Monthly Archives: April 2011

Pergola’s Progress

Well, Pilgrim, we waited as long as we could, but decided to go ahead without ya!  I know you really *wanted* to be here, digging alongside us – maybe next time, eh?  Just kidding, as usual – we’re doing pretty well on our own.  As you’ll see in the photos, we got the four main posts set in concrete, just before the rains came.  Actually, the concrete had about 12 hours to set up, so it should be fine.

It took us awhile to get everything just right – lots of measuring and re-measuring to be sure the diagonal distances were equal.  And, in case you’re wondering, concrete is REALLY heavy and difficult to work with, even in these smaller quantities!  Anyway, we’ll keep a-goin’, and get ‘er done!  The main scheduling difficulty will be the weather – LOTS of spring storms sweeping through!


Remembrance Day in New Amsterdam, IN

Well, just like you, we had this on our Bucket List (in case you missed the movie, it refers to things we want to do/see before we kick the bucket), and now to our great relief, we can cross this one off the list!  We went to New Amsterdam, Indiana (population 27).  It was epic, it was mind-boggling, it was a parade, it was antique/junk tables.  Wow, it just had everything!  All the action centered around Shaffer’s Store in the middle of town (town is about 2 blocks long, more or less), and we were RIGHT THERE!  Are ya envious yet??  🙂  We got there in plenty of time so we could browse all the tables and the plethora of ……… actually, it was JUNK.  Oh, well…

The store really is interesting to browse, they have lots of neat stuff on the shelves and the whole place is heated with a pot-bellied stove at the back of the place, near the food vending counter.  The weather was cloudy, cool, occasionally spitting rain, so that stove was quite popular, as you’ll see in the pictures.

A little later the MONSTER parade started – there were probably 12 entrants, if you count the kids driving lawn tractors, and I guess you have to count the guy leading a llama and a calf.  Also marching past was Captain Clark and Sacajawea.  I’m telling you, you need to mark this on your calendar for next year!  It’ll likely be on CNN tonight so you can get all the details I left out.

The highlight and finale of our visit was when we boarded the old yellow school bus along with some other folks and took a narrated tour of the Mulzer Stone Quarry, about 2 miles from town, also located  by the Ohio River.  Their riverbank location is necessary because they ship all the crushed stone by barge (each barge is loaded with 1600 tons of stone).  It was a neat tour – we learned about the sizes of stone coming out of the huge crushers and about the rock strata that they were working.

After the hour-long tour we returned to the metropolis of New Amsterdam where we visited the ‘necessary rooms’ and had a bite to eat in the store.  Kate enjoyed a cup of chicken and dumplings and I had a barbecued pork loin sandwich – it was all delicious!  And, since we were back by the old hot stove, we were toasty warm.

Plan to be there next year – I’ll treat you to a sandwich, ok?  🙂

(pssst – you’ll see some ‘freestyle’ spelling on the store banner, but try not to mention it to them, alright?  We wanna keep things friendly! )

Pergola Pergola Day 1

And then she said, “Look at this picture!  I want one!  I’m not kidding!”  And then I said  (not sure if she was kidding), “OK, I’ll start thinking about it, right away!”  I figured that would hold her for awhile – kinda like telling a child, “We’ll see.”  Well, she wasn’t kidding!!  So, I started thinking about it kinda maybe more seriously, but not ‘rushing in to it’.  Then she gave me THE LOOK.  “Oh, ok, yes dear, I’ll get right on it!”

I put on my Procrastinating hat, found out it didn’t fit anymore.  So, I tried on my SwingIntoAction hat – tight fit, but I got it on.  After some sketchin’ and some cipherin’, I jumped in Matilda the Yellow Pickup and skedaddled down to Limeberry Lumber in Corydon.  I explained to the guys behind the counter that  I was there because of a picture in a magazine my wife saw and they all let out a big groan, “Oh, NO!”, followed by a big laugh!  Dang!  No sympathy whatever!  I finished up at the counter (I had to sign over a pile of cash, my firstborn, and two future draft choices), then drove Matilda around to the Big Lumber Building.  The cuttin’ loadin’ guys got me fixed up and then I went over to the equipment rental place to pick up an auger.   Amazingly, for another sizable pile of cash they agreed to let me use it for 24 hours.  Wodda system!

