Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Redeem the time

How are you going to use your extra second this evening?

Eating from the Compost Pile

Oh, man!  Did I ever have some delicious beet greens for supper!

BBBH and I were walking the dog in the open field behind our house, as is our wont.  A neighbor several doors north of us cultivates and maintains a very nice little garden.  As she walked by this little gem, BBBH noticed that the gardener had harvested his beets, cut off the tops and discarded them on his compost pile.  She called this to my attention and I had a fistful of greens in my hands at once.

I never cease to be amazed at the profligate behaviors of some folk but this one puzzles me greatly. Why on earth would someone plant and nurture beets then cast off the best part of the plant?  Now I like beets, I mean the bulbous root things, boiled with salt and butter, pickled, or what have you.  But the greens are the very tastiest and most desirable part of the crop;.  Just sayin'.  Over and over.

In my gardening days, I lovingly planted a row of beets.  When it was time to thin them, I pulled the plants,  teeny-tiny globe and all, cooked them up.  Then when I harvested the globes I had greens again.  Following that feast, I would plant another row of beets and start the process anew.  Well, I don't do that anymore, but I'll fix the greens if you give them to me.  Or throw them on your compost pile.

Preparation

  1. Wash tops thoroughly in cold water.
  2. Discard excess stem (on older leaves) leaving five or six inches.
  3. Boil in large pot until tender.  Ten minutes or so.
  4. Drain; put blob of butter on top (there has been no substitute in this house for years).
  5. Optional: sprinkle a dab of vinegar on greens
  6. Eat!
There are any number of recipes for "beet greens" out there, but most of them add a bunch of seasonings and stuff.  Simple is better.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Big Bird Syndrome

Turdus Migratorious, Junior
Still wears his spotted vest
As he bobs along behind
Papa Robin Redbreast.

Or perhaps it is Mother.
Hard to tell one from the other.
But the mission here is clear
Parent still feeds the little dear.

Below horizon sun has gone
The frogs are now in evensong.
The fireflies flit above the grasses
Their lights flickering on their

Abdomens barely brighter than the sky.

Parent cocks its head and Peck!
Grabs a worm by its neck
Or middle, or, oh, dear!
When from Junior, “Cheep!” I hear.

Mom or Pop as the case may be
Gives the worm to Junior and he
Downs it whole.  And “Cheep!”
Not a “Thanks” I think, but “More!” this peep.

Parent snares another drops it on the ground
Tells Junior “Pick it up, there’s no one else around.”
“Cheep,” says the brat.
Mom picks up worm and gives him that.

Silly bird, the lesson shirks
Watches Mama as she works.
This offspring is as big as mother
But has it made, reminds me of another

Species, homo sapiens Americanus
Century twenty-one, I think
ACHOO! I sneeze.
Both birds leap into the breeze.

Gone in a wink.

© 2015 David W. Lacy

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Snoopy: My Role Model





Charles Schulz and Snoopy nailed it years ago.  Hand-drawn copies for bulletin board use.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Margot and the Pink Elephant

It is a well-known mathematical fact that there are three and only three regular tessellations of the plane..  I offer no proof for this, but it is a fact.

I was thinking a few years ago about the ways in which tessellation of the plane might be accomplished with other sorts of figures.  I designed this little example, which would look really neat if the elephants were pink, and you might just wonder. . .


Margot's sixth birthday coincided with the arrival of the circus in town so of course her Mama took her to see the parade touting the coming performances.  As they stood along the curb watching the passing wagons and lumbering beasts, Margot was dancing with excitement, pointing, exclaiming, and oohing and aahing.

But as the elephants approached, Margot suddenly got very quiet and very still.  Very un-Margot-like behavior indeed.  The first behemoth was pink.  All over pink.  Mother could see that the attendant for whatever reason had dusted the animal all over with pink powder of some sort.  But little Margot's comprehension was addled, or as we would say in this day and age, her mind was blown.

