Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Dream that went "LIVE"....

      Last evening a skaggy looking Coyote or Fox ran past my bed while I slept.  I immediately yelled, "What the hell" and jumped out of bed and turned on my light by the bed. My first thoughts was how to get this animal out of my house.  My second thought was how he got into my house...Would someone be evil enough to purposely put him in there.

     I cautiously left my bedroom turning on lights as I came to them.  I did not see him figuring he had ran into another bedroom possibly.  I slowly moved from room to room turning on the lights and searching the rooms. I closed the doors on the rooms so as to prevent his reentry as I searched other rooms.  I searched the entire house and no animal.  I returned to my bedroom heart still pumping but starting to calm down.  I finally turned off the light and seeing how dark it was in the room realized it had to have been a dream that went live as soon as it happened.

At a Marine reunion last week we visited a Wolf Park that had a lot of wolves, coyotes and fox and Buffalo...I am thinking that maybe watching these guys run around may have caused this dream.  It is the first dream I have had that immediately became a live event.  And I kind of hope the last.. And thankful it was not the Buffalo who charged past my bed...

Happy Hoosier

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

I'm guessing the last reunion of 3002

Our Platoon started training in June of 1956, that is 62 years ago..  We had a 50 year reunion in San Diego the scene of our adventure in 2006...We had another reunion in Quantico Va. on or about 2008 maybe..Another one in Branson Mo.  about 2010. Another one in Omaha Neb. maybe 2012...The years maybe reversed to much water under the bridge and I don't take notes...But we were back in San Diego again in 2016 for our 60 year reunion...

So here it is 2018 our numbers keep getting smaller as we get into higher numbers of age...  So at about 80 which I will be the last day of this reunion to maybe 83 for some of our guys I am guessing this could be the last roundup for Platoon 3002 and honor platoon of our series by the way that graced the halls of San Diego's MCRD from June 1 to Sept 6, 1956.

The reunion is set for Aug 23-25 right here in Lafayette Indiana.. One day we will visit the Tippecanoe Battle field where Gen Harrison put a whoopin on our native Americans also in the town of Battle Ground is the boyhood home of Marine General David Shoup. Gen Shoup became the Commandant of the Marines in 1960 to 1963...

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Back Home again In Indiana....

I gotta write something...Its been over a excuses other than pure lazyness and retirement...Once your retired its almost like your duty bound to relax and get your licks in at retirement...And that's an honest for sure reason as your only allotted so much time at this juncture...

But on the other hand you don't really want to buy into that thought pattern either....That's like giving in or giving up...we gotta keep movin and finding new ways to keep the sunset a fur piece away..I am back home and looking forward to a great summer here.  I enjoy singing Back Home Again in Indiana as I cross the bridge over the Ohio river on I-275 around Cincinnati Ohio...You go directly into Indiana from Kentucky...and by using the exit 16 you stay in Indiana by using Indiana 1 at Lawrenceville...Its a senic winding 14 miles maybe past the North Slope ski deal there...

Anyway I got the song down the whole deal just like Jim Nabors used to sing it at the 500 mile race each year...Of course I am alone an that leaves me to really belt it out big time....I like the song it does take you back maybe even past my time, to maybe the time of my Grand Parents era... I like the vision of the candle light shining bright through the sycamore trees....for me...and I surely like the new mown hay and all its fragrance through the fields I surely did roam in my time of farming...Its a good song and I'll keep the window rolled up, well unless its an early spring and they need to be down to let Indiana know Happy Hoosier is back.....

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hey Jack is Back....they quite screwing with me...yippee.......

Hey there Y'all Happy Hoosier may be back in print.

Not totally sure till I hit the Publish button here but its looking like they may allow me back to my old blog site.  My last post was almost 2  years ago.  At that time they stopped me from continuing to post on my old blog and insisted that I start a new one..That idea just really did not set well with me as I did not want to lose all the stuff I had posted.  So I have just kind of ignored them until today I out of the blue decided to log in and now on this site I believe I have all my post posts as well...

So maybe they have decided to be nice to me, I don't know but we soon well here.. If not no one will be the wiser I will just delete this and start mowing my lawn like I should be doing now anyway.  I hope its back to normal as I have had some stuff to share that at my age is probably lost now forever and ever....

But I promise you this the next time I get hit with something I think the world should know of I will be on here spilling my guts about it...

OK here we go a little nervous but Publish we will.....

