Monthly Archives: July 2010

Hot time, summer in the country!

    Well, we’ve been having lotsa fun lately, I can tell you.  I think our overall best move this summer has been to decide that the couch is off-limits if there are festivals to go to, goat races to attend, whatever!

   Part of the summer activities (just a small part) was related to Vacation Bible School at Pfrimmer’s Chapel – Kate managed to work in a volunteer session with the kids last Wednesday evening and got to help with the games and activities there.  I didn’t go (shame on me), but enjoyed the Sunday service, which was a re-hash of all the fun things the kids got to do during the week, with photographs, sing-a-longs, and videos.  After the service we went downstairs and enjoyed hot dogs, chips, and drinks with the VBS party atmosphere continuing.  We stayed a little bit after to help with cleanup – fortunately I knew how to wash dishes, so that was my main contribution  🙂

   Right after church, we went to the Hayswood Theater in downtown Corydon to see “Smoke on the Mountain: Homecoming” which was a combination play and bluegrass performance, and it was just great!  There was only one set – a country one-room church, and it was all about the rural folk in 1945 North Carolina and their problems and triumphs.  We had great seats, second row (of course, there are only about 10 rows in the theater), and really enjoyed it.

     To put the frosting on the day we went down to the square to enjoy the Harrison County Fair parade.  We got a nice vantage point in the shade ( next time: lawn chairs!) and had a big time watching the floats, tractors, old cars go by.

   So, after all that fun at the parade, we were definitely in the mood to get started with that County Fair thing, which started yesterday (Monday, July 26th).  There were a couple of things we had to get done at the house first – Kate made another of her famous blackberry pies to enter in the competition at the fair, and I got a couple of my photos ready and framed so they could also be entered.

   So, Monday afternoon we scurried down to the fairgrounds (in south Corydon) and managed to figure out where we had to be for the entry process, and got ‘er done!  We have no idea how the judging process works, or how we might be notified if we won the Grand Prize (it’s $3.00, seriously!).  Perhaps you’ll see it on CNN if either of our efforts makes the BIG TIME.

   We went back to the fairgrounds later that day to wander the Midway and see what other wonders we might discover.  Of course, it was REQUIRED that I have a cornydog (shhhh, don’t tell my 82 yr old mom – she worries about my junk food intake).  It wasn’t a Texas State Fair Fletcher’s cornydog, but it was ok.  We guzzled some softdrinks, had a $6.00 ice cream cone to share, then made it to the Goat Races, just in time to watch that event.  Too bad you couldn’t make it to go with us, it was FABULOUS!!  🙂  Not sure if our favored goat won (it was brown, I think), but we loved it!  A couple of the contestant goats scampered outside the orange tape boundary and nearly collided with us, but they didn’t charge any extra for that encounter.

   After watching goat races, you just naturally have a hunger to go into the fairground grandstands for some Demolition Derby action!!  They had a car Demolition Derby, they had a Lawnmower Demolition Derby, it was almost like being at Daytona, or maybe the Roman Collosseum.

   The automobile version of the Derby was pretty tame – numerous collisons, lots of smoke from various of the contestant vehicles, but that was about it.  Noise, dust, smoke – yer basic Denver traffic jam, I think. 

 Now, that  MOWER thing was a CONTEST!  Thankfully, there were no injuries, as far as we could tell, but one of the mowers did catch fire after a particularly rousing collision.  Mower riders were being tossed everywhere, mowers were being overturned, dismounted riders were scampering out of the way and vaulting over the barrier walls, firemen were running hither and thither, trying to minimize any potential conflagrations.  It was great!  🙂  All they needed was swords and a few lions.

   Try to make room in your schedule for next year, ok?  We’ll save you a seat and hand you a cornydog when you arrive!