Then I was off to Wal-Mart for some bags of black mulch and some flower bulbs for a different project she had going, then finally made it out onto the highway to head back to Shiloh.  Matilda was kinda groaning under the load but we made it home ok.  I backed up to the garage and Kate helped me unload the heavy lumber, QuickCrete (3 80-pound bags) and 3 bags of mulch.  She was a great help, seriously!  She said she was glad to help with the project since I was doing all this work for her.  Nice lady, yes?  She plans to get out there when construction starts and lend a hand there, too.  It’ll be greatly appreciated!

On another project front, I went to Sears and picked up my new front-tine tiller a couple of days ago – now I have to wait for the ground to dry out again and try to till the garden.  Tillers are no fun, but they are WAY better than using shovels – this Indiana red clay is STONY and HARD.

So, back to the pergola project for a bit – I’m doing it in stages, starting with the deck which will be the floor for the thing.  In the first picture (that she saw in a magazine), they don’t actually have a floor, but we have enough bugs here that I think we’ll be MUCH happier being up out of the grass when we are sitting out there – our guests will thank us, I’m sure!  So, I have the materials on hand to get that far with the project, then we’ll decide just how we want the upper part to look and go get some lattice and ‘get ‘er done’!

Feel free to come help – I DO have extra work gloves!  🙂  Just kidding, but do come see us when it’s complete.  We’ll sit out and watch fireflies, ok?

A Fun Day in Spring

We went out on Saturday (April 9th) to enjoy the fine spring weather.  Of course, we thought it’d be a good idea to wait until the MAJOR thunderstorms rumbled through – the yard got a nice watering out of the deal, but we had a really troubled dachsund roaming the house.  I had to be the ‘dog whisperer’ and hold her in my lap for most of that time – that seemed to settle her down.  Much easier with a small dog, we have memories of old Noah the golden retriever who got frantic during storms and was VERY hard to settle down.  Poor old Noah, his troubles are all over now.

After Kate got in some sleep from working the night before we went down to the square in Corydon because we had heard that the Ohio Valley Civil War Association was in town and there would be *neat* things to see  🙂  It was neat, indeed – they had folks there in camp follower costume of the period and a number of soldier types with full military gear.  They were giving demonstrations of firing and loading the old-style rifles with full explanations at every point of the process.  Very informative – Kate enjoyed that part, too.  After that they moved the focus of the demonstration to the artillery piece now on the square.  Each member of the artillery squad had a specific duty – swabbing, ramming, loading, aiming, etc.  We could see that, with training, it all went very smoothly and the enemy had better prepare for the worst.

After we left the Civil War doin’s we went on to Louisville because we had purchased advance tickets to see a Louisville Bats minor league game.  They were to play the Toledo Mudhens – who could resist *that* entertainment draw??  The pictures pretty much tell it all – one thing to explain, they had a comedian wandering through the stands and on the field, and this guy was sort of a ‘poor man’s Jerry Lewis’.  He was a hoot!  If you want to look him up, his performance name is “Myron Noodleman”.  The Bats won, 2-1, we bought hot dogs and beer, souvenir hats, and Kate made another friend.  She was chatting almost non-stop with the young guy (mid-20’s) next to her – he didn’t seem to mind, so it was ok  🙂   We plan to go to see more games!