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Pontoon Retirement Fishing Craft 366

For many years now I have fished with friends that have boats, but more often fished from docks and banks of the SW Florida salt backwaters.  Someday I hoped maybe to have my own boat to go fishing when and where I wanted to.  Susan and I enjoy the backwater fishing south of Marco Island Florida.  We also love catching these Sheepshead fish show in the pictures below.  They are fighters and they are a very good eating fish so needless to say we only throw them back when they measure less than 12 inches in length. And you would not believe the number of these fish that we catch that are 11 to 11 and 7/8th inches long.  We even joke that the little critters may be smart enough to somehow quit growing at this size.  Rarely but exciting as it can be you do ca
catch them as large as 28 inches in length.  My two biggies the last 22 years have been 23 and 28.  We don't have a net on the boat yet, but next year we will just in case we ever catch hold of some big fish.
Anyway back to the subject of this Post this  Fishing Craft is a 18 foot Sun Tracker Fishing Pontoon.  Purchased from Bass Tracker Marine Sales in Ft. Myers Florida...It has 3 swivel fishing seats two in front and one in rear..The Captains Chair (Mine) also swivels around to face the rear on the starboard side of the boat.  Marines know all about the Port and Starboard business since we were after all part of the US Navy you know.  The boat came with this red Mooring Cover that protects it while it is being stored from rain and bird dropings.  It also has a Bimi top as you can see behind me in picture to the left here. Boat is equipped with a 75 HP Mercury outboard motor.  It can cruise along at 20 plus miles per hour with no trouble.  I am currently taking a safe

boating class offered here in Naples by the Coast Guard Auxillary.  Off to the starboard side here you see Susan in her maiden voyage in the Captains seat.  She loved it, loves to feel the power at her fingertips maneuvering the boat on our way to the next fishing hole.  Below she is happy to have added to our keeper fish numbers. 

The boat is quit a lot of work expecially in Salt Water usage.  Fresh water has to be run through the engine for a few minutes to remove the salt water from the internal water pump.  Then all of aluminum on the boat has to be rinsed with fresh water to prevent corrosion from eating away at the aluminum.
And that consist of the entire boat and trailer also made of aluminum.  Lots of work but was not a surprise as I mentioned before I was first mate on a couple other boats and helped clean them as well as the fish.  I like the ownership and responsibility of maintaining a boat of your own.  It takes even longer as you want to make sure that every inch is done properly.  Then you put the mooring cover back on with its multible snaps and craw in under it and lift it up with aluminum post in 5 locations to make sure the water and bird dropping run off and not into the boat.  I took it to Ft. Myers for a 20 hour oil change and check up.  Also had them install an hour meter so I don't have to guess when the next 100 hours roll around for normal service. And as fate has it we put it in the water to find that now the gas gauge no longer works.  No doubt when installing the hour meter a wire got knocked off the fuel gismo.  We can live with that as it has a 34 gallon fuel tank that will allow us plenty of buffer even with say 10 trips out on the water.  We are enjoying taking others fishing ocassionally and also taking folk on dinner cruises up to Naples or Goodland to stop and eat at a restaurant that has a dock. It is fun just to be out on the water fishing or cruising.  I so love how God gave us a moon close enough to pull our ocean waters after it as it revolves seemingly with the earths rotations each day.  Without it we would have stagnet water in our coastal areas not conducive to healthy waters for fish and other life along our coast. It keeps our waters clean and crisp and our fish that live there also. Well the wind in my sails are not as strong as when I began this rant so I think I will call it quits for now...Sure there could be more fishing tales ahead...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Trip to Paris early November 365

Notre Dame Cathederal
Let me start by throwing myself to the mercy of my readership for not having posted seemingly like since the 18th century.  It has been awhile, maybe I was busy or maybe just lazy, I really am not sure but here I am and with another trip to Europe to talk of , maybe I can nail a couple bulletins to the tree.

Great flight across the pond from Detroit to Paris on the evening of Nov. 3rd.  Arrived at the airport at maybe 9 am not sure but here we are on our long ride from airport to downtown Paris to board our cruise ship.  It was our hotel for the 3 days we stayed tied up there in Paris.  There was some strike going on in Paris as they do quite often over there.  And the streets were just plain jammed up.  I think the hour ride took us nearly 3 hours.  Maybe 6 or us in the van so we joked quite a lot about it and with 
 the excitement of getting there it was not so bad.  Any time you cross the pond and then land OK is something to thank God for in earnest.  That afternoon we took a taxi to see "Notre Dame" cathedral there.  It is a very impressive church as you can see.  Started in 1163 and maybe taking about 80 years to complete it is a real work of art and craftsmanship for sure.  Here is Susan and I standing in front.  Probably one of the oldest structures in Paris.  I have read where Paris is something like 4000 years in existance which in anybody's book is just pretty darn old.  The intrical design work as you can see below just blows you away.  You just can not quit asking yourself how they could have done this beautiful work so long ago back in the 12th century.
All those statues you see to the right here are all different. Everyone represents a different saint with a distinct face and size.  Still just amazes me and so glad that we were able to see such a church as this and such a famous one that we have all heard about.
And then as you move inside it is equally beautiful to behold.  Just the sheer height of the interior is breathtaking and again how did they do it?

