Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Richard was on the couch so Echo took over the mushroom chair!

And in other news, we'll begin the house building in a few short weeks! ACK!

We already bought the windows, doors, doorknobs, tankless water heater and water softener. We're still waiting on a bid for the lumber. Once we determine who has the best price, we'll put in the order.

Other than that, only the usual life happenings. Walking dogs, eating, shopping and enjoying the last of Spring in anticipation of Summer.

Honored Glory...

I've spent time at the sites of past battlefields. With so many of my family serving in the armed forces, it was natural to acknowledge the history of past wars. Two places stand out in my memory because they were the only battlefields where I ever experienced something beyond my rather ordinary life. I FELT the sadness and despair that permeated the very walls of Corregidor's Battery Geary and Crockett. The feeling overwhelmed me for a time, especially in Battery Crockett where 27 men were killed instantly when one of Battery Geary's mortar guns was blown from its anchor into the adjacent powder magazine.

Later, the USA, Japan and the Republic Of The Philippines erected the Dome Of Peace to honor the fallen of Corregidor. The following poem is inscribed in the marble memorial under the dome.

Sleep, my sons, your duty done,
For Freedom’s light has come;
Sleep in the silent depths of the sea, or in your bed of hallowed sod,
Until you hear at dawn the low, clear reveille of God.

Between the pillars is the Eternal Flame - it is lit at night by a solar powered fuel cell. I understand that Corregidor is now refurbished in some ways with slide shows in the Malinta Tunnel and tours through Middleside Barracks.

However, when I visited in 1982 Corregidor was a nearly untouched island with the Dome, the Peace Memorial and the unlit Eternal Flame its only monuments. The other buildings, the dock and the barracks were left in their natural state of decay but have now been repaired to some extent for tourists.

The other place I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness and despair was at Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It was at the gravesite of a young second lieutenant in Mr. Lincoln's Army. The headstone was bigger than all the others, obviously one commissioned by his family. For a moment I was swept back in time and everything around me disappeared...I think it was his mother I felt in my heart. She was reading the new headstone and was overcome with grief.

Second Lieutenant Jasper Quigley, Only Son.

There was more, but I don't recall anything else...one of my girls yelled "Mom!" and I snapped back to the present with tears in my eyes for Jasper, who was called Jass by his family. I have no idea how I know that. Simple deduction? Or did I link for one brief moment with a grieving mother over her child? There are greater mysteries that only God knows.

And last, the saddest monument for families of those lost to war...The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier.

Here lies, in honored glory, an American soldier known but to God.

Remember those who gave their lives...we live free because of them.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Moving along...

We've had a few busy days.

We drove out of town to an RV place to find a part for the broken toilet. We passed through Springfield and Richard got to browse the Bass Pro Shop for a while. At the RV place we found several spiffy RV things besides the new part. I got a shelf for the bathroom, an awning tiedown strap and a possible buyer for the Airstream if we choose to sell it at the end of our temporary lodging phase!

We did some garage sales over the weekend. Richard bought a little toolchest filled with chisels and a down jacket for winter - all for $10. Mom got some lovely hand-crocheted antique linens. Real linen with butterflies crocheted into the design. She wants me to sew/insert them into a tablecloth later.

While we were out and about we came across a house that we loved. The whole thing was done with a Texas theme, but the Western components were also there. Richard asked the owner if we could take pictures and she was very pleased that we loved her place. We won't copy everything exactly, but we certainly both agreed (finally!)on something we could live with!

The simple peaked roof with an angle change for the porch is one thing we've debated. The wooden porch is another thing. I wanted a tiled front porch but because of the 4 foot foundation we'd have to spend quite a bit of money building UP the soil to match the foundation edge. The wooden porch is a compromise.

I will not do as much with the barrels, barbed wire and cactus garden theme. My plan is large and small terra cotta pots, trailing flowers and delineated walkways with more grass. I have a terra cotta jug/bowl fountain for the yard and plan a pitcher pump and large terra cotta bowl for the driveway roundabout.

