Monday, January 31, 2011

Hello, Dolly!

Carol Elaine Channing was born January 31, 1921, in Seattle, Washington. Happy 90th Birthday, Miss Channing. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Indeed. Always.

Image: Wikipedia

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lake Living in Florida

1,2 The place from the road. 3 From the lake.
4, 5 View from the house. 6. Hope this bud opens soon!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lake Placid

This is probably the most beautiful spot we have yet seen in Florida. It is truly a land of lakes, beautiful sparkling lakes nestled among the hills. Lake Placid proclaims that it is the "Caladium Capital of the World. It is also noted for the many, many murals on the walls of the stores and business buildings in town, a few of which we show you.

This cattle roundup scene is truly huge, and these are only a sampling of its immense panoramic view. The red and white steer jumping from the frame on the left always runs toward the viewer, no matter where he stands.

Even more amazing to me is the white steer facing you here in this picture, for no matter how far down the wall you walk, and no matter
the direction you walk, it turns its head to watch you. It is always facing you. Of course it's an illusion, but I've no idea how the artist accomplished this feat.

These two murals, along with others are near the main intersection in old downtown Lake Placid.

Interesting, interesting place.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Progress Update

We are in Lake Placid in the central part of South Florida. This is a beautiful spot, and we have pictures. But due to the tenuous nature of the internet connection, we are unable to post them at this time.

The connection is the result of wardriving, so I feel I need to be careful and make it quick.


My sister has joined the blogging community, and has announced that she will be posting on Mondays and Thursdays. Visit her!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Where are

we now? We have progressed northward to Port Charlotte. Where next? We shall see!
Our hosts' dock.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Digitalize My World

Do you recall the comment at the time America went hidef to the effect that you were going to love it?

Well, we're still loving it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Significant Date in the Life

of my eldest grandchild. Matthew was born on this date thirty years ago.


His daughter, Brookelynn
Happy Birthday, Matthew!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


lives on the other side of the fence. Promptly at five o'clock this morning he started hollering, "It's a new day!" Okay, so it is; but at eight fifteen, he is still proclaiming that it is a new day. No, Cock, you wore that song out hours ago, and the day is well underway.

BBBH made a comment to the effect that she was surprised someone had not wrung his scrawny neck. It was perhaps a hint to me that I should be the perpetrator of this nefarious deed. Can't do it; he's not my bird.

Perhaps to replace the five to seven sleep set I can compensate with a set in the afternoon, say from two to four! I love naps anyway.
Image: Wikipedia

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Warm Days, Chilly Nights

We have been enjoying the weather here as described in the heading of the post. Until we decided to scooter down the road about three miles for seafood lunch at Cracklin' Jack's, A Taste of the Everglades.

Not that the tv weather girl hadn't warned us. So although it was occluded, we decided at 1:30 to take off down the road. Comfortable ride, leisurely taken. I had the mahi mahi plate. The fish was very good, and the fries and hush puppies were excellent. BBBH had a combo catfish/baby back ribs, the quality and taste of which she found satisfying.

Then we stepped into the parking lot, and just as we were donning our helmets, Addad, Tefnut, Tlaloc, Chac, Zeus, Nature, or whoever is in charge of rain these days let it loose. We were quite wet when we arrived home. And I had on a clean pair of jeans, one of only three I seem to have brought along. Oh, well, they're wet, not dirty!

Side note: We got a kick out of the fact that one item on the menu was "liver and onions." Right. We are going to the Gulf Coast to eat liver and onions. In fact, I am going anywhere I am not eating liver and onions.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Walking Dredge

This piece of equipment was built by Bay City (Michigan) Dredge Company in the 1920s. It was used to dredge limestone from beneath the spongy earth across the Everglades to build the roadbed for the Tamiami Trail.

The machine now rests in Florida's Collier Seminole State Park, near the end of the work it completed in 1928. Two engineers with their crews ran the dredge 18 hours a day. The limestone was broken up by blasting, the project consuming over 2,500,000 sticks of dynamite. The material was moved one yard3 at a time, as that is the capacity of the bucket.