One has to wonder how many people it took and how many maybe died on this job from accidents or just getting old and worn out.  It was a fun first afternoon in Paris and a great start for out trip
through France.

As in Germany all through France every town we were in had these huge gothic churches all built long ago.  So at one time I am sure they were used and well attended.  Now however they are not well attended, only a few are members of these churches.  It is a shame from my point of view how times have changed.  But that is just the way it is, and the churches now are actually maintained by the state as tourist attractions.  They still have mass in the churches they are still used but no way can such a small amount of Christians maintain such huge churches.  The state is wise I guess to keep them up as if they feel into disrepair folk would not come to see them any longer.  The view below is the back side of Notre Dame, lots of flying buttruses can be seen here that support the walls...I am glad that they are maintained as they are magnificant works to the Glory of God...Some how I never tire of walking up to and inside and then all the way around these structures and just marvel at what they represent...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

363 New Indiana Princess born on New Years Eve

There she is, Miss America 2033....I will be 95 then but still able to attend the event.  She will be 19 or there abouts, I can just see it all now....

Yep she was a ready made tax deduction having been born just a few hours before midnight on New Years Eve.  Something like 6 pounds and 19 inches I think they said.  Definately a "true petite", I think she will be....

Oh her name Rylie Sheets, she resides in Carmel Indiana along with her parents Clint and Karie Sheets.

I went to her announcement party last summer and we all learned that it was to be a girl when her parent unwrapped a huge box that was filled with hot air ballons....Out they came all of a sudden and headed into the evening sky and every last one of them was pink.  So there was no doubt and her parents seemed really happy of the color of the ballons.They did not know until that moment they were having a girl. Makes for a cool party to learn that with all your friends there with you......I was happy, having already been a Great Grand Father for 3 little boys the last few years.  But this one is the first girl and as handsome as the 3 boys are this one is cute....Some  the later pics of her showed some unhappiness I think having learned that I would not be able to hold and make over here until late March of this year...But she will adjust and she does have her parents and her grand parents there...I think the Grandmother especially my daughter Suzette is pleased as punch to have this New Years Eve present of this little bundly of joy....

Sunday, January 5, 2014

362 The Independant Non Party...Lets do it...

The better angels visited me last night in a dream.  Suggesting that the answer to the nations politics was party loyalty that always gets in the way of doing the right thing for the nation.  The leaning instead is to do the right thing that will benefit the party and disguise it as benefiting the people.  They suggested that the best hope was for us to elect people to all political offices by what the say and swear to uphold with no party affiliation.  It kind of sounded good to me, and I would imagine it has been suggested many times over, so my wish would be we could just get on with it and do just that.  I get calls and lots of mailing from polititions always wanting money.  I have no idea where this money goes, so I have just completely stopped giving a couple years back.  I really can not see why a candidate can not announce for an office and just tell people what he stands for and will try and do.  I don't see a reason for all the commercial advertizing that seems to have to go with politics.

Anyway I sure wish it could happen and come to pass that we just dropped the parties and elected all independants to office.  But I know it won't in reality.  But a great wish, maybe my New Years wish for 2014. 

The problem though is that people love being lied to these days. And most of those lies that they really love are what government can do to help them.  Never considering that the government help comes at a price to each of us, that includes huge administrative cost.  So there is lots of slippage, meaning that we pay far more for services than we get.  But politiians are a slick slimy bunch and they shift a lot of these cost over into the borrow catagory and then, presto it appears we get our moneys worth.  But instead about half the cost of programs are shifted to the national debt to be paid for by grand kids or never paid for and someday being the cause of our nation's collapse.

It is a sad state of affairs and one that as of this writing I have really not any huge wisdomic thoughts. But who knows those angels may be back tonight with some fresh ideas...I hope they are and if so I' will get it down on paper right away...don't hold your breath...

Saturday, December 21, 2013

361 Magnificant Cologne Germany

I got my days a bit mixed up but not hard to do on such a cruise as we experienced.  We did the Marksburg Castle conquering after we visited Cologne Germany...This was the 3rd day up the river Rhine not the Castle it was the 4th Stop.  Now that you know I am confused I will proceed to write about our Magnifcant visit to Cologne...Our first German city, and probably the largest maybe not sure.  But these towering bell towers of the Catholic Church here know as the DOM were the first and most pronounced thing we saw from the ship as we docked.  You could not miss them as the reach over 500 feet in the air.  What a church on the inside too seen to the left here. An engineering marvel considering the construction started centuries ago in the year 1248.

Prior to this the most beautiful church I have seen was the National Cathederal in Washington DC.  This one eclipsed that by far and many other churches on our trip did also...Is GOD pleased by these houses of worship?
Probably but at this point I don't know.  I think the cities and the people are bearing a real burden maintaining these huge gothic churches. They are obligated now to that maintenance as these churches bring tourist to see them...So if they allow them to fall down tourism will suffer so they are committed to perpetural maintenance on these works of man to honor his GOD...

