Wednesday, May 20, 2015

In Memory

We made our annual trip to the cemeteries today to visit our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles grave sites.  While it can be a time of sad reflection, we enjoy the yearly visit.   Our families are mostly buried at country church cemeteries only a mile apart in the community where we grew up. 

I have resorted to artificial flowers, the brighter the better.  We should try to get peonies started.  I don’t know of any other perennial flowers  that bloom at exactly the right time.  The rain was hard on the peonies this year.  They were blooming but often bent over often laying on the ground.

This year we visited the Alida Cemetery.  The town of Alida is under Milford Lake, but the cemetery was wisely placed on a hill outside of town.  It is in this cemetery that Dan’s great grandfather John is buried.  Dan and I have a common background in that both our families immigrated from Switzerland.IMG_2408 Here is another of Dan’s relatives with an impressive military background. 


The military service markers were not placed in the two bigger cemeteries, but these were in the much smaller Alida cemetery.  They were a bit askew so it would seem they aren’t removed from year to year.   I would like to get pictures of all the different wars.IMG_2413IMG_2407IMG_2417

I need to study more about these markers because it doesn’t appear each war has its own design at least with these markers.  Although, we did spot two marking  veterans of the Spanish American war and WWII several years ago. 

On our way home, we decided to drive through Fort Riley to the Ogden pawn shop we like to check on once in a while.  That did not happen.  The Post is secure—the two guards made that clear at the check point by what they said and by what one of them had in his hand.  Although, I will say they were polite.

Next year we will visit the Junction City cemetery and find my Mom’s parents. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Garden is In

I suppose most would say, “The garden is planted.”  Dan and I must have grew up saying this phrase.  I am sure this is how we would ask about anything planted, “Is the wheat in?” “Do you have your corn in?”  Then, we would ask, “Do you have your wheat  out?” Meaning, have you harvested.

Back to the garden. 


This definitely is not a great looking garden.  However, ignoring the weeds, the beans, onions and potatoes are progressing nicely.  Since this picture was taken, we have developed a deer problem again.  They love the green beans and have nipped the tops off each plant.  Dan has posts and wire ready to install an electric fence as soon as it dries up.  If we don’t get it installed soon, we will once again hardly have a crop of green beans.

As for the weeds.  I thought it was such a wonderful idea to plow the garden this year.  As I expected, it did make for a mellow seed bed.  What I didn’t expect is breaking all those bindweed roots cause the weed to multiply.  Dan has tilled several times, but the rainy weather has kept us out of the garden recently and it looks worse than this now.  As soon as it dries up enough, we will till again and probably resort to the old fashioned way of bending over and pulling—I’ll be doing that with the electric fencer off.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tree Trimming

It has been an ongoing project to work on trees around here.   We have large Australian pines to the north of our house.  They started as a wind break, but not sure how much wind they block anymore.  I think I’ve said this before but I feel like I’m in the mountains as the wind whistles through those big trees.

Since we were working on trees anyway, Dan decided to chainsaw the limbs that were too low to safely mow under.

Later, I was contemplating loading the limbs on a trailer when I saw a dove scamper off.  On closer inspection, there was a nest, still on the limb, but laying on the ground.  And, it had two little doves in it.   I gently covered it with another limb and waited for Dan to get home.  I knew he would have an idea.  I hoped it wouldn’t involve bringing the baby doves in the house!

What we did do was to cut the limb on each side of the nest and used baling twine to tie it back up onto a limb higher in the tree. 

Sure enough, we went back out to check later and there was the dove sitting on the nest with her babies safely underneath.  She didn’t like the camera pointed at her so she flew off, but here is the nest. 


This was about three weeks ago.  We are fairly sure we have seen the little babies tentatively flying around recently.  All is well that ends well!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I Am Fine! Although a little soggy

I received a call today  wondering if everything was ok with us, specifically me since I hadn’t posted to my blog in a long time.

I appreciate the call, Ron and Jean.  It made me realize  I need to get back in the habit.   I have missed writing here. 

I’ll start, as I always do when I’ve been away for a while, with the most recent news.  Tonight that would be the four and a half inches of rain we have received in the past three days.  Last night it came down in buckets—over three inches.  

Our new pond ran over—literally.  There is a pipe to help keep the water flowing through during a heavy rain.  However, it could not handle so much so fast.  When it rains so much the pipe can’t handle it, there is usually a overflow on the upper part of the pond where water will exit away from the dam area.  Our overflow is too high and the water went over the dam.

This picture is the pond this morning.


Here is how close it came to washing out at least part of the dam.