Margot's shriek and a mighty shriek it was coming as it did from such a small body could have been heard in the next county.  At any rate, the elephants heard it and immediately the vast pink elephant responded with a clarion trumpet call that could have been heard two counties over. This was instantly followed by an elephant sextet that virtually deafened everyone in town and the applause of the lions and tigers as they roared from their cages increased the cacophony to a level never before nor ever since heard in that town. The dappled mare reared, the bareback rider rolled in the street, her tutu and tights mangled and dirty, and so were her knees and elbows.

Then the zebras broke out of their wagon. . .

Margot is up in years now, and to this day she excuses herself and leaves the room whenever someone mentions "the day the circus came to town."

© 2015 David W. Lacy


*For really cool tessellations study M. C. Escher

M. C. Escher

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Donald G. Prout

Donald Prout passed from this life June 23, 2015.  Don is brother to my late wife, Ellie but more, Don was my friend.

Don did not enjoy traveling.  His home was the one place he most wanted to be, and his home was the house his parents built and in which Donald grew up.  He and his wife Jane bought the house from his parents when they retired and moved to other quarters.  Yet in spite of his love for his own environs, Don and Jane would travel to Indiana from time to time to visit us at the lake or in Tipton.

Don loved to fish and I spent many pleasant hours alongside him and his sister in that endeavor.  But more than fishing, Don loved to be engaged in productive labor.  Mr. Prout was a proud member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.  It was always in our best interest, and in his, to have a "project" awaiting him when he visited.  He wired our garden sheds on both properties and hooked us up for 220 at the lake house.  Yet his skills were not limited to his profession, for he was an accomplished handyman and numerous items in need of attention fell under the ministrations of his talented hands.

Don was partial to pocket tees and as they were not always easy for him to find, these items were always welcomed gifts.

Don and Jane lovingly raised two children Bill and Karen, and in later life became doting grandparents to the next generation of Prout offspring.

In our bedroom, we have a beautiful and quite complicated desk that Don built as his senior shop project when he was in high school.  As much as we cherish this piece of furniture, it is the love and friendship of this good man that we cherish most.  He will be missed.

Donald Goodwin Prout  March 4, 1936 - June 23, 2015,  RIP

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Wind

I am told that the storm hit at 2:15 Sunday morning.  Never woke me.  Fierce winds for a short period of time wreaked havoc in our community.  Pictures of our yard show that we were among the fortunate ones.  Lots of limbs down, littered area, but no damage to any structures.  Many people could not say that.  Our power was out only five hours.  For some, it was more like a day.





Good neighbors pitched in, had our yard cleaned up by shortly after noon.  We are blessed.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Koala Nation

I do hope Sharkey will forgive me for borrowing her picture, but this must be shared.  Sharkebytes was hiking in Ohio recently when she spotted this koala in a nearby tree.  Amazing as this is, my amusement was heightened by the memory of my own spotting of a koala in a palm tree in Rockport, Texas.

burl like koala
Photo by Joan H. Young, 2015
Posted on My Quality Day

Photo by vanilla, March 16, 2013

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Thwarted Tree

The words of the Master as recorded in Matthew chapter seven.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

We have a weeping cherry tree in our front yard. In the spring of the year, it puts on a lovely white gown and we enjoy this splendor for a brief season, then the petals fall and we have a green tree in the yard. We might compare the tree to a young person in the bloom of youth, beauty to behold.

Now for a normal cherry tree the next phase of the creature's life would be devoted to the production of fruit, glistening, globular, precious fruit desirable for food.  Not so for this tree.  When its splendiferous flowering phase is past so is its production past.  And yet it will try to be a cherry tree, for close examination will show that a very small number of the abundant blossoms will attempt to produce fruit.  Look very closely, for the fruits are tiny indeed, scarcely larger than a BB.  But they are round, and some ripen, but they are extremely few and sour.

Why is this?  The tree looks like a cherry tree: correct bark, correct leaves, blossoms in the springtime.  But the tree has been corrupted.  The arborist or the dendrologist or the geneticist or whoever has been messing with the tree has thwarted its mission so that it will produce only fleeting beauty but nothing of lasting value, nothing to provide sustenance.

Do not let your mission be thwarted by external forces.  The cherry tree may have had no choice, but you have.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Who Am I?

