Monthly Archives: May 2010

Rural rambles

   Sunday morning quiet time – Kate gets to sleep in until about 10:00 AM (church starts at 11:00).  So, I tiptoe around so she can get her rest.  It’s amazing how well she functions with *very* little sleep – Friday morning she came home from her night shift, slept about an hour, then we took off for Vine Grove KY to take her 90-year-old mother to her weekly hair appointment.  After we picked her up from the salon, it was off to lunch (Bob Evans Restaurant in Elizabethtown KY), then shopping.  Yes, I had to go, too, since I needed wedding togs for daughter Erin’s upcoming wedding in mid-June.  Got some nice duds, by the way, and the word “Levi” does not appear on *any* item!  Kate kept going, all day, late into the evening, with no signs of fatigue and no complaining – wow!  I get grumpy if I have to stay up past 6PM after getting a full night’s sleep.  She’s pretty amazing!

   Yard stuff:  our driveway (which is about 100 yards long – truly!) was showing some erosion problems out where it joins the paved road, minor ravines, etc, so I went over to Corydon Stone and got some advice there about what to apply to keep from having to buy a tank to get in and out of the driveway.  The fellow there was very helpful, said I probably needed a ‘small’ load, maybe 7 – 10 tons of mixed rock and crushed limestone.  I asked, “So, how many thousands of dollars is THAT stuff?”  Amazingly, it only costs about $7.00 per ton, plus around $50 for delivery.  He referred me to a local guy with a dumptruck since HIS trucks were far too big for our driveway.  Anyway, the dumptruck showed up, rock was dumped, and things are looking better.  We got another heavy rain right afterwards, and I see that further maintenance will be needed, so I’ll have to get out there with my shovel and do some minor trenching along the side to route the next assault of rainwater along the side the drive, rather than down the middle.

   We had a nice visit from Kate’s brother Bruce and his wife Joyce yesterday.  They joined us late in the afternoon for some visiting, dining, and ‘sitting on the deck’ time.  Bruce and I did the ‘sitting’ part while Kate and Joyce took doggie KD out for a stroll in the nearby woods.  After 45 minutes or so, the 3 girls came back, tongues hanging out, somewhat tired from the woodsy adventure.  They got a little bit lost and wandered onto some neighboring property.  To hear Kate tell it, it was something like the movie “Deliverance” – they encountered a scary-looking toothless fellow who informed them that they were on POSTED property, then directed them toward the road, which was where they wanted to be, anyway, so they ‘skedaddled’!  Little KD doggie came home absolutely bushed, lapped up some water, then collapsed on the deck.  I decided to give her the once-over before we let her back in the house and discovered that she had picked up 4 ticks in her travels.  Plucked those, and all was well.

   After the hiking adventure, Kate went right to work in the kitchen, with Joyce’s assistance, and turned out a *stellar* meal.  She had prepared some ‘pounded-thin’ ribeyes rolled up with roasted peppers, baked to perfection, accompanied by some excellent side dishes and topped off with a great jello/fruit dessert!  Wodda gal!!  I complimented the meal profusely, because it was well-deserved.

   After it got to be about 7:00 in the evening, we all took off to go into Corydon because we had tickets to see the evening’s performance of “Camelot” at the Hayswood Theater just off the square, downtown.  We had second-row seats in the small venue, and we were quite close to the performers.  We sat back and got comfortable with our free beverages and popcorn (cookies at intermission), and waited for the curtain to rise.   The show commenced, and we were wonderfully entertained – certainly well worth the $10 ticket price!  Great acting, very good singing, we loved it!  We were late getting home (I’m sure it was midnight before Bruce and Joyce got back to Elizabethtown), but it was a really fun day!

   That’s about all the news from Corydon for now, stay tuned for further exciting adventures.  Hmmm, do I hear ‘Dueling Banjos’, off in the woods??   🙂

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Serenity in green

    Well, I have nothing to report.  And, that’s not a bad thing – we are enjoying the tranquility of our forest hideaway, and most of our events are what you might consider small ones.  Yesterday we had 3 deer visiting out behind the house, nibbling on some of the native greenery (not anything we had planted).

  Of course, by the time I got my camera we only had 1 deer left, but we thought it was neat  🙂

   Everything around us is growing, growing, and it does give us the impression that we are deep in the woods if we look off to the left as we are standing on the deck.  It’s thick enough that you really can’t see very far into the trees – we love it.  I am reminded of the poem “Evangeline”, by Longfellow…….

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight

 

   We had a nice social outing just the other day – we were invited to attend a family gathering by The Howards, a young couple who have been performing downtown at Magdalena’s (I have mentioned them before in one of my previous rambles).  Molly referred to the get-together as her “Spring Fling” (maybe she does this annually).  Cam and Molly have a really nice place WAY out in the country (makes ours look like downtown, in comparison).  They have a variety of animals, including horses, goats, rabbits – Kate is making “let’s get an animal” noises again and it’s getting harder to dissuade her.  I suggested a goldfish, but that apparently wasn’t what she had in mind.