Definitely something that will need attention.

This is a picture of the older pond taken from what our kids called, “The Pit.” 


Finally, the Wakarusa River.  Thankfully, I don’t believe there was much flooding into fields.  Mostly, the rain was welcome to fill up ponds and give a good saturation for the crops.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sibling Day

It’s been fun seeing the pictures of siblings today on Facebook.  So, I thought I would put a couple pictures of siblings.

  Mom & Oscar 2

  I love this one of my Mom and her brother Uncle Oscar.  This picture is cool in so many ways.


My Dad is on the right.  His parents are in the middle.  Some of the other pictures taken at the same time have Wayne as a baby so this might have been taken right before Uncle Bill left for WWII.


Dan’s mother, Esther second from left, then sister and brother 4th and 5th from left.  I don’t have a picture of Dan’s dad and his sister.

Linda Wash Tub 1947

First Day of School 1952

You’ve got to love the first day of school—in case you don’t remember, one room, one teacher—all eight grades!  Wayne and I are ready.

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Dan (third from left) and his brothers at Christmas.


Kim & Doug are all dressed up because it was Paul & Janice’s wedding.  And, their anniversary is Monday. From the age of the kids, I think it will be their 42nd anniversary.



As for our grandchildren siblings—There is no way I can decide on which pictures to include and because it is getting late and there are so many.  Here is the most recent complete family picture.  It is one of my favorite entire family pictures—but then I love them all.

There you go, sibling day to the extreme!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Easter started early

One of my favorite Easter traditions is the sunrise service.  This early, dark morning on top of the Stull Cemetery hill seemed like it might have too many clouds along with the cold.  No matter because we all knew there were pancakes and sausage afterwards. 


The youth had a meaningful skit and we sang. Then, in the end, a beautiful sunrise.  Unfortunately, I cannot post the picture because of the age of the group.  This really is a beautiful cemetery especially with the early morning sun reflecting to make the church look pink.

It was a quiet Easter—no children to boil eggs.  We didn’t even buy jelly beans this year.  It was a good day, though.  Maybe a little reflection is good on Easter. 

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Smoky Mountains meet Katy Trail

I finally felt we could relax from the freeze scare when all of a sudden Dan veered off a ramp on I40.  This happens about once a day for us as we roadtrip.  I have my photo opps and Dan has unidentified roadkill.  Thank goodness the PW turns easily. 

As for the quick exit, Dan had caught something I had not—this was an entrance to the final miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We could drive south through this “Foothills” portion of the parkway and then take a short scenic drive back to I40.  The early spring trees had not leafed out but it was still very beautiful. 


It’s hard to tell by this picture, but most of the mountain tops had a light dusting of snow.  I am so glad Dan gave me this opportunity to stop and enjoy the mountains rather than just zoom through.

At the point of the end of the Parkway and the road back to the interstate, we saw what can happen when Kudzu is given free reign. 


This Asian plant was introduced in the United States to help control erosion.  Trouble is, it likes the weather in the south too much and has become quite invasive.

We were curious, but thought probably what Buddy was serving would not go well in the morning.


The weather warmed and the wind was at our back going north/northwest.  But, we did not have it in us to drive until 9:30 pm which is when our GPS said we would get home.

Besides, we wanted to ride another Rails to Trail—the Katy.

As most know who follow along with our travels, we often opt for free overnights when we are just stopping for a few hours sleep.  This…


beautiful National Forest Service campsite is located only a few miles off I70 and is available for no cost.  We had a great night’s sleep, then spent a short time walking around the area picking up trash as a small token payment for having this available.  I don’t think hunters (probably the most likely users of this area) would throw their glass bottles out on the ground and their aluminum cans in the fire pits so it might be local partiers also know about this area.  We left it much better than we found it and we’ll be back.

Finally, one last stop to ride seven or so miles on the Katy Trail accessed at RocheportIMG_2276

Once again—great trip!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Wow! That was close

No, we didn’t almost have an accident on our way home.  As a matter of fact, the driving went well—even had a tail wind for a few hours.  We ate lunch with the family on Saturday, sadly said our goodbyes and were on the road around 2:00 pm.  We had an awesome ten days and enjoyed seeing everyone so much.  However, it was time to let them get back into their routine.

We knew the Cary forecast on Saturday night was lower thirties which is concerning for the part of the plumbing in the PW that is on the outside.  For some reason, we thought we would be better off driving for a few hours.  I don’t know what we were thinking because we were driving toward the Smoky Mountains.  When I checked low temperature for Ashville, it said 24 degrees!  We didn’t want to continue to drive even higher into the mountains so we decided to make the best of it where we were.