The view below of the same church shows scaffolding attached to the side of the left tower.  They told us it goes on and on and never quits. They have to take out huge limestone blocks and cut new ones and put back in its place. I can not imagine the efforts this takes and the money that is spent to do so...The ornate work all over this church is just unbelievable, no wonder it was not completed until 1880. Susan and I loved seeing it and I will always remember the experience. 

We got to see a lot of other sights in Cologne like the huge triple railroad bridge seen in a picture below.  It carries over 1000 trains per day we were told.
During the war probably in about 1944 our bombers
put this baby into the river big time and shut down the trains.  It has been rebuilt exactly as it was.  We were careful not to destroy this big church though and that was probably a very wise move...We would have looked like ruthless folk had we leveled this and other churches in Germany.  A wise move by the allies.

The old picture seen below was probably taken about 1942 when the Nazi regime was riding high and the bombs had not taken their toll on Germany yet. Same church only 71 years ago.  A lot of these proud soldiers probably paid the ultimate price before the war ended.

In our walk around Cologne we ran onto a vender selling roasted chestnuts...Gosh they were good and really big ones too. I brought a few home unroasted and have them in the fridge now waiting till spring.  I will try and plant them, hopefully they will grow and someday produce these huge chestnuts that they said came from Italy.  I hope it works as they are at least triple the size of the ones I grow now.

Two other cities treated me to roasted chestnuts also I think in Slovakia and Austria.  I don't know why I like them so much but I do, some of my children have taken up the appetite for them also, some have not.

The last picture here at the bottom is Susan standing in front of the Nazi Headquarters in Cologne. It is a museum now but in the 1930's the Nazi's came to town and set up the machinery to win over the people.  They got the job done by getting into the school system and winning the children over to their militaristic ways.  Kids loved the programs it kind of replaced the boy scouts of that eara.  This was not a highlight of the day for sure, actually rather depressing to see how an evil moron like Hitler could win control of a great nation.  We had to look hard to find this place, I don't think anyone else from our ship went to this building.

But we wanted to see it and I am glad we did.  Susan was taken back with what she learned there also.  A dungeon of a jail was in the basement where they held and torchered  political prisoners who fought the Nazi takeover.

After this depressing visit we lightened things up and visited the Chocolate Museum.  Actually we were getting tired and fussy about that time of day and only got as far as the snack bar and the souvineer shop of the museum.  A huge peice of chocolate cake plus a chocolate mixed drink got us back feeling good about the day in Cologne.  After we left there is was raining pretty good we opened our umbrellas and proceeded to walk quite a spell back to the boat.  Maybe at least a couple miles and when we arrived at this great boat below we were happy to see it.

The lights were on inside the boat and we were ready to call it a day and relax.  Dinner and friends conversation was just maybe an hour away...We enjoyed these meals and the people every evening...Cologne was a nice town, lots to see that we did not but who knows someday maybe...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

#360......The Taking of Marksburg Castle early November 2013

Our boat bumps the pier and I open the curtain on our sliding glass door and all I see is this statue..I said Susan come look at this, this guy must have been famous...I can not tell you who he is maybe it's Mark, not sure but bet he was at one time a somebody here at Marksburg Germany our second or third day out on our cruise up the Rhine from Amsterdam.  We are deep into Germany now and today we are to explore an old castle.  Marksburg Castle to be exact and I guess built about the year 1200 give or take a few years.  It is said that it is the only Castle in Germany that was never taken by an enemy force in all of its years.  But in the gift shop before entering the castle I suited up Susan with proper attire so that we could indeed take this castle to call our own.  She went along with my nonsense and you can see the lady behind her thought we were probably coo coo birds...But it made for a great photo opp.

It is great fun to be in the presents of such a landmark as this huge
castle along the Rhine.  Just to admire the workmanship of these people of so many generations past and to imagine what it was like and how they accomplished such a feat so many many years ago.  These castles were always built high on a rocky hill as high as they could find along these rivers.  It gave them a beautiful breath taking view of the river, the valley below as well as provide a huge task for any foe that might want to take over the home and kill them.  These people had to have been strong physically to accomplish what they did and to resist those who would do them harm.  The picture right below here is of the entrance door to the mighty castle. As you can notice the walls were probably close to 3 feet thick and the rocky mountain provided a

great foundation for such a huge structure.  It would never settle or lien one way or the other in it's 800 years it is as it was then, strong and perfectly straight.
Inside were many gigantic rooms, kitchens dinning areas bed rooms and rooms for who know what maybe a room for just setting around the huge fireplaces and talking about the last time some butt heads tried to take the place over and were repelled.

Off to the left here now you can see what a monster of a castle it was.  I don't know that observation tower must have been a couple hundred feet in the
air providing them a long view of any boats friend or foe that may be coming up or down the river.