Al Capone and Me 2011

As it was said in a movie (Mary Poppins?), “I love it when a plan comes together.”  Well, ours didn’t come together very well for our “Dinner and a Murder” party.  Kate and I were going to go to the Mafia/mob-themed party  in Corydon, hosted by some of the historical folks here, but as it turned out, her work schedule made it impossible for her to go, so I was gently urged (commanded) to go alone.  I really really wanted to go with her, both of us in costume, but……. dang!  So, I went by myself, dressed as my character “Don ‘Toto’ Tequila, Boss of Bosses”.  As you’ll see in the photo, I look very convincing in my part (well, maybe if I was driving an ice cream truck).  But, I showed up at the appointed time at the First State Office Building (which turned out to be a frame house from the early 1800’s – it was nice, but not your average State Office Building).  There were two  ‘flappers’ at the sign-in table on the porch – I picked up my name tag, information booklet, and a *really friendly* frisk by the big bouncer guy there (he promised he’d call me sometime).

Then I was cleared to go inside, at which point I stepped back into the 1920’s.  The attendees were attired in great period costumes, especially the women, resplendent in their colorful dresses from yesteryear.  I had made up some fun business cards in the spirit of the evening and handed out a few of those.

There were many wondrous hats, lots of feather boas, it was “the cat’s pajamas”, for sure!  Oh, I forgot to tell you – it was a ‘speakeasy’ theme, so you had to have a password to get in.  So, for this particular soiree,  the key phrase was “bee’s knees.”  Luckily, I was able to remember that in time to prevent my new bouncer friend from turning me upside down and trying to shake my ticket loose.

As the evening progressed, we enjoyed some appetizers, then were given a really good meal (I had the chicken cordon bleu).   Throughout the evening the information for the murder mystery was dribbled out to the party-goers, and then the murders started to dribble out, too.  Early in the proceedings the Big Boss from Chicago got rubbed out right in front of us, which wasn’t a meal course he was expecting, I imagine – he looked kinda surprised.  Later,  others met their demise, made me think maybe it was the “Ten Little Indians” story.  And, yes, I got bumped off, too – a lady lured me into an alcove with a mysterious note, took all my casino money and indicated (by her ‘weapon’ card) that she had an ice pick and my time was up.  One of the party administrators whisked me into a side room and said I could come back to life as a police detective or just continue as an observer.  I opted for observer so I could take some more photos.

It was a really enjoyable evening – the ambiance was terrific, the food was really good, all the people played their parts to the hilt.  If you can wangle an invitation to one of these, by all means go – you’ll love it!  And, with that, I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Family Doin’s

As you’ll soon see, today’s post is primarily to update our family and friends about our visitors who were here for the last week.  We just waved goodbye as our family group pulled out, heading for Tulsa, Oklahoma.  They’ll drop off the young ladies Megan and Grace, then they’ll be off to Denver, home for Ananda and Erin, and make sure Josh makes his flight back to his home in Los Angeles.  We’ve had a marvelous time this week – we got to show all of them around our part of the world and we had some super visiting time with them!  They were all a delight to be with and we look forward to seeing all of them again.  I’ve included some pictures here that will show you some of our activities – we toured historic Corydon, including the Leora Brown schoolhouse (the yellow structure), the Civil War battlefield site, our deck party at our place (which included some marksmanship with the pellet gun), out trip to Squire Boone Cavern, dinners with Kate’s brothers/wives Bruce/Joyce and Alan/Janice.  We had fun at the Louisville Science Center, where we experienced the Star Trek Exhibition, then we went on the river steamboat “Spirit of Jefferson” where we enjoyed a nice meal, a sightseeing excursion up the river and some fun dancing.  On their last full day here we  went to Churchill Downs to see the Kentucky Derby museum and all the grounds.  Thanks to Josh, we were introduced to the board game “Sequence” which turned out to be a BIG hit with the entire family and we had lotsa fun playing that together, plenty of fun and laughter.

One of the big reasons for their visit was to spend some time with “Grandma Frances”, and that went very well – Grandma was pleased!!

I hope you enjoy looking at the snapshots – not like being there, but at least you’ll get an idea.  As always, click on any small picture to see the larger version.

Come join us next time, ok?  🙂