I really wanted a Southwestern look to the house (Stucco/arches/tiled patio), but I can live with a Western look, too. I was raised in the West and really love that aspect of ambiance that seems to permeate homes there. I have plans for a backyard tiled area to do my Southwestern look there. I'm sure it will blend well.

In other news, the air conditioner is fixed! Yippee! We only had to pay labor and parts, it was repairable, thank heavens! Two capacitors gave up to ghost and the Carrier AC man was able to replace them easily. We were certain we'd have to buy a new unit but that didn't happen. Richard is up on the roof replacing the AC shroud and he will rivet it back in place. The dogs seem to think we're being attacked with all the noise on the roof!

Yesterday we put the screen house up next to the Airstream. I moved the couch, the mushroom chair and the table/chairs in and now it looks very inviting. I spent most of the day in the screen house reading a book. Note the AbLounge in front of the 'Stream. I got it at a yard sale for $25 and maybe I'll even use it some day! LOL

The reading room was very comfy and gentle breezes flowed all day. I even stayed out there in the evening talking on the phone with Jennifer. I hung the Coleman lantern in the corner. It has a remote control to turn it on and off!

We also went to Lowe's yesterday to price doors and windows. We'll be starting the house soon and will be buying those components ourselves. A lot of choices! I looked at kitchen and bathroom stuff, too. Seems there's something for every taste. I'm leaning towards a simpler, Western design for cupboards and drawer handles. I really want Richard to build the cupboards rather than buying, that way I can completely personalize my kitchen and bathroom. We shall see.

Another fun thing was camera work. I took this picture Friday night - its not as clear as I'd like it to be, but I'm learning camera stuff and hope to get better.

Richard's camera has a night scenery setting but he needs a tripod to keep it from moving. We tried to get it with his camera but couldn't get the angle right. Maybe next time.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Car Show...

The Vo-Tech here in town had a charity auction and classic car show. We went to check it out between a lazy day hitting the garage sales.

Mom strikes a car-hop pose next to a '57 Chevy truck.

Fake bullet holes were on this side of the truck but the funniest thing was a tiny, tiny sticker in the window that said "This truck was restored using my childrens' inheritance."

At the garage sales, I scored a couple sandalwood fans, a glass jar and a 50 cent first edition, second printing of Tom Clancy's THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. I think. Still checking out the authenticity.

Jennifer had asked for pictures of Flint and Echo. I took this one of Echo in the 'Stream. Then we meandered down to Mom's for air conditioning/dinner and I took one of Flint romping in Pa's wheat field. Pa planted the wheat for the deer to eat.

Richard's Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad day...

We decided to drive to the commissary some 50 miles away to go to the commissary's case-lot sale. Our first indication of disaster was that we got lost. Not too lost, but enough that we were slightly delayed. That delay cost us time. We stood in line for two hours before we managed to get into the warehouse. It was worth the wait.

Two more hours later, we stuffed the car full then strapped the cases of toilet tissue and papertowels to the luggage rack. Despite tying down, as we exited the base half the top load blew off the car! We had to turn around, back up and retrieve the goods. Only one package had road rash and only one roll of TP was ruined. We then stuffed all the TP and papertowels in the car. Mom couldn't move because she had all the TP stacked around her. I was in the front seat and was piled with packages of papertowels.

We were halfway home when another disaster struck...literally. Two turkey buzzards were on the road in front of us. Both lifted off at the approach of the car, but the one on the left decided to take the roadkill with him. Part of the kill dropped, the bird flapped off-balance and flew straight into the windshield of the 4Runner. It flipped over the top of the car and we're not sure what happened to it as there were cars coming both ways. But Richard and I were stunned and holding our breath because the window continued to crack! He slowed way down and finally it stopped. We crept home terrified that the window would give way completely and blow glass back into our faces. Both of us were wearing glasses, but still.