I read an article by historian Colin Woodard a few months past.  The author purported to have divided America into eleven "nations" the same being a sociological division.  Interesting enough that I wrote the accompanying piece but did not post it on STSTT at the time.  Actually, I keep such stuff in a private blog.  I keep lots of stuff there, most of which you will never see because to some degree, it is a journal.  Private.


Interesting division.  According to this map, I was born right smack at the point where the Midlands, the Far West, and El Norte converge.  After a brief interlude in Greater Appalachia, my next four years were spent in the western Midlands.  After that, we moved to The Far West where the balance of my formative years was spent.   A brief stint in a factory at one of the points where Greater Appalachia meets The Midlands was sufficient to convince me a college education was in my future, so a move to The Left Coast to accomplish that end.  Sometime before graduating, I married a girl from a city on the border of The Midlands and Greater Appalachia.

After a few years on the Left Coast, it seemed that the Midwest was beckoning, so we moved into an area which is here designated Greater Appalachia and we bounced around in Greater Appalachia and The Midlands. Retirement reintroduced me to El Norte wherein I have wintered several years.

My travels have taken me to all the Nations on this map, including both far-flung sections of New France; forty-eight US states, three Canadian provinces and a Mexican state, in fact.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Just a campin' in the rain. . .

Off the ranch a few days this week.  Our campers' fellowship was scheduled to meet at Summit Lake. We belong to a hardy group, and notwithstanding rain forecast for virtually every day there was no doubt that many, perhaps even most of the group would show up.  It looked for a bit that we were going to be the washouts, for Sunday passed and we did not feel up to getting ready to go.  Monday came and went, and we still had not headed out

Tuesday, though, we kicked ourselves a bit just to get started.  We went.  The pictures are illustrative of the experience.

 What it is is rain.

 But in this case, it is smoke.  Elvin made his world-famous peach cobbler baked in a Dutch oven over an open fire.  Which was upwind of the tent.  It was worth it. Table games were played under the tent, and there were sunny periods between downpours.

 One of the preachers (there are two) in the group.  Richard is every bit as pleasant as he looks.

The firepit fishing hole on our space.  Bring your rod and lure, try your luck.


Wiener's opinion of the whole thing.

On the way home Thursday morning, we arrived in Sulphur Springs at 10:50 which was perfect timing for a stop at the Iron Kettle.  BBBH had a  beautiful everything-in-it-omelet with a lovely biscuit and hot tea.  I had the hand breaded grouper with baked potato and fruit, water with lemon.
Note to self:  Order that again.  One of the best pieces of deep fried fish I ever had.  The breading was better than dessert.  Which I skipped.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

More Trivia

Answers to Tuesday's trivia.

1 Made by elves.   Keebler
2 Nobody doesn't like +--+ Sara Lee
3 Bet you can't eat just one. Lay's Potato Chips
4 Everything is better when it sits on a +--+. Ritz
5 There's a +--+ in your future.  Ford
6 Ask the man who owns one.  Packard
7 It will drive you absolutely mod.  Camaro
8 See the USA in your +--+  Chevrolet
9 Better buy a +--+  Buick
10 LSMFT,   Lucky Strike
11 +--+ green has gone to war.  Lucky Strike
12 +--+ wants you!  Uncle Sam
13 Five eight eight two three hundred   Empire Floors
14 Is it live or is it +--+?  Memorex
15 Don't just tape it, +--+ it.  TDK
16. A little dab'll do ya.  Brylcreem

And a few more, just to keep it going.

17. +--+'ll do it fer yew!
18. I want my +--+
19. Good to the last drop.  (A gimme)
20. Where's the beef?
21. Breakfast of Champions
22. Just do it.
23  Have it your way.
24. More Eloquent than words.
25. There's a little Eve in every woman.
Jump for answers

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Journaling: The End

Perhaps you are thinking this has gone on long enough.  Perhaps we can wind this up.

