Monday, September 28, 2009

It's official....

....Gaige and Nathan are now Cub Scouts.

We missed the first two meetings, so the night they joined we got a lot of Scout stuff thrust upon us. Every year the Boy Scouts of America sells Trail's End popcorn. It is the only fund-raising event for Scouts, much like Girl Scouts sell cookies. When our boys were in Scouts umpteen years ago, and David was a Scout Leader and I was a Den Mother, the popcorn sales were pretty simple. There was one choice, the kind you put in a pan with oil and popped on the old range. It was really good popcorn...think Orville Redenbacher good. Now, of course, there is microwave popcorn and gift tins filled with popcorn goodies. One really nice feature in the sales, for people who don't care for popcorn but who still want to make a contribution and also help our men and women in the armed services, is the Military Donation program that sends gift tins to our troops.

The other thing that was an immediate rush-to-get-done item was the fall campout happening on Saturday! Four days hence! We decided that the boys would just go for the afternoon and evening, but not spend the night. They were fine with that plan. I think they were a little apprehensive about staying in a tent away from home. And that was really fine with Poppy, because he wasn't relishing spending the night in a tent either.

It had rained the night before and Saturday morning, too, so we weren't sure they were even going, even though there was a "no cancellation, if rain" policy in effect. Luckily, just about the time to leave for the camp, the sun came out and it turned out to be a lovely afternoon.

The guys need to work on their salutes/signs...I'm not sure which one they were going for here, but both of them need work. Gaige seems to have the Scout sign confused with the "peace" sign. Two fingers together, Gaige, and not quite so high in the sky. And, Nathan, the salute is at the right front of your cap brim. Nathan is a Tiger Cub and Gaige is a Wolf Cub.

Nathan and another Tiger Cub checking out a daddy long-legs.

Fishing was the highlight of the day. Poppy said they learned to cast fairly well for first-timers.

Nathan even caught a good-sized bluegill, but Poppy insisted on throwing it back. Nathan was not. too. threw a screaming, crying fit happy. about this turn of events, and that is the reason he is not in the picture.

Gaige got to help cut up peppers for the chili cooking in the Dutch oven.
Nathan cut up apples for a tinfoil dessert that was cooked on the fire.

Sung at the end of Scout meetings.....Taps

"Day is done.
Gone the sun
From the lake,
From the hills,
From the sky.
All is well,
Safely rest.
God is nigh."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

All the news

It has been a banner week here in Central Ohio! Columbus has had its share of newsworthy events.

This lobster only weighs 13 pounds, and that is a man's size 11 foot.

Have you been hankering for a nice big lobster lately? Does watching those clawed dinner treats in the tank at your local restaurant or seafood market make your mouth start watering until you can almost taste the drawn butter dripping off a huge hunk of tender deliciousness? Well, come to Dublin, Ohio! This week at the Dublin Kroger a seventeen-pound lobster was discovered in the tank by a customer! Now an average lobster that you would purchase for your dinner is around 1 1/4-2 pounds. Just picture one that's at least eight times bigger! You can read more about this creature of the sea in The Columbus Dispatch.

The lobster was released back into the ocean to live out his obviously long life.

these are not the cubs born at the Columbus Zoo

On a much cuter and more precious level, at the Columbus Zoo this week, babies were born...triplet lion cubs!  They are the first lion cubs to be born there in twenty-four years! I didn't know this, but lions have not been bred in captivity in North America for several decades because of inbreeding and other inappropriate parings, according to Harry Peachey, the Assistant Curator. The cubs' parents, Asali and Tomo, are one of 31 pairs in N.A. to be part of a new breeding program monitored by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan. Unfortunately, there are no pictures yet. Even the zookeepers have only seen the cubs through a video camera lens. They're giving the mother time to bond with her babies and it seems she is doing a fantastic job so far.

Who says the Midwest is boring!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Living History

Of late, my blog has seemed to be a travelogue of sights to see in central Ohio and today is no different. On Saturday, David and I took Aimee's kids to Slate Run Living Historical Farm in Pickaway County, near the small quaint village of Canal Winchester. It was a gloriously beautiful day for three kids to run around a working farm and enjoy the sunshine. And it was quite pleasurable for us adults as well.

The farm house is a Gothic Revival built in 1856 and restored by the Columbus Metro Parks system for authenticity. All of the volunteers dress in period costume and do all the work on the farm. They raise the cattle, hogs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese for their meat, milk, eggs and wool. The vegetables and fruit that are grown there are preserved in the old-fashioned ways. They use no modern equipment. All the cooking is done on a wood-fired stove and all the farming is done with horse-drawn equipment.

Several times when David and I have visited on a Sunday, we've arrived when the volunteers are eating their Sunday dinner around the long wooden dining table. All the recipes they use are from the past. All of the vegetables and fruit grown are heirloom varieties and chicken breeds are all heritage breeds. It's a hard life, but a good one, and all the volunteers seem to really enjoy the time they spend working and communing with like-minded individuals. And, believe me, they answer lots  of dumb questions from folks who didn't have the opportunity to grow up on a farm.