Though by modern standards this is a very "primitive" machine, it is so ingenious in its design and its accomplishment so important to the development of South Florida that the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has recognized it for its historic significance.

And How it Walks

This Bay City Walking Dredge, also called the Monegan Walking Dredge, is listed on The National Register of Historic Places.
More on ASME web page.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Laughing Ladies

We have opted for another week in Naples. We have moved to a private park, which is quite nice, but it is also much more costly than the state park. We dance to the tune, we pay the piper.

This choice should give BBBH more time with her sisters, which is the primary reason we are staying here. It is truly funny, and touching as well, to see these three little bitty women1 huddled together laughing and all talking at the same time. They not only are "catching up" after nearly a decade apart, they are also reliving some of the "old days" in Chicago and Little Egypt.

People should stay connected to family if they are blessed to have some still living. There are shared memories, and sometimes old resentments. Wouldn't it be wonderful to laugh over the first and let the second go, once and for all?

1The tallest is 5"3".

Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a permanent attitude. --Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Read more:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

We Visit a Tourist Marco

View of the river which leads from the park to the gulf. The boat launch is on the right.

This salt marsh adjoins the river on the right bank. I have long been fascinated by salt marshes, perhaps because they are an eco-environment so incredibly different from any others with which I am familiar.

We took a short drive to Marco Island just to see what it is all about. Hotels, that is what it is all about, and condominia. There is no spot along the "beach" where one can actually see the beach from the vehicle as he drives down the "seaside" boulevard. Ah, private ownership/private enterprise. Greed. Oh, dear. Having meant this to be a travelogue, I am appalled that I sense it turning into a rant. Naughty, vanilla. Behave yourself.

This park on the island basically prohibits any kind of fun. (See signs.) There was even a sign saying "No RVs" and of course, we were driving the motor home, which some believe to be an RV. There was also a sign prohibiting commercial activity. So how is it that a major "sporting" company brought its vehicles into the park and had people signing rental agreements for waverunners? That's not commercial activity? Okay, back to the park where we know we are welcome.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Not your typical Indiana flora. In fact I've seen neither a cornstalk nor a soybean bush anywhere. The things I do see are strange. I don't even recognize many of them. Palm trees, palmettos and live oaks I know. A few of the plants resemble some of the house plants which we have, but whose names are unspellable if not unpronounceable.

Some of the most fascinating ones appear to be parasites. Spanish moss I know, and it is a parasite.
These beautiful little creatures (some actually get quite large) seem to attach themselves to the bark of certain trees where they thrive on the air and presumably, the tree itself.

The seagrape I know from a visit to Florida ten years ago. At that time, my friend David, may he rest in peace, explained to me that its leaves had been used in olden days as writing paper. He later demonstrated his point by writing a letter to me on one of the large flat leaves. Worked like a charm.

Florida is indeed a world of wonders to a northerner such as I. Not the least wondrous among them: 75 degree days in January.

Friday, January 14, 2011


. Posted by
What an opportunity to get away from it all. We have checked into a wilderness campground where there is no internet connection, the television will get me Rachel Ray, Judge Judy and John Hagee. Thus, there is no television, either.

I did pull out the phone to call my sister. So we know that good ol' AT&T has a tower somewhere in the vicinity.

How are we to deal with being so unplugged? Not a problem for BBBH, for she has a couple of LaVyrle Spencers she hasn't yet completed and a double handful of other books. And too, I rather hope she will continue to prepare a few meals along the way.

But for me, I thought to sort and arrange my pictures, a job desperately in need of doing and one for which I never find time, for I am always reading something in the blogosphere, or comics, or newspapers online. Or occasionally writing for "String Too Short to Tie."

So when I sat down here to do some of these long neglected tasks, what should occur to me but that I could write anyway and save it for a connectable day, which may well come somewhere past the middle of the month. Won't it be fun for you, reading stale blogposts?