We arose Sunday morning and drove to Springfield, Missouri, stopping there with the intention of
attending church and as we were driving down the main drag into town, behold a Salvation Army church sprang into view.  We pulled into the back of their parking lot, ascertained that it would be nearly an hour before morning worship service, changed duds (well, JoAnn did) and strolled around a bit.  We then went to the sanctuary where we had a nice visit with a superannuated SA officer who had been a missionary to China, Zimbabwe, Jamaica.  She must have been at least eighty, but looked like she could go some more miles yet.  Majors David and Barbara Zahn conducted a very good service and I felt as though I had been to church.

After Sunday brunch in Springfield, we drove on to Cuba where we asked directions to a camp facility.  Two or three different people directed us to the same place, about seven miles down the road.  "Sure," the attendant said, "drive on up to the office and I'll be right there."  A few minutes later he returned and pulled out a registration sheet and asked if we were Something-or-Other Club Members.  Well, having never heard of it, No.  "I'm sorry," he said, "I can't let you stay."  "Well, I said as I craned my neck to peer way upward into his steely eyes set into a head as big as a basketball, "you're big enough to enforce that."  He said he was sorry, it wasn't his choice, he just worked there.  Drove on to Stanton where we stayed in a KOA.  The weather was fantastic and the temperature at ten p.m. was still 69 degrees.*

Since JoAnn insisted we shun St. Louis, and since we would have arrived there during the morning rush hour, we turned north on Missouri 47.  Along the way, a brief detour placed us at a Bryan cemetery where there was a monument to Daniel Boone and his wife whose bones had been moved to Kentucky long ago.  The Bryans were Boone's inlaws.  A fantastically beautiful, if somewhat slow, drive along Missouri 59  brought us ultimately to US 61 on which we headed north.  We crossed the Mississippi at Louisiana, Missouri on US 54 and stopped for lunch at a cafe in Atlas-- can't miss it: the only one there.  54 ends at I-72 which took us to I-74 which we followed to Indiana 32 then jogged north on I-65 to Indiana 47 and lo, we were back home again in Tipton in a matter of minutes! It was not yet six p.m.

*It was in this same campground on a very rainy night almost exactly five years later that String Too Short to Tie was born.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Really Trivial

Running through my mind during the wee hours were jingles and slogans that advertisers have thrown at me over the years.   It is my contention that no one other than the performers in the ads would ever have a desire to learn these.  But learn them I did.  And the admen knew it would work that way.

My brain is studded with bits and pieces of stuff rather like an oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips in it.  Speaking of cookies and other comestibles,

1 Made by elves.
2 Nobody doesn't like +--+
3 Bet you can't eat just one.
4 Everything is better when it sits on a +--+,

Or how about transportation?

5 There's a +--+ in your future.
6 Ask the man who owns one.
7 It will drive you absolutely mod.
8 See the USA in your +--+
9 Better buy a +--+

And other odds and ends.

10 LSMFT, or
11 +--+ green has gone to war.
12 +--+ wants you!
13 Five eight eight two three hundred
14 Is it live or is it +--+?
15 Don't just tape it, +--+ it.
16. A little dab'll do ya.

You have some of this sort of thing embedded in your head.  Please share some of yours in the comments.

On Thursday there may be more  along with the answers to today's list.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Journaling: Carlsbad to Joplin**

We took US 285 from Carlsbad which took us at eventide to Stockton, Texas.  But on the way we stopped briefly in the quaint town of Pecos where Judge Roy Bean once held court.  The putative courthouse in which he dispensed justice stands beside the highway.  The town itself is really quite
 attractive-- for a West Texas town.  The buildings are old, mostly early twentieth century, but the people seem to take some pride in their surroundings.  So far as commerce, though, the place is in a state of torpor.
in Ft.  Stockton, we stayed at Comancheland RV Park.  $10/night anytime, full hookup.  The monthly rate is $210.00.  The facility is nor bad though it is right next to the highway.  Traffic didn't bother us.  The following morning, if we had seen you, we would have wished you a Happy Halloween!  We traveled via US 67 toward the northeast.  Well, you see, without going into any of the detail or discussion regarding this decision, we opted to forget New Orleans and head for home after all.

