Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Iron That Helped Build America - Part 2

We return now to Henderson's Junkyard and Drive-Thru Museum.  I'm not sure if it is more junk or more museum but about a mile north of Emerald City on Route 67, there is an area of rusting machinery that is pretty unique.  It is an area of old heavy machinery designed to do all kinds of things: move earth, grade roads, smooth, grind and things unknown to me.  The first entry of this visit was a few days ago, in case you missed it before.     

That's about it.  We'll leave these items to sit there for your amusement and education, now silent from long days building and working.  These are the forgotten iron horses that helped build America. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wombie's Hummingbirds - Part 1

Mr. and Mrs. Wombie have a couple of hummingbird feeders outside their porch.  While gone on vacation to Colorado, and dogsitting Miss Maddie, I took the opportunity to set up the camera and take some pics of the little beauties.  

I had my tripod so setting up the camera wasn't difficult.  There was already a small hole in the screening so I slid my remote clicker through it and attached it to the camera.  The next step was to lie quietly on the porch floor and wait.   

I was able to get some pretty decent shots and I will be posting them in the coming weeks.  I discovered that most of them liked the lower feeder, surprising because it doesn't have footholds.  It also seemed like they traveled in a circuit - as I saw the same ones in 15-20 minute intervals.  

Sadly, they have in the intervening weeks seemed to have left, and we are not sure why.  One of the neighbors is cleaning out a brushy area and we are hoping he has not destroyed their homes. 

Stay tuned for more.   

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tuesday Tidbits

 I saw this somewhere and liked it.  I suppose it sums up all our individual appreciation of art. 


I have tried to buy a SUV, a motorcycle, and a dog, while up in Northlandia.  Guess I'd better come to my senses or get back down South.


We had some pretty strong overnight storms last week. I woke up and watched from the garage for a while.  I love good old Midwest thunderboomers.


Me and the Frump out on a little cruise.


I was a fan of the McLaughlin Group years ago and discovered it is still on PBS on my free-TV at the Cabin.  John McLaughlin, the moderator is still going but his aged constricting body is barely able to sit in a chair these days.  It is painful to look at him.  Hey John, there are worst things than retirement.


Speaking of my free TV, on Saturday nights there is a spoof-filled show called Svengoolie and he hosts an old horror movie.  It is as close to the old Acri Creature Feature as there is on TV these days.  Some of the great classic old movies he has shown in the past weeks include The Incredible Shrinking Man, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, The Leech Woman and Island of Lost Souls.  Nothing else like it on TV anymore.


Salutations to old work and neighborhood friend Tom Harrison and his daughter Rayanne.  Finally found them at home on Saturday and it was great to see them.  Nicest family there ever was - sorry I missed the others: Ronda, Ian and Logan; next time, if you don't call the cops.       


Kind of a strange Sunday.  Went down to the river at 2:30 am then home, a nap and off to G-Burg for Railroad Days Car Show in Miss Frump.  Once I got there I didn't want to sit on Main Street for 4 hours so I headed to Monmouth and through Little York and back to the Cabin.  Guess I just needed to drive.  Besides, Dr. Allen wanted me to get all the old gas out, so that's what I did.  Once home another nap and then only 4 o'clock.  Seemed like a long long day.  


One more week in the Cabin in the Woods until I return South to continue being manny to Alfred and Norah and then back in late summer.  I have been mowing since I've been here and might look into buying a couple sheep in the Fall.  I cleaned out the gutters and the woodstove.  Getting ready for winter.


Ran into someone and was shocked by how old they looked.  Then I realized I was older.  Yikes!


Free TV is great - I get 2 hours of Judge Judy daily.  Yikes again!


Miss Maddie, who owns Mr. and Mrs. Wombie, looks like she was able to get halfway out of her bed one morning and then just decided the effort wasn't worth it.


If I had to do it all over again, I would seriously have looked into working a barge for a couple years. 


This perky little thing is on Neighbor Tim's garage wall and has been for years.  This also happens to be the most posted picture on Existing In BFE  blog.  

Who knew?

Monday, June 27, 2016

America's Colors

For awhile I was walking daily from my Cabin in the Woods down this lane and out in the wilds.  One day the roadway was mowed and I noticed a flag had been chewed up by the blades and laying along with the weeds and other crap that usually inhabit ditches.

In this moment of America's inability to win wars overseas, the rise of a non-politician who seems to embody the angrier and less civil parts of our nature, a Congress at odds with the people they represent, and a feeling that we are no longer the nation we were in our parents' time, this photographic essay seemed quite appropriate.    

Friday, June 24, 2016

Flashback Friday

"I inadvertently erased today's Flashback Friday yesterday, so I had to scramble to find a replacement post.  I headed back four years ago for this entry.  I chose it mostly because I had my anniversary in early June and I won't tell you if I remembered it or not - some things are best left unsaid.  So, without further adieu, a repost from April 2011 commemorating an event over thirty years ago."  MB  

Last month we had the pleasure and privilege to attend our daughter's marriage to Drew. Besides being part of a 'last milestone', it was especially exciting and delightful to see our friends. Many of these friends had attended an earlier wedding of a few years ago. Quite a few. Here, for your amusement are pictures of an earlier time and another remarkable wedding. Next week's Flashback will feature some of the reception pictures.

Dad and I.

Best man, the eminent Dr. Dan Kolbow.

The fateful sealing of the deal.

Nancy's sister, Patti, Dan and the newlyweds.

Brother Phil, herb, Me, Dan and brother Mark.

"Yikes, what have I done", she whispered?

Yikes, what have I done, he thought?

Parents of the couple.