We are at a Florida park called Collier Seminole State Park. It is probably 12 or 15 miles south of Naples on the Tamiami Trail. It is in a wildlife refuge, replete with cougar warning signs. Rather than tremble, I prefer to think the kitties will be more afraid of me than I of them. I do, of course, hope that Cookie does not serve as a snack for some beast of the wild. Or for one of the neighbors' dogs for that matter. On the lot to our right are two rottweilers, on the left, a standard poodle about the same size (and temperament) as the rotties. Directly across the lane is a creature straight out of the Arctic region, so it appears, even though it is not hitched to a sled. Sixty yards to the left is a beautiful golden retriever. In fact I am beginning to wonder if possession of a dog is required for admittance into the park. Maybe the rangers feed them to the cougars on Saturday night. Silly thought.

Posted thanks to the kind generosity of friend Marna who invited us to connect to his wifi, and grilled steaks for us to enjoy. Gotta go eat. Chow. I mean, ciao!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The King's 76th Birthday

January 8, 1935

This is the birth date of Elvis Aron Presley. There is nothing I can say in tribute to his contribution that his fans don't already know better than I. There is nothing I can say to persuade the naysayers of the error of their ways. So we would wish the King a happy 76th birthday had he not departed this life so prematurely.

Elvis Aron Presley 1935 - 1977 RIP

Thursday, January 6, 2011

In South Florida Now

As we stood visiting with our camp host, I snapped this picture, ostensibly to photograph Buddy, the Dog. Truly, however, I wanted to share the lifestyle of the Floridians with whom we have come in contact. Really nice guy, hates shoes. On reflection, though, I guess the jeans are long enough to protect the bottoms of the feet should the need arise. Posted by

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where in...

Mgr. Jeff and BBBH


Amy Armadillo, Punta Gorda Lemon, sunglasses!

Dateline: Punta Gorda, Florida

Approximately five hours of driving and a great brisket bbq at Weeki Wachee on the way down put us in this South Florida locale about five o'clock. After perusing the camper's guide, which directed us to numerous grounds where one could drop beaucoup bucks for parking overnight, we drove leisurely down US 41 (there is no other way to drive this road) and spotted a, well not Mom and Pop since it is Pop only campground, where $20 covers the whole hook-up deal. For this area, hey, what's not to like. And wi-fi, too!

Credit: Google Maps

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Where in the

Posted from Inglis, Florida

Monday, January 3, 2011

Celebrating Cookie Again!

January Second (okay, it's a day late) and time to note the progress of the family pet as he chalks up another year. He's still here. Two years ago, we celebrated his seventeenth birthday. Last year, we simply noted "another birthday."

The situation is this. We had calculated that he was seventeen in 2009, though we had no documentation. Subsequent to the celebratory notice, we found some papers, and have concluded that in fact his birthyear was 1993. Thus a revision in the "age." He is a much younger dog than we thought, and thus we conclude that he is now a mere eighteen! Not bad for a member of the canine tribe.

He is still pretty much as described in last year's post, though perhaps a step slower. And he sleeps more.

Happy Birthday, Cookson!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Prince of Peace

Pastor Mark presents his final sermon in his series on Isaiah 9:6.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Jesus Christ is The Prince of Peace. A search of the Holy Bible (KJV) reveals that there are 400 references to "peace."

Three areas in which we need to have peace as we live on this earth.

  1. We need to have peace with each other. In Philippians 4:1-9 we read after Paul as he addresses conflict. a) He does not take sides but says "Be of the same mind." b) Paul does not "pull rank." c) He appoints a helper. Romans 12:18 says, " If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."
  2. We need to have peace within our hearts. Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Also, consider Isaiah 16:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
  3. We need to have peace with God. John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
The Christian life is a joyful life!. It does not exempt one from trial, temptation or tribulation; but peace and joy live within.
The Peace of God starts with salvation. Romans 8:6 " For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."

If you live a carnal life, you will not have peace with God. Draw close to God; you will experience peace in your life!
(This is Sunday's faith post. Tomorrow we celebrate Cookie's birthday.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011