At a town called Big Lake, we stopped for about 45 minutes.  A Dollar General, an antique store, and not much more.  A little later we stopped at a Historical Marker on the roadside at what was called Tennyson, though nothing more than a single residence appeared to the naked eye.  Here Jo fixed lunch and we enjoyed the balmy breezes as we ate.  In the evening, we stopped at a campground in Seymour, Texas.  You didn't think one could drive through Texas in a day, did you?  Campsite $15 and a nice visit with the owners was at no extra cost.  We had considered hanging around for the weekend since it was now Friday evening, but when we asked the people what was the most interesting thing to do in Seymour over the weekend, Pa answered, "Leave."  These people raised
dogs and had kennels behind the camp area where were caged upwards of thirty dogs.  Strangely, they got yappy only when someone visited them.  Jo Ann wanted the runt in one cage of little poodles and both Cookie and I were averse to the idea.

On the morning of November First, we drove out of Texas and caught the Oklahoma Turnpike system at Lawton.  Since this was the most direct route homeward, we anted up the about-five-cents per mile and rode on through Oklahoma.  A few miles east of Joplin, Missouri and about seven miles west of Sarcoxie, we stopped at a really nice campground.  $13

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Catechizing a Faithful Church-goer

She told me they were heartsick at the loss of their beloved priest who had been transferred to another parish.

And how had he endeared himself to his congregation, and what would you miss most?

Father B practiced punctuality almost as he practiced his religion, in fact, one might say it was a part of his religion.

Examples, please.

Father always started mass exactly on time. Every action, every word, contributed to the goals of the service and no extraneous motions protracted the meeting.  Father B’s Sermons were marvelous to hear, and one knew what it was all about when it was over.

Meaning what, exactly?

He always started his homily with a  humorous anecdote.  One’s attention was immediately riveted.  His message proceeded smoothly and logically to its conclusion, and the conclusion was like clinching the nail on the backside of the board--  the point was driven home and seated permanently in one’s mind.  The service was over in precisely thirty-five minutes and we went home knowing we had been in church.

And the new priest?

Rambles.  A lot.  And drones.  On and on.

Apparently what she wants from church is punctuality, proper structure, a clear message delivered wittily and succinctly with meaning that is relevant and can be grasped.  Is her expectation reasonable?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Red Letter Day

I was riffling through the pages of my pocket day minder from twenty-five years ago.  On Wednesday, June 13, 1990 I had written "Red letter day.  Officially retired?"

I cannot tell you what the interrogation point at the end of the entry meant at the time, but I am guessing that it was put there in the belief that I would certainly be called by some mucky-muck in the system for something job-related.

At any rate, it was the first day I walked out of the building as a non-employee of the school district, for I was there at the planning stage of the building, saw it through its construction, and opened it for business in August 1972.

I have looked back, of course I have, for I held the best job in the world for those eighteen years, but I have never looked back with regret.  Taking on the job was the best thing I ever did; laying it down was the best thing I ever did.  Sort that out.

I am blessed far beyond my just desserts.


Looking back.  Just there, across the street.  I used to work there.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Next the Loire Valley

June 12, 1429 the assault on the fortress at Jargeau by Joan of Arc was accomplished. Its many lulls and "treaties" notwithstanding the Hundred Years War in its ninety-third year.  The House of Plantagenet ruling England is occupying a major portion of France. The House of Valois, royal line of France, has for several decades been averse to pushing back to reclaim the country.  Comes a seventeen-year-old girl from a country village, sparks the should-be-king to action, raises an army and proceeds to undertake the task of ridding France of England's boot on its neck.

Joan of Arc has lifted the Seige of Orleans and is now in attack mode to drive the English from the Loire valley.  Jargeau is the first of four campaigns which ultimately ended the Hundred Years' War.  Joan, of course, did not live to see the final victory over the despised English, but she is nevertheless credited with having stirred France to action and making great strides toward freeing her beloved country.

I acquired my history largely from Mark Twain's Joan of Arc.  If he is short on any aspect of the story,  he is certainly long on interest.  The man could write.