   We contributed a Mexican chicken casserole to the occasion, and others brought various dishes – a good time was had by all.  Some other members of the Howard Clan are musically inclined and they brought along their musical instruments.  I don’t know if this qualified as a ‘hoedown’, but we certainly enjoyed the singing and playing.

  The weather was great, the bugs weren’t too pesky, and it was just all-around neat.  We felt honored to be there since we weren’t family, but I guess our status as ‘enthusiastic audience’ qualified us for an invitation  🙂

  When we get organized we’ll have to put together a party of some sort and invite a few folks over for brats ‘n stuff.  We don’t play instruments, but maybe we can lure a few people over anyway  🙂

  It’s been rainy the last few days so no mowing has been possible.  I was successful at getting the mower repaired once again after my last little ‘oops’ of running over something, but now everything’s wet.  A nice cool day with no mowing demands – ah, yes!  It’s supposed to be warm and dry this coming weekend, so I guess I’ll have to put on the machete attachment and get out there.

  We’re doing great,  hope you are well, also.

Pastoral Pursuits

  No, that doesn’t mean I’m studying for the ministry  🙂  We’re just enjoying our rural lifestyle and enjoying being in that “pinch me, let me see if I’m dreaming” mode.  We have so many things yet to accomplish, a major task list, but none of it seems too daunting – every day we are rewarded just by looking out the window or stepping out onto the front deck.

   I’ve really been amazed by the climate here – I expected it to be somewhat like Dallas in the spring, but it’s not like that at all (so far).  I remember that in Dallas, spring arrived with *warm* temperatures and oppressive humidity, but I’ve been so pleasantly surprised at how nice it is here in our woods.  The mornings are cool, usually with light breezes, and no feeling of humidity in the air.  When Kate’s arrival is expected (from her night shift at Jewish Hospital in Louisville) I sometimes go out with little KD and just enjoy the morning, waiting for her to show up on our long driveway.  Brilliant sunshine, bird calls (we occasionally hear distant turkey gobbling), no traffic noises, marvelous!!  One of the most wonderful things has been the absence of mosquitoes – I know, I know, I’ve only been here a short while, and this is my first Indiana spring, but it’s been just great!  We’re getting warm afternoons, 70’s and 80’s, and if you start exerting yourself, you can feel the humidity then, but it’s not terrible.

    I recently discovered that we have bats in our neighborhood, could that be the reason for the low insect population?  We have one of those large mercury vapor yard lights mounted over our garage door (off to the left if I’m sitting out front, and not shining in my eyes).  So, I was out there enjoying the evening about 9:30 (pretty dark by then) and started seeing bats swooping in from the darkness and into the lighted area, feeding on the bugs that were drawn by the light.  So, I guess the big night light becomes the ‘bat feeding station’.  We also had bats where we lived in Littleton, so it was like having a visit from our little friends.

   I’m recuperating this evening – today was mowing day and ‘clear out some fallen timber day’.  I had done the lumberjack thing on a few mis-shapen bowed-down trees and finally today made it out there to move them to the woodpile.  There were also a few fallen branches that needed to be dragged away.  So, lawn tractor to the rescue!  I drove around back and tied onto the trees ( the largest one was around 4 inches in diameter – not quite redwoods but still kinda heavy!) and pulled them around to the front yard.  I needed to get them out of the way so I could mow, and some of them were also in the way, garden-wise.  You can see the ‘woodpile’ over to the left in this picture of the front area.  I fired up the chainsaw (after many futile pulls on the rope, I *finally* relented and reviewed the starting procedure) and got the logs cut down to size.

   So, after cleaning up the timber, it was mowing time.  It took me an hour and a half or so, and right as I finished, there were strange noises coming from the mower blade area.  Oh no  😦  I drove the Red Beast into the garage and put the front wheels up onto a jury-rigged ramp and discovered that one of the blades had worked loose, and now the hold-down bolt seems kinda messed up.  Two mowing sessions, and two breakdowns – I guess I better start *dodging* some of those things hidden in the grass.   I’ll have to work on the mower tomorrow, see what else I need.  Maybe if I live long enough, I’ll learn about riding mowers and their proper use.  I did get smart on one thing, anyway – I bought some bright orange spray paint and marked the tree stumps before I started mowing.  One thing at a time, I guess.

   I need to take some new pictures to include in these blog posts so you can see how green everything is.  It’s somewhat jungle-like, but it is beautiful indeed!

  We’re still working on clearing out boxes and trying to make the extra bedroom habitable for guests.  We have the trundle bed assembled and in place in there, and a dresser, too,  but still have a ways to go.  Kate wants to make it her sewing room, also.  So, we have the master bedroom, bedroom 2 is the computer room, and bedroom 3 will be the sewing/guest room.  Lots to do!  🙂   (this picture was taken while the previous folks were still in the house – all different now!)

  We’ll let you know when the “Vacancy” sign goes up!!