Monday, February 25, 2008

Rehab of our vacation house continues

Ray and Marty pictured below are rehabbing our southern house. Ray (with a beard) is a plumber / electrician and Marty is the general contractor. The house was a duplex with a central wall, two bathrooms and two kitchens. The central wall has been removed and one kitchen is being transformed into a laundry room. One bath is being completely gutted and turned into a shower room. The old HVAC system was removed and a new heat pump installed.

Ray and Marty
There was a bathroom here
Removing the central wall

Friday, February 22, 2008

Carl's presentations to Rotary clubs in North Carolina on his Polio NID trip to Bangladesh and India

There are three clubs near our vacation home in Southern Pines NC. I will be speaking at each one in March on our trip and trying to raise money for the Bangladesh Centre for Children with Special Needs created by the Rotary club of Banani Dhaka District 3280 Bangladesh. On March 14th I will address the Southern Pines Rotary club, on the 18th the Pinehurst Rotary club and on the 26th the Sandhills Rotary club. A picture from a recent Southern Pines club meeting is attached. I do this wearing the Bangladesh outfit provided by my hosts Salim and Parvin Sultana Siddique.


YouTube page:

YouTube page, Rotary NID only:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A wild horse in Southern Pines

Mitzi is feeling her oats as Kahlua is saddled for a ride through the Moss foundation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Carl and Sandhills Rotary


I attended the Sandhills Rotary club meeting at the elegant Carolina hotel in Pinehurst and will give my Bangladesh presentation their on March 26th. They hold the U.S. open here every few years. Last year I also attended a meeting of this club and provided a Merrimackvalley banner as shown in the attached picture. The club breakfast (7:00am) is shown in the other pictures. They have a large buffet that is serenaded by a pianist on a grand piano for $11. Perhaps we should consider this.

The day before I received a very warm reception at the Pinehurst Rotary club and will give my Bangladesh presentation to this group on March 18.

I have copied Salim and Ruma on this Email. If there is a reasonable way for them to send me banners from their club I will give them or sell them to help raise money for the Centre for Children with Special Needs.

All the best


YouTube page:

YouTube page, Rotary NID only:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Trip to North Carolina from Groton MA



This is a brief synopsis of our trip from Groton MA to Southern Pines NC with two horses.  At noon on Thursday the 7th I gave my Bangladesh presentation to the Rotary group in Groton in full Bangladesh dress.  I have two more presentations scheduled to Rotary Groups in the Southern Pines area in March.  After the talk we finished packing, loading the truck and horse trailer and got ready for an early start on Saturday the 8th.  In the morning the snow was deep but we persevered in first loading Mitzi who seemed to know something was up.  It took an hour for her to finally decide to hop in with Wendy quickly fastening the butt bar to restrict her escape.  The good old trooper Kahlua hoped right on.  Perhaps Kahlua remembered that after the trip would be green pastures and pleasant temperatures.  With the rig loaded we attempted our exit but the tires only spun on the ice in the driveway.  A little sand under the tires allowed a careful exit up the drive to the down hill portion.  The town of Groton had diligently plowed the road free of the overnight snow but had left a substantial mound at the end of our driveway.  If we stopped to look for traffic we might not make it through and if we gunned it we might be hit.  We gunned it.  Fortunately the road was clear and our rig swerved onto Longley road.  While plowed, the road was snow covered and slippery requiring careful driving on Wendy’s part to stay on the road while having enough momentum to make it up three hills.  Once on major roads it was clear sailing.


In the evening we stayed at our usual Cracker Barrel restaurant just outside Harrisburg PA.  These establishments will allow rigs to stay overnight which usually involves dinner and breakfast at the restaurant.  After tending to the horses and having a nice dinner we went to bed in the tack room of the trailer.  This involves foam pads and sleeping bags in the section of the gooseneck trailer hanging over the bed of the truck.  It should be noted that this un-insulated aluminum structure provided little protection from the cold.  However, unlike the year it was -10 F outside, this night was only around freezing and not too bad.  We used electric socks and toe warmers from skiing to stave off the cold.  It should be remembered that two less than pleased horses are in the back room.  If they are unhappy and bounce around it can be difficult to sleep.  Also, one is advised to sleep quietly to avoid waking the equine companions. 


The rest of the trip went well and we arrived at our vacation home in Southern Pines.  Upon release from their mobile prison two agitated Trakner horses galloped around the pasture in the dark.  We kept the truck lights on so they could see.  This was especially important as we had strung a temporary electric fence across the pasture to restrict their access to the succulent young grass so that they wouldn’t get a tummy ache. 


We encountered a problem on trying to enter the house.  A workman had double locked the front door and we only had a key to the deadbolt lock.  A quick tour around the house showed that a back window was slightly open.  Using the new LED lights that attaché to the brim of my hat, I was able to open the window further, slither in and open the front door.  Our locks weren’t of much use but the house was intact with nothing missing.  However, the open window had caused a problem.  In one of the kitchen cupboards a bird had built a nest (see attached picture).  Wendy moved the egg containing next to the outside on a ledge hoping that the birds will find it.  As an aside, our bluebird box has a nest with eggs.


Now on to the second year of our renovation project.


This should also appear on my new Blog:



Monday, February 4, 2008

Return from Aspen Snowmass Colorado

We have returned home to an excellent ONBH super bowl party with an unfortunate outcome for the Patriots Getting out of Aspen was difficult as the airport closed because of Snow. However, United Airlines provided three busses to take passengers over the Loveland pass in busses with chains to the Denver airport. This got us there at 1:00 am and gave us the chance to experience being a homeless person. I slept on the floor under a phone bank. It blocked the light but the hourly TSA announcements and the people running buffing machines made sleep difficult. Also, there were a number of small birds flying around the terminal eating crumbs left by messy eaters. No one seemed to care. We made it back to Boston at 2:00 pm, home by 3:30 and off to the Super Bowl party in Weston by 5:30. By midnight we were finally home in our own bed. Now we have to get ready for the next trip.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Downtown Aspen at night

It snowed all day providing more powder. Why is it that I feel the best just before we leave. Tonight we went downtown Aspen to visit the stores and gallaries and have a very tasty mexican meal. Topmorrow we hope to fly back to Boston weather permitting.