One room had men wearing the suits of armor that they used there down through the many years that they needed to have many soldiers there for protection.  All the way to they early guns that then replaced the need for the armor and those huge swords to just wack the hell out of each other...I can not imagine the grizzly massacures that took place in those years of old...  Back when men were really men and if you were not you were not very long.
Susan and I here enjoying the view after the tour before heading on back down the hill to the boat tied up down below.  We did take the castle it was ours or at least fun to pretend but then we thought it over and decided hey what are we gonna do with this big cold thing and the taxes will kill us so we gave it up and just decided to sail away and enjoy the scenery along the river the rest of the day. 

The view below is out our room on the river boat it was always something to see if not wineries on the hill sides it was towns along the way.

Now and then there would be nothing but rocky cliffs and trees with fall color to admire and that was good also.  Also to the right here is the classic German town trademark of the twin church towers with bells in both towers that would ring alternately.  Every town had a huge Catholic Church and many had beautiful Protestant Churches also...Many times we were told of the turmoil that went on in years past between the people of different faiths...I am so glad that era has passed and that we all now realize how stupid it all was and that both Protestant and Catholic believe in the One Lord Jesus Christ and that the non essential teachings are just that, pretty much non essential...Till next time a Merry Christmas to all will try and write again before New Years.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

#359.....My greatest Adventure....Nov 2013

My Greatest Adventure Nov. 2013

Where to start maybe with the beginning.  I have always wanted to visit Europe especially Germany and Holland where my ancestors came from according to my verbal lineage relayed to me through my growing up years. So my gal and I booked this summer a fall cruise on a Viking River Boat from Holland through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and ending in Hungary  Lots of excitement as the time approached for our trip.  And pictured above is the first sight seeing we saw of the water pumping wind mills in Holland...these windmills for hundreds of years pumped water out of Holland so they could use the land that actually belonged to the ocean...yes they live below sealevel...kind of nuts my mom's side of the families ancestors.
Then on into Germany and the beautiful German churches and Bishops palaces of old. Many built almost a 900 years ago.  They are so huge and so gorgeous you just have to see to believe them.  And then the pigs feet which reminded me of my Dads side who came from Germany...these dummies eat pigs feet...I guess someone has to eat them. They probably are good but I guess we are spoiled...while my Dad ate these lucious treats I ate hot dogs and potatoe chips...He ate these and also clabbered milk which is just milk gone bad and turned to clabbored...don't that sound good?

Down here is the great boat we traveled on...almost 500 feet long and maybe 50 wide.  We had a great room on the upper deck with a viranda after passing through sliding glass doors...
We moved mostly by night up the Rhine river, then through serveral locks into the Mein River and then more locks downard to the Danube River to Budapest Hungary, visiting several German towns like Cologne, Regensburg, Wurzburg, Bamberg, Nuremburg and Passau...All of them were beautiful Bavarian towns where folk do what German Folk do...Make sausage and beer and pigs feet and great wine...We really had a great vacation...Very tired when over but worth the effort. Each day our boat would dock at a different town and we would have a guided tour of the town...go back to the ship for lunch an then have the afternoon to again explore the town on our was great fun and then each evening return to the ship (our home) and enjoy a nice dinner and conversation with fellow travelers.....Great food and beer and wine from the local areas we visited...great fun great vacation.  Will write more about it as time and recollection permits....

Monday, September 2, 2013

358 Indiana Banana's and Persimmon's.....

The picture to the right and below show the result of a good growing season in Indiana.  Not only is the
Corn and the Soybeans looking like a good crop but also the PAW PAW's or some call the Indiana Banana.  They are gorgeous and I can almost taste them now.  They are delicious a very soft custard like fruit, very very good.  The native Americans I believe must have loved the fall with these wild fruit like Paw Paw's and Persimmons so plentiful.  It must have been a very festive time for them when the food was right there to be eaten with no labor or hunting to do.  Now like probably back then the only problem was getting them before the coon's did...kind of like with sweet corn the coons seem to move in about one or two days before they are actually
fully ready to eat. The last couple years though I have been careful to grab them and enjoy before my furry rivals get wind that they are ripe.  I know they spread the seeds out in the forest but I do my share of that also...I do keep a lot of the large black flat seeds and plant them in areas where I think they will be best suited.I have cultivated and established three nice paw paw patches here on my little farm.  And the woods to the east of me near the wildcat creek are loaded with lots of paw paw patches. I see them each spring with I hunt mushrooms and I know they have to be loaded this year also..So my furry friends can thrive on them in those areas and leave mine to just me and my family. One think nice for me and the native Americans of old times is they don't ripen at the same time.  The Paw Paw ripens first maybe a couple weeks before the first frost. The Persimmons seen
below ripen about 2 weeks after the firsere t frost. Both are very good and I look forward each year to their coming into season and into my tummy....