Who are all these people?

What a doof. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Head Out On the Highway, Looking For Adventure - Part 3

Head Out On the Highway, Looking For Adventure

Turn right onto the Bald Bluff road a mile north of Little York and you begin heading West.  Go far enough and you'll begin to see the pines of Big River Conservation area, a 2900 acre forest between Keithsburg and Oquawka.  Slow down now and start looking for this sign on your left.  Its your personal invitation to a little-known local adventure.    

Of particular interest in this area is the Lincoln Trail.  The broken unmaintained sign reads: 

"Lincoln Trail History
On May 7, 1832 Capt. Abraham Lincoln led by Col Samuel
Thompson and Maj Nathan Bucmaster,
Rode with 2000 militiamen on this trail to
the mouth of the Rock River in the 
Blackhawk War." 

The stately pines provide plenty of cover and mystery. 

Hidden on the trail on a small bluff is this small pioneer cemetery.  Burials appear to be in the 1850's and 60's.  Overgrown and weedy it seems appropriate out here in the dark forested middle-of-nowhere.  

A mile east of Oquawka we discovered this ancient timber cabin slowly being consumed by nature.  

The trip culminated in a stop at Papa Joe's, a fish market with a big sign out front that reads The Meat with No Feet.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Nina and Pinta

An early morning text and these pics from Neighbor Tim said the replica Nina and Pinta were in Burlington.  He knows the blog is always hungry and that I love tall ships.  After I replied that I might go over to see them he then suggested lunch.  And although the Santa Maria is no where to be seen, two outta three ain't bad.  (that is my ode to Meat Loaf who collapsed on stage last week, but is recovering.)   

Neighbor Tim is a Sherwin-Williams paint tech and had some business over there so we were able to meet at Big Muddy's along the river front.  That's where the two ships were berthed for three days for educational tours, before heading off to somewhere else along the Mississippi. 

An observation about the ships:  if they are built to scale then they are really small ocean going ships.  Imagine your husband coming home and asking, or perhaps in those days, telling you to gather the kids, say goodbye to family and friends and then walk with him to the dock and board these ships for a trip around the world to a place you know nothing about.  I'm probably not up to speed on the history of the people who sailed from England on these ships to the New World, but even with all the faith of your religion and in your husband, you surely had to be petrified at your odds of making it. 

I didn't fork over the $6 for an opportunity to step aboard and check them out, even though I qualified for the senior discount.  Just seeing them, rather regal with their flags and ensigns flying was good enough this trip.  

Thanks for the heads up, Neighbor Tim and my other friend, who alerted me to their Burlington stop.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tuesday Tidbits

As I drive or ride past the cornfields of Northlandia my thoughts sometimes go back to my days as a hired man on Uncle Ed's small farm.  I am told that many of the things we did are now no longer done.  The first task after I returned from school was the slow month of cultivating.  This was the process of hitching to the tractor a devise with four prongs that would take out weeds in between the rows.  Farmer Mark told me they now simply spray.  This was confirmed also by Harvey P., the last remaining member of the group of farmers we shelled corn or baled hay for.  And I just mentioned the other things no longer done.  Farmers no longer place their corn in corn cribs.  We spent a good chunk of summer going around shelling neighbor farmers' corn since Ed was the only one with a sheller.  And finally, farmers now bale those big round things you see in the fields, not the small square ones.  You don't need barns or mows for the big ones.  And so, my work, much like myself is obsolete.  I think I'm a bit sad about that.


Coming back from G-Burg one morning a coyote ran out in front of me and went into the adjoining field.  I had just enough time to get this picture of him checking me out.  Can't tell what he has for lunch in his mouth.


I mentioned last week my neighbors two doors down in Seaton growing up were the Hall's.  Their son, Darren, wrote a book (available at Amazon and on Kindle) called Vanishing Rockwell.  If the book is as good as the title, then it ought to be pretty entertaining.

I requested from Lyle, Darren's dad, a signed copy and I got it a couple days ago.   Good luck, Darren.


Spotted on 4th Street in Rock Island.  An interesting alley/grotto.  Wonder what this was a hundred years ago. 


Spotted in Edgington. Caption contest.

"Hey Mom, I really like the car you got me for graduation, but last night I felt something rubbing on my way home."

"Hey Mom, I think my car needs an alignment."


The Rifleman is one of the shows I get on free-TV here at the Cabin.  I never watch it but even so, I was wondering whose idea it was to have Chuck Conners glower up at the camera after he unloads his shotgun on main street.  It was a squirrely idea, whoever came up with it. 


Kenzie sent me this picture of us back in the day on Father's Day.  One of my favorites.


The Gang back in Floriduh.  Hope you are both starting to pack.


The "sleeps" count has begun for Norah!

And me!

This is a still from my event app.  The countdown till my return to Floriduh has begun up here, too.
Two hearts, beating as one.


In the two weeks I have left I hope to do some night photography - sadly, I have not done any of that at all yet.  Nor have I done any storm pics but those are on the way in the next couple of days, I hear from the local weather people.  I also have a couple of more road trip adventures planned and hopefully a fishing day at the river.  I have also started a new painting.  This Cabin in the Woods idea is working out and of course the opportunity to see old friends and Mr. and Mrs. Wombie is icing on the cake. 


Three days ago it was 87 in Clearwater and 90 in Aledo.


Heard just this morning Congress failed to pass legislation keeping guns out of terrorists.  See, I said last week that if America wasn't concerned with little kids being mowed down by assault weapons we certainly wouldn't do it over Orlando.told you this country.  It is a sad commentary on the so-called greatest nation.