See my earlier post about Joan here.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

To Vet a Leader

Tomorrow is the 586th anniversary of the assault on the fortress at Jargeau by Joan of Arc.  Consider an earlier travail this seventeen-year-old leader endured in her pursuit of her Generalship.

"So we traveled to Poitiers, to endure three weeks of tedious delay while this poor child [Joan of Arc] was being daily questioned and badgered before a great bench of--what?  Military experts?--since what she had come to apply for was an army and the privilege of leading it to battle against the enemies of France.  Oh, no.  It was a great bench of priests and monks--profoundly learned and astute casuists--renowned professors of theology!  Instead  of setting a military commission to find out if this valorous little soldier could win victories, they set a company of holy hair-splitters and phrase-mongers to work to find out if the soldier was sound in her piety and had no doctrinal leaks.  The cats were devouring the house, but instead of examining the cat's teeth and claws, they only concerned themselves to find out if it was a holy cat.  If it was a pious cat, a moral cat, all right, never mind about the other capacities, they were of no consequence."

-- Mark Twain: Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by The Sieur Louis de Conte (Her Page and Secretary) Freely Translated out of the Ancient French into Modern English from the Original Unpublished Manuscript in the National Archives of France by Jean Francois Alden, vol. 1, p. 160

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Lower Your Expections

Verily, who expecteth little is disappointed little. --Song of Sorrows 4:4



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Maesta

June 9, 1311 the City of Siena was shut down and all hands were in the streets, carrying candles and celebrating the installation of Duccio's Maesta in the cathedral. The altarpiece had been over three years in the making.

The medium is tempera on wood with gold overlays.  Duccio is credited with having been a leader in the turning of Western art from the Byzantine to a more realistic representation of the artist's subjects.



Front




















Reverse

More than four hundred years later, 1771, the masterpiece was sawed into pieces, dismantled, and effectively flung to the four winds.  Parts of it have been recovered and reassembled, some of it finds residence in musea across the face of the Earth, and parts of it are still missing, likely shall always be missing.  It is thought that cutting it up was a commercial venture, that is, to make the "parts" more saleable and more easily transported.  A principal portion resides in a museum in Siena, its hometown.

Source:  Masterpiece Cards and various websites.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Journaling: El Paso to Carlsbad**

When last you heard we were nearing El Paso on I-10.  Even though we arrived in the metropolis during the afternoon rush hour, driving through the city and onto US 62 - 180 heading east was not a difficult feat.  We passed the last campground in El Paso as the sun was setting but felt confident that better things lay ahead.  Indeed.  About thirty miles out as dusk was settling, we were stopped by the Border Patrol.  The pleasant young officer advised us not to stay in the campground at the next intersection as "that is the place at which anyone trying to evade the checkpoint will emerge."  So we drove on past that possibility and soon found ourselves ascending the Guadalupe Mountains in the dark.  As it turns out, even though we missed the scenery, perhaps "in the dark" was a good way to get through that area.

We arrived in White's City, NM, which is at the foot of the drive up to Carlsbad Caverns and named for Jim White, the kid who did the first explorations of the caverns over a hundred years ago.  We walked the dog and enjoyed a pleasant evening and a good night's rest in preparation for the morrow's adventure.

A bite of breakfast, a bit of a walk, then the drive up the mountain to the main attraction.  We let the attendants talk us into renting ($3 apiece) recorded tour guide keyed to numbered areas throughout the great room.  Save your change.  It is a) way too much information to absorb while trying to appreciate the wonders of this Creation, and b) a running conservation diatribe and a constant reminder to keep your fingers off the marvels.  Learn about it before you get there, or even  afterward, but enjoy the place.

Craning the neck while trying to experience the place as completely as possible proved to be a daunting task, along with the over-long walk.  At one point after much walking, we encountered a
Park Service Ranger and asked, "How much farther?"  "You can put your landing gear down now," she replied.  Don't trust them.