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Dog Daze

    Ever heard the expression “Dog Days of Summer”?  Well, we’re in ’em, podnuh!  I grabbed part of an entry from Wikipedia to explain it to yuh….  /  

The Dog Days originally were the days when Sirius rose just before or at the same time as sunrise (heliacal rising), which is no longer true, owing to precession of the equinoxes. The Romans sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather.

Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time “when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies” according to Brady’s Clavis Calendarium, 1813.  /

   So, if yer dog is behaving strangely, or maybe if you’re just having some HOT weather, blame the sun, or Sirius, or maybe the Romans.  Unfortunately, our little KD doggie had a ‘strangely’ time recently, and I had to handle it all by myself, since darlin’ Kate was at work.  I had taken KD to the vet to get an injection (Lyme booster, whatever), and by early evening I could tell that *something* was not right!  KD was totally agitated – she’d be on the big armchair for awhile, then jump down and run into the bedroom.  She’d come back shortly, jump on the couch for awhile, then back down, run around to the kitchen, then come back.   The vet had given us a few pills on a previous visit to be given to KD just before any potentially stressful occurrence, like getting her nails clipped, or in case of rumbling thunder (like many dogs, that really makes her fearful and nervous), so I was on the verge of giving her half a pill to settle her down when I looked down at her and realized SOMETHING was wrong with her face, all puffy and swollen!

  Uh oh!  I realized then that the ‘quiet’ pill wouldn’t do the trick – this was an allergic reaction.  I picked her up to check her out and found red welts all over her chest area.  I remembered something about it being ok to give benadryl to dogs, so I did some quick online research and found out the correct dosage for her and gave her some on a slice of cheese. 

    Anyway, long story short, she was doing much better after an hour – miracle drug, for sure!  She had some residual facial swelling next day, but nothing terrible.  Whew!  I guess you can call me Dr Jim or Nurse Jim or something – I rescued little KD dog.  Sure wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to ‘Shorty’.

   A quick update on the blackberry saga – they are starting to ripen in reasonable quantities now, and I was out today doing some gathering.  Kate was inspired by the ‘berry bounty’ and turned out a couple more pies this afternoon, with instructions for me to take one of them to the neighbors, which I did (she had to go on to work).  The neighbors were all smiles when they got her gift, I can tell you!

   And, to close, I’m including a photograph I took yesterday evening (I also put this on Facebook, so bear with me if you’ve already seen it).  We had a late-day shower, just enough to cool things off, then the sun came back out just before sundown and I happened to look out the door at just the right moment to see the beautiful misty sunset shot.  A lucky, lucky shot!!  Hope you enjoy it!

Dante’s Vacation

   You know, it IS possible to overdo the vacation thing.  Perhaps our first mistake was in planning our getaway with a *large* stack of touristy guides.  Perhaps the mistake was in trying to jam 2 weeks’ worth of fun into 3 days.  Anyway, we had some good times, we had some rough times (hmmm, sounds like Dickens “A Tale of Four Vacations”).

    We managed to get out of town around Thursday morning at 10:30 or so after Kate had come home from her night shift, made a run to the dog hotel to drop off KD (first time we’d done that – we wondered how it might go, but it was necessary, so we did it), then headed south to Elizabethtown to join up with Bruce and Joyce.  We got away from E-town in a timely manner and headed out toward the Cumberland Falls part of Kentucky, kinda southeast.   Several times we managed to fool the Garmin database (GPS unit) – it looked onscreen like we were driving through the woods, but we persevered, made it to “Eagle Falls Resort”, just down the road from Cumberland Falls and the big resort there.  The rates were reasonable, the amenities were tolerable, and ……. wait for it…….. they had a POOL!!

    After we got checked in at the resort we headed for the BIG falls.  Some people have referred to Cumberland as Kentucky’s Niagara, and after we got there I saw that they weren’t exaggerating too much.  The falls were BIG and impressive!

