal Family and I really like her relaxed way of handling situations that are new to her.

 

Traffic Jams

I recall growing up on Cape Cod back in the sixties and being aware of the influx of tourists starting in May. Our otherwise sleepy town would suddenly grow to an almost intolerable size. Jokes were made, that we needed to dismantle the bridges which allowed tourists onto our beloved Cape Cod. Anyone who has been caught in a 6-mile long traffic jam can relate to this.

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So where did I relocate in my grown-up years? To the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. And what did I experience today (Saturday) as I headed home (North) from my daughter’s home? Yes, traffic. Bad traffic! I mean, honestly, I am not sure I have seen it this bad in New Hampshire, ever! In fact, when I got to my exit off of Route 93, I was backed up a half a mile, just to turn onto another highway!

Traffic

Now there were people who were stressed, with kids in the backseat feeling the boredom of a long, hot ride, but then there were people like me, who decided that they couldn’t change the situation, so I put on a playlist of my favorite songs and sang out loud, while I was doing the old stop and go on the highway.

It brought me back to those long-ago days on Cape Cod. All these travelers, trying to get to the same spot to have the vacation of their dreams.

And me, growing up, living in that special place! And now living in the lakes and mountains of New Hampshire! How lucky is that?

So, instead of getting upset with the traffic, I smiled and realized that I was a very happy girl living in this beautiful spot.

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Grandchildren

Such a crazy Friday. I was scheduled to drive down to Mandy’s house to watch the kids so they could enjoy date night. During the ride I had torrential rain with hail! There was also a pick-up truck accident which had me stopped in traffic about 20-25 minutes.

Despite the rain we continued to have high temperatures and high humidity.

The kids came home from daycare and we played around, had a picnic for dinner and then decided to just hang out. None of us felt like doing too much in this weather.

Still the very best thing was seeing my grandchildren and their happy faces when they saw me. Put a smile on my face!

The Friday Five

The Friday Five

We’re nearly halfway through July of 2019 and I wish I understood the whole cosmic speed of time. I’m still wondering how that little girl I was way back when, who lay in the sunshine watching the clouds, feeling like time just stood still, is living her life at 60, where the days, weeks and months fly by!

In any case, I won’t bore you all with those ponderings, but I will present this week’s Friday Five!

  1. We’ve been so lucky as this week we have had amazingly good weather. Hot, dry days with bright sun. Shorts and tank top weather. Right up until Thursday when the air was so thick and humid you could have cut it with a knife! Then the clouds moved in and the rains poured down!
  2. Lili, of course, had her day at the spa and was all shampooed and groomed. SO, I brought both dackels into the shower with me and they were washed, dried and groomed. Now all three of my doggy kids are fresh as daisies!
  3. I’ve been doing well with my healthy eating plan. At WW this week I was two and a half pounds lighter. I have been eating very healthfully and happily.  They have 200 Zero point foods and I use those to fill up my diet and I have really been feeling good about it all. I just hope I can keep up the positive feelings and keep going.
  4. I’m on my way to see my daughter and grandchildren! I’m going to babysit so she had Matt can have a date night. Fun will be had!
  5. Wimbledon has been amazing this year! Today’s match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will probably be the most exciting match of the entire series!