Finally we exited into the light of day, drove back down the mountain and turned northward toward Carlsbad.  We decided to go for the gourmet luncheon and stopped at Wendy's.  I believe it would be accurate to say it was here that I ate my first jr. bacon cheeseburger that was barely fit for human consumption.  Did put the old appetite to rest, though.   It was while we agonized over this tortured meal that we also agonized over the decision: to go north and east and hence homeward, or to the south and east and visit San Antonio and New Orleans.  We chose Southeast.  TBC

Photo is from a postcard.  Which I bought.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Beauty in White

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarletthey shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  --Isaiah 1:18

 The dianthus was an excellent choice for several places in the yard.

 Are they fabulous! Or what?

 The yarrow is faithful.  And prolific.

The daisies overran the garden several years ago.
We undertook to eradicate them and almost succeeded
too well.  They are making a comeback, though and
will soon present a problem again I'm sure.

 The catalpa spreads its white canopy over the yard.

While the rough leaf dogwood beneath is whitening as
well.  Still a green tinge, but soon to be as white as the
yarrow beneath it.

A touch of color to complement the white.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

To Everything There is a Reason

I renewed my driver’s license  a few days ago.  I learned some things, too, not the least of which is that there exists a camera made especially for the BMV, or the DMV, depending upon your place of residence.  The camera is the Insta Nage 5+.  It is designed to age the subject five years so that the picture is current at the time of the expiration of the license!

There.  I have accounted for the reason you don't like to show your license photo.  You are welcome.






Today is D-Day.  Never forget!
Each year on June 6, this anniversary has been noted here.  Last year
on the Seventieth Anniversary, I wrote a brief memorial piece here.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Journaling: Phoenix to El Paso**

October 28 we departed the Phoenix area and drove south through Tucson.  Although we got off the interstate downtown, we did not linger long but proceeded onward via I-10 to Willcox.  Great scenery, or eye candy, along this drive.  Stopped in a rest area near the top of a pass where the rock formations resembled piles of giant potatoes and where there were posted  warning signs, " Poisonous snakes and insects inhabit the area!" *



By this time, Cookie had gotten so used to the goathead problem that he would merely stop, lift the offended paw and stare piteously at one of us until we picked him up and pulled out the thorn.  No longer did he jerk or nip at the caregiver!  Quick learner.

We arrived in Willcox in time to locate a good campsite and get hooked up well before dark.  The monthly rate here is $210 and there is an indoor pool.  Willcox is about 75 miles from Tucson and a bit less to Sierra Vista if one heads southwest.  Wednesday morning JoAnn decided to take a ride on her scooter.  I thought she'd be gone about twenty minutes, but when the time extended past an hour, I got quite concerned.  However, I had heard no sirens nor seen any emergency vehicles rushing anywhere.  In another half hour, the camp host delivered a message to me that JoAnn had run out of gas and was at such and such an address.  Then he misdirected me to the location.  So all in all we were in Willcox until eleven o'clock that day.

Driving across the desert we saw several signs advertising "Kranberry's" in Lordsburg.  So we pulled in there and had lunch.  Food was good, but half their serving staff must have been out along the highway posting more signs.  Now did I say the service was slow?

We drove on across New Mexico, yucca flats on all sides, mile after interminable mile.  And the air was filled with tons of dust such that we could breathe it and smell it inside the air-conditioned vehicle.  We flew right on through Las Cruces and said "No way" to their signs touting it as a retirement community.  Nevertheless, a hundred thousand souls have said "yes" to living there.

As we neared El Paso the aroma of miles of feeder lots nearly overwhelmed us.  I know.  To some, it is the smell of money, but if so, it gives a certain cachet (pun intended) to the expression "filthy lucre."  Somehow one is quite convinced that the housing alongside and in front of the cattle is occupied by "the help" and that Big Hat lives miles away and probably upwind.  Or maybe in Naples, Florida or Aspen.  (I have been told that in most cases this is probably not a correct observation and that Big Hat is having a really bad time of it right now.  Probably had to sell the place in Naples.)

There is yet more, much more, to this day, but that must be folded into the next day's account.

*I think it curious that the sign is illustrated not with an insect, but with an arachnid.  And I am betting the makers of the sign were thinking "scorpion" when they made it.  But go ahead.  Officially reinforce the mistaken notion that a scorpion is an insect.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

10S N E 1?