   We took lots of pictures at the top of the falls, the bottom of the falls, got it all!  We did just enough climbing to work up a hunger and a thirst, so it was time to take on refreshment.  We went to the main resort right above the falls and took advantage of their buffet – good stuff, accompanied by lots of ice water and tea.

   After a short drive back to our motel rooms, we suited up and headed straight for that outdoor pool in the gathering darkness.  I stepped out of the room, started across the parking lot and came to an abrupt stop.  There was a cacophony of creature sounds coming from the nearby forests, and I mean it was LOUD.  I had to ask, “What the devil is all that racket??”  I was informed that it was FROGS.  My first guess was going to be that it was cicadas driving tanks, but I accepted their explanation and went on into the water.  It was REALLY pleasant in the pool.   We met some nice folks there, splashed around, had a big time.

    Next morning, I discovered that a different kind of invasion had taken place.  There was some kind of Scottish Terrier gathering taking place at the motel – cute little dogs, kinda barky at times, but they didn’t seem threatening.   There must have been a couple of dozen couples accompanied by their little doggies.  Kinda neat!

After breakfast we checked out of the motel then headed out in quest of adventure, determined to do the hike to Eagle Falls ( a nearby lesser falls, but supposedly quite pretty).  We had heard different versions/warnings about the severity of the hike, but being basically foolish and carefree, we decided to just go for it.  And, NO, we didn’t have any water with us on this potentially punishing hike.  Fortunately, Bruce and Joyce took along some Mountain Dew in cans and shared with us, otherwise we’d likely still be there, dead by the trail.

   I’m telling you, that was SOME killer hike!  Up hills, down hills, stumbling over rocks and branches, gasping all the way.   And, I HAD to take along my heavy camera tripod and my big gadget bag with all the filters, etc.  I knew that if there was to be a waterfall, I’d need it to get some good shots.  Did I mention that it was a HEAVY tripod??  Wow!  And, you can’t see the HUMIDITY in the photos, but it was definitely a factor!

    I did get some nice shots of the falls, and the tripod WAS necessary, but it became the albatross around my neck!  On the return trip, headed toward the car, Bruce took pity on me and carried the tripod for me, and Joyce pitched in to help with the big camera bag.  Thank goodness for helpers!

    After we made it back to the car we headed back to the big lodge for more refreshment (maybe we should have asked for oxygen, too!).  Finally, we recovered, then jumped (limped?) into the cars, headed for the Berea Arts and Crafts show at Berea, Kentucky.  By then it was raining, and it rained on and off while we were at the outdoor craft thingy, but it was ok, we had umbrellas.  We bought a few knick-knacks, then headed west.  Bruce and Joyce were headed home and we had decided to check out Bardstown Kentucky, maybe visit some distilleries or museums, whatever, so we bid them adieu and parted company.

    At Bardstown we cruised the main part of town, happened to get parked right next to the Jailer’s Inn there.  Kate went in to check it out while I tried to drink something (just water, folks!) and get my heart re-started.  LONG LONG day!  She got us signed up for a room, so all was well.  We started carrying things in as she explained that the Jailer’s Inn was a B&B, and used to be the town lockup many years ago.  A number of the cells had been remodeled into bedrooms (some still had heavy iron doors on them), so that was to be our rest for the night, in the SLAMMER!  🙂

   The four-poster was VERY comfortable, the air conditioning was great, it was all perfect!!!  Next morning about 8:30 we went out into the rear yard for our breakfast – a wonderful experience!  Great food, pleasant surroundings, you should go!

   They had provided a number of goodies on the buffet including fruit, juice, coffee cake, muffins, all very nice.  The coffee was hot and good, and then the manager lady started serving strawberry french toast, mmmmm  mmmmmm!

   We got checked out from the Jailer’s Inn (after a tour of the old jail cells, really neat!) and then drove a few blocks over to the Civil War museum there, which also had next to it a colonial village, blacksmith shops, all that.  Amazing to see how the pioneers lived!