We could have used a lot more rain this year to make things perfect so to speak.  But I guess that does not happen to often.  But we have had small timely rains that have produced good corn and soybean crops.  Enough so that I think as the blog title says that there will also be a season of Naples in my rotation this winter.  I get the crops harvested and then we will sometime head south to the land of the adult playground to enjoy the sun and surf and the great friends that we share our time with in that wonderful town.

Friday, August 16, 2013

357 Indiana State Fair and Sunflowers are for the birds.

I attended the Indiana State Fair twice this year.  Once with Susan and we had a good time looking it all over and visiting the north side of the fair mainly where the old farm equipment is located.  They have a group of farmers that work the fair every day for maybe two weeks running this old machinery...They do it so well and it take you back 70 years when they actually used this on the farms across America.  I got to see some of it happen when I was under 10 years of age.  I am glad I actually saw these farmers work together in a community team.  I will always remember the threashing machine being pulled by a steam engine coming down the road and pulling into our barn lot and setting up for the next days harvest of wheat.  The next day farmers converged on our farm from around our neighborhood.  I think about 12 farmers showed up with their horses and wagons to haul the wheat from the fields to the machine.  It ran all day seperating the wheat from the straw.  The straw blew out the pipe on the thresher and made a huge pile behind the barn...It was a marvelous time for me because I was too small to help, I just got to watch and I am so glad that I did.  The next day the machine moved to the next farmers farm and so on until all 12 farmers had completed harvest.  Some of the wives came and they had a huge meal at noon for the men that worked so hard in those days.  I went back to the fair a second day to watch my grand daughter show their
dairy goats last Sunday..It was fun and they did real
well with them.  But then after the show was over I again had to return to the north side of the fair to again watch the show and talk to some of the old farmers there. 

Next two pictures are my 2013 Sunflowers that I plant solely for bird food.  Quail mainly but most of it goes to  Golden Finches.  They arrive by the hundreds when they are ripe and in about two to three weeks they pretty much devour the sunflower seed.  I notice that the majority of the bees that are pollinating the sunflowers this year are bumble bees.  Not many honey bee's at all.  I worry about that that
maybe we have somehow killed most of them off with insecticide spray on our crops.  I hope not but I have that fear that it is happening.  I don't know how necessary they are for our crops maybe not at all the corn pollinates itself and the beans seem to get pollinated also maybe without the help of bees, I don't know for sure. It has been pretty much a prescription year for our crops this year.  A far cry from last years terrible drought that we had.  I think my soybean crop looks very good and expect a yield of maybe 50 bushels or more per acre.  Sorry I have not been a good blogger the last few weeks.  I have no excuse other than I guess I am starting to maybe enjoy semi retirement...That is the best I can come up with...

Monday, July 8, 2013

356 Spring Mill Park and other good stuff

Just a few miles south of Bedford and just east of Mitchell Indiana the hometown of Gus Grissom lies Spring Mill State Park. If you have not been there it is worth the 3 hour trip from Lafayette Indiana.  Sweet Pea and I visited the park over the 4th of July week end.  The camp ground offered us about the worst site they had but since we are in a very comfy coach as long as we have power and level ground our camp site is mostly inside the coach so we don't bitch too much. However a gorgeous site just across the road remained empty the full three days and we were told it was rented...So much for that for once we have visited these distant parks we probably won't be going back...So lets move on here to the wonders we saw there. I liked the memorial museum to Gus Grissom and the fact that he got D's and F's on his report card like I did at good ole Dayton High...Gus went on to Purdue and picked up a great education and was one of our greatest most accomplished astronauts of the era.  But better than that was the old town located there and the jewel of that was the mill that ground corn and wheat for the locals who made corn bread, regular bread and things and also moonshine which made them all smile a lot on Saturday nights.
 The mill seen here  was of stone about two feet think, three stories and the water was brought to it by a raceway of wood from about 300 yards up stream.  It powered the huge wheel which turned all the stones for grinding the grain.  It is still operating today and I purchased a bag of freshly ground corn meal for some excellent corn bread some day in the future.The top picture shows the raceway bringing the water to the mill the one to the left here shows the stone wall path the water took back to the small spring fed stream.

I look at these old mills and I wonder what the hell happened?  Here we had a system of grinding grain that took nothing from the enviroment, added nothing to it and we closed them up for gasoline and steam powered equipment...What the hell were we thinking?  And why are we not going back to them instead of expensive wind and solar power ahead....Are we nuts or just manipulated?
This little community of Spring Mill had it all...Blacksmith, stores, tavern, farming but we could not wait to close these up and go for other sources of power....And they are still in good shape and still doing what they did but only for the visitors of the park.   I know my home town of Dayton had a mill and my even closer town of Wyandotte had a mill, they were all over the place throughout our nation...Go Figure....