Notice the rear-view mirror is reflecting rolls of toilet paper? Mom is under there somewhere. And being the horrible, no-good, very bad family, we have proceeded to tease Richard incessantly about possible future hits and his status as an Ace (in air-to-air combat, an ace pilot is defined as one with five or more kills). No turkey buzzards have volunteered to help Richard. One turkey buzzard was harmed in this incident.

Fast forward to home...we parked the 4Runner, jumped into the Corolla and went to retrieve Pa's truck. He'd dropped the canoe into the creek and planned to canoe down to the lake. Mom got in the truck and we drove to the lake. Sure enough, Pa was there waiting for us. We loaded the canoe and then drove home to unload groceries.

Richard went to unlock the door of the 'Stream...and the last disaster of the day was revealed. The air compressor on the air conditioner had given up to ghost. It was over one hundred degrees inside the Airstream.

Needless to say, after unpacking groceries and taking a nap outside in the cool air on the lounge, we skedaddled to Mom's to spend the rest of the evening in air conditioned comfort.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bluebird of happiness...

While Pa was in his shop he heard something fall down the stovepipe. It was a young bluebird. The poor bird landed in the cold ashes at the bottom of the stove. When Pa rescued it, the bird had ashes caked in its eyes. Pa took it up to the water bucket, swirled its head in the water a few seconds and then released it. After taking a picture, of course. We're assuming the bird was happy to be free once more!

Nature Drive...

So after all our running around yesterday (and the nap), we went for a nature drive. For all you pet-lovers out there...we drive extremely slow because we don't want to miss a photo opportunity. No comments about not securing the dog...Richard and I ride in back, too. Top speed is about 5 miles per hour.

Echo rides the rail.

A butterfly lands on a strawberry plant.

A red-tailed hawk watches over his domain.

This turkey buzzard was in the midst of the heron nests. Only a few herons were hanging around and we couldn't get a good shot of them. Maybe another time.

Mama bald eagle brings home the bacon...

And then feeds the two babies in the nest.

Richard likes taking pictures of me...even when I look all windblown! Look at my gray hair! My kids call that my skunk stripe. LOL

Monday, May 07, 2007

My first Airstream dinner party...

So, Richard and I invited Mom and Pa over as guests at our first Airstream dinner party.

Richard barbequed chicken and shrimp, I made seasoned oven potatoes, steamed corn on the cob, breadsticks and Mom brought the leftover salad and strawberry angel food cake from last night's dinner.

We had a fire in the chimenea, too, which was pretty ambient with the cloudy weather.

That's the foundation of the house in the background. We expect to being building in about 6 weeks.

Environmentally friendly one-horse power biodegradeable fuel burner...

Or an Amish horse and buggy at one of the auctions we attended on Saturday. LOL

I picked up two old Singer buttonholers that might fit my vintage sewing machine...or not. For $5 it was worth a shot.

Pa picked up many boxes of junk...with lots of treasures inside! Mom got a lovely glass vase for a few bucks, too.

Richard lost a bid on a Sears Ben Franklin stove...it went for far more than it was worth, too.

A good time was had by all.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Echo, the furball...

I wanted to bathe the dogs before Richard comes home so I could get their insect repellent on and because they did need a bath! Yesterday, I brushed Flint for an hour and he was much easier to bathe. Today I brushed Echo...oh, boy. That poor dog. Her undercoat was so matted and dirty!

Here's a photo of her hairball. I brushed her outside and this was only the fur I managed to catch...the wind took a lot away.

Once I got them bathed, Flint ran around for a bit and mostly dried. I rubbed Echo down outside and she appeared to be fairly dry. So I let her back in and she hopped on the couch. I went to clean the bathroom up, turned around and she was on my bed...right on the pillows and laying across. The whole top of the bed is now wet...sigh. I'll probably sleep on the couch tonight!