    Once more on the road, headed to Brandenburg for the Civil War re-enactment going on there.  We strolled the grounds (right next to the Ohio River), ate hot dogs and burgers, marvelled at the period clothing and gear, then decided that maybe we had enjoyed enough vacation for one outing.

   The final leg of the journey was pretty easy – we live 9 miles north of Brandenburg, so we zoomed by, picked up KD doggie, then sailed safely into our home port.

   Yes, we packed a lot into just a few days (Thursday thru Saturday), but overall it was really good.  We’re tired, but smiling!!  Wanna go with us next time??  🙂

Livin’ the DREAM

    Kate and I were just saying yesterday how blessed we are to have the life we do. (is that sentence right? hmmm).  Anyway, we enjoy doing many of the same things and are always ready to explore something new.  She is usually the prime mover on NEW things, sometimes my feet get stuck in that mud and I need to be pulled a bit.  I’m trying to do better, and I’m always rewarded by our adventures.

    I won’t attempt post *all* the pics here that illustrate our recent wanderings (mostly you’ll find them on Facebook), but the last week in particular has really been full.  I mentioned that Corydon was having “Cockadoodle Days” (no idea where they got that name), and we got to enjoy some of those festivities.

    The Cockadoodle thing started on Friday evening, and we both wanted to go, but it was a work night for Kate, so she had to head out to Louisville right before the fun began.  I was wanting to go to the fair so I could participate in the Texas Hold-em tournament (no, I’m no expert, I just enjoy playing), so I took Kate to work (only one vehicle at that time, remember).  I made it back to town just in time to get signed up.  I invested $40, got $2000 in chips and sat down to shoot the breeze and play some cards. “Breeze” was a welcome thing because we were playing outdoors, under a tent near the grandstands.  REAL near the grandstands.  REAL near.  They were having a tractor pull event there (about 100 yards from our gaming tables), and it tended to be LOUD!  Fortunately, on the other side were the big speakers so we’d have lots of country music booming our way from that side.  I’m exaggerating, as usual, we all had a good time.  My foray into fortune-seeking lasted about 2 hours, then I left the table to head for the house.  I would have stayed longer but they wouldn’t let me buy more chips with a dachsund as collateral. 

    The next day Kate was off so I took her out to the fairgrounds to eat some festival food, wander the displays, all the things you usually do.   Strolling around in the tents on a day in July tends to be a little ‘perspire-y’, so we mighta lost some weight doing that, but we enjoyed it.  The tractor pulls were continuing on that day, too, so we were treated to some high-decibal assaults from time to time.  Not sure I’d want to pay to see that – too noisy for me!

     In downtown Corydon they were having the Territory Festival, all about re-enacting the signing of the legislation to help make Indiana a state.  There were a number of re-enactor folks there, dressed as people did in the early 1800’s right about the time of the War of 1812.  Did I mention that there’s lots of HISTORY in Corydon??  Good stuff!  And, Kate’s quest for period clothing is in HIGH gear!  Ebay apparently is a treasure trove of that stuff.

    Last night was the fireworks display, held just east of town on the country club grounds.  It was just perfect in every way.  We rode a shuttle bus out there, had great seats overlooking the launch site, it was wonderful!  The fireflies appeared just before the pyrotechnics began and provided their own light show for us.  There were kids running everywhere with those luminous wands sold by the wandering vendors – good memories, great fireworks!  Kate took this pic – nice shot…

  We’re having a great time, ignoring the aches and pains caused by ‘youth deficiency’, and looking forward to more neat things in our future.  We’re off again on another mini-vacation next week, going to see Berea – The folk arts and crafts capital of Kentucky!   http://www.berea.com/  Bruce and Joyce will be joining us for part of the trip, should be lotsa fun!