Down the road a piece is French Lick my next blog story....

Sunday, June 30, 2013

355 June is leaving soon very soon......

Well just a few minutes to go before June 13 is over I have got to say a few works real quick here because I am sorry to say I found nothing exciting I guess to write about this month.  But I did snap this pic of 4 Paw Paw's on my tree a couple days back.  I have never seen paw paws look so good so quickly and I have never seen four of them in one bunch.  Indiana Banana's are going to be very robust and healthy I think this year.  My trees are pretty loaded and I will keep an eye on them now the rest of the year so as to get them before my buddies the coon's find them...Last year I beat them to the paw paws so sure they will be watching also this year.
And on the left my daily fare of strawberries....they are larger than normal and very sweet...I absolutely love to make the old fashioned shortcake like my mom used to sure is good with the berries for sure.

I went to the Dayton Church Fireworks and fun time tonight in Dayton.  The food was excellet.  I is a good event and shows the church cares for its peoples good times as well as is Patriotic

Well getting sleepy and clock about to strike midnight so must go if this is to be my June posting....

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

354 May in Indiana, A great time in a great place.

May is the most exciting and enjoyable month of my year I think.  Watching God create for us each year makes me so appreciative of the world around us.  On the right here are the most healthy strawberry plants I have ever had.  They stand close to maybe a foot tall. The plants are totally loaded with blooms and some of them are turning into developing strawberry's.  Probably two more weeks and they possible could be the best berries I have ever grown. They now occupy half of my raised garden as you can see here.  I think raised gardens are well worth the time and expense as you just automatically take better care of them as they are a focal point in your landscape and not just a place to plant, pull weeds and maybe wish your garden was not.
I threw a small amount of 12-12-12 fertilizer around into these berry plants maybe a month ago, but I think the master gardener had more to do with this success than I.  Maybe this year I will have enough to share, eat my fill and hopefully freeze some of these berries.  I don't have a picture yet but my purple asparagus is providing a bountiful crop this season also.  I sprayed it with roundup early to kill the competing weeds and then applied a little salt to the area to prevent grass and maybe weeds from showing up later. So far it is looking good and the heat and rains ahead should bring on a good crop for the next 6 weeks anyway.

Now this little piece of the creation is my favorite of all.  The Morel Sponge Mushroon provides both exercise trying to find them in the woods and provides much excitement when you first spot one.  You immediately stop and look too and fro to see if there are others growing nearby.  Usually there are at least one some times as many as maybe 15 or 20 will be in the general area maybe within say 50 feet. I took this picture on Susan's and I's last outing last Saturday.  The season is about over, usually by mid May in our neck of the woods it just ends about as fast as it begins in late April.  But look at that picture are they not beautiful...And the taste when you slice them in half, wash them, dip them in egg yoke and then cracker crums and fry them in butter or olive oil...You don't  even want to think about it unless you have the desire to find them as they are highly addictive..Just say NO....
My last picture here is my hope for a beautiful pond next year or at least sometime in the future.  These seeds are the seeds from Lotus Water plants that I harvested in a pond in Northern Kentucky last fall.  The little white circle is man made by me as I applied each one to my grinding wheel to grind off the outer shell and leave a point in which the seed can escape its growth out of the shell.  I read a lot about planting Lotus seeds last fall and that is what they all advise.
It does work as I got two of them to send up leaves last fall but it was too late in the season to establish them.  I have here about 150 seeds and I planted everyone of them in about 3 feet of water depth about a week ago.  That amounted to my arms length with my ear just lying in the water.  At that depth I gently pushed the seed into the mud leaving the top just even with the top of the mud and the little white circle pointing up to the sunlight above....We will see hopefully some times this summer will be another blog story with round leaves of the Lotus plants floating on the water....And maybe if not this year next year they will have gained enough energy to make the large wonderful flowers that I envision circling my pond some day.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

353 Three Ducks and Remembering Linda and Welcoming each day after.

A duck update first of all and that is I now have just the three Males.  Huey and Dewey swim together as I believe Martha the love of their lives is nesting somewhere and should show up any day now we hope.  Louie however swims by himself, very seldom do the three get close to each other.  He no doubt is also a father in waiting as Mildred has been missing now also for about 3 weeks.  We have had a lot of rain so they may or may not show up with baby ducks we will just have to keep fingers crossed. 
 Above is a stone I keep at the back of my home and today a tulip is there...It is like Linda who passed on April 12 Six years ago just pops up to say HI Jack how is it going?  I look at these two picture to the right and still can not believe it actually happened.  And it still seems like time has stopped since then, like it was just a few months ago not years.  And I guess that is good in a way it keeps the presence there of someone you loved and miss each day.  She faced it and did it so well, I still can not believe how she faced each day knowing the time was growing short.  I think personally I denied myself to believe it would happen until it did.  I knew it would but yet I still stayed in denial that it would or could I think.  But then it did and afterwards you just numbly kind of go through the motions of what needs to be done it seems.  I still wish it were not so but I know life must go on and it does.  I have been truly blessed with great family and friends.  And in grieving classes I was fortunate to meet a young lady Susan who we now have a blossoming relationship.  Life has been exceptionally good for me and I am grateful to all who have reached out and cared.