And now, take a tour with me and the grandkids of a real historic working farm.

 The vegetable garden is, of course, close to the house to make it convenient for the farm wife to run out and pick a head of cabbage. Wow, look at the size of that one!

Pumping water at the well is fun for kids of all ages, though they encourage you not to waste the water, but to get a drink, wash your hands, or water some of the flowers and herbs growing near the back porch and summer kitchen.

These ladies were offering samples of herb butters, cookies, crackers and rosemary cake. They also had herbal teas to wash down the dryish delicious cookies and cake.
The summer kitchen was a lifesaver for women in the 19th century. It kept the main kitchen from heating up with all the baking and canning that had to be done on a daily basis. The herb garden was right outside the door.
Inside the summer kitchen, where Nate and Kait enjoyed learning to use the washboard.
This is the kitchen inside the main house.
Notice that there is no cookstove in the main kitchen. It has been moved to the summer kitchen, which had to be a mighty feat, since it probably weighs a couple thousand pounds.
The parlor, where there is some major competition going on with the patterns. This is a very hands-on room where the visitors can look through a stereoscope, play checkers, play the pianoforte, or read a book or two.
In every Victorian parlor, you will find a hair picture, the strange practice of making feathery figures out of a dearly departed loved one's hair. It's a little creepy, I must say.
I thought this was an ingenious use of an old, worn-out wagon wheel. It was outside the kitchen door. The perfect place for drying your dish towels and wash basins.

Some of summer's bounty lining the shelves of the cellar. On the opposite wall are wooden bins for storing potatoes and other root vegetables.
The smell of the smoked hams and bacon in the smokehouse was just amazing! I wanted to take a knife and hack off a hunk of that ham and eat it right there!  Notice the blackened walls.

What's a farmhouse without a board swing hanging from a shade tree?
These ladies were doing watercolor paintings of the farmhouse while sitting in the shade of the grape arbor. The sweet lady in the middle kept asking me if she broke my camera.
Look at the size of the grapevine trunk! Those vines have been there a long time.

Inside the main barn were lots of tools hanging from the rafters.

And every barn must have a lucky horseshoe.
And no matter how cute a three-week-old calf may be, you have to remember.....
...they are raised to provide food for hungry farmers and their families and to sell for food.

The sheep were let in to eat some fresh hay for their supper.

The windmill pumps water for the animals. It's standing in front of the main barn.

This blacksmith shop is a lot fancier than the one my dad had at our farm. Daddy used to let me pump the bellows to make the fire hotter in the forge.
This may be one of the first examples of a stationary bicycle! I'm not sure what it is used for, but may be some kind of lathe or something else used in woodworking.

The doors to the equipment shed.

And inside is what we think is a thresher. It was made in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

Gaige grinding corn in a hand mill.

It seems like there is something missing from this sign....the animals, maybe?

Where old wagon wheels go to die.

This sign made me hungry for some pumpkin pie.
Shooing the reluctant chickens into the coop at the end of the ladies' day. I'm sure they weren't quite ready to be cooped up.

And three happy grandkids.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What's behind folder number 4?

Okay, so Violet Sky just tagged me to play the "Open Your 4th Folder Game". I knew this would be one of the four million pictures of the grandkids, and I was right!

It was June, 2003, and this is grandson number two, Nathan Connor, at 3 months being held up for viewing by his mommy, Aimee.  (She will kill me if she sees this and sees her fingernails very much in need of polish.)  Aimee and Daniel had just moved here from Louisiana a few weeks before and were living with us until they found jobs. Nathan's older brother Gaige was just 20 months old at the time, so they were quite a handful!

So now, it is my pleasure to tag  four more suckers friends to:
  1. Open the fourth folder in your picture storing place.
  2. Go to the fourth picture in that folder.
  3. Explain the photo.
  4. Tag four people to do the same.
And the lucky four are:

Oooh, Violet Sky is gonna be so mad at me! I just can't do it to anyone else. But if you are so inclined, please feel free to participate. It's quick and easy and kinda fun.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Little Graveyard on the Prairie

While on my quest last week to photograph all the covered bridges in our county, I stumbled across the Bigelow Pioneer Cemetery. What a find! A small graveyard, the tombstones are surrounded by native prairie grasses and plants from pre-settlement times. It is the only remaining piece of what was one a vast tall-grass prairie known as The Darby Plains. Because of its scientific and historical significance, the cemetery was dedicated as a state nature preserve in September, 1978, and is now being managed to aid and perpetuate these native prairie species.

(As always, click on pictures to enlarge)
The tombstones engulfed by the grasses.
As in most cemeteries, some of the markers were very simple ones.
While a few were larger monuments.
Prairie life was tough and often not kind to children.
This girl was only twelve years old.
Phebe Ann was a mere five years when she left this earth.
And little Mahalia only one.
But some, like Henry King, lived to a ripe old age.
His wife, Catharine, even outlived him.
And a little bonus.
Of all the butterflies that were sipping from the prairie nectar, this little guy (about 1 1/2 inches across), caught my eye the most.