  Get off yer couch, get OUT there!   🙂

No Kinda Man

  In “O Brother Where Art Thou” the Tim Blake Nelson character is musing about what he might do with his share of the treasure (rumored treasure?) and he wants to re-purchase the family farm, says, “You ain’t no kinda man if you don’t have land”.  My Indiana paraphrased version (tongue in cheek) is “You ain’t no kinda man if you don’t have a pickup”.  Well, I’ve been feelin’ kinda bereft lately, and none too MANLY, havin’ no pickup and all, so I’ve been sifting those truck ads on Craigslist and in the Corydon Democrat

   Today, success!!  This story is a little involved – stay with me, ok?  🙂  I found an ad on Craigslist several days ago, agreed to call the people this morning to set up a viewing time, but dang! the ad had disappeared from Craigslist.  So, I ‘threw in the towel’ on that one and decided to move on to something else.  I told Kate about this, and she started right in on ‘call ’em anyway, see what’s going on’.  Well, I didn’t want to do it, drug my feet for awhile on it, then finally relented, *KNOWING* all the while that the truck had been sold and I was just wasting my time.  After all, I *DO* know everything, right??  I called, half-heartedly, and was amazed to hear that ‘the truck is still available and did I want to come see it’.  Well, I had to grovel to Kate, admit that she was perfectly correct in bugging me til I called, all that. 

   Meanwhile, the Fourth of July parade had started in Corydon, so we went downtown to check that out before we headed out to see the pickup.

   So, we enjoyed the parade, gathered up lots of candy being thrown by all the political candidates (yeah, like we’d remember, come November, who it was who threw the best candy our way), and just had a great time outdoors on a sparkling morning.

   Meanwhile, I’m champing at the bit, wanting to get on the road to get up to Campbellsville, Indiana, to see that magical truck!  So, I got Kate pried loose from all the parade doings, and away we went.  I promised her we’d return to the downtown area to explore some of the other holiday things (the Territory Festival was going on, also – more later, next blog post, perhaps).  But first, the pickup quest!  I hope those people who saw me hogtie her and throw her in the car weren’t too upset.

    We got to the pickup viewing at the appointed time, and commenced the viewing/evaluation.  Unfortunately, after all that anticipation, I decided not to buy it – too many problems, too many broken things on the beast.  Well, heck!

   By then, it was lunchtime, we were both famished, so Kate fired up the Garmin GPS and located a place to eat just a few miles down the road.  We drove over there, went up and down the street a couple of times, finally found it – FYI, in case you’re looking for it, “JT’S” in Campbellsburg, Indiana, has NO SIGNAGE anywhere on the building, just a neon OPEN indicator in the window.

   We went on in, discovered it to be a DARK, COOL bar with 6 or 8 of the locals sitting at the bar.  I was dubious, but Kate forged ahead, me in tow.  We had some good sandwiches, good side dishes, and I got to fire off some of my favorite OLD jokes (not sure if Kate was rolling her eyes, but I wouldn’t have been surprised).  In the course of the joking and chatting with the guys at the bar, one of them said, “Hey, if you’re looking for a budget pickup, I can help you out!”.  Amazingly, he worked for a local farmer who had a pickup for sale, and of course had not advertised it, just had mentioned it to a few people, and we happened to be in the right place at the right time to hear about it.  Thank you again, Kate, thank you thank you!

   To bring this long tale to an end, we followed him a few miles out to the farm, test drove the old yellow beast, and paid the man.  Done and done!   So, whatdya think?

   Kate says, “It has *character*!”  (no radio, no air conditioning, but has lotsa CHARACTER).  I agree, and I think it will be a valuable addition to our family.It’ll give me the freedom to go places when she’s at work.  Now I can attend the Writer’s Group that meets at the library, and I can go down to hear some of the live entertainment at Cafe on the Square in Corydon.  And, if Vehicle 1 has problems, it’ll be our emergency backup.

   Anyway, I’m thrilled to have it.  Hope you didn’t mind wading through my ‘pickup acquisition’ story.

   Come on over, you can have a test drive!!  🙂