I have many great friends both here in Indiana, Florida and now even establishing friendships in Kentucky where Susan daughter and new family lives and we sometimes visit.  So yes life is good and maybe getting better but there are times when a flower pops up or a special rose bush blooms or other flowers that she had planted just kind of broadsides one and there is nothing you can do but remember and be grateful....

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I got home from Florida a week ago. It is good to be "back home again in Indiana".   It always is and one of the many many things that I love and would miss about Indiana is my little pond I built from scratch in 1995.  And I was happy to see that the little ducks that my granddaughter Haylee gave me, and are now nice big Mallard Ducks and not only survived the winter here but are doing quite well.
Calling this story 2 ducks and 3 ducks for a good reason.  Off to the right here is the 3 ducks, I call Huey, Dewey and Martha.  They are three of the original four ducks she gave me.  The forth duck Louie is seen here off to the left of this picture with his new bride Mildred...where Mildred came from we don't know but she came last fall and took Louie away for quite a spell...we think maybe to the wildcat creek not sure but just before I left for Florida Louie came back with Mildred and now we have Five ducks...But there is some difficulty it seems between the two females..Martha stays with her brothers probably soon to be her husband when she chooses maybe.  But Mildred and Louie do not mix with the other three.  They choose to stay at the opposite end of the pond from the others.  But occasionally Mildred will leave for a day or so to maybe visit her kin down at the Wildcat.  When they happens sometimes Louie goes with her and sometimes he does not..  If he stays here he then folds in with his little original family while she is gone.  Thus I come up with the idea that Mildred and Martha just don't cotton to each others company too much. When the pond would freeze over all the ducks would leave and we think they may have gone no farther than the little 3 foot wide stream a quarter mile away that is spring fed and does not freeze. Mr. Zimmerman tells me they have to have open water and I think that little stream did the trick for them.  The first day I was home I had 10 ducks on the pond. Four Mallards the original family with out Mildred and six beautiful solid white body ducks with black wings and black heads...they come each spring stopping in for a day or two on their migration to Canada from the south, kind of like me except I stay here all summer they move on.

But now they are gone and I have currently my TWO DUCKS AND THREE DUCKS, and the title of my story today.  But I have faith in nature that before too long I may and hope to be doing a story about "baby ducks", right here...It will be in interesting story of success if it happens, how ducks raised in captivity turned into the wild sucessfully returned to the wild and continue the wild succession that I will report....Maybe I hope, till then............................

Sunday, March 10, 2013

351 Living well in Paradise

I love living in Indiana and I love living in Naples Florida as well...It is becoming a problem for me. but not one that for now I can not handle. I think I love Indiana the most but, when winters bite is biting then its alfully nice to have a warm place to pitch ones tent....Naples is hard to beat for sure with the terrific weather, wonderful town, great fishing that I have come to know with a few freinds...Some of them have boats which gets me into the backwater catching fish like sheep head and snappers and trout...It is such a great way to pass a winter snow and ice free...In the pic above you see a happy camper who has just caught a hammerhead shark.  They are not the best eating fish as far as I am concerned.  The sand trout in the picture below are pretty good eating but my favorite is the snappers and the sheep head which is what I fish for as often as I can... 

 And then when one tires of fishing there is alway the beaches of Naples seen here.  This photo was taken on 3rd Avenue South.  The site of the ole Naples Peir that was taken out by a hurricane many many years back..But the piers or post that held it up are still there...makes for good fishing I guess but I have not caught any there...I do however dig for sand fleas there to use as bait to catch other fish in other areas...There are good beaches on Marco Island as well but I prefer the Naples beaches as they have less shells and more nice sand...Also it is only 4 miles drive from my condo so it is close and quick....I love the gulf waters as the surf is usually gentle but a great sound...It has no rip tides to wash you away and no huge surf to knock you down flat...It is nice, it is Paradise, and one that if I had to I could learn to enjoy year around...
I walk about every day here in the neighborhood.  Tonight I took a different path though an area to the east of my condo area.  I noticed that behind the homes there was a forest and that many large bald cypress trees are present there...So that tells me that it is maybe a borderline swamp area..But it was fun looking at these giant trees that are making a comeback here in Southwest Florida....Bald Cypress was pretty much clear cut and removed from this are during world war two...The wood was used for caskets and PT boats I have read and seen in the local museums...But now they are making a comback and that is good to see....someday we may need them again who knows.  Glad to be back blogging again it has been over two months since my last blog...I will try and do better from here on.