I am not sure I got more than an hour sleep at a time because I kept jumping up and running a little water.  Finally, around five o’clock Dan got up and we ran a hose from the inside hot water into the water holding tank.  This was after we turned on the water and nothing came out for a few scary seconds.  We did the hot water transfer a couple more times and then took off down the road.

Every fifteen minutes I jumped up and ran water.  Only once did we have a delay but again it broke free.  By 9:00 am, the weather warmed up and we decided to take a little detour off I40 on to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  More tomorrow.

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Little Home Time

We are finally feeling confident in our ability to get where we want to go here in Cary.  For some reason,  we have been direction challenged.    However, we can now get from our campsite to the Hoobler home without GPS.

Speaking of home….



The wrap around porch certainly gives the southern feel and I know they will use it as the weather warms.  As with most homes in this area, they do not have a basement.  So, Dan & Marc have a project in the garage. 


This is called, “Creative Storage.”

We’ve been parked at the Jordan Lake State Park, which is only about 15 to 20 minutes away.  The kids have come out our way several evenings for a campfire and conversation.  Finally, last night we made use of our fishing license by catching  channel cat & strippers.  Evan was especially excited to catch one.




Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wrightsville Beach & Wilmington Brew

How great is it to live two hours from the beach?  Definitely a day trip.  We decided to check out the beach before lunch.  It was cloudy and still cool. 
The clouds seemed to be breaking so we decided to eat lunch in Wilmington and come back when it was warmer. 

Front Street Brewery had good reviews and rightfully so.  The beer was good and the food excellent. 
Not surprisingly, Aaron had the Mug of Bacon appetizer and Evan actually lost his other front tooth—and that was just while we were waiting for our main course.  Everyone said their food was excellent, but Dan & I thought our order of Shrimp and Grits with cheese sauce was exceptional.  It certainly was not a dish that would be found on a Kansas menu.

Back to the beach in the afternoon where we found surf and sun. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Research Triangle right now means three teams in Sweet 16

It also means the location of Marc’s new job.


As to the three colleges in the Triangle, we have visited the campus of two of the teams—North Carolina State last Sunday.  We went there to visit the University campus area and to visit a microbrewery with the promise of checking out truck food fare—a not so unusual thing to do in this area.

Our Philly’s Cheese Steak was excellent; as were the fries & of course beer. 

Image-1 (1) 

Today we visited Duke University specifically the Doris Duke Gardens.  The end of March might be a little early for most of the garden color, but the Magnolias' didn’t disappoint.  Kim and family will for sure be back to see the Discovery Garden where container gardening will be taken to a new level and the bees and chickens seemed to be a good idea.   Also the Rose Garden with its fountain and pergola as well as the annual and perennials throughout. 

Click here or on the picture, then on “slideshow” in the upper right hand of the web page.  I’m calling this display Evan’s Duke Garden Journey.


The Duke family’s fortune came from tobacco.  This picture is of one of their tobacco warehouses built in 1906.  It is now used for various organization offices affiliated with Duke University.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Road tripping again!

It’s been a long time since I updated so it will be hard to catch up in a few short sentences.  However, time at home between Phoenix and now pasted quickly as time can do when doing routine chores.  Not much of interest to write about but all of a sudden the trip to North Carolina was upon us and, that is exciting to write about.  So, here we go.

Our plan was to leave at noon on St Patrick’s Day, but it was three o’clock in the afternoon when I checked my watch driving up the driveway. The PW is headed east to visit Kim, Marc, Aaron, Adam and Evan.  They moved the first of the year and this will be the first time we visit them and their new home and city.

Despite the late start, we drove seven hours which took us to Mt. Vernon Illinois, a goal because that is where we drop south into Tennessee.  We brought our bikes with us this trip so The Cumberland River Trail at Ashland City, just outside of Nashville, seemed like a good break.  And, it was.  We didn’t ride the entire length but had to be close.  It was probably at least ten miles at that.


IMG_2212   This is a beautiful trail in the early spring.  We could only imagine how pretty it would be in the fall.

We had a goal of Ashville for this night, but came up short.  We didn’t want to wind down through the Smoky Mountains in the dark.

Thursday we pretty much kept the peddle to the metal with only a short stop at a Pawn Shop in Pittsville North Carolina.  We arrived at 132 Hamilton Hedge Place just as the kids were arriving home from school.  So good to see them.

Sleepiness has caught up with me so out and about around Cary and Jordan Lake will have to wait until tomorrow.









Tuesday, February 24, 2015