I learned to play tennis as an adult and for several decades I enjoyed the sport as an active participant. About midway in that run I took an interest in watching professional tennis, mostly via the tube since opportunities to attend a venue in person were limited.

I enjoyed the tv experiences, Court, Borg, Evert, McEnroe, Navratilova, Lendl, Goolagong, Agassi, enough names to give you the idea.  Anyway, when the participants started audibly grunting and groaning my interest faded.  I thought they were unnecessarily showboating, and the protracted scream following the grunt reinforced my notion.

I have learned something.  When I attempt to rise from the ground, or sometimes even from sitting in a chair, my effort is accompanied by an involuntary and quite audible vocal noise.  It is due to the effort expended and the pain accompanying same, you see.  Thus, I now realize that the tennis players are exerting so much effort that the vocal noise is emitted unbidden.

I never exerted that much effort on the tennis court.  Yet were I to return to watching the game on tv, I should have to do it only with full mute.  And, of course, there is zero chance that I would ever again step onto the court with racquet in hand.

Son Mark and his wife Patty are tennis instructors, aficionados, rabid fans.  Today is their wedding anniversary, 38th I believe.  Happy anniversary, Kids.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What say you?

The barn is in need of serious attention, cleaning and organizing-wise.

BBBH started the task.

Here was a find.  Four framed photographs purporting to have been taken in Monticello, Indiana during the shooting of a movie.



The questions are
When did this event occur?
What was the movie?
Who created, produced, performed?
Do you think the flora evoke a tropical setting or does it look more like the Midwest?
I am serious about a couple of the questions.  I would really like to know if and when a movie was made in Monticello.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Journaling: Grand Canyon to Phoenix**

Friday we drove south to Williams where we rejoined I-40 to Flagstaff.  But on the way we stopped at a roadside petting zoo and walked through a pen containing a mob of deer.  And we were mobbed! They licked us, snuffled us, and chewed on our clothing.  Really quite funny.  At Flagstaff we headed south through Oak Creek Canyon, shunning the interstate I-17 which has been completed to Phoenix since my last visit to the area.  Oak Creek Canyon is not to be missed even if one is driving an RV.  Over the summit and on the downward leg through the canyon we stopped at an upscale resort and had lunch in a very nice restaurant.  We later stopped in Cottonwood for a brief while, thence back to the interstate to Black Canyon City where we camped.











 Black Canyon City is surrounded by Sonoran hills on which the saguaros are standing like so many robbers apprehended in the act, their hands held high.  The campground  is a wonder in itself complete with public meeting room, lounge, swimming pool, and hot tub.  Wonderful flora surrounds the entire area.  For the Palisaders and other RVers among you this is a site for consideration.  The owner is an affable gentleman.  He offered us a nice discounted rate if we would return in January and February, putting his offer in writing.  There are other parks in the village, but they don't measure up to this one in amenities or attractiveness.  The location is about thirty miles from Phoenix, more or less.  We didn't spend nearly enough time here, and January and February seem like a good time to be in Not Indiana.



Ten o'clock Saturday afternoon we left BCC and drove into Glendale where we parked in the drive at the lovely home of my old college friend Wes and his lovely wife Carol.  Wes and I both arrived on campus at Seattle Pacific, he from Arizona and I from Colorado, about the same time in nineteen-something-or-other back when dirt was young and so were we.  We immediately had something in common as I'm quite sure we were the only two who showed up in ten-gallon hats.  (There were a couple of Texans there, though, so maybe my memory is not completely accurate.)  Anyway we lived in the same dorm during our sophomore year, we both majored in philosophy and we rented a basement cubby-hole style apartment together one quarter.  We even split an off-campus evening job for a while.  We have stayed in touch over the years, but our visits together have been rare since I moved to Indiana.



The next few days were spent reminiscing and enjoying the hosts' hospitality.  Jo and I did a tour through Sun City and Sun City West and also went through a few model homes in a new Del Webb community called Corte Bella.  We didn't buy.  Perhaps we should have.